Preparing For The Option

After a rough 1-5 start, Rutgers is just two games away from running the table and playing in its fourth straight bowl game. Head coach Greg Schiano has his teams focused on the upcoming game against Army and not looking further down the road.

"We really don't talk about it, it's a one game season, it's the Army season and that's all we're talking about," he said after Wednesday's practice."There's no lack of intensity, their working hard."

Schiano has always stressed that his team is just "inches off" from winning games. When asked about the Knights recent success, he said his team has always been working hard the whole season, but they're now winding up on the winning side after the game.

"The results have changed, but the way the guys have approached it hasn't changed," he said. "The thing that's important is their not doing things differently than they did earlier in the season. They may be preparing a little bit better because they're more experienced in the regular season, but the results have had a drastic difference and hopefully that will continue."

Rutgers is now shaping into the team that many expected to see. Part of the reason was they had to replace some key pieces and adjust.

"We had some guys we had to replace, we knew they were good players, but we didn't know how good until they got to the NFL and three of them are starting," Schiano said. "You can't look back, you can only move forward."

Playing another military school that runs the option, Schiano said he will look at the Navy tape while he prepares. He also understands Army will be doing the same, so he will try to mix it up.

"We certainly had to study the Navy tape to see where we had problems," he said. "[Army] is also looking at the tape, so we're not going to do everything exactly how we did it against Navy. There will certainly be some different variables involved."

The option is hard to stop because not many teams run it Schiano said. He sees it as the military schools making better use of their personnel.

One way Army makes good use of its personnel is by giving the ball to senior fullback Collin Mooney. He's the team's leading rusher - averaging over 117 yards per game - and has eight touchdowns.

"This kid is a really good player," Schiano said. "I think he's the best player on their team."

On the offensive line, Schiano is starting to develop some stability and said they will go with the same starting lineup as they did against the Bulls.

"The five that started last weekend are going to start this weekend, so that might be a first," he said. "I don't know, we've moved it around so much. But right now, that's what we're slated to do. That in itself is probably a positive."

Freshman Art Forst has also made strides in the coach's view, with the USF game being his best performance yet.

"He's gotten better every week," Schiano said. "The game in South Florida was the best one he's played since he's moved in there. I hope that can continue."

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