Greg Schiano explains what a win for Rutgers would mean over 'historical' program like Penn State
It’s been a shortened football season in the B1G, but you could still easily make the argument that Rutgers is the most improved team in the league. In fact, many consider the Scarlet Knights to have one of the most improved programs in the country this year.
That might sound weird for a team that sits 2-4 on the season, but Rutgers has looked like a completely different team under new head coach Greg Schiano in his first year since returning to Piscataway. The two B1G wins, by the way, are quite the improvement after winning exactly zero conference games over the past two seasons under Chris Ash.
Now, the Scarlet Knights have a chance to take a step towards .500 this weekend, playing a 1-5 Penn State team that has faced its share of challenges this fall. So, what would a win for Rutgers mean on Saturday?
“Well, for us to get to where we want to get to, right — there’s certainly teams that we know we have to (beat),” Schiano said on Moose and Maggie via WFAN 101.9 FM. “We have to be able to compete with everyone in the league, but there’s teams that have had a historical success that we need to be able to — as I said when I took the job, we need to be able to catch up and then we need to be able to pass.
“And certainly, we’re going to have three-and-a-half, four hours on the field Saturday that’ll give us a snapshot of this moment in time, but it’s more than that. And this will be a big part of it, though, so we’re going to go do everything we can. And our goal, ultimately, is to come home with the win. And that’s what we’ve got to see.”
Penn State and Rutgers have played 30 times with the Nittany Lions owning a 28-2 advantage all-time, winning the last 13, as well. And while the two programs are close in proximity, Schiano downplayed that these two teams are rivals.
“To your question, as far as a rival goes – look, we’re not Penn State’s rival,” Schiano said Monday, via 247Sports.
“The reason is we haven’t given them a reason to make us their rival. When rivalries develop, it’s because there’s great contests on the field. There’s great recruiting battles. That’s why so many rivalries are regional, because you recruit the same kids, and you have great games, and it grows over time. I don’t think you can make a rival. I don’t think you can say, ‘Oh, that’s our rival.’ I don’t believe in that.”
Still, a win for Rutgers this weekend would be monumental, and would give the team a chance to finish the regular season 4-4 with a victory over Maryland to close out the season.
Kickoff between Penn State and Rutgers is set for 12 p.m. ET with the game airing on FS1.