Knights Making Ready for Orangemen

Rutgers is coming off its bye week and is now preparing to take on Syracuse on Saturday. Head coach Greg Schiano said the team was able to rest during the extra week and was able to work on some fundamentals.

"Looking forward to it," he said about the Syracuse game during Monday's Big East teleconference. "We had a bye week, which was good because we were able to work on some things and we able to get a little healthy. We're looking forward to Saturday, and it's good to get back home."

Schiano doesn't see the bye week as a momentum killer. To him, each week is a different event.

"I don't think it really matters," he said. "I think each week is an independent event. I do think that confidence can carry forward, but as far as momentum in the games themselves, their two different teams that are going to be showing up. We're going to be different; we're going to have guys that are healthy and better. I'm just anxious to get back out there and playing, but not so much because of a break in the momentum or anything like that."

To beat the Orange, Rutgers will once again have to try to stop a good running back in Curtis Brinkley. He's entering the game with 918 yards on the ground, averaging five yards per attempt with five touchdowns. With all the great backs in the school's history, he became the first ever to rush for 100 yards in five straight games.

"I think it's a combination of things," Schiano said on what makes Brinkley a good back. "I think Syracuse's offensive line is much improved and he looks to be healthy and running the ball with authority. He's very decisive in his cuts and very tough to bring down. He's one of those guys that run low to the ground and is running with confidence."

Syracuse has struggled this season, but won its first conference game of the year against Louisville 28-21. Schiano said there hasn't been a difference in the team's play against the Cardinals than the rest the season, and they're continuing to improve each week.

"I don't think there's been that big a difference from the Louisville game and other weeks," he said. "They've played well, at time they haven't put the ball in the end zone, but they've moved the ball- evidence being those five 100-yard games. I think [quarterback Cameron Dantley] is getting better each and every week. I just think they continue to get better and play better, and it was good enough to get the win on Saturday."

With losses springing up all across the conference and Rutgers playing well, the Knights are in the Big East hunt. Schiano's always said the team has been inches off, but with the ball bouncing their way, hopefully things will continue to change in the right direction.

"I've said this all along, I've thought our team was just inches away from being a good football team," he said. "I felt good about our squad, we have great kids and a great staff. But, I'm not naïve to the fact that they have a scoreboard, where one team wins and one team loses. But I felt like we were playing really good football, we were just missing by inches, but as we've improved, now I hope those inches start coming our way."

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