ODU did one thing very well in their 41-28 opening win over Hampton. That was eliminating the run game. The Monarchs allowed just nine yards rushing on 26 carries, which was aided by a school record six sacks for minus 36 yards. ODU had six different carries of their own where they exceeded Hampton’s rushing yardage for the game.
As a result, ODU is ranked fifth in the nation against the run after the first week of action. While this is the smallest of sample sizes, the Monarchs are ranked ahead of every SEC, ACC, Big 10 and PAC-12 school.
The Monarchs linebackers appeared to be up closer to the line on Saturday and moving Andre Simmons to rover paid immediate dividends with a team high nine tackles. While the run support was superb, and that is a start, the pass defense left a lot to be desired. Bobby Wilder spoke during his weekly press conference about how the linebackers were either slow to identify or simply out of position on many passing plays. This left huge passing windows for Jaylian Williamson on his way to 407 yards, a Hampton school record.
NC State does possess a massive offensive line but against a smaller Georgia Southern defense they elected against playing smash-mouth football. Instead they used that game as an opportunity to get transfer QB Jacoby Brissett in-game reps with as many of their passing game concepts as possible. They did run the ball but it was a lot of deception, such as the wildcat and built off of their passing game.