What ODU coach Bobby Wilder said about ECU

Old Dominion coach Bobby Wilder met with the local media in Norfolk on Monday for his weekly press conference. Along with talking about the Monarchs’ hard-fought loss to Virginia, Wilder also spoke about the upcoming East Carolina game.

The kickoff on Saturday is set for 6 p.m. from S.B. Ballard Stadium and the game will be televised on ESPN+. ECU enters the game 2-2, while ODU comes in at 1-2.

“This week’s opponent, East Carolina, they’re 2-2 overall. They’ve lost to two very good teams on the road, North Carolina State, and Navy. We have not beaten East Carolina to this point. We’ve played them twice, both at their place, both very good games. So we’re looking forward to having this game at home. Their head coach Mike Houston comes from JMU, a good football coach. He’s trying to put his stamp on the program with the things they’re doing. Offensively, Holton Ahlers is a very explosive player. He had a 50-yard TD run against us last year. He’s a dual-threat guy. He can throw it, he can run it. We’ll have to do a good job against him. They’re averaging nearly 400 yards a game, so they’re good on offense. Good skill guys, solid upfront. Defensively, they’re only allowing 23 points, 354 yards at this point. (Alex) Turner and (Jalen) Price, their defensive tackles, are as good as we’ll play against this year. Those two guys are disruptive, they hit the quarterback and they’re really hard to run on. They’re fast and physical on defense, and then they’re excellent on special teams. They’ve got arguably one of the best kickers in the country in Jake Verity. He’s 9-for-11 on field goals. He hit that game-winner last year against us. And they punt the ball well. (Jonn) Young is averaging 41 yards. This will be a major challenge for us, but we’re excited to be back home. It’s been four weeks since we’ve been at home, which seems like an eternity when you’re in the season, to have that amount of time with the two road games and the bye. There’s definitely no place like home, so we’re looking forward to being back.”


“The number one thing they’re trying to do is become more of a run-first team. Last year, they were a throw it all over the yard team. They had a different quarterback. They threw the ball for 400 yards against Memphis and Central Florida, two of the best teams in the AAC, last year. This year, what Mike is trying to do is get the run game established and throw off the run. That’s what they’re trying to do right now offensively. Eventually, I know Mike will be successful at it, he’s been successful everywhere he’s been. I’m just hoping he’s not successful at it this Saturday.”

Posted on: Sep 23, 2019

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