BRIAN SCOTT, Offensive Coordinator
What can you tell us about Eastern Michigan?
“Very, very improved defense from what we played against last year. They have a new defensive coordinator. They play a very base defense. They don’t blitz a lot. Their defensive front is very good. They have an all-conference defensive end, Pat O’Connor (Sr., DL), who two years ago when we played them absolutely destroyed us – wreaked a lot of havoc in our backfield. So, we’re going to have to block him.
“They’re going to make you earn what you get. They don’t give up a lot of big plays. They make you go down the field, get first downs and execute, so we are going to have to be on our “A” game.
“It’s going to come down to our O-line vs. their D-line. That’s going to be the big match-up.”
Today was your first practice in Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium. What were your thoughts on the facility?
“It was awesome. What a set-up. They just put in brand new Bermuda grass field that is unbelievable. Probably as good of a grass field I’ve ever played on. It was like playing on a real nice golf course, playing on the fairway, it’s that nice. The stadium is a really good set-up.
“The biggest thing I’m worried about is not the heat or humidity, but the wind. I think there is going to be a 10-20 mph win on Friday and to me that’s as scary as anything else. I’d take rain over wind when it comes to throwing the football. But the stadium set-up overall, what a job that field crew has done to get that field right because that thing was plush.”
Have you had an opportunity to have any fun on the trip?
“Had a blast. Just practicing in the morning, a quick meeting right after practice, then running around, hanging out by the pools and the water slides. It’s been great. It’s a great bowl set-up. They’ve done a great job. What a treat to come here for our first bowl game, especially for our kids and our fans. This has been outstanding.”
RAY LAWRY, Jr., RB
How has practice gone and have you adjusted to the weather?
“We’ve adjusted. Practice has gone really well. We’re doing what we usually do, nothing different. Just a different setting. We’re just practicing how we practice and focus on (getting) the win.”
What was your thought on the stadium and the field?
“It’s nice. It’s bigger than it looks in the pictures. It was a nice stadium. I’m excited.
“The field is good. I like playing on grass better than turf actually. I like that it is grass.”
What are your thoughts on Eastern Michigan?
“Eastern Michigan is a good team. They played a lot of good teams this year and they held their own. I know they’re going to come ready to play, so we’ve got to do what we do on offense.”
ZACH PASCAL, Sr., WR
First day in the stadium, what did you think of the facility?
“The stadium was great. It was amazing. When I walked on to the grass, it felt really good. My cuts were amazing and I’m very excited.”
Thoughts on the EMU defense?
“They have a great defense. They are a bend but not break type of defense. They don’t give up a lot of big plays. You’ve got to really execute and do all your assignments correctly. If not, they can put up a lot of points on you.”
How much did you enjoy swimming with the dolphins yesterday?
“Swimming with the dolphins was amazing. That was my first time interacting with dolphins. I learned a lot of things about the dolphins. When I think of dolphins now, I think of my dogs back home. They’re very strong and muscular, but they just want to play around and have fun. They pushed me through the water. I had an amazing time.
“They are definitely smart. I did not know dolphins were that smart.”
What would it mean to the program to win the bowl game?
“It would mean a lot to the program. It would be very exciting. Being the first team in Old Dominion history to go to a bowl game, and to also win it, it would be a great feeling.”
(From December 20th)
HEAD COACH BOBBY WILDER
Quote from Tuesday on the similarities between ODU and EMU:
“Very much so (the teams are similar). You can look at both teams, you can look at the success of the quarterback, you can look at the success of the defensive line, you can look that both offensive lines don’t give up a lot of sacks. The running backs for both teams don’t have a lot of negative runs. Both teams do a really good job with field position. Both teams do a good job with a situation at the end of the half or the end of the game that need to be managed. I could keep going there are so many similarities.”
(From December 19th)
TYLER COMPTON, Sr., OL
What was your reaction when you found out Old Dominion was coming to the Bahamas?
“Honestly, it was kind of hard to believe. It’s hard to believe I’m here in a foreign country where people dream of vacationing. So, I was shocked, but definitely excitement.”
How are you balancing football with fun?
“One of our big things is focusing on the process of winning. It’s something we talk about a lot. At the end of the day you’ve got to manage your time, just like we do in school. With school you’ve got class, tests, all these things to study for. In the same way, you’ve got to get your football stuff done, and when you’ve got your extra time you go have fun.”
What would it mean to the ODU program to win its first ever bowl game?
“It would be an incredible statement for all the hard work we put in. I’m a redshirt senior, I’ve been here since we were in our last FCS year, and I have been through a lot of transition. It would just be an incredible manifestation of all the work everyone has put in – all the sweat, all the grinding. I think it would just be a validation of all the work we’ve done.”