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Bobby Wilder Press Conference Transcript and Video


Below is the transcript for the Bobby Wilder press conference.

Last week was a difficult week for Old Dominion, our entire area and our program. The one thing that I’ve learned since I have lived here in Hampton Roads; there’s three phases you go through when you deal with a hurricane; there’s hope, there’s uncertainty and then there is prayer and we’ve been through all of those in the past week. Still praying for those people in North/South Carolina, we still have some kids right now that are trying to make their way back from this. We feel very fortunate to be standing here before you today knowing that were in a good situation in this region.

The bottom line from the game is that Charlotte ran 80 plays to our 56 plays, they were 10 for 19 on third and fourth down and they dominated the clock and we could not get the stops we needed to defensively. We were better offensively on third down but that continues to be an area that we have got to get corrected, third down particularly on defense at this point. Special Teams we didn’t have any turnovers on special teams and we took the ball away from Charlotte on our punt team which led to a touchdown. We just had a couple things on special teams that hurt us in this game, we had the initial extra point that was blocked, we failed a couple two point conversions and then we misaligned on a punt that we didn’t handle on the first punt of this game. So a couple of uncharacteristic things that we already addressed yesterday and I know we will be better at this week. Defensively it was all about third and fourth down; we did not give up explosive plays in this game the longest Charlotte had in this game was 20 yards but the problem was those third and short, third and medium, third down situations we’ve got to do a better job of recognizing the three step and getting into the pass lane. We worked on that yesterday, we’ll work on it more this week and we need better gap integrity in our run game in the short yardage area. On a more positive note our linebacker Lawrence Garner is leading the nation in tackles per game playing outstanding football, Oshane Ximines is tied for the sack lead in our league as I discussed with our team we need more playmakers in that regard. It can’t just be a couple guys right now; we need to develop more guys and we’re capable of doing that.

Offensively we scored four touchdowns in the game, we had 340 yards but based on what we reviewed with our players we left another three or four touchdowns and a couple hundred yards out there and that’s the frustrating part for everybody right now is just the inconsistency. We go through phases in the game where we look dominant in all three phases and then we go through phases in the game where we’re inconsistent and right now it’s a lack of execution and base scheme that we need to improve on and we will. I was encouraged with the fact our quarterback Steven Williams responded after his first interception in seven games and he led us on a drive at the end of the game where he was six for eight for 75 yards and a touchdown. Offensively good news in this game is Laaa Davis performed for the first time. He had two touchdown runs in the game and he will start this Saturday against Virginia Tech. We’ve got a number of positions right now where tere will be competition this week in practice. We’re not getting enough consistent performance from the guys that we are starting. We laid it out to them yesterday, starting yesterday at practice we’re going to compete and we know by competing for the jobs it should create more confidence within our team and that’s the goal we have for our team.

This week we’ve got a top 10 team coming to town, Virginia Tech; very deserving of their ranking they are outstanding in all three phases of what they do. This is clearly a historic game and something that I am very proud and excited to be a part of. I never could’ve imagined when I was hired here that we would be hosting Virginia Tech, one of the top programs in the country and has consistently been a good program and the fact that this is the first of a number of times they will come to Old Dominion is exciting for all of us. There is a lot of excitement around our university in the area to play this game. We’re looking forward to it but the number one thing were focused on right now is playing better football at Old Dominion that’s what we need to do. 

Q: Is there some secret to finding consistency?
A: Yeah, it’s really not a secret. It’s about practice we need to practice better and we made a major change in the way we had been practicing, how we formatted it, how we’re going against each other in practice to try to create more competition. We did that yesterday and had one of our best practices of the year but to get that level of consistency, Scott, that we need to have, we’ve got to be more consistent in practice. It’s been frustrating because our players practice hard but we don’t perform at a high level consistently and that’s going to come from studying more, preparing more and being more consistent on the practice field. That’s what we need to do.


Q: Bobby you mentioned competition in several positions, can you elaborate and tell us where those competitions are?
A: Yeah on defense its defensive line, as of right now we’ve got Tim Ward scheduled to start ahead of Daniel Appouh. At Linebacker Terez Dickerson will be listed starting ahead of Jordan Young. At corner we’re going to put both of the freshmen Geronda Hall and Lance Boykin at our boundary corner position; they’re both going to play there. We moved Jamez Brickhouse over opposite of Joe Joe Headen at the field corner. Both of those freshmen played in the game at Charlotte. Geronda Hall aaused a fumble, Lance Boykin had a fabulous play down the field breaking up a deep pass play. Offensively right now it’s in the offensive line. We’ve got some competition going on there up front at the center position, both the guard positions, and running back. I mentioned that position there is going to be competition there this week. We put Lala as the starter and everyone else is competing to get on the field behind him. Pretty much across the board when you’re in the position we’re in right now and the level of inconsistency we’ve had in the game, everybody’s frustrated with that. From my standpoint as the head coach, the good news to me is the last two games we’ve had moments in both games where we looked dominant on the field. Going back to the first half of FIU to how we ended the half at Charlotte coming out in the second half where I just felt like here we go, were about to get this thing rolling. Then we have those breakdowns on basic execution. That’s why there are jobs on the line right now, its not for a lack of effort; they are putting the effort in it’s a lack of execution on some basic fundamental football plays that we have been running for a long time. That’s what’s hard to put a finger on right now and its important for everybody in the organization to know, players and coaches, we’ve all got to do it better. We’re not doing it well enough right now and that’s why I said it’s so much more about us this week right now than it is about Virginia Tech, we’ve got to fix Old Dominion right now.

Q: Bobby how is your team morale? How is the self-confidence at this point?
A: It’s always a challenge when you’re not having the level of success that everybody has become comfortable with, and I use that word comfortable because there are a lot that feel like we’re supposed to win all of the time. In competition and sports it doesn’t always work like that, you don’t just show up at whatever venue you’re performing in and just roll it out and win you’ve got to compete and play hard. What I’m trying to do right now is really focus on getting them to block out the noise that is around them and to focus on us and what we need to do to get better as a team. Right now what we’ve got to do is embrace this grind that we’re in, this is a grind right now, it’s not easy to show up everyday and come in and face the fact that you are not where you want to be. Tough times call for tough people, you’ve heard me say it a number of times and I’ve always believed that adversity defines your character and you find out more about yourself as a person when you’re going through difficult times than when everything is going well for you; that’s the part right now that I’m really focused on with everybody in the organization. Day to day we’ve got to work to get better, that’s the only way were going to fix this is to get better each day. 

Q: Can you talk about leaving early for Charlotte and all your team went through?
A: As I mentioned at the start, the hope, uncertainty and prayer. I mean when I first got the call on Monday night ordering evacuation, I was right away just hopeful that we were all going to be okay. Wherever we were going and traveling, the furthest thing from my mind at that point was a football game. It was getting 70 players and all of our traveling party ready to go. I’ve got to get 45 players, non-travel guys, home so there was hope to get everybody to an area. Monday night we were thinking it was coming to us. Then the uncertainty was where are we going and where are we staying. Then we need to practice, where are we going to be practicing and if we are going to play when are we going to play. There was also the uncertainty of when we were allowed to come back. I didn’t know until Friday morning that we were even allowed to come back here because the evacuation hadn’t been lifted at that point so we just started driving North by Northeast. So it was all of that uncertainty and then as I mentioned now its just about praying for all those that are involved particularly some players we still have at home them and their families. I was communicating with them this morning on how they’re doing, when they can get back and their families. You go through all of that range of emotion with it and I think I’m probably preaching to the choir. The most challenging part is trying to clearly explain things to 17 to 22 year olds. Explaining to them what could potentially happen, that was the biggest challenge. We made it through and were all healthy and okay.