Rutgers QB Preview 2012: Resolve Starter Issue or Flood's First Season Will Fail

Mark BatorAnalyst IIAugust 13, 2012

LOUISVILLE, KY - OCTOBER 21:  Gary Nova #15 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights throws a pass during the game against the Louisville Cardinals at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on October 21, 2011 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

"Sure, luck means a lot in football. Not having a good quarterback is bad luck."—former Miami Dolphins' head coach Don Shula.

Aside from the uncertainty of Kyle Flood's first season as head coach, the unsettled starting quarterback situation for Rutgers is the most glaring question facing the program in 2012.

“What I would stress to everybody is that when the ultimate decision is made," said head coach Kyle Flood during Rutgers' fall camp according to an article by The Star-Ledger's Tom Luicci on "It won’t be based on one day. It’s going to be based on a body of work.”

Last season, Gary Nova and Chas Dodd split the duty under Greg Schiano's direction, even sharing time at quarterback during the Scarlet Knight's postseason bowl appearance.

The two were nearly statistically identical in 2011.

Dodd, a junior, started eight of the Knights' 13 games last season, with a 56.7% completion percentage (139 of 245) with seven interceptions, passing for 1,574 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Nova, a sophomore, was 116 of 227 (51.1%) in his five starts last year, with 1,553 yards passing, nine interceptions and 11 touchdowns.

By all accounts, the camp battle has been close, and Flood's ultimate decision is not expected until about a week before the opening game on September 1. Until that time, the battle is under daily scrutiny, with teammates, media and fans looking for the slightest indication of which way Flood is leaning.

"Just watching it on the field," Flood said after a recent practice, as reported by The Star-Ledger's Tom Luicci on, "I think Gary probably had a little bit better day than Chas did."

Regardless of who starts and who is the backup, the third-string is almost certainly sewn-up by redshirt freshman Mike Bimonte from Manalapan, New Jersey. As a high school senior, Bimonte threw for over 1,700 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Also currently on the roster during fall camp are true freshmen Richard Czeczotka and Blake Rankin. It is doubtful that the Knights will keep five quarterbacks on the roster, and both of these freshmen are likely to sit out the season. The competition will be even more intense next year, when Rutgers' 2013 recruit Chris Laviano joins the program.

For now, as the clock ticks down towards the start of the season, the intensity of competition in camp increases for the starting quarterback job.

"I'm really pleased with the way they've handled it. Again, over time, we'll assess the results," Flood said.