“We’re looking forward to our next game and really excited about coming back to Kenan stadium and the Tar Pit in front of our fans and our students and getting on with our season. We have an opportunity to be 1-0 and that’s where our focus is going to be. We’re going to work extremely hard this week to make sure we’re prepared.”
What are some things that stood out after analyzing the film from this past weekend?
“We had some really good effort throughout the entire game. To point out some of the obvious things that stood out would’ve been our special teams. Our punt team did an exceptional job throughout the game. I think their net was around 43-something. The punt return unit had a couple game changing plays and did some nice things. Defensively, we made the plays that we had to make in the end. Early on we were playing really well and then in the second half we put our defense in a bad position in a couple of series with them backed up due to turnovers but they made the plays when they had to make them. That was a good thing. We found a way to win the football game. Offensively, we played much better in the first half. In the second half, we were pretty much nonexistent.”
What kind of things are being done now to find ways to win as opposed to the struggles early on in the season?
“That’s a great question. I think a lot of it has to do with the chemistry of your football team. As this team has grown throughout the season and through all of the adversity that we’ve overcome, you grow closer as a team. You start trusting your team a little bit more. You care more about each other because all of the work and all of the effort that you’re putting into it. You just give a little bit more. When you do that usually good things happen. You go back to that Miami game when our guys played extremely hard and their guts were ripped out from them in that locker room but you sensed after that we started finding ways to make those plays. I think it’s probably just giving a little bit more each and every play and that’s what our guys are doing.”
Does the possibility of being bowl eligible after a win this weekend come into the equation at all this week in preparation for Saturday?
“Nope. It’ll be 1-0 because I haven’t talked about it in the last four weeks so I’m not going to talk about it now. These guys know what’s going on. They understand but they know when they come in this building where our focus is going to be. That’s very important that it’s consistent and that we’re not all over the place from week to week. Our focus stays in the same place from the staff, from the support staff and from everybody. That’s the way we’ll get it done.”
Comments on Old Dominion quarterback Taylor Heinicke:
“We made comments about him throughout the season when we were crossover film with ECU and Pitt. The guy is special. He really makes a lot of plays and we noticed that as an offensive staff watching crossover film of the other teams and you’re seeing him. He just can extend plays. He’s very knowledgeable. He’s completing over 70 percent of his passes. He makes something happen almost on every play.”
What has changed special teams wise over the past few weeks compared to the first half of the season?
“I think probably some of the problems that we created for ourselves in the first half of the season were learning to not make those mistakes now. Also, it’s a confidence factor. When you start making some of those plays, now you’ve got guys instead of waiting around to see who might make that play now it’s I’m going to go make that play.
"It’s a challenge amongst them to see who’s going to get that big block, who’s going to get that big hit and they talk about it. When they came off of the sideline before I could get to (Ryan) Switzer, it was them coming by going by saying wait till you see that one on film, what to see you this block and wait till you see this. When you’ve got those guys taking a lot of pride in doing those kind of things then it just kind of snowballs and good things keep happening.”
Comments on Terry Shankle’s play as of late:
“I did not realize that he had the game he had in the game. As the game was going on, I saw him get to the quarterback a couple of times but it just didn’t register in my mind. After the game I find out he has eight tackles, two sacks, three tackles for loss and a pass breakup. That’s a phenomenal game. He kind of did it then it was kind of hidden. You went back and looked at the film and he was all over the field and he was making plays in just about every series.”
Did Kareem Martin’s play open up the opportunity for other defenders to step up and make plays on Saturday?
“No doubt about it. Kareem was phenomenal throughout the game with getting pressure on the quarterback and taking care of his gap and squeezing and all the things he’s asked to do. He really was from the first snap played really well. That created some opportunities for some other guys like Terry.”
Does the fact that Old Dominion played well at ECU and at Pitt helped ensure that your team won’t overlook this game?
“I would hope not. We’ve talked about that. We talked about the last time we probably didn’t respect an opponent, we got embarrassed. I don’t think that that’s going to happen. I think all you’ve got to do is turn on that film and I don’t know how many point they’re averaging but they’re scoring points on everybody. We’re going to have to come out and win in all three phases to be successful Saturday.”