GAME FIVE: CAA Home Opener - ODU vs. UMass

September 28, 2011
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Sept. 28, 2011

UMass Game Notes

Game Five
Saturday, October 1, 2011 - 7:00 p.m. (EST)
Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium - Norfolk, Va.
Old Dominion Monarchs (3-1, 0-1 CAA) vs.
Massachusetts Minutemen (2-1)

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* Old Dominion enters Saturday's game looking to return to the win column following a 27-17 setback at #7/6 Delaware in the Monarchs' first ever CAA contest. The loss snapped an eight game wining-streak that was the longest active FCS win streak in the country. The Monarchs' last loss prior to the one with the Blue Hens came with a 50-37 setback to #14/16 Cal Poly back on Oct. 9, 2010.

* As a team through week four, the Monarchs are ranked in the Top 20 nationally in Rushing Defense (88.00), 14th in Scoring Offense (35.75), 14th in Sacks (3.00), and 17th in Net Punting (38.08).

* Individually in the national stats this season Jonathan Plisco ranks third in punting (47.09), running back Colby Goodwyn ranks 14th among all-purpose runners (166.00) and 18th in rushing (103.67), and kicker Jarod Brown is 13th in field goals (1.50).

After 16 home games, Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium will be the host to a Colonial Atheltic Association Football contest when the Monarchs meet the Minutemen Saturday. Saturday's game is sold out making all 17 home games in ODU history sellouts.

Redshirt freshman Eriq Lewis is among 15 freshmen comprising the first Watch List for the inaugural Jerry Rice Award. The Rice Award, presented by The Sports Network and sponsored by, will honor the outstanding freshman in the Football Championship Subdivision. The legendary Rice, who played in the FCS (then Division I-AA) at Mississippi Valley State, will present the award at the national awards banquet on Jan. 6 in Frisco, Texas. The new award allows Rice to join three other football legends whose names adorn the top individual awards in the FCS: the Walter Payton (FCS outstanding player) - of which quarterback Thomas DeMarco is a watch list honoree, Eddie Robinson (FCS coach of the year) awards, and the Buck Buchanan Award (FCS outstanding defensive player).

With the 27-17 loss to Delaware last weekend, Old Dominion saw it's FCS leading eight-game win streak come to an end. The Monarchs had not lost a game prior to the Blue Hen loss since a 50-37 setback to Cal Poly on October 9, 2010. ODU does have another win streak going though. The Monarchs have won five straight games at home dating back to the loss to the nationally ranked Mustangs.

Special teams now has 16 blocks to its credit in the last three seasons, including four already in the 2010 season, which according to an unofficial poll of FCS schools are the second most blocks by a school this season.

2011 FCS LEADERS (total blocked kicks)
North Dakota - 5 (3 FGs, 2 PATs)
Old Dominion - 4 (1 FG, 3 Punts)
Appalachian State - 3 (1 PAT, 2 Punts)
Coastal Carolina - 3 (1 FG, 2 punts)
Drake - 3 (1 FG, 1 PAT, 1 Punt)
Murray State, Portland State, Sacramento State - 3 (1 FG, 2 Punts)
Citadel, Villanova - 3 (3 Punts)
Youngstown State - 3 (2 PATs, 1 Punt)

In their last outing, the Monarchs blocked a 48-yard Delaware field goal attempt, recording a block for its third consecutive contest.

In week three's game with Hampton true freshman James Faircloth blocked a Pirate punt resulting in Larry Pinkard returning the ball five-yards for a touchdown to open up the fourth quarter in the 45-42 victory. It was the third time in the two-game series with the Pirates that ODU has blocked a punt attempted by Hampton.

In week two's 40-17 win at Georgia State, Alex Arain blocked his second career punt that was picked up by Blair Roberts and returned for a touchdown. Additionally, Paul Morant blocked a punt in the victory.

UMass will be the fourth ranked team the Monarchs will be facing in its history. Old Dominion has faced #12/13 William & Mary (L, 17-21) on September 18th, 2010, #14/16 Cal Poly (L, 37-50) on October 9th, 2010 and #7/6 Delaware (L, 17-27) on September 24, 2011.

Also testing the Monarchs in their first season of competition in the CAA will be #9/8 James Madison, #10 Richmond, #11/10 William & Mary, and #23 Towson.

Old Dominion is currently 12-4 all-time and 2-0 this season at Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium. The Monarchs have won five straight at home with their last loss occcurring on Oct. 9th in a 50-37 setback to Cal Poly. In their last road outing, a 27-17 setback at #6/7 Delaware, ODU fell to 8-2 all-time on the road, having won seven straight away from the friendly confines of Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium. Prior to the Blue Hen loss, the Monarchs last loss on the road was a 34-29 setback at Fordham on Oct. 3, 2009.

Entering week four, the Delaware Blue Hens had outscored its opponents at home 35-0 in the first quarter, However, Delaware saw the Monarchs jump out to a 7-0 lead as Chris Lovitt returned a fumble made by the Blue Hen's punt team 18 -yards for a touchdown with 6:39 remaining in the first quarter.

Old Dominion allowed Delaware to post just 80 yards rushing. Entering the game the Blue Hens were averaging 210.3 yards per game and 4.8 yards per carry and were held to just 2.1 yards per rush against the Monarchs.

Chris Lovitt's fumble recovery was his first and only the Monarchs' second fumble recovery that has led to a touchdown. Marquis Johnson had a fumble recovery that led to a score in ODU's loss at Fordham in 2009 recovering the ball in the end zone following a punt by the Rams.

Redshirt freshman wide receiver Antonio Vaughan posted his second touchdown of the year in the loss to the nationally-ranked Blue Hens. Also Jarod Brown improved to 6-of-6 on field goals this season and is now 18-for-22 in his two-year career. He has now connected on his last seven field goals and is fifth in the CAA scoring.

For more information on ODU Football, check out complete game notes.