ODU pulls away, tops UTEP, 31-21
Old Dominion University football used a solid effort from the defense and a school-record tying performance from Zach Pascal to pull away from UTEP for a 31-21 victory Saturday afternoon at Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium.
Old Dominion (5-5, 3-3) held a 17-15 halftime lead and broke a scoreless third quarter with an 11-yard touchdown pass from David Washington to Jonathan Duhart for a 24-15 lead.
The Monarch defense stood strong in the third, allowing just 28 yards in the quarter.
Following a Fellonte Misher interception, Jeremy Cox carried for a 42-yard touchdown on the next play to lift the Monarchs to a 31-15 lead. The run was the longest of Cox’s career and his first career touchdown.
UTEP (4-6, 2-3) came back with n eight play, 74-yard drive and scored on a six-yard touchdown pass from Mack Leftwich to Jaquan White but Aaron Young intercepted the two-point conversion to keep the game a two possession game at 31-21.
The Monarchs were able to kill a minute and half off the clock and on first down at the Miners’ 36 Misher intercepted Leftwich for the second time to seal the win.
UTEP scored on their opening drive with a seven-yard touchdown pass from Mack Leftwich to Tyler Benson to cap a 10 play, 71-yard drive. The extra point was not successful.
The Monarchs answered with a 23-yard Chris Kirtley field goal to make the score 6-3. ODU’s drive was 14 plays covering 86 yards. Washington was 5-of-7 on the drive for 66 yards while Jeremy Cox rushed for 18 yards.
On the following kickoff Autrey Golden return the kick 61 yards to set up a 22-yard field goal from Jay Mattox to give the Miners a 9-3 lead late in the first quarter.
The Monarchs took a 10-9 lead early in the first half as Lawry ripped off a 42-yard touchdown run to cap off a seven play, 74-yard drive.
UTEP retook the lead on a seven play, 51-yard drive late in the first half as Leftwich tossed a 12-yard touchdown pass to Jaquan White.
Old Dominion took a 17-15 halftime lead as Washington connected with Pascal for a 26-yard touchdown pass. ODU drove 75 yards in just 58 seconds as a 23-yard pass from Washington to Jeremy Cox kept the drive alive.
Washington completed 26-of-42 passes for 291 yards and two touchdowns. Cox rushed for 84 yards and a touchdown and caught four passes for 70, all career-bests. Pascal tied the single-game school record with 12 catches for 145 yards and a touchdown. Duhart added five catches for 49 yards and a touchdown.
Justice Davila had a team-high 10 tackles while TJ Ricks had nine and a tackle for loss. Misher added seven tackles to go along with the two interceptions.
Leftwich completed 21-of-38 passes for UTEP for 193 yards and three touchdowns while Darrin Laufasa rushed for 46 yards.
Alvin Jones had a game-high 11 tackles.
Notes – Today’s game captains are Brandon Addison, Aaron Young, Jonathan Duhart and David Washington … Chris Kirtley’s 23-yard first quarter has put ODU on the board first with a field goal in three-straight games … Zach Pascal’s catch in the first quarter gives him 34-straight games with a reception … Lawry’s 42-yard touchdown run was his longest run since his 57-yard touchdown at FIU … Lawry’s 59 yards gives him 1,128 and 11 touchdowns on the season … Zach Pascal recorded his third-straight 100-yard receiving game and second-straight with double-digit catches … Jeremy Cox set career highs with 15 carries for 84 yards and his first career touchdown … He also caught a career-best four passes for 70 yards … Pascal tied the ODU single-game record with 12 catches … Nick Mayers registered 12 catches in 2012 against New Hampshire … The 10 point winning margin is ODU’s largest victory in a Conference USA game … The winning margin was ODU’s first double-digit win over an FBS opponent since the 17-3 win over Eastern Michigan in week three of last season … Fellonte Misher recorded his first two interceptions of the season and the fifth and sixth of his career … It is ODU’s first two interception game since Christian Byrum had two against Marshall last season … Martez Simpson had six tackles and a career-best two tackles for loss.