Chas Dodd back at QB for Rutgers, Nova to backup
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) -- Rutgers is changing its starting quarterback.
Scarlet Knights coach Greg Schiano announced on Monday that sophomore Chas Dodd will start against Army and freshman Gary Nova will be his backup.
"I really believe we have two good quarterbacks in our program. And we have some young guys that I think are going to be good, in addition," Schiano said. "We just feel as a staff that Chas gives us the best chance to win on Saturday. Gary will be ready to go. Gary, I fully believe will prepare as if he's the starter and be ready to go. And if at any point we feel he gives us the best chance to win, he'll play. And that's how we do it here."
Dodd came off the bench in the second half this past weekend and rallied Rutgers to a 20-17 overtime victory over South Florida. Dodd threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Coleman to cap a late 80-yard drive that tied the game and helped the Scarlet Knights (6-3, 3-2 Big East) snap a two-game losing streak.
Nova had taken over as the starter from Dodd on Oct. 8 after rallying the Scarlet Knights to an overtime win over Syracuse. He started five straight games but he had struggled recently throwing a combined five interceptions in losses to Louisville and West Virginia.
The Scarlet Knights got some good news with freshman running back Savon Huggins, who hurt his right knee against South Florida. He probably will miss the final three games of the regular season but he should be ready to return for a bowl game, Schiano said.
"It's not good to lose them for anytime, but I'm thankful that it's a blessing that he didn't need surgery," Schiano said.
Rutgers will wear a special helmet for its game against Army, one that honors the military.
Instead of a red helmet with a block white R, the Scarlet Knights will wear a white helmet with a red, white and blue R.
"That's for a lot of reasons," Schiano said. "The big one, the biggest is respect for Army, Army football, and really for all our Armed Forces, both overseas and back here, back home."
Schiano also appreciates what Army coach Rich Ellerson and his team did last year after Eric LeGrand was paralyzed making a tackle in a game against the Cadets.
"When Eric got injured in that game, Rich Ellerson and his entire football team stayed in constant contact, whether it be through notes, the whole team wrote him notes at one point, gifts, Army memorabilia, things that were special to them that they gave, have in Eric's room, to even as late as this summer Coach Ellerson and members of his team coming down to our stadium club and having lunch with Eric," Schiano said.
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