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The Rutgers Scarlet Knights lost to the Virginia Tech Hokies in the Russell Athletic Bowl on Friday night to snap their five-game Bowl win streak. Virginia Tech came from ten points down in the fourth quarter and won in overtime 13-10. Rutgers finished their season 9-4 and 5-2 in the Big East.
The play of Gary Nova and the offense lost this game for the team. Gary Nova connected on 17-of-40 passes for 129 yards and one interception. Nova should have been pulled at some point but Head Coach Kyle Flood never made the move. The offense overall only put up 196 total yards and only converted on 3-of-21 third down conversions. One has to wonder if Nova can keep his starting spot next season.
The offensive coaching staff needs to be re-evaluated. Dave Brock was a very conservative offensive coordinator all season outside of the game against Arkansas. We saw too many rushing attempts on long third down attempts and a lack of creativity overall. Players like Miles Shuler and Jeremy Deering were hardly used on offense despite their play-making ability. If Rutgers wants to contend in the Big Ten one can question if this staff can do it.
The Rutgers defense won’t be as good next season. One of the top ranked defenses in the country will be losing multiple seniors and key players. Scott Vallone, Marvin Booker, Ka’Lial Glaud, Khaseem Greene, Steve Beauharnais, Brandon Jones, Marcus Cooper and Duron Harmon will all graduate. Junior Logan Ryan also announced he is skipping his senior season to enter the NFL Draft. The defense carried the team to nine wins this season and it’s hard to imagine a similar happening next season.