O-line rotation to continue
Rutgers head football coach Greg Schiano said he wants to trim the offensive line rotation to only five players, but that may take some time.
Redshirt freshman Betim Bujari and true freshman Kaleb Johnson figure to earn meaningful snaps on Saturday against Ohio, along with the Scarlet Knights’ usual suspects.
“That’s not where we are right now,” Schiano said. “Someday I’d like to do it, for sure. It’s been a couple years. It was fun when we had it going. We’re going to get back to it. We just have to keep working.”
While Johnson will make his collegiate debut, Bujari stepped in at left guard when starter Desmond Wynn suffered a knee injury in the Knights’ season opener against North Carolina Central.
Bujari also saw the field a week later against North Carolina.
“Right now, we’re just out there working together,” Wynn said. “I don’t really notice [the changes]. We all play the same scheme, so we know what we have to do.”
The last time Rutgers boasted a relatively stable offensive line was in 2009, when the only starting shuffle occurred at guard between Howard Barbieri and now-senior Caleb Ruch.
The Knights trotted out eight different offensive linemen last season for significant repetitions.
“I would say there’s a cookie-cutter blueprint for how you do it,” Schiano said. “I think it’s one of those feel things. It’s not just what’s happening in the game that day, but what’s happening in the week.”
Schiano believed the running game improved during practice this week, but a significant portion dealt with preparation for the Bobcats, he said.
The Knights continue to prepare for Ohio’s up-tempo attack, which features a variety of run looks, Schiano said.
Schiano praised Bobcats sophomore quarterback Tyler Tettleton, who has dual-threat tendencies.
“Although he only has three starts, he’s as hot as a firecracker,” Schiano said. “Somehow, we have to slow him down. He makes it go. He runs the speed option. He’s very elusive.”
Rutgers also has to contend with Ohio’s no-huddle offense, which ran 50 plays in the first half alone last week in a win over Marshall.
“Some way, somehow, they’re getting it done,” said senior defensive tackle Justin Francis. “We just have to be on all alerts, have our awareness up, have our personnel. We just basically have to be on all cylinders on our side.”
Schiano planned to meet yesterday with De’Antwan Williams, who left the team last week after the coaching staff made changes to the depth chart at running back.
“Just because he made the decision to do something doesn’t mean we can’t communicate,” Schiano said. “I care about him. He just made a decision, and sometimes that’s the way things go.”
Williams continues to evaluate potential destinations to finish his college football career, Schiano said.
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