Fixing mistakes and minimizing unforced errors are generally weekly goals of any college football team heading into their home opener.
For the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, who will host a Wagner Seahawk team that has not won a game in nearly three years, focusing on the simple things should lead to a comfortable victory.
Head coach Greg Schiano referred twice during his Monday press conference to the 10 penalties Rutgers amassed during their thrilling 22-21 win over Boston College last Saturday.
“That’s not who we are, but we did it, so it is,” Schiano said.
Schiano also touched on ending the line of questioning regarding the potential two (or when named starter Noah Vedral returns, three) QB system Rutgers may deploy each week.
“So we don’t have to answer this too many times going forward, this will be a blanket statement for the whole year,” Schiano said. “Whatever gives us the best chance to win is a possibility.”
Schiano confirmed that although his listens to the feedback from all of his coaches, personnel decisions are ultimately his as the head coach.
“Neither one of those quarterbacks has played a substantial amount of football,” Schiano said, referring to his two freshman quarterbacks Evan Simon and Gavin Wimsatt. “So you’re getting to see it just as we are.”
When asked about former Rutgers coach Frank Burns, whom Schiano would tie for the all-time wins record as the Scarlet Knight leader with a win against Wagner this weekend, he spoke glowingly of Burns.
“He was stately and a gentlemen but also an old-school tough guy,” Coach Schiano said. “I’ve been blessed, I’ve had a lot of great people around me.”
Schiano was then asked about starting linebackers Tyreem Powell and Deion Jennings and their first time starting together.
“You never really know, but now they’re the guys,” Schiano said. “I thought they both performed well and it should be a launching pad for them.”
Quote of the day from Coach Schiano
The press conference wrapped up with Coach Schiano circling back to how important preparation is,
“As the year goes on when you’re a very good football team, you start running out of mistakes and they become fewer and farther between,” Schiano said.
While speaking about preparation, he also specifically brought up how the team dealt with a few players who were cramping up and produced the quote of the day:
“I don’t have sympathy for crampers.”
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights host the Wagner Seahawks this Saturday at 4:00PM at SHI Stadium in Piscataway.