Head Coach Greg Schiano said he has a better understanding of how to approach the season now than he did when he first started.
With the season opener just a few days away, Schiano would like an extra few days to prepare, but thats normal for any college coach.
Id like more time, Schiano said. We have a couple more days and theres stuff we have to get done in the next couple days to be ready.
The season in Schianos view, should be played as if going up a ladder each game the team progressesbecause you dont want the highest point of your season happening on Week 1.
This group has worked hard and they continue to work hard, he said. If you peak in your first game, then you didnt really do a good job.
Every team has got its own personality, he said, so thats the difference to me As a coach youre a creature of habit, a creature of cycles we just go through the cycle and do it again and do it again. So its been pretty normal.
This years Knights are a close knit bunch that has taken part in numerous off-field team activities together and the head coach said those gatherings have helped form a more cohesive unit.
I think that always has an effect in team sports, Schiano said. The more you feel the accountability to others, the harder it is to cut a corner, the harder it is to not give your maximum effort. I think that pays off, not just on game day, but every practice and in those things.
The linebacking core will be a somewhat new unit with red shirt freshman Manny Abreu getting his first start and junior Ryan DImperio getting his first regular action.
I dont look at it that way because I feel theyve been playing a lot of football, Schiano said when asked if he considered the linebackers inexperienced. But factually and statistically, they dont have a lot of starts under their belt.
Schiano does expect the former four-star recruit out of Union Hill High School to put a thumping on some opposing ball carrier early.
I think hell play hard, he said about Abreu. Hes very strong so if he hits somebody, theyll feel it.
Theres also been no decision made on if it will be Zaire Kitchen or Joe Lefeged starting at safety. The decision wont be made until game time, but either way, both will get their share of playing time.
Game time decision, Schiano said about when he will choose whos
the starter. I feel its important to them. To me, I feel comfortable
with both of them there. I just have to look at and see whos performed
better because you do have to be fair because it does mean something to run
out of the tunnel as a starter. Again, there going to both play, so it doesnt