Rutgers football head coach Greg Schiano, sophomore running back Kyle Monangai and senior punter Adam Korsak spoke to the media yesterday ahead of the Scarlet Knights’ (4-6, 1-6) Senior Day matchup with Penn State on Saturday.
In last week’s loss at Michigan State, Monangai rushed for 162 yards on 24 carries while adding three receptions for 20 yards. The Roseland, New Jersey, native broke the program record for most rushing yards against a Big Ten Conference opponent.
Schiano commended Monangai’s play from last weekend.
"I thought (Monangai) played very well last week, for sure," Schiano said. “You talk about knocking some people around. He played like a real Big Ten back there, so hopefully, that can continue. We’re going up in class in defense so that will be the challenge."
Monangai himself also spoke about his big game against the Spartans (5-5, 3-4) last week. He said his performance was a confidence booster.
"It’s a great boost of confidence, number one, not only just for me but for the whole offense," Monangai said. "Rushing game was clicking last week, but it’s not something that we can just lean on. Every week is different. You’ve got to treat every game like a new season … You got to get back to the drawing board, build off what we did well and correct the things we didn’t do as well."
Senior Day is always an emotional time in any college sport as the seniors of each team are all honored with a special ceremony to commemorate their time and commitment to the program.
As head coach, Schiano has seen many Rutgers players graduate.
"It’s always a sad day for me because kids that have spilled it here really work hard getting near the end. It’s exciting because of what life holds for them," Schiano said. "They’re moving into the real world, but yet, we are not going to be able to see them every day."
One of the seniors being honored before Saturday's game is senior punter Adam Korsak. Schiano believes Korsak has been a huge factor in establishing the culture for the team in the locker room and will be greatly missed.
"(Korsak) is a special guy. I’ve got a lot of respect for him and not only for his abilities that he has as a punter — I rely on him, (and) I ask him questions. One thing I learned at an early age in coaching is that players have the answers, not us," Schiano said. "He may be one of the most insightful players I’ve ever had."
Korsak said that being on the Banks for the past five seasons has been great for him. The Melbourne, Australia, native first came to the Knights ahead of the 2018 season.
"It’s been such a great experience for me. Coming in here at 19 years old to now 25 (years old), it’s five years," Korsak said. "A lot of ups and downs, met a lot of great people, great experiences. And again, just fortunate to be with the boys in the locker room two more times."
Looking ahead to the game at hand, Schiano knows the test Rutgers will face when the No. 11 Nittany Lions (8-2, 5-2) roll into town on Saturday.
"They’re really good in all three phases," Schiano said. "I mean they are the 11th ranked team in the nation, so there are ten teams that are ‘better’ than they are, so it’s going to be quite a challenge. We’re going to have to be really on point with everything to be successful."
Saturday’s game will kick off at 3:30 p.m. in the Knights’ last home game of the season. The game will be broadcasted on the Big Ten Network as well as 88.7 WRSU-FM.
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