Bruce's Blog

A tough loss in the Russell Athletic Bowl leads to big questions heading into 2013
Posted 12/28/2012 9:43:00 PM

     After watching the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando, you got the feeling that Rutgers sophomore quarterback Gary Nova couldn't put points on the board if the overtime game lasted until the New Year.  As it turns out, the game ended in the first overtime Friday night when Nick Borghese went wide right on a 42-yard field goal attempt, giving Virginia Tech a come-from-behind 13-10 win, dropping the Scarlet Knights to 9-4 on the season.  Nova finished completing only 17 of 40 passes for a paltry 130 yards and, for most of the game, looked like he had never played quarterback.  The sophomore's passing was woefully inadequate, overthrowing and underthrowing receivers, and throwing "wounded duck" passes downfield time and time again.  First-year head coach Kyle Flood stayed with Nova from start to finish this season after giving him the job in pre-season camp over junior Chas Dodd.  And, for the first seven games when RU went 7-0, Nova was outstanding, being named Big East Offensive Player of the Week twice.  But starting with the loss to Kent State in Week Eight in which he threw a career-high six interceptions, Nova was simply awful, leading to the big question heading into 2013---"Can Rutgers move to the next level with Nova as the starting qb?"  In my humble opinion, I have severe doubts.  Nova now looks totally lost with broken-down mechanics.  Flood and offensive coordinator Dave Brock are going to have to spend Spring Practice reconstructing Nova's game.  By the way, Flood also is going to have to do some soul-searching about what happened to a very promising season that fell apart in the final month or so.  Yes, Flood was named the Big East Co-Coach of the Year by his league colleagues and the Scarlet Knights did pick up their first-ever league co-championship.  But the way the season ended is leaving a sour taste in the collective mouths of Rutgers fans.  Three straight losses when an outright league championship, a BCS berth and/or a title in the well-respected Russell Athletic Bowl over an ACC team all went by the boards.  Can Flood get the entire program back on track heading into 2013?  That....and the issue regarding Gary Nova....are two big questions in the off-season.

Posted By: Bruce Johnson's Blog  

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  1. Peter from Cliffwood Beach posted on 12/29/2012 04:09 AM
    The play that bothered me the most was when Nova had a chance to run for a first down and he throws it practically at the receiver's feet. It seems that the elite college programs have a quarterback that thinks run much more than Rutgers. Defenses can lay back knowing that Nova wont challenge them with an occasional scamper. Matt Millen killed Nova on the play. This is the area that needs to be worked on.
  2. Maha posted on 12/29/2012 05:25 PM
    I don't know if Dodd is the answer; but Nova certainly is not!! We definitely need an open qb competition during spring practice and maybe recruiting more qbs (either as juco transfers, or grad transfers.
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