Mario Cristobal has an extensive history with Rutgers Head Coach Greg Schiano. Cristobal and Schiano were on the Miami football coaching staff from 1998-2000. Cristobal was on Schiano’s staff from 2001-2003 during his first stint as the head coach at Rutgers. Schiano was rehired at Rutgers in 2020.
Schiano was Miami’s defensive coordinator from 1999-2000 under Butch Davis. Mario Cristobal was a Miami graduate assistant from 1998 through 2000. When Schiano was hired as Rutgers’ head coach for the 2000 season, Cristobal joined his staff as the offensive tackles and tight ends coach.
The assistant coach position at Rutgers was the first for Cristobal. Cristobal returned to Miami as the TEs coach in 2004 and 2005. In 2006, Cristobal moved to offensive line coach. Florida International hired Cristobal as the head coach before the 2007 season. Cristobal remained at FIU until 2012 when he was fired.
Cristobal and Schiano will face each other as head coaches for the third time. Rutgers won one-score games against FIU in 2009 and 2010. Rutgers dominated the first meeting but allowed FIU to stay in the game with three turnovers to none for the Panthers. Rutgers had a 394 to 260 advantage in total yards.
FIU dominated the 2010 game versus Rutgers in a contest plagued by turnovers. Rutgers committed three but forced five by FIU in a 19-14 win. FIU outgained Rutgers 371-172. Rutgers had eight first downs, 96 yards passing and 76 yards rushing in the win at FIU.
Schiano praised Cristobal. During their time at Miami Schiano saw the potential that Cristobal had as a future head coach. Schiano stated that the game between Miami and Rutgers will be just another competition. Even though they have not coached together for 20 years, expect some familiarity between Cristobal and Schiano.
Tendencies often remain similar throughout a coach’s career. Both teams will be missing players with opt outs for the NFL Draft and transfer. Miami will have an extremely different look at quareterback with Jacurri Brown over Tyler Van Dyke who entered the transfer portal and Emory Williams who is injured.
Miami and Rutgers have each lost five players to the transfer portal. Miami has also lost edge rushers Jahfari Harvey and Chantz Williams, linebacker Corey Flagg and running back Don Chaney Jr. None of the Rutgers players who entered the transfer portal were impactful for the Scarlet Knights this season.