WKU Football: Gameday Information vs. Old Dominion
After the bizarre 2020 college football season, WKU found a way to scratch and claw to a bowl game appearance and a 5–7 overall final record. With a team that many thought could compete for a conference championship, the Tops finished in the middle of the pack.
However, with a momentous offseason with tons of huge “gets” and “coups”, the most significant of which were Houston Baptist transfer quarterback Bailey Zappe signing with the Tops and superstar defensive end DeAngelo Malone deciding to forego a realistic shot at the NFL and stay on campus for a fifth year, the Tops seem poised to be a legitimate threat to make a title run.
Fast forward through five games now. WKU is on the ropes and needs to get hot to end the season. WKU is 1–4 after four straight losses against quality opponents. WKU’s most recent loss at UTSA made it even more urgent to get back on the right track. If WKU loses three more times this season, there will almost certainly be no bowl game.
WKU (1–4, 0–1 C-USA) takes on an even more desperate team in Old Dominion (1–5, 0–2 C-USA). Despite the records from both teams, both teams bring quality rosters to the field today. WKU’s offense is ludicrous, scoring over 40 per game. But the defense is allowing almost as many points at nearly 40 per game. ODU is more of a defensive ball control team. ODU’s two losses in conference have come by a touchdown each, both against teams (Marshall and UTEP) that could represent their C-USA division at the end of the year.
So let’s set the stage for WKU at ODU
S.B. Ballard Stadium
Formerly known as Foreman Field, Ballard Stadium, located in downtown Norfolk in an area many could describe as blending in with its surroundings, has undergone contruction over the past few seasons. A much needed upgrade after local experts asserted that the old stadium structure couldn’t handle modern demands, a $67.5 million overhaul has spruced up the once dated stadium.
Saturday, October 16, 2021 2:30 PM CST
Well, kickoff may look gorgeous, but the forecast says it will quickly darken up and possibly rain steadily nearing the end of the game. The style of this game could change by the end of the game if it becomes a slog.
Play-by-Play: Ted Alexander; Analyst: Andy Mashaw; Sideline: James Witham
Randy Lee (Play by Play), Terry Obee (Analyst), Jared Holland (Sideline)
Also, you can listen to the radio call anywhere in the world on the WKU Gameday App!
Betting Lines from Sportsline.com
ESPN.com Match-up Predictor
WKU- 77.5% chance to win
WKU: 1–4 (0–1 C-USA)
ODU: 1–5 (0–2 C-USA)
Last Time Out…
WKU faced its fourth opponent in a row that has received votes in both the AP and Coaches’ polls this season in UTSA. The Toppers are 0–4 in those matchups with three of four being lost by six points or less. They are 1–0 against FCS opponents. So how does WKU against a C-USA foe that will probably finish at or below .500 in ODU? WKU is favored heavily, but Old Dominion poses a defensive threat. WKU’s offense should outscore ODU, but can they continue to execute at a historic level in the passing game?
Old Dominion was picked to be near the bottom of C-USA East in the preseason. Regardless of the quality they have shown, they still seem to be headed in that direction. ODU is dangerous, though. They have faced multiple teams of respectable quality and have held their own. Much like WKU, they have been in most games, but only found themselves ahead at the end in one of them. Don’t count the Monarchs out, especially at home.
5–1 WKU (3–0 at ODU)
In the 2019 season, WKU had few bright spots. One of them was a 20–3 victory against Old Dominion, avenging the only loss of the series from the previous year, when ODU needed bizarre circumstances to stun WKU in regulation on a last second field goal. ODU chose to take a COVID pause and did not play in 2020. So the series resumes again in 2021.
Out for Season: RB Jakairi Moses
Questionable to Doubtful: TE Joshua Simon (foot) is still listed as questionable despite reports that he may not return this season. He has now missed every game since coming up gimpy near the end of the UT-Martin game. Does Joshua Simon even know Joshua Simon’s prognosis?
Worth Mentioning: QB Bailey Zappe had a clear limp for a good part of the second half against MSU. He showed no signs of issues vs. UTSA, but he took a few shots.
Excitement Level — 4
Hate to be a bummer here, but WKU is 1–4. This is as worse as could have been anticipated, and most WKU fans probably hoped for at least 2–3 at this point, if not 3–2. ODU is very unlikely going to finish with a winning record, but this is a road game for WKU on ESPN3.
There is really nothing exciting about this game, except that WKU is still firmly in the race for the East. Other than that, this game better not be exciting and WKU better find a way to blow the Monarchs out. This game has had a few fireworks, but frankly I’m not sure if in-game fighting in blowouts adds interests or detracts. Let’s give a generous 4 because of how early it is in the season. Both teams should have plenty of juice.