Season Prediction, Breakdown, Key Games, Players -

Season Prediction, Breakdown, Key Games, Players

Old Dominion Monarchs Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Old Dominion season with what you need to know and keys to the season.

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Old Dominion Monarchs Preview
Ricky Rahne: 6-7, 2nd year at Old Dominion,
2nd year overall, 6-7, 2021 Preview
2021 Record: Overall: 6-7, Conference: 5-3
Keys To The Season | Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Old Dominion Top 10 Players | ODU Schedule

Old Dominion Monarchs Preview 2022

It’s been an interesting ride for Old Dominion football since joining FBS world back in 2013.

It closed out its 8-4 first season in 2013 – playing mostly FCS teams – giving up 80 to North Carolina, went bowling with a great ten-win season in 2016, spiraled downward from there over three years before missing all of 2020 thanks to the pandemic, and now, after eight years in Conference USA it’s taking off for the Sun Belt.

Granted, it’s on a run of four straight losing seasons – when it played – but it’s got a good young head coach in Ricky Rahne who knows how to get an offense going, the talent base was built up and worked on thanks to the year off, and after going really, really, really young, 17 starters are back with one of the most experienced teams in the Sun Belt.

This will be one of the more interesting teams in the expanded new conference. It’s got the upside to be a big surprise, but the slate is tough and the overall depth is just okay.

However, this is a program with a whole lot of pieces in place to become a factor in a Sun Belt full of teams planning on having big seasons.

Old Dominion Monarchs Preview 2022: Offense

The offense wasn’t always great, but it kicked in when needed over the back half of the regular season on the five-game winning streak to close things. There needs to be more of a running game, but the passing attack stepped up. With ten starters expected to be back, the O should be even more consistent.

The offensive line wasn’t great in pass protection, but it’s about to be a factor in the Sun Belt with four starters back and Donta Anthony ready to step in at center. Khadere Count and Nick Saldiveri are all-star caliber tackles to work around.

Leading rusher Blake Watson is back after taking off for 1,121 yards and eight scores, and Elijah Davis is also back adding a little more size after running for six touchdowns. Both averaged over five yards per carry, and they have to do the running because there isn’t much coming from …

Hayden Wolff is a big passer who’ll be the star of the attack over the next few years. The sophomore hit 63% of his passes for close to 2,000 yards and ten touchdowns with seven touchdowns, and backup DJ Mack stepped in and added a rushing punch with six touchdowns to go along with 856 passing yards and five scores.

The Sun Belt has some weapons to deal with. Ali Jennings averaged over 17 yards per catch with five scores as the No. 1 wide receiver, and Zack Kuntz was a First Team All-Conference USA performer with a team-high 73 catches for 692 yards and five touchdowns. Depth is a problem across the board for ODU – except at receiver.

Old Dominion Monarchs Preview 2022: Defense

The Old Dominion defense doesn’t have the returning talent the offensive side does, but there’s enough to be okay. It was great against the run but struggled against the better passing attacks. It needs to be more consistent and it has to generate a pass rush. However …

The main sackers are back. Marcus Hayes wasn’t a regular starter, but he led the way at one end with 5.5 sacks, but good interior pass rusher Sokoyo McDuffie left for UConn. Even so, the team’s top two tackles – Tyre Bibby and Alonzo Ford – are back.

Leading tackler Jordan Young is done, but Ryan Henry is an all-star in the middle who made 75 stops to anchor the two in the 4-2-5. The team’s No. 3 tackler Jason Henderson will find a role somewhere.

The secondary needs more big plays from the corners. Roger Cray was the main all-around playmaker, but he’s gone. Tre Hawkins was an all-star on the other side making 76 tackles, and now he’ll be the No. 1 cover-corner.

The safety tandem of R’Tarriun Johnson and Terry Jones should combine for over 150 stops, and on the way is Shawn Asbury from Boston College to push for the open spot.

Keys To The Season | Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Old Dominion Top 10 Players | ODU Schedule

Old Dominion Monarchs: Keys To The Season, Top Game, Top Transfer, Fun Stats NEXT

Old Dominion Monarchs: Keys To The Season, Top Game, Top Transfer, Fun Stats

Old Dominion Monarchs: Key To The 2022 Offense

Enough with the turnovers.

The Monarchs need to do more down the field with the passing game and the ground attack has to be stronger, but more than anything else it has to stop screwing up. It wasn’t just that the O turned it over 23 times, it was the steady stream of mistakes.

There were only two games with more than two giveaways – three in the losses to both Buffalo and WKU – but there were multiple ones in ten games.

The team can’t get off the bus -2 in turnover margin.

Old Dominion Monarchs: Key To The 2022 Defense

The pass defense has to be stronger.

That starts with generating more of a dangerous pass rush, but more than anything else the secondary has to come up with more stops.

There were just seven interceptions, and four of them came in two games. Passing games combined to crank up 250 yards per game with 28 touchdowns with multiple touchdown passes allowed in eight games.

It was fine that WKU and Liberty Malik Willis went off, but everyone who wanted to get fat passing stats against the Monarchs did.

Old Dominion Monarchs: Key Player To The 2022 Season

DE Amorie Morrison, Soph.
More pressure, more sacks, more plays behind the line. That’s what the ODU defense needs to come up with, and it starts by finding an end that can be a threat on every third down.

Marcus Haynes showed sparks on one side, but the 6-4, 253-pound Morrison needs to be more of a factor. He made 33 tackles in his freshman year with five quarterback pressures, 3.5 sacks, and five tackles for loss.

He’s got the quickness and upside to become a force now that he’s getting more experienced in the gig. If he can generate seven sacks or so, the D will take a huge step up.

Old Dominion Monarchs: Key Transfer

WR Marquez Bell, RFr.
The Old Dominion receiving corps is already deep, talented, and doesn’t need a whole lot of help. Even so, it’s getting in a former big recruit from Cincinnati who can stretch the field and make a whole lot of plays. The 6-1, 190-pounder has too much upside to not be a factor at some point over the next four years.

Old Dominion Key Game To The 2022 Season

Arkansas State, Sept. 24
It’s not the biggest of Sun Belt games, and it’s not even in the East Division. However, opening up life in the new conference would be a huge deal with all the nasty games coming.

It’s more than likely that ODU will be 0-3 to start the season, and facing Liberty and at Coastal Carolina will be a problem after the Arkansas State game. This is a must win to avoid a potentially very, very bad start.

Old Dominion Monarchs: 2021 Fun Stats

– Scoring: Opponents 361 – ODU 359
– 4th Quarter Scoring: ODU 121 – Opponents 75
– Average Yards Per Play: ODU 5.3 – Opponents 5.3

Offense, Defense Breakdown
Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Old Dominion Top 10 Players | ODU Schedule

Old Dominion Monarchs Season Prediction, What Will Happen NEXT

Old Dominion Monarchs Season Prediction, What Will Happen

Much better team, much nastier schedule.

The Monarchs have the experience in place and pieces there on both sides to be dangerous in each and every game, and they’re still a bit of an X factor team.

This thing is all still so new, and the program is still so fresh and changing that it’s possible everything clicks and there are more than a few good wins along the way against some of the better teams.

There are enough all-star caliber parts to make teams worry, the attack overall should be balanced, and then there’s the schedule.

It’s a problem.

Set The Old Dominion Monarchs Regular Season Win Total At … 4.5

Last year the Monarchs were able to get past a 1-6 start because the schedule eased up a bit helped with four home games in the last six. This year’s slate has three road games in the last five, and Appalachian State and Georgia State away from Norfolk will be a problem.

There’s a chance to get to five wins if the team wins most of the 50/50 games, and it can get back to a bowl if everything breaks right.

Don’t be shocked, though, at anything this team is about to do.

Offense, Defense Breakdown | Keys To The Season
Old Dominion Top 10 Players | ODU Schedule

– 2022 College Football Schedules: All 131 Teams

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