Rutger's Gary Nova Earns Manning Award Quarterback of the Week Honor park
Gary Nova, a senior from Rutgers University, has been selected as the Manning Award Quarterback of the Week. He earns the win over seven other Manning Award Stars of the Week in the Allstate Sugar Bowl's Facebook contest.
Nova, an Elmwood Park, N.J. native, completed 28-of-42 passes for 347 yards and four touchdowns as the Scarlet Knights tallied the final 10 points of the game to come from behind and defeat Maryland, 41-38, in a Big Ten road game. Rutgers overcame a 25-point deficit in the second quarter which is the largest in school history, topping a 24-point third quarter deficit in a win at Vanderbilt in 2004.
Nova's 28 completions in the game were a career high landing him at second in school history with 680 career completions. It was his second game of at least 300 yards this season and the seventh of his career. He is now at 9,074 career passing yards and has notched his seventh career fourth quarter or overtime comeback.
Nova's top competitors this week were Logan Woodside of Toledo and Louisiana Tech's Cody Sokol. Woodside completed 14-of-18 passes for 323 yards and five touchdowns, setting his career-high for touchdown passes, including an 89-yard first-quarter hook-up with Kishon Wilcher as the Rockets earned a share of the Mid-American West division championship with a 52-16 road victory over Eastern Michigan. Sokol completed 20-of-32 passes for 387 yards with four touchdowns and one interception as he led the Bulldogs to 41 straight points in the second half to blow open a close game in a 76-31 victory over Rice which clinched the C-USA West Division title.
The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in 2004 to honor the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that includes the candidates' bowl performances in its balloting.
While the Manning Award selected 30 quarterbacks for its preseason Watch List, all quarterbacks remain eligible for the honor. The 10 finalists for the honor will be announced on Wednesday, Nov. 26 and the winner is scheduled to be announced following the College Football Championship on Monday, Jan. 12.
The Manning Award will be recognizing its 11th winner this year. USC's Matt Leinart was the inaugural winner of the award in 2005, followed by Texas' Vince Young in 2006. Both went on to be top 10 NFL draft picks. In 2007, LSU's JaMarcus Russell earned the award and was the NFL's No. 1 draft pick. Boston College's Matt Ryan claimed the award in 2008 and was drafted No. 3, quickly becoming the starting quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons. In 2009, Florida star Tim Tebow earned the honor – he also went on to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. The 2010 winner was Texas signal-caller Colt McCoy, at the time, the winningest quarterback in college football history, who was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the draft. Auburn's Cameron Newton earned the award in 2011, prior to being selected No. 1 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. The 2012 honoree was Robert Griffin, III, from Baylor, who was also a top NFL draft pick (No. 2 overall by the Washington Redskins). The 2013 and 2014 winners were also the first freshmen to collect the honor – in 2013, it was Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, and he was followed by last year's winner, Jameis Winston from Florida State. Both freshmen also collected the Heisman Trophy after their sensational debut seasons.