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Bobby Wilder Press Conference Transcript and Video


Below is the transcript for the Bobby Wilder press conference.

Coming off a historic 34-31 win over North Texas. We were down 28-0 North Texas scored with 3:48 to go in the second quarter and from that point on we outscored them 34-3 against a very good football team.

North Texas was 7-2 easily could have been undefeated, they beat Arkansas on the road by 27 points, they are a very good football team. The keys to the come back for us were scoring the final 10 points right before the half. We scored a touchdown and right after they scored we answered in three plays and a score cutting it to 28-7. Then we got a field goal with no time left. The situation with Duhart and Muhammed that led to the ejection of Muhammed really inspired our team. Jonathan Duhart is a very popular player on our team and that situation that took place particularly at halftime, really rallied everybody together and the third thing was how our defense played the final 34 minutes.

Special teams we had a tremendous effort in this game. We won the drive start by five-yards which is big when you are playing a very good football team. A couple of things went against us, we had a blocked punt, we had a couple of penalties, we roughed their punter. Our defense stopped the fake field goal in the third quarter and then also after the blocked punt held them to a field goal and kept the game at a 31-17 game that was a big sequence for us there. Nick Rice continues to kick well he was 2-2 on field goals. He has made nine consecutive field goals. He hit a 48 yarder before the half and then a 37 yarder to cut the lead from 31-27 in the third quarter.

Defensively it was really a tale of two halves. They had 43 plays for 264 yards and 28 points in the first half and then they had 39 plays for 131 yards and three points in the second half. The difference was third down and fourth down something we have not done a good job of on defense all year. North Texas was 2-10 on third and fourth down in the second half. Our defense did an outstanding job of getting off the field in critical situations. Lawrence Garner’s first game back after missing three, he had 11 tackles and an interception, played an amazing game. Oshane Ximines I think played his best football game since he has been at Old Dominion with the tackles, the sacks and just the way he played. He was double teamed throughout the game and still plays, which allowed some other guys to make some plays. Tim Ward played an excellent game, Daniel Appouh played his best game of the year and Pat Toal played 57 snaps and had four assisted tackles. So we had more productivity over-all from our defensive line than we have had in any game this year.

Offensively, was not looking good at half time. We threw an interception on the third play of the game and we had a couple of missed exchanges in the backfield that cost us field position. North Texas is one of the best teams in the league and they hadn’t given up more than 30 points in a game this season. So we really put ourselves in a bad way in the first half. The second half was completely different, we scored on six of our last eight drives in this football game. Blake was struggling early, finished strong in this game throwing for over 300 yards and a couple of touchdowns. Travis Fulgham continues to play at a high level with eight catches for 155 yards and a touchdown. Duhart, give him a lot of credit after what was a difficult situation before the half and ended up with six catches for 80 yards and a touchdown. Isaiah Harper with four for 66 and a huge catch and run on 3rd and 16 in 4th quarter (53 yard play) and then the third and fourth down. 7-13 in the second half, anytime you’re over 50% on third and fourth down, that’s a winning formula, that’s what we did in the second half.

This weeks opponent, VMI comes in with a 1-9 record. They’ve lost five very close games. Scott Wachenheim, their head coach is a good football coach, I have known him for a long time. I don’t have any doubt he’ll have them ready to play. I talked to our players about the importance of anytime you play a military school its different in terms of how you play, the respect level you have for the guy who is across the ball from you will certainly be of that mindset this weekend. This team throws the ball for 320 yards a game, they would be leading C-USA in passing and we have not defended the pass well so that going to be a major emphasis for us on discipline this week. They are very good on special teams, they are well coached and they play hard on defense. So having a military school come in here for the final game at Foreman Field being in a military area, this is also the Oyster Bowl. The tradition involving VMI we’ll be prepared to play a well coached football team and play a good game Saturday. This is also a big day for us with 21 seniors playing their final game so we’ll be excited to play. 

Q: Was there a turning point in particular for Travis where you can pinpoint, I mean first three games he wasn’t very productive and since then he has been playing at an All-Conference level. What do you think has been the reason behind that?
A: Yeah the number one reason is that we weren’t doing a good job of getting the football to him in the first three games and that changed the Virginia Tech game. Receivers are a lot like shooting guards in basketball you know you need to get them touches, shots and they need to feel good about it. We just weren’t getting him enough touches early in the season. Ever since the Virginia Tech game you can see it has happened. He is more relaxed, he knows that the ball is going to come his way. Sometimes it takes us the first quarter to see how teams are defending both him and Duhart. What type of coverage are we getting today, everyone tries something different. Once we do then we come up with a formula whether we need to put them inside, outside, single side, together. So once we worked through that and started to figure out the coverages then we started to see him get the ball. Typically the third and fourth quarters have been better than the first a lot of it has to do with seeing the coverage they are putting on those guys.