Old Dominion posts first win over FBS opponent

MOSCOW, Idaho -- Old Dominion's football program achieved a milestone on Saturday.

Taylor Heinicke passed for four touchdowns and ran for one as the Monarchs celebrated their first win over an FBS opponent, beating Idaho 59-38.

Heinicke, last year's Walter Payton Award winner for best player at the FCS level, connected with 10 different receivers to finish 40-of-56 passing for 533 yards and an interception. The junior even booted two punts for a 48.5-yard average.

"We just had to throw the ball a lot," said Heinicke, who threw for the second-most yards in his career. "They were stuffing the run a little bit ... and we felt like we could move the ball great through the air, so we stuck with the pass."

ODU (7-3) finished with 621 yards of total offense against an Idaho defense that entered the game allowing more than 520 yards and 44 points per game. It was the fifth time this season that the Monarchs have scored more than 50 in a game.

Marquel Thomas caught seven passes for 137 yards and two TDs for ODU, and Antonio Vaughn added three receptions for 103 yards and a score.

"We've got to be a little more disciplined," said Idaho defensive end Maxx Forde, whose team led 14-0 early in the first quarter. "They made plays doing what they do, and we weren't making plays we made early on in the game."

ODU took the lead for good on its first possession of the third quarter after a back-and-forth first half with a 1-yard run by Heinicke. The Monarchs extended the lead to 45-31 on 1-yard run by Colby Goodwin.

Idaho (1-9) got to within a touchdown at 45-38 on a 12-yard touchdown run by Richard Montgomery with 1:20 left in the third quarter. But Heinicke found a wide-open Marquel Thomas for a 39-yard score on a fourth-and-3 play to give the Monarchs a 52-38 lead less than a minute into the fourth quarter.

Goodwin added a 3-yard scoring run late in the game.

Neither team could stop the other in the first half. The two teams combined to score 62 points and produce more than 700 yards on 86 plays.

ODU, which reached the FCS playoffs the last two seasons, is in the first year of transitioning to the FBS level. The Monarchs join Conference USA next July but will not be eligible to play in a bowl game until the 2015 season.

ODU is playing a mixed schedule this season that features five FBS games. The Monarchs have lost to East Carolina, Maryland and Pittsburgh and will play North Carolina later this month.

"Making history," ODU coach Billy Wilder said after the program's first win over an FBS team. "It's hard for me to put into words or quantify. Another just giant, giant, giant step for this program."

Idaho, which has lost five in row since beating Temple in September, is playing this season as an independent after the Western Athletic Conference stopped sponsoring football. The Vandals, who last played in a bowl game in 2009, will compete in the Sun Belt Conference next year in football.

Taylor Davis, Idaho's third-string quarterback, was 15-of-29 passing for 308 yards and two touchdowns. Dezmon Epps caught nine passes for 175 yards and a touchdown. Running back James Baker rushed for 57 yards and had a 73-yard touchdown catch on the first play of the game.

Idaho finished with 505 yards of total offense but had several dropped passes throughout the game.

"For sure, it could be the story line today," Idaho coach Paul Petrino said. "There's a whole bunch of yards out there if we don't have some of those drops. That's unfortunate."

NOTES: Idaho has a bye next week before traveling across the country to face national championship contender Florida State on Nov. 23. ... The more than 2,700-mile trip from Virginia to Idaho was the farthest that Old Dominion has traveled to play a football game. The Monarchs' longest road trip before Saturday came in 2009 when they played at Jacksonville (Fla.) University. ... Attending Saturday's game inside the Kibbie Dome was Pat Yarber, a legally blind college football fan from Nashville, Tenn. With his trip to the rural north Idaho college town, Yarber has now visited all 125 FBS stadiums in the country during a quest that has lasted more than 30 years.