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August 20, 2012The much-anticipated battle for the starting quarterback position came to a close this morning when head coach Kyle Flood announced sophomore Gary Nova had bested junior Chas Dodd in the competition that had been ongoing since spring practice.
Nova, who started five games last season and posted a 3-2 record, had been the more consistent performer of the two throughout training camp, though Dodd put together a late flurry of strong performances to keep himself in contention, including a 23-of-39, 286-yard, four touchdown output in Saturday's scrimmage.
"We are fortunate to have two talented quarterbacks who have won big games for us," said Flood. "This has been an excellent competition but Gary's body of work ultimately won the job."
As a true freshman in 2011, the 6-foot-2 Nova completed 116-of-227 passes for 1,553 yards and 11 touchdowns, also tossing nine interceptions. He relieved Dodd at Syracuse and led the Scarlet Knights to a 19-16 comeback victory in overtime before throwing for two touchdowns apiece in his first two career starts, victories over Pittsburgh and Navy. Nova tossed for a career-high 298 yards in the season finale at Connecticut.
Dodd, who has started 15 games the past two seasons, threw for 1,574 yards and 10 touchdowns (seven interceptions) in nine games (eight starts). He came off the bench against South Florida and spearheaded an overtime victory of his own. He started the final three games of the regular season and the Pinstripe Bowl victory over Iowa State
Rutgers opens the 2012 season Saturday, Sept 1 at Tulane. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET with live national coverage at CBS Sports Network.
Check back in with Scarlet Nation as we will have more from each quarterback and from head coach Kyle Flood when they address the media following the afternoon practice of today's double session