PISCATAWAY -- Kyle Flood insists that it's about the body of work throughout training camp, and not just one scrimmage. His quarterbacks followed suit when talking to the media on Friday.
But there's no denying that Saturday night's scrimmage -- purposely held at the same time as the season opener in a fortnight at Tulane -- will go a long way in deciding who the starting quarterback is.
Flood has said on multiple occasions he'd like to name a starting quarterback seven to 10 days before the first game. Wednesday would be the 10-day mark.
"I do," Chas Dodd said when asked if there was a heightened sense of urgency. "We've been talking about it. Just yesterday we were talking about how close the first game is. Yesterday would be 16 days away. It's definitely in the forefront of our minds that it's coming, it's upon us and we have to keep working hard."
While Dodd and Gary Nova are fighting for the same thing, their approach going into the scrimmage is quite different. Dodd can feel the game-like pressure.
"I think so," Dodd said when asked if the scrimmage had the pressures of a real game. "And I feel like whether it be a practice or a scrimmage we're constantly being evaluated out here with what we're doing, so I'm taking it the same way I would any other day, whether it's a scrimmage or practice."
Nova on the other hand is trying to block all that stuff out.
"Not really," Nova said of the pressure. "I'm just going to go out there and play and do what I'm coached to do and hopefully at the end of the day, hopefully we have a productive day on offense and get things corrected that we made mistakes on and take it from there."
What about the urgency with the first game two weeks away?
"I really try not to think about that stuff because I don't want to be tense or anything like that -- try too do to much," Nova said. "I just want to go out there and continue to play the way I've been playing and just build on it."
So both quarterbacks have a different mindset going into the scrimmage. However once it starts, they both know protecting the football is key.
"Keep us out of bad plays. Know the situation -- know when to throw it away, know when to take a shot -- stuff like that," Nova said. "And like I said, just keep the drives going, keep drives alive and don't turn the ball over."
With a vaunted defense and a powerful running game, it's up to the quarterback to minimize his turnovers. Similar to the recipe Mike Teel used in the 2006 campaign.
"Protecting the ball is one of the biggest things, so that's going to definitely be at the forefront of our minds," Dodd said. "That and just going out there and being able to execute. Knowing where we're going to go with the ball and being able to get it there. Just execute and have fun doing it."