RU Ready to get on the Field

The anticipation is mounting as the Rutgers (3-0) football team looks forward to playing Maryland (2-2) after a bye week. Scarlet Knight Head Coach Greg Schiano gave his players some rest before they play eight straight games without one.

"The key with our guys is that they understand, it's not eight straight, it is one game at a time, eight different times," Coach Schiano said.

Maryland comes into this game against Rutgers off a tough loss in overtime to Wake Forest 31-24. Maryland was up in the game 24-3 in third quarter, but a 100-yard touchdown interception return from Wake Forest's Alphonso Smith helped to lead a string of 21 unanswered points by the Demon Deacons to end the regulation period and tie the game. The Terrapins would lose the game after not being able to answer the touchdown score of Wake Forest in the first overtime period.

"They (Maryland) are very good defensive football team," Coach Schiano said. "Offensively, I think they are very balanced. They are well coached. They have good athletes. They remind me of us."

During Monday's press conference with the media, Coach Schiano stated that he felt he worked the players hard enough last week that the desire to get back on the playing field might be slightly subsided by the work put in during practice, but today the coach could sense that his players were ready to get back into game action.

"The kids are dying to play in a game," Coach Schiano stated. "It's their favorite day as it is mine. It's only Tuesday, we will probably know a little better after tomorrow. I sense they are excited, but that does not always translate into a good effort."

The backup running back for Maryland is a familiar face for Coach Schiano. Lance Ball is a senior out of Teaneck, N.J. and provides some solid depth behind senior Keon Lattimore. Lattimore and Ball have combined to rush for 580 yards and the rushing attack for the Terrapins will be important to the team's success.

"We did recruit him," Coach Schiano said. "I think Lance is a good running back. He has good vision, he's tough, good balance, good player."

If Lattimore and Ball are ineffective, then junior quarterback Jordan Steffy will be asked to do more than he might be capable of at this point in his career. Steffy is only in his first season as a starter and there have been some bumps in the road. He has been completing passes at a 70% rate, but has thrown four interceptions and only completed one touchdown. However, the worst news of all is that Steffy has been sacked 15 times on the season for a loss of 117 yards. The average works out to about eight yards per sack, which puts the offense in tough down and distance situations at different parts of the game.

Currently for Maryland, the passing game is about 30 yards per game off last year's average.

Rutgers defense currently sports 19 tackles for a loss on the season, led by linebacker Brandon Renkart, defensive linemen Jamaal Westerman, and linebacker Damaso Munoz. The defense will be ready to play come Saturday and will look to take advantage of a mistake prone Steffy. RU safety Courtney Greene already has one interception on the year.

"It is just exciting to get out there in front of our fans and on ABC," Greene said. "It is just going to be fun to get out there. All last week it was Rutgers against Rutgers, it felt like (training) camp a little bit. But we get to go out there against a different opponent and show what we got."


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