Ray Lawry
Ray Lawry
Rick Voight

ODU Football Notebook: A Look at the Running Backs

March 20, 2017
By ODU Athletics
Old Dominion re-started football in 2009, and offensively was a balanced attack that relied on quarterback Thomas DeMarco to both run and pass. DeMarco led the team in rushing that year with nearly 900 yards and passed for another 1,921. Since that first season, the offense morphed into a throw it around the field type offense with quarterback Taylor Heinicke, who is currently in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings. The offense turned full circle in 2016, as running backs Ray Lawry and Jeremy Cox combined for 1,987 yards and helped ODU set a new single-season rushing record.

This is ODU running backs, by the numbers.

One Season
Ray Lawry burst onto the scene in 2014 as a true freshman running back. The newcomer from Logan Township, New Jersey, carried the ball 20 times for 155 yards and four touchdowns the first five games of the season, including a 14 carry, 71-yard three touchdown game at NC State. After a pair of 100-yard games against Marshall and UTEP, Lawry earned his first career start at WKU, recording 148 yards and four touchdowns. He finished the season with five 100-yard rushing games, including his first career 200-yard game in the finale at Florida Atlantic.

Lawry has backed up his freshman season with a pair of 1,000-yard rushing seasons, the first two such seasons in school history.

Prior to Lawry’s first three seasons, quarterback Thomas DeMarco was ODU’s single-season rushing leader with 892 in 2009. DeMarco had four 100-yard rushing games in 2009, including the still single-game record, 224 against NC Central.

Single-Season Rushing Yards
1. Ray Lawry (2016) 1255
2. Ray Lawry (2015) 1136
3. Ray Lawry (2014) 947
4. Thomas DeMarco (2009) 892
5. Tyree Lee (864) 2012

One Game
DeMarco still holds the single-game rushing record he set in the home finale against NC Central in 2009. He carried 30 times for 224 yards and four touchdowns. For the game, he had three runs of 20-yards or longer, including touchdown runs from 20, 25 and 38.

DeMarco’s record was in serious jeopardy in the 2015 opener at Eastern Michigan. Lawry carried 28 times for 223 yards, one yard away from tying the record. Lawry also had four touchdown runs, from 54, 2, 5, and the game-winning score from 45-yards out. Lawry holds the ODU mark with four, 200-yard rushing games.

DeMarco was ODU’s all-time leading rusher until 2013 with 1,456 yards, when Colby Goodwyn rushed for 76-yards in a win over Rhode Island to pass DeMarco. Goodwyn finished his career with 1,583 yards. In his 18th game at ODU, Lawry passed Goodwyn to become the all-time leading rusher and now has 3,338 for his career. Goodwyn is second, ahead of a pair of quarterbacks in DeMarco and Heinicke, followed by Mario Crawford and current Monarch, Jeremy Cox. Cox finished his sophomore season in 2016 with 732 yards and a team-best 13 rushing touchdowns, the 732 yards is the sixth most in a season in school history.

Career Rushing Yards
1. Ray Lawry - 3338
2. Colby Goodwyn - 1583
3. Thomas DeMarco - 1456
4. Taylor Heinicke - 1320
5. Mario Crawford - 1105

Catching out of the backfield
Two important parts of an ODU running backs job requirements are to block, and catch the ball out of the backfield. Goodwyn is the all-time leader for running backs with 76 catches, while Lawry is second with 56 grabs. Goodwyn’s 34 receptions in 2013 are the single-season record.


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