Tuesday Practice Report

After Tuesday's practice, Head coach Greg Schiano addressed the media to discuss the upcoming Navy game.

Head coach Greg Schiano said the North Carolina game is now behind him, and the team is focused on the upcoming game against Navy. While the Midshipmen don’t pass much, when they do, the defense is caught off-guard and it leads to big plays.

“I’m not really looking at North Carolina,” Schiano said. “We’ve rated it, evaluated it, and been through it. Right now it’s all about Navy. What they do in their passing game, they don’t throw it very much, but when they do it’s usually off of a play action fake or option fake. The big plays they hit, there’s usually no one within five yards of the receiver. We have to have disciple and keep our eyes in place.”

Schiano also said the team has looked good in practice since falling to 0-2. Right now, the team is focusing on eliminating the mistakes early, so they can play with the lead instead of behind.

“We’ve had two good practices,” he said. “They’ve worked very hard. That’s not really been an issue with this team. You don’t really get second chances in games, so we’re trying to decrease the number of second chances in games it takes to come back. If we do that in practice, we’ll be alright.”

Navy presents a different challenge than the other teams on the schedule. Schiano said it’s a “unique week” because of the triple-option offense they run. To practice against the run, the team has used redshirt freshman Rob Cervini as the scout team QB. As a defense, he said you need to a present them a different look than what you would normally play.

“We try to gather everything we can about Navy,” he said. “The thing is with them, they’ve run this offense for years. What happens is everybody gives them a defense of the week. People don’t just show up and play them in their base defense. Over the course of 12-to-13 games a year, they’ve seen it all. How many things can you do with 11 guys, they’ve seen it all.”

Senior running back Shun White is the nation’s leading rusher on a team that averages 370.3 yards per game. Schiano said he’s a good back, and not just a beneficiary of a good system.

“I think he’s a really good football player in a great system,” he said. “They run the football that’s what they do. He’s very good, and he replaced somebody that was very good. They just keep running them through there.”

In 2006, Rutgers played tremendous against Navy, shutting them out 34-0. At the time, the Knights held the nation’s best rushing offense to shut 113 yards on 50 carries. Schiano said it was one of the better games his team has ever played defensively.

“That was one of the better games we’ve played defensively since I’ve been here,” he said. “Everyone was on-point and remember, we put their starting quarterback out early in the game, which never helps offensively.”

NOTES

Schiano said running back Kordell Young practiced today, but is not yet 100 percent. He’s not sure yet if he’s going to play.

On how the running back situation will go, he said a choice might not be made until game day.

“I don’t know, I think we’re going to wait on this one,” he said. “I think it’s going to be more of a game time decision.”

Freshman Eric LeGrand is going to start at defensive end to replace the injured Gary Watts.

“Eric was going to play either way,” Schiano said. “But with the injury to Gary Watts, we felt he was athletic enough to move out. He’s a hard worker, works hard at understanding the scheme and he’s talented.”

LeGrand will be moving over from linebacker to the line. Schiano said sometimes players don’t always want to change. If they feel strongly about it, he won’t force them.

“It’s happens occasionally,” he said. “I will tell them why it’s a good idea and why it would help our football team. I never forced someone to do something if they truly don’t want to do it.”


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