Savage Poised in 1st Career Start

True freshman Tom Savage came out the gates and had a very good outing against the Howard Bison. He threw for 223 yards and 2 touchdowns in approximately one half of football. Savage displayed the poise and ability to not only take what the defense gives him but to also stretch the field with the long ball. SOR caught up with him after the game.

"I feel good and feel confident out there. I started to get the butterflies out there (early). After you complete a couple passes, you get them out of the way" said Tom Savage.

Savage was able to connect with Tim Brown on a 49-yard play-action pass early in the first quarter to open up the offense. "I knew he was gone so I just decided I had to throw it as far as I could with him because he's that fast. That was the call and they were playing the (right) defense so I just threw it over the top and I know Timmy will go get it for me."

Coach Schiano spoke about Savage's overall performance. "I think he's making steady progress. Tom is a guy that has the physical ability to make all the throws so you want him to improve on all those throws."

He continued, "He made some of what I thought were some very good decisions… in reading the coverage and they were playing some blitz zero and they were playing some different things and I personally, without watching the tape, thought he made some good decisions."

Savage also completed his first collegiate pass to former quarterback D.C. Jefferson for a 48-yard reception. He addressed how it feels to have such a big target to throw to as opposed to have to compete with. "He's a huge target and a great athlete too. He's fast. I saw him open so I just threw it to him and he made an awesome catch for me."

As for things he feels he can improve upon, he mentioned, "During practice we worked a lot on communication and getting all the checks out. When I went out there the first game, some of the linemen couldn't hear me as well so I just needed to speak up and take charge out there. I think I need to just learn when to throw the ball away. One of them got away from me (today). (I need to) just focus on the little things I guess, like footwork, and start to carry out my fakes more."

Despite Rutgers' offensive explosion against Howard, the fast, athletic defense of Florida International travels to Piscataway this upcoming Saturday after presenting stiff competition to the Alabama Crimson Tide. They will likely present a much tougher task to the Savage-led Scarlet Knights. A similar performance to the one yesterday would be a good indication that the Rutgers offense is now on-track.

In related news, according to Scout.com, it has recently been reported that Savage's former high school teammate and Rutgers prospect, Corey Brown, has committed to the Ohio St. Buckeyes. SOR will keep you posted.

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