Norfolk State coach Dawson Odoms was not pleased after their upset 33-23 loss to Virginia State on Saturday. The former Southern University coach even went as far as apologizing for how the team played.

“I want to apologize to our fans,” Odoms said in the postgame presser. “We have to do a better job [of] preparing our team. You make the biggest adjustments from Week 1 to Week 2 and we have to be ready to go because we have another game next week.”

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The Spartans simply couldn't put away the Trojans. The CIAA North contenders went back and forth with Norfolk State, taking the lead from them to start the 4th quarter. Both teams struggled to come up with the right strategy to close out the game, which led to a baffling sequence of events.

Both teams had consecutive three-and-outs as Virginia State tried to run down the clock and get closer to victory, while Norfolk State aimed to score and regain the lead. With 2:49 remaining in the game and the score still 27-24, Norfolk State regained possession. The Spartans executed a well-coordinated rushing attack with Jason Wonodi, Lex Henry, and Otto Kuhns leading the way. Their 6-play, 57-yard drive advanced them to Virginia State's 4-yard line on a crucial 4th and one. Opting for a game-winning touchdown, Norfolk State was unable to convert, resulting in a turnover on downs. Virginia State then took possession on their 4-yard line with only 59 seconds remaining.

Virginia State strategically ran the ball to consume precious time on the clock, leading Norfolk to utilize two of their timeouts. The Spartans successfully contained the Trojans, forcing them to go for it on 4th down while backed into their own endzone with 6 seconds on the clock. Bailey could've taken the safety, making it a 27-26 game and forcing Norfolk to score a touchdown on the punt return. However, Bailey ran it out of the endzone to avoid the safety and ran out of bounds. However, Bailey didn't get enough for a conversion and Norfolk received the ball back with 1 second left.

This pivotal moment allowed Norfolk State one final opportunity to win the game with a 15-yard field goal attempt. However, a fumbled snap during the field goal attempt turned the tables in Virginia State's favor. Dante Clark of Virginia State recovered the ball and returned it 77 yards for a touchdown to secure the 33-24 win for the Trojans.

The Spartans look to regroup in their next matchup against Hampton University on September 9th at 6 PM EST