Rutgers Coordinators Preview Penn State and Senior Night

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Rutgers coordinators Drew Mehringer and Jay Niemann break down Penn State week, including the development of Giovanni Rescigno, Robert Martin's role at running back and defending Saquon Barkley.

Rutgers offensive coordinator Drew Mehringer on Giovanni Rescigno...

"Coach (Chris) Ash has said all along that this is going to be a development-based program. We want to be a development program, and so I think, especially for a young quarterback, a sophomore that's taken a lot of reps right now, he's got some talent. He's done some really good things out there on the game field. So for him, his progression, his development is only getting better."

On running back Robert Martin...

"To be honest with you, he had been dinged up for the last few weeks and putting him out there — Robert Martin is a great back with great vision, especially in the downhill run game. You're looking at your inside zone-power counter stuff, he does a great job of that vision and he wants to be a vertical, downhill runner and sometimes often too vertical for where you have to coach him, 'Hey, there are some hits that are a little bit wider.' But Rob Martin playing at 75 percent, he wasn't going to be the same as he was. And in this last game, he jumped in there and had some very, very nice runs for us in our downhill run game we need both of them — we need Robert Martin, Justin Goodwin. They both do a nice job. They both complement each other well. But I agree with you, when he's on and he's playing really well, he adds a nice dimension to our inside-run game."

On if the offense needs to be more creative against Penn State's defense ...

"Yeah, I think that in any game, you want to try to create the best advantages that you can and sometimes that looks differently in games. So now you mention trick plays and sure, we go into games with trick plays all the time and what draws up really well against these guys and can we execute it? But yeah, I think for us, we need to be creative. We can't put our guys in a situation where they're going out there thinking too much. If you do, they're going to end up playing slow and we're not a team that can be playing slow. We have to be a team that goes out there knowing what we're doing, executing our play on a high level and have great communication. Otherwise, we haven't shown to play well in those types of situations."

Defensive coordinator Jay Niemann on cornerback Damon Hayes...

"He's doing some good things. Like any freshman, he's also making some mistakes and has some things he needs to clean up. But I think his progression, as you look at the play from week to week, has been good. And again, it's like any other young player is trying to establish consistency as we go and it's a matter of a process of corrections and just trying to clean things up on a week-to-week basis. But I think he's doing real well, competing hard and we're real happy with where he's at."

On Penn State running back Saquon Barkley ...

"I would say he's just a complete back. He can run through you, he can run around you, he can jump over you. I mean, you've seen him do all those things if you've watched him play. He's elusive, he's tough, he catches the ball out of the backfield. I can't imagine there's something that he can't do that they would want him to do — if there was, I'd sure like to know what it is — but he's a real impressive player."

On team captain Darius Hamilton ...

"He's helped a lot because he's been a quality player and a good leader. Just think about the value that guys up front have defensively. In terms of what you try to do, that's we're trying to build this football team from the line of scrimmage, whether you're looking at it from an offensive or defensive perspective. So any time you get guys like that that are bought in and playing well and trying to lead, do the right things, it's invaluable. So we really appreciate all the effort and hard work he's put into the season and hopefully we can send him out this last home game with a win and make it a really memorable night."


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