Rutgers Prepares Of A Good Connecticut Team

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – College coaches always educate their student-athletes. Even on the sidelines. "But, again, you're working throughout the game," Rutgers football head coach Greg Schiano said in his weekly press conference Monday at the Hale Center. "The coaches and players that are not up on the field, they are meeting with the coaches all the time. It's an ongoing classroom."

That staff has its hands full with the University of Connecticut Huskies (5-1, 1-0) this weekend at Rutgers Stadium. Schiano emphasized UCONN's defensive schemes as reason to their success thus far.

"I think they play fundamentally sound football," he said of the Huskies defense. "They do a great job of keeping their shoulders square.

"It's more technical, but I think it's one of the best things I've seen any team from any team in the country defensively. They're continuously playing that way."

The Scarlet Knights' mastermind was even more impressed by the Huskies' strong yet shifty pass rush.

"They generate pass rush," Schiano said. "Any time you generate pass rush there's a lot of different factors. Coverage, they cover people back there, which causes the quarterback to hold the football.

"Are they generating it with three, four, five, six, seven men? What does it take? They do a good job of mixing it up schematically and they have good players. So that's a good combination."

In the meantime, Rutgers (1-5, 0-2) attempts to bounce back from Saturday's 13-10 loss at Cincinnati. Despite the return of Kordell Young from a knee injury, the Knights failed to generate 300 total yards of offense for the third straight contest.

"We're putting together a game plan," Schiano said. "There's got to be some changes because it's been a few weeks in a row.

"Something happens once; maybe you had a bad day. Something happens repetitively, then it becomes a pattern of behavior and you need to modify the behavior."

Schiano partially credited the absence of big plays to explain the offensive malaise.

"I think some of it," he said. "We had Timmy Brown on a post and he had the guy by five yards and we miss it. There's a few opportunities that we didn't take advantage of."

But he also reminded everyone that the Bearcats held RU to two yards rushing in the first half en route to the nail-biting finish.

"I also think you come out and run for two yards in the first half, that doesn't exactly (help)," Schiano said. "So I think it's a combination of things. We just haven't hit those plays that we traditionally do."

As the Huskies travel here for Saturday's Homecoming showdown, Schiano said he has not focused on the potential of a negative reaction from the crowd.

"I haven't given it a lot of thought, but I think Homecoming's a great thing because it's an opportunity for the alums to come back and be around each other, have school spirit," he said.

For all those frustrated supporters, Schiano empathizes with their pity and expects better results.

"I'm sure there are alums that are frustrated right now, because we all expected better results up until this point," Schiano said. "But hopefully they understand that this thing isn't going to stay like this and we'll get it cranked up."


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