A New Season

What a difference a week makes, especially in the ever-changing world of college football. One week ago Rutgers was coming off of a hard fought victory over lowly Buffalo, while Louisville was looking at an easy road to an undefeated season and Pittsburgh had yet to win a game.

Friday's game against the Pittsburgh Panthers is the Big East opener for both teams, and as of this past Saturday night, the league is wide open and the players for the Scarlet Knights know it.

Head Coach Greg Schiano said, "I think they've had the sense of how meaningful this game is and have been awaiting the opening of the Big East schedule. Really, when you get into league play every game is a championship game."

Coach Schiano lauded Pittsburgh's defense which has only allowed 10 offensive points in the past three games, saying that they had performed well enough for the team to be 3-1 instead of 1-3.

Schiano also had a lot to say about Pitt's Jr. QB Tyler Palko, who had underperformed until Saturday's game against Youngstown State. Coach Schiano said, "He is such a competitor. He's got a strong arm and a stronger will. He's a very strong guy. You can get to him and still not get him down. He will hold you off while he flips the ball to the wide out."

Bye week

Rutgers of course had less to worry about than other league teams because they had this weekend off. Greg Schiano said that his staff reviews its practice procedures during bye weeks, but did not make any major changes from past years.

Coach Schiano noted that he views the bye week as "Both as a fundamental development period, and a continual installation of things that the team might not have gotten to in training camp."

Coach said that he "think[s] we had a really solid week of practice Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday", but he did not seem convinced of his own words, however, as he later added, "I knew exactly were we needed to improve coming off the field in Buffalo. We have made some improvements in those areas, but we are not that much better. I think we need to continue to improve this week."

When asked what specifically the team was working on he replied: "We are working our tails off becoming a better tackling football team as we did during the preseason. Offensively we have been working hard on the offensive line with protections and blocking. I feel better in that area than I did coming off the field last week."

Notes When So. QB Mike Teel injured his ankle this week it put the coaches in a tough position with regards to a potential backup. Coach Schiano indicated that should Ryan Hart sustain a minor injury during this week's game that would require him to sit one or two series, former backup QB Anthony Cali will see playing time. If the injury is more serious true freshman Jabu Lovelace would get the call.

Brad Cunningham will be available if needed.

Senior OL John Glass will return from suspension this week after missing the game against Buffalo due to an unspecified violation of team policy.

Did you know? Rutgers is only 1-7 after bye weeks which include such classics as a blowout loss to Navy in 2004 and the infamous 80-7 loss against West Virginia in 2001.

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