Leading Receiver Sanu Weighs in on QB Contest

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Junior wide receiver Mohamed Sanu has experience with many quarterbacks and even played the position himself in high school and in the Wildcat formation his first two years at Rutgers. The Big East's leading wide receiver discussed his thoughts on Chas Dodd's and Gary Nova's battle for playing time against Pittsburgh.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- The Rutgers football team's leading wide receiver, Mohamed Sanu, could care less who starts at quarterback against Pittsburgh. Sanu went through the same story with Tom Savage and Chas Dodd last year, and again the year before between Savage and Dom Natale.

To Sanu, who is already eighth all-time in Rutgers history in receptions, trusts any quarterback that the coaching staff trusts to go out and win a game.

"They're both very, very good quarterbacks and they're both proven winners," Sanu said of Dodd and Gary Nova. "I have total confidence in both of them and I know the rest of the team does too."

With Dodd as the starter, Sanu is second in the country in receptions per game, including his 16-catch performance against Ohio, which was a Big East record.

"He's done it here and he's a great quarterback," Sanu said. "I know Chas. He's a competitor and if he has to come off the bench or if he starts or whatever the coaches decide, he's going to be ready and have the ball on the money."

Nova built an early connection with Brandon Coleman, throwing a touchdown bomb in his first career game. But his second touchdown pass went to Mohamed Sanu and was the only touchdown Rutgers scored in the comeback win at the Carrier Dome.

"I have confidence in him," Sanu said. "Gary is just a smart dude and he knows how to make the throws and the decisions we need. Gary's used to winning. He hasn't lost since probably sixth grade or whatever. I have complete confidence in Gary."

The only question between Nova and Sanu is which one throws a better pass to the other?

Against Syracuse, Nova caught a pass from Sanu on a trick play for a nine-yard gain that set up a field goal.

"It depends," Sanu said on whether he or Nova throws a better ball. "We could go out there and see, but Gary has a good arm. It's very strong, accurate. But I've got a pretty strong arm and some accuracy. We'll just have to see one day."

Also against Syracuse, Sanu said the strong game from classmate Mark Harrison encouraged him after drops plagued his season early on.

"I don't think Mark was off track," Sanu said. "Mark was just a little antsy to get out there and sometimes he would try to go before he had the ball. Mark's a great player, a great receiver. He's our team's leading receiver last year. He definitely knows what he's doing."

Sanu hopes that former Pittsburgh defensive backs coach Jeff Hafley can be a difference-maker in helping the receivers prepare for the Panthers' secondary.

In practice and the film room, Sanu said, Hafley has been a big help this week.

"He helps," Sanu said. "He knows those guys. He recruited half of them. He knows what they can do and knows their tendencies. We're trying to learn from that to be prepared to pop some big plays."

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