HU hopes to follow in ODU’s football steps

Nazim Trammell-Wells | Staff Writer

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Taylor Gravesande

It happened in Norfolk, so could it happen in Hampton?

Will the Pirates ever pull off a college football victory as big as Old Dominion’s 49-35 upset of No. 13 Virginia Tech?

At least one player thinks it could happen soon.

“I definitely think we have the weapons and the coaching to beat anybody,” Hampton University tight end Jordan Ray said. “If we show up ready to go in sync, there won’t be a question about it.”

There seemingly wasn’t a question Old Dominion would fall to 0-4 when Virginia Tech visited Sept. 22.

But ODU had a backup plan.

Monarchs reserve quarterback Blake LaRussa, a Virginia Beach native, entered on the team’s second drive and immediately gave the Hokies defense problems.

LaRussa finished with 495 yards and four touchdowns to put ODU on the national football map.

“It’s one of the biggest moments in Hampton Roads history,” ODU coach Bobby Wilder told reporters.

Here’s a shock about the shocker: It wasn’t one for everyone.

“To be honest, I wasn’t surprised,” Ray said. “I mean of course everyone’s first reaction was ‘Wow,’ but when you look at it, it’s clear that Virginia Tech didn’t show up, and that’s what college football is about.

“Anyone can get beat on any given day!”

This year, college football has seen upsets early such as a Florida State team who usually dominates lose to a lesser-caliber Syracuse team.

Often times, college football in the 757 area can be forgotten. Hampton, ODU and WIlliam and Mary have fallen short to ACC powerhouse Virginia Tech for years.

The impact of this year’s ODU-Tech game was felt in Hampton Roads. Pirates players enjoyed seeing the neighboring university win.

Ray expressed his desire to play his mother’s alma mater, University of Maryland, in the future. This could be possible, and with a win, the Pirates could draw in bigger recruits.

Next year, Hampton will face a full Big South schedule that will feature successful programs such as Kennesaw State and Monmouth.

First, the Pirates will try to get a victory over Monmouth.

Next, a monumental victory?

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