Remember when the Old Dominion Monarchs were on a five-game losing streak? How they gave up large amounts of points while showing very little ability to stop the ball? How we were wondering after the 52-28 loss to Vanderbilt if they'd win another game this season?
And yet, despite four turnovers, they still beat C-USA West division leader La. Tech thanks in part to—get this—their defense.
Yes, that was a "109" in the rushing yards gained column for the Bulldogs, which is about a third of what the Monarchs had given up in a handful of games throughout the year. The Monarchs simply rose to the occasion and were the better team, determined to not let their seniors, including signal caller Taylor Heinicke, close out their home careers with a loss.
Does this team have flaws? Certainly. They're still fielding FCS athletes against FBS teams at some positions, and that will be the case until Bobby Wilder and the staff can get a full class of FBS athletes in town. Heinicke's graduation leaves some question marks at the QB position.
But you've got to hand it to the team and the heart they possess. They could have easily packed it in for the rest of the year and put it in cruise control. They didn't.
If you didn't notice, that's a pretty good team that they defeated in Louisiana Tech, a team that would have clinched the West with a win. Now, the Monarchs head to Florida Atlantic with a chance to become bowl eligible—no guarantees of a bowl, but still eligible nonetheless. A few years back, if you told Wilder that this team would have a shot at 6-6 in their first FBS season, he may have thought you were crazy.
But maybe we shouldn't be surprised. This is a team, after all, that stormed onto the football scene almost immediately and took a region by storm. Win or lose on Saturday, you'd have to figure the future is bright for this group.