Wednesday, July 20, 2011

2011 Old Dominion Football Schedule

On September 3, 2011, Old Dominion will host the Campbell University Camels to kick off their inaugural season as a member of CAA football.  We'll take a high-level look at the Monarchs' schedule in this post.  Leading up to the first weekend in September, I'll get more in depth with the team's opponents as I do more research. 

The full schedule can be found at's website here.  Home games will be in all caps.

9/3/2011 - CAMPBELL
Campbell University started FCS football a couple years ago at the same time as Old Dominion.  2011 will mark the third consecutive season the two start-up programs face each other.  The Monarchs won 28-17 in 2009 and crushed the Camels 44-17 in North Carolina last season.

9/10/2011 - at Georgia State
Future conference mate Georgia State scheduled a home-and-home with Old Dominion for 2010 and 2011 before joining CAA Football in 2012.  Last season the Monarchs were up 34-6 in the fourth quarter at home before taking their foot off the pedal and winning 34-20.  This season they were lining up to be more of a challenge, but in the spring the team's first-string QB was suspended for their first four games.  This week it was announced their second-string QB was arrested and charged with forcible entry in connection with a burglary.  The Panthers' projected starting QB now is their punter from last season, to be backed up by a true freshman. 

9/17/2011 - HAMPTON
The Monarchs will conclude a home-and-home with Hampton Roads' rival Hampton University this season.  Last season the Monarchs blocked two punts in a 28-14 win.  The Pirates' defense was surprisingly stout in the game, but when the defensive line is anchored by an NFL-quality DT, maybe it wasn't as surprising as it initially thought.  There's no word on whether this rivalry is scheduled beyond this season.

9/24/2011 - at Delaware
And now, for something completely different.  The CAA offices did the Monarchs no favors by scheduling their first conference game against the FCS national runners-up, the Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens.  This team is legitimate, even if they have lost star QB Pat Devlin to graduation.  Delaware opens its season against Navy; a Blue Hen victory should not be considered an upset.  We'll examine this team as we get closer to the game.  Tickets to this game have been ordered so I'll be able to provide a personal game report.

VBR Productions saw Delaware up close in person in the FCS playoffs against GSU.  This team will be the biggest challenge for the Monarchs to date.
10/1/2011 - UMASS
Minutemen, we hardly knew thee.  The University of Massachusettes announced its plans to join the MAC conference in 2012 for football.  The administration and the MAC felt it was in the best interests for the Minutemen to join, and it's hard to fault a team that's not a full member of the CAA to jump at the FBS opportunity.  This will be the Monarchs' only conference game against the team, so I won't spend further time now on them.

10/8/2011 - at Rhode Island
One of the teams from the old Yankee Conference that UMass is deserting is Rhode Island.  I'm seriously debating traveling up to see this game, but the more sensible alternative is to stay local and see Towson at Johnny Unitas Stadium.  We'll see how adventurous VBR Productions is feeling as we get closer.  The Rams finished 5-6 (4-4) last season.  Head coach Joe Trainer is excited at the level of talent his team displayed in the Rams' spring game this season.

10/15/2011 - TOWSON
This game represents what may be Old Dominion's best chance at its first conference victory.  The Tigers have gone winless in the CAA since beating Rhode Island on October 10, 2009, and their only victory in 2010 was a five-OT game against Coastal Carolina.  Coach Rob Ambrose begins his third season as the helm of Towson's football program.  He seems to be going about recruiting the right kids and coaching them to turn around the struggling program.

10/22/2011 - at Villanova
Have you noticed a lack of a bye week yet?  Don't hold your breath waiting for it.  After taking on the weakest conference foe based on last year's records, ODU travels to Philadelphia for a showdown with Villanova.  The 2009 FCS national champions made a great run in the 2010 playoffs but couldn't get past recurring injuries to standout Matt Szczur.  But who cares about that right now?  Two words, 'Nova - PETEY SESSOMS!

10/29/2011 - JAMES MADISON
When I attended Old Dominion, I hated James Madison way more than I hated Virginia Commonwealth.  I remember Kent Culuko draining a three-pointers as the buzzer sounded in the CAA tournament final in 1994, and the hatred grew from there.  Then I encountered numerous JMU fans and they seem decent enough in person.  (Conversely over time, I encountered numerous VCU fans who threw food and beer at me and mine when we simply walked by.  But I'll save that for basketball season.) 

The game against James Madison should re-ignite the "hatred" between fans of the two schools.  The ODU administration wisely resurrected the Oyster Bowl for this game.  For more on the history of the Oyster Bowl, click here - it's quite fascinating.  As for the game itself, James Madison returns a top-two CAA defense from last season.  This is the defense that defeated Virginia Tech last season, so the talent is unquestionable.  It'll be a tough game for Thomas DeMarco and Company. 

Hokie fans found out how talented the JMU Dukes are.
11/5/2011 - RICHMOND
The Spiders return USC-transfer Aaron Corp to the lineup in 2011 after he missed six games due to a knee injury.  At least one draft analyst has Corp as the tenth-best quarterback prospect for the 2012 NFL draft.  Regardless, we must never forget that the University of Richmond almost single-handedly destroyed the CAA more than ten years ago.  Infinite thanks go out to Delaware, Hofstra, Towson and Drexel for jumping the America East conference to save what we now know to be the CAA.

11/12/2011 - at William and Mary
Anyone who attended the game last season between the Tribe and the Monarchs can attest to the electricity in the air.  Foreman Field was rocking before, during and after the game.  Old Dominion held a lead late into the fourth quarter before falling 21-17.  There's no question that the Tribe were the better team last year but it was good to see the Monarchs give them an extremely tough test.  This season, William and Mary represents the eleventh consecutive opponent for the Monarchs without a bye week. 

As if playing in the best FCS conference weren't tough enough, they scheduled us to play eight straight CAA opponents in a row.  Hopefully attrition will be minimal and we can give the Tribe another effort to end our regular season.

The Monarchs got their first taste of CAA action last season and held up well against the Tribe, ultimately losing 21-17.
As the season approaches I will have more in-depth analysis of the Monarchs' opponents.  Some teams (James Madison) are more vocal on the web than others (Campbell), so it'll be easier to research some teams more than others.  Kickoff is less than two months away!

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