NORFOLK, Va. – Old Dominion University completed its fourth practice of fall camp and second in shoulder pads on Thursday morning.
The defense showed continued improvement intercepting four passes during team drills today. Jevon Neal intercepted the first one of the day and returned it for a touchdown while TJ Ricks intercepted a pass down the seam. Defensive lineman Gary Scruggs deflected a pass that was picked off by Phil Paulhill and Aaron Young ended the day with an INT that he returned for about 60 yards.
Offensively, Taylor Heinicke was able to connect with veteran receiver Antonio Vaughan for a touchdown early in team drills. There was also a 20 yard reception from Heinicke to Zach Pascal and Shuler Bentley connected with Jonathan Duhart for a 15 yard catch down the middle of the field. Freshman Travis Fulgham also had a touchdown catch.
Comments from Coach Wilder:
On the overall performance during today’s practice: “I felt like this was an improved practice from yesterday. The coaches and I emphasized with them in the team meeting last night that they were not as physical as they needed to be. With the offense we focused on breaking arm tackles and running through arm tackles. Keeping the ball high and tight. Defensively, securing the tackle and everyone trying to go in a strip. They really focused on that today. I was really pleased with how they responded with that emphasis."
On the performance of the secondary: “Very evident today and I think we had four interceptions by the defense which is a rarity happens around here in practice. We had a couple of missed routes and the quarterback hit the corners right in the chest. We got a tip ball and we saw an excellent play at the end by Aaron Young. We’re seeing improvement in that area. There’s increased competition that has forced everyone to pick up there game.”