NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – The 2013 football season ended in as rough a fashion as they could have imagined. Old Dominion University, playing its first FBS schedule, lost in a 80-20 blowout at the University of North Carolina.
Ironically, that same ending, along with the perks of actually being able to play a conference schedule, are the reasons why there’s so much energy around the program as the Monarchs begin spring practice.
“Last year, we didn’t have postseason, bowl games, or anything,” said Head Coach Bobby Wilder, “Now there’s that vision of this is a lot like it was in 2011, when we joined the (Colonial Athletic Association).”
That season coach Wilder remembers, the Monarchs were picked to finish somewhere near the bottom of the CAA standings by season’s end. ODU instead finished second, with a 6-2 conference record.
Quarterback Taylor Heinicke, who will play his final season at ODU next fall, knows outside expectations will most likely be about the same as his team heads to Conference USA. “I’m sure we’ll be projected to be in the bottom-tear of the conference, and our guys are excited.
“The guys are excited to play D-I football, and we feel like we can make a statement in the conference.”
They’ll be tested first game out of the gates in their new conference home. ODU is scheduled to open its conference slate at Rice University, who won the conference a season ago.
For now, Spring practice continues through April 9th, and concludes with the Spring game at SB Ballard Stadium on April 12th.