Savage is 50-50 to start against Maryland (Photo by Jim McIsaac, Getty Images)
True Freshman Uncertain to Play Due to Head Injury
Piscataway, N.J. (Friday, September 25, 2009) – Lingering effects from a head injury sustained in a 23-15 victory over Florida International last Saturday has Rutgers (2-1) true freshman quarterback Tom Savage questionable for a road showdown with Maryland (1-2) tomorrow afternoon. If Savage is unable to go, head coach Greg Schiano is likely to hand the ball back to fifth-year senior Dom Natale, who lost the starting job to Savage following a shaky first half in the Rutgers opening day loss to Cincinnati.
“I’m not sure he’s going to be able to play," Schiano said of Savage. "It’s more up to the doctor than me.”
While it is uncertain who will take the snaps under center for the Scarlet Knights, Natale insists he has prepared for this contest the same way he has ever since coming onto the campus of Rutgers in 2005.
“I say it every week- I come out and prepare the same way, whether I’m the starter or the second guy,” Natale remarked. “It’s a little harder now (because) it’s uncertain. At the same time, you have to keep working as hard as you can.”
The Scarlet Knights hit the road for the first time this year when they travel to Byrd Stadium to face a Maryland team that was knocked off for the second year in a row by Middle Tennessee State University last weekend. The Terps have given up 119 points in three games this season, which is the lowest total since head coach Ralph Friedgen took over in 2001.
"They have had some struggles, but when you look at it more closely, it is big plays,” Schiano stated about his weekend foes. “(Middle Tennessee State) popped big runs on them, and that is what, statistically, has made it the way it is.”
Friedgen shared the beliefs of Schiano, whose offense is averaging 385 yards a game so far this college football season.
“We're just giving up big plays, and we've got to stop that," Friedgen commented. "We have a young team, and I know people are tired of hearing that, but it's just the way it is. Some of our guys flip out a little bit when they get into action."
Kickoff for this midseason match-up is 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.