ODU holds on for 31-26 win over Delaware

Taylor Heinicke threw for 375 yards and ran for three touchdowns while Tyree Lee rushed for a career-high 128 yards and a touchdown as No. 6/7 Old Dominion University football defeated No. 20/16 Delaware 31-26 on a windy Saturday afternoon at Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium.

At the end of the first quarter the rain picked up but both teams were able to move the ball offensively, with ODU picking up 499 total yards while Delaware finished with 370.

After a Tyree Lee touchdown put ODU on top 28-17 midway through the third quarter, the Blue Hens pulled to within 28-26 on a Sean Baner 28-yard field goal and a Nihja White 13-yard TD pass.  After White’s touchdown, UD went for two but Hurley was sacked by Erik Saylor.

ODU responded with a key 12-play 32-yard drive to lead to a 32-yard field goal from Jarod Brown to put the Monarchs on top 31-26 with just 1:17 to play.

The Blue Hens (5-3, 2-3) got the ball back and on the second play of the drive Devon Simmons intercepted Hurley’s pass to seal the win.

Delaware got on the board first as Tim Donnelly tossed a nine-yard strike to Michael Johnson to cap off a 6 play 75-yard drive for the 7-0 UD lead.

The Monarchs answered with an 11 play 80-yard drive finished off with an 22-yard run by Heinicke to tie the score at seven.

Hurley and the Blue Hens retook the lead a minute into the second quarter with a 16-yard TD pass to Mike Milburn for a 14-7 UD lead.

ODU came back with a 13 play, 75-yard drive as Heinicke faked a handoff and ran around the left side for one yard for his second rushing score of the game and eighth in the last six games.

After an ODU interception, Delaware drove to the ODU eight before the drive stalled and Sean Baner connected on a 27-yard field goal for a 17-14 UD lead.

The Monarchs got the ball with 3:38 on the clock and promptly drove 78-yards in 11 plays capped off by another one-yard Heinicke run, his third rushing score of the day to give the Monarchs a 21-17 halftime lead.

Delaware got the ball out of the break and drove to the ODU 15 before a fumble on a bad snap knocked UD to the 30 and forced them to punt to force the Monarchs to start on their own 10.

On third and two at the 18 Lee busted off a 50-yard run to get ODU out of their own end and finished off the drive with a nine-yard score to give the Monarchs a 28-17 lead.

Heinicke was 36-for45- in the air for 375 yards and ran for three scores while Nick Mayers caught 11 passes, one short of tying his career-high, for 131 yards while Blair Roberts had six catches for 52 yards and Larry Pinkard caught five for 75.

Andrew Pierce ran for 72 yards on 12 carries while Julian Laing had 64 yards on 10 rushes.

Hurley was 12-of-20 for 134 yards and two touchdowns with Michael Johnson grabbing five catches for 36 yards.

Caleb Taylor led ODU with 12 tackles while Craig Wilkins had 10 tackles and 1.5 sacks.

The Monarchs are on the road next weekend to face Georgia State.

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