Junior wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, as he occasionally does after practice, let some of his personality shine by jumping in with a gaggle of reporters around Dodd. As a team leader, Sanu said he wants to keep everything normal this week and remain relaxed going into a high-pressure situation.
"You gotta enjoy it," Sanu said. "It doesn't happen very often."
Like many on the team, Sanu said he plans to watch parts of the Big East games Friday, knowing what needs to happen for Rutgers to win more than just a share of the Big East Championship.
"It's always nice to know, but I'm not going to let it affect me," Sanu said. "…We all have the same mindset. We're just going hard every time we step on that field and when we're in the meeting room, we're preparing harder than we ever have and just trying to be the best that we can."
Sanu had what he considers an off-week against Cincinnati. Yes, six catches is an off-week for the Big East's single-season receptions record holder. Lining up in the Wildcat pre-play and motioning all over the field got him the ball six times, but Sanu was unhappy with his personal performance.
"I wasn't very detailed last week, as I would like to be," he said. "You have to be more detailed and focused on them. I just have to make sure I'm on the same page as everybody else."
Six catches against the Bearcats put Sanu at 100 on the season, meaning he reached his preseason goal with two games still to play.
"I am [happy] actually," Sanu said. "It's remarkable actually. I threw it out there."
Playing at Rentschler Field adds excitement to the game for two reasons, Sanu said.
For one, friend and classmate Mark Harrison gets the chance to play in front of his friends and family and returns to the place where he scored his first career touchdown in 2009.
"I feel like Mark's always ready and it's going to be more special for him going back home and all his family is going to be there," Sanu said. "I feel like it's going to be exciting for him."
Secondly, Sanu returns to the site of Tim Brown's miracle reception to beat Connecticut, also in 2009.
Needing a score after blowing an 11-point lead, Brown went 81 yards on one play to win the game with 22 seconds on the clock. Sanu, then a breakout freshman, was right behind Brown during his run to the end zone.
"Chas wasn't here yet, but [Arizona transfer Tom Savage] did lace that pass," Sanu said. "I remember actually. I was just so excited and I started chasing him and was like ‘oh my God, he's really about to score.' … I definitely did fall [at the end]."