Norfolk State-Old Dominion
Start Time: 7:00 P.M. ET, Saturday, Sept. 12
Location: S.B. Ballard Stadium, Norfolk, VA
Records: Old Dominion 1-0, Norfolk State 0-1. Old Dominion leads the overall series 2-0.
Live Stats: here.
Betting Line: No line.
Old Dominion Outlook: Showing off a more balanced offense, the Old Dominion Monarchs took everything MAC foe Eastern Michigan had to offer before pulling out a 38-34 week one win.
Running back Ray Lawry (28/223/4TD) had a career day in his first game as a sophomore, averaging 8.0 yards per carry on the day. Quarterback Shuler Bentley (18-32/184/1TD) was solid in taking over for one of the best quarterbacks in Old Dominion history, but must be ready to take a step forward in the upcoming weeks. Bentley did a great job of spreading the ball around to eight different receivers on the day.
Eastern Michigan did not have a very impressive offense last fall, but the Old Dominion defense had no answers in the week one matchup. The Monarchs were blasted for 444 total yards that included 252 yards on the ground. TJ Ricks (14 tkl, 1 tfl) lead the way with a team-high 14 tackles in the win. Justice Davila (9 tkl) and Aaron Young (9 tkl, 1 INT) also played well for a Monarchs defense that made eight tackles for loss, two sacks, and two interceptions.
Norfolk State Outlook: The Spartans start the season with back-to-back matchups versus FBS programs after facing Rutgers in week one.
Norfolk State struggled in the season opener on offense with only 196 total yards versus the Big Ten program. Running backs Eric Pittman (6/17/0TD) and Gerard Johnson (11/6/0TD) combined for 23 yards with the Spartans ending the day at -3 rushing yards. The passing game was much more effective with Greg Hankerson (18-28/199/2TD) nearly breaking the 200 yard mark. DeAndre Sangster (6/101/1TD) was the leading Spartan receiver, making six of the 18 total catches.
The Spartan defense was overrun by Rutgers in week one with the Scarlet Knights totaling 539 yards of offense for 8.7 yards per play. Rush defense is a cause for concern after giving up 6.2 yards per carry and nearly 300 yards on the ground. The Norfolk State pass defense was not much better in giving up four touchdowns on only 13 pass attempts.
Prediction: The Monarchs were impressive in their season opener offensively but struggled to slow down the Eastern Michigan offense. Norfolk State is nowhere near as good as EMU but should give Old Dominion a slight push back early in this contest. If the Monarchs can get the running game going at anywhere near the level of week one, this game should turn into a rout. Old Dominion wins in a blowout.