Old Dominion has made a habit of winning games it shouldn’t this season.
The Monarchs won their third game of the season Saturday, upsetting North Texas 34-31 in Norfolk, Virginia. ODU didn’t hold a lead until Lala Davis punched in a 1-yard touchdown with 15 seconds left in the game. The score was set up after Jonathan Duhart pulled in a 36-yard pass from Blake LaRussa on fourth-and-6 from UNT’s 40-yard line. The Monarchs then used three tries to get in the end zone, which ate up time the Mean Green needed in the end. ODU sacked Mason Fine on UNT’s Hail Mary attempt to seal the victory.
UNT had a stellar start, as Fine capped the Mean Green’s first possession with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Rico Bussey Jr., which gave Fine the most career passing yards in UNT history and gave his team an early 7-0 lead. That score started a 28-0 run for the Mean Green until ODU scored on a 1-yard touchdown run from Davis with 2:50 left in the first half. The Monarchs notched a field goal as time expired in the half to make the score 28-10 at the break.
ODU finished its comeback in the second half, outscoring UNT 24-3 to end the game with a win. The victory was the Monarchs’ second biggest upset of the season after upending then-No. 13 Virginia Tech, 49-35. That game was also on ODU’s home field.
LaRussa was the star of the Virginia Tech game, and he posted another solid start Saturday, throwing for 301 yards and two touchdowns on 21-of-43 passing. Davis ran for 50 yards on 18 carries with two big touchdowns.
Despite the loss, UNT had the biggest offensive standout in DeAndre Torrey, who ran for 145 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries. Fine threw for 240 yards and two touchdowns on 26-of-44 passing. He also threw his second interception of the season and first since Week 2 against Incarnate Word. There were 300 attempts between Fine’s two interceptions.
The Mean Green host Florida Atlantic on Thursday night in a rematch of last season’s Conference USA championship game. ODU will host VMI on Saturday.