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Next Up: How No. 1 South Dakota State football rode its defense to the top:
Matt Zimmer, Sioux Falls Argus Leader - Late November 2022

BROOKINGS – South Dakota State’s defense was riding high heading into their Dakota Marker showdown with then-top ranked North Dakota State on Oct. 15, having nearly shutout South Dakota the week prior, and forming the backbone of the five-game winning streak they took with them to Fargo.

Then the game started, and the Bison wasted no time in putting the Jackrabbits on their heels. NDSU scored touchdowns on their first three drives to take a 21-7 lead, and they made it look easy while doing it. Had the Jacks defense been exposed? Met their match? Was this where the Bison put a stranglehold on the Missouri Valley Football Conference?

The Jacks got to halftime feeling fortunate to only be down by 14 points. And there in the Fargodome locker room, defensive coordinator Jimmy Rogers did what on many Saturdays is his most important work.

More: South Dakota State football gets No. 1 seed in FCS playoffs

The Bison had come out with some new wrinkles in their offense the Jacks hadn’t been prepared for. They threw the ball all over the Jacks in the first quarter, just seven days after SDSU had held the Coyotes to 44 passing yards. So Rogers, with help from safeties coach Jesse Bobbit, defensive line coaches Christian Smith and Mark Kubacki and cornerbacks coach Rob Erickson, devised a plan to counter what NDSU had burned them with in the first half.

It was the proverbial halftime adjustments, which can range from tweaking the front four’s technique to bringing the secondary up closer to the ball to attacking an offensive lineman who’s showing himself to be a weak link. Rogers saw that his defense’s unfamiliarity with what the Bison were doing was making them slow to react – they were devoting too many precious fractions of a second to deciphering what was happening in front of them, instead of instinctively making plays. But once the players were given an adjusted plan, they were able to take over.

“We switched a couple things around and before you know it we were able to play a lot faster than we had been,” tackle Caleb Sanders would say a couple days later. “Our confidence came back up and then we were flying around like we should’ve been.”

The Bison did not score in the second half. SDSU came back for a 23-21 win that vaulted them into the No. 1 ranking in the FCS, which is where they’ve stayed. If there were any doubts about just how good this defense really is, they were erased in Fargo.

More:South Dakota State's Tucker Kraft declares for NFL Draft ahead of FCS playoffs

The Jackrabbits have won 10 straight games since their season-opening loss at Iowa, captured the Missouri Valley Football Conference title and are the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.

It was the best regular season in the history of South Dakota State football, and with all due respect to an offense loaded with potential NFL playmakers, the defense has carried this team from day one.

The Jackrabbits are the top defense in the Valley – they allow the fewest points per game (15.5) and the fewest yards (255). The next-best run defense to theirs has given up almost twice as many rushing yards as they have. They’ve intercepted a league-high 15 passes and their 29 sacks are third-most. They stop their foes on 66 percent of their third downs. No defense has been stingier in the red zone (seven stops and only 10 touchdowns allowed in 21 chances).

Butler quarterback Bret Bushka is chased down by SDSU defenders Caden Johnson (53) and Ryan Van Marel Saturday during their game at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium.
Butler quarterback Bret Bushka is chased down by SDSU defenders Caden Johnson (53) and Ryan Van Marel Saturday during their game at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium.
© Matt Zimmer
All this from a unit that after last year's semifinal loss sent cornerback Don Gardner to the NFL while saying goodbye to All-American linebacker Logan Backhaus, starting safety Michael Griffin and a whole host of productive defensive linemen.

All this despite injuries taking away key players at all three levels, sometimes for extended absences.

“Very proud,” said head coach John Stiegelmeier, who was himself the Jacks’ defensive coordinator before becoming head coach in 1997. “I’m not amazed, but I’m really impressed with the way we’ve played and the way they’ve all come together. Think of the players we graduated and the injuries we’ve had, and we’re actually better. It’s really something.”

SDSU defense had confidence despite departures
Indeed, the Jacks defense was good last year, but has managed to improve despite what it lost (including former co-coordinator Brian Bergstrom, who left to become the head coach at Winona State).

One of the keys to their success in reaching the semifinals in 2021 was their deep defensive line that rotated as many as 10 players, but with the graduation of key linemen like Tolu Ogunrinde, Xavier Ward and Krockett Krolikowski – not to mention the losses of Gardner, Backhaus and Griffin –some outside the program assumed the defense might take a slight step back in 2022.

More: Top of the Valley: A week-by-week look at South Dakota State football's 2022 season

Rogers said no one inside the walls of the Dykhouse Center even considered that a possibility, and it showed in the season opener. Against a Big Ten team expected to compete for a conference title, the Jacks held Iowa to 166 yards of offense and only three points (the Hawkeyes used two safeties against the SDSU offense to win 7-3). Yes, the Hawkeyes offense is a mess, but the way the Jacks shut them down in September could have something to do with that.

Pushing around the Hawkeyes confirmed what the Jacks defense had suspected – they had a championship level unit. And except for a few rough stretches, like the first 25 minutes in Fargo, they’ve played that way every single week.

“I think expectations from the outside were one thing,” said Rogers, who coaches the linebackers and went from co-coordinator to solo with Bergstrom’s departure. “But our expectations internally are always different than what people think is good.”

What the Jacks think is good is nothing short of being the best defense in the country, no matter who’s back from the year before, no matter who might not be available on a given Saturday.

The talent is there, again, but it mostly always has been. Many NFL and borderline-NFL defenders have worn the blue and yellow over the years. The difference in this year’s defense is how that talent takes coaching, how it accepts its role, how it puts the team before self. This isn’t a no-name defense, but it certainly isn’t one carried by stars. It thrives because there are upwards of 25 starting-caliber players that are major contributors.

More: After clinching Valley title and playoff seed, South Dakota State football prepares for two weeks off

“The biggest thing is that the kids are bought into what we’re doing and believe in each other, and for the first time in my time here I feel like this is a group where everyone is truly bought into their role and how they can help the team,” Rogers said. “We’ve had some really good defenses here. But there’s really zero ego in this group. It starts with our senior leadership up front with Caleb and Reece (Winkelman). They’re great players, but they play a role that’s been shared. The roles haven’t always been shared, but this year more than any – the linebackers, the safeties and even the corners, there’s been a huge rotation, which has made us deeper, better and a more collective team.”

Jackrabbits defense has stars at all three levels
Sanders and Winkelman, who have combined for 9.5 sacks, are indeed the leaders up front, but Quinton Hicks, Cade Terveer, Caden Johnson, Ryan Van Marel, Jarod DePriest and others have been playmakers on the front four as well.

The linebackers get most of the tackles. The secondary comes up with the interceptions. But the front four is the engine that does the grunt work and disrupts opposing offenses.

“They’ve played a lot of football so they’ve seen a lot of football,” NDSU coach Matt Entz said of the Jacks D-line. “They play with great pad level, they play with great hands, they’re able to cover up blocks – they do all the little things veterans should do.”

At linebacker, Adam Bock was on track to contend for defensive player of the year – not just in the Valley, but the nation – until a foot injury at UND put him out for the rest of the regular season. Though the Jacks are hopeful Bock, who had 58 tackles and three sacks in eight games, will return for the playoffs, they haven’t slipped without him. Jason Freeman, a transfer from NAIA Olivet-Nazarene, has 56 tackles and three sacks and has arguably been the catalyst of the defense since Bock went down.

Isaiah Stalbird, Daeton Mcgaughy, Graham Spalding, Saiveon Williamson and Payton Schafer have all battled injuries but contributed at linebacker.

In the secondary, Malik Lofton, DyShawn Gales and Dalys Beanum have all been outstanding at cornerback. There have been injuries at safety, too, particularly to Cale Reeder and Chase Norblade, but Colby Huerter, Tucker Large and Matthew Durrance have helped cover for their absences.

It’s that three-level balance that makes the Jacks so consistent and slump-proof. It’s the goal and envy of every defense. While opposing offenses always point to their own mistakes after losses, many of the teams the Jacks have vanquished this year have not hesitated to admit SDSU made things extremely difficult for them.

“What makes them tick, in my opinion, is their senior down linemen,” said Illinois State coach Brock Spack. “Their front guys are really good – they can run. That’s the biggest thing that has impressed me, being a defensive coach myself, is seeing the way they run. In the secondary, at linebacker, they can really run. They don’t do a lot of exotic stuff – they’re just very fundamental and very, very good.”

Injuries? What injuries?
Next-man-up is a cliché used by every football team as a way to deter players from getting discouraged when injuries mount, but for the Jacks, it’s been a truism. When Stiegelmeier frets that the latest injury is the one that will break the dam, it doesn’t happen.

And maybe that shouldn’t be surprising. The Jacks began to institute their strategy of playing an especially deep rotation in recent years, so that guys moving into the starting lineup for the first time aren’t new to what they’re doing. That also points to a program that has had few misses in recruiting. It’s hard to play 25 guys on defense if half of them aren’t nearly as good as the other half.

“I think there were a lot of people that wanted to prove themselves and show they were ready this year,” said Beanum, who has 23 tackles and two interceptions on the season. “These guys were behind stars in the past and they were waiting for their turn and now they’re taking advantage of it.”

Going against an offense every week in practice that features star running back Isaiah Davis, NFL-caliber tight ends Tucker Kraft and Zach Heins, twin tandem receivers Jaxon and Jadon Janke and dual-threat quarterback Mark Gronowski doesn’t hurt, either.

“I’d like to say that’s why they’re playing so well,” Jadon Janke joked. “But no, the work they put in and the confidence they play with is impressive. Jimmy is such a great defensive coordinator, and it’s great for us as an offense to know if we’re struggling, they’ve got our backs.”

Coordinator Jimmy Rogers leads the way
Rogers, according to more than a few people around the program, is the heartbeat of Jackrabbit football. One of the first stars of the Division I era, Rogers came to SDSU from Arizona and despite being undersized at 5-foot-10, developed into an all-conference linebacker.

He played when SDSU had little in the way of facilities and was still finding its way in Division I. Now he’s considered by some to be Stiegelmeier’s likely successor, in part because he has the same belief in and love of South Dakota State.

He’s also just an excellent tactician, not just putting together a gameplan based on film and scouting, but adept at sniffing out tendencies or wrinkles midgame that an offense has thrown in.

“I don’t want to make light of it, but that’s his job,” Stiegelmeier said of Rogers’ adjustment prowess. “And he’s good at it. Some people that have that job aren’t as good at that. He’s answered the call in difficult situations many times.”

That cultivates the belief that Rogers himself has cited as his players’ best attribute.

“He gets everyone to buy in,” Freeman said. “Coach Rogers does a great job of scheming the defense. He knows probably more than he needs to most weeks, to be honest, but that means he’s always coaching us up on little things that might make a difference. Even in the bye week we just had we spent a lot of time working on the things we struggled with in the regular season. That’ll help us tighten the screws going into the playoffs.”

Those playoffs begin Dec. 3. The Jacks will play the winner of Delaware and St. Francis at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium. They won’t have to leave their home field again until, potentially, a trip to Frisco for the national championship. Anything less than that will be disappointing, and everyone knows that. And this defense is ready to lead the way there.

“I’m incredibly proud of how we’ve played this year,” Winkelman said. “I’ve played with some really good players and on some really good defenses in my years here, but this year’s team is just so cohesive. So many guys have stepped up. It’s very rewarding to see the stats and everything that shows how well we’ve played, but Coach Rogers spoke on it after the last game – none of that matters now. It’s playoff time and we all know what the goal is.”

This article originally appeared on Sioux Falls Argus Leader:

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Football Falls to No. 23 Delaware in FCS Playoffs First Round

11/26/22 - https://sfuathletics.com/

NEWARK, Del. – Saint Francis University football lost in the first round of the FCS playoffs 56-17 against No. 23 Delaware. The Red Flash finished the season with a 9-3 record and the .750 winning percentage was the highest in Division I program history. 

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
» Makai Jackson finished with five receptions for 71 yards and one touchdown, while Dawson Snyder finished with two receptions for 60 yards and one touchdown.
» Gregory Reddick finished with a team-high 14 tackles and game-high eight solo.
» Travell Cook and Kendal Marks each recorded a forced fumble and Donnell Brown and Willie O'Hara each recovered the fumbles.
» Kerry Galloway recorded the first interception of his collegiate career.

TURNING POINT OF THE GAME
Delaware quarterback Nolan Henderson scored an early touchdown for Delaware just over two minutes into the game and the Blue Hens took a 6-0 lead after a missed wo-point conversion attempt. Delaware had the game's next score with 7:19 remaining in the first and took a 14-0 lead.

After Delaware blocked a punt, Cook forced a fumble at the Saint Francis two-yard line and Brown recovered it in the end zone for a touchback. On the ensuing drive, Saint Francis was on the Delaware four-yard line and settled for a field goal to cut the deficit to 14-3. In the second quarter, Delaware scored the only two touchdowns and took a 28-3 lead into halftime.

Out of the half, both teams traded third quarter touchdowns before the Blue Hens scored 21 straight points in the fourth and opened a 56-10 lead. Jackson scored a 45-yard touchdown with under four minutes remaining before Delaware clinched its 56-17 victory.

FLASH NUGGETS
The nine wins this season were the most in Division I program history and was two higher than the previous record of seven set in 2015 and 2016. The loss snapped Saint Francis' nine-game winning streak, which was the longest in program history since 1971-72.

Jackson finished tied for third in single-season program history with 85 receptions, fourth with 991 receiving yards and tied for fifth with nine receiving touchdowns.

Cook's forced fumble was his third of the season and sixth forced takeaway, while Marks' was the first of his collegiate career.

Reddick's 14 tackles broke his previous career-high of 12 set against Stonehill on Oct. 22. He had four double-digit tackle games this season.

NEXT
Saint Francis' 2022 comes to an end, while Delaware will face No. 1 South Dakota State.

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Blue Hens Roll Past Saint Francis 56-17 in First Round of FCS Playoffs
11/26/22 - bluehens.com

NEWARK, Del. – The No. 23 University of Delaware football team scored the most points in an FCS Playoff game in program history as it rolled to a 56-17 victory over Saint Francis (Pa.) on Saturday afternoon in the first round of the 2022 FCS Playoffs at Delaware Stadium. With the win, the Blue Hens improve to 8-4 overall and advance to the second round.

Nolan Henderson accounted for five total touchdowns as he finished 16-of-23 passing for 266 yards and four touchdowns while also rushing for another score. Kyron Cumby rushed 10 times for 111 yards while Marcus Yards also finished with 85 yards on the ground. Chandler Harvin caught four passes for 128 yards and three touchdowns. The Delaware offense finished with 586 total yards of offense with 283 rushing yards and 303 passing yards.

Johnny Buchanan led all players with 15 tackles and combined with Drew Nickles on a sack. Amonte' Strothers and Artis Hemmingway each also added a sack. The defense held Saint Francis to just 258 yards of total offense.

The Blue Hens wasted no time as they won the coin toss and received the opening kickoff before marching 75 yards in just six plays. Henderson capped the drive with a 13-yard run inside the pylon to give UD a 6-0 lead.

On the next possession, Henderson found a wide-open Harvin for a 30-yard touchdown to complete an eight-play, 84-yard drive. A pass to Bryce De Maille for the 2-point conversion made it a 14-0 game midway through the opening quarter.

Yarns started a second-drive quarter with a 51-yard run that drove the Blue Hens into the red zone before Henderson eventually hit Thyrick Pitts in the back corner of the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown. A seven-yard touchdown pass to Harvin late in the quarter made it a 28-3 game at the half.

The Delaware defense forced a quick three-and-out to start the third quarter, before Henderson found Harvin for a third time, this time going deep for a 58-yard score to extend the lead to 35-3 lead just two minutes into the second half.

After a Saint Francis touchdown, the Blue Hens used a 10-play drive to take five minutes off the clock. On the second play of the fourth quarter. Quincy Watson punched it in from the 1-yard line to make it a 42-10 game.

Khory Spruill added a 10-yard touchdown run and, on the ensuing kickoff, Josh Moran forced a fumble that Brandon Dennis recovered in the end zone. An SFU touchdown with just three minutes left provided the final 56-17 score.

Notes
Henderson's second-quarter touchdown pass to Pitts was his 30th touchdown pass of the season, surpassing Matt Nagy for UD's single-season record … The 39-point margin of victory was the second-most by a UD team in the FCS Playoffs behind Delaware's 40-0 victory in the 2003 national championship.

Up Next
The Blue Hens advance to the second round of the 2022 FCS Playoffs and will travel to No. 1 South Dakota State. Kickoff on Saturday, December 3 is set for 3 p.m. ET.

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Football to Face No. 23 Delaware in FCS Playoffs First Round
11-25-22 - https://sfuathletics.com/

LORETTO, Pa. – Saint Francis University football will play its second FCS playoff game in program history on Saturday, Nov. 26 at No. 23 Delaware for a 2 p.m. kickoff. The Red Flash clinched the playoffs on Oct. 29 against Sacred Heart and won the Northeast Conference on Nov. 19 against Merrimack.

Offense
Saint Francis ranks eighth in the FCS with 37.6 points per game and 16th with 444.4 total yards of offense per game. The Red Flash offense is led by NEC Offensive Player of the Year quarterback Cole Doyle, who has 917 passing yards and 14 passing touchdowns over the past three games. Freshman wide receiver Makai Jackson is eighth in the FCS with 7.3 receptions per game and leads freshmen with 83.6 receiving yards per game. Saint Francis' other freshman wideout Elijah Sarratt is tied for third in the FCS with 13 touchdown receptions, which is five more than Jackson's second-ranked eight. The Saint Francis offensive line, which consists of three All-NEC selections, is one of 10 teams in the FCS to allow less than one sack per game. They pave the way for an FCS 21st-ranked rushing attack that averages 192.2 yards per game. Saint Francis has set a new single-season program record with 52 touchdowns and 414 total points scored this season.

Defense
Saint Francis ranks seventh in the FCS with 18.4 points against per game and ninth with 310 yards against per game. The defense is led by NEC Defensive Player of the Year Donnell Brown's 13.5 tackles for loss and he adds 5.5 sacks. He became the first player in program history to earn NEC Defensive Player of the Year. Gregory Reddick ranked second in the NEC with 7.9 tackles per game, while Willie O'Hara is fourth with seven per game. Travell Cook leads the team with five total takeaways, which is the most by a Saint Francis player since 2018.

Special Teams
All-NEC First Team kicker ranks second in single-season program history with 17 converted field goals this season. His 84.2 field goal percentage ranks first in Saint Francis career program history. Punter Jordan Slaiby ranks third in the NEC with 39 yards per punt and has a season long punt of 56 yards. Punt returner Casey McKinney's 8.3 yards per return ranks third in program career history amongst players with at least 20 returns.

Last Time Out
Saint Francis clinched its second NEC title in program history with a 52-23 victory over Merrimack. Lovell Armstead put Saint Francis up 7-0 in the first two minutes of the game with a four-yard touchdown reception. Sarratt followed with under four minutes remaining in the quarter with a nine-yard touchdown reception. Merrimack scored a 34-yard touchdown on the second play of the second quarter and cut the Red Flash lead to 14-7. Saint Francis responded with a one-yard Holmes touchdown run, six-yard Sarratt touchdown, 15-yard Snyder touchdown and 24-yard Schmoke field goal and took a commanding 38-7 lead at halftime. Snyder's touchdown was scored three plays after O'Hara's interception. After a defensive stop to start the first half, Holmes scored a 69-yard touchdown on the first offensive play and extended the lead to 45-7. With under five minutes remaining in the third quarter, Snyder scored his second touchdown of the game and Saint Francis took a 52-7 lead. Merrimack scored 16 points in the final 13 minutes of the game, with it out of reach, before Saint Francis clinched its title victory.

Scouting Delaware
Delaware finished 7-4 overall and 4-4 in CAA play to earn an at-large bit to the FCS playoffs. They enter the playoffs with losses in three of their final four games of the season, to ranked opponents Elon and Richmond, and Villanova who received votes. The Blue Hens are ranked 23rd in the Stats Perform Top 25. The Delaware defense ranks third in the FCS with 278.5 yards allowed per game and fourth with 16.2 points per game allowed. The offense averages an FCS 33rd-ranked 412.4 yards per game and scores 27.6 points per game. The offense is led by quarterback Nolan Henderson who is tied for sixth in the FCS with 28 touchdowns passes and 12th with 2,934 passing yards. Wide receiver Thyrick Pitts leads the team with nine touchdown receptions and Jourdan Townsend leads with 56 receptions and 672 yards. Linebacker Johnny Buchanan is second in the FCS with 10.9 tackles for loss and Chase McGowan and Artis Hemmingway leads the team with 7.5 tackles for loss. Buchanan was named a finalist for the Buck Buchanan award, presentied to the national defensive player of the year in the FCS.

All-Time vs. Delaware
In the only matchup between Delaware and Saint Francis, the Blue Hens took a 27-10 victory in the second game of the 2021 season. Delaware quarterback Nolan Henderson was 18-for-23 with 259 yards and one touchdown during the game. Saint Francis defensive lineman Donnell Brown had 2.5 tackles for loss and one sack in the game. At the time of the first game, Delaware was ranked No. 6 in the FCS.

Saint Francis Earns Four Major Yearly Awards, 13 All-Conference Selections
Saint Francis earned four of the five major Northeast Conference yearly awards, 10 First Team All-NEC selections and three Second Team All-NEC honors on Nov. 23. Doyle was named NEC Offensive Player of the Year, Brown was named NEC Defensive Player of the Year, Jackson was named NEC Offensive Rookie of the Year and head coach Villarrial was named NEC Coach of the Year. This is the first time since Sacred Heart in 2013 that a team earned at least four of the five major awards. Brown became the first Defensive Player of the Year selection in Saint Francis history, while Doyle was the fourth Offensive Player of the Year and first since Kamron Lewis in 2016. Jackson is the fifth Offensive Rookie of the Year and first since Marcus Bagley in 2014. Coach Villarrial earned his third-career Coach of the Year after back-to-back honors in 2015 and 2016. The 10 All-NEC First Team selections broke the previous program record of seven set in 2015 and 2016. Saint Francis earned seven more First Team selection than last season.

Saint Francis Represented in Four of the Five Major FCS Awards Presented by Stats Perform
The Red Flash have a finalist in four of the five yearly awards presented by Stats Perform on Jan. 7 in Frisco, Texas. Quarterback Doyle is a finalist for the Walter Payton Award, presented to the top offensive player in the FCS, wide receiver Jackson is a finalist for the Jerry Rice Award, presented to the top freshman in the FCS, head coach Chris Villarrial is a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award, presented to the national coach of the year in the FCS and linebacker Colt Jennings is a finalist for the FedEx Ground Doris Robinson Award, presented to an FCS student-athlete who excels on the field, in the classroom, in the community and beyond.

Northeast Conference Champions
Saint Francis took a 52-23 win over Merrimack to clinch its second Northeast Conference in program history. The Red Flash finished with a 7-0 conference record to become the ninth team in NEC history to go undefeated. Saint Francis clinched its first NEC title since 2016.

Saint Francis Receives Votes in National Polls
The Red Flash earned votes in FCS national polls for the fifth week in a row. Saint Francis earned 92 points in the Stats Perform Top 25 and 43 in the FCS Coaches Poll, which landed the program 27th in each ranking. The previous week, Saint Francis earned 37 votes in the in the Stats Perform Poll and 18 in the Coaches Poll. Saint Francis has cracked the top 25 once in program history in 2016.

Next
The winner of Saturday's playoff game will advance to the second round and face No. 1 South Dakota State on Saturday, Dec. 3.

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In this YouTube video Slasher discusses UD vs SFU matchup:
11-22-22
Slasher U is the Official College Sports stop for Slasher Sports.

St Francis (PA) vs. Delaware | FCS Playoffs Round 1 Preview - YouTube

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Football Draws Delaware in First Round of FCS Playoffs

https://sfuathletics.com/ - 11/21/22

LORETTO, Pa. – Saint Francis University football to face Delaware in the first round of the FCS playoffs on Saturday, Nov. 26 at 2 p.m. on ESPN+. The full FCS bracket was announced during Sunday's selection show.

Saint Francis was crowned northeast Conference Champions for the second time in program history with a 52-23 victory over Merrimack. The Red Flash went 7-0 in conference play to complete the ninth undefeated season in NEC history.

Saint Francis ranks eighth in the FCS with 37.6 points per game and 16th with 444.4 total yards of offense per game. On the defensive side, Saint Francis ranks seventh in the FCS with 18.4 points against per game and ninth with 310 yards against per game.

The Red Flash offense is led by quarterback Cole Doyle, who has 917 passing yards and 14 passing touchdowns over the past three games. Freshman wide receiver Makai Jackson is eighth in the FCS with 7.3 receptions per game and leads freshmen with 83.6 receiving yards per game. Saint Francis' other freshman wideout Elijah Sarratt is tied for third in the FCS with 13 touchdown receptions, which is five more than Jackson's second-ranked eight. The defense is led by Donnell Brown's 13.5 tackles for loss and he adds 5.5 sacks. Gregory Reddick ranked second in the NEC with 7.9 tackles per game, while Willie O'Hara is fourth with seven per game. Travell Cook leads the team with five total takeaways.

Delaware finished 7-4 overall and 4-4 in CAA play to earn an at-large bit to the FCS playoffs. They enter the playoffs with losses in three of their final four games of the season, to ranked opponents Elon and Richmond, and Villanova who received votes. The Delaware defense ranks third in the FCS with 278.5 yards allowed per game and fourth with 16.2 points per game allowed. The offense averages an FCS 33rd-ranked 412.4 yards per game and scores 27.6 points per game.

The offense is led by quarterback Nolan Henderson who is tied for sixth in the FCS with 28 touchdowns passes and 12th with 2,934 passing yards. Wide receiver Thyrick Pitts leads the team with nine touchdown receptions and Jourdan Townsend leads with 56 receptions and 672 yards. Linebacker Johnny Buchanan is second in the FCS with 10.9 tackles for loss and Chase McGowan and Artis Hemmingway leads the team with 7.5 tackles for loss.

The winner of Saturday's game will advance to the second round of the playoffs and face No. 1 seeded South Dakota State.

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Second Season: Hens sneak into FCS playoffs
WDEL Published Nov 20, 2022

Despite losing three of their final four games, the University of Delaware football team has been selected to the NCAA 2022 FCS football playoffs.

The Blue Hens will host St. Francis (PA) on Saturday at Delaware Stadium. 

Kickoff is at 2pm, and it will be streamed on ESPN+. 

Tickets will go on sale on Monday at 5 p.m.

St. Francis enters the game with a 9-2 record and earned the NEC automatic bid after going 7-0 in conference play. The Red Flash have won nine straight games.

The winner of Saturday's game will face a tough task, as they'll face the No. 1 overall seed South Dakota State on Dec. 3.

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Blue Hens make the FCS playoffs after all

11/20/22 - Delaware State News By Andy Walter

NEWARK — After a brutal week with two heartbreaking losses, the Delaware football team seemed like it would need a miracle to still make the NCAA FCS Division I playoffs.

The Blue Hens got it.

Delaware earned one of the 24-team tournament’s 13 at-large bid and will host St. Francis, Pa. in the first round of the playoffs next Saturday at 2pm. The winner have to then face top-seeded South Dakota State the following weekend.

While they were a Top 25 team all season, the Hens seemed like a long shot to make the playoffs after falling to Villanova, 29-26 this past Saturday.

After Saturday's loss, first-year coach Ryan Carty said he thought Delaware was capable of playing in the tournament.

"I think this team's good enough to go play football against a lot of people in this country," he said. "I think that's what the CAA does for you. It gives you the opportunity week-in and week-out to get hardened, to be in battles anad be in situations that are playoff-like."

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WE’RE IN! Blue Hens to Host Saint Francis (Pa.) in FCS Championship First Round

11-20-22 - BLUEHENS.COM

NEWARK, Del. – The No. University of Delaware football team's season will continue as the Blue Hens earned an at-large bid in to the 2022 FCS Playoffs. The Blue Hens will host Saint Francis (Pa.) on Saturday, November 26 at Delaware Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 2 p.m. and the game will be aired on ESPN+.

The Blue Hens are in the playoffs for the first time since the 2020-21 Spring season when they advanced to the FCS Semifinals with a home win over Sacred Heard (19-10) and a road victory over No. 4 Jacksonville State (20-14).

Delaware and Saint Francis have met just one time previously when the Red Flash visited Newark for the 2021 home opener. The Blue Hens came away with a 27-10 victory behind 259 passing yards from Nolan Henderson and touchdowns from Thyrick Pitts, Anthony Paoletti and Dejoun Lee.

Saint Francis earned the automatic qualifier out of the NEC after going 9-2 overall and 7-0 in conference play. The Red Flash won nine-straight games to close out the season after opening with losses at FBS opponent Akron and fellow CAA member Richmond. The offense is averaging 37.6 ppg and nearly 450 yards of total offense, while the defense is allowing just 18.4 ppg and opponents are averaging just 309.8 ypg.

Tickets for the general public will go on sale on Monday, November 21 at 5 p.m.

The winner of Saturday's first-round game will travel to No. 1 overall seed South Dakota State for a second-round matchup on Saturday, December 3.

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Military Flyover Before Game, Epic Finish in Closing Minutes Highlight Wildcats 29-26 Thriller over Delaware in “Battle of the Blue” Rivalry Game

11/19/22 - https://villanova.com/

VILLANOVA, Pa.—Two blocked punts by the Wildcats defense in the final 6:07 of the game, a go-ahead touchdown on a fourth down quarterback keeper and an ensuing two-point conversion with 1:11 to play was just some of the excitement that Villanova (6-5, 4-4 CAA Football) packed into its latest thriller in the "Battle of the Blue" rivalry against No. 20 Delaware (7-4, 4-4 CAA Football) on Saturday afternoon. Final game of the season. Senior Day. Military flyover moments before kickoff. The 56th edition of the rivalry and the 16th in the Battle of the Blue Trophy era had it all as the Wildcats stormed past the Blue Hens in the closing minutes for a 29-26 victory, their 10th in the past 11 games versus Delaware and 15th in the past 17 meetings. The venerable trophy painted with each team's hue of blue is staying on campus for another year.

Expect the unexpected. That is typically the best way to anticipate each year's meeting in a series that has given fans everything that a college football rivalry should entail, including the kinds of late drama and plot twists seemingly every year which can make or break a season. Take Saturday's game, in which Villanova snapped a two-game losing streak and secured a winning record for the season by overcoming a nine-point deficit in the final 16 minutes of the contest. In their first 10 games of the season the Wildcats had not beaten a ranked team, blocked a kick or scored a two-point conversion this season. They accomplished all those things in the final 6:07 of a game which will not be forgotten anytime soon.

"The opening statement is pretty easy [today], Villanova head coach Mark Ferrante said while still absorbing the final outcome during his postgame press conference. "I am super proud of these guys, super proud of our team. They showed a lot of resilience in that game and found a way to get it done at the end."

The game had four lead changes, the last of which came with 1:11 remaining when junior quarterback Connor Watkins (Williamsport, Pa.) kept the ball and ran wide for a two-yard touchdown run on fourth down to turn a five-point deficit into a 27-26 lead. He ran the ball in a second time for a two-point conversion which accounted for the final points and the Wildcats hung on for dear life in the closing seconds before the Blue Hens finally ran out of time near midfield on a last-ditch drive.

Villanova muffed a punt which was recovered by Delaware early in the third quarter, then had a reoccurrence of the same misfortune in the opening minute of the fourth period. A 25-yard field goal with 10:35 to play gave the Blue Hens a 26-21 advantage and the Wildcats stalled at their own 36-yard line less than two minutes later. Delaware had its offense on the field for nearly 17 minutes in the second half alone and ran 89 plays from scrimmage in the game, but the Villanova defense was looking more and more game for the challenge as the day went on.

The wild closing sequence to the game essentially began with 6:07 remaining when sophomore Richie Kimmel (Holmes, Pa.) blocked a punt which was recovered by graduate Danny Abraham (Randolph, Mass.) to set up the Wildcats with excellent field position at the Blue Hens 27-yard line. The drive didn't go anywhere – nine yards on six plays – and Villanova turned the ball over on downs with 2:43 to go. Recent history repeated itself however, as Delaware went three-and-out while the Wildcats used their first two charged timeouts of the half after before the second down and third down snaps. It was fourth-and-five for the Blue Hens and this time freshman Devon Marshall (Boston, Mass.) came up with a block that graduate Tyler Will (Newtown Square, Pa.) recovered to set up first and goal at the 10-yard line with 2:15 remaining. 

Consecutive carries by senior running back DeeWil Barlee (Upper Darby, Pa.) brought Villanova down to the one-yard line and to the doorstep of retaking the lead for the first time since the final minute of the first half. Watkins was stuffed for a one-yard loss on third-and-goal though, and Ferrante used his final timeout with 1:14 to play. After the timeout, the Delaware defense looked straight up the middle as Watkins broke right and easily scampered into the end zone for the decisive score. He did go middle up the middle for the two-point conversion which at least put a field goal's distance between the teams. After all, the Blue Hens had already made two field goals on the day to match their entire season's total entering the game.

Delaware was down to 31 seconds by the time it threw two incomplete passes from its own 31-yard line on the final possession of the game. Blue Hens quarterback Nolan Henderson completed a short six-yard pass to Marcus Yarns, but the clock kept ticking and was down to six seconds by the time Henderson hit Chandler Harvin who stepped out of bounds after making a catch at the Delaware 48-yard line. Henderson's final pass of the game was a completion to Kyron Cumby, but he fumbled after a one-yard gain and Abraham recovered the loose ball as the clock ticked to zero. 

An epic and frenetic sprint to the finish line which had Nova Nation in a frenzy. And yet, the biggest roar came before the game even started. After the Wildcats honored 30 members of their 2022 squad in a pregame Senior Day celebration, the captains of each team proceeded to midfield for the coin toss at 1:01 p.m., two minutes prior to kickoff. As soon as the coin was in the air the entire stadium – teams and fans alike – had their eyes on the skies as an EA-18G Growler soared over the stadium under the command of Pilot Nathan Barton and Navigator Nick Sweeney. The thunderous roar of the jet was just the right bit of pomp and circumstance to fit the memorable day.

Villanova won the toss and deferred to the second half, then recovered a Delaware fumble two plays into the game. Seven plays later, Watkins scored on a seven-yard touchdown run at the 9:53 mark of the opening quarter to give the Wildcats the first strike and a 7-0 lead. Thyrick Pitts hauled in a 48-yard touchdown reception with 8:02 remaining in the period to tie the score before later making a seven-yard touchdown catch at the 7:05 mark of the second quarter which gave the Blue Hens a 13-7 lead.

A missed PAT potentially loomed large and Barlee capped an eight-play, 73-yard touchdown drive with a one-yard run into the end zone with 3:07 to play before halftime which restored a 14-13 Villanova lead. That slim advantage did not make it to the intermission however, as Delaware kicked a 32-yard field goal as time expired to head to the locker rooms with a 16-14 lead.

Jourdan Townsend's 25-yard touchdown reception with 9:53 to play in the third quarter extended the Blue Hens lead to 23-14, but Barlee found the end zone for the second time on an 11-yard touchdown run at the 1:01 mark of the period which pulled the Wildcats back to within two points at 23-21.

Villanova did have to defend 89 offensive plays by Delaware, but the Wildcats defense saw a season-high three different players post double-digit tackle totals. Sophomore linebacker Brendan Bell (Basking Ridge, N.J.) had career highs of 12 tackles, nine solo stops and three tackles for loss. Junior safety Jalen Goodman (Narberth, Pa.) also registered 12 total stops and redshirt freshman linebacker Shane Hartzell (Perkasie, Pa.) recorded 10 tackles, two tackles for loss and the only sack by either team for a nine-yard setback.

There were fumble recoveries by Abraham and sophomore Ty Trinh (Owings Mills, Md.), plus the blocked punts by Kimmel and Marshall which were recovered by Abraham and Will. It took every one of those big plays to overcome Delaware outgaining the Wildcats by a 461-250 margin in yards of total offense. Blue Hens quarterback Nolan Henderson was 37-of-59 for 347 yards and three scores.

Watkins was only 5-of-16 through the air for 122 yards, with fifth-year receiver Dez Boykin (Whitehall, Pa.) making catches of 58 yards and 38 yards to account for nearly all of the Wildcats passing offense. In the final game of his collegiate career, Boykin added to his 96 receiving yards with two kickoff returns for 41 total yards. The returns were significant, as Boykin moved past former Villanova legend Matt Szczur and into fourth place in the program record book with 1,725 career kickoff return yards. Watkins did run 10 times for 60 yards and two touchdowns, while Barlee tied a career high with 22 carries for 66 yards and two scores. Barlee had a milestone of his own for the game as he moved past four different players and into 18th place in school history with 1,629 career rushing yards.

Villanova finishes with a winning record for the eight time in the last 10 full seasons it has played (not including a 2-2 record in the abbreviated Spring 2021 campaign). It now leads the all-time series against Delaware by a 33-22-1 margin. The Wildcats have played – and beaten – the Blue Hens more times than any other opponent the program has ever faced.

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Delaware Falls Late at Villanova
Bluehens.com - 11-19-22

VILLANOVA, Pa. – The No. 20/19 University of Delaware football team dropped another heartbreaker on Saturday afternoon, falling 29-26 to Villanova in the 56th edition of the Battle of the Blue. With the loss, the Blue Hens end the regular season at 7-4 overall and 4-4 in the CAA.

Nolan Henderson set career highs in both completions and pass attempts, going 37-of-59 through the air for 347 yards and three touchdowns. Thyrick Pitts caught seven passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns while Brett Buckman had a career-high eight catches for 69 yards. Jourdan Townsend also has seven catches for 71 yards and a score.

Kedrick Whitehead led the defense with 11 tackles, while Noah Plack added eight. The defense allowed just 250 total yards of offense and held its 10th opponent of the season under 200 yards passing.

Villanova took advantage of an early UD turnover to take a 7-0 lead on a seven-yard run by VU's quarterback.

The Blue Hens wasted no time in responding as they drove 72 yards on just five plays. Henderson completed a 19-yard pass to Townsend before finding a wide-open Pitts down the left sideline for a 48-yard score to quickly tie the game.

Delaware started the second quarter with possession on its own 15-yard line and embarked on a 17-play, 85-yard drive that took up nearly eight minutes. Henderson completed 11 passes on the drive, including a seven-yard scoring pass to Pitts on a scramble play. A missed extra point kept UD's lead at just 13-7.

The Wildcats retook the lead on a one-yard rushing score, but the Blue Hens embarked on another long scoring drive, this time using 16 plays in less than three minutes. Henderson completed six more passes before Brandon Ratcliffe kicked a 32-yard field goal with no time left on the clock to give UD a 16-14 lead at halftime.

Delaware's first drive of the second half resulted in a punt, but the ball bounced off a Villanova defender and Shoes Brinkley jumped on it to keep possession with the Blue Hens. Two plays later, Henderson connected with Townsend for a 25-yard touchdown to extend UD's advantage to 23-14.

Villanova answered with a 66-yard drive that resulted in an 11-yard touchdown run to cut the lead to 23-21 at the end of the third quarter.

With momentum on the Wildcats' side, the Blue Hens recovered another muffed punt early in the fourth quarter as Kaelin Costello jumped on the loose ball. Ratcliffe was true on a 25-yard field goal to put Delaware up 26-21 with just over 10 minutes remaining.

Villanova blocked a UD punt with six minutes left to gain possession deep in UD territory, but the Delaware defense did not allow any points as the Blue Hens came up with a fourth down stop.

Delaware ran off some clock but was forced to bunt again with just over two minutes remaining. Another block set up Villanova at the 10-yard line and eventually scored the go-ahead touchdown on a fourth-down play with 1:14 left. A 2-point conversion made it 29-26.

The Blue Hens were able to move the ball to midfield on their final drive, but ran out of time.

Notes
Henderson's first touchdown pass was the 50th of his career, becoming just the second Blue Hen to reach that mark … Pitt's two touchdown catches was his third game this season, and fourth of his career, with multiple touchdowns … Delaware's second-quarter drive was both its longest of the season in terms plays (17) and time (7:55) … Henderson's 347 yards passing was his fourth 300-yard game of the season.

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College football preview: Delaware (7-3) at Villanova (5-5)

Delaware State News - 11-16-22

Marcus Yarns (21) is congratulated after his 36-yard scoring run gave the Hens their first lead of the game with 9:24 remaining on Saturday. Special to the Delaware State News/Sarah Boekholder.
Posted Saturday, November 19, 2022 6:00 am
By Andy Walter
WHEN: Saturday, 1 p.m.

WHERE: Villanova Stadium (12,500), Villanova, Pa.

TV: FloSports (fee required).

TWITTER: DSNSports.

COACHES: Delaware — Ryan Carty (7-3, 1st season); Villanova — Mark Ferrante (36-26, 6th season).

NATIONAL RANKING: Delaware is No. 20 in STATS FCS poll.

CAA: Delaware — 4-3; Villanova — 3-4.

LAST WEEK: Delaware lost to Richmond, 21-13; Villanova lost to William & Mary, 45-12.

SERIES: Villanova leads 22-32-1.

LAST MEETING: Villanova won, 21-13.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Senior linebacker Liam Trainer on the importance of the Villanova game: “It is definitely a game that’s taken extremely seriously every season. I say this every week, but it’s the most important game not only because it’s Villanova but because it’s the next game on the schedule. This is just another opportunity to capitalize and prove to the world that we do belong where we want to go.”

KEYS TO THE GAME: It would be easy to look at Delaware as the favorite in this one, despite the Blue Hens’ crushing loss to Richmond last week. Villanova has struggled down the stretch, scoring a total of just 15 points in its last two games. But there’s been too many other times that Delaware has been in a similar situation in this rivalry game and lost. Considering the Wildcats have won 15 of the last 17 meetings, nothing is a given for the Hens in this series. ... In most games, it still feels like Delaware misses far too many scoring opportunities. The Hens have scored on only 25-of-39 red-zone chances this fall. While the lack of a reliable kicking game is part of that, there’s been other times when Delaware simply doesn’t execute. ... The biggest question, of course, in this regular-season finale is whether the Hens will make the NCAA FCS Division I playoffs. First, Delaware needs to beat Villanova. Even then, however, the Hens are no better than the fourth-best team from the CAA. There are no doubt scores around the country that could either hurt or help Delaware’s chances. But it’s difficult to predict what they might be. Having New Hampshire lose at Maine would help the Hens’ standing within the CAA.

NOTES: The last time Delaware won at least eight games and didn’t make the playoffs was in 1984 when the Hens went 8-3 and didn’t get in. Of course the I-AA playoff field was smaller then. ... Delaware has gone to the playoffs in each of its 12 eight-win seasons since then. ... Delaware hasn’t won its last game of the season since 2015, when it won, 14-10, at Elon to cap a 4-7 campaign. ... QB Nolan Henderson threw for 196 yards last week, snapping a streak of eight straight games with at least 200 yards. ... That was the third-longest streak in school history. ... Villanova has scored only one touchdown in its last eight quarters. ... This is the seventh year in a row that the Hens have closed the regular season against the Wildcats. ... Former UD defensive backs Nijuel Hill and Tenny Adewusi were drafted by XFL teams this week.

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Will a victory over hated rival Villanova be enough to get UD football into playoffs? 

Predicting who will and who won't make the NCAA FCS playoffs with Delaware's future riding on visit to frequent Nemesis Villanova

Kevin Tresolini
Delaware News Journal - 10/15/22

History hands Delaware one very favorable omen and another that isn’t so promising with the Blue Hens’ postseason lives on the line this weekend.

Delaware will take a 7-3 record to Villanova for Saturday’s 1 p.m. regular-season finale with the rival Wildcats.

Should the Blue Hens prevail, an 8-3 record would likely earn them one of the 13 at-large invitations to the 24-team bracket. The NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoff field will be announced Sunday at 12:30 p.m. on ESPNU.

Delaware's Kedrick Whitehead drops Villanova quarterback Daniel Smith in the third quarter of the Blue Hens' 21-13 loss at Delaware Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021.
“This is just another opportunity to capitalize and prove to the world that we do belong where we want to go,” UD linebacker Liam Trainer said Monday.

Since moving up from Division II to what was then called Division I-AA in 1980, Delaware has closed the regular season with an 8-3 record in six seasons. The only time Delaware didn’t make the playoffs was in 1984, when it was an 8-team bracket.

It was a 16-team field when Delaware went 8-3 and qualified in 1986, 1993, 1996, 2004 and 2007. But it’s been a 24-team field since 2013, increasing the Blue Hens’ chances.

BEST OF THE BEST: Delaware's best 16 teams of all time

What works against the Hens is its terrible recent history against Villanova.

Delaware has lost nine of the last 10 and 14 of the last 16 versus Villanova, including many when the Blue Hens appeared superior. That is certainly the case this year as Villanova is 5-5 after being dismantled 45-12 at William & Mary Saturday.

“It’s one of those games that it doesn’t matter who’s having a good year, who’s having a bad year,” said first-year Delaware coach Ryan Carty, who played on Delaware teams that went 3-2 against the Wildcats from 2002-06. “ . . . I don’t see why this one won’t be any different.”

Delaware will likely have to hope the NCAA is willing to pluck more than four CAA teams for just the second time since 2013. The Hens were among six chosen in 2018 when they went 7-4.

William & Mary, Richmond and Elon have likely cemented spots and New Hampshire should also with a victory at rival Maine on Saturday.

The Hens’ three losses are to William & Mary, Elon and Richmond, the latter an agonizing 21-13 setback Saturday that Delaware failed to put away when it had the chance only to see the Spiders rally for the win.

“That was as tough a loss as you can have as far as the way it went down,” Carty said.Delaware’s season-opening win at FBS Navy should boost its chances in the eyes of selectors. Delaware is now ranked No. 20 nationally.

Only the top eight teams are seeded. They earn first-round byes.

Delaware fans cheer as the Hens offense gets going in the third quarter of Richmond's 21-13 win at Delaware Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022.
The remaining 16 are bracketed based as much as possible on geographic proximity. First-round matchups between conference rivals are avoided, unless the schools did not meet during the regular season. Delaware could then, for instance, face New Hampshire.

In selecting sites between unseeded teams, the first three factors the NCAA cites are “quality of facility,” “revenue potential plus estimated net receipts” and “attendance history and potential.” Those likely lead toward Delaware Stadium being the site of a first-round game Nov. 26.

Delaware’s average home paid attendance this season is 16,902, which ranks No. 8 in FCS and is the highest since 2013 (18,108).

There are 15 FCS conferences, with automatic playoff bids going to champions of the Big Sky, Big South, CAA, Missouri Valley, Northeast Conference, Ohio Valley Conference, Patriot League, Pioneer League, Southern Conference and Southland. Impending defections to FBS that have made several schools ineligible for the FCS playoffs and shrunk league affiliation means just one team will be selected from either the Atlantic Sun and Western Athletic Conference.

The Ivy League still oddly refuses to send its champion to the FCS tournament even though its winners in every other sport do compete for NCAA titles. The MEAC and SWAC champions advance to the Celebration Bowl Dec. 17 in Atlanta, though other teams, such as 9-2 Florida A & M, are eligible for NCAA at-large berths.

So who might be in that 24-team FCS bracket? A conference-by-conference look:

Delaware quarterback Anthony Paoletti gets an extra twist after a tackle from Villanova's Jalen Goodman in the fourth quarter of the Blue Hens' 21-13 loss at Delaware Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021.
Big Sky
Either Sacramento State (10-0) or Montana State (9-1), which have not met and are unbeaten in the league, will be the automatic qualifier with wins Saturday over UC-Davis and Montana, respectively. ESPN GameDay will be stationed in Bozeman for the annual Brawl of the Wild in Montana. Both will be in the playoffs regardless, along with Weber State (8-2). A win for Montana (7-3) would get the Grizzlies in the field and UC-Davis (6-4), with a win, would also be in the picture since its losses were to FBS California and three FCS playoff entries. Idaho (6-4 with two FBS losses) isn’t out of the picture either, considering it has a win over Montana. Who’s in? Sacramento State, Montana State, Weber State, Montana.

Big South
This one is simple. One team goes and it’ll be the winner of Saturday’s game between North Carolina A&T (7-3) and host Gardner-Webb (5-5). The Aggies, who’ll be in the CAA next year, have won seven straight. Who’s in? North Carolina A & T.

CAA
Richmond (8-2) earns the CAA’s automatic berth if it can topple William & Mary (9-1) in their season-ending clash. A Tribe win would result in a tie for the title with New Hampshire, provided the Wildcats (7-3) prevail at Maine. Elon (9-2), with wins over William & Mary and Richmond, is playoff-bound. Delaware should join them with a win at Villanova. Rhode Island (6-4) will be in the discussion if it beats Albany, though there may not be quite enough room for the Rams. Who’s in? William & Mary, Richmond, New Hampshire, Elon, Delaware.

CAA STANDINGS: Hens stuck in 5th

Missouri Valley Football Conference
The MVFC isn’t as deep as it has been, but it certainly has strength at the top. South Dakota State (10-1) has already secured the automatic bid by virtue of its win over defending FCS champ North Dakota State. The 8-2 Bison will still be among the eight seeds. North Dakota (7-3) has the difficult task of possibly needing a win at North Dakota State Saturday to make the field. A loss may leave them out. Who’s in? South Dakota State, North Dakota State, North Dakota.

Northeast Conference
St. Francis (Pa.) has won eight straight to improve to 8-2 and has already secured the NEC’s berth because first-year league member Merrimack (also 8-2, 6-0) is ineligible during its transition to Division I. St. Francis is a possible first-round foe at Delaware in a rematch of a 27-10 Hen win early in the 2021 fall season. Who’s in? St. Francis.


Ohio Valley Conference
How absurd is this? Southeast Missouri (8-2, 4-0) and UT-Martin (6-4, 4-0) didn’t meet. But if both win Saturday – SEMO against Murray State and UT-Martin versus Eastern Illinois – who represents the league in the FCS playoffs will be determined by a coin flip. The incomplete league schedule resulted from Lindenwood recently becoming the league’s seventh team but officials preferring to keep a 5-game conference schedule and not disturb pre-arranged nonconference games. If both win and SEMO loses the coin flip, it’ll be a strong at-large candidate. Who’s in? SEMO.

Patriot League
Holy Cross (10-0) has already clinched the Patriot League title and is destined for a top-8 seed. What will be very interesting to see is if Fordham (8-2), which closes against Colgate, gets an at-large spot. The Rams appear quite deserving considering they lost 53-52 in OT to Holy Cross and led by 11 in the fourth quarter before falling 59-52 at FBS Ohio. Who’s in? Holy Cross, Fordham.

Pioneer League
Transitioning-to-FCS St. Thomas is ineligible for the playoffs, meaning Dayton (8-2) earns the berth with a win at Davidson. Wins by Davidson (7-3) and Butler (7-3), which plays St. Thomas, would create a three-way deadlock that the league will have to break to decide its lone entry. Who’s in? Davidson.

Southern Conference
The automatic bid already belongs to Samford (9-1). Furman (8-2) has probably already earned a spot heading into its finale against Wofford. Chattanooga (7-3) likely gives the SoCon three playoff teams with a win at Western Carolina. Mercer (7-3) could make a case if it closes with an upset win at Samford. Who’s in? Samford, Furman, Chattanooga.

Southland Conference
Southeastern Louisiana (7-3) gets the auto bid with a win at Nicholls State but likely can’t afford to lose. Incarnate Word (9-1), which suffered its only lost to SLU, has done enough to qualify. Who’s in? SLU, Incarnate Word.

WAC/Atlantic Sun
Power ratings will determine who gets this berth, with WAC leader Abilene Christian (7-3) the most likely heading into its finale against Stephen F. Austin. Central Arkansas (5-5) has the best chance among Atlantic Sun schools but has a tough test against FBS-bound Jacksonville State. That opens the door for Austin Peay (7-3), which closes against Alabama and might be at-large material, or Eastern Kentucky (6-4), which plays Kennesaw State. Who’s in? Abilene Christian.

Have an idea for a compelling local sports story or is there an issue that needs public scrutiny? Contact Kevin Tresolini at ktresolini@delawareonline.com and follow on Twitter @kevintresolini. Support local journalism by subscribing to delawareonline.com.

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Richmond beats Delaware 21-13 with 10 points in 4 seconds

11/12/22  - Associated Press - https://www.cbssports.com/

NEWARK, Del. (AP) Jake Larson, Richmond's long placekicker, booted a 39-yard field goal with four seconds left and Richmond recovered a fumble for a touchdown on the ensuing kickoff for a 21-13 win over Delaware on Saturday in a battle of ranked FCS teams.
By AP 

NEWARK, Del. (AP) Jake Larson, Richmond's long placekicker, booted a 39-yard field goal with four seconds left and Richmond recovered a fumble for a touchdown on the ensuing kickoff for a 21-13 win over Delaware on Saturday in a battle of ranked FCS teams.

The Spiders went 71 yards in 10 plays after the Blue Hens gave up the ball on downs at the Richmond 7. Reece Udinski was 5 of 6 on the drive, including a 45-yard completion on fourth-and-4 that put the ball at the Delaware 25. A spike, a 3-yard run and a spike set up Larson.

It was the third field goal for Larson, who connected on a 46-yarder in the first half and a 48-yarder earlier in the fourth quarter, and kept the Spiders (8-2, 6-1 Colonial Athletic Association) tied for the league lead with a showdown with William & Mary next week.

Andrew Lopez, the short kicker, kicked a 33-yard field goal in the first half and a 29-yarder in the third quarter for the Spiders.

Larson entered the game 5 of 10 on field goals, 3 of 8 from 40-49 yards. Lopez was 7 of 8, 1 of 2 from long range. Both were 2 of 2 from 30-39 yards. They also share kickoff duties but Larson leads in touchbacks 11-3 before Saturday.

Udinski was 28 of 42 for 301 yards.

Delaware quarterback Nolan Henderson, who threw for 196 yards, scored on a 2-yard run in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter and then Marcus Yarns scored from 36-yards out on the next possession for a 13-12 lead but a two-point conversion failed.

Richmond, No. 12 in the FCS Coaches Poll, is tied for first with No. 8 William & Mary and No. 21 New Hampshire. The regular season wraps up on Saturday when William & Mary plays at Richmond and New Hampshire visits Maine.

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Spiders Strengthen Playoff Position with Road Victory Over Delaware
11/12/22 - https://richmondspiders.com/

Newark, Del. – The clock read zeroes when the No. 12/13 Richmond football team scored it's only touchdown of the day in a 21-13 road victory over No. 15/17 Delaware. Richmond (8-2, 6-1) will play for a Colonial Athletic Association championship at Robins Stadium against William & Mary Saturday.

Trailing 13-12, a fourth down stop late in the fourth quarter gave Richmond the ball on its own seven yard-line before Reece Udinski (North Wales, Pa.) found Jerry Garcia Jr. (Hope Mills, N.C.) for a 45-yard completion to put the Spiders in field goal range.

With four seconds left in the game, Jake Larson (Baltimore, Md.), who connected on kicks from 46 and 48 yards earlier in the day, hit a 39-yarder to put the Spiders up 15-13. Delaware (7-3, 4-3 CAA) made the most of a return attempt on the following kickoff as time expired and after a series of Blue Hen fumbles, Gio Seigler (Leesburg, Va.) found the ball in his hands in the endzone to secure the Spider victory. The win came as the first for an opponent playing at Delaware Stadium this season.

"We had some spotty defense in the second half, but at the end of the day we made our kicks and they didn't make theirs and that's what matters," said head coach Russ Huesman, who eclipsed eight wins for the first time as Richmond's leader.

Andrew Lopez (New Orleans, La.) put the first points on the board with a 33-yard field goal late in the first quarter. Larson's 46-yard kick and a successful 29-yard attempt from Lopez made the score 9-0 at half— a score that would stand until the beginning of the fourth quarter.

Delaware was unsuccessful on a 40-yard field goal attempt at 10:30 in the third that would've made it 9-3, and when it scored its second touchdown of the day to take the 13-12 lead, the Blue Hens followed up with a failed two-point conversion.

Richmond's defense was a force all day, collecting 11 tackles for loss (it's most of the season), two interceptions, three quarterback hurries, three sacks, a season-high three forced fumbles and four pass breakups.

Offensively, Udinski was 28-42 for 301 yards for his sixth 300+ yard game of the season, while Nick DeGennaro (7 catches for 88 yards), Aaron Dykes (13 carries for 34 yards) and Savon Smith (10 carries for 33 yards) led the effort.

Marlem Louis led the defensive unit, totaling six tackles (three for loss), two sacks, two quarterback hurries and two forced fumbles. Philip O'Connor led all tacklers with a career-high of 12.

With playoffs on the horizon, the Spiders return to Robins Stadium for one last regular-season game Saturday when it faces rival William & Mary (9-1, 6-1) for the CAA championship in the Capital Cup presented by C&F Bank in "The Oldest Rivalry in the South". Game time is set for noon.

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Football Game Notes at #15/17 Delaware

11/8/22 - https://richmondspiders.com/

No. 12/13 Richmond looks to continue its hot streak when it faces No. 15.17 Delaware in a battle of two top teams in the Colonial Athletic Association ... 

Series History . . .
Richmond carries an all-time record of 13-22 against the Fightin’ Blue Hens and is 5-13 whenplaying on the road ... The Spiders have won the two most recent meetings— a 51-27 victory at Robins Stadium in 2021 and a 35-25 win at Delaware Stadium in 2021.

Behind The Web . . .

Russ Huesman is on tap for this Thursday at the show’s new home, Glory Days Grill, 10466 Ridgefield Parkway in the GlenEagles Shopping Center ... The program airs live from Noon1pm on 106.1 ESPN, richmondspiders.com and espnrichmond.com ... This week’s guest is redshirt senior defensive back Tyrek Funderburk.

Spiders on Top...

Richmond earned a share of first place in the Colonial Athletic Conference standings after taking down #17/21 New Hampshire, 40-36, at Robins Stadium Saturday ... Even in the absence of a few key players, Richmond never trailed in the contest thanks to 408 total yards compared to the Wildcats’ 288 ... Reece Udinski threw for 287 yards and three touchdowns after going 30-43 on pass attempts ... The Spiders’ rush defense was elite, silencing the Wildcats’ run game and holding them to -14 yards on the ground ... Richmond had a major upper hand in first downs, holding UNH to just one in the first half and 12 total compared to the Spiders’ 27 ... 

The Spiders now share 5-1 conference records with New Hampshire and William & Mary for a spot on top of the CAA ... 

Movin’ On Up . . . 

Richmond reached its highest ranking of the season this week when it checked in at No. 12 in the Stats Perform FCS Top 25 poll and No. 13 in the AFCA Coaches poll ... The Spiders (.762) lead the nation in completion percentage thanks to graduate quarterback Reece Udinski who is second in completion percentage (269-353, .764) and first in completions per game (29.89) in the nation ... The Spiders are third in punt return defense, holding opponents to -0.67 return yards on the season ... seventh in fewest penalties (36), penalties per game (4.00) and first downs (228) ... Richmond is ranked 10th in 3rd down conversion defense (.477).

You Complete Me . . .

Graduate quarterback Reece Udinski ranks second in the nation in completion percentage at .762 (269-353) and leads in completions per game with 29.89 ... Udinski has led the Spiders to the best passing offense in the CAA with 290.2 yards per game ... So far this season, he’s thrown the second-most touchdowns in a single game in program history with five against Stony Brook on Sept. 24 ... The following week at Elon, he made 58 pass attempts which ties him for second in a single game and his 42 completions from the game rank first all-time in program history.

Tackling Machine . . .

Redshirt junior linebacker Tristan Wheeler is one of the top defensive players in all of NCAA FCS Football ... Wheeler has been a force since he stepped on to campus, starting 33-straight games at linebacker ... 

#12/13 Richmond (7-2, 5-1)
#15/17 Delaware (7-2, 4-2)
Date. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nov. 12, 2022
Kickoff. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1:00 p.m.
Location . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Newark, Del.
Venue. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Delaware Stadium
Capacity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18,000

More Game Notes Here: Game Notes Delaware (PDF) - University of Richmond Athletics (richmondspiders.com):

================================================

Nolan Henderson Selected as CAA Offensive Player of the Week

11/7/2022  - bluehens.com

NEWARK, Del. – University of Delaware quarterback Nolan Henderson has been named the CAA Offensive Player of the Week, as announced by the league office on Monday. The award, which is Henderson's second this season and third of his career, recognizes his performance during Saturday's 49-17 CAA victory over Monmouth.

In just three quarters of play, Henderson finished 22-of-28 passing for 323 yards and five touchdowns while also rushing for a score. He had three touchdown passes to three different receivers in the first quarter and had accounted for five total scores in the first half as the Blue Hens built a 42-10 lead at the midway point. His two-yard rushing touchdown was his second on the year.

For the second time this season, Henderson tied the Delaware record with five touchdown passes and becomes the first player in program history to do it twice in their career. He now has passed for 25 touchdowns on the season, which is tied for the second most in program history (Andy Hall, 2003). Henderson now has 49 career touchdown passes, which moved him into second all-time at Delaware behind only Matt Nagy (58).

This is Henderson's third career player of the week nod and second this season as he was also named the CAA Offensive Player of the Week following Delaware's 42-21 win over Rhode Island in Week Three. The Blue Hens have won four total weekly awards in 2022 as Johnny Buchanan has twice been named the defensive player of the week.

Up Next
The Blue Hens will remain at home for their final home game of the regular season when they host Richmond on Saturday, November 12. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. Single-game tickets and individual game parking are currently on sale.

=================================================

Monmouth football drops fourth straight, as Delaware rolls, 49-17
Stephen Edelson, Asbury Park Press - 11-5-22

The learning curve has gotten dramatically more difficult over the past month during Monmouth’s first season in the Colonial Athletic Association. But on Saturday it became more daunting than anyone could have anticipated four weeks ago.

After a series of tough losses, Monmouth was simply dominated by Delaware throughout, falling 49-17 at Delaware Stadium in Newark, Delaware.

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Monmouth's defensive woes continue to worsen, as the Blue Hens built a built a 42-10 halftime lead. Quarterback Nolan Henderson dissected the Hawks’ secondary, finishing with 323 yards and five touchdown passes, while running for another score, as they finished with 506 yards of offense.

The fourth straight loss marks Monmouth’s longest skid since dropping the final five games of the 2016 season. The Hawks had won four straight games before the slide.

"We knew it was going to be a tough grind in the CAA, but this is our first time going through it and we're finding out how much of a grind it is," Monmouth coach Kevin Callahan said.

Playing without starting quarterback Tony Muskett for a second straight game, Monmouth (4-6, 2-5) struggled to move the ball consistently. While Jaden Shirden finished with 202 yards rushing, the Delaware defense was able to somewhat contain the sophomore speedster after he broke a 69-yard touchdown run on the second play of the game.

Freshman quarterback Enzo Arjona made his second straight start for Monmouth, completing 8-of-19 for 90 yards and no touchdowns, after throwing for three scores in his first start.

"Delaware runs a very complex defense, one we don't see and Enzo certainly hasn't seen before," Callahan said. "We had a package of plays we thought would be manageable for him, but Delaware did a great job."

Delaware, ranked 16th and 18th nationally in the two major FCS polls, remains in the hunt for an FCS Playoff spot, improving to 7-2 on the season.

After a bye week, Monmouth closes the season by hosting Stony Brook at Kessler Stadium on Nov. 19.

Slipping away
After Shirden’s TD run, Delaware quickly put together a scoring drive, with Henderson finding Thyrick Pitts on a 13-yard TD pass to tie the game at 7-all. On their second possession, it was Henderson finding Jourdan Townsend wide open behind cornerback Dante Kiett on a 49-yard TD pass give the Blue Hens a 14-7 lead midway through the first quarter.

Monmouth finally got a stop late in the first quarter, when linebacker Remi Johnson made a third-down sack to force a three-and-out. But Dymere Miller muffed the ensuing punt, with Delaware recovering the ball at Monmouth’s eight-yard-line. It was the latest major mistake by the Hawks’ special teams, and Henderson took advantage with his third TD pass of the quarter, making it 21-10.

It was the start of what ended up being 35 unanswered points, with Delaware scoring three touchdowns in the final 5:34 of the first half.

"Delaware really just overwhelmed us early in the game and we were never able to recover," said Callahan, with the Hawks now assured of their first losing season since 2016.

Shirden was the lone bright spot, having rushed for 1,567 yards in 10 games. It was his eighth game over the 100-yard mark, and the fourth time he's topped 200 yards this season.

===================================================

HAWKS FALL TO #16 DELAWARE
11-5-22 - https://monmouthhawks.com/

NEWARK, DEL. – Monmouth University's football team struck first on a long touchdown run but #16 Delaware eventually overpowered the Hawks at home, cruising to a 49-17 win on Saturday afternoon.

Sophomore running back Jaden Shirden finished with 202 yards rushing on 26 carries for a 7.8 yards per carry. Quarterback Noah Henderson tied a Delaware record with five passing touchdowns, throwing for 323 yards on 22-of-28 passing.

On the second play from scrimmage Shirden took the handoff inside and broke out to the right going 69 yards for his 12th touchdown of the year. The Blue Hens answered on their ensuing drive, one that lasted nine plays including a fourth and long conversion. It took three plays for UD to take their first lead of the game on a Noah Henderson to Jourdan Townsend 49-yard pass completion with just under nine minutes left in the game. Eric Berstein's chip shot field goal cut the Hen lead to 14-10 with 2:47 left in the first quarter.

Monmouth's defense got its first stop of the game but fumbled the ensuing punt and the Blue Hens scored their third touchdown of the opening frame on an eight-yard pass completion. The Blue Hens pushed their lead to 42-10 at the half after amassing 365 yards of offense. Each team recorded a touchdown in the second half, with senior Juwon Farri creasing the defense for a 20-yard score late in the fourth quarter.

Shirden's 69-yard touchdown was his seventh touchdown run of 50+ yards this season
Shirden went over 100-yards for the game on his fourth carry of the game, the third consecutive game he's gone over the century mark and the eighth game overall.
Shirden's 202 rushing yards marked his fourth 200-yard game on the season and it is the 16th 200-yard game in program history. 

Enzo Arjona started his second consecutive game, finishing with 90 yards on 8-of-19 passing
Dymere Miller led the Hawks with four receptions for 35 yards
Monmouth is now 0-2 all-time against Delaware.

NUMBERS CRUNCH
Each team was at least 50% on third down, with Monmouth finishing 7-of-14 and UD going 5-of-9
Delaware was 1-1 on fourth down, Monmouth was 0-for-3
Delaware had six sacks on the day
The Blue Hens held a 30-18 advantage in first downs
Delaware outgained the Hawks 506-332 in the contest

UP NEXT
Monmouth will have a rare week 10 bye next week before returning home to face Stony Brook on senior day. Tickets for the 12 PM start between the Hawks and Seawolves are available at MonmouthHawks.com/tickets

====================================================

Henderson’s Six Total Touchdowns Lead Blue Hens Past Monmouth 49-17
11-5-22 - bluehens.com

NEWARK, Del. – Nolan Henderson accounted for six total touchdowns and the defense held the highest-scoring team in the league to just 17 points as the No. 18/16 University of Delaware football team came away with a convincing 49-17 victory over Monmouth on Saturday afternoon in front of 16,385 fans at Delaware Stadium. With the victory, the Blue Hens improve to 7-2 overall, including 5-0 at home, and 4-2 in CAA play.

Henderson finished 22-of-28 passing for 323 yards and five touchdowns while also rushing for a score. Kyron Cumby rushed four times for 50 yards and a touchdown. Thyrick Pitts saw two of his five catches go for scores, while Jourdan Townsend caught three passes for 85 yards and a touchdown. Chandler Harvin and Marcus Yarns also hauled in scoring grabs.

Johnny Buchanan led the Delaware defense with 10 tackles for his sixth double-digit performance of the season. He also added 0.5 sacks, 1.0 TFL and a fumble recovery. Chase McGowan had 1.5 of UD's six sacks on the afternoon and finished with five tackles and 2.5 TFL. The Blue Hens held Monmouth, which came in averaging a CAA-leading 39.8 ppg, to its lowest point total on the season and its lowest output of total yardage (332).

The Hawks opened the scoring quickly, as the second play from scrimmage resulted in a 69-yard scoring run.

Delaware wasted no time in responding, taking their first possession 65 yards on nine plays. Henderson found Townsend to convert a fourth-and-9 before connecting with Pitts for a 13-yard back-shoulder pass in the end zone to tie the game just four minutes into the game.

Following a three-and-out from the UD defense, Henderson launched a deep ball to a wide-open Townsend for a quick 49-yard score that gave the Blue Hens a 14-7 lead.

Monmouth looked to answer right back as the Hawks drove down the field. But Delaware's defense put a halt to the drive in the red zone, holding Monmouth to just a field goal to cut the lead to 14-10.

The UD offense went three-and-out on its ensuing possession. Ben Dinkel boomed a 56-yard punt that was muffed by the Monmouth returner and Buchanan recovered on the 8-yard line. Three plays later, Henderson completed his third scoring pass of the opening quarter to Harvin to extend the lead to 21-10.

The Blue Hens scored on each of their three drives in the second quarter as Henderson dove over the goal line from two yards out before Cumby went untouched up the middle for a 34-yard touchdown rush. After the defense forced a turnover on downs, UD drove 66 yards in just 61 seconds as Henderson found Pitts again for a touchdown right before halftime to give the Blue Hens a 42-10 lead at the midway point.

Right out of the break, Delaware went 75 yards in just six plays, as Henderson completed first-down passes to Braden Brose, Brett Buckman and Cumby before finding Yarns for a 23-yard score to put UD up 49-10.

Monmouth closed out the scoring with a rushing touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

Notes
Delaware's 42 first-half points were the most in an opening half since the Blue Hens also scored 42 against Wagner in 2013 … UD's 506 total yards marks the third time this season the Blue Hens have surpassed 500 yards of total offense … Henderson tied the Delaware record with five touchdown passes and becomes the first player in program history to do it twice in their career … Henderson's five touchdown passes give him 25 on the season, which is tied for the second most in a single season in program history (Andy Hall, 2003) … Henderson now has 49 career touchdown passes, which moves him past Bill Vergantino for second all-time at Delaware.

Up Next
The Blue Hens will remain at home for their final home game of the regular season when they host Richmond on Saturday, November 12. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. Single-game tickets and individual game parking are currently on sale.

===============================================

UD football has nation's top tackler, can they stop Monmouth's No. 1 rusher?

Kevin Tresolini - Delaware News Journal - https://www.delawareonline.com/

Delaware has the nation’s leading tackler.

Saturday visitor Monmouth arrives with the No. 1 rusher in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision.

It’s a welcomed challenge for the Blue Hens’ takedown artist, fifth-year senior linebacker Johnny Buchanan.

The Brick, New Jersey, resident will be going against some players he knows from a school, less than 45 minutes from home, that recruited and offered him scholarships twice. The first was as a St. John Vianney High senior. The second was last fall when Buchanan briefly entered the NCAA transfer portal after Delaware fired coach Danny Rocco.
Delaware's Johnny Buchanan (left) and Drew Nickles celebrate Nickles' second fumble recovery in the first quarter of the Blue Hens' 14-7 win at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md., Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022.

Buchanan stuck with the Blue Hens and has been sticking it to opposing ballcarriers and pass catchers all season, his 102 tackles and 12.8 per game each No. 1 in FCS. That’s already the 32nd-best single-season tackle total in UD history, with at last three games left.

He’s likely to have an opportunity to perhaps make some hits in the NFL next year.

“That’s something I want to pursue with everything I have,” said Buchanan, whose great uncle, the late Joe Auer, was an NFL running back who scored the first touchdown in Miami Dolphins history in 1966 on a 95-yard kick return.

ZONED OUT:Delaware's offense isn't working in red zone and stats show part of reason

Delaware coach Ryan Carty said NFL scouts coming through to look at Buchanan are certainly sizing up his potential "and measurables and all that stuff," but his on-field production certainly holds considerable weight.

"He's done it at a high level here, in a legitimate conference that's a physical conference, and I think that's something that really sparks their interest," Carty said.

Buchanan's only concern right now is Monmouth, however. The 18th-ranked Blue Hens (6-2 overall, 3-2 CAA) and Hawks (4-5, 2-4) kick off at 1 p.m. at Delaware Stadium. NBC Sports Philadelphia will televise.

Monmouth arrives No. 1 in the Colonial Athletic Association in points (39.9) and yards (480.9) per game. The Hawks rank seventh in FCS in each category.
Monmouth's Jaden Shirden (20) breaks an 80-yard touchdown run against Fordham on Sept. 10, 2022 in West Long Branch.

One of the main reasons is Jaden Shirden, a 5-foot-9, 185-pound third-year sophomore from West Haven, Connecticut.Jirden’s 1,365 yards and 151.7 per game each lead FCS. He is averaging 8.7 yards per carry and has scored 11 touchdowns.

“He just keeps banging away, and all he really needs is a crack and he’s got very good speed,” said Kevin Callahan, Monmouth’s coach since the program’s first season in 1993.

Delaware counters with a defense that’s No. 1 in the CAA in fewest yards (265.6) and points (13.9) permitted per game, both No. 3 in FCS. It features a pair of Buck Buchanan Award candidates for the best defensive player in FCS – Buchanan and safety Kedrick Whitehead.

“If you give him space he takes off,” Buchanan said of Shirden before also complimenting other Monmouth backs and its offensive line.

After being gouged for 321 yards, including 179 on the ground, in Saturday’s 27-7 loss at Elon, Delaware’s defense will aim to bounce back.

TOUGH STRETCH LOOMS:'We need to get better'; 5 takeaways from UD loss to Elon

The Blue Hens have been more susceptible to the run than the pass, ranking first in CAA pass defense (120.3 ypg) but seventh against the run (145.4).

“We need to tackle better,” Buchanan said. “We need to be a little bit tougher at the line of scrimmage. But it’s nothing to panic about.”
Delaware's Johnny Buchanan (33) moves to tackle William and Mary's JT Mayo on a reception in the fourth quarter of Delaware's 27-21 loss at Zable Stadium in Williamsburg, Va., Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022.

Buchanan has spent the week viewing video clips of himself, Delaware’s defense and Monmouth’s offense in an effort to improve. It’s a habit he picked up at age 6 when his father John, who played at Rutgers, would record Johnny’s flag football games for analysis.

“We used to sit and watch the flag games and I’d hear about any type of, like, misplay,” Buchanan said of his days on the Brick Dragons. “It’s helped my game a lot. I used to hate it in the moment but I learned to love it and now it’s still a huge part of my life. It’s awesome my dad set that foundation for me.”

"He is a unique individual in how focused he is," Carty said, adding Buchanan also has physical tools suitable for the next level. "He has one mission and it's to be a great linebacker."

==================================================

High-powered Monmouth football offense vs. Delaware defense: Scouting report, prediction
Stephen Edelson - Asbury Park Press - 11/1/22

WEST LONG BRANCH – Jaden Shirden has been the best FCS running back by any objective measure this season. The Monmouth sophomore leads the nation in rushing yards (1,365) and yards-per-game (151.7), and his 8.69 yards-per-carry is nearly full yard clear of the next highest total.

Now comes a Delaware defense that ranks No. 3 in the nation, led by linebacker Johnny Buchanan, with the former St. John Vianney standout leading the nation in tackles, averaging 12.9 per-game. They give up 266 yards of offense per-game, while Shirden has topped the 200-yard mark himself in three different games.

It sets up and interesting showdown Saturday at Delaware Stadium, as Monmouth seeks to snap a three-game skid against the 16th-ranked Blue Hens, coming off a loss at Elon.

“They’re a very active defense,” Monmouth coach Kevin Callahan said. “It’s a different package than what you see from anybody else. It’s unique and (Buchanan) he plays what they call the Will, but they put him a lot of different spots. It’s a three safety defense by design and it creates a lot of different pictures.”

Monmouth's Jaden Shirden picks up yardage against Villanova on Sept. 24, 2022.
Shirden has six runs of 75 yards or more in the first 20 games of his career, including four in the last eight games.

Monmouth could have freshman quarterback Enzo Arjona in the backfield for a second straight game, with starter Tony Muskett likely a game-time decision due to a sore knee.

Arjona, the former Northern Highlands standout, threw for 213 yards and three TDs, with no turnovers, while running for another 35 yards.

“(Arjona) was really good,” Callahan said. “And as the game went on and we got into the second half, and the fourth quarter he was lights out. I don’t think he made a mistake. I there were any nerves going into it you could not tell. He has a lot of confidence in his ability. He made good decisions with the ball, and to do that in your first college game is impressive.”

Monmouth (4-5, 2-4) at No. 16/18 Delaware (6-2, 3-2)
When: Saturday, 1 p.m.

Where: Delaware Stadium, Newark, Del.

TV/Streaming/Audio: NBC Sports Philadelphia/FloSports/MonmouthHawks.com

Series: Delaware scored a 42-7 victory in 2007 in their only previous meeting.

When Delaware has the ball
Defense has been Monmouth’s Achilles’ heel this season, giving up an average of 445.6 yards, worst in the CAA, and 34.1 points, having given up a combined 100 points over the past two games. The Hawks have to be able to get Delaware off the field to have a chance, after Towson converted 12 of 15 third downs. And they’ve given up big passing plays in each of the past three games.

Monmouth needs to be stouter against the run, after the Tigers ran for 263 yards. Elon was able to hold Delaware to just 19 yards on 16 carries. Monmouth needs a big effort from its front seven on the road. Delaware QB Nolan Henderson has thrown for 20 TDs and been picked off six times. WR Jourdan Townsend is his favorite target, with 39 catches and four TDs. TE Braden Brose is a factor in the red zone, with four of his 10 catches resulting in touchdowns. 


When Monmouth has the ball
Even with Arjona directing the offense last game, the Hawks rolled up 484 yards. They’re No. 6 nationally in total offense. What Monmouth has struggled with in recent games is short yardage, with teams loading up to stop power back Owen Wright, among the national leaders in touchdowns. Getting Shirden untracked early will be a key. If he can break a long run, it could help open the passing game up. Arjona hit WR Dymere Miller for a pair of TDs, including a 30-yarder in the first quarter.

In addition to Buchanan, LB Drew Nickles has two interceptions, four pass breakups, six QB hurries and a pair of fumble recoveries. DL Artis Hemmingway has seven tackles for losses and 1.5 sacks.

Special teams
An absolute disaster last game, as Monmouth gave up a 92-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter, along with a 74-yard punt return in the first half. And there was another missed extra point. 

Prediction: Delaware 40, Monmouth 24.

Monmouth defenders converge on Towson running back Devin Matthews during Towson's 52-48 win on Oct. 29, 2022 in West Long Branch.
From Monday
Monmouth football: Frustration mounts as offense soars, defensive woes worsen
WEST LONG BRANCH – There was frustration in Monmouth coach Kevin Callahan’s voice Saturday as he tried to make sense of a 52-48 home loss to Towson, an emotion likely shared many in the stands at Kessler Stadium.

“We’re scoring an awful lot of points. We’re scoring points that most years you would say that’s plenty of points to win, and still we’re coming up short,” said Callahan, with 30 seasons worth of reference points since founding the program.

Monmouth's got a prolific offense. The Hawks rank sixth nationally in total offense, and are top-10 in rushing offense, passing efficiency and first downs made. Except the gap's widening in relation to a struggling defense that checks in at No. 102 among 123 FCS teams.

And it's that disparity that threatens to slam shut the window of opportunity for what could be a groundbreaking period for the program.

“There are some things, scheme-wise, personnel-wise, whatever it is, there are some things we’re not completely successful with right now,” he said.

Translation: Everything has to be better, from gameplans, coaching and execution to recruiting.

There’s still time. Even though they won't be going to the FCS Playoffs after three straight losses, quarterback Tony Muskett and receiver Dymere Miller are both juniors with two years of eligibility left, and running back Jaden Shirden, who leads the nation in rushing yards and rushing yards-per-game, is only a sophomore.

Monmouth's players have continued to fight hard each week in some wild games. But they're outmanned, and now the toughest schedule in program history, part of its inaugural season in the Colonial Athletic Association, is exacting its toll.

Towson showcased how much work lies ahead for Callahan, in need of solutions in the final two games, and beyond, after the Tigers, who had struggled moving the ball and scoring, finished with 474 yards of offense, including 263 yards on the ground.

The Hawks started a true freshman quarterback in Enzo Arjona - Tony Muskett was nursing a sore knee - and still rolled up 484 yards of offense, pulling the Hawks within a single score three different times in the game’s final eight minutes, with specials teams playing a big role in the end-game failure.

Solutions needed
The 2017 season was a seminal moment for the program. Kessler Stadium opened and Monmouth began receiving votes in the FCS Top 25 polls for the first time. And Kenji Bahar opened the season as Monmouth’s starting quarterback, marking the beginning of the program’s rise as an offensive force.

Since then, Monmouth’s offense has on average been ranked 21st in the country, while the defense’s average rank has been 63.

This season, New Hampshire, Fordham, Rhode Island and Towson all scored the game-winning or tying points in the final minutes. In a 49-42 win over Villanova, the Wildcats came back to tie the game six times after Monmouth touchdowns. And they've given up four plays of 61 yards or longer over the past three weekends.

The defense has to get bigger, stronger and faster as a unit, as soon as possible. Monmouth has a group of freshmen defenders, including linebacker Charlie Sasso, the former Wall standout, but for the most part they’ve remained on the sideline, although rookie defensive end Miles Mitchell has seen his role increased.

Transfers have never been a big part of what Monmouth does, and of the three defensive transfers last offseason only starting safety T.J. Kamara has had an impact. But everything needs to be on the table at this point.

Something has to change, and maybe its not be a quick fix. But it would be a shame if Monmouth’s unable to take advantage of an offense capable of taking it to the highest levels of FCS football.

===================================================

Elon Dominates No. 12/11 Delaware In 27-7 Victory
10/29/22 - https://elonphoenix.com/

Elon, N.C. – Elon scored 27 unanswered points and remained undefeated at home with an impressive 27-7 defeat over No. 12/11 Delaware Saturday at Rhodes Stadium. The Phoenix tied the Rhodes Stadium record by winning a fifth straight home contest dating back to the 2021 season.

Kicker Skyler Davis added to his impressive career by breaking the school record with a 53-yard field goal. That kick also gave him 317 career points, passing Terrell Hudgins (316 points from 2006-09) atop Elon's all-time scoring list.

With the win, Elon improved to 6-3 overall and 4-2 in CAA Football play. Delaware falls to 6-2 overall and 3-2 in CAA Football action.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

Delaware opened the game with an 11-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that ate up 4:30 of play. The Blue Hens converted on a fourth-and-6 during the drive and eventually went ahead 7-0 on a 12-yard touchdown pass.

Elon got on the board with a field goal following a 12-play, 81-yard drive that lasted 8:03. The Phoenix converted a third-and-15 with a 16-yard pass to Jordan Bonner and Skyler Davis knocked home a 36-yard kick.

Elon took the lead for good in the second quarter with another massive drive, this one lasting 14 plays and going 74 yards in 8:16. Chandler Brayboy scored on a 19-yard reception on third-and-4 to put the Phoenix ahead 10-7.

The score remained 10-7 headed into the second half before Elon took the opening possession 70 yards on 13 plays over 6:31. Bryson Daughtry had an 11-yard receiving touchdown to make it 17-7.

After Delaware came up scoreless on its next drive, the Phoenix put a stranglehold on the game with another touchdown drive. Malik Griffin scored for the second consecutive game and Matthew McKay had his third touchdown pass of the game on a 12-yard strike.

Davis' 53-yard field goal came early in the fourth quarter on a nine-play drive. Elon's drive stalled out inside the 40 and Davis came on to nail the kick.

NOTES AND STATS:

Elon improved to 4-0 in Rhodes Stadium and will host UAlbany Saturday looking to go undefeated at home for the first time since 1997. The Phoenix defeated a ranked team for the third time in 2022, improving to 3-2 against such teams this year.

The victory guarantees a regular-season record above .500 for the second year in a row and a .500 conference record for the second straight season Shon Brown recovered a fumble in the contest, Elon's 11th of the year. The Phoenix entered the game tied for the most in the nation.

With the second half shutout, the Elon defense has given up just 30 points in the final 30 minutes of regulation against its eight FCS opponents. That is an average of only 3.8 points per game
Delaware posted just 86 yards of offense in the second half.

The Blue Hens were held to just 19 yards rushing on 16 carries. It is the fewest rushing yards allowed since holding The Citadel to 18 yards rushing on Oct. 10, 2009. Elon rushed for 179 yards in the victory, marking the eighth time the team has surpassed 120 yards on the ground in 2022.

Bryson Daughtry caught a pass for the 39th straight game; He has at least two catches in every game this year Jeff Yurk averaged 46.0 yards on two punts, landing one inside the 20.

Not only was Skyler Davis 2-for-2 on field goals and 3-for-3 on extra points, he also made two tackles on special teams and had four touchbacks on six kickoffs Jalen Hampton ran the ball 32 times for 136 yards, his third 100-yard game of the season Jordan Bonner led Elon with 59 yards receiving, adding four receptions Chandler Brayboy added four catches for 45 yards. He also had two kick returns for 73 yards.

Omar Rogers and Jamir Malone led the Elon defense with six tackles each Jake Louro forced the fumble recovered by Shon Brown. Rogers had his first interception of the season and Caleb Curtain had the first interception of his career.

Elon held the ball for 36:59, while Delaware's time of possession was only 23:01
The Phoenix was +3 on turnovers.

UP NEXT
Elon will host UAlbany for Homecoming Saturday at 2 p.m. The Great Danes are 2-6 overall and 1-4 in conference play after defeating Stony Brook today 59-14.

=========================================================

Football Falls at Elon

10/29/2022 - bluehens.com

ELON, N.C. – The No. 12/11 University of Delaware football team could not contain a powerful Elon University offense, dropping a 27-7 decision to the Phoenix on Saturday afternoon in a CAA matchup at Elon's Rhodes Stadium. With the loss, the Blue Hens fall to 6-2 overall and 3-2 in conference play.

Nolan Henderson finished 25-of-40 passing for 202 yards and a touchdown. Jourdan Townsend led the receiving corps with seven catches for 71 yards, while Chandler Harvin added five grabs for 50 yards.

Johnny Buchanan led the Delaware defense with 16 tackles for his fifth double-digit performance of the season. Kedrick Whitehead and Justis Henley each had two pass breakups.

The Blue Hens got off to a great start as they received the opening kickoff and the offense drove 75 yards in 11 plays. A trick pass put UD deep into Elon territory as wide receiver James Collins found Townsend for a long 40-yard completion before Henderson found Braden Brose up the seam for a 12-yard touchdown to give Delaware a quick 7-0 lead.

Elon responded with an eight-minute drive, but the UD defense stood strong in the red zone and forced a 36-yard field goal that made it a 7-3 game late in the first quarter.

The Phoenix used another long drive over eight minutes in the second quarter to add another touchdown to go up 10-7 at halftime.

Elon scored on each of its two drives of the second half and, after a fumble on the final play of the third quarter, used a long field goal to make it 27-7 with 10:26 left in the fourth quarter.

Delaware drove deep into Elon territory late in the fourth quarter, but an interception in the end zone essentially sealed the game.

Notes:
Henderson surpassed 200 yards for the seventh-straight game which is the third-longest streak in program history.

Up Next:
Delaware will return to Delaware Stadium for the final two home games of the regular season. The Blue Hens will host Monmouth on November 5, before Richmond visits Newark on November 12. Single-game tickets and individual game parking for both of Delaware's remaining home games are currently on sale.

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Elon Carries Undefeated Home Record Into Saturday Clash With No. 12/11 Delaware.

10/25/2022 by Jason Knavel, Associate AD for Strategic Communications
https://elonphoenix.com/

 ELON (5-3, 3-2 CAA) vs. #12/11 DELAWARE (6-1, 3-1 CAA)
Date | Time Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022 | 3:30 p.m. ET
Location | Stadium Elon, N.C. | Rhodes Stadium (11,250)
Series Record Delaware leads, 3-1 (Most Recent Meeting, 42-7 Elon, 10/12/19)
Video FloFootball/My48 -- Taylor Durham (pbp), Khirey Walker (analysis), Rebecca Fiorentino (sideline)
Streaming Audio 3:00 p.m. ET (Varsity Network App) -- Chase Williams (pbp), Bryson Byrnes (analyst)
Social Media @ElonFootball Twitter | #AED | @ElonFB Instagram | Facebook Facebook

SETTING THE SCENE:

Elon and Delaware meet Saturday in Elon as the Phoenix look to remain undefeated at home in the 2022 season. Delaware enters ranked #12 in the Stats Perform Media Poll and #11 in the AFCA Coaches Poll. Elon has fallen out of the top 25 after spending four weeks as a ranked team.

For those not in attendance Saturday, the game can be streamed via FloSports or watched locally on My48. Taylor Durham and Khirey Walker will have the call, with Rebecca Fiorentino serving as the sideline reporter.

The audio broadcast begins with the pregame show at 3:00 p.m. with Chase Williams and Bryson Byrnes. The audio broadcast is available for free via The Varsity Network app on your mobile device.

Elon is 2-2 against ranked opponents this year, having defeated William & Mary and Richmond in back-to-back weeks. However, the Phoenix has lost each of the last two weeks to ranked teams, falling to both Rhode Island and New Hampshire on the road.

Delaware holds a 3-1 edge in the all-time series, which is tied 1-1 in Elon. The Phoenix is 3-0 at home this year and has won four straight in Rhodes Stadium dating back to last year. Delaware is 2-1 on the road.

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Delaware Pulls Away in Second Half to Top Bears for 38-7 Homecoming Victory

10/22/2022 9:09:00 PM | MSU Athlteics Communications

NEWARK, Del. – The No. 13/12 University of Delaware football team had five different players score touchdowns and used another stifling effort from the defense to come away with a 38-7 victory over Morgan State on Saturday in front of a Homecoming crowd of 16,735 fans at Delaware Stadium. 

With the win, Delaware leads the series 4-0-1 since the teams first played on Dec. 12, 1970 in Atlantic City, N.J.

Nolan Henderson completed 13 passes for 206 yards and a touchdown, while also leading the rushing attack with 65 yards and another score. Marcus Yarns had a team-leading 76 receiving yards and added 27 yards on the ground. Brett Buckman caught a team-high four passes for 61 yards. The Blue Hens finished with 435 yards of total offense.

The Delaware (6-1, 3-1 CAA) defense limited the Bears to just 158 yards of total offense, including just 27 yards in the second half and 59 total passing yards. 

Morgan (2-5, 0-2 MEAC) quarterback Carson Baker completed 4 of 8 passes for 35 yards before leaving the game in the second quarter due to injury. Duce Taylor managed just 24 yards passing (6 for 11) and had three interceptions in the second half while also being sacked three times.

The Blue Hens wasted no time as they received the opening kickoff and marched 77 yards in just six plays. Henderson sparked the drive with a 33-yard rush to convert a long third down before Townsend capped things off with a 17-yard rush on a sweep to give UD a 7-0 lead just 2:24 into the game.

Delaware got the ball back quickly and this time needed just four plays to score as Henderson found Yarns deep on a wheel route for a 72-yard touchdown that made it a 14-0 game midway through the opening quarter.

Morgan seemed to stabilize themselves and It became a defensive battle. Morgan scored late in the second quarter when Alfonzo Graham turned the corner for a 2-yard touchdown run to help cut the lead in half. The Blue Hens drove down to the 1-yard line in the final minute, but Morgan made a goal-line stand on the final play of the half to keep it a 14-7 game.

Delaware took no time in regaining momentum back as Liam Trainer came away with an interception on the first play of the second half. Six plays later, after converting a fourth down, Henderson stretched over the goal line for a seven-yard scoring run.

Early in the fourth quarter, Khory Spruill capped off a nine-play drive with a two-yard touchdown run that extended the lead to 28-7.

Andrew MacMillan connected on a 39-yard field goal to make it 31-7, and on the team's final drive, Ryan O'Connor found Buckman in the end zone for the final score.

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Blue Hens Run Past Morgan State for 38-7 Homecoming Victory

10/22/2022  - bluehens.com

NEWARK, Del. – The No. 13/12 University of Delaware football team had five different players score touchdowns and used another stifling effort from the defense to come away with a 38-7 victory over Morgan State on Saturday in front of a Homecoming crowd of 16,735 fans at Delaware Stadium. With the win, the Blue Hens improve to 6-1 overall.

Nolan Henderson completed 13 passes for 206 yards and a touchdown, while also leading the rushing attack with 65 yards and another score. Marcus Yarns had a team-leading 76 receiving yards and added 27 yards on the ground. Brett Buckman caught a team-high four passes for 61 yards. The Blue Hens finished with 435 yards of total offense.

The Delaware defense was its normal stellar self, allowing just 158 yards of total offense, including just 27 yards in the second half and 59 total passing yards. The Blue Hens had three interceptions in the second half – one each by Liam Trainer, Drew Nickles and Nic Ware – while also registering four sacks. Johnny Buchanan and Noah Plack led the way with eight tackles apiece.

The Blue Hens wasted no time as they received the opening kickoff and marched 77 yards in just six plays. Henderson sparked the drive with a 33-yard rush to convert a long third down before Townsend capped things off with a 17-yard rush on a sweep to give UD a 7-0 lead just 2:24 into the game.

Delaware got the ball back quickly and this time needed just four plays to score as Henderson found Yarns deep on a wheel route for a 72-yard touchdown that made it a 14-0 game midway through the opening quarter.

It became a defensive battle until Morgan State scored late in the second quarter to cut the lead in half. The Blue Hens drove down to the 1-yard line in the final minute, but Morgan State made a goal-line stand on the final play of the half to keep it a 14-7 game.

Delaware took no time in regaining momentum back as Liam Trainer came away with an interception on the first play of the second half. Six plays later, after converting a fourth down, Henderson stretched over the goal line for a seven-yard scoring run.

Early in the fourth quarter, Khory Spruill capped off a nine-play drive with a two-yard touchdown run that extended the lead to 28-7.

Andrew MacMillan connected on his first career field goal from 39 yards out to make it 31-7 before, on the team's final drive, Ryan O'Connor found Buckman in the end zone for the final score.

Notes
It was the first career touchdown pass for O'Connor and the first career touchdown reception for Buckman … Henderson now has had at least 200 yards passing in each of the last six games, tying him with Pat Devlin (2010) for the third-longest streak in program history … Delaware's three interceptions were the most in a game since April 10, 2021 against Delaware State when the Blue Hens also had three picks … The UD defense held Morgan State to drives of five plays or less on nine of its 13 possessions.

Up Next
Delaware heads back on the road for another tough CAA matchup at Elon on Saturday, October 29. Kickoff in North Carolina is set for 3:30 p.m.

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Why Delaware Football’s head coach is proud to be a Blue Hen

October 20, 2022 - https://www.udel.edu/udaily/

It seems only fitting that a football game brought Ryan Carty to the University of Delaware.

It was Sept. 2, 1999, a home opener against William and Mary and the first one ever played under stadium lights. Tubby Raymond debuted his “speed sweep” that night, adjusting his famed Wing-T formation to create an offensive play (still in use today), while a young Carty sat in the stands entranced.

He had come to cheer on his elder brother, Kevin Jr., a quarterback for the opposing team. But it was Delaware’s magic — the palpable energy, the winning mentality (34-27 that night), the veritable field of dreams before him — that brought the young quarterback to UD in 2001.

Since returning to campus this year as head coach, Carty has had an explosive start: The 2022 season opened with five-straight wins and one of the largest crowds in recent history.

On Saturday, Oct. 22, Delaware (5-1) plays its 2022 Homecoming game against Morgan State, starting at 3 p.m., at Delaware Stadium.

“I’m home,” the 2006 alumnus said with infectious pride. “I got a chance to spread my wings and make lifelong relationships here. This is a place where you find whatever you need.”

Since returning to campus this year as head coach, Ryan Carty has had an explosive start, including a season-opening win over Navy and one of the largest crowds in recent history.
Since returning to campus this year as head coach, Ryan Carty has had an explosive start, including a season-opening win over Navy and one of the largest crowds in recent history.
Now, the 39-year-old head coach is on a mission to create something his student-athletes and broader community also need: an aggressive, cutting-edge program built on hard work, teamwork and “doing things the right way.”

The “right way” is something Brendan Thomas noticed early in Carty’s tenure. As sports information director for Delaware Football, Thomas witnessed the hot, grueling summer practices where tensions run high and patience runs low. When a player over-celebrated a play during August training camp, Thomas watched as the new head coach screamed, “THIS IS NOT WHO WE ARE. THIS IS NOT WHAT WE DO.” Then Carty smiled and added, “But I’m very excited that you’re so excited.”

For Carty, doing things the “right way” means cultivating a legacy of strength, growth, longevity and success. “I want to make sure the University of Delaware feels good about the Ryan Carty era,” he said. “The legacy I’d like to leave behind is that of somebody who got Delaware better, who left it better than I found it.”

It’s a concept Carty discusses with his team. Improvement can be as simple as pushing a chair back in the classroom, holding a door open for someone, not leaving trash in the meeting room. “Those are things we talk about in the small, micro version, but it’s also something that drives me, personally,” Carty said. “I want to know that we got better today. That we did not let somebody stay the same in our program.”

Carty said he does not believe in stagnation. Perhaps it’s the product of his upbringing. In the 1970s and ’80s, Carty’s father, Kevin, became head coach for Don Bosco Prep, a New Jersey high school that first became a national powerhouse under the senior Carty’s direction.

“He was throwing the ball back when most people were running it,” Ryan Carty said of his father. “He was a very aggressive play-caller with an innovative mind.”

It’s a style that has rubbed off on the family of coaches. (Carty’s two brothers are also football coaches in the Northeast.) “We tend to do things in a logical, intelligent way, but we also play offensively and very aggressively,” he said of his family. “We’re not sitting back and letting the game come to us. We’re taking it to the other team.”

That’s the hallmark of a winning team, Carty has found. Both national championship teams he’s been a part of — UD in 2003 and Sam Houston State in 2020, where Carty served as offensive coordinator under fellow Blue Hen K.C. Keeler — shared the same confidence.

“The kids believed in each other. They believed in the coaches, they believed in game plans,” Carty said. “They also just had confidence without arrogance. When they walked into a game, they felt like they were going to win it. Even the games we lost — which was only one in 2003 and none in 2020 — we felt like we were going to be the victors.”

Today, Carty balances a dual role of offensive coordinator and head coach. It’s a unique distinction, but Carty is no stranger to unique distinctions.

At UD, he served faithfully as a career backup, the number two quarterback on the depth chart during his entire undergraduate career. “It’s got to be a national record,” Carty said with a laugh of the 65 games he witnessed from the sideline. As a senior, he was named team captain, earning the honor with minimal game time.

“It’s a little harder to be a leader from the sidelines,” he said. “You can’t make the play and let it speak for itself.”

But Carty did play in the 2003 national championship game. His body frozen and his toes numb, he took the field in the fourth quarter — “mop-up time” — and helped achieve the 40-0 shutout over Colgate.

Looking back, Carty’s memories center more around the people than the plays. As a high school senior, he turned down opportunities at Richmond, Rutgers, West Point and Hofstra (“some that might’ve been even better for me, football wise.”). But UD was home, he said: “It’s just one of those feelings.”

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Nolan Henderson Named to Walter Payton Award Watch List

10/20/2022 - bluehens.com

NEWARK, Del. – University of Delaware quarterback Nolan Henderson has been named a midseason addition to the 2022 Walter Payton Award Watch List, given to the best offensive player in the country at the FCS level. Henderson becomes the first Blue Hen to be named to the watch list since Dejoun Lee prior to the 2021 campaign.

Henderson has had a spectacular first half of the season, completing 146 passes for 1,660 yards with 18 touchdowns and a 66.1 completion percentage. His 18 scoring passes not only lead the CAA, but also ranks fifth nationally. Through Delaware's first six games, Henderson is also atop the conference in points responsible for (110) and is second in completion percentage, completions per game (24.33) and passing yards per game (276.7). He ranks among the country's top 20 in seven different categories.

The Smyrna, Delaware native has passed for more than 200 yards in five-consecutive games which is the fourth-longest streak in program history. Henderson has had several top performances over the first six games in leading the Blue Hens to a 5-1 record, including a 3-1 mark in the CAA. He set a Delaware record with 17-consecutive completions in games against Hampton and Towson, and threw for the most touchdowns in consecutive games as he combined for nine against Rhode Island and Hampton, tying the record with five touchdown passes against the Pirates.

In UD's game at Rhode Island, Henderson passed for 379 yards at Rhode Island to account for the seventh-highest passing total in program history. His 85.3 completion percentage (29-34) was also the fifth-best performance by a Delaware quarterback and he earned both CAA Offense Player of the Week and National Offensive Player of the Week honors after the game.

More student-athletes can join the Walter Payton Award Watch List before a national media panel selects the winner following the regular season. First awarded in 1987, the Payton has watched past recipients such as Steve McNair, Tony Romo, Brian Westbrook, Jimmy Garoppolo, Cooper Kupp and Trey Lance move on to the NFL.

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Football Preview: Morgan State:

10/20/2022  - bluehens.com

NEWARK, Del. – The No. 12/13 University of Delaware football team returns to Delaware Stadium on Saturday when the Blue Hens step out of conference play to host Morgan State. The game is part of UD's Homecoming Weekend. Kickoff is slated for 3 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on FloFootball.

About the Blue Hens:

The Blue Hens are coming off a hard-fought 27-21 setback at then-No. 16/17 William & Mary on Saturday. Delaware nearly erased a 17-point second-half deficit, but the rally fell just short.
Nolan Henderson finished 21-of-35 passing for 203 yards, his fifth-straight game eclipsing 200 passing yards, and two touchdowns. Jourdan Townsend caught eight passes for 91 yards and a score, while Kyron Cumby led the ground game with 53 rushing yards and a touchdown.
Against the Tribe, Johnny Buchanan registered 19 tackles for his fourth double-digit performance of the season. 

With his UD-tying 23 tackles at Navy to open the season, Buchanan holds two of the top-three single-game tackle performances in the FCS this season. His 78 total tackles and 13.0 tackles per game are also leading the country.

Nolan Henderson has passed for more than 200 yards in five-consecutive games. Another 200-yard performance against Morgan State would tie him with Pat Devlin (2010) for the third-longest streak in program history. Joe Flacco (15, 2006-07) and Matt Nagy (9, 1998) are the only other two with longer streaks.

The Blue Hens will play their fourth home game of the season on Saturday and look to improve to 4-0 at Delaware Stadium. In their first three home games, UD is outscoring its opponents by a 24-point margin (31.3-7.3) and the defense has only allowed one touchdown. The offense is averaging 455.7 total yards per game, including 300.3 yards through the air.
Scouting Morgan State

Morgan State enters Saturday's contest with a 2-4 overall record after dropping its past two games against Norfolk State (24-21) and North Carolina Central (59-20).

The Bears are averaging 22.8 ppg and 304.8 yards of total offense, while the defense is allowing 31.7 ppg and 373 ypg.

Carson Baker takes the majority of snaps at quarterback, passing for 717 yards and seven touchdowns. Duce Taylor has also thrown for 158 yards and two scores. The duo has combined to throw seven interceptions.

Alfonzo Graham leads the rushing attack with 97.2 ypg on the ground and has found the end zone four times. 

Lawrence Richardson leads the Morgan State defense with 47 total tackles while Carl Decius has two interceptions. As a team, the Bears have 40.5 TFL and 14.0 sacks in six games.

Up Next
Delaware heads back on the road for another Top-25 CAA matchup at Elon on Saturday, October 29. Kickoff in North Carolina is set for 3:30 p.m.

For the latest on the Delaware football program, follow the Blue Hens on Twitter @Delaware_FB and Instagram @delaware_fb, and like "Delaware Football" on Facebook. Follow Ryan Carty on Twitter @RyanCarty10.

PLAYERS MENTIONED:
#33 Johnny Buchanan
LB 6' 0" 230 lbs Graduate Student
#2 Nolan Henderson
QB 6' 1" 195 lbs Graduate Student
#17 Jourdan Townsend
WR 5' 11" 185 lbs Senior
#24 Kyron Cumby
RB 5' 8" 183 lbs Senior

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Blue Hens prep for Homecoming foe Morgan State with key player back on field

Kevin Tresolini
Delaware News Journal - 10/18/22

Coming off its first loss of the season, Delaware didn’t have a football game this past Saturday to measure how it had rebounded.

But the Blue Hens did have a week of practice aimed at honing fundamentals and improving certain areas.

Coach Ryan Carty proclaimed that a successful venture Monday, with Delaware’s next test looming Saturday against nonconference foe Morgan State. Kick-off is at 3 p.m. at Delaware Stadium for the Homecoming game.

Nolan Henderson, who injured his knee in the 27-21 setback at William & Mary on Oct. 8, will be starting at quarterback, Carty promised. Henderson had returned to the game after getting hurt trying to retrieve an errant snap and needing assistance from athletic trainers.

“He was hobbled last week at the end of that game but he’ll be OK,” Carty said, adding that Henderson was held out of the first couple practices last week.

CAA STANDINGS: Only one team perfect in league games

Delaware (5-1 overall, 3-1 Colonial Athletic Association) remains No. 13 in this week’s Stats Perform FCS national Top 25 media poll, which has a new No. 1 after South Dakota State nipped North Dakota State 23-21 Saturday.

Morgan State (2-4) has had six straight losing seasons since making the FCS playoffs in 2014 after winning a five-way MEAC title tie-breaker.

“Coming back from a loss, any game’s going to be important just to get back into momentum and get back on track,” Delaware running back Marcus Yarns said Monday. “So I feel as though this game is pretty big for everybody on the team, just getting their heads back on track.”

A decisive stretch of CAA games follow at Elon, which suffered its first league loss Saturday against Rhode Island, home against Monmouth and Richmond, then at Villanova to close the regular season.

“Sometimes it does take putting your hand on the stove and getting burned to realize that that stove’s hot,” Carty said. “And so we had to make sure we got back to the basics, the fundamentals of practicing really hard. I think we were practicing well but obviously, we could always practice a little bit better and I think we did this week.”

TIME TO CLIMB?: Delaware may look to move up to Football Bowl Subdivision

William & Mary piled up 266 ground yards against Delaware, including Bronson Yoder’s 114 on 20 carries. Twenty-eight of the Tribe’s 57 running plays netted five yards or more yards.

“That didn’t shake us and that didn’t define who we are as a defense and as a team,” said defensive lineman Artis Hemmingway, who added the defensive front felt particularly responsible for the Hens’ tough day. “We just gotta go on to the next and limit the little mistakes and little things that can prevent us from not winning the game.’’

One area Carty would like to see improvement with his offense, for which he calls the plays, is developing better consistency and taking advantage of opportunities.
Delaware's Johnny Buchanan (33) moves to tackle William and Mary's JT Mayo on a reception in the fourth quarter of Delaware's 27-21 loss at Zable Stadium in Williamsburg, Va., Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022.

Delaware ranks 11th among the 13 CAA teams in red-zone offense, scoring on 68.2 percent of its trips inside the 20. Delaware is 15-for-22, with 14 touchdowns and a field goal.

“I don’t think we’ve put together a four-quarter game on offense yet,” Carty said. “I think we’ve had spurts, and that is kind of a product of who we are over the course of time with the amount of shots we take.

“There’s gonna be times where you go three-and-out. But I think we have, with the ability with how good our players are and as they get to know the system even more in-depth, I think we do have the ability to stay a little more consistent than we’ve been.”

As an example, Carty mentioned third-down conversions, in which Delaware ranks seventh in the CAA with a 38.8-percent success rate, and fourth-down conversions, in which the Hens rank 10th at 31.3 percent.

“We’re focusing on that and trying to get better at that,” Carty said.

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TRIBE SCRIBE: No. 16/17 Tribe holds off No. 6 Blue Hens’ rally for 27-21 win on Homecoming

10/8/2022 - https://tribeathletics.com/

Five minutes into the third quarter Saturday afternoon, William & Mary owned a three-possession lead against the nation's sixth-ranked team. Nobody expected it to be that easy, and it wouldn't be. Things did get a little tense.

Yet the Tribe blanked Delaware in the fourth quarter and held on, ever so tightly, for a 27-21 win at Zable Stadium. Bronson Yoder rushed for 114 yards and a touchdown, Donavyn Lester added 77 playing for the first time in four weeks, and the Tribe's defense came up huge when it had to.

The No. 16/17 Tribe (5-1, 2-1 CAA) defeated a top-10 team for the second consecutive season and stayed closer to the top of the conference standings. Not that head coach Mike London was necessarily thinking in those terms.

"You guys will talk about how big the win is," he said. "I don't know any of that stuff, but I do know that was a good football team and we played really well tonight. … It was a very physical game and back-and-forth.

"Our players had a never-quit, never die-attitude. It was kind of indicative how we've been able to win some games. … So many good things happened during the course of the game."

Statistically, the first half couldn't have been more one-sided. W&M dominated total yards (282-75), first downs (15-4) and time of possession (21:01-8:59). Blue Hens quarterback Nolan Henderson, who came in completing 67% of his passes with 16 touchdowns, was 4-of-11 for 30 yards and was sacked twice.

"In the first half, the legs were fresh and we felt good out there," cornerback Ryan Poole said. "I remember walking out there for three plays and then walking back off. It felt good. It's always good when it's three-and-outs."

The Tribe punted on its first possession of the third quarter, but Delaware's Zane Lewis fumbled after being drilled by Caylin Newton and JT Mayo recovered at the Blue Hens' 23-yard line. That set up Darius Wilson's 1-yard run, which made it 24-7 with 10:11 left in the third.

The Blue Hens (5-1, 3-1) finally awoke by scoring touchdowns on their first two possessions of the third quarter, covering a combined 140 yards and using just over five minutes. Going into the fourth quarter, the Tribe's lead was 24-21.

Then came the game's craziest sequence. Sniffing the red zone again, Delaware appeared to take its first lead on a 33-yard run by Marcus Yarns. Yet a flag for an offensive face mask, of all things, nullified it.

Henderson scrambled for 23 yards on the next play to set up a first down at the W&M 13-yard line. But three plays later, a shotgun snap from center was low and Henderson inadvertently kicked it forward. W&M's Momen Zahid recovered with 10:44 left in the game.

"We talk about sudden changes, and they were in the red zone," London said. "It was a scrum down at the bottom, and that's where you've got to be physical. For Momen to come up with it was a critical factor because it stopped their drive and allowed us to take some time off the clock."

W&M moved the chains three times and lined up for a 49-yard field goal try by Ethan Chang, who was good from 57 last week at Stony Brook. But his kick was blocked by Justis Henley.

Delaware took over with 4:55 remaining but was unable to convert a fourth-and-6 from its 43 as Ethan Yip broke up a pass. The Tribe doubled its lead with Chang's 41-yard field goal with 1:45 remaining.

Needing a touchdown, Delaware got as close as the Tribe's 25-yard line. But on the final play, rather than go for a jump ball in the end zone, the Blue Hens tried a series of laterals. It finally ended when the Tribe's Nate Lynn came up with the ball.

"At the very end, I thought they might have went Hail Mary," London said. "It got kind of dicey there for a moment, but we practice that all the time."

In addition to having Yoder and Lester back in the lineup, William & Mary also had quarterback Hollis Mathis and safety Tye Freeland for the first time multiple. Freeland had five tackles, two of them solo, along with a sack and a pass break-up.

Off to its best six-game start since 2010, the Tribe will have an off week before playing at Towson on Oct. 22.

"What a great time for the bye week to come so we can take care of ourselves, develop some younger players that will probably have to play for us as we go down the second half of the season and to come off a positive experience like tonight's," London said. "It was really great."

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Comeback Bid Falls Short at William & Mary

10/8/2022  - bluehens.com

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – The No. 6/6 University of Delaware football team saw its second-half comeback fall short as the Blue Hens fell 27-21 to No. 16/17 William & Mary in a CAA matchup at the Tribe's Walter J. Zable Stadium. With the loss, UD slips to 5-1 on the season and 3-1 in conference play.

Nolan Henderson finished 21-of-35 passing for 203 yards, his fifth-straight game eclipsing 200 passing yards, and two touchdowns. Jourdan Townsend caught eight passes for 91 yards and a score, while Kyron Cumby led the ground game with 53 rushing yards and a touchdown.

Johnny Buchanan finished with a game-high 19 tackles and also added a TFL. Noah Plack was also in double figures for the second time this season with 10 tackles.

The Delaware defense bent but did not break on William & Mary's second drive. The Tribe lined up for a 39-yard field goal, but Justis Henley raced off the edge and got his hands on the ball to block the attempt and keep the game scoreless.

It was William & Mary that broke the scoreless tie just two plays into the second quarter, as a four-yard rush gave the Tribe a 7-0 lead.

Drew Nickles intercepted a pass in William & Mary territory to help shift the momentum UD's way. On the very next play, Cumby took a misdirection handoff and broke free for a 38-yard touchdown run to knot the score at 7-7 with 10:14 on the clock.

The Tribe managed to squeeze in one more touchdown before the half with 22 seconds on the clock to go up 17-7 at the break.

The defense opened the second half with a three-and-out, but a muffed punt gave the ball back to William & Mary deep in Delaware territory. Five plays later, a one-yard rush found the end zone and made it a 24-7 game.

The Blue Hen offense came to life as Henderson completed deep passes to Chandler Harvin and Thyrick Pitts to move the ball downfield. Henderson eventually found Townsend for a four-yard score. The PAT failed as UD cut the deficit to 24-13.

After another quick three-and-out from the defense, Henderson again drove Delaware down the field with completions to Townsend and Pitts. From the 3-yard line, he lofted a jump ball that Harvin snatched for the touchdown. Henderson then found Townsend for the 2-point conversion to make it a three-point game, 24-21.

Henderson drove the Blue Hens down the field again, this time using his legs as he registered runs of 20 and 23 yards to help bring the ball down inside the 10-yard line. However, William & Mary fell on an errant snap to end the promising drive.

After a field goal made it a 27-21 game, Delaware drove down into William & Mary territory once again, getting the ball inside the 25-yard line with less than a minute left. The Blue Hens attempted several laterals on the game's final play, but could not score as time expired.

Up Next
Delaware will have its bye week next Saturday and will return to action on Saturday, October 22 when the Blue Hens step out of conference play to host Morgan State. Kickoff on Homecoming Weekend is set for 3 p.m. at Delaware Stadium.

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No. 16/17 Football to Host No. 6 Delaware for Homecoming

10/5/2022  - https://tribeathletics.com/

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — The No. 16/17 William & Mary football team will square off against its first nationally ranked opponent this season when it hosts No. 6 Delaware for Homecoming at Zable Stadium on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

Tickets for the contest are available at TribeAthletics.com.

The game will be televised by Cox YurView, while it will also be available with a FloFootball subscription. YurView will televise the game in all Cox Virginia markets, including Hampton Roads (channel 60), Fairfax (channel 74), Fredericksburg (channel 77) and Roanoke (channel 9). The broadcast will also be available nationally on Cox Sports Television. Visit the listing of affiliates or check your local listing for details of showings in your market.

All Tribe home games, as well as conference road games, will be streamed on FloFootball. By following this link (flosports.tv/caa), CAA fans can sign up for an annual subscription to FloSports, which remains at a reduced rate of $95.88 per year ($7.99 per month) or a discounted monthly rate of $12.50. Also, anyone who subscribes using a CAA member Institution domain (.edu) e-mail address will be eligible for a $6.99 subscription rate per month. Any subscription provides access to all content that FloSports offers.

Fans can also listen to the live broadcast over the airwaves locally on The Tide 92.3 FM and 107.9 FM and via the internet on Stretch Live.

Live stats be available at TribeAthletics.com, while fans can follow the action on Twitter at @WMTribeFootball.

#16/17 William & Mary vs. #6 Delaware (Game Sponsors: Pepsi & W&M Dining Services)
Date Saturday, Oct. 8
Time 3:30 p.m.
Location Williamsburg, Va. (Zable Stadium)
Tickets Buy Tickets
Live Game Coverage TV: Cox YurView
Radio: The Tide 92.3FM | Listen Live
Video: FloFootball ($)
Internet Options Live Stats
Official Web Sites W&M | Delaware | CAA
Game Notes W&M | Delaware
Flip Card Download
Statistics W&M | Delaware
Pregame Media W&M Press Conference: Coach London
CAA Teleconference: Coach London | Coach Carty
Yearbook View | Download
Game Sponsor Pepsi | W&M Dining Services
Official Social Media Info
Facebook W&M Football | W&M Athletics | CAA Football
Twitter W&M Football (in-game updates) | W&M Athletics | CAA Football
Twitter Hashtags #GoTribe | #CAAFB
Instagram W&M Football | W&M Athletics | CAA Football


W&M improved its record to 4-1 for the second consecutive season with a lopsided 27-10 victory at Stony Brook last weekend. With the win, W&M remained unbeaten on the road this season, as its 3-0 start away from Williamsburg matches its best start since 1986. The Tribe was dominant defensively and limited the Seawolves to just 159 total yards, marking the program's best effort defensively since 2015 when it held Hampton to just 150 yards. Offensively, running back Malachi Imoh rushed for 1128 yards on 21 carries with three touchdowns. With eight touchdowns this season, Imoh ranks third nationally in scoring (12.0). Placekicker Ethan Chang also etched his name in W&M's record book with a 57-yard field goal – equaling the longest kick in conference history.

Ranked sixth nationally, Delaware owns a 5-0 record overall and a 3-0 mark in conference play. Highlighting the Blue Hens' victories was a season-opening 14-7 win at Navy. UD leads the CAA and ranks fourth nationally in total defense (245.4), while quarterback Nolan Henderson ranks eighth nationally in passing yards (291.4) and third in passing touchdowns (16).

Saturday's contest will mark the 44th meeting between W&M and Delaware, as the Blue Hens hold a 25-18 advantage. W&M owns a 12-10 advantage in games played in Williamsburg.

Saturday's contest will mark the 93rd homecoming in the Tribe's football history. Traditionally, the squad has thrived on this special weekend, as the program sports a 54-38 all-time record in homecoming games. W&M has greeted its alumni with dominating performances in a number of its recent homecoming games, as the program has won 15 of its last 22 tilts, including 10 by double-digit margins. Offensively, the team is averaging 27.5 points per contest during the span (605 points).

==========================================

STRONG DEFENSIVE START FOR TOWSON FOOTBALL DOES NOT HOLD AT NO. 6 DELAWARE

10.1.2022 | David Vatz - https://towsontigers.com/

TOWSON, Md. – The Towson University football team held No. 6 Delaware without points for the opening 22 minutes and had the first lead of the game but fell to the Blue Hens 24-10 on Saturday afternoon.

The Towson (2-3, 0-2 CAA) defense forced a pair of turnovers on downs and took the lead with a field goal with 7:26 left in the second, but Delaware (5-0, 3-0 CAA) scored on two touchdowns on plays of over 65 yards to take the lead the rest of the way.

Towson is the first Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) team to have a lead on Delaware this season plus held the Blue Hens to 24 points, the lowest score for Delaware against an FCS opponent this year.

Key Stats:
On the defensive end, Robert Javier had seven tackles and a 97-yard interception return for a touchdown. Ryan Kearney and Mason Woods each had 10 tackles, with the former adding a pair of pass break-ups.

The Towson defense allowed scoring on just four of Delaware's 12 drives. Towson held the Blue Hens without points on two red zone opportunities.
Joachim Bangda had 53 yards on the ground on 12 carries, averaging 4.4 yards a rush. Quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome tallied up 62 yards passing and 32 yards rushing, also having an interception.

For Delaware, Nolan Henderson passed 25-for-41 for two touchdowns and an interception, finding Jourdan Townsend for seven catches and 82 yards. Kyron Camby rushed for 100 yards and a score. Johnny Buchanan led all players with 11 tackles.

How It Happened:
Towson received but went three-and-out and went to punt, with Riley Williams sending down the ball 60 yards to the Delaware 17. Jesus Gibbs had a big tackle in the backfield for a six-yard loss on a rush, but Delaware converted the first on a 20-yard reception. Delaware continued to drive and got into Towson territory, where a combined sack from Daniel Raymond and Shaheem Haltiwanger forced the Blue Hens back nine yards. Delaware punted to the Towson 10.

Joachim Bangda broke through on his first rush as a Tiger and got 14 yards for a first down, but Towson did not get further and punted to the Delaware 45. After a couple of complete passes, Towson held on a 4th and one as Delaware through an incompletion to give the ball back to the Tigers. A loss of yards on a first down rush led to a three-and-out for Towson as Delaware took over on its own 25.

The Blue Hens went through the air for a couple of 18+ yard completions to get into Towson territory into the second quarter. With Delaware on the Towson 21, Towson continued to break up the pass in the end zone, with Dorian Davis, Ubayd Steed and Shafeek Smith all knocking away passes and getting a turnover on downs.

Tyrrell Pigrome led Towson down the field with some help from the Tiger runners. Rushes from D'Ago Hunter and Bangda, plus some completions from Pigrome, got Towson into the Delaware side of the field, then a Pigrome scramble for 15 yards got the visitors to the red zone. After a holding penalty nullified a touchdown, Keegan Vaughan notched the 38-yard field goal to give Towson a 3-0 lead with 7:26 left in the second.

Next drive, a 10-yard pass and 65-yard touchdown run, by Kyron Cumby, gave Delaware the lead 7-3 with 6:46 to play in the second.

Following a Towson three-and-out, a 90-yard Delaware drive, capped by a 74-yard touchdown pass to Chandler Harvin down the sideline, made it 14-3 Blue Hens at 3:56 left in the first half.

Towson put together a drive with Bangda rushes and Pigrome completions to Isaiah Perkins and Malik Jackson to push to the Delaware 29. Towson went for it on fourth down, but a sack ended the drive. The Towson defense halted Delaware on a final drive as the teams went into the locker room at 14-3 Blue Hens.

Out of halftime, Henderson's passing got Delaware down to the Towson 18 in seven plays. Four plays later, Delaware reached the end zone on a drop-off pass from Henderson to Khory Spruill to make it 21-3 Blue Hens five minutes into the third.

Towson looked to the run to come downfield, converting a third on a second effort power push from Bangda, but had to punt after gaining four yards on third and eight. Short passes and runs again brought Delaware down the field as Towson looked to make a stand at its four. A holding call, a tackle in the backfield by Xavier Terry and then Bryce Lauer stopping the quarterback for a 12-yard sack stopped the Delaware drive. The 47-yard field goal attempt missed as Delaware led 21-3 at the end of the third quarter.

Both teams exchanged a three-and-out as the Tigers looked to come back. On third and three, an interception along the sideline got the ball back to Delaware on the Towson 48. A Henderson pass for 26 yards to Brett Buckman, then a pair of rushes, pulled the Blue Hens to the four-yard line. Towson stacked up and again held Delaware out of the end zone, but a 24-yard field goal made it 24-3 Delaware 8:37 left to play.

After a Towson three-and-out, Delaware pushed on another drive. Deep in Towson territory, a pass towards the end zone was ripped away and picked by Robert Javier, who came down 98 yards for the touchdown to make it 24-10 Delaware with 2:59 left to play. Delaware ran out the rest of the clock on the next possession as the Blue Hens won 24-10.

Inside the Numbers
This is the first-ever touchdown for Robert Javier for Towson. It is the first interception returned for a touchdown by a Tiger since Mark Collins Jr. had a pick six vs. UAlbany on Oct. 30, 2021.

The only opponent which held Delaware to fewer points in a game this season was FBS Navy in the opening game. The Midshipmen allowed 14 points to Delaware.
Next Game:

Towson heads south to play Elon on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 2 p.m.

========================================================

Defense, Explosive Plays Propel Blue Hens Over Towson, 24-10

10/1/2022 - bluehens.com

NEWARK, Del. – In front of a sold-out Parents and Family Weekend crowd of 18,905 fans at Delaware Stadium, the No. 6/6 University of Delaware Blue Hens continued its trend of strong defense and explosive plays in a 24-10 victory over Towson. With the win, the Blue Hens improve to 5-0 overall and 3-0 in CAA play.

Nolan Henderson completed 25 passes for 368 yards and two touchdowns. He found 11 different receivers, including connecting with Chandler Harvin three times for 105 yards and a score. Jourdan Townsend had a team-high seven receptions for 82 yards. Kyron Cumby registered his first career 100-yard game on the ground, running for exactly 100 yards and a touchdown. The Blue & Gold finished with 534 yards of total offense, surpassing 500 yards for the second time this season.

Johnny Buchanan led another stout defensive effort, finishing with a game-high 11 tackles, including 0.5 TFL. Kedrick Whitehead recorded his second interception of the season and Anthony Toro and Chase McGowan each had a sack. For the second-straight game, the Blue Hens held an opponent under 200 yards of total offense as Towson was only able to manage 159 yards, including just 20 yards in the second half.

The game was a defensive battle at the start as neither team could muster much on offense. The Blue Hens twice drove into Towson territory but had the drives stall on fourth down.

Early in the second quarter, the Tigers put together a long drive to take a 3-0 lead on a 38-yard field goal. Towson went 58 yards on 14 plays while taking up nearly six minutes of the clock.

It did not take the Blue Hens long to respond, as just two plays later Cumby broke a tackle and raced 65 yards down the Delaware sideline for the touchdown to put UD ahead 7-3.

Following a quick three-and-out by the Delaware defense, Henderson found Harvin for an 11-yard gain, but Harvin broke free of his defender and scampered the remaining 63 yards untouched for a touchdown to give the Blue Hens a 14-3 lead with 3:56 left before halftime.

Delaware received the second-half kickoff and embarked on an 11-play, 75-yard drive that included an 18-yard completion to Townsend on third-and-10. Henderson eventually for Khory Spruill for a four-yard touchdown that brought the lead to 21-3.

A Garrett Bennion 24-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter made it a 24-3 game. The Blue Hens were driving again late, but Towson intercepted a pass at the 3-yard line and returned it 97 yards for the touchdown to provide the final score.

Notes
The Blue Hens are 5-0 for the first time since the 2010 season … Henderson's 74-yard touchdown pass to Harvin was the longest of his career … Henderson completed his first two passes of the game to extend his school-record stretch of 17-straight completions, dating back to last weekend's game.

Up Next
The Blue Hens will head out on the road for another tough CAA matchup when the team takes on William & Mary on Saturday, October 8. Kickoff in Williamsburg, Virginia is set for 3:30 p.m.

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TOWSON FOOTBALL PLAYS RIVAL DELAWARE FOR FIRST 2022 CAA ROAD GAME
9.29.2022 David Vatz - https://towsontigers.com/

The Game: Towson (2-2, 0-1 CAA) @ No. 6 Delaware (4-0, 2-0 CAA)
When: Sat., Oct. 1, 3:30 p.m.
Where: Delaware Stadium – Newark, Del.
Linear Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Online Broadcast: FloSports ($)
----Broadcasters: Andrew Bogusch (PxP), Qadry Ismail (analyst)
Radio/Online Broadcast: Towsontigers.com
----Broadcasters: Spiro Morekas (PxP), Gordy Combs (analyst)
Series: Delaware leads 12-9 (Towson has won last one)

TOWSON, Md. – The Towson University football team will play its first two road CAA games of the season beginning on Saturday, Oct. 1, taking on rival Delaware in Newark.

The game will be broadcast online on FloSports as well as on linear television on NBC Sports Philadelphia; check your local listings for information. Andrew Bogusch and Qadry Ismail will have the call live from Delaware Stadium. In addition, the radio call will be on towsontigers.com, with Spiro Morekas and Gordy Combs on the call.

For those who cannot make it to the game, the official watch party will be at C&R Pub in downtown Towson at 3:30 p.m. Join your fellow Tiger fans as Towson takes on Delaware.

Towson has fallen in its last two games, including a 37-14 defeat in last week's CAA opener vs. New Hampshire, to stand at 2-2 overall and 0-1 in the league. Delaware, ranked #6 in each the STATS FCS and AFCA Coaches Polls, have won their first four games, coming off a 35-3 home win over Hampton to be 2-0 in the CAA.

This is the 22nd meeting between Towson and Delaware and the first since Nov. 2, 2019, a 31-24 home victory for the Tigers. The team played every season from 2004 to 2019. Delaware leads the all-time series 12-9.

This is the first of three CAA road games Towson will play in the month of October. Towson's lone home game in October will be on Saturday, Oct. 22 vs. William & Mary.

TOWSON RETURNS FOR 2022 SEASON
It is a new year for Towson as the Tigers are set for their 53rd season. Rob Ambrose returns at the helm of his 13th season.

It is a new look Towson team with over 50 new players joining since the spring season began. Four starters return on each side of the ball for Towson in 2021:

Offense:
--Darian Street, WR
--Jabari Allen, WR
--Luke Hamilton, FB
--Cole Cheripko, OL
Defense:
--Vinnie Shaffer, DL
--Ryan Kearney, LB
--Robert Topps, S
--Charles Peeples, CB

GIBBS NAMED TO REESE'S SENIOR BOWL WATCH LIST
Towson defensive lineman Jesus Gibbs has been selected to the 10th Annual Reese's Senior Bowl Watch List. The Senior Bowl, set for Feb. 4, 2023, will gather some of the top prospects for the upcoming National Football League (NFL) Draft. Gibbs will look to be the first Towson player to compete in the Reese's Senior Bowl since Tony Vinson played in the game in 1994.

Gibbs, a South Carolina transfer, enters his third year playing for the Tigers in 2022. The standout defensive lineman had three games with at least four tackles each before ending the year due to injury, including three total tackles for loss. He was recently featured on Bruce Feldman's 2022 College Football "Freaks" List as one of the top college football players with unique physical abilities.

HAMILTON, HUNTER RECOGNIZED ON CAA PRESEASON AWARDS
Two Tigers were recognized on the CAA preseason awards: Luke Hamilton earned 2022 CAA Football Preseason All-Conference Team while D'Ago Hunter was an honorable mention at kick/punt returner.

Hamilton was the 2021 Second Team All-CAA fullback and picks up his first-ever preseason all-league selection. The senior was one of the top blocking fullbacks in the league last season in seven games played, also making receptions in five contests.

Hunter is recognized in the preseason by the CAA for the first time. The 2021 All-CAA Third Team punt returner, the redshirt senior was Towson's all-purpose yards leader last season with 1,104, including 753 on kickoff returns and 121 on punt returns.

BATTLE FOR GREATER BALTIMORE SERIES EXTENDED THROUGH 2027
In July 2021, Towson and Morgan State announced an extension of the Battle for Greater Baltimore series through the 2027 season. The two teams will alternate hosting rights each year. The teams are separated by five miles, the closest pair of teams in all of FCS play.

Towson will host Morgan State on Sept. 10, the first game between the two at Unitas since 2017. On Sept. 4, 2021, Towson defeated Morgan State 31-0. Towson leads the all-time series 20-6.

21 GRADUATES SUITING UP FOR TOWSON
Several Tigers are playing as college graduates. Towson has 21 total graduate players, tied for third-most across FCS.
Towson graduates (10) -
Jabari Allen Charles Peeples
Cole Cheripko Robert Schwob
Alex Desire Vinnie Shaffer
Jamal Gay Darian Street
Ryan Kearney Robert Topps III

Graduates of other schools (11) -
Juwan Burgess (Indiana) Tyrrell Pigrome (WKU)
Mason Cholewa (UCF) Tramar Reece (Indiana)
Damir Faison (Kent St.) Josh Roberts (Lafayette)
Shaheem Haltiwanger (SCSU) Julian Singh (LIU)
Da'Kendall James (Norfolk St.) Makye Smith (Stony Brook)
Tyler Johnston III (UAB)

TOWSON PICKED 11TH IN CAA PRESEASON POLL
The Tigers were predicted to finish 11th in the league in the preseason coaches poll. Towson received 81 points in the poll.

2021 CAA co-champion Villanova was predicted to finish first with 16 first-place votes and 270 points while Delaware is second with seven first-place votes and 235 points.

2022 CAA Football Predicted Order of Finish
1. Villanova (16 first-place votes), 270 points
2. Delaware (7), 235
3. Rhode Island, 224
4. Richmond, 219
5. William & Mary (2), 206
6. Elon (1), 191
7. Stony Brook, 151
8. Maine, 134
9. New Hampshire, 117
10. Monmouth, 105
11. Towson, 81
12. UAlbany, 64
13. Hampton, 31

TIGERS IN THE PROS
Former Towson players are making their mark in the professional ranks. Tye Smith was in preseason camp with the Minnesota Vikings, seeking to play in his sixth season in the NFL and second with the Vikings. In all, he has played in 45 regular season games, competing at cornerback and special teams.

In 2022, Darius Victor was the Offensive Player of the Year in the reformed USFL, earning 577 rushing yards and nine touchdowns for the North Division regular season champion New Jersey Generals. 

Towson has also made its mark in the Canadian Football League. Three former Towson players currently compete for the Edmonton Elks: Malik Tyne, Tibo Debaillie and Andrew Garnett.

Tigers in the Pros – 2022
--Tye Smith (CB): Minnesota Vikings, NFL (released 8/29)
--Darius Victor (RB): New Jersey Generals, USFL
--Diondre Wallace (LB): New Orleans Breakers, USFL (draftee)
--Malik Tyne (LB): Edmonton Elks, CFL
--Tibo Debaillie (DL): Edmonton Elks, CFL
--Andrew Garnett (OL): Edmonton Elks, CFL
--Shane Simpson (RB): Winnipeg Blue Bombers (signee)

PERKINS EARNS CAA ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
With a six-catch, 81-yard receiving performance against Bucknell, Isaiah Perkins was honored as the CAA Rookie of the Week. He is the first Towson player to earn this honor since November 2017.

HUNTER EARNS CAA SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Earning Towson's first kickoff return for a touchdown since 2019, D'Ago Hunter was the CAA Special Teams Player of the Week on Sept. 19. His 96-yard kickoff return for a TD against West Virginia was the sixth-longest in FCS and second-longest for an FCS player vs. an FBS team.

LAST GAME (NEW HAMPSHIRE 37, TOWSON 14)
(9/24/2022 - TOWSON, MD.):
Towson scored 14 points in the third quarter in a comeback attempt but fell to New Hampshire 37-14 in the 2022 CAA opener.
Important Stat:
Towson - Scored both touchdowns in third quarter
UNH - Dylan Laube - 250 all-purpose yards, including 92-yard TD punt return
Top Passer:
Towson - Tyrrell Pigrome: 14-28, 142 yards, 1 TD
UNH - Max Brosmer: 17-23, 194 yards, 3 TD
Top Rusher:
Towson - Devin Matthews: 4 rush, 41 yards, 1 TD
UNH - Dylan Laube: 23 rush, 114 yards
Top Receiver:
Towson - Da'Kendall James: 3 catches, 52 yards
UNH - Joey Corcoran: 6 catches, 71 yards, 1 TD
Standout Defensive Player:
Towson - Ryan Kearney (LB): 11 tackles
UNH - Dylan Ruiz (DE): 4 tackles, 3 sacks

QUARTERBACK COMPETITION.....
With Towson's primary three quarterbacks all leaving after last season, the Tigers have been having a position battle with several competitors.

#2 Rishon Holmes, Fr.
Three-star recruit, Baltimore native at Milford Mill
#14 Zack Jackson, R-Fr.
University of Maryland transfer after 2021 redshirt season
#17 Tyler Johnston III, Gr.
Grad transfer from UAB, led Blazers to two league titles
#15 Nathan Kent, R-So.
Played in final game of 2021 (only returner to play at TU)
#4 Tyrrell Pigrome, Gr.
Former starting QB at Maryland and Western Kentucky
#16 Scott Smith III, R-Fr.
2021 top-10 QBs in DMV by NBC Sports Washington

TRANSFERS LINE THE D-LINE.....
Towson's defensive line is stacked with transfers to bolster the ranks, including the top two tacklers so far in 2022.
--Vinnie Shaffer (Saint Anselm): 16 tackles
--Bryce Lauer (not a transfer): 14 tackles
--Jesus Gibbs (South Carolina): 13 tackles
--Tramar Reece (Indiana): 12 tackles
Also on the line rotation includes Oly Okombi (Kent St.), Janaz Jordan (Colorado), Shaheem Halitwanger (South Carolina St.) and Mason Cholewa (UCF).

.....AND THE WR CORPS
Early on, two of Towson's top three receivers are also transfers.
--Da'Kendall James (Norfolk St.) - 181 rec. yards
--Isaiah Perkins (not a transfer) - 132 rec. yards
--Darian Street (Pittsburgh) - 64 rec. yards

AMBROSE - 3RD LONGEST TENURED CAA COACH
Head coach Rob Ambrose, a Towson graduate of 1993, returns at the helm of the Tigers for his 13th season in 2022 and is the third-longest tenured head coach in the CAA.

Going into its 53rd season, Towson football has had four head coaches, with three, including Ambrose, serving at the helm for at least 10 seasons. Ambrose was formerly an assistant under Gordy Combs from 1992 to 2000.

Ahead of Ambrose in years is Monmouth's Kevin Callahan (30th season) and Stony Brook's Chuck Priore (17th season).

INTERNATIONAL TIGERS
Towson's influence is growing across the world. Two Towson offensive linemen are from Germany: Roman Wahrheit and Florian Staehler. Towson has other ties to Germany: Konstantinos Kosmakos is an assistant coach for the Marburg Mercenaries, which includes Towson graduate Robert Heyward at linebacker.

New to the team this year from overseas includes punter Riley Williams from Australia and offensive lineman Sahil Bhullar from Canada.

In Ambrose's time, Towson has also had players from Belgium, Finland, Germany, and Norway.

FROM UP AND DOWN THE EAST COAST...
The Towson roster nearly covers every state along the coastline from New York to Florida, with Delaware as the lone exception. 12 states, plus the District of Columbia, are represented by the Tigers. Away from the East Coast, Towson has players from Alabama, Illinois and Oregon.

...AND REPPING THE HOME STATE
The Towson roster represents the Old Line State well, sporting 48 players from the home state of Maryland. This includes six players from Baltimore City/County: Keith Bagwell (Baltimore), Anthony Delle Donne (Baltimore), Dion Crews-Harris (Baltimore), Rishon Holmes (Baltimore), Vinnie Shaffer (Middle River) and Scott Smith III (Brooklandville).

SCOUTING DELAWARE:
Delaware, predicted to finish second in the CAA this season, is under the leadership of first-year head coach Ryan Carty.

Delaware is the CAA leader in scoring defense, allowing just 40 total points through four games. Graduate student linebacker Johnny Buchanan leads the CAA with 48 tackles, averaging 12 a game. Another graduate student, Nolan Henderson, leads the league with 14 passing touchdowns, having 1,089 passing yards and three interceptions.

LAST GAME (#21/22 TOWSON 31, DELAWARE 24)
(11/2/2019, TOWSON, MD.):
Led by 200 yards receiving by Caleb Smith and three rushing TDs from Yeedee Thaenrat, Towson scored a TD with 4:54 left to win 31-24 over rival Delaware.
Important Stat:
Towson - First 200+ yard receiver since 2016
Delaware - Forced three turnovers (+2 turnover margin)
Top Passer:
Towson - Tom Flacco: 17-23, 294 yards, 1 TD
Delaware - Nolan Richardson: 13-24, 240 yards, 1 TD
Top Rusher:
Towson - Yeedee Thaenrat: 16 rush, 70 yards, 3 TD
Delaware - Will Knight: 15 rush, 96 yards, 1 TD
Top Receiver:
Towson - Caleb Smith: 9 catches, 200 yards, 1 TD
Delaware - Thyrick Pitts: 4 catches, 88 yards
Standout Defensive Player:
Towson - Robert Heyward (LB): 7 tackles, 2 sacks, 3.0 TFL
Delaware - Nijuel Hill (LB): 6 tackles, 2 FR

IMPORTANT DATES: TOWSON VS. DELAWARE:
--Nov. 6, 1993 - Towson 32, Delaware 30 (Newark, Del.):
On fourth down and goal from the one-yard line with 10 seconds left, Tony Vinson burst into the end zone for the game-winning touchdown, giving Towson a 32-30 comeback win over #14 Delaware on the road. That was Vinson's fourth touchdown of the game.

--Oct. 1, 2005 - Towson 35, Delaware 31 (Towson, Md.):
Towson's first-ever Atlantic-10 victory came in dramatic fashion as Nick Williams scored a touchdown on a three-yard run off a 69-yard final drive to defeat #5 Delaware 35-31 in front of a Homecoming crowd of 10,778, to date the third-largest crowd in Unitas Stadium history.

--Oct. 28, 2017 - Towson 18, Delaware 17 (Towson, Md.):
A Sam Gallahan 14-yard touchdown catch from Ryan Stover with 35 seconds left sent Towson to an 18-17 upset victory over #23 Delaware. Towson came back from down 14-3 late in the third quarter.

STAN EISENHOOTH TO ENTER TOWSON ATHLETICS HALL OF FAME
Among the inductees into the Towson Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2022 includes former offensive lineman Stan Eisenhooth. He will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Oct. 21.

Eisenhooth started for three years on the Towson offensive line from 1983 to 1985, helping the Tigers to two appearances in the NCAA D2 Playoffs, including getting to the semifinal in 1984.

He would go on to play in the NFL for the Seattle Seahawks and Indianapolis Colts.

CAA FOOTBALL SHAKEUP
CAA Football added a pair of programs in the past academic season: Hampton and Monmouth are new CAA members this year. Though Stony Brook was already a CAA Football member, the Seawolves joined the CAA as a full member this year.

Towson will play each new program this year: at Monmouth on Oct. 29 and vs. Hampton on Nov. 19.

In addition, two more programs will join the conference starting in the 2023-24 athletic year: Campbell and North Carolina A&T.

Print Friendly Version
PLAYERS MENTIONED
#18 JABARI ALLEN
WR 6' 4" 175 lbs Freshman
#9 SAM GALLAHAN
WR 6' 1" 193 lbs Redshirt Junior
#75 ANDREW GARNETT
OL 6' 5" 294 lbs Redshirt Freshman
#50 ROBERT HEYWARD
LB 5' 10" 210 lbs Redshirt Sophomore
#13 SHANE SIMPSON
RB 5' 9" 200 lbs Redshirt Sophomore
#16 RYAN STOVER
QB 6' 4" 210 lbs Redshirt Freshman
#31 MALIK TYNE
LB 6' 2" 234 lbs Redshirt Sophomore
#56 DIONDRE WALLACE
LB 6' 0" 235 lbs Junior
#94 TIBO DEBAILLIE
DL 6' 3" 265 lbs Freshman
#54 COLE CHERIPKO
OL 6' 4" 270 lbs Freshman

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Delaware stifles Hampton in Pirates’ CAA debut
The Virginian-Pilot
Sep 24, 2022 

Hampton head coach Robert Prunty leads his team onto the field prior to the start of their game against Tuskegee University, Saturday, September 10, 2022 at Armstrong Stadium in Hampton. (Jason Hirschfeld/The Virginian-Pilot)

NEWARK, Del. — Hampton University’s first Colonial Athletic Association game could serve as a lesson for the Pirates.

Nolan Henderson completed 30 of 43 passes for 296 yards and five touchdowns — three to Thyrick Pitts — to help Delaware, ranked sixth in the Stats Perform FCS poll, beat Hampton 35-3 Saturday night.

Henderson connected with Pitts on touchdowns of 15 and 8 yards to give Delaware (4-0, 2-0 CAA) a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. Jourdan Townsend scored on a 36-yard reception early in the third quarter and Pitts added a 7-yard TD grab with 1:46 left in the third to give the Blue Hens a 28-0 lead.

Axel Perez kicked a 20-yard field goal to get Hampton (3-1, 0-1) on the board with 12 minutes to play, but Henderson connected with Marcus Yarns on a 7-yard TD that capped the scoring with 7:54 to play.

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Hampton gets rude welcome to CAA football from Delaware
By SAM Quick - 9/24/22 - https://www.newsbreak.com/

Delaware was dominant in Saturday evening’s matchup against Hampton. Delaware’s offense put up 35 points, while their defense kept the opposing offense completely out of the end zone in their 35-3 rout.

Nolan Henderson led Delaware’s aerial attack with 296 yards and five touchdown passes. The Blue Hens piled up 448 yards in an efficient offensive performance. On top of that, Delaware’s defense showed out, limiting Hampton to just 2.1 yards per rush and 4.7 yards per pass attempt.

Photo from Delaware Athletics Facebook
Hampton had to make every yard count on Saturday, only mustering 189 total yards. They also struggled to take drives all the way to the endzone, with all of their points coming from field goals. Jadakis Bonds was a bright spot for the offense, putting up 44 yards receiving on the day to lead Hampton’s pass-catchers.

The Blue Hens improves their record to 4-0 with the win . They will get their next test when they welcome Towson to Delaware Stadium on Oct. 1. The loss was a setback for Hampton, who had put together a string of wins heading into today’s game . Thankfully they’ll have extra time to make corrections before their Oct. 8 contest against Maine.

The post Hampton gets rude welcome to CAA football from Delaware appeared first on HBCU Gameday .

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Complete Effort Pushes Blue Hens Past Hampton, 35-3

9/24/2022  - bluehens.com

NEWARK, Del. – In a dominant effort on both sides of the ball, the No. 8 University of Delaware football team took care of business against CAA-newcomer Hampton, 35-3, in front of 16,035 fans at Delaware Stadium. With the victory, the Blue Hens improved to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the CAA.

Nolan Henderson set career highs for the second-consecutive game, completing 30 passes for five touchdowns. He finished with 296 passing yards and connected with 12 different receivers, marking the third-straight game that Henderson has completed passes to 10 or more receivers.

Thyrick Pitts led the receiving corps with seven catches for 61 yards and three touchdowns. The Blue Hens also finished with 140 rushing yards and had four players run for at least 20 yards.

Liam Trainer and Johnny Buchanan led the Blue Hens with six tackles apiece, while Amonte' Strothers and Steven Rose Jr. each had an interception. The UD defense held its third opponent in four games under 10 points and allowed Hampton to record just eight first downs in the game while going 0-for-12 on third down conversions.

On Delaware's first drive of the game, Henderson completed five passes for 57 yards as he drove Delaware 71 yards on 10 plays. A 15-yard touchdown pass to Pitts capped the drive and gave Delaware a 7-0 lead just 5:23 into the game.

Meanwhile, the defense looked its stellar self from the beginning as the Blue Hens did not allow a first down the entire first quarter and allowed just 18 total yards in the first 15 minutes.

With less than two minutes left in the opening frame, Strothers intercepted a pass down the left sideline to set up the offense at the 34-yard line. Five plays later, Henderson found Pitts again in the end zone for an eight-yard score that doubled the UD advantage to 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.

The score remained the same at halftime as neither team could put points on the board in the second quarter. Delaware's defense continued to dominate as the Pirates only managed one first down and 48 total yards in the opening 30 minutes.

The Blue Hens received the second-half kickoff and drove 70 yards down the field in four plays to score its first touchdown of the second half. Henderson found a wide-open Jourdan Townsend for a 36-yard touchdown.

After Hampton missed a 42-yard field goal on the next drive, Delaware responded with a seven-yard touchdown pass from Henderson to Pitts to make it 28-0 in favor of the Blue Hens. 

A turnover gave the Pirates a short field, but the Delaware defense was again up to the task, coming up with a goal-line stand that forced a 20-yard field goal for Hampton's lone score of the game.

Henderson completed the scoring with a short, three-yard pass to Marcus Yarns who dove inside the pylon to make it 35-3 midway through the fourth quarter.

Notes
Henderson has now had four or more touchdown passes in consecutive games, becoming the first Delaware quarterback to accomplish that feat … Pitts' three touchdown receptions were the most in a game by a Blue Hen since Michael Johnson had three against Wagner in 2013 … Pitts' first touchdown catch in the first quarter gave him 25 receiving yards on the day and put him over the 2,000-yard mark for his career, making him the ninth player in program history to surpass the milestone ... The Blue Hens have now scored at least 35 points in three-consecutive games for the first time since the 2007 season.


With that touchdown catch @t_pitts1 becomes the ninth player in Delaware history to surpass 2,000 career receiving yards. pic.twitter.com/6i6veP0mU8

— Delaware Football (@Delaware_FB) September 24, 2022
Up Next
The Blue Hens will remain home on Saturday, October 1 when the team welcomes longtime CAA rival Towson to Delaware Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. The game is part of Delaware's Parents and Family Weekend and the game is officially sold out.

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What kind of greeting was that? Delaware hands CAA newcomer Hampton lopsided defeat
Kevin Tresolini
Delaware News Journal - 9/24/22

The Blue Hens were not very welcoming Saturday night.

By the time visiting Hampton made its initial first down on the opening play of the second quarter, Delaware had scored two touchdowns.

The Pirates, playing their first football game as Colonial Athletic Association members, didn't cross midfield until their third play of the third quarter, after Delaware had scored a third TD.

GAME STATS: Delaware 35, Hampton 3

Delaware's defense didn't relent and the offense improved as the game progressed, with quarterback Nolan Henderson notching another career high as the Blue Hens coasted to a 35-3 victory in front of 16,035 at Delaware Stadium.


In doing so, Delaware (4-0 overall, 2-0 CAA) sent another reminder it is back in the business of pursuing conference titles and NCAA playoff berths. The only remaining unbeaten team in the CAA, Delaware is ranked No. 8 nationally in FCS.

Hampton, a former MEAC and Big South member facing Delaware for the first time, fell to 3-1 while gaining just 156 total yards. Hampton was 0-for-12 on third-down conversions.

Delaware receiver Thyrick Pitts reacts after the first of his two first quarter touchdown receptions against Hampton at Delaware Stadium, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022.
"Obviously, they're newcomers to the league," said UD linebacker Liam Trainer. "We thought they were gonna try to make a statement. We know we got their best shot. Their first league game was very important to them, as it was to us."

Delaware Stadium is already sold out for next Saturday’s 3:30 p.m. Parents Day bout with Towson, which will air on NBC Sports Philadelphia Plus. Towson (2-2) lost 37-14 to visiting New Hampshire in the Tigers' CAA opener Saturday.

BEST FCS DESTINATIONS:Hens are Top 10. Where does Delaware Stadium rank nationally?

Hampton had won its first three games over a Division II school and two former MEAC rivals. The Pirates entered Saturday allowing just 293 yards per game, second fewest among Colonial teams, and were No. 1 against the run.

Delaware did have to punt twice early and couldn't match its prolific performance from last week's 42-21 win at Rhode Island, where the Hens' 610 total yards were the most in nine years. But the Hens still collected 448 total yards.

Delaware defensive back Noah Plack brings down Hampton's Darran Butts in the first quarter at Delaware Stadium, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022.
Henderson, coming off career bests in the win at URI, completed 30 of 43 passes for 296 yards and a career-high five touchdowns. He became the first Blue Hen quarterback to throw four TD passes or more in back-to-back games. It's the fourth time a UD quarterback has thrown for five touchdowns.

"In the second half we started making plays," said Henderson, who completed all 14 of his second-half passes, three for touchdowns. "There were plays to be made in the first half and we just weren't making them. I wasn't putting the ball where it needed to be. I wasn't really settled in until the second half. I think the second half I was able to kind of calm down because there were some wide open guys tonight."

His comfort and connection with Thyrick Pitts paid off on 15- and 8-yard scoring passes that gave Delaware a 14-0 halftime lead and a 7-yard third-quarter hookup. On the first, Pitts became the ninth UD player to have 2,000 career receiving yards. He had seven catches for 61 yards.


PUNT POWER:Ex-foe Dinkel is key weapon for Hens after losing job at last school

But the Blue Hens went into the halftime locker room feeling they should have gotten more themselves after allowing Hampton just 48 yards.

"It really does build a lot of momentum for us," Trainer said of Delaware's early defensive dominance, which included allowing just one first down in the first half.

Henderson had a first-quarter pass picked off in the end zone, though Amonte Strothers' subsequent pick for Delaware set up the second touchdown.

The Hens take the field before taking on Hampton at Delaware Stadium, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022.
And a final UD second-quarter series died on downs when Henderson was dropped for a 2-yard loss on a fourth-and-goal carry from the 4.

"I thought we left some points out there," coach Ryan Carty said.

They were better in the second half, putting together 70, 75- and 74-yard scoring drives, with Henderson throwing 36 yards to Jourdan Towson on the opening series of the third quarter and 3 yards to Marcus Yarns for the other touchdowns.

Hampton's only points came with 12:00 left as Axel Perez kicked a 20-yard field goal after Delaware fumbled at its 8-yard line.

"We got better at halftime," Carty said. "We kinda let it sink in what the attack was gonna be for them and how they were gonna come after us and made some adjustments."

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Football Preview: Hampton

9/22/2022 - bluehens.com

NEWARK, Del. – The University of Delaware football team opens a two-game homestand on Saturday evening as the Blue Hens welcome CAA-newcomer Hampton to Delaware Stadium in what will be the first-ever matchup between the two programs. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live on FloFootball.

About the Blue Hens:

Delaware is coming off a decisive 42-21 road victory over then-No. 17-14 Rhode Island on Saturday to open CAA play. With the win in the top-25 showdown, and the program's 3-0 start to the season, the Blue Hens moved up to No. 8 in both the Stats Perform FCS Top 25 and the AFCA Coaches Poll.

Against the Rams, the Blue Hens finished with 610 yards of total offense, the program's most since the 2013 season opener. Nolan Henderson finished 29-of-34 passing for 379 yards and four touchdowns. He spread the ball around with 10 different receivers, including finding Jourdan Townsend seven times for 109 yards and a pair of scores. Delaware also ran for 231 yards on the ground.

Henderson established career highs in completions (29), passing yards (379) and touchdown passes (4), all of which he had set by halftime. His 85.3 completion percentage is good for fifth all-time in the UD record books for a single game. The 379 passing yards also rank seventh and the 29 completions are tied for 12th. Henderson's 315 passing yards is the second-most passing yards in a single half behind only Matt Nagy's 358 yards in the first half against UConn in 1998.

For his performance, Henderson was named the CAA Offensive Player of the Week for the second time in his career. He also garnered national recognition as he was selected as the FedEx Ground FCS National Offensive Player of the Week by Stats Perform as well as the CFPA FCS National Co-Performer of the Week.

Henderson has passed for 808 yards and nine touchdowns through UD's first three games. Thyrick Pitts has caught 15 passes for 182 yards and two scores. Townsend also has 14 catches for 138 yards while Braden Brose has caught three touchdown passes. Three Blue Hens – Marcus Yarns, Kryon Cumby and Quincy Watson – have all rushed for more than 100 yards on the season.
Defensively, Johnny Buchanan leads the CAA with 42 tackles, while Noah Plack and Liam Trainer are also among the conference leaders with 26 and 24 tackles, respectively.

Scouting Hampton:

Hampton is 3-0 on the season and off to its best start since 2007 with wins over Howard (31-28), Tuskegee (42-10) and Norfolk State (17-7). The Pirates are receiving votes in the national AFCA Coaches Poll.

Saturday will be Hampton's first-ever CAA football contest as it is the school's first year in the conference.

Through three games, the Pirates are averaging 30.0 ppg and 381.3 ypg on offense, while allowing just 15.0 ppg and less than 300 ypg to its opponents.

Malcolm Mays and Christopher Zellous share the quarterback duties. Mays has thrown for 486 yards and five touchdowns in three games, while also throwing five interceptions. Zellous averages 51.0 yards passing and 37.3 yards rushing per game and has accounted for three touchdowns.
Jadakis Bonds has caught 12 passes for 271 yards and four touchdowns while Romon Copeland is right behind him iwth 13 catches for 213 yards.

Up Next:
The No. 8/8 Blue Hens will remain home on Saturday, October 1 when the team welcomes longtime CAA rival Towson to Delaware Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. The game is part of Delaware's Parents and Family Weekend and the game is officially sold out.

PLAYERS MENTIONED:
#9 Braden Brose
TE 6' 3" 245 lbs Fifth Year
#33 Johnny Buchanan
LB 6' 0" 230 lbs Graduate Student
#2 Nolan Henderson
QB 6' 1" 195 lbs Graduate Student
#1 Thyrick Pitts
WR 6' 3" 200 lbs Graduate Student
#29 Noah Plack
DB 6' 2" 215 lbs Fifth Year
#17 Jourdan Townsend
WR 5' 11" 185 lbs Senior
#11 Liam Trainer
LB 6' 2" 235 lbs Fifth Year
#23 Quincy Watson
RB 5' 10" 185 lbs Senior
#21 Marcus Yarns
RB 5' 11" 195 lbs Junior

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Carty said Blue Hens' Henderson is only getting better
 September 19, 2022
By Andy Walter - Delaware State News

A couple days after the biggest performance of his career, Delaware coach Ryan Carty said Nolan Henderson’s best games may still be yet to come.

The Smyrna High grad completed 29-of-34 passes for 379 yards and four touchdowns — all career highs — in the Blue Hens’ 42-21 win at No. 17 Rhode Island on Saturday.

The performance earned Henderson the CAA Offensive Player of the Week award. He was also named the FCS national Player of the Week by STATS.

In the Delaware record books, Henderson’s completion-percentage (85.3) was fifth, the 379 passing yards were seventh and the 29 completions are tied for 12th.

Henderson’s 315 passing yards and four touchdowns through the first two quarters not only broke previous career highs for a game, but he threw for the second-most passing yards in a single half since Matt Nagy’s 358 yards in the first half against UConn in 1998.

“I don’t think that’s the best game he’s going to play here,” Carty said about Henderson. “I think we have a very high ceiling with Nolan and he’s only going to get better.

“For a guy who’s played a lot of football, he hasn’t played a lot of football. I mean, he’s been here forever and he’s been a starter for a while. But I want to say that was like his 18th or 19th game. ... Some of our defensive guys have over 30 starts. He’s still growing into the player he can become.”

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Blue Hens Rise to No. 8 in National Polls

9/19/2022 - bluehens.com

NEWARK, Del. – Following a decisive 42-21 road victory in a top-25 matchup to open CAA play, the University of Delaware football team saw itself move up in the national rankings for a third-consecutive week. The Blue Hens now sit at No. 8 in both the Stats Perform FCS Top 25 and the AFCA Coaches Poll.

Delaware moved to 3-0 after its win over then-No. 17/14 Rhode Island on Saturday. Nolan Henderson set career highs with 29 completions for 379 yards and four touchdowns. He spread the ball around with 11 different receivers, including finding Jourdan Townsend for a pair of scores. The Blue Hens also rushed for 231 yards and had 610 yards of total offense, the program's most since the 2013 season opener.

Up Next
Delaware will return to Newark for two-consecutive home conference games. The Blue Hens will host CAA-newcomer Hampton on Saturday, September 24 (6 p.m.) before welcoming Towson to Delaware Stadium on October 1 (3:30 p.m.). Single-game tickets as well as partial plans and individual game parking for all five of Delaware's remaining home games are currently on sale.

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Henderson Earns National Honors

9/19/2022  - bluehens.com

NEWARK, Del. – The awards keep rolling in for University of Delaware quarterback Nolan Henderson following his career performance in Delaware's 42-21 victory at Rhode Island on Saturday. After being named the CAA Offensive Player of the Week on Monday morning, the Smyrna, Delaware native has also been recognized as the FedEx Ground FCS National Offensive Player of the Week by Stats Perform as well as the CFPA FCS National Co-Performer of the Week.

Henderson set career highs with 29 completions for 379 yards and four touchdowns. He spread the ball around with 11 different receivers, including finding Jourdan Townsend seven times for 109 yards and a pair of scores. Henderson was on fire from the beginning, hitting 22-of-25 passes in the first half as the Blue Hens opened a 35-7 lead at the midway point.

He finished 29-of-34 passing on the day for an 85.3 completion percentage which ranks fifth all-time in the UD record books for a single game. The 379 passing yards also rank seventh and the 29 completions are tied for 12th. Henderson's 315 passing yards and four touchdowns through the first two quarters not only blew past his previous career highs, but he threw for the second-most passing yards in a single half since Matt Nagy's 358 yards in the first half against UConn in 1998.

Henderson becomes the second Blue Hen to earn national player of the week honors this season. Following UD's season-opening 14-7 victory over Navy, Johnny Buchanan was named the FedEx Ground FCS National Defensive Player of the Week by Stats Perform.

Up Next
The No. 8/8 Blue Hens will return to Newark for two-consecutive home conference games. Delaware will host CAA-newcomer Hampton on Saturday, September 24 before welcoming Towson to Delaware Stadium on October 1. Single-game tickets as well as partial plans and individual game parking for all five of UD's remaining home games are currently on sale.

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Henderson throws 4 TDs in Delaware’s win over Rhode Island

Taylor Begley, ASSOCIATED PRESS Sep 17, 2022

KINGSTON (AP) — Nolan Henderson threw for career highs of 379 yards and four touchdowns as Delaware beat Rhode Island 42-21 in Saturday’s only matchup of ranked FCS teams.

Joudon Townsend had a pair of TD catches and a career-high 109 yards receiving for the Fightin’ Blue Hens (3-0, 1-0 Colonial Athletic Association).

Delaware, ranked 10th in the coaches poll, broke the game open with a 28-point second quarter to lead 35-7 at halftime, scoring touchdowns on five straight possessions on drives of at least 75 yards to end the half.

All four of Henderson’s TD passes came in the first half including a 65-yarder to Townsend, a career long for the receiver.

Gabe Sloat had a 65-yard TD run on his lone carry for 14th-ranked Rams (2-1, 1-1).

Delaware outgained the Rams 610-303 and had two takeaways.

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No. 9/10 Delaware Too Much for No. 17/14 Rams

9/17/2022 - https://gorhody.com

How It Happened:

No. 17/14 Rhode Island's two-game winning streak came to an end at the hands of No. 9/10 Delaware, 42-21, Saturday afternoon.

The visiting Blue Hens (3-0, 1-0 CAA Football) scored the first 28 points of the game and Delaware's defense limited Rhody (2-1, 1-1 CAA Football to just 299 yards of total offense. The Rams entered the game averaging 388.0 yards per game.

Delaware quarterback Nolan Henderson was impressive all day, completing 29-of-34 for 379 yards and four touchdowns. He completed passes to 10 different receivers, led by Jourdan Townsend, who had seven catches for 109 yards and two touchdowns.

With his team trailing 28-0, Gabe Sloat gave Rhody a boost when he broke off a 65-yard touchdown run just 1:23 to go before the break. However, Delaware scored just 63 seconds later when Henderson and Townsend connected on a 4-yard strike, sending the teams to halftime with a 35-7 score, essentially icing the game early.

Running back Gabe Sloat's 65-yard touchdown run was both the longest run and the first touchdown of his career.

Wide receiver Kahtero Summers led Rhode Island with five catches for 78 yards and two touchdowns.

Summers has three touchdown catches over the last two games.
Linebackers Evan Stewart and Jake Fire both matches their career highs with 13 tackles and 10 tackles, respectively.

Wide receiver Ed Lee had four catches for 43 yards. He has a team-high 15 catches through three games.

Quarterback Kasim Hill was 16-of-37 for 179 yards and two touchdowns. He has thrown for at least two touchdowns in seven straight games.
Linebacker Gabe Salomons returned after missing one game. He had six tackles and one pass break up.

Punter Davey Schaum-Bartocci averaged 44.9 yards on seven punts, including a long of 59 yards. Two of his punts were 50-plus yards, and he pinned five of the seven inside the Delaware 20. He also twice downed punts inside the Blue Hen 2-yard line.

Defensive lineman Treyvon Christian made his collegiate debut for the Rams.
Linebacker Jake Fire was the anchor bearer and tight end Caleb Warren was the game captain.

What's Next:
Rhode Island travels to Pitt on Saturday, Sept. 24. The game kicks off at noon on the ACC Network.

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Blue Hens Take Down Rhode Island in Top-25 Showdown

9/17/2022 - Bluehens.com

KINGSTON, R.I. – In a matchup of two top-25 programs, the No. 9/10 University of Delaware football team used 610 total yards of offense to open CAA play with a decisive 42-14 victory over No. 17/14 Rhode Island on Saturday afternoon at URI's Meade Stadium. With the win, the Blue Hens improve to 3-0 overall and 1-0 in conference play.

Nolan Henderson set career highs with 29 completions for 379 yards and four touchdowns. He spread the ball around with 11 different receivers, including finding Jourdan Townsend for a pair of scores. Townsend led all receivers with a career day with seven catches for 109 yards. Brett Buckman also caught six passes for 76 yards. Kyron Cumby led the running game with 77 yards on eight carries and one touchdown.

As a team, the Blue Hens had 231 rushing yards and 379 yards through the air to account for the most total yards in a single game since August 29, 2013 against Jacksonville (611). 

The Delaware offense was nearly unstoppable from the beginning. On the second possession of the game, Henderson completed an 86-yard drive as he found Braden Brose over the middle for a 21-yard touchdown to give the Blue Hens a 7-0 lead with 6:34 on the clock.

On the next drive, pinned down at the 1-yard line, the Blue Hens five-straight runs to get out of danger. On the first play of the second quarter, Henderson picked up a loose ball off a snap and scrambled to his right. He heaved up a ball that Townsend caught in traffic and broke free for a 65-yard score.

After Kedrick Whitehead intercepted a pass in the end zone to keep the Rams off the board, Delaware drove 80 yards on nine plays, highlighted by a 16-yard pass to Buckman and a 37-yard reception on a diving catch by Chandler Harvin. Anthony Paoletti capped the drive with a nine-yard touchdown run out of a wildcat formation to make it a 21-0 game.

Following a three-and-out by the UD defense, Quincy Watson got the next Blue Hen possession started with a 24-yard run. After a 16-yard completion to Townsend got the ball into the red zone, Henderson found Thyrick Pitts for the eight-yard touchdown to make it 28-0 with less than two minutes to play in the half.

Rhode Island got on the board with a 65-yard touchdown run to make it a 28-7 game, but Henderson again led the Blue Hens right down the field. Three-straight completions to Pitts accounted for 47 yards before Cumby scampered up the middle for 24 yards. With just 16 seconds left before halftime, Henderson found Townsend again in the end zone to make it a 35-7 score at the break

The second half was a defensive stalemate for much of the time as neither team could muster much on offense. URI scored a touchdown to cut the lead to 35-14, but Cumby answered with a nine-yard scoring run around the left end in the fourth quarter to finish off a 10-play, 98-yard drive and extend the lead to 42-14.

The Rams scored a late touchdown, but Buckman recovered the onside kick and Delaware took a knee to finish the game.

Notes
Henderson's 315 passing yards in the first half were the most in a half since Matt Nagy in 1998 … The 35 points in the first half were the most by a Delaware team in any half since 2013 … The 379 total passing yards are the seventh-most in program history and the most in a game since Pat Devlin in 2009.

Up Next
Delaware will return to Newark next weekend for the first of two-consecutive home conference games. The Blue Hens will host CAA-newcomer Hampton on September 24 before welcoming Towson to Delaware Stadium on October 1. Single-game tickets, as well as partial plans and individual game parking, for all five of Delaware's remaining home games are currently on sale.

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Football Preview: Rhode Island

9/15/2022 - bluehens.com

NEWARK, Del. – The No. 9/10 University of Delaware football team opens CAA play on Saturday as the Blue Hens travel to No. 17/14 Rhode Island. Kickoff at URI's Meade Stadium is set for 1 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on FloSports. It is the only FCS matchup in Week 3 to feature two top-25 programs.

About the Blue Hens:

Delaware is currently 2-0 to start the season after a 35-9 victory over Delaware State last Saturday in the Route 1 Rivalry. It was UD's fourth-straight victory in a home opener and it came in front of 17,176 fans at Delaware Stadium.

The Blue Hens got on the board when a blocked punt by Trey Austin was recovered in the end zone by Quincy Watson. Nolan Henderson also threw three touchdown passes, tying a career high, with two to Braden Brose and one to Thyrick Pitts.

Marcus Yarns had an 82-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to help UD pull away. The 82 yards is tied for the ninth-longest in program history and is the longest by a Blue Hen since Kareem Williams ran 84 yards against New Hampshire in 2015.

Johnny Buchanan's 23 tackles in the season-opening win at Navy are still the most in a game by any FCS player this season. His 38 tackles through two games are also tops in the country.
Saturday will be the 36th all-time meeting between Delaware and Rhode Island. The Blue Hens own a 24-11 overall record in the series and have won two of the past three meetings. URI claimed last year's matchup by a 22-15 score.

In last year's meeting, Zach Gwynn passed for 117 yards and a touchdown pass to Pitts, while Dejoun Lee registered his third-straight 100-yard game on the ground with 115 rushing yards.

Scouting Rhode Island:

Rhode Island enters Saturday's contest with a 2-0 overall record and a 1-0 mark in CAA play. The Rams defeated Stony Brook 35-14 on the road to open the season and also defeated Bryant 35-21 last weekend.

The Rams have been highly successful on third downs through two weeks, converting 60 percent (12-of-20) of its opportunities. They rank third in the nation on third-down percentage, behind only Eastern Kentucky (65.7 percent) and N.C. Central (64.3 percent).
Through two games, Kasim Hill has completed 31-of-52 passes for 526 yards and four touchdowns to just one interception. He has also rushed for one score while Marques DeShields and Jaylen Smith both have two rushing touchdowns. 
Ed Lee has been Hill's favorite target, catching 11 passes for 222 yards and a pair of scores.


Up Next:

Delaware will return to Newark next weekend for the first of two-consecutive home conference games. The Blue Hens will host CAA-newcomer Hampton on September 24 before welcoming Towson to Delaware Stadium on October 1. Single-game tickets, as well as partial plans and individual game parking, for all five of Delaware's remaining home games are currently on sale.

PLAYERS MENTIONED:

#33 Dejoun Lee
RB 5' 7" 185 lbs Graduate Student
#28 Trey Austin
DB 5' 10" 195 lbs Sixth Year
#9 Braden Brose
TE 6' 3" 245 lbs Fifth Year
#33 Johnny Buchanan
LB 6' 0" 230 lbs Graduate Student
#12 Zach Gwynn
QB 6' 2" 200 lbs Fifth Year
#2 Nolan Henderson
QB 6' 1" 195 lbs Graduate Student
#1 Thyrick Pitts
WR 6' 3" 200 lbs Graduate Student
#23 Quincy Watson
RB 5' 10" 185 lbs Senior
#21 Marcus Yarns
RB 5' 11" 195 lbs Junior

===============================================

HORNETS FRUSTRATED BY NATIONALLY-RANKED HENS IN FIRST STATE CLASH:

9/10/2022  - https://dsuhornets.com/

Newark, Del. (Sep. 10, 2022) --- Nationally-ranked Delaware made visiting Delaware State pay for key mistakes in each half in the Hens' 35-9 victory over the Hornets in the Route 1 rivalry at Tubby Raymond Field this evening. The Hens, ranked 10th in the latest STATS Perform FCS Top 25 poll, remain undefeated in 11 meetings all-time against the Hornets to improve to 2-0 this season. Delaware State fell to 1-1 this year.

The Hornets led 3-0 midway through the first quarter before Delaware scored on a blocked punt in the endzone to take the lead for good.

Delaware State only trailed 14-3 when the Hens scored a touchdown four plays after recovering a Hornets' fumble in DSU territory to open up an 18-point lead with 4:01 left in the third quarter.
The Hornets scored their lone touchdown of the game on a 57-yard pass from Jared Lewis to freshman Rahkeem Smith to pull to within 28-9 early in the fourth quarter, but Delaware closed out the scoring with a touchdown later in the quarter to squash any comeback hopes by the Hornets.

Delaware State drew first blood when placekicker Jonathan Cardoza-Chicas (jr.; Rahway, N.J.) tied a school-record with a 54-yard field goal on the first attempt of his Delaware State career to cap off a nine-play, 33-yard drive on the opening series of the game. He shares the record with Jared Keating, who nailed a 54-yard field goal against Norfolk State in 2006.

The 3-pointer by Cardoza-Chicas also marked the first time that the Hornets have scored first and the second time holding a lead in their series against the Hens. 
Delaware State totaled 311 yards in the game, 158 by the run and 153 passing. Delaware collected 400 total yards.

Hornet quarterback Jared Lewis completed 10 of 24 passes for 153 yards and the one touchdown pass to Smith. Lewis was also second on the team with 52 yards rushing.
Defensively, Delaware State tallied four sacks, two each by linemen Marcus Winfield and Omakus Langley.

The Hornets also had interceptions from Jayden Estes and Andrew Reese. 

Delaware State was hit with seven penalties, while Delaware was flagged twice for 15 yards. 
The Hornets return home next Saturday (Sep. 17) to face Virginia Lynchburg. Game time is set for 2:00 p.m. at Alumni Stadium.

========================================================

Delaware gets win in Ryan Carty’s Delaware Stadium debut 

The Associated Press - SEPTEMBER 11, 2022 

NEWARK, DEL. Nolan Henderson threw for three touchdowns, two to Braden Brose, and Delaware beat Delaware State 35-9 on Saturday for coach Ryan Carty's first win at Delaware Stadium. Last week, Carty had a memorable head coaching debut as Delaware picked up its first win over an FBS program since 2007 by topping Navy. 

Delaware took a 7-3 lead against Delaware State after Trey Austin blocked a punt and Quincy Watson recovered it in the end zone. The Delaware defense nearly scored in the third quarter when Kedrick Whitehead Jr. picked up a fumble and raced the other way before being tackled on the 11. 

Brose capped the 11-yard drive with a 7-yard touchdown for a 21-3 lead. Marcus Yarns had four carries for 99 yards and a score for Delaware (2-0). Thyrick Pitts caught seven passes for 94 yards and a score, and Brose made three catches for 37 yards. 

Jared Lewis was 10-of-24 passing for 153 yards, including a 57-yard touchdown to Rahkeem Smith for Delaware State (1-1). Jonathan Cardoza-Chicas made a 54-yard field goal.

================================================================
Second Half Push Moves Blue Hens Past Delaware State 35-9

bluehens.com
9/17/2022 

NEWARK, Del. – The University of Delaware football team won its Route 1 Rivalry matchup against in-state foe Delaware State, 35-9, as 17,176 fans piled into Delaware Stadium. It was the fourth-straight home-opening win for the Blue Hens, as they racked up 400 yards in the victory.

Nolan Henderson completed 21-of-36 passes for 240 yards and three touchdowns. Thyrick Pitts led all receivers with 94 yards on seven catches with a long of 31 while Braden Brose hauled in two touchdown receptions. Marcus Yarns registered 99 yards on the ground on four attempts to lead the Delaware run game.

Johnny Buchanan led the Delaware defense for the second-straight week with 15 tackles while Liam Trainer added eight.

Delaware State took a 3-0 lead on its opening drive as it went nine plays before connecting on a 54-yard field goal with just over five minutes gone in the game.

After a UD possession, Ben Dinkel pinned the Hornets on its own 1-yard line before a quick three-and-out by the defense forced a Delaware State punt from its own end zone. Trey Austin broke through the line and blocked the kick with his body as Quincy Watson fell on the loose ball for the touchdown.

The Blue Hens closed out the first quarter on a long drive as they controlled the final 11 plays to bring the ball down to the 18-yard line. On the first play of the second quarter, Henderson found Pitts from the 18-yard line and he out-battled his defender for a touchdown catch as he tiptoed the sideline to give Delaware the 14-3 lead with 14:53 left on the clock.

Both teams missed chances to add on points as the score remained the same at halftime.

Noah Plack forced a fumble on Delaware State's first drive of the second half that Kedrick Whitehead picked up and returned deep into DSU territory. On a fourth-down play from the 7-yard line, Henderson found Brose in the back corner of the end zone to make it a 21-3 game with four minutes to go in the third quarter.

After another quick three-and-out from the defense, Yarns found a hole in the middle of the defense and out-raced everyone for an 82-yard score with 57 seconds left in the third quarter. Garrett Bennion's PAT gave the Blue Hens a 25-point lead heading into the final quarter.

The Hornets scored their lone touchdown of the game to trim Delaware's lead to 28-9 with 14:14 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Blue Hens would answer back as Brose tacked on his second touchdown of the game when he scored on a 27-yard catch with 4:51 left on the clock for the final score of the game.

The Blue Hen defense made big stops in the final minute of the game, stopping Delaware State four times in the red zone to keep the Hornets at bay and out of the end zone. 

Notes
Yarns' 82-yard run is tied for the ninth-longest in program history and is the longest by a Blue Hen since Kareem Williams ran 84 yards against New Hampshire in 2015.

Up Next
Delaware will head back out on the road as the squad opens CAA play at Rhode Island on Saturday, September 17. Kickoff in The Ocean State is set for 1 p.m.

=====================================================

Delaware defense limits Navy as Hens beat Midshipmen in season opener

By Patrick LaPorte - Newark Post - Sep 3, 2022 

ANNAPOLIS — The game may not have been high-scoring by any means, but throughout the day whenever the Blue Hens needed a stop, the defense delivered.

Delaware kept the Midshipmen’s triple option offense in check throughout Delaware’s 14-7 victory on Saturday. The Blue Hens defense flew around throughout the day, forcing three turnovers and allowing the Navy offense into the end zone just once. This included Navy’s final possession on a fourth down heave to the end zone from Delaware’s 9-yard line. 

“I thought we kept them off balance. I thought we ran to the ball extremely hard and we made plays when they were there to be made, that's the biggest key in that,” Head Coach Ryan Carty said of his team’s performance in his first game leading the Hens. “It’s about making plays and getting balls out and creating havoc enough that they’re tossing balls around and I thought we did that with our plan.”

Linebacker Johnny Buchanan tied Delaware’s all-time tackle record with 23 tackles in the victory. 

“It’s just fun playing with this group of guys. It came down to everyone just playing hard, doing their job,” Buchanan said. “The only stat I’m concerned with is 1-0 right now. It was fun being out there.”

Navy’s first play from scrimmage saw the Midshipmen turn the football over on a bobbled snap by quarterback Tai Lavatai. The turnover set Delaware up in optimal field position, just outside the Navy red zone at the 21-yard line. 

Two plays later, Delaware was in the end zone on a touchdown reception by tight end Bryce de Maille to give the Hens a 7-0 lead they would inevitably hold through halftime. 

“We preached all week to get off to a hot start. We wanted the ball first, we wanted to strike first, and it ended up working in our favor,” Quarterback Nolan Henderson said. “You always want to have a fast start and kind of put the pressure on your opponent to not wait for the first punch but be the first punch.”

The Delaware offensive line struggled to keep Henderson on his feet, with the Midshipmen defense bringing down the Delaware native a total of five times. Henderson’s athletic ability, however, was on full display throughout. 

Henderson’s second touchdown pass of the day came in the third quarter, rolling to his left finding wide receiver Chandler Harvin down the left sideline for a 51-yard touchdown reception. 

“I looked to him first, then I got off of it, was flushed left and he did a great job working with me and kind of lulled the corner to sleep,” Henderson said. “It was just me and him being on the same page.”

Delaware’s new-look offense under Carty totaled 202 total yards on offense, with just 13 rushing yards. Delaware’s only turnover came on a James Collins fumble in the second quarter.

“Obviously, that wasn’t the best performance on offense we wanted, but I know this: we talked about playing turnover free football. We had one and we had it in an OK territory,” Carty said. “We talked about playing the next snap and not worrying about what happened on the last drive, and I thought we did that. I thought we kept going out there and trying and grinding.”

The victory against the Midshipmen is the third for the program since 2000. Delaware’s other two wins at Navy this century came in 2003 and 2007. Both years the program reached the national championship game.

Carty believes the sky's the limit for his team, today and beyond. Buchanan noted how this game was on Delaware’s radar throughout the entire summer.

“We spent the whole summer ‘Beat Navy’, and that means something. In the weight room, when you’re training, when you’re running sprints in the summer, ‘Beat Navy, Beat Navy’. That’s all going through my head in that moment,” Buchanan said. “I know it’s the same with the 10 guys out there with me. It wasn’t an option.”

=====================================================

Strong Defense Sinks Navy, 14-7

9/3/2022  - Bluehens.com

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The University of Delaware football team traveled down to Annapolis with a lot of history against its FBS opponent Navy Midshipmen. In the first game of the Ryan Carty era, the Blue Hens added another chapter to that history, defeating the Mids 14-7 in the season opener in front of a crowd of 30,542 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

"I'm so proud to be the head coach here," said Carty. "My God, to be able to do it in a place like this and against such a good football team. Man, did they play hard and gritty, but luckily so did we."

Johnny Buchanan was a blur in a strong UD defense, tying a Delaware record with 23 tackles on the day, including nine solo stops and a forced fumble. Noah Plack and Liam Trainer also set career highs with 17 and 14 tackles, respectively, while Joe Zubillaga and Artis Hemmingway both added nine takedowns. The Blue Hens held Navy to 2.9 yards per rush on 63 carries and allowed the Mids to go just 5-of-16 on third down conversions and 0-for-3 on fourth downs.

"I thought that was one of the best performances a defense had against a triple-option team in a long time," Carty remarked. "I thought we kept them off-balance, I thought we ran to the ball extremely, extremely hard, and we made plays when they were there to be made. That's the biggest key in that, right? It's not only about assignments. Everybody is 'eh, just tackle the guy with the ball', but It's about making plays and getting balls out and creating havoc enough that they're tossing balls around."

The game could not have gotten off to a better start for the Blue & Gold as Navy fumbled the handoff on the first play of the game and Drew Nickles pounced on it at the 21-yard line. After a pass interference call gave UD the ball at the 6-yard line, Nolan Henderson found Bryce DeMaille in the end zone for the score just 22 seconds into the game.

The defense was swarming as the Blue Hens forced a missed 45-yard field goal and then, with a 1:20 left in the opening quarter, the Midshipmen fumbled another handoff and Nickles again fell on the ball to give UD possession. However, a missed 44-yard field goal kept Delaware from extending its lead.

Early in the second quarter, Buchanan put a stop to a drive as he forced a third Navy fumble that Trainer recovered. Delaware drove 13 plays down to the 2-yard line, but a turnover on downs kept it a 7-0 game at halftime.

After two scoreless drives for each team to start the third quarter, the Blue Hens took possession on their own 22-yard line. Following a series of penalties, Henderson launched a deep throw that was hauled in by Chandler Harvin for a 51-yard touchdown reception. Brandon Ratcliffe's PAT gave UD a 14-0 lead with 4:30 left in the third quarter.

Navy responded with a 10-play drive to get on the board late in the third quarter, crossing the goal line to bring it back to a one-score game at 14-7.

The defense opened the fourth quarter with a three-and-out stop and, after Navy took possession on the UD side of the 50, forced a turnover on downs.

It became a battle of the punters until, with 3:16 left in the game, Navy had the chance to turn the game in its favor after forcing a Delaware three-and-out. The Midshipmen applied pressure, pushing the ball inside the 10-yard line, but the Blue Hen defense came up with its third fourth-down stop to start the celebration.

"It's just fun playing with this group of guys," said Buchanan. "It came down to everyone just playing hard, doing their job. The only stat I'm concerned with is 1-and-oh right now. It was fun being out there. It's really fun. Our D-Line was flying around, making big plays, tackling the dive. DBs were flying. Linebackers filling their gaps. It was a lot of fun today. It really was."

Henderson finished the game completing 20-of-32 passes for 189 yards and two touchdown passes. Harvin led all receivers with 69 yards in the air.

NOTES
Delaware is now 16-18 all-time as an FCS program in games against an FBS opponent … UD is 8-10 against Navy, with seven of those wins coming in FBS-FCS matchups … Saturday was Delaware's first win over an FBS program since 2007 when the Blue Hens defeated Navy 59-52.

UP NEXT
The Blue Hens will play their 2022 home opener on Saturday, September 10 in a renewal of the Route 1 Rivalry. Kickoff at Delaware Stadium is set for 6 p.m. Single-game tickets, as well as partial plans and individual game parking, for the home opener and all six of Delaware's home games are currently on sale.

Individual Game Tickets | Season Ticket Membership I Partial Plans I Football Ticket Information

For the latest on the Delaware football program, follow the Blue Hens on Twitter @DelawareFB and Instagram @DelawareFootball, and like "Delaware Football" on Facebook. Follow Ryan Carty on Twitter @RyanCarty10.and like "Delaware Football" on Facebook. Follow Ryan Carty on Twitter @RyanCarty10.

Team Statistics:
Game Stats Del Nav
Total Yards 202 319
Pass Yards 189 135
Rushing Yards 13 184
Penalty Yards 7-65 6-60
1st Downs 13 17
3rd Downs 2-13 5-16
4th Downs 1-3 0-3
TOP 27:41 32:19

Scoring Summary:

1ST QUARTER
Del
14:38 - Del - de Maille,Bryce 6 yd pass from Henderson,Nolan (Ratcliffe,Brandon kick) 1 plays, 21 yards, TOP 00:10
7 0
3RD QUARTER
Del
04:30 - Del - Harvin,Chandler 51 yd pass from Henderson,Nolan (Ratcliffe,Brandon kick) 5 plays, 78 yards, TOP 03:12
14 0
Navy
00:29 - Nav - Lavatai,Tai 2 yd run (Warren,Evan kick), 10 plays, 56 yards, TOP 03:55
14 7

PLAYERS MENTIONED
#33 Johnny Buchanan
LB 6' 0" 230 lbs Graduate Student
#91 Artis Hemmingway
DT 6' 2" 265 lbs Sixth Year
#2 Nolan Henderson
QB 6' 1" 195 lbs Graduate Student
#51 Drew Nickles
LB 6' 3" 225 lbs Graduate Student
#29 Noah Plack
DB 6' 2" 215 lbs Fifth Year
#49 Brandon Ratcliffe
K 6' 1" 190 lbs Junior
#11 Liam Trainer
LB 6' 2" 235 lbs Fifth Year
#0 Joe Zubillaga
DB 6' 1" 210 lbs Graduate Student
#8 Chandler Harvin
WR 6' 2" 195 lbs Graduate Student

============================================================

Football Preview: Navy

9/1/2022  - bluehens.com

NEWARK, Del. –The University of Delaware football team opens the 2022 season on Saturday afternoon when the Blue Hens make the short trip south to Annapolis, Md. for a matchup against FBS opponent Navy. Kickoff at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadiums is slated for 12 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network.

About the Blue Hens:

The Blue Hens open the Ryan Carty era, who will be making his head coaching debut at his alma mater.
Delaware enters the season ranked No. 19 in both the Stats Perform and AFCA Coaches National FCS Polls.
Saturday's contest will be Delaware's 34th all-time matchup as an FCS program against an FBS opponent.
The UD offense returns seven starters from 2021, led by quarterback Nolan Henderson and wide receiver Thyrick Pitts, who are both in their sixth years with the program.
The Delaware defense, which will again be led by defensive coordinator Manny Rojas, brings back eight starters from a year ago, including five 2021 All-CAA selections and 72-percent of the squad's total tackles.
The Blue Hens, along with an almost entirely new coaching staff, also have a total of 31 newcomers on the roster including 19 freshmen and 12 transfers.
The Blue & Gold was picked to finish second in the CAA Preseason Poll and a league-high five Blue Hens were selected to the All-CAA Preseason Team with three more earned honorable mention nods.

Scouting Navy:

Navy is 7-7 in season openers under head coach Ken Niumatalolo, including a 5-2 mark when opening the year at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The Mids have lost three of their last four season openers.
The Midshipmen return three players who were named All-East by the East Coast Athletic Conference in 2021, led by tackle and team captain Kip Frankland, kicker Bijan Nichols and kick returner Maquel Haywood.
In 2021, Navy ranked ninth in the country with an average of 225.5 rushing yards per game. The Mids totaled 282.2 total yards of offense per game while opponents averaged 348.6 ypg.
The team was also among the FBS national leaders in time of possession (5th, 34:48) turnovers lost (3rd, 8) and fewest penalties (6th, 53).

Up Next
Following Saturday's season opener, the Blue Hens will return to Newark for their 2022 home opener on Saturday, September 10 in a renewal of the Route 1 Rivalry. Kickoff at Delaware Stadium is set for 6 p.m. Single-game tickets, as well as partial plans and individual game parking, for the home opener and all six of Delaware's home games are currently on sale.

Individual Game Tickets | Season Ticket Membership I Partial Plans I Football Ticket Information

For the latest on the Delaware football program, follow the Blue Hens on Twitter @DelawareFB and Instagram @DelawareFootball, and like "Delaware Football" on Facebook. Follow Ryan Carty on Twitter @RyanCarty10.

Print Friendly Version
PLAYERS MENTIONED
#2 Nolan Henderson
QB 6' 1" 195 lbs Graduate Student
#1 Thyrick Pitts
WR 6' 3" 200 lbs Graduate Student
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NAVY GAME NOTES (PDF)
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Energy Remains High Through First Two Weeks 

===============================================

NBC Sports Philadelphia Set to Air Four UD Football Games

8/31/2022  - bluehens.com

NEWARK, Del. – The Delaware Athletic Department and NBC Sports Philadelphia have announced an agreement to have four Blue Hen football games air on the network this fall.

With all of the action going down at Delaware Stadium, the Blue & Gold's games versus Delaware State (Sept. 10), Towson (Oct. 1), and Richmond (Nov. 12) will all air on NBC Sports Philadelphia Plus. UD's game against Monmouth (Nov. 5) will air on NBC Sports Philadelphia.

On the call for the fifth year will be Andrew Bogusch and Qadry Ismail. For the Delaware versus Monmouth match-up, Jon Mozes and Matt Janus will be on the call.

All of Delaware's home football games are also available on FloSports as part of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) agreement.

Channels are subject to change.

Single-game tickets, as well as partial plans and individual game parking, for all six of Delaware's home games are currently on sale.

==================================================

Energy Remains High Through First Two Weeks of Preseason Camp

8/19/2022  - bluehens.com

NEWARK, Del. – The University of Delaware football team has been hard at work for the past two weeks, grinding away in the August heat as the squad prepares for the 2022 season. Through 13 practices, and with just 15 days left until the season opener, the Blue Hens have displayed a lot of energy and progression as the team installs its base schemes. 

The first two weeks of practices have featured a lot of competition at all positions as players look to climb the depth chart and make a case for more playing time. The individual battles at each position have been good as it has elevated the overall play on either side of the ball and allowed the team to compete at a high level from the beginning of camp.

The beginning of each practice sees a lot of work in individual position drills as the coaches continued to develop and preach fundamentals. With periods of special teams mixed in, the Blue Hens spend a fair amount of each practice in live scrimmage periods of 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 situations. On offense, head coach Ryan Carty continues to install his dynamic offense that was introduced to the team in the spring, while defensive coordinator Manny Rojas fine-tunes his experienced defensive unit while building depth with the underclassmen. 

What They're Saying…

"As an offense, camp has been going great. We took some of the things we needed to improve upon from the spring and have been attacking every day as an offense. Seeing all of the new guys fitting right in with everyone has been really positive to see. With new people joining our team, we have depth at every position, which makes us better by knowing you can throw different guys out there and see us move the ball." – Offensive Lineman James Prince

"Camp is going great with high energy all around and it has been a great environment being out there with my teammates working together towards our common goal. The defense as a whole has improved tremendously, throughout spring practices and the first two weeks of preseason camp leading up to our upcoming season. The D-line has improved a lot with adding Coach Daniels to the group and has gained a lot more depth so we can fly around and stay fresh. " – Defensive Lineman Artis Hemmingway

The Blue Hens will open the 2022 season and the Ryan Carty era on Saturday, September 3 at Navy. UD will play the first of six home games the following weekend when they host Delaware State to renew the Route 1 Rivalry on September 10. Kickoff at Delaware Stadium is set for 6 p.m.

Single-game tickets, as well as partial plans and individual game parking, for all six of Delaware's home games are currently on sale.

Individual Game Tickets | Season Ticket Membership I Partial Plans I Football Ticket Information

For the latest on the Delaware football program, follow the Blue Hens on Twitter @DelawareFB and Instagram @DelawareFootball, and like "Delaware Football" on Facebook. Follow Ryan Carty on Twitter @RyanCarty10.

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Dover's Anyanwu, linemates adjusting to Blue Hens' new offense

August 18, 2022  -  By Andy Walter  -  Delaware State News

NEWARK — Bradly Anyanwu has lined up in front of — and next to — a lot of different players since he first got to Delaware in 2019.

The Dover High grad would like to think they’ve all helped make him a better offensive lineman.

“I’ve seen a lot of fronts, different personel, great players, good players. ...,” said Anyanwu. “I’ve seen a lot of things in college football.”

All of which has made it easier for Anyanwu to adjust to learning a completely new offense as a redshirt junior guard for the Blue Hens.

The new offense comes with new terminology and a new, faster pace at times for Delaware’s linemen. But, even at 6-foot-3, 305 pounds, Anyanwu said he doesn’t mind the idea of more running around.

“It’s an adjustment, for sure,” he said. “When we run no-huddle, you might be a little tired. But the person across from you is gasping for air. It’s good to have that fast-paced offense where the defense can’t adjust in time.

“I’m adjusting to it still but I love it.”

It’s no secret that the Blue Hens’ offensive front struggled at times last season.
Delaware gave up 23 sacks and 68 tackles for loss a year ago and was only ninth in the CAA at 119.7 rushing yards per game.

Of the three offensive linemen who started all 11 games for the Hens last fall, only junior Patrick Shupp returns — and he’s currently sidelined. They do still have veteran starters in Stevon Brown, Brock Gingrich and James Prince III,

Delaware has added Joshua Stevens (6-foot-5, 310 pounds), who was a starter at Georgetown, and Cole Snyder (6-foot-6, 305), a Canadian who spent a year at Montana State.

First-year head coach Ryan Carty, who also runs the Hens’ offense, said, new scheme or not, they’re not reinventing the way the offensive line plays the game.

“For sure, there’s nuances to every offense that are going to change everyone’s role, and maybe techniques and fundamentals and footwork,” said Carty. “They still have to pass pro (protect) and run block. ... Maybe mentally we’re a little different but I think technique-wise, it’s small changes. It’s still, if we don’t block, we’re not going to win. That’s just kind of football.”

Carty said he likes what Snyder has brought to the line, especially physically.

“He’s so big,” said Carty. “He’s long and uses his length well. I think there’s a difference between being tall, being long and playing tall and playing long. He does a nice job of elongating those edges in the pass pro game and getting his hands on you in the run game. We’re excited about him, especially because he’s got a bunch of years left to play.”

Anyanwu is in the picture, too, as a veteran. He’s played in 18 of Delaware’s last 19 games with a pair of starts over the past two seasons.

Even though this is in a new offensive scheme, Anyanwu said his experience with other systems has helped him adjust faster.

“I feel like the younger Bradly would have still been struggling at this point, trying to adjust to the playbook,” he said. “But now I know how to memorize stuff, know the terminology and I’m getting everything down quicker because I’m older.”

In preseason, Anyanwu has still been lining up at left guard just as he did before. He said he’s not going to worry about who’s starting and how much he’s playing.

He said he just wants to be ready whenever his number is called.

“You’ve just got to be prepared,” said Anyanwu. “Sometimes, last year, coming off the bench and coming in cold, it’s a little hard.

“But I’m used to it now. In our ‘O’ line room, we have a lot of depth. I feel like people don’t know that. We have guys who are ready to compete. We go out there every day competing. ... I feel like there’s a lot of guys who can play on Saturdays.”

Running back Marcus Yarns has made a great deal of improvement going into the 2022 season for the Blue Hens.
Moving up
Carty said that running back Marcus Yarns is among the players who have really improved this off-season.

A former standout at Parkside High in Salisbury, Md., he ran for 80 yards on 23 carries last season.

“He’s done such a nice job changing his body a little bit, kind of growing into his long limbs a little bit,” said Carty. “He’s really taken to Coach (Andrew) Pierce’s coaching and doing the little things a little bit cleaner. He’s making his reads a little bit faster and processing a little bit more.

“And he’s versatile. He’s one of those kids that I think has improved the most from one set of practices to the next. Hopefully he can keep it going and finish camp as strong as he started it.”

On defense, defensive back Riah Burton has emerged as a good cover cornerback. Now in his fifth year with the Hens after transferring from Virginia, the William Penn High grad played in only four games last fall.

Now Burton is closer to being in a rotation with Delaware’s other top cornerbacks.

“He’s been a really good surprise for us back there on the back end,” said defensive coordinator Manny Rojas. “We’re really looking forward to him playing a big role this year.”

Extra points

Rojas singled out safety Nic Ware as another player who has really improved this summer. ... Carty said it’s his policy not to discuss injuries to his players. But there has been social-media discussion of at least one or two significant injuries. ... UD has posted photos of a newly-designed white jersey that includes blue-and-yellow stripes on the sleeve.

===================================================

Blue Hens Ranked No. 19 in AFCA FCS Coaches’ Top 25 Poll

8/15/2022 - bluehens.com

NEWARK, Del. – The University of Delaware football team earned another preseason ranking on Monday, checking in at No. 19 in the AFCA FCS Coaches' Top 25 Poll. This marks the fourth national preseason ranking for the Blue & Gold, all of which have UD in the top 20.

The Blue Hens, who last week also earned a No. 19 ranking in the Stats Perform FCS Preseason Top 25, have also been ranked No. 15 in the HERO Sports Preseason FCS Poll and No. 20 in the 2022 Athlon Sports FCS Preseason Top 25. Delaware was picked to finish second in last month's CAA preseason poll.

The Blue Hens will open the 2022 season and the Ryan Carty era on Saturday, September 3 at Navy. UD will play the first of six home games the following weekend when they host Delaware State to renew the Route 1 Rivalry on September 10. Kickoff at Delaware Stadium is set for 6 p.m.

Single-game tickets, as well as partial plans and individual game parking, for all six of Delaware's home games are currently on sale.

For the latest on the Delaware football program, follow the Blue Hens on Twitter @DelawareFB and Instagram @DelawareFootball, and like "Delaware Football" on Facebook. Follow Ryan Carty on Twitter @RyanCarty10.
===========================================================

Blue Hens’ veteran defenders set for one last chance together
 August 10, 2022 - Delaware State News
By Andy Walter

NEWARK — Drew Nickles didn’t know what was wrong with him.

All the Delaware linebacker knew was that he didn’t feel right last preseason.

“I just thought I wasn’t feeling good,” said Nickles. “I didn’t know what was going on. Then it just kind of got worse.”

UD’s medical staff realized that Nickles had apendicitis. By the end of the day that the diagnosis was made, he underwent surgery.

That was just the start of a frustrating fall of 2021 for the veteran.

By the time the season ended, Nickles had played in only four games for the Blue Hens because of the operation and then some other injuries.

Now back for his fifth year at Delaware, Nickles said the season made him appreciate just being healthy again.

“It stinks just not being out there with everybody,” the 22-year-old said after practice on Tuesday morning. “You feel like you’re leaving your team out to dry. I’m just excited to be back. It’s great to be able to practice again.”

Delaware safety Noah Plack missed the first three games of last season with a broken nose.
On a Delaware defense that is loaded with fifth-year seniors, safety Noah Plack knows how Nickles feels. He missed the first three games of last season after getting in a car accident and breaking a facial bone.

Being sidelined was especially frustrating for Plack considering that most of his body was in good shape and ready to play.

“I spent all summer working my butt off here with all my teammates,” he said. “To get to a week before the season and then have all that happen, it was a little frustrating. Sitting on the sidelines and watching everybody is a little different.”

Delaware has 11 defensive players who have all played in at least 30 career games for the Hens. The group is topped by safety Kedrick Whitehead (Middletown), who is a veteran of 42 contests.

Plack was one of a handful of Blue Hen players who put their name in the NCAA transfer portal after coach Danny Rocco and most of his staff was let go following the ‘21 season.

But Plack said it was an easy decision to stay when most of those players opted not to leave. It didn’t hurt that new head coach Ryan Carty also decided to keep defensive coordinator Manny Rojas.

“I just thought it would be doing them a disfavor of not coming back and finishing out what we started here,” said Plack, who was an honorable mention All-CAA pick in the preseason. “Coach Rojas and I have a great relationship. He recruited me out of high school.”

Of course, Carty doesn’t mind having all those seniors to build around. The Hens return nine of their top 13 tacklers from a year ago.

The first-year head coach hopes those veterans can teach the younger players but can also help motivate each other.

“I think one of the biggest signs of mature leadership is that those guys are going to hold each other accountable, too,” said Carty. “From leader to leader.

“It’s not like they never do anything wrong either, right? Just because you’re old doesn’t mean you’re not trying to get away with stuff. I think, since we’ve gotten here, the things we’ve asked of those leaders, we’ve gotten fairly easily. They’ve been really good at it. They’re a good group of kids who have been kind of ready for this. It’s been fun to watch.”

In 2019, Nickles was a big contributor for the Hens. Only a sophomore, he was fourth on the squad with 61 tackles.

In a tough 17-14 loss at Pittsburgh, Nickles collected a career-high 12 tackles with a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

But, in part because of the shortened pandemic season in spring 2021, Nickles has played in only 12 games with a total of 23 tackles in the two campaigns since 2019. He’d like to help Delaware win some more games before he finishes his career.

Nickles came back this spring even though he earned his undergraduate degree last spring.

“It wasn’t really that much of a decision (to return),” he said. “Every season, you kind of treat it like your last because you never know what’s going to happen. But I knew I was coming back this year.”

Now Nickles just wants to stay on the field as much as he can. He admits he feels like one of the old guys on the squad.

“You’ve got to take care of the body a lot more,” said Nickles. “Eat better, rest more. All that good stuff.”

==============================================================

Terrique Riddick signs with Delaware Blue Hens to play football

Dave Frederick August 8, 2022 - https://www.capegazette.com/

Terrique “Reek” Riddick, the mercurial running back from Woodbridge High School followed by two years at William Paterson University of New Jersey, signed a letter of intent Aug. 2 to play football for the University of Delaware Blue Hens.

The signing took place at OutTrain Fitness & Performance in Harbeson, Riddick’s chosen venue for workouts over the last several years.

“I sign today, report for my physical tomorrow and begin practice the day after that,” Riddick said. 

“He is the total package,” said his uncle Haywood Burton. “Terrique has the work ethic, athleticism and is a dean's list-caliber student.” 

Riddick played his freshman year at Cape and wore No. 25 to honor his late great-uncle Anthony Burton (Cape 1975-78 and Swarthmore 1979-82). 

Riddick is related to the Hazzards, Burtons and Daniels of the Slaughter Neck community. 

Riddick, as a senior under coach Ed Manlove, led the Woodbridge Blue Raiders to the school's first state championship in 2016, beating Wilmington Friends 14-9 in the Division II finals and finishing the season 13-0. 

Riddick rushed for 1,503 yards and scored 18 touchdowns his senior season at Woodbridge. He was offensive Rookie of the Year in the ECAC and NJAC his freshman season at William Paterson in 2019.

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Four CAA Football Teams Ranked, Three More Receive Votes In 2022 Stats Perform FCS Preseason Top 25
CAASPORTS.COM  8/8/2022
Rob Washburn

Stats Perform FCS Preseason Top 25

RICHMOND, Va. (August 8, 2022) – Four CAA Football teams were ranked and three more received votes in the 2022 Stats Perform FCS preseason Top 25 poll that was released on Monday.

Preseason conference favorite Villanova topped the group of CAA teams at #6, while Delaware was ranked #19, Rhode Island was ranked #22 and Richmond was ranked #24. William & Mary, Monmouth and Elon were among other teams receiving votes.

CAA Football’s four ranked teams trailed only the Big Sky (6) and Missouri Valley (5). When adding in the three squads that received votes, CAA Football’s seven teams in the poll were the most of any conference.

Villanova went 10-3 overall, earned a share of the CAA Football championship with a 7-1 mark and advanced to the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs for the first time since 2014 last season. Back for the Wildcats are receivers Rayjoun Pringle and Jaaron Hayek, who combined for 17 touchdown catches, running backs Jalen Jackson and DeeWil Barlee, and All-America offensive lineman Michael Corbi. On defense, safety Ethan Potter is among three returning starters.

Delaware begins its first season under new head coach Ryan Carty. Nine starters are back for the Blue Hens defensively, including All-America safety Kedrick Whitehead and All-CAA performers Johnny Buchanan, Noah Plack, Artis Hemmingway and Chase McGowan. Offensively, veteran quarterback Nolan Henderson returns after a season-ending injury in 2021, along with top receiver Thyrick Pitts.

Rhode Island is coming off a 7-4 campaign, which marked its highest win total since 2001. The Rams feature quarterback Kasim Hill, All-CAA tight end Caleb Warren and an offensive line that returns four starters. Seven starters are back on the URI defense, highlighted by All-CAA cornerback Jordan Jones and leading tackler Evan Stewart.

Richmond closed the 2021 season on a four-game winning streak to finish 6-5 overall. Running back/returner Aaron Dykes tops a group of seven starters back for the Spiders’ offense, which has added graduate transfer quarterback Reece Udinski and receiver Jakob Herres. There are also seven starters back on the Richmond defense, including All-America linebacker Tristan Wheeler.

2022 STATS PERFORM FCS PRESEASON TOP 25 POLL
1 North Dakota State
2 South Dakota State
3 Montana
4 Montana State
5 Missouri State
6 Villanova
7 Sacramento State
8 Kennesaw State
9 Southern Illinois
10 Stephen F. Austin
11 ETSU
12 Chattanooga
13 Eastern Washington
14 UIW
15 Jackson State
16 Holy Cross
17 Southeastern Louisiana
18 UT Martin
19 Delaware
20 Weber State
21 Northern Iowa
22 Rhode Island
23 Mercer
24 Richmond
25 UC Davis
RV: South Dakota, Eastern Kentucky, Florida A&M, William & Mary, Dartmouth, Monmouth, Harvard, Princeton, Central Arkansas, Furman, South Carolina State, Sacred Heart, Elon, North Carolina A&T

=======================================================

New Delaware receivers hope to catch on quickly
Posted Friday, August 5, 2022
By Andy Walter - Delaware State News

NEWARK — Chandler Harvin has a couple things that his fellow Delaware receivers would love to own.

The Sam Houston State transfer already has an FCS national championship ring as well as a thorough knowledge of coach Ryan Carty’s offense.

“It’s kind of interesting,” said Harvin. “I’m a transfer, but I’m the one who knows the offense the best. Like I even know it better than the quarterbacks.”

The Blue Hens, who opened preseason camp on Friday morning, hope Harvin’s experience comes in handy as they continue adjusting to first-year head coach Carty’s new wide-open offense.

With Carty as offensive coordinator, Sam Houston State threw the ball an average of 35 times per game over the last three seasons. Clearly the Hens have stocked up on receivers during the off-season.

Delaware opens camp with 15 receivers on its roster. Veteran Thyrick Pitts is joined by a group that includes five transfers plus an incoming freshman.

Delaware receiver Mahki Jackson, a Smyrna High grad.
The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Harvin, who had 974 receiving yards in three seasons with the Bearkats, said Carty’s offense is the reason he chose Delaware when he was looking for a place to go.

“It’s pass heavy and I play receiver,” said Harvin, who is currently sidelined with a leg injury. “I mean, any receiver is going to love an offense that throws the ball 40 times a game. There’s a lot of RPOs, as well, so even when it’s a run, it still might be a pass.”

In 2019, Harvin tied a school record with 13 catches for 188 yards and three touchdowns in a game against Houston Baptist. Sam Houston State threw the ball 57 times for 420 yards in that contest.

Prestbyterian transfer Jalyn Witcher also came to Delaware because he knew the Hens were going to be putting the ball in the air a lot. An Arkansas native, he already knew about Sam Houston State’s offense.

“I was happy that it was a pass-happy offense,” said the 5-foot-10, 175-pounder. “As a receiver, I’m very grateful for that.

“Anybody can make a play — any receiver on the field,” Witcher said about the scheme. “It’s not just targeted to one receiver. Anybody can get the ball. You just go out there and do it.”

The other transfer receivers include Michael Jackson, Jr., who caught 102 passes for 1,210 yards and nine TDs in four seasons at VMI; Kyron Cumby, who played in nine games at Illinois; and Josh Moran, who was in the program for four seasons at Georgia.

Besides Pitts, the Hens also still have veterans Jourdan Townsend, Brett Buckman, James Collins and Smyrna High grad Makhi Jackson.

If that means there’s a lot of competition for playing time, the players say that’s fine with them. Right now there’s a regular rotation.

“We’re getting to the point where everybody is the same toward knowing the offense,” said Witcher. “So really, coach can throw anybody in there and we can run the offense.

“Everybody wants their starting spot which makes everybody go harder, makes everybody learn the offense better. But we know, whoever is in, is going to make that play. We have that confidence in each other.”

“You’ve got to compete,” said Harvin. “It’s Division I football. That’s what brings the best out of people — competition. You play the best people.

“If you’ve got eight people who can play, you can play eight. If you only have three, you only play three. We’re going to play the best people that give us the best chance to win.”

Harvin expects to return from his injury before camp is over. Delaware opens the season on Sept. 3 at Navy.

In the meantime, he’ll try to to help the other receivers with some of the finer points of the Hens’ offense.

“It’s little stuff,” said Harvin. “At receiver, it’s not just knowing, ‘Oh, I’ve got to run a slant.’ It’s how to run the slant, where to line up. That’s more stuff I can help with ... because I’m out there and have done it. I have a different point of view.

“It’s almost like being another coach for right now.”

Younger Flacco joins Hens

The Hens have a Flacco back in the program this fall.

This time, though, it’s Tom Flacco — the younger brother of former Delaware great, Joe Flacco — who has joined the coaching staff as a volunteer assistant.
Flacco made a name for himself as a quarterback for the Hens’ rival, Towson.

He was the CAA Offensive Player of the Year in 2018.

“We are excited to have Tom join our staff,” said Carty. “His experiences as a standout CAA quarterback and his familiarity with our conference will be another great asset to our operation.”

In 2021, Flacco was on the rosters of the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Ottawa Redblacks of the Canadian Football League.

A multi-sport athlete, Flacco was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies out of high school. He was a member of the Towson baseball team as a senior.

Extra points

The Hens are slated to practice almost every day from 8-10:30 a.m. now through Aug. 27. But only the first hour or so is open to the public — including the media. ... Former Delaware punter Tyler Pastula has ended up at CAA rival Albany, where he’s been named to the 22-player watch list for FCS Punter of the Year. ... Former Woodbridge High running back Terrique Riddick announced on social media that he’s joining the Hens. Playing at Division III William Paterson the last two seasons, the 5-foot-6 Riddick ran for 1,533 yards and 17 touchdowns. He was the ECAC Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2019.

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Tom Flacco Joins Delaware Football Coaching Staff

8/5/2022 BLUEHENS.COM

NEWARK, Del. – University of Delaware Football Head Coach Ryan Carty has announced the addition of Tom Flacco to the coaching staff. Flacco, the 2018 CAA Offensive Player of the Year, will join the Blue Hens as a volunteer assistant coach working with the offense.

"We are excited to have Tom join our staff," said Carty. "His experiences as a standout CAA quarterback and his familiarity with our conference will be another great asset to our operation."

Flacco is beginning his first collegiate coaching position after a decorated collegiate career. He began his career at Western Michigan where he saw action in 13 games during the 2015-16 seasons. He completed 10-of-13 passes for 188 yards and a touchdown while also rushing for 266 yards and two scores. Flacco transferred to Rutgers prior to the 2017 season and sat out the year due to NCAA transfer rules before then transferring to Towson with two years of eligibility remaining.

In his first season at Towson in 2018, Flacco was among the nation's leaders in several offensive categories, including total offense (3rd), passing yards (5th), passing yards per game (12th), passing touchdowns (6th), completions per game (10th), completion percentage (22nd) and passing efficiency (26th). He was named the CAA Offensive Player of the Year as well as the ECAC Offensive Player of the Year while earning an All-America Third Team (HERO Sports) nod and was a finalist for the Walter Payton Award.

As a senior in 2019, Flacco earned All-CAA Second Team honors and was the first Towson player to be a two-time Walter Payton Award Finalist. He concluded his Towson career ranked in the top-6 in program history in passing touchdowns (3rd, 50), passing yards (6th, 6,086) and passing completions (6th, 484).

Following his time at Towson, Flacco spent all of 2021 on the rosters of the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Ottawa Redblacks of the Canadian Football League.

A multi-sport athlete, Flacco was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2014 MLB Draft out of high school. He was a member of the Towson baseball team as a senior in 2019, serving as the team's primary right fielder. He batted .221 with a home run, four doubles and eight RBI while scoring 20 runs and stealing 11 bases.

Flacco, the younger brother of Delaware Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Flacco, received a Bachelor or Arts degree in labor studies from Rutgers in the summer of 2017 and is currently working toward a master's degree in applied information technology from Towson.

"I am really excited to join this historic program and am grateful to Coach Carty for the opportunity," Flacco said. "I look forward to contributing to the winning culture here at Delaware."

The Blue Hens, who are ranked No. 15 in the HERO Sports Preseason FCS Poll and No. 20 in the 2022 Athlon Sports FCS Preseason Top 25, will open the 2022 season and the Ryan Carty era on Saturday, September 3 at Navy. UD will play the first of six home games the following weekend when they host Delaware State to renew the Route 1 Rivalry on September 10. Kickoff at Delaware Stadium is set for 6 p.m.

Single-game tickets, as well as partial plans and individual game parking, for all six of Delaware's home games are currently on sale.

Individual Game Tickets | Season Ticket Membership I Partial Plans I Football Ticket Information

For the latest on the Delaware football program, follow the Blue Hens on Twitter @DelawareFB and Instagram @DelawareFootball, and like "Delaware Football" on Facebook. Follow Ryan Carty on Twitter @RyanCarty10.

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CAA PRE-SEASON ALL CONFERENCE SELECTIONS AND PREDICTIONS FOR 2022 FOOTBALL SEASON:

7/28/2022 8:59:45 AM - CAASPORTS.COM
Rob Washburn

RICHMOND, Va. (July 28, 2022) – Villanova, which went 10-3 overall last season and earned a share of the CAA Football championship for the first time since 2012, has been picked to capture the CAA Football title again in 2022 according to a vote of the league’s head coaches and media relations directors.

The Wildcats got 16 first-place votes and 270 points in the poll, topping rival Delaware, which received seven first-place votes and finished second with 235 points. Rhode Island placed third with 224 points and Richmond was close behind in fourth with 219 points. William & Mary, which picked up two first-place votes, and Elon, which received one first-place vote, finished fifth and sixth respectively in the poll. Stony Brook placed seventh followed by Maine, New Hampshire, Monmouth, Towson, UAlbany and Hampton.

Villanova returns many of its top offensive performers from last year’s team that advanced to the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs for the first time since 2014 and was ranked No. 8 nationally. Back for the Wildcats are receivers Rayjoun Pringle and Jaaron Hayek, who combined for 17 touchdown catches, running backs Jalen Jackson and DeeWil Barlee, and All-America offensive lineman Michael Corbi. On defense, safety Ethan Potter is among three returning starters.

Delaware begins its first season under new head coach Ryan Carty. Nine starters are back for the Blue Hens defensively, including All-America safety Kedrick Whitehead and All-CAA performers Johnny Buchanan, Noah Plack, Artis Hemmingway and Chase McGowan. Offensively, quarterback Nolan Henderson returns after a season-ending injury in 2021, along with top receiver Thyrick Pitts.

Rhode Island is coming off a 7-4 campaign, which marked its highest win total since 2001. The Rams feature quarterback Kasim Hill, All-CAA tight end Caleb Warren and an offensive line that returns four starters. Seven starters are back on the URI defense, highlighted by All-CAA cornerback Jordan Jones and leading tackler Evan Stewart.

Richmond closed the 2021 season on a four-game winning streak to finish 6-5 overall. Running back/returner Aaron Dykes tops a group of seven starters back for the Spiders’ offense, which has added graduate transfer quarterback Reece Udinski and receiver Jakob Herres. There are also seven starters back on the Richmond defense, including All-America linebacker Tristan Wheeler.

CAA Football expands to 13 teams for the first time in 2022 as Hampton and Monmouth join the conference. CAA Football has had a team in the FCS championship game 11 times since 2003, a squad in the semifinals of the playoffs for the past nine seasons and a team in the quarterfinals every year since 1991. Eleven of the league’s 13 current members have participated in the FCS playoffs since 2015.

CAA Football also announced its preseason all-conference team. Delaware led all schools with five players honored while Villanova had four. Stony Brook running back Ty Son Lawton, who rushed a league-high 1,088 yards and 10 TD’s in 2021, was named the preseason Offensive Player of the Year. William & Mary defensive end Nate Lynn, who was among the nation’s best with 12 sacks and six forced fumbles in 2021, was chosen as the preseason Defensive Player of the Year.

2022 CAA FOOTBALL PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM
(Selected by a vote of Head Coaches and Media Relations Directors)

OFFENSE
Name, School Cl. Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown/High School
Tony Muskett, Monmouth Jr. QB 6-2 195 Springfield, Va./West Springfield
Ty Son Lawton, Stony Brook Sr. RB 5-10 215 Staten Island, N.Y./Curtis
Bronson Yoder, William & Mary Sr. RB 5-11 195 Nappanee, Ind./Northwood
Luke Hamilton, Towson Sr. FB 6-0 245 Cumberland, Md./Fort Hill
Jackson Parham, Elon Sr. WR 6-3 205 Hillsborough, N.J./Hillsborough
Thyrick Pitts, Delaware Gr. WR 6-3 200 Manassas, Va./Forest Park
Rayjoun Pringle, Villanova Jr. WR 5-9 190 Dumfries, Va./Hayfield
Caleb Warren, Rhode Island Sr. TE 6-3 235 Brandon, Fla./Seffner Christian
Michael Corbi, Villanova Gr. OL 6-3 335 Arnold, Md./Mount Saint Joseph
Nick Correia, Rhode Island Jr. OL 6-6 330 Nantucket, Mass./Nantucket
Colin Gamroth, Villanova Gr. OL 6-4 305 Mercer Island, Wash./Seattle Prep
Michael Gerace, Maine Gr. OL 6-4 305 Bel Air, Md./John Carroll
Kyle Nunez, Stony Brook Gr. OL 6-2 340 East Islip, N.Y./East Islip

DEFENSE
Name, School Cl. Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown/High School
Artis Hemmingway, Delaware Sr. DL 6-2 265 Hillside, N.J./Pope John XII
Nate Lynn, William & Mary Sr. DL 6-3 265 Charlotte, N.C./Zebulon B. Vance
Chase McGowan, Delaware Sr. DL 6-1 240 Stafford, Va./North Stafford
Josiah Silver, New Hampshire So. DL 6-2 234 Hampton, Va./Phoebus
Jackson Ambush, UAlbany So. LB 6-0 222 New Market, Md./Linganore
Johnny Buchanan, Delaware Sr. LB 6-0 230 Brick, N.J./St. John Vianney
Tyler King, Stony Brook So. LB 6-1 235 Wexford, Pa./Pine-Richland
KeShaun Moore, Hampton Sr. LB 6-3 240 Suffolk, Va./Nansemond-Suffolk
Tristan Wheeler, Richmond Jr. LB 6-2 228 Bethlehem, Pa./Freedom
Jordan Jones, Rhode Island Sr. CB 6-0 170 Brooklyn, N.Y./Abraham Lincoln
Ryan Poole, William & Mary Sr. CB 5-11 185 Annapolis, Md./Saint Mary’s
Cole Coleman, Elon Sr. S 5-10 193 Raleigh, N.C./Leesville Road
Kedrick Whitehead, Delaware Sr. S 5-11 195 Middletown, Del./Middletown

SPECIAL TEAMS
Name, School Cl. Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown/High School
Aaron Dykes, Richmond Sr. KR 5-11 202 Knoxville, Tenn./Hardin Valley Acad.
Eddie Morales III, Monmouth Gr. PR 5-9 180 Farmingdale, N.J./Howell
Skyler Davis, Elon Sr. PK 5-8 170 Acworth, Ga./Allatoona
Tyler Pastula, UAlbany Jr. P 6-3 200 Easton, Pa./Easton
TD Ayo-Durojaiye, Villanova Sr. SPEC 5-11 210 Damascus, Md./Damascus

CAA FOOTBALL PRESEASON OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Ty Son Lawton, RB, Stony Brook
CAA FOOTBALL PRESEASON DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Nate Lynn, DL, William & Mary

Honorable mention: Nolan Henderson, QB, Delaware; Kasim Hill, QB, Rhode Island; Freddie Brock, RB, Maine; Juwon Farri, RB, Monmouth; Malachi Imoh, RB, William & Mary; Jadakis Bonds, WR, Hampton; Jaaron Hayek, WR, Villanova; Shawn Bowman, TE, Maine; Patrick Flynn, OL, New Hampshire; Colby Sorsdal, OL, William & Mary Anthony Lang, DL, UAlbany; Torrence Williams, DL, Elon; Evan Stewart, LB, Rhode Island; Tre’Von Jones, CB, Elon; Pop Bush, S, New Hampshire; Noah Plack, S, Delaware; D’Ago Hunter, KR/PR, Towson; Jourdan Townsend, PR, Delaware; Ryan Kost, P, Monmouth; Alex Washington, SPEC, William & Mary


2022 CAA FOOTBALL PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
(Selected by a vote of Head Coaches and Media Relations Directors)

Villanova (16 first-place votes) 270
Delaware (7 first-place votes) 235
Rhode Island 224
Richmond 219
William & Mary (2 first-place votes) 206
Elon (1 first-place vote) 191
Stony Brook 151
Maine 134
New Hampshire 117
Monmouth 105
Towson 81
UAlbany 64
Hampton 31

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Blue Hens Picked to Finish Second; League-High Five Selected to CAA Preseason Team

7/28/2022- bluehens.com

NEWARK, Del. – The University of Delaware football team had a league-high five student-athletes selected to the All-CAA Preseason Team and the Blue Hens were picked to finish second in the conference in the CAA Preseason Poll, as announced during the league's virtual media day on Thursday. The preseason team and poll were voted on by the CAA's head coaches and media relations directors.

Wide receiver Thyrick Pitts earned his second-straight nod to the preseason team after enjoying an All-CAA Second Team selection in 2021 when he led the Blue & Gold with 43 catches and 669 receiving yards and ranked fourth in the CAA with seven touchdown receptions.

Defensive back Kedrick Whitehead led a quartet of Blue Hens on the defensive side of the preseason team. The five-time All-American earned his third straight all-conference nod in 2021 when he was named to the All-CAA First Team after registering 76 tackles and eight pass breakups. Whitehead was joined by linebacker Johnny Buchanan, who was an All-CAA Second Team performer in 2021 after leading UD in tackles, as well as defensive linemen Artis Hemmingway and Chase McGowan who both earned All-CAA Third Team honors last season.

Additionally, quarterback Nolan Henderson, defensive back Noah Plack and punt returner Jourdan Townsend all received honorable mention recognition. Plack and Townsend were both All-CAA Second Team selections in 2021.

The Blue Hens received seven first-place votes and 235 points overall to finish second in the preseason poll behind only Villanova (270 points, 16 first-place votes). Delaware finished just ahead of Rhode Island (224) and Richmond (219), while William & Mary (206, 2) rounded out the top five.

The Blue & Gold, which is ranked No. 15 in the HERO Sports Preseason FCS Poll and No. 20 in the 2022 Athlon Sports FCS Preseason Top 25, will open the 2022 season and the Ryan Carty era on Saturday, September 3 at Navy. The Blue Hens will play the first of six home games the following weekend when they host Delaware State to renew the Route 1 Rivalry on September 10. Kickoff at Delaware Stadium is set for 6 p.m.

Single-game tickets, as well as partial plans and individual game parking, for all six of Delaware's home games are currently on sale.

Individual Game Tickets | Season Ticket Membership I Partial Plans I Football Ticket Information

For the latest on the Delaware football program, follow the Blue Hens on Twitter @DelawareFB and Instagram @DelawareFootball, and like "Delaware Football" on Facebook. Follow Ryan Carty on Twitter @RyanCarty10.

2022 CAA FOOTBALL PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM
OFFENSE
Thyrick Pitts, WR

DEFENSE
Artis Hemmingway, DL
Chase McGowan, DL
Johnny Buchanan, LB
Kedrick Whitehead, S

HONORABLE MENTION
Nolan Henderson, QB
Noah Plack, S
Jourdan Townsend, PR

2022 CAA FOOTBALL PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
1. Villanova (16 first-place votes) 270
2. Delaware (7 first-place votes) 235
3. Rhode Island 224
4. Richmond 219
5. William & Mary (2 first-place votes) 206
6. Elon (1 first-place vote) 191
7. Stony Brook 151
8. Maine 134
9. New Hampshire 117
10. Monmouth 105
11. Towson 81
12. UAlbany 64
13. Hampton 31

Print Friendly Version
PLAYERS MENTIONED
#33 Johnny Buchanan
LB 6' 0" 230 lbs Sophomore
#91 Artis Hemmingway
DT 6' 2" 265 lbs Redshirt Sophomore
#14 Nolan Henderson
QB 6' 1" 185 lbs Redshirt Sophomore
#1 Thyrick Pitts
WR 6' 3" 200 lbs Redshirt Sophomore
#29 Noah Plack
DB 6' 2" 215 lbs Redshirt Freshman
#1 Kedrick Whitehead
DB 5' 11" 195 lbs Sophomore
#17 Jourdan Townsend
WR 5' 11" 185 lbs Freshman
#54 Chase McGowan
DE 6' 1" 240 lbs Freshman

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CAA Football Celebrates 75 Years Of Success During The 2022 Season
7/27/2022 - CAASPORTS.COM
Rob Washburn

RICHMOND, Va. (July 27, 2022) – CAA Football will celebrate a special milestone during the 2022 season as the conference reaches 75 years.

The league began with six institutions (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont) in 1947 as the Yankee Conference and continued under that banner for 50 seasons. The Atlantic 10 assumed operation of the conference for the next decade from 1997-2006. CAA Football began in 2007 and has built on the league’s legacy of success over the past 15 years.

To commemorate the milestone, CAA Football has developed a 75-year logo that will be used through the 2022 campaign. The logo will be used on helmet stickers that each team will wear, as well as on coins used by officials for the pre-game toss. CAA Football will also produce a series of video features throughout the season, taking a look back at some of the coaches and student-athletes who have helped impact the conference over the past 75 years.

CAA Football is set to make more history in 2022 as the conference features 13 members for the first time (UAlbany, Delaware, Elon, Hampton, Maine, Monmouth, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Richmond, Stony Brook, Towson, Villanova and William & Mary). North Carolina A&T will become the 14th member for the 2023 season.

The conference has captured six FCS national championships since 1998, posted seven national runner-up finishes, and had 18 teams reach the semifinals of the FCS playoffs over the last 16 years. The league’s 119 all-time wins in the playoffs are the second-most of any FCS conference. CAA Football boasts 30 individual national award winners and 122 former players have been drafted by NFL franchises.

CAA Football Membership History
Current Membership
University at Albany (2013-present)
University of Delaware (1986-present)
Elon University (2014-present)
Hampton University (2022-present)
University of Maine (1947-present)
Monmouth University (2022-present)
University of New Hampshire (1947-present)
University of Rhode Island (1947-present)
University of Richmond (1986-present)
Stony Brook University (2013-present)
Towson University (2004-present)
Villanova University (1988-present)
William & Mary (1993-present)

Past Members
Boston University (1973-1997)
University of Connecticut (1947-1999)
Georgia State University (2012)
Hofstra University (2001-2009)
James Madison University (1993-2021)
University of Massachusetts (1947-2011)
Northeastern University (1993-2009)
Old Dominion University (2011-2012)
University of Vermont (1947-1974)

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Former Wesley receiver Credle wants to finish his career with Blue Hens

July 21, 2022 By Andy Walter - Delaware State News

Michael Credle never planned on being a small-college football player.

But when he transferred from Delaware State to Wesley College in 2018, he quickly found out that many of his new teammates thought they should be at a bigger program, too.

Credle said playing for the Wolverines was both humbling and inspiring.

“It was like a battle just within myself,” said the Glasgow High grad. “I’m trying to live up to the expectations but knowing that I’m not necessarily where I want to be or where I need to be. But those guys at Wesley, they felt the same way as me.

“Sometimes we were the ones having to carry the equipment or shovel the snow so we could practice — doing extra things that kids at Division I don’t necessarily have to do. Everybody on the team loved the game of football — to do whatever it takes to play. I definitely got a better appreciation of the game just being there.

“All those guys pushed me to be a better version of myself.”

Now, with one season of eligibilty still left in his pocket, the 23-year-old wide receiver wants to see if he can finally prove himself in Division I.

Credle announced recently that he’s planning to finish his playing career at the University of Delaware. After being out of school last spring, he has some academic credits to catch up on before he can be eligible at UD.

But Credle’s goal is to be in a Blue Hen uniform in the fall of 2024.

Credle said he’d been talking to former coach Danny Rocco’s staff just before they were let go last fall. He said quarterback Nolan Henderson helped him get his foot in the door with the new staff under coach Ryan Carty.

Henderson and Credle got to know each other when they played in the 2017 Blue-Gold All-Star Football Game.

Receiver Michael Credle was starting to make a name for himself in 2019.
“They watched my film, they liked what they saw,” Credle said about Delaware’s coaches.

Former Wesley College coach Chip Knapp said Credle was well on his way to becoming one of the Wolverines’ next standout receivers when the school closed in 2021.

In an NCAA Division III playoff win over Framingham State in 2019, the 6-foot, 195-pound Credle caught seven passes for 110 yards and three touchdowns. He finished that season with 29 catches for 420 yards and five touchdowns.

“He had a lot of positive energy,” said Knapp. “He was very coachable. He hadn’t yet reached his potential. He kind of fit the mold of a lot of our players that blossomed as a junior and senior. That’s the path he was on.

“He was a hard working guy. We felt good about his prospects and kind of put him into being that next top receiver coming back. But then everything happened with COVID and Wesley to put him on a totally different path.”

Last fall, Credle played for Division II Lincoln University. He caught a team-leading 32 passes for 395 yards and the struggling Lions’ only TD reception of the season.

Credle said he wanted something more than that.

Of course, getting on the field for Delaware won’t be easy. Credle is planning on taking 17 credits at UD this fall.

He’ll also keep working out at Titus Sports Academy in Wilmington and doing everything he can to be ready when his opportunity comes along.

“I plan on working like I’ve never worked before over the next year,” said Credle.

Even with everything that’s happened to sidetrack him, Credle said he never stopped believing in the dreams he had when he was young.

“It’s been COVID, redshirt ... I was able to keep working,” he said. “I kept my head down and kept believing in myself.

“When I had an injury or my school shut down, or even when I was at Lincoln, it was easy to sit and wallow in that hole. It’s really just having an unwavering belief and faith in myself.”

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Thyrick Pitts Named a Nominee for 2022 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team

7/22/2022 - bluehens.com

NEWARK, Del. – University of Delaware wide receiver Thyrick Pitts has been named one of the nominees for the 2022 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team. Pitts is one of 114 nominees across all divisions of college football.

An All-CAA First Team selection in 2021, Pitts led the Delaware wide receivers for the third-straight year to earn his second all-conference nod. The Manassas, Virginia native finished with team highs of 43 receptions for 669 yards and he ranked fourth in the CAA with seven touchdown receptions. He was fifth in the conference with 66.9 receiving yards per game and had three games against CAA opponents with at least 100 receiving yards, including a career day of 11 catches for 169 yards against Richmond.

Pitts, who is currently pursuing his MBA at the University of Delaware, has been an exemplary member of the UD community. He has been a member of the Delaware SAAC Committee and was a part of the University's COVID Project Working Group. Pitts is also involved in several service organizations that give back to the community like UDance and the B+ Foundation, Reps 4 Kids and Be the Match.

In the classroom, Pitts is a two-time member of the CAA Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll and a four-time selection to the Dean's List. He was named to the 2020-21 CoSIDA Academic All-District Team.

Nomination Criteria
Established in 1992, the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team is one of the most coveted community service awards in college football. From the 114 nominees, the final roster of 23 award recipients will bring together 11 players from the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision; 11 players from the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, Divisions II, III and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA); and one honorary head coach. To be considered for a spot on the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, each player must be actively involved with a charitable organization or service group while maintaining strong academic standing.

The final 22-member team and honorary coach are selected by a voting panel of former Allstate AFCA Good Works Team members and journalists. They look for exceptional leadership on and off the football field. After the final team members are announced in September, fans can vote for this year's Allstate AFCA Good Works Team captain through the official page on ESPN.com. Fans can join the conversation on social media with #GoodWorksTeam throughout the season.


For the latest on the Delaware football program, follow the Blue Hens on Twitter @DelawareFB and Instagram @DelawareFootball, and like "Delaware Football" on Facebook. Follow Ryan Carty on Twitter @RyanCarty10.

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Five CAA Football Teams Ranked In Athlon Sports Preseason FCS Top 25 Poll

6/6/2022
Rob Washburn - https://caasports.com/

Athlon Sports Preseason Top 25 

RICHMOND, Va. (June 6, 2022) – Five CAA Football teams are ranked in the 2022 Athlon Sports FCS Preseason Top 25 poll that was released on Monday.

Villanova tops the group of CAA teams at No. 8, followed by Rhode Island at No. 14, Delaware at No. 20, William & Mary at No. 23, and Elon at No. 25. Richmond was listed as one of five teams to watch.

CAA Football’s five ranked teams are tied for the most of any FCS conference along with the Missouri Valley Football Conference and the Big Sky Conference.

Villanova went 10-3 overall, earned a share of the CAA title with a 7-1 mark and advanced to the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs last season. The Wildcats return many of their top playmakers offensively with receivers Rayjoun Pringle and Jaaron Hayek, as well as running backs DeeWil Barlee and Jalen Jackson.

Rhode Island posted its most overall wins since 2001 a year ago, going 7-4 overall. The Rams return starting quarterback Kasim Hill and get running back Kevin Brown, Jr. back from an injury. URI’s defense features All-CAA defensive back Jordan Jones and leading tackler Evan Stewart.

Delaware begins its first season under new head coach Ryan Carty. The Blue Hens have a veteran quarterback in Nolan Henderson and an all-conference receiver in Thyrick Pitts. There is also experience returning on defense with All-CAA performers Johnny Buchanan, Kedrick Whitehead, and Noah Plack.

William & Mary is coming off its first winning season since 2015, going 6-5 a year ago. The Tribe returns nearly all of its starters defensively, led by All-America defensive end Nate Lynn and leading tackler Trey Watkins. Bronson Yoder, Donavyn Lester and Malachi Imoh are back from the CAA’s top rushing attack in 2021.

Elon finished third in the CAA last season after winning five of its final seven games to post a 6-5 overall mark. The Phoenix has an impressive group of receivers with Jackson Parham, Bryson Daughtry and Chandler Brayboy. The defense includes All-CAA standouts Cole Coleman and Tre’Von Jones.

Richmond closed the 2021 season on a four-game winning streak to finish 6-5. The Spiders bring back All-America linebacker Tristan Wheeler to spearhead the defense. Running back Aaron Dykes returns offensively and is joined by talented transfer quarterback Reece Udinski and receiver Jakob Herres.

ATHLON SPORTS FCS PRESEASON TOP 25 POLL

1 North Dakota State
2 South Dakota State
3 Montana
4 Montana State
5 Missouri State
6 Sacramento State
7 Southern Illinois
8 Villanova
9 Kennesaw State
10 Stephen F. Austin
11 Holy Cross
12 Chattanooga
13 Weber State
14 Rhode Island
15 Eastern Washington
16 UIW
17 Mercer
18 ETSU
19 Southeastern Louisiana
20 Delaware
21 Northern Iowa
22 Jackson State
23 William & Mary
24 Eastern Kentucky
25 Elon

Teams To Watch: Richmond

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Game Times Announced For 2022 CAA Football Schedule
CAASPORTS.COM
Rob Washburn - 5/11/2022 
RICHMOND, Va. (May 11, 2022) - CAA Football has announced game times for all of the conference matchups on the 2022 schedule, as well as the home non-conference contests.

The conference slate includes four home games and four road contests for each team as they face eight of the other 12 CAA Football members. Conference action kicks off at 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 1 with league newcomer Monmouth visiting New Hampshire and Stony Brook hosting Rhode Island. Hampton makes its CAA Football debut on Saturday, September 24 with a trip to Delaware at 6 p.m. There is at least one conference matchup during all 12 weeks of the regular season.

The non-conference schedule features 12 games against FBS opponents. Half of those games are against teams from Power 5 leagues, including three against ACC squads and two versus Big 12 squads. CAA Football teams have 17 victories over FBS foes since 2009, including two last season. CAA Football has been dominant against non-conference FCS competition, posting a 22-7 record (.759) during the 2021 campaign.

At least one CAA Football team has reached the semifinals of the FCS playoffs for nine consecutive seasons and the conference has had a team make the FCS championship game 11 times since 2003.

Times for the remaining non-conference road games will be announced by each individual institution as they are determined.

Thursday, September 1
*Monmouth at New Hampshire – 7 p.m.
*Rhode Island at Stony Brook – 7 p.m.

Friday, September 2
Lehigh at Villanova – 6 p.m.
William & Mary at Charlotte - TBA

Saturday, September 3
Howard at Hampton – 6 p.m.
UAlbany at Baylor - TBA
Delaware at Navy - TBA
Elon at Vanderbilt - TBA
Maine at New Mexico - TBA
Richmond at Virginia - TBA
Towson at Bucknell - TBA

Saturday, September 10
*New Hampshire at UAlbany – 7 p.m.
Colgate at Maine – 1 p.m.
Fordham at Monmouth – 1 p.m.
St. Francis (Pa.) at Richmond – 5:30 p.m.
Delaware State at Delaware – 6 p.m.
Campbell at William & Mary – 6 p.m.
Tuskegee at Hampton – 6 p.m.
Morgan State at Towson – 6 p.m.
Elon at Wofford - TBA
Rhode Island at Bryant - TBA
Villanova at LIU - TBA

Saturday, September 17
*Delaware at Rhode Island – 1 p.m.
Georgetown at Monmouth – 1 p.m.
UAlbany at Fordham - 1 p.m.
William & Mary at Lafayette – 3:30 p.m.
Gardner-Webb at Elon – 6 p.m.
North Carolina Central at New Hampshire – 6 p.m.
Hampton at Norfolk State - TBA
Maine at Boston College - TBA
Richmond at Lehigh - TBA
Stony Brook at UMass - TBA
Towson at West Virginia - TBA
Villanova at Army - TBA

Saturday, September 24
*Stony Brook at Richmond – 2 p.m.
*Monmouth at Villanova – 3:30 p.m.
*Elon at William & Mary – 3:30 p.m.
*New Hampshire at Towson – 4 p.m.
*Hampton at Delaware – 6 p.m.
Central Connecticut St. at UAlbany – 3:30 p.m.
Rhode Island at Pittsburgh - TBA

Saturday, October 1
*Villanova at Maine – 1 p.m.
*Richmond at Elon – 2 p.m.
*Towson at Delaware – 3 p.m.
*William & Mary at Stony Brook – 3:30 p.m.
Brown at Rhode Island – 6 p.m.
Monmouth at Lehigh - TBA
New Hampshire at Western Michigan – TBA

Saturday, October 8
*UAlbany at Monmouth – 1 p.m.
*Towson at Elon – 2 p.m.
*Maine at Hampton – 2 p.m.
*Stony Brook at New Hampshire – 3:30 p.m.
*Delaware at William & Mary – 3:30 p.m.

Saturday, October 15
*Elon at Rhode Island – 1 p.m.
*Monmouth at Maine – 1 p.m.
*Villanova at Richmond – 3:30 p.m.
*Hampton at UAlbany – 3:30 p.m.
New Hampshire at Dartmouth - TBA
Stony Brook at Fordham - TBA

Saturday, October 22
*Rhode Island at Monmouth – 1 p.m.
*Elon at New Hampshire – 1 p.m.
*Richmond at Hampton – 2 p.m.
*Maine at Stony Brook – 3:30 p.m.
*UAlbany at Villanova – 3:30 p.m.
*William & Mary at Towson – 4 p.m.
Morgan State at Delaware – 3 p.m.

Saturday, October 29
*Stony Brook at UAlbany – 1 p.m.
*Hampton at Villanova – 1 p.m.
*Richmond at Maine – 1 p.m.
*Towson at Monmouth – 1 p.m.
*Rhode Island at William & Mary – 1 p.m.
*Delaware at Elon – 2 p.m.

Saturday, November 5
*Monmouth at Delaware – 1 p.m.
*William & Mary at Hampton – 1 p.m.
*Maine at Rhode Island – 1 p.m.
*UAlbany at Elon – 2 p.m.
*Villanova at Towson – 2 p.m.
*New Hampshire at Richmond – 3:30 p.m.
Morgan State at Stony Brook – 1 p.m.

Saturday, November 12
*Maine at UAlbany – 12 p.m.
*Richmond at Delaware – 1 p.m.
*Elon at Hampton – 1 p.m.
*Rhode Island at New Hampshire – 1 p.m.
*Towson at Stony Brook – 1 p.m.
*Villanova at William & Mary – 1 p.m.

Saturday, November 19
*New Hampshire at Maine – 12 p.m.
*Stony Brook at Monmouth – 12 p.m.
*William & Mary at Richmond – 12 p.m.
*UAlbany at Rhode Island – 1 p.m.
*Delaware at Villanova – 1 p.m.
*Hampton at Towson – 1 p.m.

*Denotes CAA Football game

DATES AND TIMES SUBJECT TO CHANGE