Nova Hungry for Road Win

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Gary Nova is banged up, but that is nothing new for the tough Rutgers senior quarterback. Nova is not 100 percent since his injury against Nebraska, said head coach Kyle Flood. That will not stop him from a final regular-season start Saturday against Maryland.

Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova is 1-2 since his knee injury against Nebraska with 371 passing yards, a 47 percent clip, two touchdowns and three interceptions.

Nova is not 100 percent nor will he be against Maryland Saturday, said coach Kyle Flood.

“I don’t think he’ll be all the way back this season – maybe in a couple of weeks,” Flood said. “I think each week, he’s a little bit better and maybe a little bit closer to 100 percent, but I don’t think he’ll be 100 percent.”

Nova left the locker room in a walking boot since his injury. He played through pain before his senior year, and is not concerned about doing it again.

“At this point, I feel like nobody’s 100 percent,” Nova said. “I’ve just got to fight through it. I’ve just got to go out there and have fun.”

Quarterback health is not a concern for Rutgers (6-5, 2-5). A potential 7-5 finish, however, means something to Flood and his program.

“Coach put up a slide [Tuesday] that said – 7-5 or 6-6, it’s a big difference,” Nova said. “It’s big for a lot of reasons, recruiting, all of that stuff. For us it’s just getting that first road win in the Big Ten. With how close Maryland is to here, it has the potential to be a good rivalry. We have to start it off the right way.”

Rutgers and Maryland recruit the same ground, and battle for bragging rights now on an annual basis.

The Scarlet Knights have not won a conference home game since they beat SMU in triple overtime last season. They have not yet won a road conference game as Big Ten members.

“It would be a big deal [to win], because we want to get our first Big Ten road win,” Nova said. “We want to prove we can do it. We want to win this one for coach Flood and everybody.”

“We can’t allow ourselves to get caught up in that, though. Getting a win is enough for me. Getting our first Big Ten road win is enough for me. I’m going to try to do whatever it takes to get ready and to win. After the game, everything else takes care of itself.”

Rutgers has losses to Ohio State, Nebraska and Michigan State on the road, but learned necessary lessons in defeat, Nova said.

“You really have to execute to win on the road in the Big Ten, and we haven’t been able to do it yet,” Nova said. “We’re preparing better because we know what to expect now. We had a great [Tuesday] at practice. We have to meet with our position coaches.”

The Terps give up 31.7 points per game in Big Ten play, and have similar blowout losses to Rutgers when it comes to games against Wisconsin and Ohio State.

“They’re really sound,” Nova said. “They’re really disciplined. The more I watch them, the better they look. They don’t get blocked. They get off their blocks quick. No. 93 (Andre Monroe) just plays with a lot of effort, causes some havoc. We really need to be on point.”

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