FIU vs. Old Dominion prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins between the Panthers and Monarchs on Saturday in Norfolk, VA.
FIU vs. Old Dominion Game Preview
When: Saturday, Nov. 26 – 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: S.B. Ballard Stadium, Norfolk, VA
TV Broadcast: ESPN3
The Panthers (4-7, 4-3 Conference USA) broke a three-game losing streak last week, as Alex Gardner ran for two touchdowns and Anthony Jones ran for another in a 31-14 home win over Marshall. Gardner rushed for 119 yards on 14 carries and Jones rushed for 121 yards on 17 carries. Maurice Alexander threw for 204 yards on 14-of-20 passing but tossed two interceptions. Backup Christian Alexander threw for 53 yards and a score.
Meanwhile, Bobby Wilder’s Monarchs (8-3, 6-1) extended their winning streak to four games with a 42-24 win over Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton last week. Quarterback David Washington threw for 416 yards and five touchdowns, as ODU overcame a 14-3 first-quarter deficit to earn an 18-point win. Washington was 26 of 36 through the air, while Ray Lawry added 117 yards on the ground.
In last year’s contest between these teams in Miami, Alex McGough threw three touchdowns and ran for another to lead FIU to a 41-12 win. McGough completed 31 of 39 passes for 390 yards, with two of his scoring passes going to Jonnu Smith, who had 183 receiving yards. Gardner added a rushing score. Washington finished with 125 yards through the air for the Monarchs.
What To Know About FIU
The Panthers will have a new head coach next season, as AD Pete Garcia gave Butch Davis a five-year deal to turn around the program. In the interim, Ron Cooper is finishing up this season after taking over for the dismissed Ron Turner. This will be the fifth consecutive season that the Panthers will miss a bowl game, but FIU has a chance to end the 2016 campaign on a positive note with an upset of an eight-win ODU squad. The Panthers will need solid production under center, while Gardner and Jones will need to once again do a lot of the heavy lifting on offense.
What to Know About Old Dominion
The Monarchs are tied with Western Kentucky in the C-USA East division, but the Hilltoppers have the head-to-head tiebreaker. ODU plays before WKU on Saturday, so it will need to win to keep alive its chances to play for a conference title. No matter what happens this week, it has been a tremendous year for Wilder and Co. Washington has played like a senior throughout the year, especially in the last three games, which has seen him toss 10 touchdowns against zero interceptions. The rushing tandem of Lawry and Jeremy Cox has combined for 20 touchdowns on the ground, so it’s an offense that is very difficult to slow down when the aerial attack and ground game are in sync.
Offense: Old Dominion. The Monarchs’ well-balanced offense is averaging 426.0 yards per game.
Defense: Old Dominion. Wilder’s defense is giving up just 389.5 yards per contest.
Special Teams: Old Dominion. Monarchs kicker Brad Davis is 9-of-11 on field goals this season.
Coaching: Old Dominion. Wilder has put together a really strong campaign, while Cooper is finishing out his interim run.
Intangibles: Old Dominion. The Monarchs are looking to take care of an inferior opponent with a possible division crown on the line.
Matchup To Watch
Washington vs. FIU QBs
In last year’s contest, Washington was just 13-of-24 passing for 125 yards with no touchdowns and an interception. Those numbers are in stark contrast to how he has been playing this season. He has not thrown an interception since Oct. 29 at UTEP and now has 26 touchdowns against just three picks. Meanwhile, FIU signal-callers have combined for 17 touchdowns against 16 interceptions this year, and it appears that Maurice Alexander will get the start this week. He threw his last touchdown on Sept. 9 against Maryland. ODU has the clear advantage at quarterback, but can FIU at least play turnover-free?
Spread: Old Dominion -13
FIU vs. Old Dominion Prediction
The Monarchs know they need to win to have a chance to claim the C-USA East division. Washington and the offense will have another prolific day and will wait out to see whether Western Kentucky takes care of business later on Saturday. FIU, meanwhile, will head into the offseason ready to kick off the Davis era.
FIU vs. Old Dominion Final Score Prediction: Old Dominion 33, FIU 20