GAME FOUR - WELCOME TO THE CAA: Old Dominion at Delaware
By ODU Athletics
Sept. 20, 2011
Saturday, September 24, 2011 - Noon (EST)
Tubby Raymond Field at Delaware Stadium - Newark, Del.
Old Dominion Monarchs (3-0, 0-0 CAA) vs.
Delaware Blue Hens (2-1, 0-0 CAA)
TV: Cox 11, TCN, CSN-NE
(Play-By-Play: Marc Zumoff; Color: Kevin Reilly
Radio: ESPN RADIO - 94.1 FM
(Ted Alexander - Play-by-Play; Jack Ankerson - Color Analyst)
Audio: Monarch Media (Subscription Required)
Livestats: via Blue Hens.Com
THE QUICK HITS
* Old Dominion enters Saturday's game at Delaware riding an eight game win-streak. The win streak is currently the top among FCS schools. The Monarchs' last loss came with a 50-37 setback to #14/16 Cal Poly back on Oct. 9, 2010.
* Old Dominion restarted its football program in 2009 after a 69-year absence and in its three years has compiled an 20-5 overall mark as the best start-up in FCS history.
* Old Dominion went 9-2 in its inauguaral season, 8-3 in 2010, and currently stands at 3-0 this season with currently the longest FCS win streak.
* After playing two years as an independent in the FCS, the Monarchs join the CAA, considered by many to be the best FCS conference in the nation, playing its very first conference contest Saturday at Delaware. Six of the CAA's 11 programs were ranked in the national preseason polls and seven are ranked this week - William & Mary, Delaware, New Hampshire, James Madison, Villanova, UMass, and Richmond. ODU will face all but New Hampshire this season.
* With week two's win over Hampton (45-42), Old Dominion improved to 12-4 all-time and 2-0 this season at Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium. The Monarchs also improved to 2-0 all-time vs. the Pirates.
* Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium continues to be the place to be in Hampton Roads on Saturdays. The Monarchs' home 16 games, all have been sellouts. While the last two season's have averaged 19,782, additional seating has brought Foreman Field's capacity to 19,818. ODU is currently seventh in average attendance through week three.
* As a team through week two, the Monarchs are ranked in the Top 20 nationally in Sacks (5th - 4.00), Scoring Offense (6th - 42.00), Net Punting (12th - 38.94), and Total Offense (17th - 435.00).
* Individually in the national stats this season Jonathan Plisco ranks third in punting (46.40), kicker Jarod Brown is tied for eighth in field goals (1.67), while quarterback Thomas DeMarco and kicker Jarod Brown are tied for 18th in scoring (10.00).
ALL-TIME VS. DELAWARE:
ABOUT THE BLUE HENS:
THIS SEASON SO FAR:
The Blue Hens enter Saturday's at 2-1 with wins over West Chester (28-27) and Delaware St. (45-0) and a setback at Navy (40-17). Sophomore running back Andrew Pierce, who leads the Hens in rushing and receiving, is second in the CAA and 12th nationall averaging 116.00 rushing yards per contest. Delaware is also eighth in the nation in turnover margin.
WHO HAS BEEN HONORED:
Delaware earned two first place votes and were picked to finish third in the CAA Preseason Poll. Delaware had five players on pre-season All-CAA team led by Preseason Co-Offensive Player of the Year Andrew Pierce at running back, offensive linemen Gino Gradkowski and Rob McDowell, defensive end Michael Atunrase, and linebacker Paul Worrilow.
Pierce, a sophomore who was last year's CAA Rookie of the Year, shared pre-season Offensive Player of the Year honors with William & Mary senior running back Jonathan Grimes.
WHAT THEY DID:
The Blue Hens led the nation in scoring defense a year ago when they advanced all the way to the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision title game. The national runner-ups and CAA Regular Season Champs finished the 2010 campaign at 12-3 overall and 6-2 in CAA action.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE HENS:
Delaware, who last week ranked No. 7 in the country, posted their third shutout in the last three seasons and produced their most one-sided victory since a 48-0 win over league foe Towson last Nov. 6 with a 45-0 blanked of in-state opponent Delaware State First State Cup Route 1 Rivalry at Delaware Stadium.
Junior quarterback Tim Donnelly, made his first career start completing 13 of 14 passes for 221 yards and two touchdowns, while running backs Andrew Pierce and Walter Davis each went over the 100-yard mark, and Nihja White caught seven passes for 122 yards to lead an offense that piled up 512 yards of total offense.
AND SO IT BEGINS:
After 25 non-conference contests, the Old Dominion football Monarchs will be playing in their first Colonial Athletic Association football game when they travel to Delaware for Saturday's contest. The Monarchs are sporting a 20-5 overall mark since starting up its football program in 2009.
With the 45-42 win over Hampton in week three, the Monarchs' extended their win streak to eight games, the longest win streak among FCS teams.
|Old Dominion||Colonial||W8||10/9/10 - L, 50-37 vs. Cal Poly|
|Jackson St.||Southwestern||W5||11/6/10 - L, 32-30 vs. Alabama St.|
|Sam Houston St.||Southland||W4||11/20/10 - L, 33-28 McNeese St.|
BLOCK THAT KICK:
Special teams now has 15 blocks to its credit in the last three seasons, including three already in the 2010 season.
The latest was in last week's game with Hampton as 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.
The Monarchs other two Hampton blocked punts were made by former Monarchs Deron Mayo and Desmond Williams that both resulted in Monarch scores in the 28-14 win. Mayo also rushed the Pirate punter which led Hampton to punt the ball into its own player and set the Monarchs up for a touchdown run from two yards out. Hampton had not had a punt blocked since 2004.
Edmon McClam blocked his sixth career PAT against Savannah State last season. McClam holds the FCS record for Blocked PATs in a Season (2009 - 5) and Blocked PATs in a Game (3 - Chowan). The FCS record for Blocked PATs in a Career is seven by Tim Hauck (Montana - 1987-89).
In addition to the Hampton game, Mayo also had a blocked field goal during the first quarter vs Gardner-Webb to preserve ODU's 7-0 lead against the Runnin' Bulldogs.
Alex Arain blocked a punt, ODU's first blocked punt in history, at Monmouth during week four.
Chris Burnette also has two blocked PATs from last season.
PLAYING THE RANKED TEAMS:
Delaware will be the third ranked team the Monarchs will be facing in its history. Old Dominion faced #12/13 William & Mary (L, 17-21) on September 18th, 2010 and #14/16 Cal Poly (L, 37-50) on October 9th, 2010.
Also testing the Monarchs in their first season of competition in the CAA will be #5/6 Richmond, #6/5 William & Mary, #17/19 UMass
Against the Tribe, Old Dominion fell 21-17 after William & Mary 14-7 halftime deficit thanks to a four-yard touchdown pass to former tight end Gareth Hissong from then-senior Mike Callahan. ODU had taken an early 7-0 lead after former Monarch Michael Williams returned an interception for 17-yards setting up the Monarchs at the Tribe's 4, followed by a 33-yard pass to Marquel Thomas bringing ODU into the red zone. Four plays later tight end Kai Blanco put the Monarchs into an early lead over its first ranked opponent. The Tribe had a chance to cut into the lead early, but a pair of field goals went errant - one wide right and another hitting the upright. William & Mary did tie the score in the middle of the second quarter, with Jonathan Grimes capping off a six play, 84 yard drive with a 30-yard touchdown run. The Monarchs quickly responded as Colby Goodwyn ripped off a career long 41 yard touchdown run to put ODU back on top and go into halftime up 14-7. It took just one offensive play in the third quarter to tie the game, as former Tribe receiver Chase Hill caught a pass down the right sideline and broke two tackles to go in for the score to put William & Mary up 14-14. Jarod Brown had given ODU a 17-14 lead with a 20-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter before William & Mary's final drive thwarted the upset.
Against Cal Poly, in one of the highest scoring games for ODU, quarterback Thomas DeMarco threw for 327 yards and four touchdowns for Old Dominion, but Cal Poly went on to defeat Old Dominion 50-37. After falling behind 7-0 in the first quarter, the Mustangs scored 20 straight points to go in front. With Cal Poly ahead 27-14, DeMarco and Reid Evans hooked up on a 10-yard touchdown pass to pull the Monarchs to within seven, 27-20, after a missed extra point at the half, but the Mustangs would go on to add another two touchdown runs in the fourth quarter to extend Cal Poly's lead to 44-30.
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 occcuring on Oct. 9th in a 50-37 setback to Cal Poly. In their last road outing, a 40-17 victory at Georgia State, ODU improved to 8-1 all-time on the road, having won seven straight away from the friendly confines of Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium. ODU's last loss on the road was a 34-29 setback at Fordham on Oct. 3, 2009.
Head coach Bobby Wilder has compared ODU's scoring drives to "two-minute drills" since that's usually how fast the Monarchs score once they have the ball. Old Dominion averaged roughly 2:25 to score against Hampton last weekend. Against Georgia State in week two, the Monarchs' scoring drives roughly lasted 2:46. Against Campbell in week one, the average Monarch scoring drive was 1:50.
RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY:
It was only the third game in their 25-game history the Football Monarchs have encountered inclement weather in its 45-42 win over Hampton. In 2009 ODU defeated Campbell, 28-17, on an overcast and drizzling October 17, 2009 afternoon at Foreman Field while a comeback against Fordham fell short, 34-29, at a soggy Jack Coffey Field on Oct 3, 2009.
FUMBLE, FUMBLIA, FUMBLEROOKSI:
Old Dominion had four forced fumbles and a pair of fumble recoveries in last Saturday's win over Hampton. The four forced fumbles, which included a pair by senior defensive end Edmon McClam, were the most by the Monarchs in their three-year history.
ANOTHER IT'S A MOST MOMENT:
Redshirt junior linebacker and co-capain Craig Wilkins led the ODU defense with 17 tackles against Hampton in week three replacing his previous high of 11 stops in last year's game with nationally-ranked Cal Poly. Its also a new record for stops by a Monarch defender in a game, replacing the previous of 14 by Ronnie Cameron in last year's season finale at N.C. Central.
UPDATING THE NUMBERS - POST HAMPTON:
Thomas DeMarco with his two touchdown runs scored his 29th and 30th rushing scores...Angus Harper had two touchdowns bringing his season total to three...Colby Goodwyn also ran in his second touchdown of the season and fourth of his career.
For more information on ODU Football, check out complete game notes.