Virginia Tech football Old Dominion preview

#75 R.P.I. Old Dominion @ #11 R.P.I. Virginia Tech:

Virginia Tech football hosts defending national Champion and Atlantic Coast Conference title-tilt re-matching Clemson at 8pm on prime-time T.V.
Oh wait, that’s next weeks game?

The Monarchs of O.D.U. have called: “next”? Ah-ha, okay, yah, gotcha. Got caught looking- Coastal vis-à-vis Atlantic -ahead there my ownself. As this was a pretty dang fair to middle Old Dominion football team —last year. And likewise has written one helluva a blueprint for starting and rocketing a football program plum right on up! As Old Dominion University of Norfolk Va., 7-5-7, or Tidewater area fame is exactly and entirely what is right behind the other “virginia” school blinking their high-beam lights and wanting to D-1 pass. What with 281 miles between Blacksburg’s Aan .c.c. premier football team and pragmatically a lot less than that between O.d.u. and the rest of the rivaling gridiron Commonwealth —as this is sure a team “on the come” as they say in the U.K.
The only question is… have they come far enough?
Read on to find, out…

Today’s word of the day is… athlon

(Greek, noun)

  1. labor/task/struggle| pains;
  2. athletic contest;
  3. the 12 points of celestial circle,
  4. the prize.
  5. i.e. what a baller balls all out, for!

Head Coach:  Robert S.BobbyWilder: age=53, (2-1 year; 69-31 overall); has a rep’ for offense and Qb’s in particular. $650,000.oo per.

Baller Wilder grew up in Madison, Maine and attended Madison Area Memorial High School, where he graduated in 1982. A highly recruited quarterback, Wilder opted to play his college ball close to home. Wilder captained the Black Bears to the Yankee Conference Championship his senior year. An All-New England quarterback in 1985, he left Maine as the school’s all-time leading passer with 4,493 yards and with a degree in physical education.

Coach Wilder began as a graduate assistant coach for two seasons under Jack Bicknell at Boston College, where he earned his master’s degree in educational administration in 1990.

Hired in 2oo7, Coach Wilder spent the first two years recruiting and starting-up the program before officially opening for competing business in 2oo9. Prior to this Wilder coached about anything you can name for 16 seasons on the offensive side of the ball for his alma mater of the Maine Bears. He is married and has two sons: Bobby and Derek.

Wilder’s “Aim High” philosophy: “Our goal is simple with our football program – develop future leaders of our country, strive to be Dean’s List Students, & win championships.”

Yes, I’d say that counts, refreshing to see the blast as yes sporting America, you could always class it up while holding, court.

Good on Coach Wilder, God Bless.

Old Dominion 2016 record: 10 up 3 down and 7-1 in the CUSA and won the Popeye’s Bahamas Bowl over Eastern Michigan 24-20.

O.D.U. Defense: (starters back=6)

  • 66th in Total D.
  • 75th in rushing D.
  • 63rd in passing D.
  • #1 in Qb’s sacked (5.4 p/g)!
  • #2 in Tackles for a Loss (TFL, 9.3 p/g)!
  • wow!
  • (Although 117th in power situations).
  • 2nd in dLine Havoc! Solid  vs. the ground game and said to be the best pass-rushing front-4 in C-USA! The Monarchs field a big ole mashed-potatoes looking lumpy Dt and shrewd, slick, turbo-prop looking De’s. #8 (Ng) in particular looks like Denny’s hates him (352 lbs.!) —nonetheless, if delicate and finessed U.n.c. ran well straight ahead and right at O.d.u., the Vice-squad may wanna emulate the same.
  • 81st in Linebacking Havoc. Third in this three layer halt-unit race. And it is the bronze medalist with a big-gap wide margin. As four of last years top-5 Lb’s are gone and the other one -the head coach’s son no less- got arrested/suspended. i.e. this is last years 3rd and 4th string; today!

    Base 4-2-5 set, with off-Man wide.
  • 91st in Secondary Havoc. Deep, as 10 of last years Top-12 secondary guys return. Safety is prolly a little stronger than the 1 departed starter at Cb; although still; there are no dogs and few misQ’s process here. Saw a lotta off-Man on the wide-side or the Will side; with 1 (Fs) playing centerfielder as clearly this O.d.u. D wants to feed you a vegan diet and force you to go throw-game Aquarian and hunt-n-peck your way downfield. And with good reason(s) as this is a run 1st and 2nd fighting D; and they were available to baiting on play-action looks deep down the two (or three) seams.  Smaller lowercase looking secondary upon breaking-tape as well; and they did not seem to have a metric ton of recovery speed either. Most of the Secondary goes 183 lbs. or less.
  • Not a great tacking squad, not making much more than a D+ in geometry as leverage maintenance goes as well. Very army tacking club, “grab, grab, grab” as V.T. Lombardi used to say.
  • Not a super blitzy team, pretty straight-up, centrist football. What you see is what you get here and that prolly does get you some C-USA love. An average to average+ defense overall.

Defensive letter-grade:

O.d.u. Offense: (returning starters=8, tho’ closer to 5, now)

  • 111th in Total O.
  • 94th in run O.
  • 1ooth in throw O.
  • 1o2nd in 3rd down conversion.
  • 37th in Sacks allowed.
  • 40th in TFL allowed.
  • 1o7th in power situations.
  • O.d.u. has vended no less than three Qb’s thus far and typically that’s not a good sign after; well; three football games. Their Qb1 is soph. Blake LaRussa. Blake is a 5’9”, 180 lb. Va.Beach stud who may eschewed as being too, short. Though he’s tall enough at 68% passing and a 122.2 rating. He’s not much of a runner, 10 maybe 20 per game to the good although Blake has earnt the C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal and he’s on the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll. His passing ratio (2:3) is lopsided the ‘rong way; though let’s ask November about that though you can ask today about his Greg Brady ‘fro! (and yes, somewhere Alice the Maid is, blushing…)
  • And yet then there is this… 17 years young Steven Williams Jr. (6’4”, 196 lbs, t-Fr.); a Koufax hurler or southpaw Pivot was just named O.d.u.’s Qb1!
  • wow!
  • As Williams was one of the three aforementioned Qb’s and he’s the only one with a positive passing ratio (2:o); albeit on 45% completes! He does clock a 4.49 forty so maybe Coach Wilder wanted a Qb1 with more ground-game burst? Though his scholastic rushing totals were truncated; not quite a dual-threat Qb look. Although 73 passing TD’s in his final two years as a starter is a smart look indeed.
  • Jeremy Cox is the alpha-Rb here for O.d.u. as an off and on starter for the last two seasons. In his third year this plucky 5’11”, 217 lb. sawed off Sherman tank type runner has some swivel in his hips; as his knack for big rushing plays illustrates. He also has 10 grabs for an even hundy in receiving yardage; and he had solid though not quite dynamic *** star H.S. numbers. 5’10”, 2o4 lb. senior Ray “the dawgg” Lawry, the school’s all-time leading rusher returns though he’s been limited by dings and dents thus far –tight hammie (Godspeed) so the whispers now say. (READERS note: O.d.u. Rb’s are 125th easiest to tackle in D-1 terms).
  • The O.d.u. pass catchers do not have a ton of grabs quantity wise, although they are extremely experienced and they court four guys who average between 15 and 30 y/pc quality wise. Travis Fulgham, Jonathan Duhart and Isaiah Harper all can stretch that damn field and O.d.u. enjoys a 55 yard triple and a 71 yard HR that have hit for 12 scoreboard large already. That being said, 5 of the top-7 O.d.u. pass catchers field a catch rate of between 25-50%! No joke, as these Monarchs are dropping more than just their, scepter.
  • The Monarchs left-side oLine is very young and the strength of this blocking-front is over on the even or right-side. r-Junior, 6’4”, 312 lb., C, Nick Clarke is said to be the spearhead best of the lot and O.d.u. does shuffle 9-deep on their oLine. So fatigue is not an issue here. And yes, Nick does not cut his hair, it’s long, I mean really really long! (UPDATE: two summer suspensions are hurting here, starting left-Ot Devin Hannan in very particular). And before it happens; there are some ugly, chopping, pinning, knee-diving blocks on tape here! Coach Wiles is warned…
  • O will run 3 and 4 wide with a Slot stagger you don’t see very often, could create some eligible/ineligible looks. Lotta read-Option play-actions from the ‘gun to set up what throw game they do have. Though it is a medium to deeper throw game at that. This ain’t a dink-n-dunk offense; it is a heavy betting O. Lotta pocket looks and 1/2 rolls. Williams has something of a sidearm motion; although he’s got a dang canon with a quick release as he throws 35-40+ on such a snappy looking wrist action alone. Strange deep loading wind-up as well; very street, pick-up game looking. (Like he’s never much been textbook coached-up).
  • 57% run:pass 43% matrix.

Offensive letter-grade:

Monarchs Special Teams: (1 returns)

Nick Rice is the O.d.u. kicker. Nick goes 6’1”, 184 lbs. as a t-freshman kicker and he’s 8 for 8 on P.A.T.’s and 75% (3-4) on FGA’s with a long make of 48 collegiate yards. As you will read below, his one miss was a chip-shot block; so Nick’s actually fairly close to having never missed; and hence his self-tag of: “Mr. Dependable”. As this Tampa area imported Floridian’s favorite food is: tacos and he listens to: “Hey there Delilah” to stay loose prior to kicks. And yah; next time I know what that means will be the first… still yet, I do know that a legit 4.75 forty and a 365 lb. back-squat is pretty dang tight for being a rookie year 184 lb. voter. Rice is said to have a bionic leg with a 65 yard long in practice; he punted and handled KO’s in high school and was an all-state Georgian before heading to the Plant H.S. football factory in Florida. His dad is a former “the” OH.State punter and yet Nick did not have a very lucrative offer sheet; I guess it depends who you ask…

  • 43rd in punt returns and 16th in KO returns.
  • 40th in punt coverage and 75th in the suicide squad.
  • ODU has allowed no punt blocks and blocked no punts themselves.
  • ODU has allowed 1 blocked FGA, and blocked no kicks themselves.
    (ADD-in: FGA and P.A.T. protect teams look small; in particular in the middle)

Billy Cate all big ole 6’5”, 192 lbs. second-year punter; and he is 33rd in Net Punting in the nation and this is a pretty fair to middling Punter by-the-bye. Same as Nick, has a big ole 70+ howitzer of a leg, can FGA/P.A.T. kick in relief and has never missed in college at either. Bill was rated a five star punter (*****) by one-on-one kicking; he was also ranked the No. 1 punter in the state of Florida and No. 17 punter in the country by Kohls Kickin. He has never had a punt blocked at any level and was more of a pure punter in scholastic terms in Orange Park, Fla.; Bill runs a 4.8 forty and is not quite so strong/athletic as Nick is. However, Billy is known as: “the 4th down Qb”. Ha-ha, +1, clever on that –as he did play Qb in high school and that does bring a passing threat into play.

Special Teams letter-grade: (the O.d.u. special-teams are decent enough; maybe not epic though passable indeed: B)

Unit Rankings:

  1. VT D.
  2. VT O.
  3. O.d.u. D.
  4. O.d.u. O.


  • motive: gotta be bigger deal for the little guy here. VT is clearly in the Clemson look ahead cognitive trap as well. Edge=ODU.
  • weather: N/A. Good as can be; happy Equinox all!
  • health: these Monarchs are already crowed; by plague. As poor O.d.u. lists a staggering 9 people in their 2-deep out or questionable here. God Bless; major edge=VT.
  • penalties: actually, the 9th best Monarchs are one of the few teams we play that wins the yellow handkerchief battle. Edge=ODU.
  • intangibles: The Monarchs however are very throne turnover prone at the moment. Edge=VT.
  • fatigue: N/A. Things have evened back out at this stage.


The key to a walk-off game such as this is really... what???

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Illation, conclusion(s) and OPT digits:

Number of Monarchs who could start @Tech=3'ish.

the takeaway:

The takeaway here is… our Clemson prep-game is a football game we really should win; and honestly we prolly should win it going away —if not handily —if not in blowout fashion.


b.Wild indeed!

And yah; I know… rain is rumored to be wet, the Fall Equinox just fell (Friday, 4:02pm); and try as we might… football and beating a mismatched gridiron unit such as Old Dominion at home ain’t rocket surgery.

Mea culpa, I admit all of that… although I’d also like to admit -which is to say: “omit”- I’d like to omit a little playing time and pre-Clemson wear-n-tear for the 1’s or the starters.

And that means coming mentally ready to not just play, it means attending ready to dominate from the word: “go”. You see… that’s how a keepin’ it 1oo Athlon rolls.

His eyes never ever, not once not ever, they never leave that prize.


  1. Δ1=90-95%. VT rolls and beats O.d.u. like a rented goalie. Only foible here would be… how much do you really wanna show pre-Clemson? (Or do you just show Clemson a bunch: “bleep”? i.e. screw with their film-study; use your worst trick-play right on up, set-up, shell-game, 3-card-Chauncy. hustler/chiseler ethos 1o1 )
  2. Δ2=5%, I suppose technically speaking; there is a small chance that O.d.u. could muck around with big bad A.c.c. Virginia Tech here a bit. However, they need some Hokie help in order to so so. And do be fully aware… this Monarch program intends to usurp and rule as 1990’s Miami lyte. As I saw a bunch swaggyness, mouthiness, and a few downright baiting inexpensive things on film. Gorilla Monsoon’s: “international object” should apply for a right-to-work visa here. As things could get chippy if you allow yourself and all this Norfolk civics stickiness to become adhesive indeed.
  3. Δ3=% (this space intentionally left, blank)

the skinny
honestly? Last years O.d.u. mighta had a little something something for a look ahead trap-game bound Virginia Tech football who might very well be playing Clemson, already. This year with this many dings and dents? Not so much.

the closer
Coach Wilder has his bunch playing a brand of wilder football. They are fun to watch; they ball-all-out and they ball-out hard. (p.s. do enjoy their pre-game psych up routines and dances to the max’; very very entertaining/fun to watch).

Nevertheless, if we/Virginia Tech get upset on Saturday… that’s on us.

As no matter how much these Monarchs would love to crown us… this 2017 O.D.U. campaign just ain’t got “…all the kings horses and all the king’s men.

Get this one over with A.S.A.P., then get Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom (Tiger) Safari right!

upset Index=3%

Virginia Tech=59, Old Dominion=6