Can Nova Overcome Disaster 2012 Ending?
The pressure is on Gary Nova this spring. The rising junior enters his second year as the full-time starting quarterback, but he must rebound from a disastrous end to the 2012 season and earn the trust of his teammates.
The Scarlet Knights started 7-0 last season behind the strong play of Nova, but finished 2-4 as the sophomore quarterback racked up interceptions and bad decisions. Though he had a decent season overall, Nova looked lost, desperate and overmatched in Rutgers’ 13-10 season-ending loss to Virginia Tech in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
Nova attributed some of his poor play last year to being overweight and unaccustomed to losing, but says he has lost 15 pounds and developed a more confident, level-headed approach.
Though he has been the starter since the second half of his freshman season, Nova will need the improved conditioning and attitude to hold onto the job. He is one of six quarterbacks on the spring roster and cannot afford to play like he did during the last two months of the 2012 season.
Senior Chas Dodd started at quarterback his first two years before losing the job to Nova midway through the 2011 season. With Ron Prince taking over as offensive coordinator this spring, Nova’s hold on the job may not be firm. If he falters this spring or early in September, Prince and head coach Kyle Flood could opt for the experienced Dodd or one of the talented underclassmen.