Liberty travels to Old Dominion this Saturday night with kickoff scheduled for 6 p.m. and televised on ESPN+. The Monarchs will be looking for some payback from the loss Liberty handed them last year in a 45-17 blowout in Lynchburg. To help preview this weekend’s game, we caught up with David Hall of the Virginian-Pilot.
What is the overall feeling surrounding this season within the program and its fans on expectations for the year?
David Hall: Within the program, the players and coaches look to win each week. They don’t look beyond that. I can’t speak for the fans, but they probably expect the team to do at least as well as it did last season.
What has been your feeling/evaluation of Hayden Wolff thus far and what is the expectation for his production in this game?
DH: Wolff has seemed to grow more confident with each game. He seemed somewhat tentative in the first couple of weeks, which he’ll admit, but he could be growing out of that. Once he starts letting the ball fly, the Monarchs are successful.
Who do you consider to be the biggest X factor on the ODU offense besides the quarterback? How about for the defense?
DH: On offense, teams must account for WR Ali Jennings and TE Zack Kuntz. Jennings gets yards in bunches, and when he’s not open, Kuntz makes defenses pay. With 10 starters back on offense, it’s unwise to overlook anyone. Defensively, it’s a good idea to put about six blockers on LB Jason Henderson.
If you had to guess the ending record for this team, what would it be?
DH: I’m not really in the prediction business, but finishing above .500 and returning to a bowl game wouldn’t surprise me.
What player has surpassed expectations and has been breaking out this season?
DH: The answer would have to be Henderson. He leads the nation in tackles, and he seems to have a knack for getting his hands on the guy with the ball and finding a way to put him on the ground.
Where do you think the Flames will struggle the most against this team?
DH: I don’t know enough about Liberty to answer that. But if the Flames are anything like the other four teams ODU has faced, they should look out for Jennings and Kuntz.
What is your final score prediction for this game?
DH: Again, I prefer not to predict. Looks like it could be close.