Monarchs’ minimal gains, no loss with Lowry limited in season opener

Ray Lawry held out of Old Dominion football practice Tuesday

NORFOLK, Va. - When seeking a clear indicator of how far Old Dominion's football program has come, look no further than Saturday's season opener.

The Monarchs won by double digits, outgained their opponent and were perfect in the red zone. Yet, some folks about the program and many fans were left wanting more.

Saturday's 31-17 victory over Albany is the first time since October 2011 ODU wins a game despite putting up less than 300 yards of offense. A big reason the Monarchs gain just 285 yards? All-Conference USA running back Ray Lawry injures his hamstring on a 41 yard touchdown run. He did not receive a carry beyond the first quarter.

During fall camp, Lawry missed practice time with a hamstring injury after a long touchdown run during a scrimmage. A sarcastic head coach Bobby Wilder jokes he may have a remedy.

"We're going to have to eliminate the long touchdown runs by Ray Lawry or at least tell him to slow down at the end of the run," Wilder said jokingly. "It's really strange. That hasn't been an issue for him. It's popped up a couple times. We have to do a better job of getting him lose before the games.

Wilder expects Lawry, the program's all-time leading rusher, to be ready by ODU's next game; Saturday at UMass.

"He felt a little tweak in his hamstring," Wilder explained. "We just couldn't get it loose. He felt better yesterday. He came in, got his treatment. I expect him to be 100 percent by Saturday."