Kyle Flood gives Gary Nova the nod at quarterback for Rutgers


The Rutgers quarterback competition wasn't all that much of a competition.

Head coach Kyle Flood selected senior Gary Nova to be the starter at quarterback on Wednesday, ending whatever battle there was for the signal-caller job in Piscataway. Redshirt junior Chris Laviano and junior Mike Bimonte were given the chance to unseat the incumbent Nova, but they are backups for now.

The Scarlet Knights open the season against Mike Leach's Washington State team on Aug. 28. Rutgers was ranked No. 98 in the College Football 24/7 preseason team rankings, and the announcement of Nova as the starter doesn't really alter the projection of where Rutgers fits in the college football landscape.

Nova threw for 2,159 yards and 18 touchdowns last season as Rutgers went 6-7, losing to Notre Dame in the Pinstripe Bowl to close out its tenure in the former Big East/American Athletic Conference. Nova has been inconsistent throughout his career, throwing 14 picks in 2013 while completing just 55 percent of his passes.

Still, there are a handful of reasons for optimism in New Jersey. Ralph Friedgen was brought in as the new offensive coordinator and he has a quality track record of doing something with nothing. Plus, the team has some weapons on the outside in wide receiver Leonte Carroo and tight end Tyler Kroft.

However, the step up in competition the team will face as it moves to the Big Ten presents quite a challenge. Either way, Nova is the most experienced player at the position with the departure of Chas Dodd, and is within striking distance of setting several school passing records.

The game against the Cougars will be the third straight season-opening start for Nova.

Hopefully for Flood and the rest of the Rutgers offense, the 2014 season will be one where Nova can shed his nickname of "Gary Turnova" and take the next step as a passer.

You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

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