Rutgers vs. Virginia Tech in the Russell Athletic Bowl: what we learned

By Matt Sugam

Rutgers lost to Virginia Tech 13-10 in the Russell Athletic Bowl to cap off  their season. Here’s what we learned from the game:

1. Gary Nova’s struggles continue.

He threw 12 interceptions in the final five regular season games. He now ends the season with an atrocious game, going 17-of-40 for 130 yards and an interception. During an early stretch of  the season, Nova went four games without an interception. At this point, that seems like an eternity ago.

2. The nations’ best streak ends.

Heading into the game, Rutgers was tied with Mississippi State for the longest bowl winning streak in the country at five. It’s a streak the Scarlet Knights were extremely proud of, priding themselves on their ability to win bowl games. After the loss today, it’s been snapped.

3. Rutgers won the battle of Beamer Ball.

Beamer ball is predicated on big, point changing plays on defense and special teams. Rutgers won that battle tonight. While neither team had a big play on special teams, Rutgers scored a touchdown 30 seconds into the game on a fumble recovery in Virginia Tech’s end zone. They also had three interceptions while the Hokies had an interception and a fumble recovery. However, Virginia Tech hit their field goal in overtime and Rutgers didn’t, costing them the game.

4. The skid continues.

After a 7-0 start, Rutgers went 2-4 down the stretch, including a three game losing streak to end the season. Yes, going into the offseason with a bowl win can be overplayed. But it doesn’t get much worse than ending a once promising season with a three game losing streak.

5. So much for Jawan Jamison being 100%.

He insisted he was for the first time since injuring his ankle against Army. And he very well could have been. But he tweaked his right ankle in the game today and didn’t finish the game, finishing with just 24 yards on 13 carries.

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