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Rutgers football will need to play 'best game of the year to have a chance' against No. 1 Ohio State

Head coach Greg Schiano and junior defensive back Shaquan Loyal spoke to the media ahead of Rutgers football's game against Ohio State. – Photo by Tim Fuller /

Head coach Greg Schiano, junior defensive back Shaquan Loyal and senior wide receiver Christian Dremel spoke to the media ahead of the Rutgers football team's matchup against Ohio State. The Scarlet Knights (6-2, 3-2) will look to defeat the Buckeyes (8-0, 5-0) for the first time in program history.

Schiano had a lot of respect for No. 1 Ohio State. He especially focused on the talent that the team possesses defensively, saying multiple times that most of the Buckeye players will undoubtedly be seen in the NFL.

"I don't want to be exaggerating, I think every single guy there will be an NFL player, including some depth players," Schiano said. "That's why they're one of the top defenses in the country. We'll have our hands full for sure."

Touching on Ohio State's Kyle McCord, Schiano shared how he knew the New Jersey quarterback prior to his committing to the Buckeyes. Schiano is also familiar with McCord's father.

Schiano acknowledged the talent that McCord has, noting that he is developing well.

"He's a fiery leader, and you can see that his teammates believe in him," Schiano said of McCord. "He's a young quarterback who's getting better every week, so again, it's part of the challenge of playing a team that has so many skilled people."

Schiano also praised Marvin Harrison Jr., one of Ohio State's wide receivers. He mentioned that Harrison Jr. is arguably one of the best players in the nation.

"He's continued to improve, you can see he's a real professional the way he's prepared," Schiano said. "When you're going against players of that skill, they're very dangerous."

With junior linebacker Tyreem Powell being out for the rest of the season, Schiano briefly touched on the likely two-man rotation with senior linebacker Mohamed Toure and senior linebacker Deion Jennings. Schiano feels that the Knights will still be prepared to perform well in Powell's absence.

"(Powell) is no longer in the rotation, so it'll probably be more of a two-man rotation," Schiano said. "But we have young linebackers behind that are preparing and getting better. You play with what you have."

Schiano said that focusing on Rutgers is his main concern. He emphasized that he knows he can't control the Buckeyes but that he can control the Knights.

"We know who we are, and that's the key to being us at Rutgers," Schiano said. "We develop guys. They believe in what we're doing, they believe in the development. We're getting close to having a pipeline full, and things get fun when that pipeline gets full. So we're getting close."

Dremel commented on Ohio State's defense, mentioning the Buckeyes talent on both sides of the ball.

"We are focused on the team," Dremel said. "The rankings are the rankings, but they obviously earned that ranking. They're a great team."

Loyal also expressed confidence, saying that he believes the Knights are capable of matching up with the Buckeyes.

"I feel like it's a good opportunity for us," Loyal said. "We can handle this type of team. We're built for it, and we have a good culture for this team." 

The game between the Knights and Ohio State will kick off at 12 p.m. and will be broadcast on CBS and 88.7 WRSU FM.

"I think we just gotta go play Rutgers football," Schiano said. "Do what we do, but do it with great focus. I've said already. We have to have our best game of the year to have a chance. We have to play our best, and that's all we really can control."

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

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