Schiano talks USF, flu bug and recruiting

Rutgers coach Greg Schiano held his weekly press conference as the Scarlet Knights prepare to face South Florida next Thursday at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN. Schiano spoke about the difficult matchup with the Bulls, how the flu bug is hitting the Scarlet Knights and the latest on the injury front involving safety Zaire Kitchen. There is also an update on the RU-Army game in 2010, and a recruiting tidbit.

When Rutgers coach Greg Schiano watches South Florida on film, he sees the same thing many others do – incredible athleticism.

However, there is also more.

"They are very athletic and they run very well,'' said Schiano, as Rutgers prepares to host the Bulls next Thursday at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN. "I think their offensive line has been better than it has been in the last four or five years. I think this is a really good football team. You look at the Pittsburgh game, it just kind of got away from them.

"The rest of the games, Cincinnati it was mistakes of their own. Otherwise, they win that football game. I really think this is one of the better teams in the country athletically. They really looked like they were on all cylinders last game. This is a huge challenge."

South Florida is led by quarterback B.J. Daniels, who also leads the Bulls in rushing.

Daniels, a 6-foot-1, 215-pound red-shirt freshman, has completed 64 of 122for 1,096 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also is averaging 5.6 yards on 93 carries (519 rushing yards), and has scored for touchdowns.

"He is a tremendous football player,'' Schiano said. "Now, if he was alone, then do everything you can to stop him. But he's got a lot of great athletes surrounding him, too.''

One of those players is junior receiver Carlton Mitchell, who leads the team with 29 receptions for 542 yards. He also is averaging 18.7 yards per catch, but his status is in question after being injured last week against West Virginia.

"The numbers speak for themselves,'' Schiano said. "He's a very good player. You just get the sense he's a real together guy, too, from what I gathered.

If you look at their team, they've got a lot of really fine athletes. They are a lot of skill players there that can get the job done.''

Flu, injury report
Schiano said the program has been hit by a virus this week, and it will be noticeable in practice.

"We have a real bug going through the game, which may keep a few guys from practicing today,'' Schiano said. "It did yesterday.''

Schiano said all the players had access to flu shots, but wouldn't divulge how many took advantage of it.

Also, Schiano said free safety Zaire Kitchen (knee) won't return to practice until the weekend. "Zaire's the guy that we're going to keep him down until Saturday and see where he is. That's about it.

Visiting the Meadowlands
Although it was reported months ago, the final details of Rutgers game against Army at the New Meadowlands Stadium next season was finally announced.

The game is a Rutgers home game, and will be played Oct. 16. The teams meeting in 2011 at Yankee Stadium.

"We love playing at Rutgers Stadium,'' Schiano said. "But when there are special opportunities that make sense, both financially and from a unique opportunity standpoint, then we're going to take advantage of it. This one certainly did.''

Thursday night recruiting
Rutgers coach Greg Schiano was asked if playing on Thursday night was helpful in recruiting, either with recruits watching on television or attending the game.

"Probably impact both,'' he said. "As you get later in the season though, you are getting near the (high school) playoffs. Kids are tired from a long season. If I am a high school coach that's team is playing for a championship, I don't know if I want my guys up to 1 a.m. on a Thursday night when they are playing Friday or Saturday.

"That may discourage you a little bit. It seems early in the season everybody still kind has their legs under them. This late in the season, I don't know. TV-wise definitely though."


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