Pete Tverdov and Scarlet Knights Change Gears

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Discipline against the U.S. Naval Academy on Saturday will be necessary to trigger a victory.

"You just have to focus on Navy now and take it one game at a time," senior Pete Tverdov said. "I can't sit here and worry, wonder what might have been. You have to learn from it and focus for these next couple of days of practice."

The Scarlet Knights change gears, prepare for a unique triple-option offense.

"They rely on you screwing up," Tverdov said of the Midshipmen's distinctive style. "You have to be just extremely disciplined. Their schemes, you don't see if any other week of the season. It's extremely difficult to prepare for that in one week."

Although Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano has faced Navy in the past, he still cautions his players prior to the 3:30 kickoff in Annapolis, Maryland.

"Certainly we have a big challenge ahead of us this week when we head down to play Navy," he said during his weekly press conference. "They pose several challenges to us. Number one they pose a schematic challenge every year with what they do; it's different from any other team we face this season."

The Knights' first road contest this season may showcase the big-game potential that they missed from weeks one and two (Mike Teel has thus far completed one touchdown and five interceptions).

"It'll be a different experience," Tverdov said. "For some guys, it'll be their first time not playing here. It may help some guys just having a change of scenery. but we have to be able to do what we do to win the game. It doesn't matter wherever we play."

From a porous offensive performance to blown coverages, Tverdov recounts the mantra Schiano instilled in his team during the 2006 season.

"Yeah, you have no other choice to," the defensive tackle said of taking charge as a captain. "You just to have keep on, keep chopping really."

But Tverdov also knows that forcing turnovers, a statistical flat tire for the Knights' defense (zero in two games), not only gathers momentum, but simultaneously reduces the strain on the offense.

"We have to find a way to create turnovers in a game," Tverdov said. Having zero through two games doesn't really help. We have to give the offense the ball back as much as we can. Going three and out, that's great, but turnovers are a big part of the game too. They're more of a momentum changer."

Especially against a trained Navy offense.

"All those guys are extremely disciplined; they're in the Naval Academy so they're smart guys too," Tverdov said.


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