Greg Schiano clears air on QB questions following Rutgers' win over Purdue
One week after Noah Vedral looked like a future All-Big Ten player against Michigan in a 48-42 triple-overtime loss in Piscataway, Vedral found himself benched in favor of backups Artur Sitkowski and running quarterback Johnny Langan.
Vedral had been on the field warming up before the game and the shock went up into the broadcast booth when Sitkowski took the field on the opening possession. Vedral had been on the field during warmups, apparently grimacing as he threw, but there had not been an announcement, let alone a hint, of a quarterback switch in the run up to kickoff.
Coach Schiano, who did not offer media a press conference since Monday, explained afterward.
“It went as late as kickoff just to see if he [Vedral] could do it,” Schiano said, per NJ.com. “He can do it, but I don’t know if he can do it at a competitive level. … We kept pushing it to see and at game-time we made the decision to go with Art.”
Both back-ups played well for the improved and improving Scarlet Knights, leading the team to a 37-30 win over Purdue in West Lafayette. Sitkowski was 18-for-27 passing for 141 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions, while Langan was 4-of-4 for 94 yards and a touchdown, while adding 95 rushing yards on 21 carries to lead the team’s ground attack.
But Schiano made it clear these were backups filling in for his starter, Vedral, and that whenever he’s ready to return, the job remains his.
The Scarlet Knights are 2-4 with a historically bad 1-5 Penn State team going to Piscataway next Saturday, and a road game at 2-2 Maryland to close the regular season.