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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Rutgers' spread tendencies increase responsibility for Dallas Hendrikson

The zone read has added to the number of plays Chas Dodd, pictured, and center Dallas Hendrikson run from shotgun. Hendrikson says it's not a burden. (AP file photo)

By Tyler Barto
Twitter: @Tyler_Barto

Despite snapping nearly 90 percent of Rutgers' plays against Connecticut from shotgun or pistol, center Dallas Hendrikson says he's used to it.

At Iowa Western Community College, Hendrikson played in a spread offense, and most of the teams on his schedule did, too. Between Rutgers' increased shotgun reps in practice and his Juco experience, Hendrikson said Monday the shift toward spread tendencies isn't an issue.

"I don't know how different it would be," he said. 

Hendrikson has started the last three games with starter Betim Bujari out with an ankle injury. Rutgers started incorporating more zone-read concepts around the same time, although head coach Kyle Flood hesitates to stay Rutgers' offense has expanded.

Kyle Flood on lack of success running traditionally

"I don’t know if that would necessarily be the case," Flood said Monday. "We can do what we’re doing more effectively and hopefully be more productive on the scoreboard.”

Rutgers ran an unofficial 13 zone-read plays at Connecticut, its biggest output this season. The zone read requires a quarterback to identity defensive fronts before handing off, keeping on a run or throwing to a designed receiver.

["We can do what we're doing more effectively and hopefully be more productive." — Kyle Flood]

Flood said Rob Spence, Rutgers' quarterbacks coach, has experience with the package. The former Clemson and Toledo coordinator has given input about the zone read in staff meetings.

"They’ve all relayed it to us," quarterback Chas Dodd said. "Obviously (Spence) has had a lot of experience in an offensive style like that and he’s brought a lot of knowledge of that to the game plan.”

MORE: Screenshot breakdown of a fullback's new role in Rutgers' offense

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December 9, 2013 at 7:20 AM 

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