Don’t know a lot about the 2021 Old Dominion Monarchs? Well don’t feel bad, given their schedule it’s hard to really get a bead on who they are going to be this season.
A look at the Monarchs Season so far:
They have been blown out by two pretty good football teams.
Wake Forest is 3-0 and just stomped Florida State. They are getting votes in the AP and coaches polls, so this is not one of those years where they “don’t count” as a P5 program in terms of schedule strength. They are a solid team who made Old Dominion look silly
Liberty is also 3-0, and while they don’t have a signature victory yet they are a school that’s not only getting votes in both polls but are just short of being actually ranked.
So these games have shown us that if you stick Old Dominion up against a team playing around the top 25 in the nation they are going to get smashed.
They blew out their FCS payday game for the year
Hampton is one of the stronger programs in the Big South this season, but it is an FCS team, and not a ranked one.
Still 47-7 over a half way decent FCS team shows that the Monarchs are not beyond playing solid football.
Old Dominions Offense:
Running the ball: ODU has a two headed beast in the backfield.
Junior Elijah Davis is having a breakout year. He’s averaging 7.6 yards on the year and over five yards per carry against Liberty and Wake Forest. He’s also shown some competency in the passing game as a guy coming out of the backfield.
Along side Davis is freshman Jon-Luke Peaker who has shown to be solid enough to allow Davis the occasional breather without too much falloff in the ground game.
Throwing the ball: After an Early Season Battle it looks like D.J. Mack has won the role
Mack was splitting time with Hayden Wolff through the first two games but against liberty is was all Mack. He seemed to make the most of it. Despite being relentlessly harassed by Liebrty’s pass rush he managed to go 15-27 for 134 yards and a touchdown. It’s likely we’re going to be seeing him this week.
Catching the ball: Because of their issues at QB it’s hard to know who to worry about but Zack Kuntz looks to be a factor
Overall this is an offense that has not really found it’s footing. The running game shows promise and there is talent behind center but they’ve not managed to put it all together.
Basically UB needs to play smart defense and then let Taylor Riggans loose.
Old Dominion’s Defense
On the other side of the ball the Monarchs have been far better. For the past couple of seasons the defense, particularly the front seven, have been average to above average and carried the team. They’ve lost a lot of talent but Jordan Young is back leading a pretty talented, albeit inexperienced, unit of linebackers.
This is a prime opportunity for UB to establish the ground game, using Kyle Vantrease and the receivers to keep Old Dominion honest and free up space for Kevin Marks.
Play solid, relatively mistake free ball, and the Bulls should be able to move the ball well.
The Bulls work to date suggest they should be able to go into Virginia and get a win. Hitting MAC play at 2-2 would be a solid spot for first year Coach Maurice Linguist.