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Game Two Preview: Old Dominion vs. Norfolk State

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NORFOLK, Va. - Old Dominion University football takes on Norfolk State in the home opener on Saturday, Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. on ASN. The game is ODU's 42nd straight sellout at Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium.

• Old Dominion is 5-1 all-time in home openers.

• Sophomore running back Ray Lawry rushed for a career-high 28 times for also a career-best 223 yards in ODU’s season-opening 38-34 win at Eastern Michigan.

• With 1:57 left on the clock, Lawry ran up the middle for a 45-yard touchdown, his fourth of the game, and Tim Ward intercepted a pass to seal the win.

• Lawry’s 223 yards was just one yard shy of the school record of 224 set by Thomas DeMarco in 2009 and just two carries shy of DeMarco’s record of 30. The four touchdowns tied Lawry’s and DeMarco’s single-game record.

• Lawry currently leads the nation in rushing yards and is tied for the lead in touchdowns.

• In his first career start, quarterback Shuler Bentley led the Monarchs to a fourth quarter comeback victory. He started the final drive with a 30-yard pass to Nick England before Lawry’s touchdown run. Bentley was 18-of-32 for 184 and tossed his first career touchdown pass to David Washington.

• TJ Ricks tied his own career-high with 14 tackles and a tackle for loss. Aaron Young had 10 tackles and an interception while Justice Davila had nine stops.

• Senior safety Fellonte Misher recorded eight tackles and three pass breakups. He moved into fourth on ODU’s all-time tackle charts and the three pass breakups his tied for a single-game high.

• The win at Eastern Michigan made the Monarchs 5-2 all-time in season openers.

• ODU Head Coach Bobby Wilder is 53-20 in his seventh year at Old Dominion.  The former Maine offensive coordinator led ODU to FCS playoff berths in 2011 and 2012 along with a CAA Championship in 2012.

Second Year Receivers Shine
Last season Jonathan Duhart, Nick England and Marques Little slowly adjusted to the college game. The trio combined for just 30 receptions on the year. On Saturday, they combined for 10 receptions and were ODU’s top three leading receivers. Duhart had a hude 31 yard completion on a third and 12 while England caught a 30-yarder to start the game-winning drive.  Little was Shuler Bentley’s favorite target early.

Strong Opening Day Showing For Punters
If not for Taylor Heinicke averaging 47 yards per punt last season, the ODU punting unit would have been one of the worst in the country. On Saturday, Satchel Ziffer and Jarrett Cervi pinned EMU inside their own 20 twice, for a total of four times on six punts.  The biggest of the day was saved for last, as Ziffer punted 61 yards to put EMU at their own 14 for their final possession before Lawry’s game-winning touchdown.

Taking it Away
Last year the Old Dominion defense intercepted just five passes. In Saturday’s win at EMU Aaron Young and Tim Ward registered their first career interceptions. Young played in 18 career games before yesterday and had recorded 10 tackles and two pass breakups. He notched 10 tackles and the interception on Saturday.

A true freshman from North Carolina, Ward clinched the win by deflecting a pass and then picking it off. He also recorded three tackles and in the win.