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Old Dominion

College Football

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Old Dominion doubled its win total last year en route to a 10-3 record, sharing the East division title and beating Eastern Michigan in the Bahamas Bowl. Unfortunately, there’s really only one way to go but down for this team with a new quarterback expected to lead the team. While plenty of experience returns, a new quarterback could hold the offense back from competing for a C-USA title.

Blake LaRussa led the early QB competition, only because he was last year’s backup. Juco transfer Jordan Hoy will be in the mix along with freshman Steven Williams. Matching what David Washington did last season for the Monarchs (31 TDs, 5 INTs) will be close to impossible. At the least, the running game should be just as good with Ray Lawry (1,255 yards, 11 TDs) now a senior and Jeremy Cox (732 yards, 13 TDs) providing support. The line returns four starters so Lawry and Cox should come close to matching last year’s numbers as long as the new quarterback doesn’t completely stall the new offense. Able wide receivers are there to help out as well with Jonathan Duhart (735 yards, 9 TDs) and Travis Fulgham (478 yards, 8 TDs) the top options.

Reaching double-digit wins again may require the defense to take another step, but with six starters returning and multiple new faces at linebacker, that could be tough. The line is set with ends Bunmi Rotimi and Oshane Ximines combining for 14.5 sacks last season. Linebacker will undoubtedly see a drop off with two of the expected starters freshmen. But the secondary will be fine with three starters returning and plenty of depth behind them. Corner Brandon Addison and safety Rob Thompson lead the back end as seniors.

Once again, Old Dominion has a couple tough non-conference games, but both of them come against ACC teams this time around. Still, the Conference-USA schedule is once again workable with North Texas and Rice the competition out of the West. Overcoming Western Kentucky will be the goal, but that’s far from easy, even at home. A final road game at Middle Tennessee will also be plenty difficult after not playing the Blue Raiders last year.

With a new quarterback, challenging for the East division will probably be a little more difficult than a season ago. But, the Monarchs have enough talent around the quarterback to make it to seven or eight wins (although their over/under is at 6.5). Their +925 odds (at 5Dimes Sportsbook) to win C-USA are well behind WKU and slightly behind MTSU, mostly because of that matchup against the Blue Raiders coming on the road.


2017 Old Dominion Monarchs Football Schedule

Sept. 2 vs. Albany
Sept. 9 at Massachusetts
Sept. 16 vs. North Carolina
Sept. 23 at Virginia Tech

Oct. 7 vs. Florida Atlantic
Oct. 14 at Marshall

Oct. 20 vs. Western Kentucky
Oct. 28 at North Texas

Nov. 4 vs. Charlotte
Nov. 11 at Florida International
Nov. 18 vs. Rice
Nov. 25 at Middle Tennessee

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