Nova Named Starter for Temple

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Gary Nova will start at quarterback when Rutgers faces Temple Saturday afternoon at High Point Solutions Stadium. Rutgers coach Kyle Flood announced the decision Thursday after the final full practice before game day.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Rutgers junior Gary Nova will not see his 20-game starting streak snap at quarterback Saturday against Temple.

Nova lost a significant portion of practice action to backups Chas Dodd and Mike Bimonte during Tuesday and Wednesday practices, but remains the starting quarterback for head coach Kyle Flood.

Flood announced his decision Thursday, after evaluating the final practice leading up to kickoff.

Flood does not like the phrase "quarterback competition," but listed Nova and Dodd as co-starters after benching his team captain in the loss to Houston. Nova lost practice time mid-week, but said he feels ready for his 21st straight start in a Rutgers uniform.

"I saw improvement," Flood said on the quarterbacks. "And I see areas where he can still improve. But that doesn't surprise me. As long as we're making improvement that's really all we can ask of the players."

The uncertainty at quarterback comes after a brutal two-game stretch for the junior team captain. Rutgers lost 24-10 to Louisville with four interceptions from Nova, who followed it up on Homecoming with three more turnovers in the embarrassing 49-14 loss.

Flood explored other quarterback options for Temple, but came back to Nova after evaluation.

"When I'm in there, I just have to perform," Nova said.

Nova has 1,511 yards, 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions midway through his junior season, and maintains the support of his teammates in the locker room.

"Everyone kind of has a slump every now and then," said sophomore tight end Tyler Kroft, who is second on the roster in catches, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. "I've worked with Gary for three years now, and I've thought the world of him since day one. That's not going to change after one or two games."

Nova threw for four touchdowns in a 35-10 blowout against Temple last season. He will be under the spotlight again Saturday, where he faces freshman quarterback P.J. Walker, who grew up 20 miles away from him in Elizabeth.

"I feel really good," Nova said. "I feel confident about the plan and excited to play."

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