Western Kentucky visits Old Dominion on Saturday

WKU Insider provides a preview of Saturday's game between the Hilltoppers and Old Dominion.

Date: Oct. 31, 2015
Game Time: 12:00 p.m.
Location: Foremans Field, Norfolk, Va.
  Play by Play: Brendan Burke
  Analyst: Ben Leber
 Sideline: CT Steckel


The Weather Channel forcasts a most sunny and cool autumn day. Temps should be in the low 60s at kickoff.

About the Hilltoppers and Monarchs

  • WKU enters the game at 6-2 overall and 4-0 in Conference USA.  ODU is 3-4 overall and sits at 1-2 in league action.
  • This is just the second meeting between the two programs. WKU won 66-51 in Bowling Green last fall.
  • The Hilltoppers have won seven straight contests against C-USA foes.
  • This is the 12th time WKU has played on Halloween in program history and for just the third time since 1987. WKU last played on Halloween in 2009, losing 49-68 at North Texas. The Hilltoppers are 8-4 all-time on the date and 3-4 when on the road.
  • The Monarchs are 34-11 all-time at home, all 45 home contests have been sold out.
  • The Monarchs are 46-8 all-time when scoring 30 or more points and 9-16 when scoring less than 30.
  • ODU running back Ray Lawry rushed 22 times for 161 yards and a 57-yard touchdown run in the Monarchs last outing. He currently leads C-USA with 830 total rushing yards and is averaging a league high 118 yards per game.
  • A week after being named C-USA Offensive Player of the Week, ODU Zach Pascal continued to show his versatility. On the first play of the second half, Pascal lined up at quarterback and ran 75 yards for a touchdown. ODU’s longest play of the year and second longest run in school history.
  • TJ Ricks registered a school record 18 tackles in ODU’s win over Charlotte, also recording two tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery for a 28 yard return.
  • Hilltopper reciever Taywan Taylor also needs just 72 yards to become only the second 1,000-yard receiver in a season in program history. He would join Porter Williams (1973) in that club.
  • WKU QB Brandon Doughty needs just 251 yards to move into the Top 50 in career passing yards. Along the way, Doughty has passed Doug Flutie, Marcus Mariota, John Elway and others along the way.

3 Things for ODU to Win

  1. Run Well. Ray Lawry needs to go more than his 118 yards per game average.
  2. Create Opportunities.  Be it on special teams or forcing a turnover, ODU needs to create a few extra opportunities.
  3. Time of Possession. ODU would love to dominate the time of possession and keep the WKU offense and quaterback Brandon Doughty off the field.

3 Things for WKU to Win

  1. Offense Efficiency.  Limit offensive penalties and turnovers and WKU should be able to pull away.
  2. Slow the Run. Ray Lawry doesn't lead C-USA by mistake.  Tops can't stop him, but they must slow him down.
  3. Watch Trick Plays. The Monarchs could have a trick play or three up their sleeve, so the WKU defense must stay disciplined.

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