Cincy Defense Could Cause Confusion

When the Cincinnati Bearcats changed defensive coordinators during the offseason, adding confusion appeared to be one of their primary goals.

Cincy now has the ability to flip between the 4-3 and 3-4 in the middle of drives and the middle of plays thanks to the addition of Bob Diaco, formerly of the University of Virginia.

"They can alternate on checks to plays. So we line up in one thing and automatically … because all it is, is their will linebacker is a big guy, maybe 260, so he walks down and puts his hand on the ground and becomes an end."

And if that seemed confusing enough for the offensive line and a new Rutgers quarterback, add in the fact that they still frequently rush a linebacker with just three down-linemen and whoever lines up at quarterback is going to have a lot to think about.

"The other thing is they become a four-man front every time they rush one of them," Schiano said. "So they'll play some three-man rush, drop eight, but they're like everyone else — they're rushing four. It's just you don't know which four it is all the time. It could be this guy, it could be that guy."

To prepare for the new defensive coordinator, Schiano has had the Scarlet Knights watch a lot of tape on his former school Virginia instead of Cincinnati from last season.

"More Virginia [than Cincinnati]," Schiano said. "I mean, we watched Cincinnati for personnel, but Virginia for scheme and then other people. We'll watch some New England, you know, there's like 10 or 12 teams running the 3-4 in the NFL. We'll look at different NFL teams to see things we might expect, blitzes and stuff like that. … We're going to have to adjust during the game. We always do, but maybe more so in this game than most." With kickoff now less than 48 hours away, there isn't much left that Rutgers can do to prepare. Schiano said that the last two days involve some tinkering and planning to make sure things go according to plan for the start of the season.

"[We focus on] all the little stuff," Schiano said. "The gameplans and everything are done; just make sure all the substitutions are set. All the situational things we'll review one last time and with the players we'll continue to go over the game-plan."

Of the three quarterbacks expected to see playing time, Schiano said that he just wants to see them operate the offense.

"[I want to see them] just operate our offense in the role that we're asking them to do it," he said. "I think all three of them have different roles and if they can go in and perform within their role. That would be really what we're looking for." With Tony Pike and Mardy Gilyard getting all of the publicity as members of the Cincinnati offense, Schiano said that the Cincy running game is a sneaky one that could surprise people.

"Everyone talks about their aerial assault, but they run the ball well," Schiano said. "They're a zone [blocking] football team, where they get you going sideways and they draw a line in your defense and vertically penetrate.

"We need to make sure we stay in our gaps — that we're gap-sound — and if they just ran it, it would be easy, but they run and throw and that's the problem." After concluding his end-of-practice interview, Schiano informed the media that Rutgers sold the final 300 tickets for Monday, making the first game of the newly renovated Rutgers Stadium an official shutout.

The stadium has come along the last few days. Today during practice, they tested the fire alarm system and the sound system and both appeared to be functional.

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