NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - A couple of rivals that sit a mere four miles apart from each other will be reacquainted on Saturday inside Dick Price Stadium in Norfolk. Old Dominion University, off a near-upset win at the University of Pittsburgh, is trying to stay perfect against Norfolk State University.
The Spartans, meanwhile, are hoping history does not repeat itself.
These two last met in the first round of the FCS playoffs in 2011. That day in SB Ballard Stadium, then-freshman quarterback Taylor Heinicke completed 21 of 30 passes for 296 yards and five touchdowns.
As to the 1:00 pm matchup on Saturday, Spartans Head Coach Pete Adrian says if his offense can't produce, they won't "have a chance."
"(ODU has) scored a lot of points against everybody they've played, except for one football team," says Adrian, "It's more than a demanding challenge for us just to play hard, which we will play hard. Our offense has to keep improving. They're going to have to play well in this ball game."
On the Monarch side of things, Head Coach Bobby Wilder says, quite simply, "I personally love this game."
"When we played in 2011 in the playoffs, I thought the atmosphere was electric at SB Ballard. I thought the fans were tremendous." A number of fans couldn't attend that game two years ago, because the 20,000-seat stadium couldn't seat enough.
That's not expected to be a problem at Dick Price, which seats around 30,000. Adrian hopes every one of those seats is filled, and expects both teams to play with the same energy level displayed a few years back.
"I thought the excitement and intensity was played by both teams (in 2011)," said Adrian, "I also thought it was an extremely clean ball game, which really says something about the players on both sides of the field.
"It's a big rivalry, but there's a lot of respect out there."
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