It was announced earlier this week that the first quarterback that Washington State will face for the 2014 season will be Gary Nova. So, what does this mean for the Cougs?
Nova, the Scarlet Knight’s senior quarterback, had some struggles last year with trying to keep the starting job his. After being the Knights starting quarterback for 28 straight games Nova struggled to keep that up in the last half of the season. In a report by Andrew Coppens he mentions that the last two games before losing the starting spot Nova managed to complete 47.4 and 32.4 percent of his passes while throwing for 277 total yards, 1 touchdown, and 3 interceptions.
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In his career Nova has thrown 39 interceptions with 14 coming from last season so it will be no surprise that the Cougars secondary will have that on their minds with every throw he attempts. He has also thrown for 6,407 yards for 51 touchdowns.
Nova tends to throw most of his interceptions in the first half of the game before turning it around and having a better second half. Last season alone Nova threw 6 touchdowns to 10 interceptions in the first half before throwing for 12 touchdowns and 4 interceptions in the second half.
As a solid passing quarterback who ran for negative-93 yards on 50 attempts last season Nova is not the best when it comes to his mobility. If the Cougars are able to get him outside of the pocket and on the run they will be able to either force him to throw a bad ball or tuck it and run where he is not the most comfortable doing so.
With the backups being RS Junior Mike Bimonte and RS Freshman Chris Laviano, and neither having attempted a pass in the FBS and Nova showing the most improvement from last season, Head Coach Kyle Flood decided on going with him and has said that he is very committed to his quarterback.
Rutgers, who went 6-7 including a loss in their bowl game, struggled in the second half of last season going 2-6 including their loss to Notre Dame in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl
The Cougars open up against Rutgers in the annual Seattle game August 28th at 7pm.
Stay tuned to All Coug’d Up for the game previews and all your latest Cougar news.