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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

As Rutgers' run scheme changes, Savon Huggins says he still prefers zone running

By Tyler Barto
Twitter: @Tyler_Barto

Savon Huggins said Wednesday he is still more comfortable in a zone running scheme as Rutgers gradually shifts into more gap running concepts.

A zone scheme requires linemen to block a specific zone instead of a defender. A running back must cut and angle himself based on what the linemen read to be their assignments.

The highest concentration of zone plays came Aug. 29 in Rutgers' season opener at Fresno State. More gap concepts — a linemen pulls and another blocks down, for example — emerged in the Scarlet Knights' home opener Sept. 7 against Norfolk State.

They have remained since.

Counters, power plays and shotgun draws have littered Rutgers' play calling as coordinator Ron Prince tries to realize what works with his personnel. Huggins has noticed.

“After a couple of games, he’s starting to see how the offensive line is more suited for certain plays,” Huggins said of Prince. “He’s calling the best plays for us as a unit, and they’re working.”

It's worth monitoring moving forward — starter Paul James is out until at least after Oct. 10 — who adjusts to whom. Prince could opt for different personnel that favor a straight-line approach. Huggins could adapt, or Prince could tailor his run calls to stretch plays Huggins favors.

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