ODU Football: Monarchs rolled by Florida Atlantic, 41-3

oduFlorida Atlantic University rolled over ODU, 41-3, Saturday night in a Conference USA football game at S.B. Ballard Stadium, spoiling homecoming for the Monarchs and sending them to their school record seventh defeat in a row.

With four games to go, ODU (1-7 overall, C-USA) is assured of its third losing season in a row. FAU (5-3, 3-1) is tied for first in the C-USA East Division.

Wide receiver Eric Kumah, playing for the first time since ODU lost at Virginia on Sept. 21, was a bright spot for ODU. He caught a career-high 10 passes for a career-high 99 yards.

He also announced that he will redshirt this season and return next season. He has played in the maximum four games in which a player can play and still redshirt.

FAU outgained the Monarchs, 430-204 in offensive yards.

ODU kept it close for a while, but the game got away from the Monarchs in part because of their own mistakes and in part because of FAU’s potent offense.

ODU’s Darrell Brown returned a punt 82 yards for an apparent touchdown early in the first half, but it was negated by a block in the back that was apparently away from the play. Instead, ODU had a first down at its eight, lost a yard on three plays and then got off a poor punt.

FAU needed just six plays to drive 36 yards for its first touchdown, which came on a 15-yard pass from quarterback Chris Robinson to John Raine.

FAU then held ODU on downs and punter Bailey Cate drilled a 47-yard put to drive the Owls back to the 18 yard line. Yet it only took FAU six plays to drive 82 yards for a touchdown. Tailback Malcolm Davidson rushed 21 yards untouched for the touchdown to give the Owls a 14-0 lead.

Cornerback Kaleb Ford-Dement then gave ODU a huge dose of momentum by interception a pass and returning it 22 yards to the FAU 49. But has often been the case this season, the Monarch offense failed to turn the turnover into a touchdown.

Quarterback Messiah deWeaver found Eric Kumah and Steven Williams Jr. for two passes, giving ODU a first down on the 15. Three plays later, ODU faced fourth down at the 13 and was forced to settle for a 30-yard Nick Rice field goal three minutes into the second quarter.

FAU’s Robinson led the Owls on an 82-yard touchdown drive, completing six passes for 76 yards, including a 14-yard TD pass to Harrison Bryant that gave FAU a 21-3 lead.

ODU’s offense was threatening to score when another mistake put than far out of scoring range.

deWeaver tossed a 19-yard pass to running back LaLa Davis that gave ODU an apparent first down at the 16. However, ODU was called for pass interference, and the Monarchs were pushed back to the 50 where they faced a third and 22. deWeaver was sacked on the next play.

A Vladimir Rivas 25-yard field goal as time expired gave FAU a 24-3 halftime lead.

The decision to redshirt Kumah is good news for next season, when the Monarchs return 62 of the 70 players who played against FAU.

Kumah came off of knee surgery in the summer, but Wilder says he never fully recovered. “I never felt like he was running right, that he ever got healthy,” Wilder said.

Kumah said Wilder told him “that’s what’s best for me and I always listen to my coaches. “I’ll take this offseason, and this’ll be my first offseason to do everything to get healthy, so I feel like this is a good move,” Kumah said.

FAU’s Deangelo Antoine rushed for a 48-yard touchdown late in the third quarter that put the game for out of reach.

Notes: Game captains were Lawrence Garner, Isaac Weaver, Jeremy Meiser and Keion White … Isaiah Spencer and Will Brocchini made their first career starts at wide receiver and cornerback, respectively … Kaleb Ford-Dement intercepted his second pass of the season late in the first quarter … Nick Rice’s second quarter field goal was his four-straight made kick … Eric Kumah had a career-high 10 catches for 99 yards.

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