Blogs > Rutgers Rundown

Devoted to the daily goings on with Rutgers football, both at High Point Solutions Stadium and behind the scenes.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova reflects on first true game, at Syracuse

(AP photo)
By Tyler Barto
Twitter: @Tyler_Barto

tbarto@trentonian.com

PISCATAWAY — After 41 career regular season games, Gary Nova's final one in a Rutgers uniform is only four days away.

Like most quarterbacks, Nova has a compartmentalized memory of individual plays, series and games. I asked him Monday about Oct. 1, 2011, when he emerged on the big stage for the first time at Syracuse.
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Monday, November 24, 2014

By the numbers: Rutgers offense lacks multiplicity in Big Ten loss at Michigan State

(AP photo)
By Tyler Barto
Twitter: @Tyler_Barto
tbarto@trentonian.com

How did Rutgers manage only 234 all-purpose yards and three points — both not even season lows — on Saturday at No. 11 Michigan State?

A combination of predictable play calling, lack of different personnel groupings and ineffectiveness passing did the Scarlet Knights in.
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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Variety of factors lead to Rutgers football's improved pass defense figures

(AP photo)
By Tyler Barto
Twitter: @Tyler_Barto
tbarto@trentonian.com

PISCATAWAY — Don't look now, but Rutgers' pass efficiency defense numbers are about 30 slots better this year than 2013's program-worst finish.

Part of it is conference culture — you wouldn't mistake the Big Ten for the gun-slinging AAC — but head coach Kyle Flood has a reason that's easier to quantify.

"I think having another birthday has helped the secondary," Flood said Tuesday. "I think that's always the case with a player. Guys like Anthony Cioffi, Nadir Barnwell, Delon Stephenson having another year in the system and being able to stay as healthy as you can. That year of experience and maturity helps them grow."

Rutgers' pass numbers are down across the board this season, when it has faced 100 fewer passes and surrendered 17 fewer touchdowns in the same span.


Attempts
Completions
INTs
Pass yards
Touchdowns
2013
410
265
7
3,285
29
2014
306
178
7
2,260
12

Players say a simplified scheme and continuity in the back end have paid off. Eleven different players started in the secondary a year ago.

"You get a chemistry," corner Gareef Glashen said. "Guys are more comfortable with each other. We know what each other's going to do based on practice. It's just believing in the man next to you and behind you."

That same chemistry will be tested Saturday, when it's uncertain whether Barnwell, who has started six games, will play with an upper-body injury. 

That would leave Glashen, Cioffi and freshman Dre Boggs against future pro Connor Cook. Stephenson could slide down to the line of scrimmage if needed, Flood said.

Last year, Rutgers faced four NFL draft picks at quarterback, including Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater and Derek Carr, who went in the first two rounds. 

By Saturday, it will have seen three QBs in the top 50 in passing efficiency in 2014. Starter Gary Nova ranks 19th nationally.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

With help from Migos, Drake, Rutgers' Janarion Grant earns dancing reputation

(AP photo)
By Tyler Barto
Twitter: @Tyler_Barto
tbarto@trentonian.com

PISCATAWAY — Rutgers brought some of its training camp Club Ice in smaller doses to the team's meeting room earlier this season, when head coach Kyle Flood demanded Janarion Grant's presence front and center.
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Big Ten conditions lead Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova to glove on throwing hand

(AP photo)
By Tyler Barto
Twitter: @Tyler_Barto
tbarto@trentonian.com

PISCATAWAY — He likely won't be dealing with Buffalo-like conditions, but Gary Nova is already planning ahead for potentially freezing weather Saturday at Michigan State.

For starters, he may wear a glove on his throwing hand — and off hand — for the first time on the road during his Rutgers career.
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Monday, November 17, 2014

By the numbers: Rutgers' Ralph Friedgen finds parts for power runs against Indiana

(AP photo)
By Tyler Barto
Twitter: @Tyler_Barto
tbarto@trentonian.com

PISCATAWAY — Lots of 21 personnel (two backs, one tight end). Few gimmicks (save one reverse). A halted three-game losing streak.

That's what offensive coordinator Ralph Friedgen brought Saturday against Indiana, using a season-low nine formations in Rutgers' 45-23 victory against Indiana.
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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Rutgers' Josh Hicks breakout game comes on heel of adjusted running style

(AP photo)
By Tyler Barto
Twitter: @Tyler_Barto
tbarto@trentonian.com

PISCATAWAY — The last time Josh Hicks remembers falling backward on a run was during his junior year of high school. And it took two guys to do so.
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