Start Time: 3:30 PM
Streaming: ESPN 3
Radio: Monarch Media
Betting: Monarchs -7.5
The Series: The series has been dominated by the Monarchs thus far winning both matchups between the two schools.
Outlook: In a matchup of the two last place teams in the east, the Old Dominion Monarchs (2-6, 0-4) fight for their first conference win and for the chance to stay bowl eligible; on the other side, the 49ers are coming off their first win of the season in an overtime thriller against a very good UAB team and a bye last weekend. Charlotte isn’t in contention for a bowl game but seem to be playing their best football in the past few weeks.
The 49ers have the electric Hasaan Klugh. The junior quarterback had his best game of the season against UAB throwing for 154 and rushing for another 140 with 3 combined touchdowns. It seems evident that Charlotte excels when they can get the rushing attack going with him.
Another player to look out for is sophomore running back, Benny LeMay. With 517 yards on the season and a 6.0 average per rush, you’ll see this bowling bowl getting the ball quite a lot. On defense, the Monarchs need to make sure to contain Klugh on the option and scramble plays in order to keep this offense in check. I am sure the 49ers payed attention to Mason Fine’s performance last week and how to escape the pocket and the Monarchs inability to get him down before he got a solid 4-5 yards. The Monarchs will most likely stack the box as the 49ers depend heavily on their rushing attack due to a very weak throwing game.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Monarchs will need to pick up the pace and start off hot and take this game over early. It has been a problem for the Monarchs these past two games closing out; so expect offensive coordinator, Brian Scott, to push the gas pedal fast right out of the gate in order to not rely on our freshman quarterback late in the fourth quarter. The rushing attack seems to be back in full power with both Cox and Lawry both taking caries. While one is contained, the other has had a breakout week with one of the two carrying for over 100 yards these past two weeks.
The most fun Monarch to watch, Isaiah Harper, will be vital in the offense this week. It seems like whenever he touches the ball something good happens. The Junior receiver played running back in high school and I would love to see him get more wildcat/designated run plays as his sole rush of last week went for 22 yards. The speedster can make people miss and gives the Monarchs a jolt of energy. However, I wouldn’t expect much in KOR this week as Charlotte will for sure not kick to the young man.
This will be an interesting game and a game the Monarchs must win to stay in bowl contention. You better believe that Bobby Wilder has instilled that in his kids and they will come out ready to play. Both teams are very similar in almost every stat category having the same amount of total yards (319.8) and almost the exact same amount of yards allowed (440.6 to 437.1) in the Monarchs favor. This game will depend on if Hasaan Klugh can escape the pocket as I don’t see them being able to convert long 3rd downs as successfully as other teams the Monarchs have faced this year. Overall, I think the Monarchs have started to get an understanding on offense and they win 42-31.