Gary Nova Leads Rutgers Past Tulane
PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Senior Gary Nova threw three of his four touchdown passes to high school teammate Leonte Carroo and became Rutgers' all-time career leader in touchdown passes in a 31-6 victory over Tulane on Saturday.
Nova hit Carroo on scoring passes of 3 and 25 yards on the Scarlet Knights' first two possessions, and added the third one late on a 6-yard toss in the fourth quarter. He combined with Andrew Turzilli on a 93-yard scoring pass as Rutgers jumped to a 21-0 lead on its first three drives.
The four TD passes gave Nova 61 in 38 games at the birthplace of college football, two more than current graduate assistant coach Mike Teel.
Rutgers (4-1) is two wins shy of being eligible for a postseason bowl in its first season in the Big Ten Conference, but things get tough with Michigan, No. 22 Ohio State, No. 21 Nebraska and No. 19 Wisconsin on tap over the next five weeks.
Sherman Badie scored on an 86-yard run for Tulane (1-4), which lost starting quarterback Tanner Lee to a shoulder injury in the first half.
The win might have been costly. Safety Johnathan Aiken, who was starting for the injured Delon Stephenson, was disqualified for targeting Green Wave backup quarterback Devin Powellon a third-quarter tackle. He will not be eligible to play in the first half against Michigan next weekend.
Nova was spectacular in the first half, hitting all nine of his passes for 195 yards. He capped a 10-play, 53-yard opening drive with a deftly thrown corner route to Carroo, who finished with seven catches for 140 yards.
The two former Don Bosco Prep products hooked up on consecutive completions of 46 and 25 yards in negotiating 80 yards in three plays for a 14-0 lead with 2:02 left in the first quarter. The last touchdown pass capped another 80-yard drive.
The 93-yard touchdown play came on a third-and-4 on which Nova (14 of 21 for 291 yards and one interception) had two open receivers. He hit Turzilli over the middle at the Rutgers 23 and the fifth-year senior who transferred from Kansas ran the rest of the way untouched.
The 93-yard touchdown pass tied for the second longest in school history.
Badie scored with 5:08 left in the second quarter after cutting a run to the outside and beating the Rutgers defense down the sideline. Andrew DiRocco hit the upright on the extra point and missed a 36-yard field goal late in the half that would have cut the deficit to 21-9
Kyle Federico added a 32-yard field goal for Rutgers in the third quarter. Nova closed out the scoring with his 10th touchdown pass of the season.
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