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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Despite Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater's poise, Rutgers won't divert from defensive philosophy

By Tyler Barto
Twitter: @Tyler_Barto

Head coach Kyle Flood said Monday that playing against Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater, one of the nation's most efficient quarterbacks, won't alter Rutgers' plan to force the No. 8 Cardinals into passing situations.

"I think Teddy Bridgewater's a dangerous quarterback," Flood said inside the team's practice bubble. "I don't think we can change the way we play defense because of that. We have a system of defense and a philosophical way we play defense. We match that certainly to the players and playmakers on the other teams."

MORE: Forecasting Rutgers' offense based on its showing at SMU

Rutgers mixed schemes last season to try to keep a hobbled Bridgewater off balance. It dropped back into heavy coverage. It sent blitzes off the edge. Bridgewater finished with 263 pass yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

He completed nearly 75 percent of his passes.

Linebacker Jamal Merrell, who will make his first appearance since Rutgers' home opener, said the Scarlet Knights will still blitz despite Bridgewater's poise. The Knights' scheme has usually to send as many as six defenders to pressure the quarterback.

"Our defense here is something we practice like a game every day, day in, day out," Merrell said. "It's just something we have to just focus on our gameplan, focus on what we're going to do."

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