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NEW ERA PINSTRIPE BOWL: IOWA STATE v RUTGERS


December 30, 2011


Greg Schiano


NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK

RUTGERS 27
IOWA STATE - 13


COACH SCHIANO: First I would like to thank everybody associated with the Yankees organization. Just an awesome week for our players, our coaches, families and our fans.
Really, really proud of our kids. We worked very hard in the preparation. Season certainly didn't end the way we wanted with Connecticut. They worked their tails off in preparation for this game. When you're in New York City, that can be a distraction and a temptation, but they kind of know when it's time to work, it's time to work; and when it's time to relax, it's time to relax and they did it the right way.
Really, really proud of the unselfish attitude that our football team has. When you look at our quarterback situation today, those two guys just coaching each other through it, at one point saw them both, they had their headsets on, they are just talking and helping each other and to me that's what team is about. That's what family is about.
So I will try to answer the best I can.

Q. As an old secondary coach, would you talk a moment about Logan Ryan's play today?
COACH SCHIANO: I am really, really proud of Logan Ryan. Not only about today, but the way‑‑ coming off the Carolina game, which was the second game of the year, Logan Ryan was at a crossroads. He was no longer a young pup who could use that as the red‑shirting excuse and all of that.
He's a very talented kid and he's a very hard working kid, and he got a chance after that game. He got a chance and he made the most of it, and he's had a tremendous season. When he needs to be going forward one of our leaders, and the way he played tonight, he made big plays and went on one coverage and that's what a corner does.
People want to talk about 60, 70 plays; a corner comes down to five or six plays, and you either make them or you don't and that's what you get remembered for. He made great plays tonight and from that Carolina game on he made great plays.

Q. Talk about Jamison's running and what you saw on the sideline.
COACH SCHIANO: That's what we love to do. That's who we want to be. And it's Jamison's running and it's the offensive line's blocking, and the coaching staff, Frank and the offensive coaches putting it all together. I thought they did a heck of a job with the plan and the players executed the plan, and Jawan ran the ball the way that we asked him to.

Q. When it was 20‑13, you were backed up, did you spot that match immediately? You had Coleman against a 5‑7 corner; is that something you knew, bells and whistles go off, the matchup you're looking for all game?
COACH SCHIANO: We had it several times. I thought it was a great play called by Frank. We said going into the game we had a height advantage on their cornerbacks and we needed to make sure that we took enough shots down the field and we did.
I thought, you could say it was their DPIs. It wasn't their DPIs, but when you take shots, you have a chance to catch it, and you also have a chance to get a DPI when you have a smaller guy who is trying to climb you.
But I thought that was a gutsy call by Frank with the game where it was. I mean, that's a huge turning point in the game. You kind of answer the bell on that one.

Q. With Desmond playing left tackle and three seniors on the line, do you think you've finally found the best five?
COACH SCHIANO: With my luck that would be it, right, Game 13. I really thought Desmond, I didn't watch it but we protected the passer well. And you know, now we'll start over and try to find the next best five. But that was a pretty good five today.

Q. When you look around at the number of young players who made an impact in this game, does that give you hope that this is the start of something?
COACH SCHIANO: It gives me hope. It gives me hope that we will have a good football team moving forward. It's not the start of everything; we have been a pretty consistent program, going to Bowl games, winning Bowl games and we have to get to the next level.
I hope that this group of players, this group of coaches, this group is the group that will get us over the top and get us to the championship level.

Q. Any word on Khaseem?
COACH SCHIANO: He's got an injury to his ankle, although it's not‑‑ it wasn't‑‑ I understand it wasn't very pretty looking on TV, our medical people think he's going to be okay. It's going to take a little while to heal.
But one of the things we are going to do with Khaseem this spring, anyway, was kind of cut back on what he was going to do in spring football and all that. So we'll have a chance to develop him in areas and however long the healing takes, it takes.

Q. What was running through your mind when you saw Eric on the big screen after the game?
COACH SCHIANO: Well, all along, you know, when we got this Bowl bid‑‑ his mother told me that we could have got him on a plane or to the site but it just seemed so much easier that we are here, and the academy people that he uses to transport him were here, and the bus that he's using, the van he's used to going in was here, all that stuff.
It was special to have him here, not just today, but all week. He was at the player functions. He was in the hotel last night. I do bed check the night before the game myself, and last night to go in and check him in, I think I half‑scared his mother to death, but it was special. To have him in the locker room right now with all his buddies, that's special. That's his senior class.

Q. Do you realize how much this game played out similarly to the first game at Yankee Stadium with the same players making big plays like last time?
COACH SCHIANO: I looked up and at one point it was 6‑0, I don't know what the Army score was but we were losing out of the gate and it was losing where we didn't feel like we had a handle on things early on defensively.
But it's kind of like playing an option team, and you play an up‑tempo team; no matter how fast you want the scout team to go. My hat is off to Paul Rhoads and the Iowa State team. They have a good football team. I don't know what‑‑ they made a change at quarterback, if the quarterback got hurt, but they have got two pretty good players there. They can give you little fits with what they do schematically.
I did sense a couple similarities early on and I think the kids played‑‑ third down defense was outstanding, I think they were 2‑for‑13. Most important thing we said earlier on, somebody asked, what's the keys; we took the ball away three times and we didn't give it away, at all. That's how we win.

Q. Was the plan all along to alternate the quarterbacks that much, and how would you assess the way those two guys played, not only tonight but through the season?
COACH SCHIANO: Frank and I discussed it all along and we split the reps 50/50 all during the preparation. You can do that when you have seven practices, plus seven fundamental practices before that. It's awfully hard to split reps in a three‑day game week.
So the Bowl game afforded us that luxury and we took advantage of it because we felt they both deserved to play. And I would be lying if I said, hey, this is our plan. And I told both of the guys, Chas is going to start; Gary you're going to go in and be ready, I don't know when, I'm not going to tell you‑‑ lie in the sand.
But the way they worked together on that thing, I know it's a competition, I know they want to be the starter and we'll have an interesting battle come this spring and training camp, but it's the best to see your kids work together. Even though they are competing for that spot, they were like bonded today working together on it with Coach sitting up on the headset, Andrew down on the field, those four guys were grinding at it together and that's great to see as a team.

Q. Your field goal defense got the ninth block of the season; what's been so special about that unit this season?
COACH SCHIANO: They believe in what Coach Smith coaches and they are willing to lay it on the line for him. Coach Smith is awesome at finding weaknesses in protections and then showing and selling.
A lot of people talk about you install a game plan; well, if you install a game plan you're not going to be very good. But if you go and sell that game plan, and Coach Smith is very good at doing that, he's very good; our players believe in what he's putting in and they executed.

Q. After the first two field goal drives, what adjustments did you make to stop the running game?
COACH SCHIANO: There was no adjustments. We just got acclimated to the speed of the game. The calls were the same. Coach Fraser, our defensive coordinator, is just an awesome football coach. He came up with a plan that I thought was excellent.
We just ran our stuff and the kids kind of calmed down. The speed of the game didn't get them as much and they started executing better. When you can play like that on third down, that's the key. I think they were‑‑ they had a couple of movement penalties on third down because of all of the pressure and all of the movement. That's good stuff when you have got it going like that, to get off the field.

Q. You mentioned your players having the bad taste in their mouth from the Connecticut game; you had a whole month, how much do you relish having that much time to prepare as a coach and how much just fueled by maybe that same bad taste, I don't know.
COACH SCHIANO: Well, every loss affects me pretty badly. I'm not a good loser. But that one kind of hit me bad: We didn't have another game to play.
One of the things as a football coach, when you lose a game in the season, you have no choice but to get back and get to work because you're going to play in six days and there was no game to play. I think that really‑‑ what was at stake, that one really took its toll.
But I'm proud of the way that everybody felt that way. It wasn't just me. They could not wait to play in a football game tonight and you could see the focus. There was no doubt in my mind, that they were going to be ready to go.

Q. Inaudible.
COACH SCHIANO: Well, you're always concerned. Jawan was the next guy in and we rested him a little bit. But Coach Hewitt, he came to me at the half and said, "Greg, I don't think they can stop this kid."
I said, "Well then let's run him." And I don't know how many carries he had, but he's carried the ball 30‑something times before, and that's a feel thing. I think when your running back coach can feel that and your line coach can feel that, I defer to them. I was proud; he kind of chugged along.

Q. Nova came in and got the first two third down conversions on that touchdown drive, and you stuck with him to start the second half. Was there a particular reason you went back to Dodd, especially before that 86‑yard touchdown pass which he threw about 50 yards in the air?
COACH SCHIANO: Just gut feel. I can't tell you that there was a rhyme or reason to it. Just got to do what you think.

Q. Seemed like the second quarter you opened up your passing game. Was that part of the game plan for the day?
COACH SCHIANO: You know, Frank had a plan going into the game how he was going to call and I try to stay out of the way there. I think we want to establish the run for sure. I think some of those runs opened up the passing game as well.
But we definitely wanted to establish the fact that we were going to run the football, and you know, the way it works, when you are set on doing that, is you've got to do it. You've got to be patient. Two‑yard runs turn into four‑yard runs later in the game and four‑yard runs turn into 14 yard runs. That's the way it works. But if you're not patient you never get to see that. I was happy, he called a heck of a game I thought.

Q. For your seniors to be able to win it here and for your fans to be able to see a Bowl win right in their backyard, how special is that?
COACH SCHIANO: I thought it was great. I've said all along, with the families, so hard to afford sometimes to fly away to these places. To be able to come in and see the game, see their son; I thought we had a great Rutgers crowd here today. And then to win this thing and be able to win it at home, it's a lot of fun.
And this Bowl game, like I said, hats off to the Yankees because they put on a first‑class week for us, and it's always nice when you win in the end, that's for sure. We are awfully glad‑‑ these seniors have won three Bowl games, the fifth‑year seniors have won four Bowls. That's good stuff. They are going out into the real world with hopefully a lot of lessons and ready to be grown men.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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