By Matt Sugam
PISCATAWAY – After losing the quarterback battle in August, Chas Dodd got what he expected. Very little playing time.
Head coach Kyle Flood said he was going to pick a quarterback and ride through him thick and thin. The first-year head coach did just that, including a six interception game by Gary Nova against Kent State.
“That was what he said he wanted to do and I didn’t think he’d deviate from his plan, so I did expect that,” Dodd said. “But again, I’ve just been working hard, waiting for my chance if I get one.”
It hasn’t come this season. Dodd’s been relegated to mop up duty in games, throwing just one pass on the season. His only meaningful action came at Pitt after Nova exited for a series after being shaken up.
While Dodd has done all he can to help Nova, it’s been a trying season that has been frustrating and tough on him mentally.
“It has been,” the Lyman SC native said. “Any guy wants to be on the field, but again, I’m going to do what the coaches feel is best for the team and instead of going and crying about it I’m going to work hard and still be a leader on this team and do things right and help lead this team.”
Which is exactly what he’s done. And Flood attributes that to the fact that Dodd hasn’t looked at himself as the backup.
“I think the key for someone in Chas’ position is not to acclimate to the backup role,” Flood said. “It is to prepare as if you’re the starter every week and I think he’s done that.”
Still, that doesn’t take away from the fact that he went from playing in 20 games and started 15 in his first two seasons to holding a clipboard knowing he won’t take a snap barring an injury or a blowout.
“It’s been tough. The amount of games I’ve played in my first two years here has been very different then this year,” Dodd. “But again, it comes with it and I’m just going to keep focusing on what I need to do to get better and help this team.”
Which is why that Dodd stayed coy when asked what he planned on doing with his final year of eligibility, stay at Rutgers as a backup or transfer and compete for a job.
“Obviously I want to play,” Dodd said. “But right now I’m just focused on the season and winning this bowl game and that’s what the focus is right now.”