ODU Head Coach Bobby Wilder talks UTSA

Old Dominion Head Coach Bobby Wilder spoke with media Monday to talk about the Monarchs' loss to NC State and the upcoming game vs UTSA.

Old Dominion Head Coach Bobby Wilder

On the NC State Loss
“We are coming off a difficult loss at NC State. We give them a lot of credit because that is a good football team we played on Saturday night. We competed hard in this game and didn’t quit, but we fell behind early. I feel like we played much better in the second half. We had some major concerns about their defensive line and quarterback going into the game, and I think their quarterback was as good as advertised. He is one of the top guys in the nation in terms of completion percentage and has played really well in all three of their games so far. We just could not overcome the size, strength and speed of their defensive line.”

They are 1-2 to this point but seem to be much improved from last year. We were able to watch their game against Arizona State Friday night and they were winning 28-12 in the fourth quarter. They ended up losing 32-28, but that was against an Arizona State team that scored 65 points against Texas Tech the weekend before. UTSA plays hard, they’re well coached and they look solid in all three phases, so this will be a big challenge for us. We are excited for it because it is the C-USA opener, and it is the first time we are at home for it. It will also be our 50th straight sellout and our homecoming game, so we are excited to have a lot of our former players back for it.”

What is different about this UTSA team from last year given its new coaching staff?
The number one thing would be their quarterback Dalton Sturm is a year older and has more experience. Right now he is accounting for 75 percent of their offense. If not for the sacks, he is averaging 60 yards a game when he runs the ball. He has made a lot of progress from last season, and in general they play with a lot more energy this season. They went through a difficult stretch at the end of last season. Frank Wilson is a good coach as well.”

How proud are you of the guys for not going away in the fourth quarter and still playing hard after being down by so much?
I’d be more proud of them if we had won. I would be really proud of them for that. The fact that they hung in and competed is a good sign, especially considering we had two really tough back-to-back road games. But even against teams like that, we have to be in the game in the fourth quarter. That is something we need to improve on.”

How do you assess the team so far after three games?
We are competitive and we will compete, but we need to be more efficient in all three phases. We haven’t put a complete together yet. Our defense played really well in the second half against Appalachian State and dominated, but they gave up too much in the first half. At NC State, the defense played well in the beginning but the offense went three-and-out three times.”

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