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Preview: Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Old Dominion Monarchs

This is a season for two first time opponents. Delaware came to Lane with a long history of successful football. ODU comes to Lane Stadium this weekend, with just 10 seasons under its belt. Tech has to be really mindful that ODU is an FBS team coming off an embarrassing loss. Just the right kinds of conditions for an ambush.

Cam leads them on for the opener. Who does it this week?
John Schneider - SB Nation

There is something interesting about the upcoming contest with Old Dominion University. The program is absolutely brand spanking new. It’s had exactly one head coach, Bobby Wilder, it’s a decade old, and it went from absolutely nothing except some club football to the FBS and a bowl win, last season. You can say that there are lots of folks who do the Scooby Do “huh” when you even mention that the Monarchs have a football team.

That’s no excuse for discounting them. Their record, last year was 10-3, they tied for the Conference USA East division championship, and they beat Eastern Michigan in the Bahamas Bowl. Wilder has only had one losing season in his 10 years there, and that one was a 5-7 rebuilding struggle as a sophomore team in C-USA.

Currently ODU is 2-1, with a 31-17 win over Albany, and a 17-7 ‘W’ against UMass. Their loss came last week. They lost to Carolina, 53-23. Some homers might take some comfort in that margin of victory, but I doubt that Justin Fuente is going to. We shouldn’t either.

Let’s get down to a little turkey, here. Tech’s largest advantage in this game, besides program depth, and talent at most positions, is that the Monarchs are starting the youngest player in NCAA football at quarterback. Steven Williams, Jr. is all of 17 years old. You’d never think that the two years and some between Josh Jackson and Williams would be significant, but Saturday at 2:00pm that number might as well be the New River Valley gorge.

ODU’s running game is reasonable, but like ours looks a bit like a run by committee group. Nine players have marked significant rushing touches for the Monarchs. In three games the offense has managed about 475 rushing yards (a hair under 300 net) and averaged about 190 per game in the air. Those aren’t stunningly amazing stats, but they aren’t terrible. Yahoo Sports ranks them as:


Passing Yards Rushing Yards Total Yards Per Game
Passing Yards Rushing Yards Total Yards Per Game
182nd 164th 199th
190.0 PYPG 132.3 RYPG 322.3 YPG

The reality is that ODU is very overmatched for Saturday’s contest. The Hokies are way out in front in everything but blue. ODU has lots of blue in their uniforms, and because it’s a white out we’ll see their home colors on the field.

Virginia Tech will win this football game, if, we play within ourselves. The Hokies need to take care of the ball and keep the mistakes out of the mix. The offense is more likely to run into serious competition than the defense is. The Monarchs’ QB is extremely young, and I expect Bud Foster to work him hard. Williams can run, and my guess is that ODU will use that in their game plan. It will be a good opportunity for #LPD to work out some of their issues with running quarterbacks for, at least, a half. I expect to see the 2’s and 3’s getting snaps, again.

It’s important to remember that Virginia Tech can lose this football game. ODU is an FBS school. They are really sore after getting spanked by a mediocre Carolina team and many of them have histories with many Hokie players. ODU would have to ambush us, and then get their defense to pitch a near perfect shutout.

So, Old Dominion University is fielding a very new and very inexperienced football team. A good part of their experienced players have graduated or moved on. It’s a start from scratch sort of situation for them. They have a good head coach and a program on the long term upswing. There are always traps lurking in such situations.

Anything “can” happen. Be cautiously optimistic, but this is not going to be automatic.

Saturday at 2:00 PM, Lane Stadium. Be there. Aloha!



Well what’s the line on this one? How is the game going to go?

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    Are you kidding? Hokies in another record setting Blowout
    (75 votes)
  • 62%
    Fuente gets the win, but keeps the contest down to a dull roar to get 2’s and 3’s snaps
    (197 votes)
  • 11%
    ODU rears up and surprises us, we scramble for the win.
    (35 votes)
  • 1%
    We don’t show up and ODU nabs the ‘W’.
    (6 votes)
313 votes total Vote Now