Off-day Rutgers notes: Rutgers' blitz protection, Betim Bujari on quarterbacks
By Tyler Barto
Keith Lumpkin has to be exhausted.
Rutgers' 6-foot-8, 315-pound left tackle has spent 12 spring practices — a month's worth of time — going up against new defensive coordinator Joe Rossi's exotic pressures.
How do Lumpkin and Rutgers' offensive line combat the complicated blitzes?
“We’re actually talking to each other (during the play)," Lumpkin said last week. "Even before the play I’ll see it. You can always tell something’s going on when all the linebackers are over here or safeties are way over here. Something’s coming. You have to analyze it over time."
Rutgers' starting five uses quick terminology to dissect an incoming blitz. For example, "bucking" happens when outside defenders attack the A gap (between the center and guard).
"The chemistry is just there," center Betim Bujari said. "I've played with these guys a couple of years now. They help me out, make calls. They see things coming, they tip me off with the defensive pressures."
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Of all the talk about Rutgers' three-player quarterback competition, no one's talking about the effect it has on the guy who gets him the ball.
Bujari, for his part, isn't adding to the discussion.
"I don't think much of it," he said. "To be honest, most of the time I don't even know who's back there. I just focus on the play."
Bujari and quarterback Gary Nova have been prone to center-quarterback exchange issues in the past. Not much has surfaced there this spring.