CHAPEL HILL– The Tar Heel football team isn’t taking Old Dominion lightly. Despite their rather low-profile place in the collegiate sports hierarchy, there is one player on the Monarch squad that reigns supreme.
ODU quarterback Tyler Heinicke threw for a Division I football record 730 yards last season against New Hampshire, and last week tallied 533 yards and four touchdowns.
Head Coach Larry Fedora says the guy is special.
“This cat is really good. He knows where to go with the ball. He’s not just standing back there patting it. He knows where he’s going. Their offensive line does a good job protecting him. He does a really good job of extending plays also,” Coach Fedora says.
Old Dominion’s offense looks eerily familiar to East Carolina. And we all remember that September debacle. The Tar Heel defense was completely shredded by the ECU attack in front of their demoralized home fans.
Coach Fedora says he reminded his players of that ugly memory earlier in the week.
“We talked about it on Sunday and haven’t talked about it since and probably won’t. Our guys understand what’s at stake. It’s all about learning from your lessons all the way through the season. That’s why we do our corrections on Sundays and talk about mistakes we’ve made, so we don’t make the same mistakes in the future,” Coach Fedora says.
We’re now into late November, and Coach Fedora says his guys are getting banged up. But he says there isn’t a team in the country whose depth chart isn’t thinning out this late in the season.
“We’re mid to late November. It’s football. It is what it is. We’d love to have a few more guys with us, but it’s just the way it is this time of year. I’d say probably everybody in the country is beat up. I can’t imagine a team that’s not. Guys have to take care of their bodies, and they got to try to survive it,” Coach Fedora says.
Speaking of injuries, offensive lineman Russell Bodine was shifted over to guard from his normal position at center for the Pittsburgh game due to team injuries. But Bodine says no matter where he lines up, the goal is simple this Saturday.
“It’s their [ODU] last game of the year. It will be a big game for them. We didn’t take ECU seriously a little bit, and we went out and got embarrassed. We can’t let that happen again and just go out and get a ‘W’,” Bodine says.