Rutgers wide receivers coach Zak Kuhr knows the ideal Scarlet Knight offense better than most after his past experiences with coordinator Drew Mehringer.
Kuhr worked alongside Mehringer at James Madison. He eventually took over duties at JMU after Mehringer moved on to Houston and coach Tom Herman.
Reunited at Rutgers, Kuhr and Mehringer are on the same page.
“At JMU as a staff, we kind of built this thing together,” Kuhr said. “It has coach [Urban] Meyer roots from Ohio State and we put our own spin on it. I know this thing like the back of my hand. It does help.
“… There were some differences but we ran the program the same way. Coming back up here, nothing’s really changed. I’ve kind of been in that family, the tree of how coach Meyer has run Ohio State.”
Speaking earlier this week, Kuhr went in more detail about the offense incoming to Rutgers.
The biggest adjustments, he said, will be on the offensive line.
“The biggest change would be our tempo,” Kuhr said. “We’re going to be unbelievably fast. To give you an example, last year when I was at JMU at the end of the regular season, we were No. 1 in yards, No. 2 in scoring, No. 1 in first downs [but] we were ranked 115th in time of possession. Coach Ash is going to do an unbelievable job of managing how our tempo goes, help the defense out. You can’t win championships without the defense. From day one, we’re going to be hyper-speed.
“…We’re going to spread out but we’re still going to run power. We’re going to be an A-gap run team. We’re going to smash mouth football but we’re also going to use all 53 1/3 yards and get the ball on the perimeter to our playmakers as well.”
Kuhr and the rest of the Rutgers staff focused in on recruiting and did not devote significant time to review of the 2015 season. The former JMU running backs coach spoke excitedly about his wide receiver group but did not commit anyone to specific roles.
“I don’t know where anyone is going to truly fit yet just because we haven’t seen them in our own offense,” Kuhr said when asked about speedster Janarion Grant. “We watched a couple of games. I’m going to challenge all of those guys the same. We’re going to be very physical and tough. We’re going to love each other. We’re going to do it for each other.”
Kuhr, 28, is another Rutgers coach excited for the transition into a first-time Big Ten challenge.
“I’ve been coaching for a long time,” he said. “A lot of people tell you football is football no matter where you go. You’re going to teach a lot of the same fundamentals. You’re going to teach a lot of the same techniques. Are players faster in this league? Absolutely. This is the best division in college football. People always say Big Ten East or SEC West. The speed, the size, that is a huge difference but it’s all relative. We have guys like that as well. I’m going to teach the same technique, the same fundamentals that any level would coach.”