Flood excited about Quick Lane Bowl invitation

Rutgers football coach Kyle Flood is excited about the opportunity to play the University of North Carolina at Ford Field in the Quick Lane Bowl (Asbury Park Press, Dec. 7).

“I like the idea of playing another Power Five school,” Flood said after the announcement on Sunday. “I love the opportunity to play at a great stadium; and to play at Ford Field in a controlled environment, it’s a great stadium. We are excited about the affiliation with the Detroit Lions. I think all those things enhance the bowl experience.”

This decision came after the news last week that one bowl-eligible Big 10 team could be left out as the conference urged schools to advocate with bowls on their own behalf.

“I never felt that that would be an issue. I really didn’t spend a lot of time thinking of it,” Kyle Flood said. “In any of the conversations that I had, I felt very comfortable that as the selections came out that we would have a seat at the table.”

And the Scarlet Knights do have a seat at the table — a possible $1.2 million payout seat with a victory over UNC on December 26.

Though the payout is enticing, senior quarterback Gary Nova is just excited the season isn’t over yet.

“Just being a senior and going out with a chance to win a bowl game and be 8-5 in the Big Ten the first time,” Nova said. “I think that’s a pretty good season.”

Game recap: Rutgers 41 — Maryland 38

Result: The Scarlet Knights (7-5, 3-5) finished their first Big Ten season with a dramatic come-from-behind win at Maryland (7-5, 4-4).

Need to Know: Rutgers rallied from a 35-10 deficit — 35-17 at the half — to win it on Kyle Federico field goal from 25 yards with 6:14 to go.

Gary Nova threw for 347 yards and four touchdowns in the rally and had three 100 yard receivers in Leonte Caroo (104 yards), Janarion Grant (105 yards) and Andre Patton with 101.

Caroo also had two touchdown to tie Marco Battaglia’s school single-season receiving TDs record with 10.

Rutgers offensive coordinator Ralph Friedgen was greeted warmly by fans of the Terps, whom he coached for 10 years before being fired in 2010 and replaced by current Maryland coach Randy Edsall.

Links: AP recap Box score

What’s Next: The Scarlet Knights await their bowl assignment, which will be announced next Sunday. Some guesses include the Heart of Dallas Bowl against Rice or Marshall or the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit against Miami (Fla.)


Nova’s injury severity unknown

Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova left Saturday’s loss to Nebraska with a knee injury and did not return. Postgame, head coach Kyle Flood did not know the severity of the injury (Sargeant, Oct. 25). 

“I don’t and I don’t even know if we will tomorrow,” Flood said. “I think we’re going to have to wait this one out a couple of days.”

Nova was hobbled on the sideline in the second half, but wore a headset. Nova’s injury came on the final possession of the half, a questionable decision to even try and score considering the drive started deep in Rutgers territory (Politi, Oct. 25h). 

Chris Laviano played the second half for Rutgers and passed 4 of 7 for 49 yards.


Recap: Nebraska 42, Rutgers 24

Result: Nebraska (7-1) rolled over Rutgers (5-3)  42-24 in Lincoln on Saturday afternoon.

Need to Know:  Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah rushed for 225 yards  and three touchdowns averaging 11.3 yards a carry as Nebraska handed Rutgers its second straight loss.  Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova left at the half with a knee injury and didn’t return. Nebraska’s Tommy Armstrong passed for 163 yards and threw a pair of touchdown passes for the Scarlet Knights. For Rutgers, Leonte Caroo had 125 yards receiving.

Links: Box score| Recap

Next up: Rutgers hosts Wisconsin on Saturday.

GEICO SportsNite: Rutgers’ 1st Big Ten win

SNY’s Chris Carlin talks with Rutgers football coach Kyle Flood about the Scarlet Knights’ 26-24 win over Michigan Saturday night.


Flood: Nova not vindicated

Gary Nova’s 404 yards and three touchdowns in a win over Michigan were far from vindication for the much-maligned Rutgers quarterback.

Nova, who threw five interceptions in a loss to Penn State in the Scarlet Knights’ Big Ten opener in September, was nearly flawless against Michigan on Saturday night. His career-high in passing couldn’t have come at a better time.

Head coach Kyle Flood, who has stood behind Nova for three years, likes his senior quarterbacks toughness.

“I don’t believe in vindication,” Flood said. “I’ve talked to the team about that. You know, after our first loss of the season, I said to them, I said, you know, winning the next week doesn’t make up for it. You have to turn the page. You have to put your eyes forward. I think the team in general has done a good job of that. I think Gary has done an excellent job of that. I think he’s gotten better each week since that performance.

“What I do think that speaks to is how mentally tough he is, because there’s a lot of positions on a football team, but none of them are like being the starting quarterback, and I think he’s handled that position very well. He’s gotten better at it in his career, and I think this year, he’s done an excellent job. And again, coming off a couple weeks ago, what wasn’t a great performance, he’s put together three in a row where he’s gotten better and I’m proud of him for that.”

Nova, who has had his share of criticism for his play, had perhaps his finest moment on Saturday night.

“It’s great. It’s something you remember forever,” Nova said. “That’s the reason you play college football – for moments like that. It feels good because I played well and everybody played well around me. To get this done for Coach Flood and for my team is great. ”

The Scarlet Knights are now 5-1 and will play a gauntlet of games against the best the Big Ten with a game at Ohio State in two weeks.