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Thursday, December 6, 2012

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ODU's Taylor Heinicke has put opposing teams on notice that he is a threat both as a passer and runner. Photos by Chuck Thomas
Dudley Award Winner Taylor Heinicke Will Lead Monarchs Against Georgia Southern Saturday

Dudley Award Winner Taylor Heinicke Will Lead Monarchs Against Georgia Southern Saturday

Led by sophomore sensation quarterback Taylor Heinicke, Old Dominion hosts Georgia Southern at noon Saturday, Dec. 8, in a third-round Football Championship Subdivision playoff game that will be televised on ESPN.

Heinicke was named Wednesday as the 2012 Dudley Award winner, an honor that goes to the top player in Division I football - Football Bowl Subdivision and Football Championship Subdivision - in Virginia. The award is named for Bill Dudley, star player at the University of Virginia and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

As of Wednesday morning, tickets for Saturday's game were available online at or by calling 1-888-3COXTIX. The Monarchs will be in blue uniforms and fans are encouraged to wear ODU blue.

ODU defeated Coastal Carolina 63-35 last Saturday in the second round of the FCS playoffs (see photo below)), while Georgia Southern knocked off Central Arkansas 24-16.

Old Dominion and Georgia Southern met last year in Statesboro with the Eagles coming away with a 55-48 win.

In the Monarchs' win over Coastal Carolina, Heinicke threw for 497 yards and tied an FCS playoff single-game record with six touchdown passes. He broke the FCS playoff record with 542 yards of total offense.

Heinicke leads the FCS in passing yards, passing yards per game, total offense, points responsible for and touchdown passes, and also has 422 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns.

A native of Atlanta, Heinicke has completed 367 of 535 passes for 4,655 yards. He is just 209 yards away from breaking Steve McNair's single-season FCS record for passing yards. McNair threw for 4,863 yards for Alcorn State in 1994. Heinicke is also second behind McNair for total offensive yards in a season with 5,077. McNair had 5,799 yards of total offense in that 1994 season.

Heinicke has thrown for 300 yards or more eight times and three or more TD passes eight times this season, including at least four touchdown passes in the last three games.

He is one of three finalists for the Walter Payton Award, given to the top player in the FCS. He was named the CAA Offensive Player of the Year and All-CAA first-team quarterback.

Coach Bobby Wilder, right, leads the Monarchs onto the field last Saturday against Coastal Carolina.

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