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September 21, 2015

Norries Wilson

Piscataway, New Jersey

COACH WILSON: We are excited about an opportunity to come back home, play at High Points Solutions against the University of Kansas in front of what we hope would be a packed and raucous Homecoming crowd.

Also it's going to be an annual event that Coach Flood has been a part of: The Coach for a Cure for Muscular Dystrophy. We have two young men who routinely come by practice with us, Danny Garofalo and Matt DeRiggi, who have been on our sideline on many an occasion and come to our practice many times. Not just us hear at Rutgers, but coaches around the country will be wearing a patch on their shirt on game day, and signifying that.

If you have an interest in donating $5 you can text the word "CURE" to 90999 and that will make a $5 donation. But we have done it annually since I've been here and it's a great thing, and a cure for these young men that have been stricken with this disease would be wonderful.

Q. Can you give us an idea of when you plan on choosing a quarterback this week?
COACH WILSON: I believe Coach Flood put out a depth chart this morning, and as of right now, that's how everything stands.

Q. Just as far as the quarterbacks with the reps, do you expect it to be the same in practice as it has been then?
COACH WILSON: I would intend the reps would be the same as they have been in practice, yes.

Q. Obviously after the Penn State performance, how would you assess the running backs going into this week?
COACH WILSON: Make sure I understand your question. How do I assess their play?

Well, I'm not happy with the production that we had on Saturday, and I don't think that that was in hold on how they played. There was a lot more to just being the running back. We have to have some space to run. The offensive line has to play better. We have to be better in the pass game to back some people out of the box. I'm not down on any of the young men in my room, however.

Q. Expanding on the quarterbacks, what do you feel like Chris is doing well right now?
COACH WILSON: Chris is doing a good job getting us in the correct alerts when he's asked to. Being the quarterback, a good run game helps the quarterback. Good pass protection helps the quarterback. Being an accurate passer when he doesn't get flushed. He has got a lot of things around him that need to improve that will also help to improve his play. So we are confident in the depth that Coach Flood has put out, and that's where we're going with the quarterback right now.

Q. How different is your day this Monday compared to last Monday just with obviously instead of just worried about the running backs, being able to be versed with what's going on to speak with us about it? How much more different and how much more time consuming is it?
COACH WILSON: This part's different. But having to be well versed in what's going on with everything is a little bit different for me. It's taken a couple three extra hours today out of what I would usually be doing, having to meet with the people who have the information, so I can be able to convey it in the right way if I'm asked about it.

Q. What do you see out of this Kansas team that might present challenges for you guys?
COACH WILSON: The quarterback and the running back on design runs both average over five yards a carry. They have some athletic guys up front on the defensive line, and they play multiple fronts. They are a run-first team.

We didn't do a good job of stopping the run last week. That's not a secret. I'm not trying to disparage our guys, but we have to get better stopping the run and we have to be able to block some athletic people up front on our offensive line.

Q. We asked you this post-game, too, but if you can elaborate a little bit. How much on game day do you or Ben or Joe have the flexibility to change, based on what's happened in the game, change what Kyle had asked, be it depth or rotations, quarterback, running backs, anything; the power to change what Kyle said during the week on game day?
COACH WILSON: Well, we met on that last week and I'm sure we'll meet on it again this week, and we'll set parameters on what we are going to do. If a player gets injured, you obviously have to change it. If you feel like a player is playing bad, the position coach will speak with the coordinator about it, and we'll make the change if we feel like a change is necessary.

Q. What is it like just to have Coach Flood still out there at practice while he's serving the suspension?
COACH WILSON: It's practice as usual for us. He's out there and he's doing the things he does. He makes corrections and he congratulates when it's done right and he gives his suggestions and he asks questions.

So practice the way we practice and how we've practiced and how it's gone has not changed at all.

Q. And just to follow up, Darius Hamilton, do you expect him to be full go this Saturday?
COACH WILSON: I think Coach put out an injury report already this week and if there's any update to that, it will come out at the end of the week.

Q. Chris is obviously under a lot of pressure on Saturday night. How concerned are you with the offensive line and what do they need to do better?
COACH WILSON: Say it again for me.

Q. Are you concerned with the offensive line, the amount of pressure Penn State was able to generate?
COACH WILSON: Well, he had five sacks, and five sacks don't make any quarterback I think start to look at the rush more than he should have to. So we have to get an opportunity to get our guys in the best positions to protect Chris and stay in the best protections that will give him time to see the ball down the field.

Q. Two weeks against Washington State, you guys let up 11 penalties --
COACH WILSON: Say that -- we let up 11 penalties, you said, go ahead.

Q. And you cut that down Saturday. How important is that and how important is it going forward into Kansas?
COACH WILSON: And we cut it down into six Saturday; we have six too many. We like to play a clean game with no penalties. Penalties get us off-schedule. It's hard enough to get ten yards, and when you go first and 15, you don't want to be first and 15.

So we are harping on it. Coach McDaniels spoke with the offense about it this morning. We are going to work to get the penalties down to zero. We think that's very important to us.

Q. How much have you seen Josh Hicks develop and grow up and change since he was a guy that you coached at high school camps to where he is now?
COACH WILSON: He's grown up a bunch. Like a lot of kids from high school, who are not asked to do a bunch at running back other than run the football, he understands protections and he comes in and he meets on his own and watches film on his own and he wants to know. He wants to be a complete player. He understands this isn't high school where you can just circle the defense and outrun everyone. You've got to try to set up some blocks and you've got to stay within the system or the designation of the run to be successful.

And sometime he isn't able to circle the defense. And sometimes he has a great run like he had Saturday night when it looked like he was going to get caught in the end zone. So he's done a good job trying to make himself a complete player.

Q. What is the on-field impact of Leonte's absence, because obviously he's a guy who stretches the field for you guys, seemed like Penn State was maybe stacking the box a little bit. Do you expect opponents to do that until another receiver can fill those shoes?
COACH WILSON: Well, I think that the receivers on the field are going to have to run the plays that we call, and we have other receivers that can stretch the field. And if people want to stack the box against us, we are going to have to take advantage of them in the pass game.

We are confident in the receivers that we have. Andre Patton and Carlton Agudosi, we are confident -- and I can't think of his name now -- No. 1, Janarion Grant. We are confident in John Tsimis and we are really happy have John back and to see him catch some balls; and our tight ends have been doing a good job catching the ball. Any deficiency we have in the pass game, other people are ready to step up and take the slack out.

Q. Obviously they took Janarion out of the kicking game, fair catches and touch backs. What can you do to get them more involved?
COACH WILSON: Well, they did a good job kicking the ball where they kicked it. They were advantageous. We have to do a better job if we have a punt return on of holding people up and giving him an opportunity to get started. He caught a couple but he just didn't feel like he was going to have an opportunity to get started.

So they did a good job placing the ball on a couple of kickoffs and if you have a guy that can kick the ball deep in the end zone to keep the return team from coming out, hats off to you.

Q. Nothing to do with the game obviously but you were the first African American head coach in the Ivy League and even though Kyle is still the head coach, the first African American to act as the game day coach here; the significance of that and what that means to you.
COACH WILSON: I'll tell you the same thing I said when it happened at Columbia. That's probably going to be something for my children's children. I tell the players a lot: Don't be scared to be first. I don't like the circumstances that it's occurred upon, but sometimes like I said the other night, you have to do things because that's what the situation calls for.

I'm proud to be here. I'm proud to stand in for Coach Flood who I have a ton of respect for, and I'm very happy to work for -- and I'm very happy to be here at Rutgers. Rutgers gave me an opportunity -- three people gave me an opportunity when I got fired at Colombia: Tom Coughlin, Joe Philbin, Kyle Flood. I interviewed for Tom Coughlin, and I told him that Kyle Flood offered me a job, and Tom Coughlin said, "Norries, you'd better take that job. I'm happy he told me that."

Q. Has anyone given you any advice as far as this whole experience and if so, what has it been?
COACH WILSON: A few people have talked to me. Advice, not really, no one's given me any advice. Just be yourself and do your job.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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