News and Notes From Day 1

With temperatures climbing into the middle 70's in what seemed like a spring-time atmosphere rather than less than one week away from Christmas, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights began preparation for their contest versus ASU.

The first practice in a new location is always somewhat of a test. A new practice facility, a new surface. A new time zone, as far as Rutgers is concerned. And an entirely new feeling for members of the Scarlet Knights that have endured some of the leanest football years known to man.

Gauging where the players are, in their minds and in their bodies, is crucial to gaining an understanding of where the team currently is.

"We had a great effort today," stated Rutgers Head Coach Greg Schiano after the conclusion of Thursday's opening practice session.

"I've been around a few bowls where we've had practices come out of left field and that wasn't the case here today," continued Schiano.

Indeed, that's a good thing, considering what Rutgers is facing on 12/27.

A scary good offense and an opportunistic defense that makes plays when it needs to.

"They're the 3rd rated passing team in the nation and there's a reason for that."

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Making Travel Plans
Though asked repeatedly for comments on his coaching extension, Coach Schiano declined, and each time offered a new perspective on Rutgers Football.

"We want our people to start making this as part of their lives," stated Schiano.

Making what part of their lives?

Holiday travel plans. An expected, indeed an annual ritual.

"That's why we wanted to set the tone early with practice this week. And we're at the best Bowl Game there is [to get it started] - but our kids really appreciate it."

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On Coach Schiano's Extension
"I am very proud of what our football team has done and I am grateful for the leadership of this university," stated Schiano, who eventually only touched on the subject of his extension.

"I am excited [about the extension] but I am going to be talking about these kids. I'm really excited about it and I am very grateful but I am going to focus on these kids."

On Arizona State -- Did You Know?
The Sun Devils have made 21 bowl appearances during their program's history, including 6 invites during the last 8 years.

At least one Sun Devil has played in nine of the last twelve Super Bowls.

ASU has had 25 first-round selections including a total of 210 players drafted by the NFL.

Please send any comments to Matei -- mgeorge@rutgersfootball.com. In the meantime, if you would like to discuss any aspect of Rutgers athletics with other Rutgers fans, please visit our message boards.


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