Monday, September 12, 2011

The First Weekend with College and Pro Football

In 2010, Old Dominion ran for 229 yards against the Georgia State Panthers.  With the return game at the Georgia Dome in 2011 in early September, we were expecting the Panthers' defense to have improve dramatically - after all, there was an influx of talent while the returning players had a full season under their belts.  Surely, the Monarchs couldn't run for 229 yards again...right?

Old Dominion did not run for 229 yards in the rematch...they ran for 277.  Colby Goodwyn exploded for 190 rushing yards on 26 carries, good enough for him to be named National Running Back of the Week by The College Football Performance Awards.  He was also named the CAA Offensive Player of the Week.  Thomas DeMarco attempted only 21 passes in the win after throwing 38 times at home against Campbell. 

The player of the game for me was Paul Morant, a sophomore out of Hampton, VA.  The safety burst through Georgia State's blockers and got his hands on two punt attempts.  Although he himself didn't score on either play, one block was picked up returned for a touchdown, while the second led to another touchdown before halftime.  Look for more on this game in the FCS Roundtable at

Through two games, Morant (20) has one INT and two blocked punts.  These three  plays resulted in touchdowns for Old Dominion.

Because the game was played in Georgia, it was a road game that I could not attend in person.  Instead I went to see Towson defeat the Villanova Wildcats 31-10.  You can read my analysis of the game and the rest of the CAA in my post.  Ed Sheahin posted a phenomenal story on the game at the CAA Zone.  Towson is for real.

Meanwhile in the professional football world, the Buffalo Bills knocked around the Kansas City Chiefs 41-7.  I'm not at all surprised that Buffalo won, but the final score was a shock.  The Chiefs were a flimsy playoff team last season and Ryan Fitzpatrick burst onto the scene the second half of last sesaon.  The Harvard graduate threw four touchdowns yesterday while D-III product Fred Jackson had 112 yards rushing.

Unlike Trent Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick is not afraid to throw the ball downfield in Chan Gailey's spread offense.

But one game is not enough to get me excited.  The last playoff game the Bills played was in January 2000.  In Roman numerals that's "MM" compared to the current year, "MMXI."  One quarter of the schedule has Buffalo battling the Patriots and Jets; I'll feel good about our playoff chances if we can split with these two teams.  I wouldn't bet on anything with the Patriots; the Bills haven't beaten Tom Brady since 2003.  Again, that's "MMIII" or "VIII" years ago.

This week I'll be at Foreman Field to see Old Dominion's final non-conference game this season.  The Monarchs defeated this week's opponents, Hampton, by a score of 28-14 last season.  Deron Mayo blocked two punts in the first half to help ODU build a quick lead, and the Pirates weren't able to come back.  It should be a great atmosphere for the local rivals.

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