Confidence Remains High for Nova

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – While the focus fell on Gary Nova's game-winning touchdown pass and offensive player of the week honors, the junior Rutgers quarterback was proud of his performance against Temple for more understated reasons.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – The highlight clips from Gary Nova's big game against Temple centered on his big plays and two-minute drill. But for the junior Rutgers captain, the little things are what made him smile when reviewing the film from the three-point win.

Nova finished with 371 yards, three touchdowns and no turnovers. The biggest change, however, came in his pocket presence.

"I think that was probably one of my better games in decision making, and I'm just trying to build on that," Nova said. "Obviously a good Cincinnati team with a good defense coming in will be a good test for us."

Nova, sacked twice, showed a newfound elusiveness in the pocket. Instead of scrambling fumbles and poor decisions, Nova ran for multiple first downs and used his footwork to dodge defenders in the pocket.

"I analyzed every snap and I watched the incompletions probably more than I watched the completions and touchdowns," Nova said. "I was more proud of the third-down check-downs. Even when we punted, we were on our own 1-yard line and we got out enough room for the punt and flipped the field on them."

Rutgers coach Kyle Flood is hopeful that Nova's bounce back is a sign of things to come. Nova now sits at 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions as a junior.

Instead of worrying about the big plays, however, Nova wants to build on the small ones.

"It's keeping the chains moving," Nova said. "It's four-yard completions, six-yard completions, setting up third and short. It makes it easier."

Nova's teammates said they never lost confidence in his abilities during a two-game, seven-turnover slump. But a bounce-back game like Temple has the receivers excited to take the field against Cincinnati.

"I know that's a game he's going to build on, we're going to build on," said senior receiver Quron Pratt. "Gary is a great quarterback and leader and we're looking to keep it going against Cincinnati."


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