ODU falls one game short of bowl bid with 41-10 loss at Middle Tennessee

Middle Tennessee head coach Rick Stockstill, left, and Old Dominion head coach Bobby Wilder shake hands after their NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017, in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Middle Tennessee won, 41-10. (AP Photo/Mike Strasinger)

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP/WAVY SPORTS) — Left for dead at 2-6 to start the month of November, Old Dominion never quit and made a valiant push toward bowl eligibility for a second straight season. Coach Bobby Wilder’s team won three straight, but fell one game short after losing to Middle Tennessee 41-10 on Saturday.

Terelle West set career highs with 26 carries, 170 yards and two touchdowns to help the Blue Raiders (6-6, 4-4 Conference USA) become bowl eligible for a third straight season. The Monarchs (5-7, 3-5) took the early lead on Nick Rice’s 26-yard field goal in the first quarter. But Middle Tennessee took over from there, scoring the next 41 points before Old Dominion notched its only touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

Wilder took freshman quarterback Steven Williams out of the starting lineup for being late to a meeting earlier in the week. It was the second time Williams was benched for that reason this year. Virginia Beach’s Blake LaRussa (Bishop Sullivan Catholic School) got the start, but could only hit on five of his 14 passes for 37 yards.

In his final game as a Monarch, Ray Lawry ran 14 times for 97 yards.

For Middle Tennessee, West also had three catches for 25 yards. It was only the third game for the sophomore tailback with more than 10 carries. He was originally favored to start at the beginning of the season but missed time due to injuries.

Brent Stockstill was 21 of 30 for 266 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions for the Blue Raiders.