NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Two teams with two different storylines will collide on Saturday. Old Dominion University, playing just their sixth season of college football, will be playing their first ever full Division I schedule.
The Monarchs meet Hampton University, who are lead by a first-year head coach. Connell Maynor, the man who won 45 games in just four years at Winston-Salem State University, will try to turn the tide for the Pirates, starting with ODU at SB Ballard Stadium in Norfolk.
“That’s a tough task for us,” said Maynor, “That will really tell us what type of team we got after that football game; if we’re going to fight for 60 minutes and what we got on offense, defense and special teams.
“That’s a well-coached football team.”
Head coach Bobby Wilder’s team still features a potent offensive attack, lead by senior quarterback Taylor Heinicke, who threw for 4,022 yards and 33 touchdowns in 2013. Last season, Heinicke and the Monarchs had little to nothing to play for, other than pride.
It’s the complete opposite in 2014. “We got passed up by all these schools that we get to play now,” said Heinicke at the team’s media day on Friday, “It’s really cool. We’re all excited about it. We want to go out there and make a bang and prove to the FBS that we belong here.”
Prior to any rivalry game, there’s always some manner of trash talk or “neighborly jousts” expected. There’s only respect from both sides, and it’s no small task for Hampton to try and tame a talented offense, but Hampton junior wide out Leon Shorter did have this to say about the date on Saturday:
“We’re going to bring 60 soldiers, ready to work. Much respect to ODU, but we’re coming to play.”
Fans watching the game wouldn’t want it any other way.