Allowing nine sacks, gaining only 130 yards of offense and having a confused defense allow 24 first-half points can rattle a team, and Sunday coach Greg Schiano acknowledged the team "took a step backward'' in discussing the 31-13 loss at Syracuse.
"We're the same football team we were before we played this game,'' Schiano said. "That is, we weren't a great football team. It was getting better and we took a step backward.
"We'll see from a health standpoint if we're the same team, if we're going to be able to put the same team on the field Friday? That's where you start.''
There is also the issue of confidence.
"Is their confidence shaken a little bit?'' Schiano said. "I don't know. It might be. When you get sacked nine times, it might be. We just need to go back to work, to practice, to prepare and go play with the focus we are capable of, that we have played with, and I think if we do that, then we'll play a good football game.''
Schiano also expounded on his post-game thoughts of the coaching staff taking the brunt of the blame.
"I think, for one, I just don't think we did a good job coaching,'' Schiano said. "I don't mean that during the week. I thought our guys worked extremely hard, and our players worked extremely hard.
"I felt like we were a step behind all day coaching, and I felt we just didn't execute with precision and as things began to not go our way …when you're executing with precision you play your way out of it. But when you chase the game, and you're not precise, then other things develop.
"There certain things in games like that where we've been able to help them more, and I just don't think we did as good a job as we did in other situations. But in the end, I think it boils down to ...it's college football and the situation got the better of us.
Rutgers leading receiver Tim Brown is questionable for Louisville with a sprained ankle/foot, and Schiano is uncertain what will happen.
"I'm going to have to see how it progresses during the week,'' he said.
Although Te made a 25-yard field in the fourth quarter, Schiano said Te was not ready to kick coming out of the half.
"He's not ok,'' Schiano said. "I don't know if he'll be able to kick this week.''
If Te cannot kick, freshman Kyle Sullivan, who played at St. Mark's High (Hockessin, Del.) last season will kick. He was at Syracuse and warming up at halftime.
Turning in the Te play
Schiano said all game films are turned into the Big East head of officials Terry McAulay, and said he will talk to McAulay about it, but he didn't want to harp on the subject.
"I'll talk to Terry tomorrow,'' Schiano said. "It is what it is. That wasn't the football game. Was it a big play in the game? Yes. That wasn't the reason we lost.''
Rutgers' top pass-protecting running back, Kordell Young, is out for the season with a knee injury, and his absence was felt.
"I think it has an affect, but I don't want to make that a reason,'' Schiano said. "Not so much in the game. I think it had an affect in game-planning. Kordell's capable of doing some things that, as you game plan, because whoever is in there doesn't have quite the understanding Kordell did. But that's an excuse. We have to be able to get that done.''