Heinicke passes test under pressure
Also: Oklahoma St. falls twice; Vavic's 400th; Unbeaten Orange
If you haven’t heard about Old Dominion quarterback Taylor Heinicke’s record-shattering performance in the Monarchs’ crazy 64-61 victory against No. 18 New Hampshire on Saturday, crawl out from the rock you’ve been living under and keep reading.
(Yes, we’re talking about football … it’s not basketball season yet.)
You did hear about Heinicke’s Division I-record 730 yard passing performance and the offensive show the Monarchs and Wildcats put on Saturday? Keep reading anyway and make sure you soak up all the details about the game and Heinicke’s mind-boggling day, because it is not one we should soon forget.
Here are the basics:
• Heinicke’s 791 yards of total offense was a DI single-game record, eclipsing both the previous FBS (732) and FCS (668) marks.
• Heinicke’s 730 passing yards set the DI single-game record, bettering the previous FBS (716) and FCS (623) records.
• ODU and UNH combined for 1,549 yards of total offense in the game – a FCS single-game record.
• The 125 combined points in the game is a Colonial Athletic Association record.
• Heinicke also set school records in passing attempts (79) and completions (55) as he completed passes to 11 different receivers.
• ODU receiver Nick Mayers tied the school record for catches (12) while setting the mark for receiving yards (271).
• ODU set school records in total offense (814 yards) and all-purpose yards (1,027).
Have you processed that information yet, because I’m just getting started. The statistics and records were only part of Heinicke’s day against UNH.
The fact that Heinicke, a sophomore from Atlanta, led his team back from a 40-24 halftime deficit and helped the Monarchs outscore the Wildcats 26-7 in the fourth quarter for the eventual win is what is most impressive.
UNH opened the second half with a touchdown at 12:25 in the third quarter, giving the Wildcats a 23-point advantage.
“Things did not look good at 47-24 in the third quarter,” ODU head coach Bobby Wilder said.
But as the Monarchs’ defense tightened up against the Wildcats, Heinicke took the wheel of ODU’s offense and floored the gas, leaving skid marks at ODU’s Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium.
The Monarchs scored three consecutive times to open the fourth quarter, including two Heinicke TD passes to Mayers. The two scoring strikes, along with a pair of two-point conversions, tied the game at 54-54 with 10:09 left in regulation.
Heinicke then engineered an 89-yard scoring drive, capped off by a 2-yard touchdown run by Angus Harper, which gave the Monarchs their first lead of the game. The Wildcats countered and tied the score, but Heinicke marched ODU’s offense down the field, giving placekicker Jarod Brown an opportunity to nail the game-winning 25-yard field goal.
“What amazes me is he was the same kid at 47-24 as he was when it was tied 61-61 when we’re driving at the end of the game,” Wilder said. “All of the other kids see that.”
ODU’s first win of the season against a ranked opponent pushed the fifth-ranked Monarchs to 4-0, keeping them in contention for an FCS playoff spot down the line. (ODU is not eligible for an automatic berth in the postseason even if the Monarchs win the CAA; they are moving up to the Football Bowl Subdivision and switching to Conference USA next year.)
The game was only the 13th of Heinicke’s young career, which seems to get better with every snap. As a freshman, he assumed the signal-caller duties in the second half against UMass on Oct. 1 of last season, and played in nine games.
In his freshman season, Heinicke completed 68.7 percent of his passes for 265 yards per game, along with 25 touchdowns and just one interception. This year, he leads the nation with 19 TD passes and 480.25 yards per game, and ranks fifth in the FCS with a 173.92 passing efficiency.
“What he’s doing is really unconscionable,” Wilder said. “I have a hard time fathoming what he does on a regular basis.”
It will most likely be a very long time before another player knocks down Heinicke’s new records, but with more than two-and-a-half seasons left to play in his career, there’s a possibility he could reset his own staggering marks.
“I don’t think this is a one-hit-wonder by Taylor Heinicke,” Wilder said. “I think he’s very capable of this doing this again.”
Again? Now, that I’d like to see.
• After upending No. 1 UCLA on Wednesday night, the No. 2 USC women’s volleyball team was stunned by No. 8 Oregon on Friday as the Ducks swept the Trojans for their first loss of the season. Oregon’s win ended a 21-match away losing streak at USC.
Three Oregon hitters recorded plus-.300 hitting marks for the sixth time this year -- senior outside hitter Alaina Bergsma (18 kills, .438), sophomore outside hitter Liz Brenner (16 kills, .577) and junior middle blocker Ariana Williams (8 kills, .375). In addition, Ducks’ head coach Jim Moore moved within one victory of reaching 500 wins.
No. 5 Washington and Oregon are the only two remaining unbeaten squads in the Pac-12 at 11-0. The Huskies downed Arizona in league play during the weekend.
• No. 2 Connecticut opened Big East Conference men’s soccer action with a 3-0 win against No. 13 St. John’s before a crowd of 5,100 fans on Saturday night as the Huskies claimed their league opener for the seventh consecutive season. A pair of All-Americans sparked UConn’s victory. Sophomore goalkeeper Andre Blake recorded two saves to earn his fifth shutout of the season, while midfielder Carlos Alvarez netted two goals and assisted on the Huskies’ third score.
• In Division I women’s soccer, No. 7 Oklahoma State was upset twice during the weekend as the Cowgirls suffered back-to-back defeats for the first time since 2010. After falling to Kansas for the first time since 2005 on Friday, the Cowgirls succumbed to West Virginia on Sunday. The Mountaineers scored with just 88 seconds left in regulation thanks to the game-winner by Frances Silva.
It was WVU’s second victory against a top-10 opponent this season. The Mountaineers knocked off then-No. 1 Stanford on Aug. 26.
• The Cornell men’s soccer team is 7-0-0 for the first time since 1974 after edging St. Joseph’s 3-2 on Saturday night. Daniel Haber netted two goals and assisted on the game-winner by Conor Goeple in the come-from-behind victory.
Haber, a junior forward from Toronto, Ontario, has scored eight goals and contributed two assists in the Big Red’s last four games. He leads the nation with 11 goals on the year.
• No. 1 USC notched a 7-6 come-from-behind win against No. 4 California in men’s water polo on Sunday as the two teams opened Mountain Pacific Sports Federation action in a televised game on ESPNU. Nikola Vavic, son of USC head coach Jovan Vavic, tallied the game-winning goal as the Trojans improved to 9-0 on the season. The elder Vavic also earned his 400th career victory in collegiate men’s water polo.
|THE DIGIT||THE 4-1-1|
|0||Zero. Zip. Nada. The No. 2 Syracuse field hockey team shut out No. 3 Princeton 2-0 on Sunday to remain undefeated on the season, which means zero losses for the Orange. At 9-0, the Orange is off to its best start since 2008. Syracuse and No. 5 Connecticut are the only two unbeaten teams in Division I.|
|18||The No. 5 Bowdoin College field hockey team’s regular season win streak ended at 18 games as No. 3 Middlebury claimed a 2-1 victory in a battle between the nationally ranked squads on Saturday. It was the Polar Bears’ first regular season loss since October 2010.|
|90||Widener 90, Wilkes 0. Yes, the highest-scoring offense in Division III football was at it again on Saturday. The Pride’s 90 points set school and Middle Atlantic Conference records, but fell short of the Division III mark for most points in a game. The DIII benchmark is 105 points, set by Rockford against Trinity Bible on Sept. 6, 2003.|
|223.75||South Dakota State running back Zach Zenner is averaging 223.75 rushing yards per game after pounding out 237 yards on 29 carries (8.2 yards per carry) in the Jackrabbits’ 24-10 win against No. 22 Indiana State on Saturday. Zenner is the only player in FCS averaging more than 200 yards rushing per game.|
|400||East Stroudsburg’s Denny Douds became the first head coach in Division II football to coach 400 games as the Warriors downed Cheyney 59-27 on Saturday. Douds already owns the DII record for most games coached, and currently boasts a 234-163-3 mark in 39 seasons at ESU.|
|401||Penn State field hockey coach Charlene Morett picked up her 400th win at the school as the Nittany Lions dominated Indiana 7-1 in a Big Ten matchup on Friday, and then added another victory to her collection with a 4-3 defeat of No. 17 Michigan on Sunday. PSU has won seven consecutive contests.|
• No. 4 Youngstown State’s 42-35 victory against No. 8 Northern Iowa ended the Penguins’ 11-game losing streak to the Panthers in FCS football on Saturday. The Penguins are 4-0 for the first time since 2000. Junior quarterback Kurt Hess threw for 290 yards and four touchdowns, setting a school record with his 14th 200-yard career passing game.
• The No. 4 Southwest Minnesota State women’s volleyball team is off to an 11-1 start after sweeping No. 3 Minnesota Duluth in Division II’s Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference action on Saturday. Brooke Burmeister recorded her third double-double of the season as she racked up 12 kills and 11 digs along with a .435 hitting percentage as the Mustangs handed the Bulldogs their first loss of the season. SMSU has defeated four ranked teams this season, sweeping all but one.
• No. 6 California (Pa.) scored 10 points in the last 52.3 seconds against No. 14 Indiana (Pa.) to capture a 26-23 victory and the fourth annual Coal Bowl trophy in Division II football on Saturday. Junior wide receiver Nadir Brown caught an 80-yard TD reception with 52.3 seconds left, and then sophomore kicker Cody Nuzzo nailed a 30-yard game-winning field goal with 3.5 seconds remaining in the game to lift the Vulcans to victory. Cal quarterback Peter Lalich connected on 27 of 40 passes for 438 yards and three touchdowns.
• The No. 2 Calvin women’s volleyball team downed No. 4 Hope 3-1 in a matchup of nationally ranked Division III Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association squads before a crowd of 2,700 in Grand Rapids on Friday night. The next day, Calvin swept Trine, improving to 13-1 and remaining unbeaten in MIAA action.
• Finally, thoughts and prayers go out to the Southeast Missouri women’s soccer team after losing senior teammate Meg Herndon on Thursday. Herndon suffered severe injuries in a car accident on Sept. 9 and was hospitalized at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis for 11 days until her passing. She played 55 matches in four years with the Redhawks, and posted a 3.83 GPA as a nursing major.
Follow Amy Farnum on Twitter: @NCAA_Amy