PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Gary Nova completed 14-of-17 passes for 123 yards, and threw a go-ahead 31-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Coleman in the fourth quarter to lift No. 23 Rutgers to a 28-7 victory over Army on Saturday.
Rutgers (8-1) capped a tumultuous two-week period since losing to Kent State on Oct. 27 by offering a positive result for a New Jersey fan base that was impacted by Superstorm Sandy.
The university held several initiatives to raise money for victims of the storm, which caused catastrophic damage along the Jersey Shore coastline and massive power outages throughout the state on Oct. 29.
The Scarlet Knights avoided their second straight upset by snapping a 7-7 fourth quarter tie, as Nova capped a four-play, 45-yard drive with his scoring pass to Coleman on a backside skinny post with 8:49 left in the game.
Rutgers added some insurance after two Army miscues in the final minutes.
After Army's ensuing drive following Rutgers' go-ahead score stalled, a high snap on a punt resulted in a 35-yard loss and the Scarlet Knights took over at the one-yard line.
Two plays later, Savon Huggins iced the victory with a two-yard scoring plunge.
With 40 seconds to play, Army's A.J. Schurr fumbled and Duron Harmon returned the ball 73 yards for another touchdown.
Coleman finished with 53 yards on three receptions, including a 16-yard score on a halfback-option pass from Jawan Jamison early in the second quarter.
Jamison rushed for 90 yards on 22 carries, and Rutgers' defense proved to be opportunistic against an Army offense that produced only one score despite being inside Rutgers' 30-yard line four times.
Army (2-8) took the opening drive 76 yards in 16 plays, taking a 7-0 lead when quarterback Trent Steelman avoided three tacklers and cork-screwed into the end zone from one yard.
Rutgers swung the momentum late in the first quarter, when Marcus Cooper blocked Daniel Grochowski's 43-yard field goal attempt.
Eleven plays later, the Scarlet Knights used some trickery to tie it when Jamison threw his touchdown pass to Coleman with three minutes elapses in the second quarter.
Army threatened to take a lead into the half, but Jamal Merrell recorded Rutgers' second block of the day and the eighth of the season by batting down Grochowski's 30-yard field goal attempt late in the second quarter.
Twice the Black Knights fumbled inside the 15, including a crucial turnover late in the third quarter, when Khaseem Greene forced the ball loose from fullback Larry Dixon at the 14.
NOTES: Rutgers saluted the Army in several ways throughout the game, wearing silver helmets with a red-white-blue block 'R' logo on the side and a flag-themed stripes running down the middle. Those helmets are expected to be auctioned off, with the proceeds going to Sandy relief fund. In addition, Rutgers linebacker Steve Beauharnais carried a U.S. flag that flew in Afghanistan when the team took the field. Rutgers coach Kyle Flood, who became only the second Rutgers coach to begin his tenure with an 8-1 record, said the flag was presented to the team by Rutgers alum Diane Movshin, the wife of Major Robert Movshin, a Rutgers graduate serving in Afghanistan. ... Rutgers designed a T-shirt featuring the New Jersey outline with the word "stRong" stamped inside the state, and all proceeds from the $15 shirt will be going to the Sandy Relief Fund. The Red Cross was located throughout High Point Solutions Stadium collecting donations, and fans wishing to donating were encouraged to text message REDCROSS to 90999. ... Rutgers secured an eight-win campaign for the sixth time in the previous seven seasons.