Today in Norfolk, Va., a freakin' sophomore quarterback named Taylor Heinicke threw a football 79 times to lead Old Dominion past New Hampshire 64-61. His receivers caught 55 of those passes. Between Heinicke and those receivers, they moved the ball 730 yards via the air. That ridiculous number is a Division I record and just a yard shy of the (UPDATE: former) collegiate record of 731 compiled by D-III's immortal Zamir Amin of Menlo, who stuck it to Cal Lutheran in 2000. You might also remember Houston's David Klingler tossing for 716 yards against Arizona State. That used to be the Division I record. Now Heinicke has it. Because he threw for 730 yards. Not in three games, or even in two. But in one game, today, against New Hampshire. It is, again, a ridiculous number.
Oddly for such a ridiculous number, it didn't owe to individual bursts of impossibility so much as it required a group effort in yeomanly absurdity. Heinicke's yards per attempt were a reasonable 9.2. He threw completions to 10 different receivers. Nick Mayers caught 12 balls for 271 yards and Antonio Vaughan caught 12 for 143. And Old Dominion also managed to move the ball on the ground, to the tune of 94 yards. Heinicke netted 61 of those on 11 carries. Dude was a force today. But he didn't pop off a freak series of 80-yard outbursts. It was decent quality in high quantity. Here's the box score.
Perhaps we should be more stunned at the overall ineptitude of the New Hampshire defense than at the offensive prowess of Old Dominion. But then, ODU only won by a field goal in a game with 125 points scored. New Hampshire racked up 725 yards to ODU's 824, grinding out most of their yards on the ground: 389 yards on 51 carries. The teams just ping-ponged; both got the ball 18 times. It seems that a runt-kitten rush defense is an asset for any QBs hoping to throw for 700+ yards in one game. You keep falling behind - ODU was down 20, at one juncture - and coach keeps saying Sling it, Heinicke, sling it. Zamir Amin is within your reach.
UPDATE: As astute readers pointed out, the former all-division record was surpassed this very September by a Eureka College gunslinger named Sam Durley, whose 736 yards against something called Knox is the most ridiculous number in this story thus far.