NORFOLK, Va. – Norfolk State (0-1) continues its three-game road swing against FBS teams to start the 2015 season this Saturday across town against intra-city foe Old Dominion (1-0). The contest kicks off at 7 p.m. from ODU’s S.B. Ballard Stadium. The Norfolk schools will be meeting for the third time, wrapping up a home-and-home series that included a last-second ODU win at NSU’s Dick Price Stadium in 2013.
American Sports Network (ASN) will broadcast the game Saturday with Jeff McCarragher handling play-by-play duties and Ken Dunek serving as color analyst. McCarragher served as the play-by-play announcer for NSU football in 2005. Locally, the game can be seen on MyTVZ channels (2 and 502 on Cox Cable, 11 and 511 on Verizon Fios, 2 and 9 on Charter Cable, and 33 over the air). It is also available on DirecTV and DISH Network channel 33. For a complete listing of nationwide TV outlets carrying the game, see the link at the top of the page.
WGH Star 1310 AM is in its second season as the flagship network for NSU football and basketball games. Ross Gordon will handle the play-by-play duties, with Terrell Ducre’ serving as the color analyst. The game can also be heard online at http://www.star1310.com.
SCOUTING THE SPARTANS
NSU opened the 2015 season and the Latrell Scott era with a 63-13 loss to Rutgers of the Big Ten last Saturday in Piscataway, N.J. The Spartans trailed just 21-13 at the half thanks to a pair of touchdown passes from Greg Hankerson Jr., but Rutgers outscored the Spartans 42-0 in the second half to pull away for the win.
Hankerson, the Florida Atlantic transfer making his Spartan debut, completed 18 of 28 passes for 199 yards and those two touchdowns. DeAndre Sangster, seeing his first action since 2013, had six catches for a career-high 101 yards for the Spartans. Torian Henderson also caught a 29-yard TD pass from Hankerson late in the first half.
Rutgers outgained the Spartans 539-196. Rutgers held NSU to negative-3 rushing yards.
Deon King had a game-high 12 tackles and a pass breakup to lead the Spartan defense.
SCOUTING THE MONARCHS
Old Dominion twice rallied from 14-point deficits to win its season-opener on the road, 38-34, at Eastern Michigan last Saturday. ODU’s first and only lead came on running back Ray Lawry’s 45-yard touchdown run with 1:57 left to play. Defensive end Tim Ward sealed the win for the Monarchs with an interception in the final minute of play.
Lawry earned Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week honors by rushing for 223 yards and four scores, both of which led all FBS players nationally in week 1. Redshirt freshman Shuler Bentley, making his first career start for ODU, passed for 184 yards and one TD.
ODU’s defense yielded 444 yards to EMU, but did force three turnovers and register three sacks.
• This will be the third meeting all-time between ODU and NSU. The Monarchs lead, 2-0.
• ODU beat NSU 35-18 in the first round of the Division I FCS playoffs on Nov. 26, 2011, in the squads’ first-ever meeting. The game was played at S.B. Ballard Stadium at ODU.
• In the first game of the current home-and-home series, ODU topped the Spartans 27-24 on Jarod Brown’s 24-yard field goal on the final play of the game on Oct. 26, 2013 at NSU’s Dick Price Stadium.
NSU has three former ODU players on its roster:
• RB Gerard Johnson was ODU’s No. 2 rusher in 2014, and ran for 865 yards in two seasons as a Monarch.
• CB Sandy Chapman, like Johnson, also transferred to NSU from ODU prior to this year. Chapman played in 20 games with four starts over the last two years for ODU.
• DB Brad Bradley redshirted at ODU in 2011 before transferring to NSU. He sat out the 2012 season since ODU was an FCS team when he transferred to the Spartans, meaning he did not qualify to play immediately at NSU. Bradley is a fifth-year senior for the Spartans and a backup safety.
QUICK HITS FROM RUTGERS
A few notes from last Saturday’s loss to Rutgers:
• The 13 points NSU scored are its most ever against an FBS opponent. The Spartans did not score in their three previous trips to Rutgers.
• The 63 points NSU allowed are the most ever scored against NSU by an FBS school.
• TE Torian Henderson, a redshirt senior, scored a TD on his first career reception, a 29-yarder in the second quarter.
• Five true freshmen played: DL Walter Brantley (five tackles, TFL) and Cornelius Tyler (one tackle), WR/KR Marcus Taylor (62 all-purpose yards), P Bo Lomax (33.1-yard avg.), and OL Wes Jones. Brantley was the only true freshman to start on offense or defense.
• Three redshirt freshmen played in their first career games: DB Aaron Chandler (one tackle), DL Hadji Gaylord (one tackle) and OLB James Byers (three tackles).