NORFOLK (WAVY) – Following Old Dominion’s 37-3 loss to James Madison on Saturday, the Monarchs will not be eligible for a bowl game this season.
ODU (3-7, 2-4) dropped its fourth consecutive game. The Monarchs last win was a 49-21 victory over Coastal Carolina (9-1, 6-1), which cracked the AP top 25 on Sunday. The Chanticleers come in ranked 23.
In that win over Coastal, ODU set a school record in rushing yards, but since, the running game has been virtually non-existent.
Out of 131 FBS teams, ODU ranks 129th in third down conversions.
The Monarchs are 123rd in rushing yards per game and they rank last in the Sun Belt conference in scoring.
Granted the Monarchs are without their two top offensive targets, tight end Zack Kuntz and wide receiver Ali Jennings. Both players are out for the season.
With no bowl game on the horizon, coach Ricky Rahne admits that some players have checked out, but not all of them.
“Do I believe that we have some guys on our team that have overtly or slyly packed it in? Yeah.” Coach Rahne said. “But that’s every team in America. I think the vast majority, and by vast I mean 90 percent, probably higher, of our team will be there (practice) tomorrow with their jaws set that they are gonna fight.”
Yesterday against the Dukes, Rahne, who also acts as quarterbacks coach, replaced quarterback Hayden Wolff with Notre Dame transfer Brendon Clark.
Wolff was 12 of 22 for 112 yards and two interceptions.
Not known for his mobility, Wolff was the teams leading rusher yesterday with 27 yards.
Clark completed 2 of his 4 pass attempts and threw an interception. He also ran three times for 12 yards.
“Hayden had been fighting and doing a lot of things and taken quite a few hits,” Rahne said. “I thought that Clark had practiced well during the week, he deserved an opportunity. Nobody prepares harder or competes harder than Hayden but I thought in the moment it was the right time to see what Brendon could do under live bullets.”
So will we see a new starting quarterback Saturday when the Monarchs travel to Boone, NC to take on Appalachian State?
“I plan on evaluating the tape on every position on our team and see who needs to be our starters,” Rahne said.
After next week’s game against App State, the Monarchs end the season on the road at West Division co-leader South Alabama.