Imagine entering the season with high expectations, starting with a 0-3 record, then pulling off the biggest win in Old Dominion University’s school history.
Following their victory over Virginia Tech in one of college football’s greatest upsets ever, Old Dominion University suffered another disappointing loss to East Carolina University the very next week. It’s certainly a lot to digest in only four weeks for ODU Head Coach Bobby Wilder.
Appearing on ESPN Radio 94.1 Monday, Wilder talked about his team’s first game since pulling off an improbable victory over the Virginia Tech Hokies. And keeping with the theme of the young season, things did not go as planned over the weekend.
“You go from the biggest victory in the history of the program, you’re thinking letdown, right? There was no letdown out of this group,” Wilder said. “We trailed four times in this game and we just kept coming back.”
In the end, the Monarchs didn’t have enough to outlast the Pirates, falling by a score of 37-35. Just a week after the most memorable win in school history, reality is starting to sink in for the 1-4 squad. The ups and downs of a football season are unprecedented.
But even as his team sits at the bottom of the C-USA East standings, the coach couldn’t help but reflect on the whirlwind week that was in Norfolk, starting with the victory over the Hokies.
“We went through the anatomy of an upset. I talked to them about the 1980 United States Olympic hockey team,” Wilder said of his team’s preparation for the Virginia Tech game. “I talked to them about how this was a historical moment that they would never forget. We had to have belief in each other.”
ODU’s 49-35 win over the Virginia Tech made them the talk of the college football world. And even if the euphoria only lasted for a week, it was worth it for Wilder and his crew of underdogs.
“I said to the team after the game that this was one of the biggest moments in the history of Old Dominion University,” said Wilder. “This is something they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.”
ODU will look to bounce back this Saturday against a tough Florida Atlantic University squad in Florida.
“I’m already fired up about this game,” Wilder said of the matchup. “This is a game that we’re all looking forward to.”
What do you think about ODU’s crazy start to the season? Can they make it to a bowl game for the second time in three years? Tell us in the comments below!