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Blackburn: ODU's Start To Season Historically Bad

If you saw Old Dominion's upset over Virginia Tech coming, well, you probabaly shouldn't have. Carter Blackburn explains why.

The DA Show
September 25, 2018 - 12:10 pm

CBS Sports play-by-play voice Carter Blackburn has called some pretty epic comebacks and upsets in his broadcasting career, including Texas A&M’s stunning win over Northern Iowa in the 2016 NCAA Tournament. A&M trailed 69-57 with 35 seconds to go but fought back to force overtime.

The Aggies won, 92-88, in double OT.

While Old Dominion’s 49-35 win over then-No. 12 Virginia Tech on Saturday wasn’t much of a comeback – the Monarchs never trailed by more than a touchdown – it was one of the most improbable upsets you’ll ever see.

“This was not the greatest upset in college football history, but I do look at the predictive numbers, and this was supposed to be a four-touchdown game,” Blackburn said on The DA Show. “Old Dominion, their first series of the season, they’re at Liberty: They go 3-and-out and use two timeouts. And then on fourth down, they run a fake punt, fumble it, and give the ball to Liberty. That’s how the season began for Old Dominion, and it didn't get a whole lot better.”

Old Dominion lost to Liberty, 52-10. Then lost to FIU. Then lost to Charlotte.

That’s 0-3 – just in time for your backup quarterback, Blake LaRussa, to play against one of the top teams in the country.

“So going into this one, are you thinking, ‘Well, maybe Old Dominion can keep it close?’” Blackburn asked. “In reality, you have a very good football team – a highly touted football team on paper with Virginia Tech – and you have one who goes 3-and-out with two timeouts, a bobbled snap and a fumbled punt. So how do you think the game is going to go?”

Answer: not how it went. LaRussa went 30-of-49 for 495 yards and five touchdowns (four pass, one rush) to lead ODU to a two-score win. 

“That truly is the glory of it,” Blackburn said. “When I started broadcasting, there were times when the producer is in your ear like, ‘Okay, we’re turning the page to blowout material now.’ Do not do that anymore. Like, ever again. Because you don’t know. You have absolutely no idea.”