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.
Result: Rutgers (5-1, 1-1 Big Ten) picked up one of the biggest wins in school history with a 26-24 victory over Michigan (2-4, 0-2) at High Points Solutions Stadium.
Need to know: Rutgers’ first win as a member of the Big Ten was memorable. Gary Nova threw for 404 yards and three touchdowns as the Scarlet Knights beat Michigan in the schools’ first meeting. Nova’s 14 yards pass to Andrew Turzilli gave the Scarlet Knights a 26-17 lead early in the fourth. Michigan answered on a 18-yard scramble by Devin Gardner for a touchdown with 9:17 left in the game to make it 26-24. Michigan made one final drive into Rutgers territory late, and after a controversial incomplete pass was upheld, Rutgers’ Kemoko Turay blocked a 56-yard field goal attempt. Rutgers ran out the final three minutes to secure its first Big Ten win. Turzilli had two catches, two touchdown and had 92 yards receiving.
Links: Box score | AP Recap
Next game: The Scarlet Knights are at Ohio State on Oct. 18.
PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Brady Hoke and struggling Michigan are in trouble heading into Saturday and they have to hope that surprising Rutgers doesn’t add to their problems when they meet at 7:00 p.m. at High Point Solutions Stadium.
Hoke and the Wolverines football program spent the past week under the microscope after the coach left sophomore quarterback Shane Morris on the field for two plays following a hit to the head last weekend in a loss to Minnesota.
Hoke has taken responsibility for the program’s breakdown in communication and plans to start Devin Gardner against Rutgers (4-1, 0-1).
The problems for Hoke and Michigan (2-3, 0-1) are compounded by their play on the field. They have lost two straight games and the three losses by the end of September are the most in the program’s storied history.
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Originally posted on ZagsBlog.com:
Rutgers announced today that freshmen Ibrahima Diallo (Dakar, Senegal) and Ryan Johnson (Greensboro, N.C.) will sit out the 2014-15 season, leaving the team with 10 scholarship players as they enter the Big Ten.
Diallo and Johnson will be able to practice and participate in team activities, but will not be permitted to compete in games after being ruled as partial qualifiers by the NCAA.
Diallo and Johnson will retain four years of eligibility, beginning with the 2015-16 season.
“Ibrahima and Ryan have both worked very hard since arriving on campus and have done everything we have asked of them,” said head coach Eddie Jordan. “We will utilize this redshirt season as an opportunity for Ibrahima and Ryan to continually develop, both on and off the floor. We look forward to the contributions they will make during their Rutgers careers.”
Rutgers holds its first official preseason practice this Sunday (Oct…
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Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood talks to SNY’s Chris Carlin about QB Gary Nova improving over the last 2 games, and also about the upcoming matchup with Michigan.
If Rutgers wants to go to a bowl in its first Big Ten season, beating Tulane Saturday is almost a must.
The Scarlet Knights (3-1) will play their final nonconference game of the season when they face the Green Wave (1-3) of the American Athletic Conference at High Point Solutions Stadium (noon).
Rutgers is a 12-point favorite, but this is one of those games that Kyle Flood’s team can’t overlook. The Scarlet Knights are coming off an emotional win at Navy, they host Michigan a week from Saturday and face a team that was soundly beaten by Duke last weekend.
Flood doesn’t see it as a trap game.
“I look at this game as an opportunity to be 1-0,” he said. “It’s the only way I look at this game. Whether you want to consider it fortunate or unfortunate, I was here in 2010 when Tulane came up here and whooped us in our own stadium. The opportunity to be 1-0 in our home stadium in a major college football game, that’s enough of a challenge for me.”
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Rutgers running back Paul James is out for the season with a torn ligament in his right knee sustained Saturday in the Scarlet Knights’ victory at Navy (AP, Sept. 21).
James was Rutgers’ leading rusher this season and had 96 yards and a touchdown on seven carries Saturday before a Navy player’s helmet hit his knee.
It’s the second straight season James has been injured. He broke his fibula against Arkansas last season and missed the next four games. Flood will now turn to RBs Justin Goodwin (104 yards Saturday) Desmon Peoples (82).
Flood also announced safety Delon Stephenson is questionable for Saturday’s Tulane game with a “lower-body injury.”