Could This Be The Week For Young to Return?

After Wednesday's practice, Greg Schiano talked about some of the questions regarding the offense, defense and Rutgers' upcoming opponent, Cincinnati.

OFFENSE

Each week everyone is wondering when Kordell Young will be able to suit up and play again. Schiano said he's looked good in practice, but from judging from the past, things can change.

"He's had a good couple of days," Schiano said. "I don't want to send anyone the wrong way because there's been a couple times I thought he was going to suit up."

Schiano is hoping for Young to return soon because he's always felt the back from West Deptford, N.J., was a quality runner.

"I've thought he was a very good running back since the day we recruited him," Schiano said. "You think back to before he got hurt, our plan was to get him more involved in the offense to take more off Ray's shoulders. There's a reason we felt that way. When he got injured, it's been a long road back."

To the receivers, Andrew DePaola is in the mix of six wide outs according to Schiano.

"Hard work, dependability," he said on why DePaola is there. "He's the most consistent catcher on the field."

Against West Virginia, offensive lineman Art Forst got to see some action.

"He's getting better," Schiano said about the former four-star prospect from Manasquan, N.J. "Wednesday was the first day he played guard so I think he's figuring out that we're going up against a different style of defense this week; that presents some different issues, so he's learning and he's trying to do what we're asking him to do. As a coach, what more can you ask for."

If he deserves to start on Saturday, Schiano said he would put him in there.

Kevin Haslam will also stay at right tackle. He's been moved around quite a bit, but Schiano said that's because he has the right attitude to be successful while changing positions.

"He's an intelligent guy, he's a football guy," Schiano said."Some guys would get flustered by that, he says 'OK, what else do you want me to do'."

DEFENSE

This year's defense hasn't been able to sack the quarterback many times, with just six takedowns in four games. Part of the reason is the type of QB's they've faced in WVU and Navy, but Schiano said they were able to get sacks on the Navy signal callers in the past because they put them in passing situations.

For the 2008 season, Schiano said it's just a matter of getting to the QB before he releases the ball.

"We've gotten some hits on the quarterback," he said. "We're just not getting to him by the time he throws it."

The Knights also need to get more turnovers. They only have four this year, so the coaches are tracking the turnovers more closely in practice. They're keeping tabs on the number of plays where the defense forces turnovers, to the amount of plays where turnovers should be forced.

"It's no different than what most schools do," Schiano said. "We're tracking it more closely. We're sharing the information from those studies everyday. Just making them aware."

The defense has played well, especially against Fresno State, WVU and Navy. When asked if the defense played winning football, Schiano broke down his take on that.

"The thing I tell the defense is: defense is 40 percent of the game, offense is 40 percent and special teams is 20 percent," he said. "Most of the players in the kicking game, are defensive players. You have an effect on at least 57 percent of the game. Last I checked, if you can have an effect on 51 percent, you did your job.

"To me it's a team. You can't say one side played winning football and the other didn't. We've had stretches where he played really good defense. It's winning defense if you look at the scoreboard at the end of the day and have more points than the other team."

CINCINNATI

This Saturday Rutgers will take on the Bearcats. Last time down there in 2006, Rutgers lost after a program-turning victory over Louisville. Schiano expects it to be tough down there.

"All the road games are hard," he said. "Last time we were down there, the atmosphere was pretty good. I would expect it to be loud because they've won a lot of games."

They will have to take on a freshman QB in Chazz Anderson, and when breaking down the Cincy film, Schiano focuses on the system head coach Brian Kelly runs more than the players.

"Brian's offense is a system," he said. "What you try to do is look at the system overall. You then look at his skill set and see how it fits into the system. You take the one game, look at his skill set from the game - they will probably expand what they do - and you have to project that expansion."


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