Crossing Enemy Lines: ODU's Ted Alexander

The play-by-play voice of the Old Dominion Monarchs, Ted Alexander, provides a different perspective to this weekend's opener at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

Q: There has been a large amount of growth for ODU's football program since its birth in 2009. Can you describe the progress that has made, seemingly, on an annual basis?

A: "It's been unbelievable. They've played four years of football and have won 38 out of 48 games. They have just gotten bigger and better and with each year comes a new challenge, and this year it's (Football Bowl Subdivision) for the first time."

Q: How is this game against East Carolina being received by the fanbase in Norfolk, VA, and approached by head coach Bobby Wilder and the coaching staff?

A: "It's the biggest game we've ever played. We never played an FBS school, we've never played in an arena that had more than 24,000 fans there. It's going to be a huge task, but it's one they have been looking forward to; it's natural progression. Everybody knew when they started football again at Old Dominion in 2009 … about going to FBS, with that all of the conference shakeups, it's happening a little faster than people might of thought. But here we are and we're jumping in the deep end."

Q: Is there anything Wilder has done at practice to prepare for the atmosphere at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium? How much of concern is it?

A: "I think it's like when you walk into a dark room. Before you turn the light on, your mind can take you to whole bunch of different places, but it's still football. The Pirates still put on their uniforms one leg at a time and they wear helmets and shoulder pads. So it's going out there and trying to enjoy the moment, rather than fear it and I think that's what he's trying to get across."

Q: What are some of the things that quarterback Taylor Heinicke does so well?

A: "He can read defenses really well, he knows the offense really well, he's got a strong arm, (and) wonderful mechanics. The only thing he doesn't have is press-guide-height and weight. If he had that, everyone would be chomping at the bit to get him to play for them, but we've been lucky to have him here."

Q: What facets of Old Dominion's game do you expect to jump out to ECU fans, who may be watching the Monarchs for the first time?

A: "I think you'll see they like to play fast. Their next huddle will be their first one, no huddle, shotgun all of the time … you'll see a lot of traveling receivers, they'll probably play seven or eight receivers. If the offense is working well, it's quick, timing routes, precision passing and grinding out yards."

Q: What are the keys for Old Dominion to upset ECU?

A: "The first thing they are trying to is just to compete. It's going to be interesting to see when the first wave of emotion passes by and you take your first punch or two, are you still standing? Are you still able to get off the mat and deliver punches of your own? Playing their game rather than trying to get caught up in the atmosphere of Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium and Pirate Nation. It's trying to stick to the game plan and the ability of which they can do that will determine how successful they are."

Q: What would a win against ECU mean to Old Dominion's program?

A: "It would be the biggest win ever. This is the biggest challenge we've faced and we have no idea whether we'll get our clocks cleaned, our hat handed to us, you might go out there and compete and have confidence that will wash over us for the rest of the season; we just really don't know. But I do know that the excitement is incredible, the folks at ECU have been nothing but nice to us … we're really looking forward to the opportunity and couldn't think of a better way to start our FBS career than at ECU."


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