You can count Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano among the many people unsure about which quarterback will start for the Scarlet Knights in the 2011 Pinstripe Bowl against the Iowa State Cyclones on Dec. 30. When asked on Tuesday, which quarterback would start, Schiano was unable to provide any insight into the outcome of Rutgers' quarterback competition which has been waged throughout the entire season between sophomore Chas Dodd and true freshman Gary Nova.
"I’m just not sure if I know what the best choice is for the 30th of December," Schiano said. "We’re going to keep playing them both. They’ve both showed at times that they should be the guy. So if it's not clear maybe we should play them both." -- via NJ.com
This season, Nova completed 51.4 percent of his pass attempts for 1,533 yards, 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Dodd posted a 56.4 percent completion percentage and threw for 1,398 yards, nine touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Both quarterbacks had relatively pedestrian seasons statistically, however, the strides Nova made in Rutgers' regular-season finale against Connecticut, in addition to Dodd's three ineffective quarters made this a difficult decision for Schiano. In three quarters, Dodd threw for 141 yards on 11-for-22 passing but also surrendered a fumble and interception to the defense, which Connecticut turned into two touchdowns. In relief of Dodd, Nova threw for 298 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter of Rutgers' 40-22 loss.
It would be a cruel irony for Dodd to lose his starting position to a freshman in the bowl game after snatching the starting job away from sophomore starter Tom Savage last season in his own freshman campaign. However, the likelihood of Schiano using a platoon of signal callers gives Dodd the opportunity to put on a strong performance against Iowa State and to gain back some momentum heading into the brutal position battle that lies ahead for both quarterbacks in the spring.