Coach Schiano Reviews and Previews

Rutgers (3-1) took some time over the weekend to put the loss to Maryland in the rear view mirror while turning attention towards Cincinnati (5-0) in both team's Big East opening match up.

Scarlet Knight Head Coach Greg Schiano is not overreacting to dropping the game over the weekend. Ever since the team was struggling to win any games, until now when the players expect to win games, the philosophy of the coaching staff has always been the same.

"Everybody has to get a little bit better at what we are doing," Coach Schiano said. "We have to coach them a little bit better. They have to get a little bit better with their steps and their footwork, and their hands."

"You aren't going to see a drastic change. We are who we are. We are just going to try and get a little bit better at what we do and then you throw that out on the field and see where that stacks you up against your opponent."

The Maryland game was tough for the coaching staff to stomach because of the breakdown in multiple facets of the game.

"In any one of the areas we talk about goal setting, we didn't accomplish any of them," Coach Schiano said. "That is really my urgency right now. If you really don't believe what you preach, then you need to get out of this."

With Cincinnati coming up this weekend, the focus must now begin to shift from Maryland to getting ready to play this Saturday.

"They are the hottest team in college football right now," Coach Schiano said. "I don't know about all the rankings, just you watch them play and the play with great confidence and they believe in what they are doing."

Cincinnati provides many challenges for Rutgers. The Bearcats rank first in the nation with 21 takeaways, sixth in scoring offense at 46.4 points a game, and fourth in scoring defense (10.6).

Bearcats quarterback Ben Mauk will key the offense. Mauk is a transfer from Wake Forest and has been extremely effective this season. In four games, the senior threw for 777 yards with a 70 percent completion percentage, with nine touchdowns and two interceptions. His play has caught the eye of Coach Schiano and will be a major threat in the game this weekend.

"He reminds me of Brett Farve from when I was coaching with the Bears" Coach Schiano said. "He is running it one way and throwing it the other way and he is completing it. It is the things that you tell your quarterback not to do, and that is why he reminds me of Farve."

Cincinnati will run a style of the spread offense that also runs plays that employ the no-huddle. Balance is key though as it emphasizes the run as much as it relies the pass. The Bearcats have thrown for 1300 and rushed for 965 yards on the season. By nearly rushing for 200 yards per game offensively, Cincinnati opens up the wide-open passing attack and keeps a defense off balance.

Outside observers of Rutgers will point to last year's game as a reason for revenge for the Scarlet Knights. Cincinnati defeated Rutgers soundly when Rutgers was a top ten team, following RU's memorable win over Louisville the previous weekend.

Coach Schiano does not think that his team will be very concerned with what happened last year and worries much more about this season.

"Had we won this week, maybe we would want to remember that feeling," Coach Schiano said. "I don't think there is any more feeling that is needed other then the one that happened Saturday.

Injuries could be the biggest opponent for Rutgers. Safety Ron Girault and defensive tackle Eric Foster were banged, up among others, during the game against Maryland. Coach Schiano would not rule anyone out against Cincinnati yet, but he also said he would not be surprised if some players did miss the game on Saturday.

At the end of the day, the players know that it is in their hands to make the plays that will make the difference this season.

"We are trying to be the best that we can be every time we go out," Coach Schiano. "We have yet to do that in all three phases of the game. For us to play four games and for us to not really come close to playing the best we can play, it is disappointing. It has to make you work that much harder, cause we really haven't been close as we should be."


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