The Knights have been able to move the ball. Against Fresno State, they 369 yards of total offense, and against North Carolina, they tallied 383 yards of offense. But Head Coach Greg Schiano's team has only managed to score a pedestrian 19 points.
The Achilles heel of the team has been turnovers. So far, they've committed six turnovers.
"The problem is we are moving the ball and making some plays in the passing game, but when you throw four interceptions that gets negated and doesn't really matter," Schiano said. "You will not win games when you turn the ball over like that. We need to make sure we get that remedied. We're not as far off as the score would show, and I've been a coach where we are as off as the score shows."
Quarterback Mike Teel looks to improve his perform. He's only thrown one touchdown pass, which occurred when the game was already out of reach, to five interceptions. The head coach said it's his job to get his man back on track and get back to playing Rutgers football.
"I think mike might be pressing a lot bit," Schiano said. "I'm not sure. I need to sit down with him and try and get him to play the way he's capable of playing. And not him alone, it's everyone. We're just a little bit off, because there are a lot of things we did well. The things we didn't do well we did extraordinary poorly, and that led to interceptions and touchdowns, and bad field positions, and those are things you can't do to win games. The challenge is to play more intelligent football and eliminate these mistakes."
Schiano, who's said he's an optimist, wasn't disgusted with the whole game. He understands the turnovers kill drives, but liked how the offense could get things in motion between the 30's. He was also impressed with what he saw from Jabu Lovelace, Jourdan Brooks and Kenny Britt.
"I thought we did some good things in the passing game," he said. "The interceptions overshadow everything. I think Jourdan Brooks and Mason [Robinson] showed a little bit of what they're capable of doing. We have to grow that run game a little bit. We kind of got little bit off-balance there because early on some of the passing things we working very well and we had a plan to try and do that and get back to the run but we got behind and that's what you always risk when you do that-throwing more than you want to.
"Kenny had eight catches. They aren't the ones that we're accustomed to; we're accustomed to the big plays over the years. Again we're just a little bit off, and we've done it before with the same people, so I'm confident we will we're just in a little bit of a slump and when we get out of a slump you will see a good football team."
Another key area of concern is in the secondary. For the second straight time, there were breakdowns in the defensive backfield against UNC that led to big plays, and huge momentum swingers.
"There was a communication breakdown, there part of it, but we're all part of it," Schiano said. "That's frustrating to turn a guy loose like that. Again, if a guy catches it over your head is one thing, but to turn a guy loose. The other two plays came as a result of double moves which is something they do in their offense, you know stop and go's. We didn't do a good job of recognizing that and staying with them."
"Judge the whole body of work," he said. "The whole body of work is the program we have here, I know our recruits selected Rutgers for a lot of reasons and I know two wins or two losses isn't going to change that, I know that this program is very strong and we've had two bad outings, but the program is still the program."
Rutgers Coach Discusses UNC and Beyond
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