PRESEASON PRACTICE UPDATE: Sudden Change Strikes Again

August 09, 2012
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Aug. 9, 2012


NORFOLK, Va. -- The coaching staff was much more pleased with Thursday's focus, intensity, and tempo.

"I feel like we are playing very physical right now, said Wilder. "I feel like we're fast."

The Monarchs donned uppers for the second straight day before heading into full pads on Friday, which means during team drills, ODU is in "wrap" meaning the whistle doesn't blow until the defense has the ball carrier wrapped up.

"The guys are doing a good job of staying off the ground, not putting each other in positions where someone may get hurt with a shot to the back or a unnecessary hit on a teammate. We're really understanding how to practice. Overall very pleased with practice number four."

If the weather cooperates, the Old Dominion football team will take its team photo and meet the media tomorrow for its annual media. Join the ODU Football Broadcast Team including Voice of the Monarchs Ted Alexander and Color Analyst Andy Mashaw live from Tailgate Terrace on media day at

Those words "Sudden Change" were used early again in practice on Thursday as team drills began in the second period for the second straight morning getting in about 25 plays in a10-minute period.

When sudden change was called the offense didn't waste anytime in getting the ball down the field. On the very first play, running back Angus Harper took off for 40 yards down the left side of the field. At the end of the drive, Taylor Heinicke connected with Larry Pinkard on a 10-yard pass into the end zone.

The next few series went back and forth between the offense and defense.

On the very next drive, working on the coming out drill in which the offense was backed up to its own one-yard line, it was newcomer C.J. Bradshaw moving the chains with a 10-yard carry.

Later in the series, corner Reggie Owens broke up Nate Ong's intended pass to Chris Lovitt, but on the next down Ong kept the ball and found the gap in the line to carry it 35-yards downfield. However, the momentum swung back to the defense as freshman safety Fellonte Misher got into the mix with an interception right along the defense's sideline causing a big eruption from his teammates.

As the next series started at the defense's 35-yard line the offense struck back with Heinicke finding wide receiver Larry Pinkard wide open at the 15 and then finding the gap in the middle to avoid two on coming defenders.

Running back Angus Harper was quick to agree that Thursday's practice was much better and that the offense seemed to be clicking.

Harper, who ran for 633 yards and 10 touchdowns, is looking for more consistency in his game this season. During the summer he worked in getting into better shape with fellow running back Colby Goodwyn.

"We'd do 100's or sprints," he mentioned. "He'd push me and we got better."

Sporting a shaved head for the preseason, "People say it's an intimidating look," he joked.

"I feel like practice was a lot better today," also said Goodwyn. "I felt like everyone was juiced up. They went in watched film and saw what they could work on and came out here and improved on their skills."

Goodwyn, who has missed games in both seasons due to injury and averaged 64.6 yards per game in 2011, has the goal of staying healthy this season.

"I feel if I stay healthy," he said, "everything else will fall in to place. As long as we've got good back rotation, me and Angus going back and forth, I feel like we've got a pretty good chance at a run this season."

Take a look at a 360 view of Thursday's practice here.

Tune in to hear head coach Bobby Wilder recap the first week of preseason practice on the Nick Cattles Show on ESPN Radio 94.1 FM at 6 p.m. Friday.

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