Preseason Camp Update: Beating The Heat
By ODU Athletics
Aug. 12, 2010
NORFOLK, Va. -- Day four of preseason practice was bumped up a half hour earlier so that the ODU football Monarchs could beat the heat on Thursday.
The defense won several series in first team drill putting the pressure on the Monarch quarterbacks forcing them to hang onto the ball and find the gaps in the line. Among the defensive stops was T.J. Cowart (Va. Beach, Va.) with a pass break-up as safety Donald Smith (Chesapeake, Va.) was right next to the play to scoop up the ball.
After practice, head coach Bobby Wilder noted that one of the focuses of the preseason for his defense is the potential momentum turn from the defense potentially scoring a touchdown. "You expect to score with your offense, you think every now and then your punt return or kick return might score, but you might not necessarily expect a touchdown from your defense," said Wilder.
The Monarchs ranked third in the nation in turnover margin last year and are now looking to take that one step further. ODU opponents had 30 turnovers and threw 15 interceptions, but the Monarch defense only had one score - a 77-yard interception return against Savannah State by former linebacker A.T. Aoelua.
Thursday's practice also saw the Monarchs, who were sporting just shoulder pads and helmets at their fourth practice of the year, eager to put on full pads and play some tackle football as the coaching staff consistently had to remind the team to stay on their feet during the drills.
"This was a real hump day in my opinion," said Wilder. "Yesterday's practice was just brutal with the heat index and our guys were just drained. I was looking for today for them to come out and possibly feel a little sorry for themselves and not practice hard. I challenged them at the start of practice and they practiced hard."
Wilder, who has praised the Monarchs' conditioning over the summer, had the team go the entire length of practice and included four half gassers at the end.
"They answered the bell," he noted. "This was the practice I was most excited about because this had the potential of being our worst practice and it wasn't. They answered and I'm very happy about it."
The football Monarchs will be in full pads tomorrow morning and take part in their first two-a-day on Saturday. The coaching staff will be looking at how the defense is tackling and how the offense is handling its ball security.
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS:
FOX43 and ODU Football have teamed up to debut The Old Dominion Football Show with Bruce Rader and Coach Bobby Wilder on Friday September 10th. Sponsored in its entirety by Priority Automotive, the weekly show will be broadcast every Friday night at 10:45 pm during the college football season exclusively on FOX43 and WAVY.com.
Last year coach Wilder would yell out "Sudden Change", throwing the squad into drills they sometimes where not expecting. Today "Mayday" was called out and that sent the PAT/Field goal team scrambling onto the turf. "If we need a field goal to win, don't have any timeouts, and say we were at third down and were tackled inbounds, we will yell "Mayday" and that alerts the PAT/Field Goal team to run out. We don't have time to call the protection, we just have to get set and kick the field goal to win the game."
Attention Alumni, fans, and friends...the ODU Alumni Association (ODUAA) has ticket and tailgate opportunities available for the Monarchs' road games this season. Check out the ODUAA website for more information. Deadline to sign up for the Campbell game is August 27th. Click here for details.