NORFOLK (WAVY) – Bobby Wilder wants no mistake made about it. His Old Dominion team is disappointed about its 38-14 loss to visiting North Carolina State on Saturday. Though the final score might indicate the Monarchs still have a ways to go before they start upsetting ACC teams, there was also plenty of positives for Wilder to take.
“It proved to our players we can compete with them,” said Wilder at his Monday press conference. “It was 14-7 with a minute left in the half. It was 28-14 in the fourth quarter. So, we felt like if we would have played a little bit better on third down on the both sides of the ball that this was a game we could’ve won.”
The offense, led by redshirt-freshman Shuler Bentley, did not turn the ball over but failed to ignite any kind of rushing attack. The Wolfpack held the Monarchs to a poultry -3 yards on the night, and held running back Ray Lawry (the nation’s leading rusher) to just 15 yards.
Even still, the defense showed glimpses of what it can be. Wilder believes facing a team like the Wolfpack will only benefit the Monarchs moving forward. “What happens is other teams you play, if they’re not quite the caliber athletically of NC State, your players have learned how to play faster. They’ve learned to think faster and play faster. And that’s what you take from playing a team like North Carolina State.”
ODU takes on Appalachian State (1-1) on Saturday at 3:30.