Preview 2018: Previewing and looking ahead to the Old Dominion season with what you need to know.
Preview 2018: Old Dominion Monarchs
How do you know Old Dominion football is on the right track?
It was bad last season, and yet it still came really, really close to being okay.
The 2016 team turned into one of the nation’s bigger surprises, going 10-3 with a Bahamas Bowl win over Eastern Michigan. The problem? The Monarchs fattened up on a whole lot of mediocre teams to get there.
Whatever – that’s Conference USA at times. Beat who’s on the schedule, and if you’re ODU, take the wins and don’t ask questions.
But last season, even with one of the least-efficient and effective passing games in the country; and despite the scoring falling off the map; and with a rough year for the special teams allowing five blocked kicks; and with a secondary that got bombed on for well over ten yards per pass … the Monarchs still went into the final week with a chance at bowl eligibility.
Again, there were a whole lot of wins over bad teams, but it could’ve been a lot worse.
So, is ODU now closer to being that ten-win team of ’16, or is it closer to being the one that struggled way, way, way too much to get by horrendous Charlotte and Rice teams, and with three of the five wins by a touchdown or less?
The quarterback play will be better this season. Steven Williams got his freshman season out of the way, and he has a few veteran weapons to work with. Best of all, the line should be terrific to work behind.
The pass rush will be terrific, the linebackers are good, and three starters are back in the five-man secondary. As long as the offense can go on more long, sustained drives, the defense should be stronger.
Throw in top-shelf coaching from head man Bobby Wilder, and things are okay.
But things have to be okay with a winning season. That’s where the bar was set two years ago, and it hasn’t been lowered.