Sunday Notebook: Connecticut Aftermath

A day after dropping a heart-breaking loss to Connecticut to end the season, Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano spoke with the media on his weekly conference call. Schiano, who led the Scarlet Knights to an 8-4 finish in the regular season, discussed getting ready for recruiting and awaiting bowl fate.

The only thing Rutgers can do right now is regroup and move forward. For head coach Greg Schiano and the Scarlet Knights, the final week of the season does not include a game is critical to the development of the team.

For the staff, a week off means a major recruiting focus.

"It's fresh in my mind right now," Schiano said of the Connecticut loss. "I'm really disappointed in how we played, how we coached. We have to get ready for recruiting. One of the advantages of playing and not being out playing next week is we'll be out on the road recruiting starting tonight. We have a recruiting meeting here [at about 1]. Sometimes you want to feel sorry for yourself and there's no time to. I think we have to focus on what's at hand right now and I'll take some time this week to do some evaluations because, based on those evaluations, we'll need to kind of structure bowl practice around those things."

Evaluations begin with himself, Schiano said, and encompass the entire program trying to turn things around in order to win a fifth bowl game in six years.

"As always it starts with me and I work my way all the way through," Schiano said. "It won't be like a season-ending [evaluation]. It will just be things that we need to do in recruiting and to prepare for this bowl game.

A major evaluation coming is at the quarterback position.

In a battle that remains ongoing, sophomore Chas Dodd and freshman Gary Nova each have claims to the job and are set to battle all of December to win the job for the bowl game.

"The quarterback decision has always been open," Schiano said. "It's not like it has to be re-opened. I don't know what that decision will be. We have some time now. We don't have a game Saturday, so we'll evaluate things season-long. [Offensive coordinator] Frank [Cignetti] and I will sit down and kind of look at their body of work. Moving forward, I think they both can do it. Yesterday, we didn't do it very well with either."

After a few days of rest and focus on academics, the team will begin its bowl preparation with practices by the end of the week.

Missing out on bowl practices last year, having them back is "critical," Schiano said.

"It's essentially another spring and at least the first half of it is really dedicated to Rutgers on Rutgers work and young guys getting as many reps as old guys if not more," he said. "It is truly a great developmental time for these kids. It's something why the rich get richer in college football. You get an extra 15 practices in college football every year, we've been blessed to have it for five in a row and last year didn't."


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