Brandon Addison
Brandon Addison
Rick Voight

ODU Football Suffers 49-0 Loss to Appalachian State

September 26, 2015
By ODU Athletics

NORFOLK, Va. – Old Dominion University football suffered a 49-0 loss Saturday evening at a rain-soaked Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium.

The Mountaineers scored first with 3:50 left in the first quarter and didn’t look back. Just 10 seconds in the second quarter, Taylor Lamb found Bobo Beathard for a 53-yard score to give App State the 14-0 lead. Freshman quarterback Shuler Bentley then fumbled the ball that was recovered by Devan Stringer for a 77-yard touchdown. That play sparked a 14-0 App State run the rest of the half, as the Mountaineers held a 35-0 lead at the intermission.

Appalachian State scored two more times in the third quarter to secure the 49-0 victory over the Monarchs.

Bentley threw for 133 yards, as he went 16-for-28 on the night. Kesean Strong led the Monarchs on the ground with 23 yards, while Zach Pascal led the team with 49 receiving yards on five receptions. Justice Davila tallied 10 tackles and Tim Ward totaled seven, including a tackle for a loss. TJ Ricks had eight tackles and a fumble recovery.

Lamb went 11-for-15 on the night for 187 yards and four touchdowns. Marcus Cox led all rushers with 107 total yards on 23 carries, while Jalin Moore rushed for 75 yards and a score on eight attempts. Four different receivers made a catch for the Mountaineers, led by Shaedon Meadors with 68 yards and a touchdown. John Law led the team with seven tackles, including one for a loss. Nate Norwood recorded six tackles and a led the squad with a sack and 1.5 tackles for a loss.

NOTES:  For the second time in three home games the contest was played in rain and windy conditions … ODU game captains were Troy Butler, David Washington, Malique Johnson and Anthony Wilson … Marques Little’s 43-yard pass in the second quarter was the longest of his career … Junior linebacker TJ Ricks moved into the top-10 for career tackles with eight tackles, moving into 10th all-time … Zach Pascal’s 26-yard catch in the first half was his longest of the season … Pascal had a season-best five catches for 49 yards … Satchel Ziffer’s two punts inside the 20 were the first two of his career … Justice Davila led the team with 10 tackles, his first time leading the team in tackles this season ... The shutout is the first in school history in the programs 76th game played ... ODU tied a program low set last week with eight first downs ... The 49 point lost is the worst home loss in school history, surpassing last season's 56-14 setback against Marshall.

BOBBY WILDER Postgame Press Conference Quotes
The first thing I’d like to say is that I’m embarrassed for Old Dominion University and our fans. That was an embarrassing performance. I take responsibility as a head coach when your team loses 49-0 at home in front of fans who came out to watch under difficult weather circumstances. I can’t emphasize how much that it is my responsibility and it is up to me to fix it. We need to work harder and smarter. I made it very clear to the players and the coaches in the locker room that we embarrassed ourselves today. There’s no other way to say it. But, I also made it very clear to them that, in situations like these, your character is revealed. You find out who you are as a person and who we are as a team. My number one goal when I get them back tomorrow at our practice facility is to remind them that we are a good football team. We need to respond to this and show that we can respond to this setback with a major comeback.

I give a lot of credit to Appalachian State. That is a very good football team that we played today. This is clearly a very difficult three-game stretch with N.C. State, Appalachian State and then Marshall next week, who won our conference last season. The goal now is to respond.

In terms of the game, I felt like even though our offense went three-and-out and they drove on us in the beginning, our defense got a big turnover and got us the ball back. The defense got another big stop on the next drive. Then, we got a big penalty against our defense when they were punting. Tim Ward went in to block it against their shield and he jumped. They ruled that he jumped into the shield and made contact, which is a 15-yard penalty and a first down. Then they scored, but still at that point it’s still only 7-0. We weren’t moving the ball on offense, but I was still pleased with how our defense was playing at that point.

Then they hit us with probably our first big play we’ve given up this year with a 53-yard pass down the middle on third down. The receiver ran a post route where he faked to the corner, and we didn’t get pressure on the quarterback. That made it 14-0. The next series, we had something going on offense, but Shuler dropped the ball. He was getting ready to throw it, and we had a guy open, but the ball slipped out of his hands. It reminded me of last year when Taylor Heinicke was going to throw a pass to a wide-open Zach Pascal for a touchdown to take the lead and dropped the ball, and they ran it back for a touchdown. Once it got to 21-0, that’s when we came unhinged as a football team. It is my responsibility, and I need to get it fixed.

Q: Shuler took it on him, saying he didn’t play well and that it was his fault. Is that how you want him to react?
A: It’s certainly not all on him. We need to execute better as an offense right now. Offensive football requires 11 guys to work together. There has to be protection, guys running the right routes and guys catching the ball. We’re not doing that. We’re not playing consistently in any phase of the offense right now. I appreciate the level of Shuler’s character. That’s what you want out of the leader of your football team. He is the leader of this team even as a freshman. That is inherited. When you are the quarterback, you are the leader. He started to force the issue in the second quarter and into the second half. He threw a few interceptions that we hadn’t seen out of him in his first few games. I grabbed him on the sideline and told him the expectation is for him not to force the ball. There were very tough conditions out there. It is hard under that kind of wind and rain; I’ve played the position, so I know that. But, I feel good about him as our quarterback and as the leader of our team.

Q: Did we not see Blake LaRussa because you didn’t want to burn his redshirt?
A: No, there was never a point where I thought about playing him or anyone else at quarterback. Shuler Bentley needs to play. Even down by that embarrassing score of 49-0, he needs to play. He needs the reps, and he needs to get better. The guys around him need to get better. There are 10 guys around him on the field that need to play better. They’re not playing well enough to help him get to the level that he’s going to get to. I have no doubt in my mind that he’s going to be an excellent quarterback. Everybody, including me, needs to rally around him.

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