GAME TEN: #12 Old Dominion vs. Richmond

November 02, 2011
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Nov. 2, 2011

Richmond Game Notes

Game Ten:
Saturday, November 5, 2011 - 2:00 p.m. (EST)
Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium - Norfolk, Va.
#12/12 Old Dominion Monarchs (7-2, 4-2 CAA) vs.
Richmond Spiders (3-5, 0-5 CAA)

Radio: ESPN RADIO - 94.1 FM  (Ted Alexander - Play-by-Play; Andy Mashaw - Color Analyst; Demetrious Means)

Video: (subscription required)
Livestats: Gametracker

CAA Weekly Teleconference Audio: Available on Monarch Media

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• Old Dominion enters Saturday's game having moved up to its highest ranking to date following its 23-20 Oyster Bowl victory over then #9/10 James Madison.  The Monarchs come into Saturday's home regular season finale ranked at No. 12 in both The Sports Network/ and FCS Coaches Poll Top 25 Poll.

•  The Monarchs are playing back-to-back home games for the first time this season.

•  Old Dominion restarted its football program in 2009 after a 69-year absence and in its three years has compiled an 24-7 overall mark as the best start-up in FCS history.

• Old Dominion went 9-2 in its inaugural season, 8-3 in 2010, and currently stands at 7-2 this season with victories over Campbell, Georgia State, Hampton, #20 UMass, Rhode Island, Villanova, and #9/10 James Madison.

• 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, and holds a 3-2 mark in the league.  Seven of the CAA's 11 programs were ranked in the national preseason polls and seven are ranked this week - New Hampshire, Maine, Towson, Old Dominion, Delaware, and William & Mary

•  With week nine's win over James Madison, ODU's first win over a Top Ten opponent, the Monarchs improved to 7-2 on the season, 4-2 in the CAA, 4-1 this season and 11-2 all-time at Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium.

•  Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium continues to be the place to be in Hampton Roads on Saturdays.  The Monarchs' 19 home 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 fifth in average attendance through week nine. 

•  As a team through week six, the Monarchs are ranked in the Top 20 nationally in Sacks (6th - 3.56), Tackles for Loss (11th - 8.22), Net Punting (10th - 37.94), and Scoring Offense (14th - 35.22).

•  Individually in the national stats this season Jonathan Plisco ranks second in Punting (46.32),  defensive lineman Ronnie Cameron ranks 18th in Tackles for Loss (1.67), and kicker Jarod Brown ranks 18th in scoring (8.33).


There are numerous post-season coaches' awards, but only a few that are determined by fans. For the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award, winning is only part of the equation. Created in 2006, the award recognizes one college football coach from each NCAA division (I-FBS, I-FCS, II and III), rewarding them for their sportsmanship, integrity, responsibility and excellence. Winners will receive $50,000 to donate to a charity of their choice, a $20,000 grant to each school's alumni association and the Coach of the Year trophy. Go to and vote today and every day for Bobby Wilder, the head coach of the greatest startup program in FCS history. 

THANK YOU SENIORS:  Old Dominion will be honoring its eight seniors prior to kick on Satuday.

Ronnie Cameron - Defensive Tackle:  Since joining the team last season, has 129 tackles including 12 sacks in his Monarch career.  Currently leads the CAA in tackles for loss, ranking 18th nationally, and is fourth in the CAA in sacks. 

Senior Spotlight - Monarch Tech

Thomas DeMarco - Quarterback:  Two-time Walter Payton Watch List member, has 5,711 passing yards, 1,444 rushing yards, 51 TD passes and 30 career rushing touchdowns in his Monarchs career.

• Senior Spotlight - Coming Soon - Check out Saturday's game program!

Prentice Gill - Wide Receiver:  Coming into today's game, has 64 catches for 948 yards and seven touchdowns in his Monarchs career.  First Monarch to crack the 100+ receiving yards in a game mark. 

Senior Spotlight - Seeing double

Jeremy Hensley - Center:  Coming into today's game, Jeremy has started 26 of the Monarchs; 31 games at center. Helped the Monarchs rank ninth among FCS schools in rushing offense and 18th among FCS schools in total offense in 2009 and eighth in the FCS in scoring offense and 22nd in total offense in 2010.

• Senior Spotlight - California Kid in the middle

Ryan Jensen - Left Tackle:  Started all 12 games at right tackle in 2009 helping to pave the way for Old Dominion to rank ninth in rushing offense and 18th in total offense nationally.  Named to Phil Steele's Preseason All-Independent Team in 2010.  Has started all nine games at left tackle.

• Senior Spotlight - Building a Program with his Best Friend

Chad King - Defensive End:  A member of Army ROTC, has totaled 88 tackles including 16.5 for a loss during his Monarchs career, which includes 31 stops, 5.5 tackles for loss, and 4.5 sacks this season.  Led the Monarchs in tackles for loss in their inaugural season.

• Senior Spotlight - In the Army

Edmon McClam - Defensive Tackle: Holds the Division I record for most blocked PAT's by a single player in a game (FCS or FBS) ans is also tied for the FCS record for combined blocked kicks in a game  and set a FCS season record by blocking five PATs in 2009.

• Senior Spotlight - From Halftime to Primetime

J.J. Williams - Linebacker:  Comes into today with 92 tackles during his Monarchs career.  Has collected 51 tackles this season along with 2.5 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks. 

Senior Spotlight - Most Traveled Monarch

All-Time Vs. Richmond: First Meeting

MEETING OF NATIONAL CHAMPS:  The ODU Football Monarchs meet their third straight national champ.  In week eight, ODU faced Villanova - winners of the 2009 FCS National Championship.  Last weekend it was James Madison - winners of the 2004 FCS National Championship.  Richmond won the title in 2008.

NO NEED FOR ZZZzzzzz's:  Don't let the Spiders' five-game losing streak fool you.  Richmond opened the season at 3-0, which included a win at Duke, and was among the nation's Top 10. Included in their five straight losses have been some heartbreakers.  They have lost to New Hampshire 45-43, Towson 31-28 on a field goal as the clock expired, and Maine 23-22 in a game they had a 16-0 lead entering the 4th quarter.

LAST TIME OUT FOR THE SPIDERS:  Richmond fell to Massachusetts 28-7 at Robins Stadium last Saturday

Senior wide receiver Tre Gray finished with 10 catches for 105 yards and his 13th career touchdown adding to the Richmond career records for receptions and yards he set the previous week.  He was honored before the game for becoming the Spiders' all-time leading receiver.  He has recorded five of his six career 100-yard games this season.

The Richmond defense did its part, holding the visitors to just seven points in the game's final 45 minutes after the Spiders turned the ball over a season-high six times.  

The Minutemen raced out to a 21-0 lead after the first quarter and never looked back.  UMass quarterback Kellen Pagel finished 14-of-25 for 192 yards and a touchdown, while running back Jonathan Hernandez rolled up 103 yards and scored three times.

Junior linebacker Darius McMillan recorded a game-high 12 tackles, a TFL and two QB hurries, while senior safety Colin Pehanick recorded eight stops, a sack and 2.5 TFL.

Aaron Corp was 22-of-39 passing for 196 yards, while junior John Laub was six-of-13 for 102 yards.

RISING UP THE RANKS:  The Monarchs moved up three spots in The Sports Network/ Poll and four places in the FCS Coaches Poll to No. 12 this week in both polls.  Its the highest ranking for the Monarchs to date.

It took the ODU Football Monarchs until year three and 27 games to receive its first Top 25 ranking on October 3, 2011 coming in at No. 21 21 in The Sports Network Poll.  Looking at other recent start-up programs, it took Coastal Carolina 32 games to achieve a national ranking when they came in at No. 24 in The Sports Network Poll in their third year on Nov. 8, 2005.  That season the Chanticleers finished 9-2 and were the Big South co-champions.


When the ODU Football Monarchs take the field on Saturday vs. Richmond, it will be as a nationally-ranked team in both The Sports Network/ and FCS Coaches Polls for the fourth consecutive week. 

Sports Network:     Coaches:
Week One:      RV      NR    
Week Two: RV NR
Week Three: RV NR
Week Four: RV RV
Week Five: RV RV
Week Six: 21 RV
Week Seven: 18 22
Week Eight: 21 22
Week Nine: 15 16
Week Ten: 12 12

In another first for the ODU Football program, the Monarchs were ranked in the Top 25 for the first time in school history coming in at No. 21 five weeks ago in The Sports Network/ FCS Top-25 College Football Poll.  Following the Monarchs victory over Rhode Island, ODU made its FCS Coaches Poll debut during wek seven coming in at No. 22. 

JERRY RICE WATCH LIST:  True freshman quarterback Taylor Heinicke has been added to the Jerry Rice Watch list.  

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). 

Since taking over as the Monarchs' signal caller at halftime of week five against UMass, Heinicke  has passed for 1124 yards completing 101 of his 147 attempts with just one interception (Towson).  He has earned CAA Rookie of the Week twice this season.

SEVEN TEAMS RANKED IN THE CAA:  Seven CAA Football teams appeared in this week's Top 25 after a record breaking nine were among the nation's Top 25 three weeks ago.  It was the first time ever a league has had as many as nine teams in one week's poll at the FCS level. Prior to the record breaking nine league teams appearing in the poll, CAA Football was the only conference to ever boast seven among TSN's rankings in a single week having done that 14 times. 

STOPPING THE RUN:  The Monarchs are second in the CAA in rush defense just behind James Madison by a yard.  Take a look at how ODU has shut down its opponent's run game.

Campbell 4.5 (2010) 1.2
Georgia State    3.9 2.4
Hampton 5.0 3.3
Delaware 4.8 2.1
UMass 4.2 2.1
Rhode Island 4.9 3.7
Towson 5.1 4.7
Villanova: 3.4


James Madison 5.0


The JMU Dukes came into last Saturday's game as the CAA's leading rushing offense at 242.7 yards per game and 5.0 yards per play and they were held to 103 yards and 2.7 yards per carry.

BLOCK THAT KICK:  Special teams now has 18 blocks to its credit in the last three seasons, including six in the 2011 season, which according to an unofficial poll of FCS schools are tied for the second most blocks by a school this season.  

2011 FCS LEADERS (total blocked kicks)

Citadel - 8 (8 Punts)

Drake - 8 (3 FG, 2 PAT, 3 Punt)

Portland State - 8 (2 FG, 6 Punts)

Dartmouth - 6 (2 FGs, 2 PAT, 2 Punt)

Murray State - 6 (1 FG, 2 PAT, 3 Punts)

North Dakota - 6 (4 FGs, 2 PATs)

Old Dominion - 6 (2 FG, 4 Punts)

In week nine, Craig Wilkins blocked a 47-yard James Madison field goal attempt in last moments of ODU's 23-20 win over the Dukes leading the Monarchs to their first Top 10 victory in school history.

In week five, Jakwail Bailey blocked a UMass punt that results in a safety, giving the Monarchs a 26-25 lead they would not relinquish late in the third quarter.  For his efforts, Bailey was named the CAA Special Teams Player of the Week.  

The Monarchs also 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. 

REPEATEDLY CATCHING:  Larry Pinkard had his third game with two touchdown receptions in last week's 23-20 win over James Madison. Other games came against UMass and Rhode Island. Nick Mayers is the only other Monarch with multiple receiving touchdowns in a game this season with a pair against UMass on Oct. 1st.

THROUGH THE UPRIGHTS:  Jarod Brown connected on three of his four field goals, the most this season. His career mark is 4-5 at N.C. Central in last year's season finale. He is now 12-of-15 on the season and 24-of-31 in his career in field goals.  Brown was the only Monarch to score in the second half of last week's Oyster Bowl.  Trailing 20-14 at the intermission, Brown's three field goals led the Monarchs' to a 23-20 win and ODU's first over a Top 10 opponent.

DOUBLE DIGIT TACKLES:  Craig Wilkins led the Monarchs with 11 stops, while Ronnie Cameron added in 10 tackles, three of those for a loss of 12 yards in last Saturday's 23-20 win over James Madison. Wilkins now has a team-leading 83 tackles under his belt this season with his third double-digit tackling outing. Entering Saturday's game, Wilkins is seventh in the CAA in the category. Cameron meanwhile upped his numbers to 57 tackles on the year and 15.0 tackles for loss. Entering Saturday's game with the Spiders, Cameron leads the conference and ranks 18th nationally in tackles for loss and is fourth among CAA defender in sacks.

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