Gary Nova, Rutgers' offense show most wrinkles to date leading up to Louisville
|Gary Nova threw for 283 yards, four touchdowns and one interception Saturday at SMU. His performance has given coordinator Ron Prince flexibility. (AP file photo)|
By Tyler Barto
Can you imagine Rutgers' old regime running only four plays out of a base I-formation? That's what the Scarlet Knights did Saturday at SMU, and it'll likely continue Thursday at Louisville, which is 18th in total offense nationally.
That first number is a bit of a misnomer. Rutgers ran nearly 20 plays with two tight ends and a fullback on the field against SMU. But with leading rusher Paul James out at least through this week, the Knights' diversity of formations — they lined up in at least 16 different packages Saturday — should remain.
Here's an unofficial breakdown of 83 of Rutgers' 85 plays, a season high, against SMU*:
- off-I formation: 16 plays (nine runs, seven passes)
- shotgun empty: 12 plays (one run, 11 passes)
- shotgun: 11 plays (one run, 10 passes)
- I-formation heavy (two tight ends): 10 plays (nine runs, one pass)
- off-I heavy: nine plays (nine runs)
- shotgun with base personnel (two backs, one tight end): seven plays (six runs, one pass)
- I-formation: four plays (three runs, one pass)
- singleback with "12" personnel (two tight ends): three plays (three runs)
- shotgun with full house backfield: two plays (one run, one pass)
- singleback with "13" personnel (three tight ends): two plays (one run, one pass)
- shotgun trips: two plays (one run, one pass)
- pistol with "11" personnel (one back, one tight end): one play (one pass)
- shotgun with "20" personnel (two backs): one play (one pass)
- singleback: one play (one pass)
- split backfield with three wideouts: one play (one pass)
- singleback with "10" personnel (four wideouts): one play (one pass)
IN PRINT: Jamal Merrell gets timely return for Louisville
*Two of Rutgers' offensive plays are unaccounted for.