|Monday, November 19, 2012|
ODU Earns First-Round Bye in FCS Playoffs; Monarchs to Host Second-Round Game Dec. 1
The Old Dominion Monarchs have earned a No. 4 seed in the NCAA FCS football playoffs and received a first-round bye. ODU will host the winner of the Coastal Carolina vs. Bethune-Cookman game at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium.
The Monarchs go into the NCAA FCS Playoffs with a 10-1 overall mark and are 7-1 in the CAA. ODU finished in first place in the CAA but received an at-large bid to the playoffs. ODU was ineligible to receive the CAA's automatic bid.
ODU improved its record to 10-1 Saturday night at James Madison, coming from behind to win 38-28. After gaining just 117 yards at halftime and trailing 21-10, ODU exploded for 21 points in the second half. Sophomore quarterback Taylor Heinicke threw for 357 and four second-half touchdowns.
With a 7-1 record in the CAA, ODU stands alone atop the conference standings. Heinicke finished the regular season with 4,158 yards, ranking him 13th on the single-season passing yards list in FCS history.
Bethune-Cookman earned the automatic bid out of the MEAC and is 9-2 on the season. The Wildcats have won seven straight games and are coached by Brian Jenkins.
Coastal Carolina is 7-4 on the year and earned the automatic bid out of the Big South. The Chanticleers have won five straight and defeated Charleston Southern 41-20 on Saturday to clinch their bid.
ODU leads the country in total offense at 538.27 yards per game and is second in the country in passing offense and scoring offense.
Heinicke leads the country in passing yards (378.00), yards per game (4,158), total offense (412.27), points responsible (24.18) and touchdown passes with 35.
Senior wide receiver Nick Mayers leads ODU receivers with 63 catches for 980 yards and a CAA best 13 touchdowns. He ranks sixth in the FCS with his 13 TD grabs.
Sophomore Antonio Vaughan had 51 receptions for 673 yards and six scores while Blair Roberts had 49 catches for 626 yards and five TDs, while Larry Pinkard had 42 grabs for 593 yards and four touchdowns.
Sophomore running back Tyree Lee leads the Monarchs and is seventh in the CAA with 751 rushing yards; he is tied with Heinicke for seventh in the league with eight rushing touchdowns.
Old Dominion leads the CAA and is 15th in the nation with 32 sacks on the year. Senior Craig Wilkins has a team-best 5.5, while Chris Burnette has four and Erik Saylor and Alex Johnson each have three. Wilkins leads ODU with 77 tackles.
This is the Monarchs' second ever appearance in the FCS playoffs. Last season ODU hosted Norfolk State in the first round, defeating the Spartans 35-18 before falling at Georgia Southern 55-48 in the second round.
Villanova received the automatic bid from the CAA and opens the playoffs in the first round at Stony Brook, which received an at-large bid out of the Big South.
New Hampshire, the third team out of the CAA to make the field, received a bye and travels to Wofford in the second round.
North Dakota State received the No. 1 overall seed, with Eastern Washington the No. 2 seed and Montana State the No. 3 seed. Georgia Southern is the No. 5 seed.
The first round will begin Saturday, Nov. 24.