GAME SIX: Old Dominion at Rhode Island
By ODU Athletics
Oct. 5, 2011
Saturday, October 8, 2011 - 1:00 p.m. (EST)
Meade Stadium - Kingston, Rhode Island
Old Dominion Monarchs (4-1, 1-1 CAA) vs.
Rhode Island Rams (1-3, 0-1 CAA
Radio: ESPN RADIO - 94.1 FM
(Ted Alexander - Play-by-Play; Andy Mashaw - Color Analyst)
Audio: Monarch Media (Subscription Required)
THE QUICK HITS
Old Dominion enters Saturday's game for the first time as a nationally-ranked team taking on the Rams ranked at No. 21 by The Sports Network/FatHead.Com Top 25 Poll.
The Monarchs picked up their first CAA win and first win over a nationally ranked opponent in last week's 48-33 win over then-#20 UMass. On Saturday, ODU will be looking for its first CAA road win after suffering a a 27-17 setback to Delaware in Newark two weeks ago in their CAA debut.
Old Dominion restarted its football program in 2009 after a 69-year absence and in its three years has compiled an 21-6 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 4-1 this season with victories over Campbell, Georgia State, Hampton, and #20 UMass.
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 1-1 mark in the league. Seven of the CAA's 11 programs were ranked in the national preseason polls and eight are ranked this week - Delaware, New Hampshire, James Madison, Richmond, Towson, Old Dominion, and Maine.
With week five's 48-33 win over then-#20 UMass, the Monarchs improved to 4-1 on the season, 1-1 in the CAA, 3-0 at home this season, and 13-4 overall at their home turf of Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard.
Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium continues to be the place to be in Hampton Roads on Saturdays. The Monarchs' 17 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 seventh in average attendance through week five.
As a team through week four, the Monarchs are ranked in the Top 20 nationally in Scoring Offense (7th - 38.20), Sacks (8th - 3.40), Rushing Defense (11th - 86.20), and Total Offense (16th - 431.20).
Individually in the national stats this season Jonathan Plisco ranks second in punting (46.77), running back Colby Goodwyn ranks 19th among all-purpose runners (154.00), defensive tackle Ronnie Cameron is 19th in sacks (1.70), and kicker Jarod Brownin 17th in scoring (9.00) and 18th in field goals (1.40).
All-Time Vs. Rhode Island:First Meeting
The Rhode Island Rams enter Saturday's game at 1-3 overall and 0-1 in conference play. After dropping contests with Syracuse and then #21 UMass, the Rams picked up a 21-17 win over Fordham in their only other home appearance prior to taking on the Monarchs Saturday afternoon. Rhode Island followed with a 35-21 loss at Brown the following weekend.
FORMER TEAMMATES MEET:
ODU defensive tackle Ronnie Cameronand Rhode Island quarterback Steve Probst were once teammates at Hofstra before the school disbanded and on Saturday meet as opponents. Last season in his Rhode Island debut, Probst was the only CAA quarterback to pass for over 1,800 yards and rush for over 600 yards. This season, Probst, a First Team Preseason All-CAA selection, is third in the league in total offense (233.0 y/g), seventh in passing (178.2 y/g), ninth in rushing (54.8 y/g). Meanwhile, Cameron is second among CAA defenders in tackles for loss and third in sacks.
SHORT TERM CONFERENCE RIVALS:
Last week, the Monarchs met up with UMass, who will be leaving the CAA this season for FBS status with the MAC. Rhode Island will be a conference rival until next season when the Rams make the move to the NEC in 2013.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE RAMS:
Brown's Kyle Newhall-Caballero threw for a pair of touchdowns and ran for two more as the Bears defeated Rhode Island in the annual Governor's Cup. Quarterback Steve Probst ran for a 73-yard rushing touchdown on the Rams' first possession of the night, the longest rush of his career, and later added a 61-yard scoring run. However, it was all Brown in between the two big plays from Probst. Newhall-Cabellero hit Mark Kachmer for a 27-yard strike at 7:14 of the first quarter, and then found Alex Tounkara-Kone for 17 yards and a 14-7 lead. Newhall-Caballero wasn't finished, as his 2-yard run gave Brown a 21-7 lead before halftime. Probst got Rhody back in the game with his 61-yard run just 1:02 into the third quarter, but the momentum was short lived. Newhall-Caballero responded with his fourth touchdown of the night, a 2-yard scoring run with 2:45 left in the third.
WELCOME TO THE TOP 25:
When the ODU Football Monarchs take the field on Saturday against the Rhode Island Rams, it will be as a nationally-ranked team. In another first for the ODU Football program, the Monarchs are ranked in the Top 25 coming in at No. 21 in this week's Sports Network/Fathead.com FCS Top-25 College Football Poll. The Monarchs, who are one of eight CAA teams in this week's poll, made the jump after defeating then-#20 Massachusetts, 48-33, last Saturday night to improve to 4-1 overall. Other CAA teams ranked in this week's poll are No. 6 New Hampshire, No. 7 James Madison, No. 9 William & Mary, No. 13 Delaware, No. 14 Richmond, No. 19 Maine, and No. 25 Towson. In the FCS Coaches Poll, the Monarchs are still receiving votes coming in at No. 27 with fellow CAA schools James Madison at No. 6, New Hampshire at No. 7, William & Mary at No.9, Delaware at No. 11, and Richmond at No. 16. Maine was the top team receiving votes followed by Old Dominion and UMass.
EIGHT TEAMS RANKED IN THE CAA:
Eight CAA Football teams appeared in this week's Top 25, the first time ever a league has had as many as eight teams in one week's poll at the FCS level. Prior to its number of eight ranked, CAA Football was the only conference to ever boast seven among TSN's rankings in a single week having done that 14 times.
RISING UP THE RANKS:
It took the ODU Football Monarchs until year three and 27 games to receive its first Top 25 ranking. 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.
STOPPING THE RUN:
The Monarchs are currently 11th nationally and second behind James Madison in the CAA in rush defense. Take a look at how ODU has shut down its opponent's run game.
ODU vs. The Opponent Run Game:
|OPPONENT:||AVG. RUSH ENTERING GAME:||AVG. RUSH VS. ODU:||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|
MORE SCHOOL RECORDS:
Taylor Heinicke's 56-yard pass to Reid Evansmidway through the fourth quarter in week five's win over then #20 UMass was the longest in school history and the fourth 50+ passing touchdown in the Monarchs' young three year history.
50+yard Touchdown Receptions:
56 - Reid Evans from Taylor Heinicke - vs. #20 UMass - 10/1/11
55 - Nick Mayers from Thomas DeMarco - vs. Monmouth - 9/26/09
50 - Chris Lovitt from Thomas DeMarco - vs. Savannah St. - 11/6/10
50 - Marquel Thomas from Thomas DeMarco- vs. Chowan - 9/5/09
ODU's on-side kick following its opening field goal was the eighth time in ODU's history the team has attempted and kept possession on an on-side kick. The Monarchs were 5-for-5 last season and 2-for-2 in 2009.
Making first appearance for the Monarchs were true freshman running back Tyree Lee and quarterback Taylor Heinicke in the Monarchs' week five victory over then-#20 UMass. Heinicke started the entire second half of the game throwing for 119 yards and two touchdowns en-route to CAA Rookie of the Week honores. Lee finished the game with 11 carries for the 38 yards. ODU has had 10 true freshmen taking the field this season, which also includes offensive lineman Josh Mann, running back Lorenzo Smith, wide receiver Blair Roberts, long snapper Rick Lovato, as well as Jakwail Bailey, Mitch Castlebery, James Faircloth, and Neal Anthony Hale on special teams.
BLOCK THAT KICK:
Special teams now has 17 blocks to its credit in the last three seasons, including five already in the 2010 season, which according to an unofficial poll of FCS schools are the most blocks by a school this season. In their last outing, Jakwail Baileyblocked 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 have made a block in the last four straight contests.
2011 FCS LEADERS (total blocked kicks)
North Dakota - 5 (3 FGs, 2 PATs)
Old Dominion - 5 (1 FG, 4 Punts)
Citadel - 4 (4 punts)
Drake - 4 (2 FG, 1 PAT, 1 Punt)
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 Pinkardreturning 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 Morantblocked a punt in the victory.
For more information on ODU Football, check out complete game notes