For one team, it’s about putting together a talented roster. For the other, it’s about “making history,” as their starting quarterback put it.
Old Dominion University, 8-4 a season ago, are once again headed into a season of first: first time playing a full FBS schedule and first season in Conference USA. The questions that still remain- how will ODU’s talent fair against an SEC team (Vanderbilt) and an ACC team (North Carolina State)?
How deep is ODU’s roster? Can Taylor Heinicke’s high-volume passing attack compete with bigger, faster defense of the Football Bowl Subdivision? These are all questions he’s not concerning himself with right now. All he knows is, his Monarchs want to “make history.”
“We would like to go to a conference championship, obviously win that, beat an ACC school or an SEC school…or go to a bowl game in our first year of eligibility,” said Heinicke, who is heading into his last season as the Monarchs’ starting quarterback
“So if we accomplish one of those three things, it will be a huge success for this program, but obviously, we want all three.”
Lofty goals, but then again head coach Bobby Wilder’s teams have had a knack for exceeding expectations.
Then there’s the team in Williamsburg. The College of William & Mary fields seven preseason all-conference selections, which is more than any other team in the Colonial Athletic Association. On paper, that should translate to wins, but head coach Jimmye Laycock says he has to put things together first.
“Yeah, we have some good players coming back, but it’s not who has the best players, it’s who has the best team, and that’s what we’re striving to do is to work together and have a good chemistry among themselves and play well as a team,” said Laycock, who’s heading into his 35th season as the head man in Williamsburg.