Forget about any hope of Gary Nova being the guy to lead Rutgers to the BCS. Obviously the loss greatly hurts any chance of receiving the bid, but even with a win, you have to wonder how Nova has masqueraded as a winner the past month and a half. I gave Nova credit for making great strides this year, engineering fourth quarter comebacks and overtime drives. In Louisville, it all fell apart.
Gone was the poised, experienced leader the team needed, and in his place was the inconsistent, confused, inaccurate Nova we all remember. Expect all of the criticism to return. Underthrown balls, poor decisions, and just all-around terrible quarterback play. It's gonna be a long bye week.
Some other notes:
- Nova didn't receive much help tonight. The offensive line struggled with bad assignments and gave up 8 sacks. The running game also struggled, rushing for only 60 yards (12 net with the sacks).
- The defense gave a somewhat classic performance, giving up a ton of yards but limiting scoring opportunities for the Cardinals. A blocked kick and a fumble recovery in the end zone, as well as a pick by Jeremy Deering held Bridgewater to two touchdowns.
- Don't bother thinking about the what ifs regarding Milewski's fumble recovery. Even with a scoop and score, there's over ten minutes left in the game. What do you think Bridgewater is capable of in ten minutes?
- Nadir Barnwell is a true freshman, and he looked like it out there. He consistently got burned on multiple drives. The secondary as a whole played poorly, but they were also effectively down two players with Gareef Glashen out and Lewis Toler leaving early with an injury.