NORFOLK, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- For the first time ever between the two schools, Old Dominion and Virginia will meet on the gridiron on Saturday night in Charlottesville.
"When we scheduled this series they weren't very good and I'm really disappointed now because they're really good," Old Dominion Coach Bobby Wilder said.
The Monarchs only joined the FBS ranks in 2014, when the Wahoos went 5-7 and missed another chance at a bowl game. But in five years, both programs have made strides with the Cavaliers coming off their first bowl win since 2005 and Old Dominion doing something last season Virginia has not done since 2003: beat Virginia Tech.
"I see them it's a team in our path of where we're trying to get where we're going," ODU quarterback Stone Smartt said about Virginia, "Really it's not believing the hype, where they're ranked, who really cares about that. It's about us, going out there locking in on what we know we can do and just being able to play."
While the two programs have never squared off, there are a few players with experience playing against the Cavaliers. Former Hokies Eric Kumah and Chris Cunningham both went 3-0 against the Wahoos before transferring to Old Dominion this year.
"I tell them, I tell them every day that I've never lost to UVA, so why should I lose to them now," Kumah said, "I'm undefeated and I want to keep them that way."
But Wilder knows Old Dominion has a challenge on their hands with this year's Virginia team starting with quarterback Bryce Perkins.
"I already lost sleep last night, I woke up and the quarterback was running by my bed for a touchdown," Wilder said, "Perkins is one of the most electric players in America."