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Injuries affecting Monmouth's secondary
With his defensive secondary plagued by injuries, Monmouth University football coach Kevin Callahan sent wideout Chris Hogan into the breach for a few plays in Saturday’s loss to Old Dominion.
Hogan, a fifth-year senior and former lacrosse standout at Penn State, may soon be joined by others from the offensive side of the ball. He had three catches for 27 yards and made one tackle on defense.
“We’re running out of bodies in the defensive secondary,” Callahan said.
Various injuries sidelined defensive backs Dorian Evans, Eddie Jewel and Elijah Phillips against the Monarchs.
“It’s probably the one unit on our team that’s been really banged up,” Callahan said.
“We really only had five (defensive backs) dressed for the game with any type of game experience. We needed to bolster that. There may be a few more guys taking some snaps on the defensive side before it’s all over.”
Callahan said there is no timetable for the walking wounded to return.
“Right now it’s hard to say,” he said. “It’s kind of day-to-day whether we’ll have them next week or the week after or the week after that.
“We may move some people around. We’re not real deep in the defensive secondary right now.”
The defensive backs that played Saturday had their hands full as as Old Dominion quarterback Thomas DeMarco threw for a career-best 407 yards and four TDs.
When the defensive backs of Monmouth (0-3) played soft, Old Dominion receivers made catches in front of them. When the Hawks tightened up, wideouts Prentice Gill and Reid Evans beat them deep.
“I’m tired of saying this, we’ve just got to move on,” Monmouth safety Jose Gumbs said. “We’ve got to come and execute from the get-go and just continue to do it throughout the game. We just can’t play well in the first quarter and let down in the second quarter and come back in the second half. It just can’t happen like that.”
Monmouth did post a few small defensive victories, however.
When linebacker Don Brooks III intercepted DeMarco on the opening drive of the game, it was the first career pick for Brooks and Monmouth’s first turnover of the season.
It also marked just the fifth time in Old Dominion’s 14-game history it failed to score on its first drive of a game.
Defensive end Dave Ogden and linebacker Chris Mastrangelo registered Monmouth’s first sacks of the season.
Monmouth begins Northeast Conference play Saturday at Duquesne (3-1, 1-0), a 28-17 winner last Saturday over Albany.
“We’re going into the NEC right now and we’ve just got to get it done,” Monmouth safety Ken Amsel said.
Monmouth converted a season-high six third downs. . . . Fifth-year senior running back Bobby Giles posted 119 all-purpose yards, including 66 on the ground. Giles needs one yard to become Monmouth’s 10th career 1,000-yard back. . . . Freshman Mitchell Pollard had a career-high 60 yards receiving with a long of 46.