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Despite its worst offensive showing of the season Saturday, Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said his confidence in offensive coordinator Sean Gleeson is “as high as it could be.”
“We got the right guy to be our offensive coordinator,” Schiano said during Monday’s press conference.
Rutgers’ offense had 201 yards of total offense on 58 plays during its 16-14 win over Temple at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. The unit failed to score a touchdown and punted five times on its first nine drives.
Gleeson, the highest paid assistant in program history, will continue his play-calling duties, according to Schiano.
“At this stage in my coaching career, I’m the head coach, so I oversee the offense, the defense and the kicking game but I’m not running any of the three,” he said. I know I’m very, very confident in Sean and our offensive staff.
“As I told you, at the beginning of the year, this is a young team in many ways, and some of it is chronologically young, some of it is Rutgers young, right? But you can’t have it both ways. If you truly believe the strength of your program is your culture and then you bring people into your program that may not be chronologically young but are young to Rutgers, then we’ve got to give it a little time.”
Schiano said injuries to quarterbacks Noah Vedral, a sixth-year senior, and Gavin Wimsatt — in addition to a long-term fix along the offensive line — led to some of the offense’s inefficiency against a Temple team that came in giving up 38 points on average in its last eight games.
“When you take over the program in the way we did, there’s some things that are not quick fixes, and offensive line play is not a quick fix,” Schiano said. “We are getting better but take that and have a young quarterback, two young quarterbacks, that neither one have played. Unfortunately our veteran quarterback was injured. Those are all things that factor in.”
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Wimsatt left the game in the first quarter, leaving sophomore Evan Simon as the team’s only available scholarship passer.
Simon and Wimsatt will be game-time decisions ahead of Saturday’s Big Ten opener against Iowa at SHI Stadium.
“I know exactly the challenge that’s ahead of us this week, and if we play anywhere close to the way we played offensively this week, it will be a lot worse,” Schiano said. “So we all know we have to improve. But I think that improvement will come.”
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Patrick Lanni may be reached at email@example.com.
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