Getting Acclimated to "South Florida"

As we get closer and closer to December, the temperature will continue to drop in New Jersey. When Rutgers takes on USF on Saturday they will be in for a drastic change in temperature, so head coach Greg Schiano has warmed up the practice bubble so his players can get acclimated to playing in the heat.

"I turned it up to about 84-85 degrees," he said after practice. "It's expected to be about 82-83 degrees on Saturday."

Weather isn't the only thing Schiano has to worry about when his team faces the Bulls. They also have to prepare for the dynamic Matt Grothe. On the scout team, freshman Wayne Warren has been assigned to mimic the duel-threat quarterback.

South Florida hasn't played a game since October 30, and Schiano does expect them to come up with some new wrinkles to their offense. The way to prepare for it is by not putting too much focus on what a team might do that's different. You have to prepare for what you see on film and adapt to the new things they throw at you.

"You never know," Schiano said on what he expects from USF that's different. "You try not to think too much. Jim [Leavitt] has been doing this for a long time. He has beliefs in his system; he'll have some new things that we haven't seen, but we'll just have to adapt. There a well coached football team in all three phases.

"Usually teams that are good will stick to their base offense and defense, then put in a couple of new things. When you think about, what they can do is endless when they have a quarterback like Grothe who can do anything."

USF is coming into the game with a two-game losing streak and a disappointing 1-3 record in the Big East. Schiano doesn't agree with the notion that they aren't playing well, but that they are just inches off.

"The fact of the matter is they've played very good football," he said. "The games they lost they could've won. I don't look at it like they're not playing well. They've played some good teams and came up short."

Outside of Grothe, the other major topic of discussion is how the Knights will stop defensive end George Selvie. When asked about the future pro, Schiano had nothing but praises.

"There's guys in the National Football League that don't want to go up against Selvie, he's that good," he said. "He's the quickest D-lineman that I can remember."

To the Rutgers side of things, Schiano said Kenny Britt has changed from having a good season to a breakout season.

"I think he's been doing that for the better part of a year," he said about Britt. "You get frustrated when you're not winning, but I would look at the stats and see he's leading the Big East in receptions-that was like three or four weeks ago. I think Kenny's had a good season and is now playing at a very high level."

Schiano's had to do some shuffling on the offensive line, against his best wishes. Unlike defensive line he said, there's more of a need to let players grow into the position.

"It's very difficult," he said. "It's not my choice, believe me. You'd like to be able to wean them into it at those positions. You'd like them to get acclimated."

San San Te has improved this season, but Schiano is looking forward to see what his young kicker will be doing in his junior and senior seasons.

"I think he's doing well," he said. "I see him every day in practice and he's getting better, but I can't wait to see him a year or two from now. Kind of like Jeremy [Ito], he's getting better and steadily improving.

Scarlet Report Top Stories