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Mace & Crown | April 22, 2018

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ODU Football Thrashed by C-USA Power WKU

ODU Football Thrashed by C-USA Power WKU
Roberto Castro
Contributing Writer

Old Dominion (4-3, 2-1 C-USA) traveled to Houchens-Smith Stadium in a highly anticipated conference clash against a proven conference champion. After starting the season 1-2 the Monarchs strung together a three-game win streak in which two of those wins came against conference opponents, leading the team to a 2-0 record in conference play.

The Monarchs were riding high after impressive performances in which they averaged over 40 points and only allowed 17 points per game.

In what appeared to be the Monarch’s first real test in the conference, the team seemed to possess a large amount of confidence, however, they were seemingly humbled as they fell to Western Kentucky (5-3, 3-1 C-USA) 59-24.

The Hilltoppers struck fast scoring on their first drive and the Monarchs struggled to find their groove. At the end of the first quarter, the Hilltoppers were seemingly unstoppable on both sides of the football as they dominated with an average of 10 yards per play. Their quarterback Mike White started the night on fire by completing his first 10 passes for 95 yards.

For the game, he passed for 378 yards, throwing four touchdown passes and completing 28 of 32 passes. His favorite target was wide receiver Taywan Taylor who finished with 10 receptions and 123 yards receiving. The Hilltoppers weren’t only successful through the air as they also compiled 107  rushing yards. Running back Anthony Wales finished with 157 yards rushing on 15 attempts, and Quinton Baker finished with 68 yards rushing on 12 attempts.

The Hilltoppers scored on their first five drives jumping out to a 35-0 lead on the Monarchs in the second quarter, but the Monarchs responded with scores of their own which included two big plays of 53 yards, both coming from Old Dominion’s quarterback David Washington, one on a slant pass to wide receiver Travis Fulgham, and the other a deep ball to wide receiver Zach Pascal just before the half. Despite the big plays coming on offense in the second quarter, the Monarchs still found themselves trailing 52-14 at halftime in which the Hilltoppers tallied 459 yards of total offense to just 200 for the Monarchs.

Western Kentucky dominated the game from jump keeping the Monarch’s defense on their heels for most of the game with their run-pass attack shredding ODU’s defense for over 600 yards of total offense. All night WKU’s offensive line created gaping holes for their running backs that lead to a tune of seven yards per rush on the night.

ODU’s two-headed rushing attack struggled and only produced 67 yards rushing for the game. With the running game struggling the Monarchs had to put the ball up in the air but the offense line had trouble protecting Washington who threw for 263 yards two scores.

The Monarch’s defense improved in the second half holding the Hilltoppers offense to only seven points in the second half, however, the game was already out of reach. Throughout the game, neither could handle their emotions. Late in the third quarter a brawl broke leading to the clearing of the benches, and an ejection (ODU backup safety Jamshyer McUmb). The game was chippy all night, and the Monarchs were unable to channel that energy into positive results on the field.

The Monarchs will look to bounce back next week as they travel to El Paso, Texas to take on the UTEP Miners in another conference game. Kickoff is set for 8 pm.