HOMESTAND CONTINUES: Football Monarchs Host #14/16 Cal Poly

October 06, 2010
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Oct. 6, 2010

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Game Six
Saturday, October 9th - 6:00 p.m. (EST)
Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium - Norfolk, Va.
Old Dominion Monarchs (3-2) vs.
#14/16 Cal Poly Mustangs (3-2_

TV: None
Radio: ESPN RADIO - 94.1 FM, WGAI-560 AM
(Ted Alexander - Play-by-Play; Andy Mashaw - Color Analyst; Demetrius Means - Sideline)
Video: Monarch All-Access (Subscription Required>
Livestats: Gametracker

Weekly Press Conference Video: Monarch All-Access (Subscription Required)
Breakfast With Bobby: Episode Six

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SATURDAY, OCT 9th - What's Going On:
2 p.m. - Parking lots open for football game
2:30 p.m. - Walmart Tailgate and Fanfest opens for activities including alumni tent, student tent, athletic promotions tent, live music, food and beverages for sale
3:40 p.m. - Monarch March - ODU football team walks through Kaufman Mall en route to stadium
4 p.m. - Monarch Maniacs, Suites, and Loge Ticket holders admitted to stadium 4:30 p.m. - Stadium gates open
5 p.m. - ODU pre-game radio show begins from Walmart Tailgate and Fanfest
5:15 p.m. - Marching Monarchs, cheerleaders, and dance team perform at Walmart Tailgate and Fanfest then march into the stadium
5:46 p.m. - Marching Monarchs pre-game performance in the stadium
6 p.m. - Kick-off - Old Dominion vs. #14/16 Cal Poly
Post Game - "5th quarter" - Marching Monarchs performance in stadium


• Cal Poly, ranked 14th in The Sports Network Poll and 16th in the FCS Coach's Poll, enters Saturday's contest sporing a 3-2 overall record. The Mustangs, who run the triple option - the same offense the Monarchs saw at VMI last year, own wins over then-top-ranked Montana (35-33) and then-19th-ranked McNeese State (40-14). Cal Poly is coming off a 38-17 loss at FBS Fresno State.

• Saturday's contest will be the fourth of five consecutive road games for the Mustangs. Cal Poly's first home game has not played at home since its 35-33 upset over Montana back on September 11th. They will not play in San Luis Obispo until October 23rd when they host North Dakota.

• The Mustangs have captured three Great West Conference titles in the last six years (2004, 2005, 2008) and earned NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision playoff berths in both 2005 and 2008.

• The Mustangs currently play in the Great West Conference, but will be making a shift as a football affiliate member in the Big Sky. The Big Sky features teams like #10/10 Montana State, #12/12 Montana, #13/14 Eastern Washington, and #24 Northern Arizona.

• Cal Poly comes into Saturday's game with the eighth best rushing offense in the FCS. The Mustangs average 247.0 yards on the ground, which include 52.6 yards per game by Jordan Yocum and 52.4 yards per contest from Mark Rodgers. Rodgers has scored a team-leading four touchdowns this season.

The Monarchs' upgraded second-year schedule continues on Saturday with Cal Poly, ODU's second nationally ranked opponent of the 2010 season. Old Dominion has already faced nationally-ranked and 2009 NCAA semi-finalist William & Mary and Gardner-Webb, a squad which defeated the BCS' Akron, 38-37 in overtime, earlier in the season.

The Monarchs' Jonathan Plisco (Newport News, Va.) was named the Punter of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) for the second time this season. Plisco moved up to No. 1 in the FCS punting rankings after his performance against Gardner-Webb this weekend. The redshirt sophomore booted the ball eight times against the Runnin' Bulldogs with an average of 47.2 yards per punt, including a long of 59 yards. Five of his eight punts were inside the Gardner-Webb 20, including a punt late in the fourth quarter that reached the Bulldog one-yard line. In the national stats, Plisco is ranked number on in the nation averaging 45.95 yards per appearance. Nine of 19 punts have reached 50 yards or more.

In addition to punter Jonathan Plisco ranking #1 in the nation, the Monarchs are ranked #1 among FCS schools in tackles for loss. ODU averages 8.80 tackles for negative yardage, which included 12 against Gardner-Webb last weekend. The two Hofstra transfers are among the Monarch leaders in the category this season with defensive tackle Ronnie Cameron with a team-leading nine TFL's for 40 yards followed by defensive end Deron Mayo at 7.0 TFLs for 32 yards. Cameron is tied for eighth among FCS student-athletes in the category. Meanwhile, Mayo is tied for 12th in sacks averaging .90 per contest.

The 14-7 victory over Gardner-Webb last weekend showcased one of the best defensive efforts by the Monarchs to-date. The Runnin' Bulldogs got to within nine yards of a touchdown, on third and goal T.J. Cowart (Va. Beach, Va.) knocked down a pass intended for GWU's Jamal Patmon in the end zone, setting Gardner-Webb up for a 27-yard field goal attempt. Deron Mayo (Hampton, Va.) swooped in and blocked the field goal attempt by the Bulldogs' Ryan Gates with Paul Morant (Hampton, Va.) returning the kick 11 yards to the 21. Another stellar play, included a 37-yard punt by College Football Performance Award's Punter of the Week, Jonathan Plisco, that pinned Gardner-Webb back at their own one-yard line to start their drive. Freshman Paul Morant (Hampton, Va.) Morant and linebacker J.J. Williams (Derby, Kan.) led a defense, which held the Bulldogs to 3 of 9 on third-down conversions and 24 yards of total offense in the second half. Both ended with a game-high 10 tackles.

Mario Crawford's opening drive touchdown against Gardner-Webb last week was his first of 2010 and the seventh rushing touchdown of his career. He is second on the career list behind Thomas DeMarco's 20.

T.J. Cowart registered three pass break-ups each in games against William & Mary and Gardner-Webb, tying for the most in a game by a Monarch. Cowart has interrupted opponent quarterback throws 10 times in his two years at Old Dominion as the Monarchs' leader in the stat.

While the ODU Football program is only in its second year of existence and 16 games old, another set of records were set in the Monarchs' 35-21 win over Monmouth on September 25th

Wide receiver Prentice Gill (Los Angeles, Calif.) finished the game with 154 yards receiving, the most by a Monarch in a game and only the second time a Monarch receiver has recorded over 100 yards receiving. The junior transfer from LA Harbor College posted two touchdowns and also a two-point converstion on his six catches against the Hawks. He surpassed the previous receiving record of 103 yards held by Nick Mayers (Va. Beach, Va.) in the game last season at Fordham.

Quarterback Thomas DeMarco (Palm Desert, Calif.) connected on 28 of his 47 attempts in the air, including four touchdowns, en-route to his first 400+ yard passing game of his career. The redshirt junior signal caller captured 407 yards in the air, surpassing his previous high of 334 yards registered in the season opener against Jacksonville.

Quarterback Thomas DeMarco surpassed the 1,000 career rushing mark at Monmouth on September 25th with 14 yards on 10 carries in the 35-21 win against the Hawks. To date, DeMarco has totaled 1050 yards on 215 attempts. Next on the career list is running back Mario Crawford who enters Saturday's contest with 831 yards on 154 career attempts.

Despite the ODU offensive line allowing quarterback Thomas DeMarco to get sacked for the first time in 2010 against Monmouth the Monarchs are still among the top FCS schools in sacks allowed. Old Dominion did not allow a sack in the first four contests of the 2010 season before the Hawks managed to take down DeMarco twice in the September 25th game. This week, the Monarchs rank sixth in sacks allowed.

With his four touchdown passes in the 35-21 win at Monmouth two weeks ago, Thomas DeMarco brought his career touchdown pass number to 32. Demarco also has 20 rushing touchdowns to his name, his last being the game-winner against Gardner-Webb in the Monarchs' last outing. He is currently ranked seventh in the nation in total offense at 299.80 yards a game.

Special teams now has nine blocks to its credit in the last two seasons. Deron Mayo 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, at Monmouth the previous weekend. Chris Burnette has two blocked PATs and Edmon McClam holds an FCS record with five blocked PATs from last season. .

There may be 11 Monarchs on the field, but the 12th Monarch is in the stands. Thanks to all the noise of being "Loud and Proud" from the 12th Monarchs at Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium, the opposition was charged with 41 penalties last season and 20 so far in 2010. 2009 12th Monarch Stats:
Chowan: Seven Penalties
Virginia Union: Eight Penalties
Monmouth: Three Penalties
Presbyterian: Four Penalties
Campbell: Eight Penalties
Georgetown: Five Penalties
N.C. Central: Six Penalties

2010 12th Monarch Stats:
Jacksonville: Seven Penalties
William & Mary: Eight Penalties
Gardner-Webb: Five Penalties

And no, we're not talking about the howitzer you hear being shot off before the Monarchs run onto Foreman Field. Old Dominion has scored on its opening drive in three of its games this season. Mario Crawford's four-yard rush over the end line against Gardner-Webb last week made it the tenth time in the 16 game history of the program the Monarchs have done so. Additionally, it was the earliest the Monarchs have scored this season.

For More Information on ODU Football, see complete Game Notes