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Greg Schiano, Tyreem Powell address media before Virginia Tech

Head coach Greg Schiano and the Rutgers football team will be looking to keep their positive momentum and defeat Virginia Tech on Saturday. – Photo by

Rutgers football team's head coach Greg Schiano and junior linebacker Tyreem Powell addressed the media ahead of the Scarlet Knights' (2-0, 1-0) upcoming game against Virginia Tech at SHI Stadium on Busch campus this Saturday.

During his press conference on Monday, Schiano spoke about the power that the Hokies (1-1, 0-0) possess defensively. He confidently stated that Virginia Tech's defense will have the best edge rushers that Rutgers has faced so far this year.

"I think their edge guys are dangerous, and they can roll them," Schiano said. "I see they roll eight guys, so they're going to be fresh up front too. So we're really going to have to be on point with our offensive line because not only are they rolling, but they're also good players."

Schiano touched on the impact the Hokies' safeties and cornerbacks present, mentioning that the team's safeties are able to punish, and their cornerbacks can easily run and cover. Virginia Tech's defense could be a potential challenge for the Knights.

Reviewing the Hokies offense, Schiano briefly focused on quarterback Grant Wells. Wells totaled 243 passing yards last game against Purdue but was unable to finish the game due to an injury.

"Offensively, their quarterback is a really good player — an experienced player," Schiano said. "He's a strong arm, an accurate arm and can beat you with his feet."

Schiano mentioned specific running backs from Virginia Tech that are key players on its offensive line. Malachi Thomas and Bhayshul Tuten are both on Schiano's watchlist this weekend.

Schiano also mentioned the strong sense of trust that Rutgers has. He believes that the trust the team has for each other is a notable factor on the field.

"I have (had) belief in our team from the beginning," Schiano said. "Where that puts us, you never know because you don't know what the competition is. But I don't concern myself with that. I do see a group that trusts each other, and that was evident in our last game."

Although the team has presented a lot of courage to each other, there is still room for improvement. Schiano believes that there is still work to be done as a team.

"I think we can play at a much higher level in our defensive front because I think we have enough depth for guys to be fresh. And when you have enough people to go out there and play and be fresh, then I expect darn near perfect execution," Schiano said.

Defensively, there is a lot of room for the Knights to continue to grow. Despite winning the last two games, Schiano believes the defensive line still has a lot more potential that they can exhibit during games.

"Playing run defense is a couple of things. Number one, it's knowing your job, and then number two, it's chopping your job. You got to go chop your job," Schiano said.

Powell also spoke to the media yesterday afternoon about the Hokies as an upcoming opponent. Powell had initially committed to the team in high school before changing his mind and instead committing to Rutgers. Despite his history, Powell believes that does not change the dynamic at all for this upcoming weekend against a "well-rounded opponent."

"(Virginia Tech is) a great program, so we know it's going to be a tough game," Powell said. "But another opponent for me, just looking forward to the opportunity."

The game will kick off at 3:30 p.m. and will be available on Big Ten Network, Fox Sports and 88.7 WRSU-FM.

"Improvement's a relative term," Schiano said. "We just have to keep getting better every week. That's the key ... Keep getting better, doesn't matter who's out there, we have to be better."

For more updates on the Rutgers football team, follow @TargumSports on X.

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