August 19, 2011
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Aug. 19, 2011

NORFOLK, Va. -- While the smoke conditions from the Great Dismal Swamp fire didn't interfere with practice yesterday, it certainly did on Friday as the Football Monarchs had to postpone practice until the afternoon.

"I didn't want the players going through the rigorous practice we had planned with not having the ability to breath the fresh air," said head coach Bobby Wilder. "It wasn't a good situation for our players, coaches, trainers, managers, anybody."

Instead of morning drills, the Monarchs lifted and took to the Powhatan practice fields in the afternoon with much clearer air.

The primary emphasis for Friday's practice was special teams work with the PAT-field goal unit and more punt unit preparation, and as a team working on the "coming out" drill where the offense is backed up down inside the five.

"It was really 50-50," said Wilder on the outcome of the offense making it outside the 20 and the defense keeping the offense pinned back. "Both units had some success."

The offense won twice, one of which included a deep route by Larry Pinkard along the left sideline. Pinkard, who redshirted last season after earning Second Team All-Met and All-District DCIAA East Offense with 16 touchdowns, wasn't alone in taking off downfield though. Corner T.J. Cowart, who had a team-leading 11 pass break-ups, was right on his tail ready to interrupt the pass. However, the ball ended up in Pinkard's hands.

The defense meanwhile won three times, one of which included a safety by defensive linemen seniors Chad King and Edmon McClam. Also linebacker Alex Arain got into the mix with a pass break-up.

The defensive line has earned a lot of praise from the coaching staff this preseason and among the starters on the d-line is senior Edmon McClam. McClam and his fellow defensive linemen were noted as the position on the Monarchs that made the biggest strides in last winter's strength and conditioning program. Listen to his media day interview with members of the ODU broadcast team Ted Alexander and Andy Mashaw.

The Monarchs have a pair of practices tomorrow including a scrimmage at Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium at 6 p.m.