WEEK ELEVEN: #11 Old Dominion at William & Mary
Nov. 9, 2011
TV: Cox 11, Cox NOVA, Roanoke, CSN+ - check local listings for availability (John Castleberry - play-by-play; John Bunting - Color Analyst)
Radio: ESPN RADIO - 94.1 FM (Ted Alexander - Play-by-Play; Andy Mashaw - Color Analyst; Demetrious Means - Sideline)
Audio: ODUSports.com (subscription required)
Video: TribeAthletics.com (subscription required)
THE QUICK HITS
Old Dominion enters Saturday's game having moved up to its highest ranking to date following its 42-28 regular season home finale win over Richmond. The Monarchs come into Saturday's 2011 regular season finale ranked at No. 11 in both The Sports Network/Fathead.com and FCS Coaches Poll Top 25 Poll.
Old Dominion restarted its football program in 2009 after a 69-year absence and in its three years has compiled an 25-7 overall mark as the best start-up in FCS history.
Old Dominion went 9-2 in its inaugural season, 8-3 in 2010, and currently stands at 8-2 this season with victories over Campbell, Georgia State, Hampton, #20 UMass, Rhode Island, Villanova, #9/10 James Madison, and Richmond.
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 3-2 mark in the league. Seven of the CAA's 11 programs were ranked in the national preseason polls and six are ranked this week - New Hampshire, Maine, Towson, Old Dominion, and Delaware.
With week ten's win over Richmond, ODU's, the Monarchs improved to 8-2 on the season, 5-2 in the CAA, 5-1 this season and 12-2 all-time at Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium.
Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium continues to be the place to be in Hampton Roads on Saturdays. The Monarchs' 20 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 fifth in average attendance through week nine.
As a team through week ten, the Monarchs are ranked in the Top 20 nationally in Net Punting (6th - 37.94), Scoring Offense (10th - 35.90), Sacks (10th - 3.330), Rushing Defense (15th - 109.00), and Tackles for Loss (19th - 7.80).
Individually in the national stats this season Jonathan Plisco ranks second in Punting (46.32), defensive lineman Ronnie Cameron ranks 23rd in Tackles for Loss (1.55), Aaron Evans ranks 26th in Kickoff Returns (25.57), and Reid Evans ranks 28th in Punt Returns (8.62).
VOTE FOR WILDER: There are numerous post-season coaches' awards, but only a few that are determined by fans. For the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award, winning is only part of the equation. Created in 2006, the award recognizes one college football coach from each NCAA division (I-FBS, I-FCS, II and III), rewarding them for their sportsmanship, integrity, responsibility and excellence. Winners will receive $50,000 to donate to a charity of their choice, a $20,000 grant to each school's alumni association and the Coach of the Year trophy. Go to http://www.coachoftheyear.com and vote today and every day for Bobby Wilder, the head coach of the greatest startup program in FCS history.
BATTLE FOR THE SILVER MACE: Beginning this year, there is a new tradition between the Old Dominion University Monarchs and the William & Mary Tribe; two staples of the Colonial Athletic Association. During the athletic season of 2011 through 2012 this historic rivalry will come to a pinnacle in the "Optima Health Challenge." Sponsored by Hampton Roads based Optima Health, the trophy will be presented annually to the school which accumulates the most points in head-to-head competitions in all sports.
Along with the all sports challenge, the annual football contest will be the "Battle for the Silver Mace", with the winner presented a replica of the Norfolk Mace. The Mace is currently being held in the Chrysler Museum of Art, located in Downtown Norfolk. The Norfolk Mace was presented to the Norfolk Common Council by Royal Lt. Governor Robert Dinwiddie in 1754 to acknowledge that Norfolk was one of the most loyal provinces to King William.
Points Format: During the year, the Colonial Athletic Association foes will face off 15 times, with each event being worth 10 points. The Monarchs and Tribe will compete head-to-head in football, men's and women's swimming, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's tennis, field hockey, baseball and women's lacrosse, with the potential of meeting also in CAA Tournaments. The winner will be the first school to reach 80 points.
CURRENT SCORE: Old Dominion 30, William & Mary 20
Old Dominion Victories:
(10/12) Men's Soccer: W, 3-0
(10/28) Field Hockey: W, 2-0
(11/5) Men's Swimming: W, 175-158
William & Mary Victories:
(10/28) Women's Soccer: W, 4-0
(11/5) Women's Swimming: W, 191-150
SO HONORED: Quarterback Taylor Heinicke was recognized quite a bit the last week. After being among those added to the Jerry Rice Watch List, he lead the Monarchs by throwing for a season-high 373 yards and three touchdowns in the Monarchs' 42-28 victory over Richmond. Completing 34 of his 47 attempts and posting his second 300+ passing game of his six appearances thus far, he was not only named the Colonial Athletic Association Rookie of the Week for the second straight week and third time overall, but was also named The Sports Network/Fathead.com National Freshman of the Week and the National Peformance and Quarterback of the Week by the College Sports Peroformance Awards.
THANK YOU SENIORS: Old Dominion's eight seniors will be playing in their final regular season game on Saturday.
Ronnie Cameron - Defensive Tackle: Since joining the team last season, has 134 tackles including 12.5 sacks in his Monarch career. Currently leads the CAA in tackles for loss, ranking 23rd nationally, and is fourth in the CAA in sacks.
Thomas DeMarco - Quarterback: Two-time Walter Payton Watch List member, has 5,711 passing yards, 1,444 rushing yards, 51 TD passes and 30 career rushing touchdowns in his Monarchs career.
Prentice Gill - Wide Receiver: Coming into today's game, has 67 catches for 997 yards and eight touchdowns in his Monarchs career. First Monarch to crack the 100+ receiving yards in a game mark.
Jeremy Hensley - Center: Coming into today's game, Jeremy has started 27 of the Monarchs; 32 games at center. Helped the Monarchs rank ninth among FCS schools in rushing offense and 18th among FCS schools in total offense in 2009 and eighth in the FCS in scoring offense and 22nd in total offense in 2010.
Ryan Jensen - Left Tackle: Started all 12 games at right tackle in 2009 helping to pave the way for Old Dominion to rank ninth in rushing offense and 18th in total offense nationally. Named to Phil Steele's Preseason All-Independent Team in 2010. Has started all 10 games at left tackle.
Chad King - Defensive End: A member of Army ROTC, has totaled 88 tackles including 16.5 for a loss during his Monarchs career, which includes 31 stops, 5.5 tackles for loss, and 4.5 sacks this season. Led the Monarchs in tackles for loss in their inaugural season.
Edmon McClam - Defensive Tackle: Holds the Division I record for most blocked PAT's by a single player in a game (FCS or FBS) ans is also tied for the FCS record for combined blocked kicks in a game and set a FCS season record by blocking five PATs in 2009.
J.J. Williams - Linebacker: Comes into today with 96 tackles during his Monarchs career. Has collected 55 tackles this season along with 2.5 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks.
All-Time Vs. William & Mary:
MEMORABLE CAREER MOMENT: Junior tight end Kai Blanco gave the Monarchs a 6-0 edge over the Tribe in his first career touchdown reception. The four-yard pass from Thomas DeMarco gave the Monarchs a lead over the #12/13 team in the FCS.
FIRST AGAINST THE TOP 25 Last year's game marked the first ranked opponent ODU has ever faced. The Tribe entered the game ranked #12 by The Sports Network Poll and #13 in the FCS Coach's Poll.
BREAKING-UP IS HARD TO DO: Cornerback T.J. Cowart registered three pass break-ups, tying for the most in a game by a Monarch in last year's match-up. Cowart, who has been sidelined since week two with an wrist injury, had been the Monarchs' leader in the category having three pass break-ups in a game with the Tribe as well as Georgia State and Gardner Webb last season.
IN THE CAA STATS: While Old Dominion enters Saturday's game as the league's leader in scoring offense at 35.9 points per game, William & Mary comes into the game as one of the conference's leaders in scoring defense, allowing opponent just 20.7 points per game. The Tribe has been particulary effective on its pass defense allowing just 193.6 yards per game in the air, second among the CAA schools.
COLONIAL HISTORY: William and Mary has been playing football for 118 seasons having played 1115 games, as opposed to Old Dominion's third season of play and heading into its 32nd game. Tribe head coach Jimmye Laycock, a 1970 graduate of The College of William & Mary, holds a career record of 212-150-2 in his 32nd year at the helm of the Tribe program. His 212 wins ranks sixth nationally among all active FCS coaches, while his 90 conference victories ranks third all-time in the CAA.
LAST TIME VS. THE TRIBE: Gareth Hissong caught a four-yard touchdown pass from Mike Callahan with less than five minutes to play to give #12/13 William & Mary (2-1) a come-from-behind 21-17 win over Old Dominion (1-2) Saturday night in front of a sold out crown at Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium.
On third and goal, Callahan rolled out and hit Hissong in the flat for the winning score, which was Hissong's first career catch.
Jarod Brown had given ODU a 17-14 lead with a 20-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter.
ODU came out firing, taking the 7-0 lead on a four-yard touchdown pass from Thomas DeMarco to redshirt sophomore Kai Blanco.. The drive was set-up after Michael Williams returned an interception for 17-yards setting up the Monarchs at the Tribe's 48. A 33-yard pass to Marquel Thomas brought ODU into the red zone and four plays later Blanco put the Monarchs into an early lead.
The Tribe had a pair of chances to cut into the lead early in the second quarter. First, David Miller's 31-yard field goal attempt went wide right. With Old Dominion starting the following drive on its own 20, William & Mary quickly regained possession on a fumble on ODU's 17 on the Monarchs' first play. The defense held, which included a nine-yard sack by Deron May and Ronnie Cameron that put the Tribe at fourth and goal on the ODU 17. This time, Miller's kick hit the right upright and ODU held on to its 7-0 lead.
William & Mary did tie the score in the middle of the second quarter, with Jonathan Grimes capping off a six play, 84 yard drive with a 30-yard touchdown run.
The Monarchs quickly responded as Colby Goodwyn ripped off a career long 41 yard touchdown run to put ODU back on top and go into halftime up 14-7.
It took just one offensive play in the third quarter to tie the game, as Callahan hit Chase Hill down the right sideline, and he broke two tackles to go in for the score.
The Monarchs reclaimed the lead with 9:41 left in the game. ODU had the ball at first and goal at the Tribe's own two-yard line, but the Monarchs were unable to find a gap in the William & Mary defense to cross the endline. Jarod Brown however, managed to get points on the board and put ODU ahead 17-14 with his 20-yard field goal.
The following drive saw Hissong's touchdown that capped an eight-play, 66 yard drive for the Tribe.
Jonathan Grimes led the Tribe with 124 yards rushing and a touchdown. Thomas DeMarco was 21-of-40 passing for 186 yards and the touchdown, while Mario Crawford was his top target with seven catches for 44 yards. Ronnie Cameron and Michael Williams led the Monarch defense with 10 tackles each.
RISING UP THE RANKS: The Monarchs moved up one spot in both The Sports Network/Fathead.com and FCS Coaches Polls to No. 11 this week in both polls. Its the highest ranking for the Monarchs to date.
It took the ODU Football Monarchs until year three and 27 games to receive its first Top 25 ranking on October 3, 2011 coming in at No. 21 21 in The Sports Network Poll. 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.
WELCOME TO THE TOP 25:
When the ODU Football Monarchs take the field on Saturday at William & Mary, it will be as a nationally-ranked team in both The Sports Network/Fathead.com and FCS Coaches Polls for the fifth consecutive week.
In another first for the ODU Football program, the Monarchs were ranked in the Top 25 for the first time in school history coming in at No. 21 five weeks ago in The Sports Network/Fathead.com FCS Top-25 College Football Poll. Following the Monarchs victory over Rhode Island, ODU made its FCS Coaches Poll debut during week seven coming in at No. 22.
I'LL CATCH IT IF I CAN: Redshirt junior wide receiver Reid Evans' 12 receptions last Saturday were the most in school history surpassing the nine catches by former Monarch Monty Smalley in last year's game against Georgia State as the ODU benchmark.
Reid Evans became the second Monarchs with over 100 yards receiving in a game this season with a career-high 149 against the Spiders. Evans' previous career-high was 111 yards on eight catches in last year's season finale at N.C. Central. Nick Mayers has ODU's only other 100+ yard receiving game this season with 166 against Towson.
E-Z PASS: True freshman quarterback Taylor Heinicke's 373 passing yards against the Spiders in week ten were a season-high for the Monarchs and the third 300+ passing game for ODU this season. Thomas DeMarco, prior to his ankle ankle sprain injury, had 310 yards in the season opener at Campbell, while Henickie had 360 yards against Towson in week seven.
LIKE TOTALLY: The Monarchs' 587 yards of total offense against Richmond last weekend was another ODU record. It resets the previous high of 518 captured against then-#20 UMass in the week five win over the Minutemen. ODU has had one other game of over 500 yards of total offense with 506 against Campbell in the season opener.
For more information on ODU Football, check out complete game notes!