Patience has been a virtue for Norfolk State head coach Dawson Odums, and in two of the last three weeks, it has paid dividends for him and the Spartan football team.
Norfolk State rushed for 350 yards in holding off Towson 21-14 Saturday, picking up their second win of the 2023 season against a Coastal Athletic Association team. They’ll try for a third this weekend with North Carolina A&T visiting Dick Price Stadium.
“I thought we handled the elements and the situation very well,” Odums said of the rains from Tropical Storm Ophelia. “These guys are starting to understand none of that matters. We’re still going to kick off, and we have to play at a certain level to reach the outcome that we want. When you run the ball well and stop the run, you give yourself a chance to win football games.”
Eight different Spartans ran the ball Saturday, led by sophomore running back Kevon King’s 97 yards on 11 carries. Senior quarterback Otto Kuhns had the big run of the day, a 67-yard touchdown scramble two minutes into the third quarter that gave Norfolk State (2-2 this season) the lead for good. Odums lauded the play of his offensive line – Samuel Eskridge, Baron Franks, Dyral McMillan, Garrison Wheatley, and V.J. Byrd.
“It was a gut check; they had to move people, and they did an outstanding job,” Odums said. “You don’t rush for that kind of yardage without those guys dominating the line of scrimmage.”
NSU’s next challenge is a North Carolina A&T squad hungry for a win after a 0-3 start. The Aggies defeated the Spartans in Greensboro 49-24 last season, so Odums knows his young team will be tested this weekend.
“As long as the fight is there, you’re going to have a chance,” he said. “You cannot question the heart of these guys, but we need to get polished in some areas so we can execute at a high level. If we do that, we’re a team that can compete in November.”
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