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Monday, November 18, 2013

Rutgers offense lags again with latest loss to Cincinnati

Quarterback Gary Nova's completion percentage dipped this season to 57.2 percent with sub-50 percent efforts in two of Rutgers' last three outings. (AP photo)

By Tyler Barto
Twitter: @Tyler_Barto

Lost in Rutgers' 52-17 loss Saturday to Cincinnati was an offense that again failed to find its footing.

Despite Paul James' return from a lower-leg injury, Rutgers averaged less than 4 yards per carry for the third time in four games, and quarterback Gary Nova completed less than 53 percent of his passes for the fourth time this season.

“Credit to the teams we’ve played, but that’s all on us," Nova said Saturday. "The frustrating part is we get in our way way too many times with penalties and stopping the momentum we’ve gained. We can’t really get ourselves out of a hole sometimes.”

Receiver Brandon Coleman said offensive coordinator Ron Prince's early play calling is mostly situational, not based off early game preferences.

“From what I’ve seen, I think that he tries to manage the game and he tries to put points on the board early," Coleman said Saturday. "That’s his mindset. I don’t see him being very conservative.”

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Coleman, seemingly lost in Rutgers' offense the last few weeks, was targeted on five of Rutgers' first seven pass plays against Cincinnati, including back-to-back curl routes on the right sideline.

He said it wasn't a conscious effort on Prince's part.

"It’s still back to the concepts and reading the play out," Coleman said. "I think early on in the game we had a plan and we were trying to capitalize on that. Gary made the reads, and I just have to finish up some of those plays.”

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