No. 23 Rutgers vs. Army: What We Learned

By Matt Sugam

PISCATAWAY – No. 23 Rutgers bounced back from their first loss of the season to defeat Army 28-7. Here’s what we learned.

1. Gary Nova was able to bounce back.

He didn’t put up spectacular numbers (14 of 17 for 123 yards, a touchdown and an interception) but that’s because the play calling kept him conservative. There was a lot of dipping and dunking, not to mention offense was kept on the sidelines much of the game, running 52 plays to Army’s 85. But most importantly, Nova took care of the football. After throwing six interceptions against Kent State, Nova only turned the ball over. And the pass bounced off Miles Shuler’s hands.

2. Special teams was the difference. Again.

Rutgers seldom goes a game without making a big play on special teams. Today they had two. Both came in the form of blocked field goals. Not to mention the miscues Army had putting.  The blocked field goals were plays that kept Rutgers in the game, and without them, could have lost.

3. Jawan Jamison’s 1,000 yard season will have to wait another week.

After gaining 67 yards on 16 carries, Jamison injured his right ankle midway through the third quarter. While he returned with just over 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter, he finished with 90 yards on the day. He’s now 47 yards shy of cracking the 1,000 yard plateau.

4. Rutgers sits a top the Big East.

Ok, so this game had nothing to do with that. But with Syracuse upsetting No. 9 Louisville, No. 23 Rutgers is the only team left in the Big East that hasn’t lost in conference. At 4-0 and three games left, Rutgers has the inside track to that elusive conference title. Still, nothing has really changed. If both Louisville and Rutgers run the table from here on out, whoever wins that Thursday night matchup to close the season will be the conference champion.

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