Start Time: 12:00 PM
Where: S.B. Ballard Stadium, Norfolk, Virginia.
TV: American Sports Network
Radio: FAU here.
Series: Old Dominion leads 1-0
Betting Line: FAU -4
Old Dominion Outlook: It's pretty simple for the Monarchs: Win and you're in. Lose, and the season is over.
In their second season as a member of Conference USA Old Dominion has made a pretty nice transition to the FBS ranks. After going 6-6 overall and 4-4 in the conference last season the Monarchs will have a chance to go 6-6 and 4-4 once again, which will be good enough for their first bowl game ever.
Although the Monarchs have five wins on the season, they have yet to beat a single team with a winning record as they have beaten Eastern Michigan, Norfolk State, Charlotte, UTSA, and UTEP this season.
For all intensive purposes, ODU could very well be the worst team to play in a bowl game ever.
Their offense is run heavy and will go through sophomore running back Ray Lawry. After a phenomenal freshman season Lawry has avoided the sophomore slump to rush for 1128 yards and 11 touchdowns this year. He is averaging 112 yards per game.
Shuler Bentley will be the one handing him the ball after starter David Washington suffered a season ending injury against Southern Miss last week.
As a freshman Bentley has seen a ton of the field season as both him and Washington have split time at quarterback this year. Bentley has thrown nine touchdowns to six interceptions with a 51.8% completion rate. He is a traditional drop back passer.
Defensively the Monarchs are allowing 36 points per game. Safety Fellonte Misher leads the team with three interceptions. The defense does a good job of limiting explosive plays as they rank 56th in IsoPPP and 51st in Rushing Iso PPP but don't defend the pass well at all. They are 94th in the country in Passing S&P.
FAU Outlook: Thanks to some dubious officiating and a a few missed opportunities by the offense FAU missed a monumental upset last week in a 20-14 overtime loss to the 12th ranked Florida Gators.
Last week defense continued their stelar play on the season as the defensive line controlled the line of scrimmage all day. Nick Internicola, Trevon Coley, Brandin Bryant and Hunter Snyder combined for five sacks.
Ocie Rose all but sealed a mention on the All-Freshman Team as he scored his third defensive touchdown of the season by recovering a fumble in the end zone.
Last season FAU had their senior day ruined by the Monarchs in heartbreaking fashion as the Monarchs were able to hit the game winning field goal with no time left on the clock to win 31-28.
If FAU is to win their second game on the road this season the offense must show up. Against a talented Gator defense the Owls were unable to do much of anything. Although they ran 84 plays they averaged just 3.2 yards per play.
In his final game Jaquez Johnson must put the offense on his back and look for fellow senior Jenson Stoshak who had six receptions for 53 yards against some future pros last week. Against ODU he should have a field day.
The Owls will have to say goodbye to some recognizable faces next year as Brandin Bryant, Jaquez Johnson, Jenson Stoshak, Trevon Coley and perhaps even Conference USA Defensive Player of The Week Nick Internicola who is eligible for the draft after season's end.
Prediction: Vegas has FAU as a four point favorite and although I think their right. FAU has played a much tougher schedule than ODU.
FAU has more talent as they displayed against Florida and a much higher ceiling than the Monarchs. S&P gives FAU a 61% win probability.
The question is whether FAU is going to be able to bring it in what will be a cold environment on the road after pulling off a dramatic upset in The Swamp
I'll say one thing, all the goodwill Charlie Partridge earned after nearly pulling off the upset would be gone if FAU has a lackluster performance against ODU.
I have not been able to figure FAU in conference games at all this season so take my prediction with a grain of salt but I say ODU with more to play for, in front of a sold out stadium, will eek out a 20-17 win to secure bowl eligibility.