"50/50", states Schiano ...

True freshman quarterback Tom Savage has been getting better all week health-wise, but has not yet been cleared to play by head coach Greg Schiano for Saturday's matchup against Maryland.

Tom Savage hurt his head trying to scramble for a first down in last week's 23-15 win over FIU and had to leave the game.

Schiano said that there's a 50/50 Savage will make the field.

"Tom's OK," Schiano said. "He's not out of the woods."

Savage will have to meet with team doctors and he may be a gametime decision as no official resolution has been reached as of Thursday's practice.

"He looked okay," Schiano said. "There was a little residual, he's not 100 percent. Quarterbacks don't get hit during the week, but he's not 100 percent so we'll see. I'm not sure if he's going to be able to go."

If for some reason Savage cannot play, fifth-year senior Dom Natale — who replaced Savage and played well against Florida International — will be the starter.

"I'll be ready," Natale said Tuesday after practice. "I just prepare every day the same way, so if Tom can go or he can't, it won't be different for me. … As a quarterback, you have to prepare for anything. If you go into it unprepared, then you're worried about it the whole time and you're not going to have a good game."

Nothing is set in stone, but true freshman cornerback Darrell Givens' homecoming Saturday to the Old Line State may be a little sweet because he has a chance to play in the game, Schiano said.

Over the last two weeks, Schiano has worked Givens into practices with the varsity squad, something that has yet to happen to either Logan Ryan or Abdul Smith.

"I don't know if it's ahead or behind, it's just [that] we had to make a choice on one of them," Schiano said. "They're very close in ability and it could've been any of the three. It may be more than that as we go along, who knows."

Givens arrived at Rutgers just two days before the start of training camp after being released from his letter of intent from Penn State.

"He's preparing so whenever you're in the mix preparing, you've got a chance," Schiano said. "Will he go in? I don't know."

Schiano's greatest concern with the Maryland defense, he said, is the Terps' ability to blitz from anywhere.

"They blitz a heck of a lot," Schiano said. "That's been Coach Brown's philosophy as long as I've known him. He's a very good football coach.

"We've talked football a little bit, but I've enjoyed watching his teams and I love the way they play. I mean, they pin their ears back and they come get you. So that would be my biggest concern. And they have good athletes. Forget the scheme, they have very good athletes."


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