ODU, Heinicke try to pass by Coastal Carolina
The Sports Network
Date & Time: Saturday, Dec. 1, 2 p.m. ET
Facts & Stats: Site: Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium (20,068) -- Norfolk, Va. Surface: Astroturf GameDay Grass 3D. Television: ESPN3.com. Announcers: John Sadak, Jay Walker. Home Record: Coastal Carolina 3-2; Old Dominion 5-1. Away Record: Coastal Carolina 5-2; Old Dominion 5-0. Series Record: First Meeting. Conference: Coastal Carolina - Big South; Old Dominion - Colonial Athletic Association. Nicknames: Coastal Carolina Chanticleers; Old Dominion Monarchs. Sports Network FCS Ranking: Coastal Carolina (NR); Old Dominion (3). NCAA Playoff Seedings: Coastal Carolina (NS); Old Dominion (4). Head Coaches: Coastal Carolina - Joe Moglia (1st season, 8-4 at Coastal Carolina and overall); Old Dominion - Bobby Wilder (3rd season, 36-9 at Old Dominion and overall). Playoff Records: Coastal Carolina (1-2); Old Dominion (1-1). Previous FCS Playoff Appearances: Coastal Carolina 2 (2006, 10); Old Dominion 1 (2011). Current Playoffs Streak: Coastal Carolina won its last playoff game; Old Dominion has split its last two playoffs games.
Game Notes: Coastal Carolina won a playoff game for the first time in program history last week, defeating Bethune-Cookman on the road, 24-14. The Chanticleers have benefited from a tough early schedule and the team's running game has come alive.
CCU has rushed for more than 200 yards in seven straight games and averaged 261 yards on the ground during that span. Amazingly, 200 rushing yards seems to be the key to success because in just 10 years as a football program, Coastal is 45-5 all-time when hitting that plateau.
Of course, playing well on offense won't be the team's only concern this week because the Chants have to try to contain Old Dominion's prolific offense.
ODU coach Bobby Wilder's offense ranks first in the FCS in total offense (538 yards per game) and second in passing (382 yards per game) and scoring offense (44 points per game).
Quarterback Taylor Heinicke is one of three finalists for the Walter Payton Award and he's thrown for an FCS-high 4,158 yards and 35 touchdowns in 11 games. The Monarchs have so much success because of their ability to put together quick-scoring drives. Receivers Nick Mayers, Antonio Vaughan, Blair Roberts and Larry Pinkard all average 59 receiving yards per game or better and they have accounted for 28 touchdowns through the regular season.
Running back Tyree Lee continues to improve, which is good news because ODU needs to become more balanced. The sophomore totaled 751 rushing yards and eight touchdowns in 11 games, although he only averages 68 yards per contest.
Coastal Carolina signal-caller Aramis Hillary earned first-team All-Big South honors and can play with the big boys. The senior has completed 65 percent of his passes for 2,313 yards and 18 touchdowns. Plus, he's added 522 rushing yards and three touchdowns in 11 games.
CCU could keep the game close in the first quarter. Ultimately, however, ODU's athleticism and speed should take control of the game.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Old Dominion 40, Coastal Carolina 26.
11/29 11:05:19 ET