Old Dominion coach Bobby Wilder said he doesn’t think Hurricane Sandy will affect his team’s preparation for Saturday’s game at Georgia State.
The Monarchs (7-1, 4-1) practiced earlier than usual on Sunday so that the players could return to their homes before the storm hit the Hampton Roads area.
Like Georgia State, ODU didn’t practice on Monday because that is its day off.
Wilder said the storm should pass through Hampton Roads in time for the team to practice as it normally would on Tuesday.
And, he joked conditions should be 72 degrees and perfect in the Georgia Dome.
Wilder was serious that his team isn’t taking this game lightly. The Monarchs are pushing for an at-large berth in the FCS playoffs while the Panthers aren’t. But Wilder said when the Panthers (1-8, 1-5) avoid giving away the ball they play well.
He also expects Georgia State will be very motivated to try to win for coach Bill Curry, who will be coaching his last home game before he retires after the season.
“I think this will really be a challenge for our football team,” Wilder said.
Curry said he’s unsure if any of his injured defensive linemen will return for Saturday’s game.
Ends Melvin King and C.J. Stephens and tackle Joe Lockley didn’t play in last week’s 28-21 loss at James Madison. As a result, Curry said they were forced to play tight ends and outside linebackers at defensive end and offensive tackles at defensive tackles.
Despite the mis-matched changes, Curry was pleased with how the defense played against the Dukes. Led by tackle Theo Agnew, who had nine tackles, the Panthers held JMU to 340 yards and 21 points. Seven of those points came after a fumble on the Panthers’ first play.
“It’s just one of those years where things are going to happen,” Curry said.
James Madison coach Mickey Matthews said he wanted to honor Curry before last week’s game because “he’s a good person. What’s good about Bill Curry is good for the kids. We respect that up here.”
Curry was made an honorary JMU letterman before the game.
“On a personal note, I can’t remember anybody doing anything nicer for me,” Curry told Georgia State’s sports information department. “To be made an honorary letterman at a proud institution like this is a tremendous honor, and I am extremely grateful.”
Matthews said he can’t remember not knowing Curry. The two faced off when Matthews was on staff at Georgia and Curry was the coach at Kentucky in 1996. The Wildcats beat the Bulldogs in Lexington, Ky.
“Bill has meant so much to college football,” Matthews said. He’s had some good jobs and had some bad jobs but he’s always been a gentleman.”
– Doug Roberson AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu