ODU football nominated for ESPY

Published 8:03 pm Thursday, June 20, 2019

The Old Dominion University football team is nominated for an ESPY award for the best upset moment for their Sept. 22 win against Virginia Tech.

The ODU had one of the biggest upsets in sports last year when they beat Virginia Tech at home. The ESPY is ESPN’s annual summer sports awards show. They give out awards in several categories, including “Best Upset,” in which ODU is nominated. Last September, the Monarchs defeated Virginia Tech 49-35 in a shootout.

That ODU team included three Suffolk natives — Marvin Branch, Demetrius Stitmon and Kane Miskel. Current King’s Fork High School Coach Kermit Buggs was also part of the staff last season.

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During that game, Miskel recorded three tackles, and Stitmon recorded two. Branch did not play in the game due to injury, but the energy couldn’t have been crazier for the ODU football program on that night. The Monarchs were only given a 1.8-percent chance to win the game by ESPN’s Power Index. ODU’s win was the biggest upset by ESPN’s Power Index in the last 14 years.

“All around, we played a heck of a game,” Stitmon said shortly after that game. “I had no doubt in my mind that we were going to perform well against all of the odds. We knew what we were up against and what it was going to take for us to be successful.”

The Monarchs treated the game like any other game. They knew what they were made of and put the world on notice.

“It was a big win for us,” Miskel said. “You have to be confident every time you step on the field, and especially against a team like that. It was a great win. We knew we had a chance, because they put their pants on the same way we do.”

Both Branch and Stitmon starred at Nansemond River High School, while Miskel starred at King’s Fork High School.

In the upset voting, ODU’s surprise win will be up against the Columbus Blue Jackets sweeping in the NHL playoffs, the Andy Ruiz Jr. knockout over Anthony Joshua and Naomi Osaka’s defeat of Serena Williams. Anyone can vote by going to ESPN.com and clicking on the ESPY award voting. The ESPY awards will be held July 10 on ESPN.