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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Inside Rutgers' high play count with Chas Dodd in shotgun against Connecticut



By Tyler Barto
Twitter: @Tyler_Barto
tbarto@trentonian.com

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. — Chas Dodd said Saturday he's most comfortable out of the shotgun, and that's probably why 60 of Rutgers' 67 plays in a 28-17 loss at Connecticut came out of the formation.


Rutgers insisted little would change offensively from a switch at quarterback — Dodd started his first regular-season game in more than two years — but an obvious template developed.

Three of Dodd's six plays under center came with Rutgers at its own goal line.

"That was the game plan," Dodd said. "We felt like that was going to be the best thing against them. We had a good game plan, I felt like, and we just had to execute it."
Head coach Kyle Flood said Rutgers still ran a high percentage of plays out of shotgun with Gary Nova, but Chas Dodd's usage ran to nearly 90 percent out of the formation. (AP photo)

Despite the change, Rutgers still played a noticeable percentage of its plays with base personnel — a tight end and two backs — out of shotgun. But mechanics of run plays changes from the shotgun or pistol (with a running back lined up behind the quarterback in shotgun).

Dodd also ran several zone-read plays, rushing three times for 1 yard. It is an offensive concept limited to shotgun plays. Under center, it comes on triple-option looks.

Rutgers did not line up once in the traditional I-formation. Head coach Kyle Flood hinted a philosophy adjustment could come last offseason, but it has materialized more than expected. 

The change helped at times Saturday. Despite offensive struggles, Rutgers did not allow a sack, a fault of Dodd's during his time under center. Quick reads out of shotgun were part of the reason.

Rutgers' staff had not informed Dodd after the game if he would start next week against South Florida.


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December 9, 2013 at 7:17 AM 

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