By Tom Luicci
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (Aug. 6, 2014) – Rutgers will have a familiar figure under center for its season opener against Washington State on Aug. 28, with head coach Kyle Flood announcing tonight that senior Gary Nova will be the Scarlet Knights’ starting quarterback.
It will mark the third straight opener that Nova (Elmwood Park, N.J.) has started.
Though Nova’s experience (28 career starts) dwarfed that of his competition, Flood gave redshirt freshman Chris Laviano and junior Mike Bimonte an extended opportunity to compete for the job. Nova’s strong spring showing, coupled with a solid start to preseason camp, eventually proved to be too much for Laviano and Bimonte to overcome.
Nova enters the season fifth on Rutgers’ career passing list with 6,407 yards and is third all-time with 51 touchdown passes. Mike Teel, the last quarterback to start three straight openers for the Scarlet Knights, holds both school records with 9,383 yards and 59 touchdown passes.
Teel is in his first season as a graduate assistant at Rutgers, working primarily with the wide receivers.
Nova seems to have made a connection with new offensive coordinator Ralph Friedgen, impressing with his consistency in the spring and through the first six practices of preseason camp.
He threw for 2,159 yards and 18 touchdown passes in 10 starts as a junior, including a 348-yard, five-touchdown passing game in last year’s opener at Fresno State.