NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - The Old Dominion football team is in Greenville, NC tonight, getting ready for tomorrow's showdown with the East Carolina Pirates. The game marks the first time the Monarchs play an FBS level team, and the Vegas oddsmakers have the Pirates as 15-point favorites over ODU.
Coach Bobby Willder's team plays five FBS opponents this season, and he's treating those games as the Monarchs unofficial bowl games as they make the transition to Conference USA.
"We just had a team meeting and I told all the guys that this is now a 36-hour business trip and the only goal is to now win a football game," Wilder said.
The crowd of 50,000 that is expected is more than twice the size of the largest crowd ODU has played in front of and Wilder wants himself and his team to soak it all in.
"What I've told them is I want them to embrace the moment," Wilder said. "I said 'just follow my lead,' because I'm going to embrace it, I'm going to have fun with it, I'm going to enjoy it, we've earned the right to be in this environment tomorrow night."
A lot of eyes will be on both quarterbacks. ECU is led by junior Shane Carden who threw for over 3,100 yards and accounted for 31 total toucdowns in Conference USA.
ODU's Taylor Heinicke, also a junior, broke an FCS record by throwing for over 5,000 yards and accounted for 55 touchdowns and he's hoping to make a statement tomorrow night.
"We go into everygame expecting to win," Heinicke said. "If we come out losing, hopefully we make it close. We just want to make a statement to the FBS and Conference USA that we belong there, we belong in this conference."
Police arrested a man on charges of drunk in public and possession of marijuana Saturday.
A Virginia Beach pizza chain was robbed Sunday night.
The organizer of a 5K that never happened was sentenced to 30 days in jail for taking money from hopeful racers.
Airports in the Washington region are urging passengers to check on their flights before heading to the airports as some flights have been delayed or canceled because of winter weather.
Congressman Bobby Scott is traveling to South Africa to attend the memorial service for Nelson Mandela.
A Newport News mother was arrested on a charge of child neglect after her son was found alone Saturday, according to police.
A parade float caught fire at an Oceanfront parade on Dec. 7, 2013.