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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova prefers to let play in 2013 define him

By Tyler Barto
Twitter: @Tyler_Barto

PISCATAWAY — Gary Nova isn't issuing any grand public statements. He won't offer up a 60-percent completion percentage goal like last year. 

In fact, the only meaningful talking he's doing these days is with coordinator Ron Prince, with whom he has more input than any playcaller that's preceded him.

How has that influence materialized in Prince's first game plan at Rutgers?

"We have a real big menu of what we can call," Nova said Monday, a day before Rutgers leaves for Fresno State. "In these practices we're doing a good job of just constantly communicating what we like and what we like more than others. Going into this first game we're still getting a vibe of how each other's going to act on game day. It'll be good to see."

MORE: Gary Nova on film study, what to expect from Ron Prince's offense

Gary Nova has said all the right things entering a junior season with elevated expectations.
(Tyler Barto)
Nova's completion percentage last season jumped nearly six percentage points after throwing 161 more passes than he did as a true freshman. He could be poised to see a similar spike in passes thrown in 2013, factoring in maturation and an unclear backfield breakdown.

Nova, named a team captain a week into training camp, shied away from making preseason claims.

"I don't want to put a number on it," he said. "I just want to be efficient. Obviously no turnovers and move the chains. When we get down in the red zone, we have to score points. We know we can't come up short."

The junior has spent eight months deflecting talk of production, opting instead to let results in 2013 show on the field. He has had his opportunities —  media availability in late June and nearly a month of training camp — to make such proclamations.

Declining to do so has been a lesson both in humility and tactic.

"I'm not putting any added pressure on me," Nova said. "I know what's at stake."

It is part of the reason Nova has taken a more active role in bartering with Prince for playcall preferences. Head coach Kyle Flood said Monday that most of Rutgers' first several series have already been installed.

Situational playcalls, he said, have also been marked.

“I think most plays on offense are scripted before the game, whether it’s done formally in a one to 10 format   I’ve been around coordinators who have done that   or in other ways where, ‘On third-and-four-to-six we’re going to run these five plays in the game.’ So the players know in this situation we’re going to run these plays," Flood said. "I think there is a lot more of that that goes on."

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