Rutgers football head coach Greg Schiano spoke with the media yesterday ahead of the Scarlet Knights’ (3-3, 0-3) Homecoming game against Indiana this Saturday.
After a 14-13 loss and a second-half collapse to Nebraska in its October 7 matchup, Rutgers made the decision to fire offensive coordinator Sean Gleeson. In his place, the team elevated tight ends coach Nunzio Campanile to be the team’s interim offensive coordinator as well as the team’s quarterbacks coach.
Schiano doesn’t believe the philosophy of the team as a whole has changed with the new offensive coordinator. When former head coach Chris Ash was fired from the Knights in 2019, Campanile took over as the interim head coach.
The former Bergen Catholic head coach is familiar with the coaching position and will be calling the offensive plays on the field on Saturday against the Hoosiers (3-4, 1-3).
Schiano said Rutgers’ recruiting pitch to the crop of young players interested in playing college football on the Banks hasn’t altered with the coaching changes.
“I just try to communicate what we are trying to do and try to be honest with the recruits and their families and let them know what the plan is so then they’re in the know,” Schiano said.
Even with three straight losses to open the Big Ten slate, Schiano is looking on the bright side coming out of the bye week.
“I think we're getting better every week,” Schiano said. “I think we understand what we're trying to do. We’ve had some missed opportunities, but on a whole, positive.”
The Knights have not won a conference home game since 2017, and the fans are restless to end the losing streak, just like Schiano and the team.
“I want it for everybody, for our players, for our coaches, for our fans, for everybody,” Schiano said. “We’re getting better, and it will happen. I’m not worried it’s going to happen. Will it happen Saturday? I hope so … What you focus on is the process, and that takes care of itself eventually.”
As the path to bowl eligibility gets objectively harder by the game, Schiano will not throw in the towel. He plans on keeping in players he believes gives the team the best chance of success rather than slotting in younger players to see what the team has for the future.
“The obligation is to win the game you’re playing because some of those guys out there, this is their last year of playing at Rutgers, so they’ve worked very hard for this school and for this program,” Schiano said. “You develop talent, but you’re going to have to play the guys that give you the best chance to win. I call it play production. You play what you think is going to produce the best on Saturday to win the game.”
The Rutgers-Indiana game will kick off this Saturday at noon in SHI Stadium on Busch campus. The game will be broadcasted on the Big Ten Network and 88.7 WRSU-FM.
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