4th Quarter, 0:00- Heinicke takes a knee to end it. ODU- 45, UR- 38.
4th Quarter, 1:19- A great second effort by Harper is going to stop this comeback attempt short, as he picks up the first down on the three-yard run. Richmond uses its last timeout and ODU will just be able to run out the clock at this point.
4th Quarter, 2:39- Heinicke breaks contain on 3rd down and runs for the first down, making it just by the length of the ball. He got a generous spot there, having started to slide a yard short.
4th Quarter, 3:18- Big play by Richmond’s Evan Kelly, bringing down Harper in the backfield to force a 3rd and 8.
4th Quarter, 5:48- Big run by Harper has ODU out to the UR 44. Richmond’s defense can’t allow the Monarchs any points here.
4th Quarter, 6:33- Richmond is pumped up right now. Kickoff return goes to the 20.
4th Quarter, 6:40- Another touchdown by Richmond as Laub runs it in from 1 yard out. The Spiders elect to forgo going for the two-point conversion here, instead knocking in the extra point to make it an 8-point game. What an effort. ODU- 45, UR- 37.
4th Quarter, 7:33- What a game by Edwards, as Laub again finds him open, this time down to the 4-yard line for 1st and goal.
4th Quarter, 7:54- Heinicke’s pass is incomplete on 3rd and 13, and ODU is again forced to punt. This is quite the comeback attempt for Richmond as Edwards has a nice return out to the UR 47. Is it too little too late though?
4th Quarter, 8:48- On 4th and 11, Laub literally jumps into the air as he throws to an open Edwards over the middle for a first down and one play later, Smith finds a hole for his first touchdown of the game on a 7-yard run. The extra point is blocked, which is significant because the score is now 45-30. A made extra point would’ve made brought the Spiders to within two touchdowns and extra points. Now they’ll have to mix a 2-point conversion in there if they hope to even the game.
4th Quarter, 10:09- Edwards is over 100 yards receiving for the second time this season. He’s really done a nice job filling the void left by Tre Gray’s graduation.
4th Quarter, 10:17- Laub is still out there at quarterback. I’m not sure whether Rocco thinks Richmond can make a comeback or if he just wants his starters to get some practice playing the fourth quarter. Either way, Laub makes his best throw of the game to Edwards off his back foot for 45 yards and the Spiders are in business down to the ODU 20.
4th Quarter, 11:24- On 3rd and 15, ODU is stopped short. On fourth down, Heinicke stays on the field and kicks a nice pooch punt downed at the UR 6. What can’t this guy do?
4th Quarter, 14:21- Richmond defensive back Doug Howell comes up big with an interception on an overthrow by Heinicke and returns it 21 yards for the touchdown. The extra point makes it 45-24.
4th Quarter, 14:57- Laub overthrows Edwards again on what looked like an easy touchdown. He shows his frustration, but Richmond goes for it on fourth down, and the ball is knocked down in the end zone. ODU takes over on its own 4 on the turnover on downs.
3rd Quarter, 0:00- The third quarter comes to a close with Richmond facing a 3rd and goal from the 4-yard line. Look for the backups to come in after this drive.
3rd Quarter, 1:32- Richmond now with a first and goal after Laub finds Edwards open on 3rd and 3. Ball is at the 6.
3rd Quarter, 3:34- Oddly, Richmond is electing to run the ball now. They have the ball at the ODU 27, 2nd and 2.
3rd Quarter, 5:32- Richmond returner Jacobi Green is able to get the ball out to near midfield thanks to the penalty backing up ODU’s kickoff.
3rd Quarter, 5:40- As expected, the stands have cleared out a bit as far as Richmond fans go. The ODU fans are still here and are louder than ever.
3rd Quarter, 5:51- ODU finding holes in the run game, all the way down to the goal line, and Lee finds his way into the end zone for the 7-yard score. More extracurricular activity after the play is called on ODU, but the TD will stand. These teams do not like each other. It looked like Darryl Hamilton was in that scuffle for Richmond. Score now stands at 45-17 ODU.
3rd Quarter, 8:51- Spider defense bringing the pressure in this half, picking up its second sack now, as Aaron Roane gets to Heinicke.
3rd Quarter, 9:00- Two missed opportunities in a row, as Laub overthrows Stephen Barnette and Edwards on consecutive throws that would’ve gone for touchdowns. As a result, Richmond is forced to turn to kicker Remington Hinshaw, who knocks in the 38-yard field goal attempt to bring the ODU lead to 38-17. That’s Hinshaw’s career long.
3rd Quarter, 9:52- Some extracurricular activity leads to an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on ODU, giving Richmond another first down at the ODU 21.
3rd Quarter, 10:14- Laub now finds Edwards across midfield for another first down, as Edwards dives to the turf for the tough grab.
3rd Quarter, 11:12- Laub finally finds some running room on 3rd and 1 to pick up the first down out to the UR 42.
3rd Quarter, 12:29- First punt of the game by ODU as Richmond forces the 3-and-out. Illegal procedure penalty on ODU gives Richmond the ball at its own 24.
3rd Quarter, 13:40- First sack of the game for Richmond, as end Jacob Pierce gets a hold of Heinicke’s foot.
3rd Quarter, 14:24- Laub gets his pass batted down at the line of scrimmage on 3rd and 10, and ODU takes over at its own 24 following the punt.
3rd Quarter, 14:55- The second half is underway now, with Richmond receiving the kickoff and taking the ball out to the UR 25 on the return.
Halftime- Some halftime observations for you: Heinicke is the real deal. I saw him play as a freshman last year and knew he was good, but after that half, he has legitimate potential to be playing on Sundays in a few years, following in the footsteps of fellow CAA quarterback Joe Flacco, who’s proving with the Baltimore Ravens that FCS players can hang in the NFL just as well as FBS guys. Now, that being said, Richmond’s defensive line is getting moved around at will. You can tell the gameplan coming in was to try to get pressure with the front four, but it’s not working and, no matter how good the coverage is on ODU’s receivers, Heinicke is too good to be allowed that much time in the pocket to find someone open. A half like that just proves Richmond still has a ways to go to get back into the conversation of the elite in the CAA. It’s going to take some third quarter to make this game even competitive for the fourth. Otherwise, it looks like it will be Strauss and the gang again for the fifth time in five games this season. Offensively, Richmond needs to establish the run more and get Gaskins, Smith and Edwards the ball in the open field. Those three guys are the playmakers and any chance Richmond has at scoring points quickly goes through them.
Halftime- Some important halftime stats for you: Heinicke (19-25 for 251 yards, 2 TD’s and 1 INT to go with 42 yards rushing and a TD), Laub (13-19 for 148 yards, 2 TD’s and 1 INT), Edwards (4 catches for 57 yards and a TD), ODU with a 408-165 advantage in total yards, including a 157-8 advantage in rushing yards.
2nd Quarter, 0:00- Another near disaster, as Laub is hit and fumbles on the play, but lineman Jacob Ruby recovers. Spiders let the clock tick down to halftime and will head into the locker room down big, 38-14.
2nd Quarter, 0:33- Nearly a disaster there, as Richmond fumbled the ball on the return, but another Spider is there to fall on the ball, giving Richmond the ball at its own 24.
2nd Quarter, 0:41- Not what Richmond wanted going into the locker room, as ODU extends its now overwhelming lead to 38-14 following a 1-yard touchdown run by Angus Harper. Expect the stadium to empty out a little at halftime.
2nd Quarter, 1:18- On 3rd and 5, Heinicke is again allowed an eternity in the pocket until he can find the open man for a first down.
2nd Quarter, 2:12- The ODU offense is showing no signs of slowing down, as a few runs and Heinicke throws have them out to the UR 29.
2nd Quarter, 4:22- Edwards falls short of a first down despite a good effort, and Richmond is forced to punt, giving the ball back to ODU at its own 20. This is dangerous territory for Richmond if it hopes to stay competitive in this game.
2nd Quarter, 5:33- In spite of my pregame prediction, Laub is not finding much running room on this ODU defense. It looks like they fixed whatever quarterback contain problems they had from last week.
2nd Quarter, 6:59- Spider offense takes over at the UR 24. They need to eat some clock here and finish with some points going into halftime. The defense needs a break, and Rocco might have some choice words of encouragement and strategy in the locker room.
2nd Quarter, 7:04- On fourth and goal, Heinicke finds receiver Marquel Thomas in the end zone from one yard out for his second TD pass of the game. Richmond defense just can’t find a way to slow down the Monarchs, as they push their lead back out to 31-14.
2nd Quarter, 8:17- Wow. That throw is why Heinicke is going to be playing in the NFL some day in my opinion. On 3rd and 8, he throws a beautiful deep ball in perfect stride to his receiver, who was tightly covered. The play gives ODU a 1st and goal at the 3.
2nd Quarter, 9:16- Heinicke is lucky he threw a bad pass there, as Pettus had a beat on it, but the ball sails over everyone to the sideline.
2nd Quarter, 9:53- Solid coverage off a low kickoff by Richmond. ODU offense will begin its next drive at its own 23.
2nd Quarter, 9:59- A mini Richmond version of the old Florida Tebow jump pass, as Laub fakes like he’s going to run towards the goal line, but pulls it back and finds tight end Kevin Finney for the 1-yard touchdown pass. Extra point is good and the Spiders pull within 24-14. Big drive there to stay in this game. Now the defense needs to prove it can stop ODU.
2nd Quarter, 11:00- Laub needs to find Gaskins more on passes. He’s consistently making good yards after the catch, going for another first down on a short reception.
2nd Quarter, 11:26- Not much success on the trick play by Richmond, as Laub shifts out to the receiver position and Smith takes the snap, but the run goes for negative yards, bringing up a 3rd and 4. On 3rd and 4, Laub leaves the pocket and finds Edwards at the 17 for a first down.
2nd Quarter, 13:17- Great back-shoulder throw and catch from Laub to tailback Jovan Smith for a first down across midfield to the 40.
2nd Quarter, 13:59- Richmond offense will get its best field position of the day thanks to a facemask penalty on the return. 1st and 10 at the UR 40.
2nd Quarter, 14:06- Heinicke doesn’t waste much time, as ODU scores on its third play of the quarter, a 7-yard pass to receiver Nick Mayers. This game is in danger of becoming very one-sided, as ODU pushes its lead out to 24-7.
1st Quarter, 0:00- Great play by third string RB Tyree Lee, who picks up the long first down after it appeared Richmond defense had him for just a short gain. Ball at the UR 16 as the first quarter comes to a close with ODU ahead, 17-7.
1st Quarter, 1:20- Bit of a break for Richmond, as ODU is backed up to a 2nd and 24 after Heinicke is forced to just fall on a bad snap.
1st Quarter, 1:55- Laub might wish he hadn’t found his helmet, as he throws it straight to an ODU defender on his first play back in the game. Really not sure where he was looking there. Monarchs take over at the ODU 48.
1st Quarter, 2:07- On 3rd and 2, backup QB Michael Strauss is forced into the game after Laub gets his helmet knocked off, and he finds Gaskins open for a first down.
1st Quarter, 3:19- ODU special teams not giving Richmond anything on kick returns. UR’s Justin Grant with a short return gives Spiders ball back at own 19.
1st Quarter, 3:24- Big stop by the Spider D, holding the Monarchs to a short field goal, which is good from 26 yards out. ODU extends it lead, 17-7.
1st Quarter, 4:36- Heinicke finds receiver Blair Roberts open deep down the middle of the field to give them a first down at the 12. ODU’s fans are louder than Richmond’s right now. That’ll need to change if the Spiders are to turn this game around.
1st Quarter, 5:18- ODU defense steps up big time, pushing Richmond back on three plays, forcing a punt from the back of UR’s own end zone. A high, short punt gives Heinicke and the rest of the ODY offense the ball on the UR 35.
1st Quarter, 6:26- Big mistake by Richmond’s returner, who fumbles the ball around on the kickoff before picking it up and getting tackled at the 7-yard line, where the Spider offense will take over.
1st Quarter, 6:29- Heinicke continues to pick apart the Richmond defense. He is just getting way too much time to throw, and he’s very comfortable in the pocket. The backs are doing a good job in coverage, but there’s only so long they can remain on top of these receivers. The ODU quarterback again shows off his running ability, finishing off the drive with a 5-yard touchdown run to put the Monarchs back ahead, 14-7.
1st Quarter, 9:07- That was a huge drive by Richmond’s offense to keep the momentum out of the hands of ODU. Richmond kicks off from the 50 because of a roughing the passer penalty on the touchdown throw, and ODU will begin with the ball on its own 19.
1st Quarter, 9:14- What a play by Laub. On 3rd and 9, nobody was open down the field, so he created more time with his legs and eventually found an open guy just across the sticks to keep the drive alive, and he took a big hit as he released the ball. On the next play, Laub finds Edwards wide open across the field, and Edwards picks up a few blocks all the way to the end zone to even the score at 7-7. The play went for 39 yards.
1st Quarter, 10:30- Great play by Gaskins, who pulls down a short pass with one hand and makes a few defenders miss along the sideline to pick up a first down out to near midfield.
1st Quarter, 10:38- ODU kickoff goes out of bounds, and Richmond offense will take over at its own 35.
1st Quarter, 10:38- Another quick note: Richmond’s defensive backs are playing really well right now, but the line needs to step up the intensity and get some pressure on Heinicke if they’re going to be effective today.
1st Quarter, 10:38- Monarchs prove they’re more than just their talented quarterback, as tailback Colby Goodwin goes 27 yards right up the gut of the Richmond defense for the first touchdown of the game. ODU pulls ahead, 7-0.
1st Quarter, 10:51- On 3rd and 4, Heinicke breaks contain and rushes for the first down. More yards are tacked on due to a hands-to-the-face penalty and ODU now has the ball at the UR 27.
1st Quarter, 11:26- Quick note: I mentioned attendance before the game. This is the most packed I’ve seen this stadium since it opened during my freshman year. There’s a significant amount of ODU fans here also, but I’m really impressed with the student section, which looks completely full.
1st Quarter, 11:26- Laub’s pass on 3rd and 3 is a little behind receiver Ben Edwards, who gets his hands on it, but can’t hang on. Richmond is forced to punt, and ODU has the ball at its own 48. The returner nearly fumbled the ball on that play.
1st Quarter, 12:35- UR fullback Kendall Gaskins gets the Spiders out of dangerous territory, running for a first down out to the UR 16.
1st Quarter, 13:24- Pressure by the Spider D pays off, as Heinicke gets hit as he throws, and cornerback Wayne Pettus is there on the lofty throw for his first career interception. Richmond takes over at its own 4.
1st Quarter, 13:50- Heinicke shows why he’s the CAA’s top quarterback on a beautiful pass in stride on 3rd and 10 to get the ball out to the UR 35. The receiver almost went the distance but Cooper Taylor caught him from behind.
1st Quarter, 14:57- This game is underway, with Richmond kicking off to ODU to start. The Monarchs get a nice return out to around midfield, but it’s negated by a holding penalty. ODU starts with the ball on its own 14.
Pregame- About 5 minutes away from kickoff now. Captains come onto the field for each team. Just a quick word about the implications of the possible outcome of this game. If the Spiders were to win here today, it would be an upset, but more than that, it would be a huge benchmark victory for Danny Rocco early in his Richmond career and John Laub in his final season. A win today could thrust UR football back into national prominence and would immediately make them one of the favorites to win the CAA this season. National prominence and CAA title contention were what Rocco told me early in the year were two of his biggest goals. Who knew he’d have a chance to accomplish them so early on?
Press box food for today. Always the same at Richmond, but no complaints here.
Pregame- Weather is looking much better than anticipated today. Should be a fast-paced high-scoring game, the most exciting type of football game. I expect there to be big crowd to begin the game and the crowd to either stay or go depending on how close the game is in the second half. I’m interested to see the student turnout because of Family Weekend. I’ve seen it go both ways from the occasion. Either more students show up than normal because their family wants to go to the game or less students show up because their family wants to do something else, and students want to spend time with them. I expect a bigger turnout because this is big-time CAA conference matchup with early-season playoff implications on the line. It’s the age old adage of the fans showing up when the team is competitive and winning, and the Spiders are playing top-notch football right now, winning three in a row.
Pregame- Welcome back to Robins Stadium where the 3-1 Spiders are set to kickoff their matchup with the 4-0 ODU Monarchs. The big storyline here is of course the Richmond defense trying to slow down ODU quarterback Taylor Heinicke, who just set a NCAA Division I passing record last Saturday, throwing for 730 yards against New Hampshire. You can read all about that and more for today’s contest in my GAME PREVIEW.