2018 College Football Team Previews: Old Dominion Monarchs

Old Dominion Monarchs
Location: Norfolk, VA
Coach: Bobby Wilder (72-37) 10th season
Stadium: Foreman Field (Capacity: 19,818)

CSJ Projections:
11th: Conference USA (6th in East Division)
5th: Virginia
117th: FBS
152nd: Division I

2017 In A Sentence: After a 10-win and Bahamas Bowl victory in 2016, the Monarchs slumped mainly due to a slew of injuries to a 5-7 (3-5 C-USA) mark last year including a six game losing streak in the middle of the season.

Biggest Shoes to Fill: RB Ray Lawry finished his ODU career with 4,080 yards on 660 carries and ended his career as the all-time FBS leader in rushing yards in the state of Virginia. He is tied for third in C-USA history with 45 rushing touchdowns and ninth in rushing yards.

Courtesy of ODU AthleticsKey Player: QB Steven Williams was college football’s youngest quarterback last year at just age 17 and as a true freshman. He began his starting career at Game 4 and the youth showed as he threw 11 interceptions to go with just six touchdowns. But in his final three games of the season, he did not throw an interception and completed 71% of his passes and won his last three of four starts. His play this year will be key to where ODU’s offense will go.

Fearless Prediction: Coach Wilder has never suffered back-to-back losing seasons at Old Dominion and there’s reason to believe his team could improve significantly in 2018. The key will be avoiding another massive wave of injuries and using last year’s unexpected experience .