Top Takeaways from MTSU's win over Old Dominion
Updated: Jan 27, 2020
After being eliminated from bowl contention with a brutal loss to Rice, MTSU looked to get back on the right track against Old Dominion.
The passing game was much more efficient
Throughout the entire season, the Blue Raiders lacked consistency in all areas, and especially in the passing game with quarterback Asher O'Hara. That wasn't the case today. Coach Stockstill and offensive coordinator Tony Franklin got O'Hara in rhythm early with some quick, easy throws to his playmakers.
On MTSU's first drive O'Hara went 7-9 for 70 yards with a touchdown pass to Jimmy Marshall.
MTSU would add another score in the 1st quarter on a 19 yard touchdown pass from O'Hara to Marshall to cap off the 8 play 75-yard drive.
During the 2nd quarter Asher O'Hara got dinged up on on a 20 yard carry, and Chase Cunningham checked into the game. In Cunningham's only play, he hooked up with Jarrin Pierce for a 63 yard touchdown. This was the third touchdown pass by a Blue Raider quarterback.
"...I was just real excited like 'Let's go Chase!'...He can step in and do everything I can so I was happy for him." said O'Hara.
At the end of the 1st half, Asher O'Hara and Chase Cunningham were a combined 14-19 passing with 194 yards and three touchdowns.
The Blue Raider offense slowed down significantly in the 3rd quarter, only running 8 plays, and gaining 23 yards.
MTSU's first possession of the 4th quarter was a 7 play 51-yard drive that ended with a field goal to extend their lead 38-17.
For the rest of the game, MT relied on their run game to run out the clock. The final score was MTSU 38 - ODU 17.
The quarterbacks for MTSU finished the game completing 20 of 27 pass attempts for 244 yards and three touchdowns.
For most coaches a 31 points by their offense is considered a great day, but for Coach Stockstill believes there is still more room for improvement. "I didn't think we were as consistent as we needed to be I the 2nd half offensively." said Stockstill.
The defense looked better this week
Last week MTSU's defense gave up 31 points to Rice, which was all in the 1st half. The defense carried that momentum from the 2nd half into this game forcing Old Dominion to punt on their 1st possession.
MTSU's next possession ended in a fumbled snap by the punter on 4th down, giving ODU the ball on the MT 13 yard line.
ODU would capitalize on the great field position with a 4 play 13-yard drive touchdown drive.
The Blue Raider defense would tighten up, and only allow a field goal during the rest of the 1st half.
Old Dominion possessed the ball for much of the 3rd quarter running 26 plays, scoring a touchdown, and gaining nearly 150 yards.
The Blue Raider defense also got a takeaway on a interception returned for a touchdown by Kylan Stribling.
At the end of the three, the score was MTSU 35 - ODU 17.
A long 7 minute drive by ODU that started in the 3rd quarter led to a missed field goal at the beginning of the 4th.
More of the same for ODU's offense would ensue for the remainder of the game as MTSU's defense would shut them out in the 4th quarter.
They only allowed one big play in the game. Outside of the 63 yard pass play, ODU only gained 258 yards on 64 pass attempts.
"...I thought we played really good defensive football. There's a lot of things we have to get corrected, but overall I thought it was a really solid performance by our defense." said Stockstill.
Coming Up Next:
Next Saturday the Blue Raiders look to close the season with a victory against their hated rival the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers in the "100 Miles of Hate" rivalry game. "You know I've been playing these games, and a lot of them went to overtime so you never know what to expect whenever you go into this game...Going into this game we know there's going to be a lot of animosity going into it so it should be a good game, and we're excited to go into the next week." said Jovante Moffatt.
You can watch the game on ESPN+ at 1:00 p.m.
Reporter: Jimmie Covington