Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett
Rutgers finally got back on the winning track on Saturday, beating Morgan State 38-0 after an 0-3 start to the season. It doesn't get any easier for the Scarlet Knights, who have to play West Virginia in Morgantown this weekend. I caught up with Rutgers safety Courtney Greene to take the pulse of the team:
What did beating Morgan State do for the team's morale?
Courtney Greene: It means a lot, just to get out there and finally get the feeling of winning this year. It builds a little bit of confidence. But that's in the past and now we're just going to worry about this week.
Even though the opponent wasn't the highest level, did you see things that showed you guys had improved?
CG: The opponent didn't matter. We just played our defense and our offense played the way they knew how to play. We went out there and went back to the basics and went back to Rutgers football, and it was a good outcome for us.
The pass defense has been a problem area this season. Did you see improvement there?
CG: Definitely. On Saturday, we were communicating more, just all on the same page. We've put an emphasis on watching film together and trying to get out there and practice hard every day, trying to get better. We know we've let up some plays, but that was behind us.
The pass defense has been surprising given the talent you returned. Is a lot of it, like you said, just miscommunication and small things?
CG: That was the majority of it. Just mental mistakes and not communicating much. We have a lot of great players back in the secondary and we know each other well. We're playing good right now and trying to build off this week.
West Virginia has tried to pass more at times this year. Do you expect to see Pat White throwing more against you than in years past?
CG: I don't know. I think they're passing more just to use the ability of Pat White more, not just use his feet but use his arm strength and the ability to make reads and run the offense like they want to run it. He's doing a great job of it.
What's it like playing against White and guys like Noel Devine with their speed?
CG: It's difficult. Guys like that can create big plays at any moment. You just need to play your defense, go back to the basics of tackling and do what you're coached to do, and hopefully stop them. They're definitely big-play guys. Pat White has shown he can make a lot of plays. Noel Devine is young bu a speedy guy who makes a lot of plays, too. There are going to be a lot of one-on-one battles with them. It's going to be two scholarship players going against each other, so it should be a good game.
Do you feel like the team still has a lot to play for despite the 1-3 start?
CG: We're definitely not worried about how we started out. That's in the past and we're not worried about the past. We're not worried about the future. We only worry about this week, and when next week comes we'll worry about next week.
Adversity can bring a team closer together or split it apart. Which do you think has happened at Rutgers?
CG: I just think the team has grown closer together. We're a family and we're just growing tighter and tighter as the weeks go on. This week is another opportunity just for us to grow closer and go down and play a great opponent.
Does it help you grow closer in some ways to go on the road?
CG: It definitely helps when you go away, just having a family atmosphere as a team. It's just you against the world, and this team being a family, we're going to stick by each other and go and try to get a victory.