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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Gary Nova details film study, new features of Ron Prince's offense

By Tyler Barto
Twitter: Tyler_Barto

PISCATAWAY — As Rutgers prepares for the first of five two-a-day practices Wednesday, its quarterback is taking care of all the minutiae away from the field.

Junior Gary Nova meets more often now with quarterbacks coach Rob Spence and offensive coordinator Ron Prince because of NCAA-imposed rules on practice time, as well as a layover period before preparing for Rutgers' first opponent.

Nova and Spence evaluate the team's pass protection, Nova's stance under center and getting out in the run game, Nova said Tuesday.

"We break down pretty much every single aspect of my position," said Nova, named team captain Sunday.

It starts inside the quarterbacks room of the team's Hale Center facility, which features digital classrooms, computer labs and video rooms. Nova will review practice film until the team begins preparations for its season opener Aug. 29 at Fresno State.

He's soaking in fresh schemes Prince has installed.

“I really like the play-action package game we’ve had," Nova said. "That’s something that’s kind of new to me. We’ve always had something, but not as much as we do now. I think we have the guys to do it on the outside, guys like Brandon Coleman who can really stretch the field."
Gary Nova says during a typical film review he will critique pass
protection, his stance under center and moving with the ball,
among other features. (Tyler Barto)

Prince, Rutgers' first-year playcaller, has brought more versatility to Nova's drops. He's placed more emphasis on making Nova mobile, which decreases the traffic Nova sees making reads downfield.

“He’s just giving me the ability to roll out, a lot of on the move, moving the pocket," Nova said. "Maybe even put in a couple quarterback runs, letting me be more active running the ball and showing my athletic ability."

Nova worked all offseason entering 2012 trying to consciously throw the ball away to avoid miscues. It paid off through seven games  Nova completed 61 percent of his passes for a 5-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio — before a six-game tailspin eroded his numbers.

IN PRINT: QB Nova appears more decisive away from field

This offseason? He tried to cut down on an insistence on big plays. If he improves, he can point to his film study.

"I think it's part of the learning experience," Nova said. "Situational football, not trying to score on every play, not trying to get a big chunk on every play. Just try to get three or four yards and keep going down the field slowly. I think as I grow I get a better picture of that."

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