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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Extended prep time gives Rutgers flexibility against Washington State

(Courtesy of Rutgers Athletics Communications)
By Tyler Barto
Twitter: @Tyler_Barto

PISCATAWAY — Two extra days of game preparation have given Rutgers flexibility in molding and teaching its game plan for Washington State, head coach Kyle Flood and players say.

"The advancement of the younger players, guys like Dre BoggsJosh HicksRobert Martin, I think that helps, the extra meeting time," Flood said Monday. "Even a guy who's not a freshman but a younger player like Matt Flanagan, being able to have the extra time with coach (Anthony Campanile) in the summer. All those things are really valuable."

In the team's offensive meeting room, coordinator Ralph Friedgen will give quarterback Gary Nova broad examples of his cheat sheet that depend on the situation.

"I think in the meeting he does a good job letting me know," Nova said. "He'll say, 'In this position I'll be thinking this,' just so we're on the same page. Obviously a scrimmage is totally different from a game. As much as you try to simulate it, it's totally different. I'm excited for the first game to work with him and excited to see how it goes."

The extra time will likely allow for Friedgen to make subtle tweaks throughout the week, adding and subtracting play calls as he sees fit, Nova said.

"Everybody's just got to be on the same page," he said.

David Milewski said Wednesday, Rutgers' first true look against a scout team, that the defense's previous work with coordinator Joe Rossi has sped up the learning curve.

Rossi called the plays in Rutgers' Dec. 28 Pinstripe Bowl.

"He wants us to know the entire scheme, the entire game plan from front to back," Milewski said. "It's a regular progression. You usually start with first and second down and progress through there to special situations like third-down packages."

Rossi was elevated from special teams coordinator to keep Rutgers' system intact. Kevin Snyder hasn't noticed much difference in the team's defensive meetings.

"He puts plays up, goes over the plays you did wrong, understand your technique," Snyder said of Rossi. "Then we split up and go over it in more depth with our position coaches. That’s kind of how we do things.”

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