Football: Midweek ODU Update

Tribe back on track
After the 45-0 thrashing of VMI Saturday, the parts seem to be falling back into place as William and Mary (1-1) tries to continue where they left off last year.

“We handled ourselves well so far as taking care of the football on offense,” Head Coach Jimmye Laycock ’70 said. “On defense we got the turnovers we needed to get—that was one thing we had said we needed to improve on in the previous weeks.”

The defense, which was so dominant in the postseason run last year, seems to have regained its swagger after a shutout performance which included five interceptions against the Keydets.

“It was definitely a confidence booster,” sophomore cornerback B.W. Webb said. “I feel like we needed this game to get our heads up. “We always go into the game thinking that we’re the best that we can’t be beat.”

Even the special teams unit looked good, as Webb ran back his first career punt return for a touchdown.

New faces stepping up
An added advantage of the Tribe’s blowout of the Keydets Saturday was the debut of a pair of freshman, defensive lineman George Beerhalter and dfensive back Airek Green. Laycock was pleased to see some of the backups in real game action.

“A lot of players got significant minutes in the second half and that’s something we’re going to need as we go through the season whether it’s injuries or depth,” Laycock said. “We had a lot of guys step in there and get good playing time and played pretty well.”

Also playing especially well is first-year starter at strong safety, sophomore Brian Thompson. Thompson continued his impressive start to the season by snagging two interceptions against the Keydets.

“Thompson is playing extremely well for us at strong safety,” Laycock said. “He’s been playing very consistent and very smart.”

Sophomore linebackers Jabrel Mines and Dante Cook have also done a solid job of filling in for the injured Jake Trantin, who is confirmed to be out again this weekend.

ODU is next test
The Tribe faces Old Dominion in Norfolk this weekend for the first time in school history. The Monarchs began a program last year and posted a 9-2 record.

This year, however, ODU has a record of 1-1 through two games. After losing their home opener, they are coming off a big 44-13 win at Campbell this weekend.

Laycock compared this game to the playoff opener against Weber State last year, saying that he is not familiar with what he is going to see on Saturday.

“We’re playing a team that we’re not that familiar with at all,” Laycock said. “We have to be able to go in there and adjust and make changes.”

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