Schiano tabs Nova as backup to debut in opener


For the second consecutive season, the Rutgers football team is certain it has its quarterback of the future starting in its home opener.

This time, the Scarlet Knights hope they are right.

Sophomore quarterback Chas Dodd debuts tonight against North Carolina Central in his first full season as the offense's signal caller, and if nothing else, the Lyman, S.C., native understands just how quickly that can change.

But if it does change, Dodd has done all he can to prepare his replacement.

"I'm trying to help [freshmen Gary Nova and Mike Bimonte] with everything," Dodd said. "Especially with Gary being in the same position I was last year, I'm trying to help him as far as being in that role goes. Being the second guy, you have to stay calm and cool when you're put in there, so I've definitely tried to take him and the other guys under my at."

Just how many opportunities Nova will get in his first season remains to be seen, but head coach Greg Schiano repeatedly said he plans to play Nova in tonight's opener.

Just like Dodd did when former Knight Tom Savage held the reins of the position, Nova has his ears open to anything Dodd has to offer, and he is not holding anything back as a leader.

That should give Rutgers some assurance this time around that it has the right guy under center.

"He's been there before. He's done it," Nova said. "So just hearing it from him and him showing us what to do has been a big


Anthony Hernandez

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