SOPHOMORE SEASON: Football Monarchs Open 2010 Season Vs. Jacksonville

September 01, 2010
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Sept. 1, 2010

Complete Game Notes in PDF Format

Game One
Saturday, September 4th - 6:00 p.m. (EST)
Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium - Norfolk, Va.
Old Dominion Monarchs (0-0) vs.
Jacksonville Dolphins (0-0)

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
Livestats: Gametracker

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

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SATURDAY, SEPT. 4th - 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 pm. - ODU pre-game radio show begins team from Kaufman Mall
5:15 p.m. - Marching Monarchs, cheerleaders, and dance team perform on Kaufman Mall 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. Jacksonville
Post Game - "5th quarter" - Marching Monarchs performance in stadium

• The JU football team begins its 2010 season on the road facing two of the top teams in the country, starting with Old Dominion and following with Appalachian State.

• Jacksonville enters the season coming off back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in program history. JU sports a 16-8 record over the last two years.

• Senior running back Rudell Small has already rewritten the school record book and enters his final season as a candidate for theWalter Payton Award. Small is the first Dolphin to record back-to-back 1,000 yard rushing seasons.

• The Dolphins are expected to be in the hunt again for the Pioneer Football League title, receiving four first place votes and finishing a close third behind Dayton and Butler in the preseason coach's poll.

• The JU defense returns just five starters, led by linebacker Joseph Fennell, who enters his final season needing 45 tackles to break into the top five list for career tackles. He needs a career-best 103 tackle to tie Brandon Torre for the school record.

• The season opener is a rematch of last year's thriller at D.B. Milne Field that saw the Monarchs rally in the fourth quarter for a 28-27 win. It was one of three losses by the Dolphins in 2009 when holding the lead entering the fourth quarter.

Response for Monarch football has been overwhelming. 14,377 season tickets were sold with season ticket applications made available in Feb. 2008. The school had to unfortunately turn away 296 season ticket orders for a total of 1,065 season tickets due to demand in the first season. The Monarchs enjoyed a 92% percent renewal rate for year number and went to the waiting list and promptly sold out of season tickets. A limited number of six-game packages were also available for purchase. Those tickets went on sale at 10 a.m. August 17th and sold out. Just under 500 tickets were scooped up in a little more than two hours. Tickets are also heavily in demand among the student population. Over 1,200 ODU students were in line when distribution began on Monday, August 24th at 8 a.m. for the inaugural game vs. Chowan on September 5th and over 2,500 student tickets were handed out on the first day. By the next night, only approximately 100 student tickets were available. The Monarch student population one-upped themselves this year as ticket distribution for the home opener vs. Jacksonville on September 4th were made available on Monday, August 30th at 7 a.m. and were completely gone by 2:30 p.m. that day. When the ticket windows opened, the line wrapped around the Ted Constant Convocation Center as head coach Bobby Wilder, his assistant coaches, and the 2010 captains were on hand to hand out donuts to those first in line.

The Monarchs made history on September 5th when a three-year dream became a reality. On May 31, 2006, the ODU board of visitors voted to add football and 1,293 days later, the Monarchs kicked off their first season of Division I FCS play. ODU played an 11-game schedule, including seven home dates at the $24.8 million renovated Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium. The schedule was a mix of both D-II and D-I FCS opponents to help the Monarchs transition into not only its first year of football, but also to get ready for entering the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) in 2011, the toughest FCS conference in the nation.

The Monarchs will enter the 2010 season riding a six-game winning streak which is among the top active streaks among FCS schools.
Win Streak - School:
9 - Villanova (2009 National Champs)
8 - Penn
8 - Prarie View
6 - Old Dominion
5 - Robert Morris
4 - Norfolk State
4 - Jacksonville State
4 - James Madison
4 - Charleston Southern
3 - Jacksonville

And no, we're not talking about the howitzer you hear being shot off before the Monarchs run onto Foreman Field. Old Dominion scored on the first drive in seven of its 11 games of the 2009 season.

There may be 11 Monarchs on the field, but the 12th Monarch is in the stand. 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.
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

In 2009, 16 different Monarchs put points onto the scoreboard. "It's not necessarily one or two guys who are forcing the defense to defend multiple personnel and different personnel groupings," said head coach Bobby Wilder. "It's making us a team that's able to do different things. We're not an easy team to defend on offense right now."

For the second straight year, redshirt junior defensive lineman Chad King (Springfield, Va.) was selected to attend the All American Bowl as an escort for this year's high school athletes. King, who is a cadet in ODU's Army ROTC program, is a member of a unit that encompasses six difference states and over 40 ROTC programs that are in South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and West Virginia. Two cadets from the unit were selected as escorts with King ranked as number one cadet of those nominations submitted due to his athletic and academic successes. While at the All American Bowl, King will serve as a mentor to the high school athletes helping to escort the players throughout the weekend to each event and give advice to those about to enter the college ranks about the experiences of a collegiate student-athlete.

The theme for the 2010 team is to be, "Humble and Hungry". "We are proud of what we accomplished in 2009. Having a 9-2 record, a six-game winning streak to end the season, and being recognized as the best first-year program in FCS history is something we are all proud of," explained head coach Bobby Wilder. "However, we realize that last year's success will not make a difference in the score of our games this year. If anything, we realize our opponents will look at our team differently in 2010." "We have all decided as a team we will be Humble based on our success last year," continued Wilder. "We will be grateful for the support we received. We think often of the 20,000 12th Monarchs that filled Foreman Field for seven Saturday's last fall. We will realize that we had success because we worked together as a team to accomplish our goals." "At the same time, we have decided we will be Hungry for more in 2010," noted Wilder. "We realize our schedule will be more challenging. We realize we have set the bar high for future success and expectations. We want to be the best team we can be in 2010 and we will work to improve everyday as people, students, and football players."

• Punter Jonathan Plisco - Top 10 FCS Specialists By The Sports Network; First Team All-American Defense by Consensus Draft Services, First Team All-American by Phil Steele, Preseason All-American by the Sports Network, Lindy's All-FCS Team, Phil Steele All-Independent Team, College Sporting News Preseason FCS All-American, FCS College football Performance Award Watch List
• Quarterback Thomas DeMarco - Walter Payton Watch List, TSN Independent Offensive Player of the Year Honorable Mention All-American by Consensus Draft Services, Phil Steele All-Independent Team, FCS College football Performance Award Watch List
• Defensive Tackle Ronnie Cameron - "Transfer to Watch" by the Sports Network
• Defensive End Deron Mayo - "Transfer to Watch" by the Sports Network
• Wide Receiver Nick Mayers - Phil Steele All-Independent Team
• Running Back/Special Teams Mario Crawford - Phil Steele All-Independent Team, FCS College football Performance Award Watch List
• Offensive Tackle Ryan Jensen - Phil Steele All-Independent Team
• Offensive Guard - Bryan Morrison - Phil Steele All-Independent Team
• Defensive Lineman - Chad King - Phil Steele All-Independent Team
• Defensive Back Devon Simmons - Phil Steele All-Independent Team
• Linebacker Craig Wilkins - Phil Steele All-Independent Team
• Long Snapper - Dustin Phillips - College Sporting News Preseason FCS All-American

The Monarchs' game with William and Mary on September 18th will be a "White Out" and the Homecoming Game on October 23rd against Georgia State will be a "Blue Out". The ODU Bookstore will be producing a game specific shirt for each game and will be available in the Bookstore starting in early September.

Sophomore cornerback Markell Wilkins (Hampton, Va.) will miss the 2010 season will a torn ACL suffered while working out with Phoebus teammate Reid Evans last week. "You feel awful for the kid," said Wilder. "If there is a silver lining, he does have a redshirt year available." Last season, Wilkins appeared in all 11 games making 28 tackles, including 21 solo stops.

Head coach Bobby Wilder praised the improvement of his squad's communication this preseason, which is evident among many of the returning Monarchs. "What's great is that you see our veterans coaching up either the new guys or guys new to their position," he noted.

Big Screen Network was on campus during the Monarchs' media day the first week of preseason to film many of the video elements fans will see up on the video board at today's game. BSN is an award-winning production company that has produced, developed, and directed in-stadium shows for nearly every major event in sports including the Olympics, NFL, and NCAA Championships.

FOX43 and ODU Football have teamed up to debut The Old Dominion Football Show with Bruce Rader and Coach Bobby Wilder on Friday September 10th. Sponsored in its entirety by Priority Automotive, the weekly show will be broadcast every Friday night at 10:45 pm during the college football season exclusively on FOX43 and

Last year coach Wilder would yell out "Sudden Change", throwing the squad into drills they sometimes where not expecting. Today "Mayday" was called out and that sent the PAT/Field goal team scrambling onto the turf. "If we need a field goal to win, don't have any timeouts, and say we were at third down and were tackled inbounds, we will yell "Mayday" and that alerts the PAT/Field Goal team to run out. We don't have time to call the protection, we just have to get set and kick the field goal to win the game."

Attention Alumni, fans, and friends...the ODU Alumni Association (ODUAA) has ticket and tailgate opportunities available for the Monarchs' road games this season. Check out the ODUAA website for more information.

In a vote by their teammates, linebacker Craig Wilkins (Washington, D.C.), quarterback Thomas DeMarco (Palm Desert, Calif.), defensive end Deron Mayo (Hampton, Va.), and defensive tackle Ronnie Cameron (Westbury, N.Y.) were named captains. Wilkins, who also served as a captain in the Monarchs' inaugural season in 2009, is ODU's returning leading defender having made 65 tackles, three interceptions, and seven pass break-ups a season ago. DeMarco, who is on the Walter Payton Award watch list, was the second leading FCS quarterback in rushing throwing for 21 touchdowns and running another 17 into the endzone. Mayo and Cameron both begin their first season on the Monarch roster after transferring from the disbanded Hofstra program and were among the Top FCS Transfers to Watch by The Sports Network.

The Monarchs are receiving votes in the preseason poll by The Sports Network released on Monday afternoon with 25 points from the voters. Monarch opponent William & Mary was ranked fourth while Cal Poly (239), Hampton (12), VMI (5), and Jacksonville (2) joined ODU in the receiving votes category.

One of the most challenging aspects of the 2010 preseason was the weather. "The adversity we've had with the rain and lightening this year hasn't even been been close compared to the last two years of camp," commented Wilder. "They've handled it well though and pushed through it."

COMEBACK KIDS: Monarchs Edge Jacksonville, 28-27
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- With 45 seconds left in the game, Dorian Jackson (Colonial Heights, Va.) had a 32-yard catch from quarterback Thomas DeMarco (Palm Desert, Calif.) to give Old Dominion a 28-27 come from behind victory over Jacksonville in its first ever road game.

Donovan Curry had a 52-yard field goal attempt for the Dolphins in the closing seconds, but the ball sailed wide right and the Monarchs, who trailed for almost the entire game, improved their record to 3-0.

Old Dominion, playing in their first ever road game, was also playing its first ever FCS team. Jacksonville, a team that went undefeated at D.B. Milne Field a season ago, dropped to 1-2 on the year.

The Dolphins struck first on the first drive of the game. Elliot Finkley, who had a pair of touchdowns in Jacksonville's season opening win, caught an 11-yard pass from Josh McGregor in the corner of the end zone for the quick score. Junior Edmon McClam (Cowart, S.C.), however blocked the extra point, the fourth time he's thwarted the opposition from earning the PAT.

The Monarchs reached fourth and long on their first offensive drive of the afternoon, returing possession back to the Dolphins, but it wasn't very long before Old Dominion had the ball back. Defensive back Donald Smith (Chesapeake, Va.) snagged a pass from the Dolphins' quarterback McGregor. Moving it down field, the Monarchs tried to light up the scoreboard on a field goal attempt, but redshirt freshman Drew Hareza's (McDonald, Pa.) kick went wide.

Jacksonville upped the score to 13-0 with three minutes remaining in the opening quarter. McGregor connected with Rodney Sumter on a 12-yard pass to cap off an 11-play, 71-yard drive.

The Monarchs started to clamp down on the Jacksonville offense for most of the second quarter. The Dolphins, who converted five of eight times on third down in the first quarter limited Jacksonville to converting on one of three from thrid down in the second quarter. Old Dominion broke on the scoreboard as rookie running back Mario Crawford (Detriot, Mich.) inched his way into the endzone as the Monarchs used 14 plays for the touchdown. Crawford pushed his way through the throng of Dolphin defenders for the score with the Monarchs trailing 13-7.

Sam Bell had a 27-yard reception for Jacksonville, scoring with 24 secons left in the quarter to give the Dolphins a 20-7 edge heading into the intermission.

The third quarter started off with a bang. A quick score saw the Monarchs trail just 20-14 with 13:37 in the stanza. The Monarchs' Markell Wilkins (Hampton, Va.) recovered a Finkley fumble and two plays later ODU was in the end zone. After recovering the ball at the Jacksonville 34, Crawford dashed down field for 32 yards to the two-yard line giving the Monarchs first and goal. Moments later, Crawford crossed the end line for his second touchdown of the afternoon.

The Monarchs missed their second field goal attempt to close out the third quarter and Jacksonville responded with a fast touchdown reception to open the fourth and final quarter. Larry Thompson caught the ball for the Dolphins fourth touchdown in the end zone to go ahead 27-14.

DeMarco made things exciting brining the Monarchs to within a touchdown with a 47-yard dash down the field with just over 10 minutes left in the game. Then his heroics continued.

With 2:08 left in the game, the Monarchs moved the ball 91 yards to take their first lead of the game. Starting the drive at their own nine-yard line,capping the drive was a 32-yard pass from DeMarco to Dorian Jackson (Colonial Heights, Va.) with 45 seconds left.

The Dolphins had one last drive left in them, but the game ended with Jacksonville's field goal sailing wide right of the uprights.

MONARCH MOMENTS - Jacksonville:

Junior Edmon McClam picked up his fourth blocked PAT of the season.

There were firsts left and right last season. First game, first road trip, first FCS opponent. This trip also marked a first for 15 members of the ODU travel party. 15 members of the ODU football squad got on a plane for the first time in their lives. While several had some nerves, most were out for a quick nap once the charter plane reached cruising altitude.

"Heat was definitely was a factor," said head coach Bobby Wilder, "no question about it. You try to prepare for this as much as you can. When you are going full speed for three straight hours and its 95 degrees with the heat index, its hard on the kids. I can't say enough about how proud of them I am. Our training staff, Marty Bradley and his crew, did a phenomenal job of getting our guys back in there. They were hurting because of the heat, but they stuck it out and got a win."

Those who follow the Monarchs shouldn't be surprised they were ready for the Monarchs to pull off what they did at the end of last year's game. "We do sudden change all the time in practice where they will be in the middle of some sort of warm-up and I'll yell "Sudden Change" and we'll be in the two minute drill," said head coach Bobby Wilder. "The reason you try to do that is to try and make them uncomfortable in practice and that gets them ready for situations like today. Considering this is only the third game we've played together, I thought they were very poised. There was no panic. We do it all the time, so this is what they are used to doing. If you put them through it enough, there isn't a sense of panic."

For more news and notes on ODU Football, see complete game notes