Rutgers plays quarterback shuffle in another Big Ten loss to Wisconsin
PISCATAWAY — The injury was clear. The insult came later.
Rutgers continued to stick with a visibly hobbled Gary Nova on Saturday despite an offense stuck in High Point Solutions Stadium’s rain-soaked turf.
But with backup Chris Laviano on the sideline until the third quarter, it didn’t matter who was under center in another lopsided loss, this time a 37-0 decision to Wisconsin, its first shutout since 2002 against Notre Dame.
Nova was a game-time decision after suffering a right leg injury last week at Nebraska. His right ankle taped with wrapping around his knee, Nova finished 5-for-15 for 46 yards and an interception before Laviano took over midway through the third.
Rutgers (5-4, 1-4) managed 139 total yards and eight first downs.
It recorded more three-and-outs (7) than Nova’s completions in a half-plus as Wisconsin (6-2, 3-1) put the game on cruise control.
Nova’s availability was hardly Rutgers’ biggest issue as a three-game losing streak surfaced, but it revealed its firm hesitations to turn from the status quo.
Nova, who has started parts of all four seasons, has never missed a start because of injury.