Rutgers Coordinators Drew Mehringer, Jay Niemann Respond after 58-0 Road Loss

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- How does Rutgers respond after a 58-0 drubbing against Ohio State? Coordinaros Drew Mehringer and Jay Niemann have to prepare fast with another top-five foe up in Michigan.


On press coverage...

“To be honest with you, at the beginning of the year I did not feel comfortable with our ability to get off press coverage. That's something that coach [Jafar] Williams has worked really diligently with those guys. I thought they did a better job than they have in the past. You look at some of the plays that we had, you had guys open in press-man coverage. The second competition to Jawuan Harris, the first one on third down, that was into man coverage. I think the bigger issue for us in the passing game so far is we've had too many drops. We had five drops in the game. It's really hard to throw and complete passes and move the ball outside from the run game if you've got drops. We've had some accuracy issues that I thought have gotten a lot better. There were a couple of throws in there that weren't great but [Chris Laviano] threw the ball much better this game than he had in the past. We've got to clean up that end of the throw and catch as well.”

On Offensive Line...

“They offensive line, aside from Tariq [Cole], was fine [health wise]. The things that you can learn, you look at those guys up front for Ohio State and this week for Michigan are going to be the same if not better. If you're going to go out and play in a game like that, especially up front, winning a game in the trenches is going to be critical. You have to do that one way or another. It may not be just slamming the ball through the A gaps and saying 'hey center and guards, go win these one-on-one battles all game.' That may not be what you're asking them to do but those guys have to win in the manner that we're asking them to do it. If you're coming out of a game like that, hey you're playing some of the best in the country. … You're going to get exposed on where your weaknesses are because when you're playing elite-level competition, that's what they do. They force you to really, really evaluate where your game is, where your footwork is, where you're hand placement is, where your technique is. I think for our guys, it was a very honest glimpse into exactly where they need to develop and continue to improve. For our guys up front, that's the biggest thing they can take away from a game like that aside from the fact that if you don't come ready to play against a big-time opponent, not good things are going to happen.”


On Ohio State miscues...

It was a comedy of mistakes, alignment mistakes, fundamental mistakes, guys just not communicating well as defense. The one thing I will say, that dominates your thought process a lot of times when you come off of a game like that and you give up the points and the yards that we did. When you do put the film on and see the plays where the guys are lined up right and doing what they're supposed to do, the communication works like it's supposed to, we were a good defense. There were some plays in there, which you have to look for because there were a lot of bad ones, but there were some good ones in there too. Our guys can gain confidence from knowing that, hey, even against an offense as good as Ohio State's if you line up right, you see the right keys, you take the right steps, you do the right assignments, you get the right communication going. When things are working the way they're supposed to, we can be a good defense.”

On linebackers Tyreek Williams, Kevin Marquez...

Tyreek just got his feet wet for the first time. He had played some special teams plays and he's been in and out of some subpackages a little bit. I thought for the first time for him really being in a regular down and distance situation on a continual basis throughout a game, he did a really good job. You can't judge anyone off of one performance like that but I think he's got a very bright future and we're looking forward to opportunities for him as the season goes along. I thought he did a good job in that setting for the first time. Kevin didn't get in as long but he did a nice job when he was in there. I think his role probably won't change assuming that everybody is healthy that we expect to be but if needed, I think he'll do a good job.”


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