ODU football delayed, outplayed as FIU beats Monarchs in late night affair

Bobby Wilder, ODU football

NORFOLK, Va. – The rain and the lightning eventually stopped, but Florida International did not.

After a weather delay of one hour and 53 minutes, FIU outplayed Old Dominion for a 28-20 victory at Foreman Field late Saturday night/early Sunday morning.

Old Dominion (0-2, 0-1 C-USA) jumped out to a 17-0 lead early in the second quarter behind a pair of touchdown receptions from Jonathan Duhart, who finished the game with three receptions for 150 yards and touchdowns.

ODU football vs. FIU

However, FIU (1-1, 1-0 C-USA) outscored the Monarchs 28-3 in the game’s final 40 minutes – including a pair of touchdowns late in the first half to close the gap to 20-14 at the break.

Following the weather delay during halftime due to lightning, the Panthers outscored ODU, 14-0, in the second half to pull out the victory. The Monarchs had an opportunity to potentially pull even with under four minutes to play, but Blake LaRussa’s pass to Travis Fulgham in the endzone fell incomplete.

Bobby Wilder, ODU football coach

“We could not on either third or fourth down and we weren’t executing offensively in third quarter,” Old Dominion head coach Bobby Wilder said. “I’m extremely proud of the effort tonight – how hard we played, competed. FIU is a very good football team. This one is disappointing.”

ODU employed a two-quarterback rotation, as La Russa completed 8-of-15 passes for 143 yards and a touchdown for the game, while Steven Williams went 11-for-22 for 160 touchdowns and a touchdown.

ODU football vs. FIU

“I thought both quarterbacks played excellent football in the first half,” Wilder noted. “In the second half, we just couldn’t get a rhythm. We’ll move forward with both quarterbacks helping this team win games in the future.”

Defensivley, Lawrence Garner posted a game-best 16 tackles.

Up next, ODU plays at Charlotte Saturday at 6 p.m. ET in search of its first victory of the season.