Rutgers football head coach Greg Schiano spoke to the media at the Marco Battaglia Practice Complex on Busch campus yesterday ahead of the Scarlet Knights' (2-0, 0-0) game against Temple this weekend.
Schiano talked about E.J. Warner, the quarterback that the Owls (1-1, 0-0) will likely start on Saturday. Warner seemingly pushed former starter D’Wan Mathis out of his job after outperforming him in Temple’s win last Saturday against Lafayette.
In the win, Warner completed 14 of 19 passes, threw for 173 yards and completed two touchdown passes in the win.
“(Warner) is a smaller guy … very accurate, seems to know the offense very well, gets rid of the ball quickly, is not going to hold on to it,” Schiano said yesterday. “Really manages the game well … I love guys who get rid of the ball fast … let the playmakers go do their job, and that’s what he does.”
Mathis could still get some playing time at the quarterback helm for the Owls, but Schiano is prepared.
“It’s two different quarterbacks. We have to have different plans. We have to be ready for each of them. So does that add to our workload a little bit for our players? A little bit, sure,” Schiano said.
Something that has worked for Rutgers in the first two games of the season is its running back play. The program has rushed for 540 yards through the first two games of the season, and heavily responsible for this success are sophomore running backs Kyle Monangai and Al-Shadee Salaam.
These two backs have earned the respect of Schiano.
“The one thing we’re not going to have to worry about is our running backs fatiguing,” Schiano said. “We roll them. We rotate them. I think that’s going to really serve us well when we get in the back half of the season.”
Many players who have transferred from Temple to the Banks will be in Scarlet on Saturday. Schiano spoke about how he gets those players to control their emotions.
“We have to kind of calm them down a little bit,” Schiano said. “There’s a little too much emotion in those situations, and I can understand that. You lived there, you wore that uniform, you played for that team whether it’s the same coach or not. You played in that stadium, so you try to have them disconnect a little bit and stay in that moment.”
Schiano said in his Monday press conference that he anticipates a huge turnout of Knights fans at the Owls’ home stadium, Lincoln Financial Field. The head coach knows that if you want fans to show up to away games, you must play well.
“You gotta give (the fans) a reason to travel,” Schiano said. “When you win games, people want to be around it. So if we keep winning, they’ll travel.”
The game will kick off at 2 p.m. and will be broadcasted on ESPN+ and on 88.7 WRSU-FM.
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