Blue Hen News

Frustrated Hens suffer 3rd straight loss 21-17 to Albany
Nov 9th, 2019 · by Andy Walter · Delaware State News

NEWARK — For the third straight week, Delaware could have won a football game.

This time, the argument could be made, the Blue Hens should have won a football game.

But they didn’t.

And that’s what made Delaware’s third-straight loss, a 21-17 setback to Albany in a CAA game at Delaware Stadium on Saturday afternoon, so hard to swallow.

The fact that the Hens (2-4 CAA, 4-6 overall) now have to win their final two games just to finish at .500 is icing on the cake.

Probably Delaware’s biggest regret was that it twice had the ball at the Great Danes’ one yard line but came away with only three points to show for it. That came back to haunt the Hens when Albany (4-2 CAA, 6-4 overall) drove 73 yards to score the winning touchdown with 10:54 remaining.

Quarterback Jeff Underfuffler drilled a 13-yard scoring pass to Jerah Reeves for the only points of the second half.

“It’s very frustrating for all of us,” said UD coach Danny Rocco, who has never finished with a losing record in his 14 seasons as a head coach.

“I certainly expressed that frustration with our team post game. I certainly called out everybody — including myself — in that post-game conversation. I don’t think it’s fair to point the loss at one or two plays in the game. Holistically we’re not playing well enough to win. We’re doing things now that bad football teams do.”

The first touchdown that got away from Delaware came at the end of the first half.

With the contest tied, 14-14, QB Nolan Henderson found his former Smyrna High teammate, Will Knight, along the sidelines for a 55-yard gain to the Albany 23.

A DaJoun Lee seven-yard run later gave the Hens a second-and-goal from the one. But Delaware lost a total of three yards on a pair of running plays before settling for Jake Roth’s 22-yard field goal on the final play of the half.

“Our inability to score a touchdown just before the half was something that was concerning to me,” said Rocco. “I knew that they (the Great Danes) were good down there on the goal line.”
QB Nolan Henderson ran for 72 yards on 14 carries in Saturday’s game.

The Hens, who out-gained Albany 366 yards to 362, kept moving the ball well in the second half.

Delaware had the ball at the Great Danes’ 20 when Henderson rolled out and found receiver Thyrick Pitts running parallel to the goal line at the one. Just when it looked like Pitts might fight his way into the end zone, Albany knocked the ball loose where Kareem Gibson recovered the fumble at the three.

The Hens never came close to scoring again.

Delaware had three possessions after Albany took the lead but managed just one first down all told, on a Henderson 21-yard run. The sophomore QB went a combined 0-for-6 on those three drives as the Hens never got anything going.

“I did feel very confident that we were going to be able to drive the ball and score there late in the game,” said Rocco. “We just weren’t able to do it. … In the biggest moments, they made the biggest plays. The end of the game certainly belonged to them.
“The thing I said in the locker room, offensively, there are moments when we looked extraordinarily good on offense. We have rhythm, we have balance. … and then other series we don’t even look like the same team. That’s very frustrating, very disappointing.”

Henderson completed only 8-of-17 passes for 141 yards with a four-yard scoring pass to freshman receiver Jourdan Townsend. He did run the ball 15 times for 72 yards.

Knight finished with 79 yards on 14 carries while adding another 61 yards on a pair of receptions. The freshman tied the game at 14-14 on a 28-yard TD burst in the second quarter.

“They’re a great defense, but I don’t know if much of it wasn’t us shooting ourselves in the foot,” said Henderson. “Penalties, taking a sack here and there, not completing a ball, and then obviously, the turnovers. I think we had plenty of opportunities, we just didn’t take advantage of them.

“The defense played great. We didn’t really hold up our end of the bargain in the second half.”

Defensively, Delaware gave up two big pass plays early — a 41-yarder and a 64-yarder. But the Hens also allowed just one TD over the final 38 minutes and limited the Great Danes to 12 points less than their per-game average.

And while Underfuffler threw three touchdown passes, he also completed 13-of-23 passes for only 176 yards — 90 yards under his average.
Delaware forced Albany to punt six times.

“A lot of us, this is our first time playing each team,” said sophomore safety Kedrick Whtehead (Middletown), who had a game-high 12 tackles. “So we’re just learning, taking one game at a time, hoping to grow and get better every week.”

Henderson said he doesn’t expect Delaware to pack it in just because its record isn’t what it wanted.

“We’re all football players and I think, no matter what your record is when you come out on Saturday, you only know one speed,” he said. “You only know one effort level. I don’t think it’s going to be a problem. I know we have a good locker room and the guys in it, they’re not thinking about anything other than going out Saturday and winning a game.”

Extra points

The Hens’ 17-14 advantage marked their first halftime lead since their season-opening win over Delaware State. … Lee ran for 69 yards on 11 carries as well as adding a 41-yard kickoff return. … Safety Noah Plack had nine tackles with a pair of pass breakups. … Saturday’s win was just Albany’s third against Delaware in the nine-game all-time series.
Frustrated Hens suffer 3rd straight loss 21-17 to Albany
Nov 9th, 2019 · by Andy Walter · Delaware State News

NEWARK — For the third straight week, Delaware could have won a football game.

This time, the argument could be made, the Blue Hens should have won a football game.

But they didn’t.

And that’s what made Delaware’s third-straight loss, a 21-17 setback to Albany in a CAA game at Delaware Stadium on Saturday afternoon, so hard to swallow.

The fact that the Hens (2-4 CAA, 4-6 overall) now have to win their final two games just to finish at .500 is icing on the cake.

Probably Delaware’s biggest regret was that it twice had the ball at the Great Danes’ one yard line but came away with only three points to show for it. That came back to haunt the Hens when Albany (4-2 CAA, 6-4 overall) drove 73 yards to score the winning touchdown with 10:54 remaining.

Quarterback Jeff Underfuffler drilled a 13-yard scoring pass to Jerah Reeves for the only points of the second half.

“It’s very frustrating for all of us,” said UD coach Danny Rocco, who has never finished with a losing record in his 14 seasons as a head coach.

“I certainly expressed that frustration with our team post game. I certainly called out everybody — including myself — in that post-game conversation. I don’t think it’s fair to point the loss at one or two plays in the game. Holistically we’re not playing well enough to win. We’re doing things now that bad football teams do.”

The first touchdown that got away from Delaware came at the end of the first half.

With the contest tied, 14-14, QB Nolan Henderson found his former Smyrna High teammate, Will Knight, along the sidelines for a 55-yard gain to the Albany 23.

A DaJoun Lee seven-yard run later gave the Hens a second-and-goal from the one. But Delaware lost a total of three yards on a pair of running plays before settling for Jake Roth’s 22-yard field goal on the final play of the half.

“Our inability to score a touchdown just before the half was something that was concerning to me,” said Rocco. “I knew that they (the Great Danes) were good down there on the goal line.”
QB Nolan Henderson ran for 72 yards on 14 carries in Saturday’s game.

The Hens, who out-gained Albany 366 yards to 362, kept moving the ball well in the second half.

Delaware had the ball at the Great Danes’ 20 when Henderson rolled out and found receiver Thyrick Pitts running parallel to the goal line at the one. Just when it looked like Pitts might fight his way into the end zone, Albany knocked the ball loose where Kareem Gibson recovered the fumble at the three.

The Hens never came close to scoring again.

Delaware had three possessions after Albany took the lead but managed just one first down all told, on a Henderson 21-yard run. The sophomore QB went a combined 0-for-6 on those three drives as the Hens never got anything going.

“I did feel very confident that we were going to be able to drive the ball and score there late in the game,” said Rocco. “We just weren’t able to do it. … In the biggest moments, they made the biggest plays. The end of the game certainly belonged to them.
“The thing I said in the locker room, offensively, there are moments when we looked extraordinarily good on offense. We have rhythm, we have balance. … and then other series we don’t even look like the same team. That’s very frustrating, very disappointing.”

Henderson completed only 8-of-17 passes for 141 yards with a four-yard scoring pass to freshman receiver Jourdan Townsend. He did run the ball 15 times for 72 yards.

Knight finished with 79 yards on 14 carries while adding another 61 yards on a pair of receptions. The freshman tied the game at 14-14 on a 28-yard TD burst in the second quarter.

“They’re a great defense, but I don’t know if much of it wasn’t us shooting ourselves in the foot,” said Henderson. “Penalties, taking a sack here and there, not completing a ball, and then obviously, the turnovers. I think we had plenty of opportunities, we just didn’t take advantage of them.

“The defense played great. We didn’t really hold up our end of the bargain in the second half.”

Defensively, Delaware gave up two big pass plays early — a 41-yarder and a 64-yarder. But the Hens also allowed just one TD over the final 38 minutes and limited the Great Danes to 12 points less than their per-game average.

And while Underfuffler threw three touchdown passes, he also completed 13-of-23 passes for only 176 yards — 90 yards under his average.
Delaware forced Albany to punt six times.

“A lot of us, this is our first time playing each team,” said sophomore safety Kedrick Whtehead (Middletown), who had a game-high 12 tackles. “So we’re just learning, taking one game at a time, hoping to grow and get better every week.”

Henderson said he doesn’t expect Delaware to pack it in just because its record isn’t what it wanted.

“We’re all football players and I think, no matter what your record is when you come out on Saturday, you only know one speed,” he said. “You only know one effort level. I don’t think it’s going to be a problem. I know we have a good locker room and the guys in it, they’re not thinking about anything other than going out Saturday and winning a game.”

Extra points

The Hens’ 17-14 advantage marked their first halftime lead since their season-opening win over Delaware State. … Lee ran for 69 yards on 11 carries as well as adding a 41-yard kickoff return. … Safety Noah Plack had nine tackles with a pair of pass breakups. … Saturday’s win was just Albany’s third against Delaware in the nine-game all-time series.

Albany Defense Leads Football's 21-17 Win Over Delaware
UAlbany Sports Information 11-09-2019

Score: UAlbany 21, Delaware 17

Location: Delaware Stadium in Newark, Del.

Records: UAlbany 6-4 (4-2 CAA) | Delaware 4-6 (2-4 CAA)

Short story: The University at Albany football team’s defense shut down Delaware in the second half, and Jerah Reeves caught the game-winning touchdown pass as the Great Danes topped the Blue Hens, 21-17, in a CAA game Saturday, Nov. 9

Coach Gattuso: “We challenged the defense. We thought the first half we were giving things away. The second half, we weren’t doing. And the turnovers turned up big for us. We had two big turnovers that took away their momentum and we were able to win the game.”


The University at Albany football’s defense forced two key second-half turnovers to help the Great Danes capture a 21-17 CAA victory over Delaware on Saturday.

With UAlbany trailing 17-14, Eli Mencer stripped the quarterback on Delaware’s first drive of the second half, and Tyler Carswell forced a Blue Hens’ fumble on the Great Danes' 1-yard line later in the third quarter.

Jeff Undercuffler’s 14-yard touchdown strike to Jerah Reeves with 10:54 left in the fourth gave UAlbany the lead and proved to be the winning score.

That was one of three touchdown passes on the day for Undercuffler, who also threw a pair to Juwan Green.

Karl Mofor helped the Great Danes hold the ball for more than 10 minutes in the fourth quarter, picking up key first downs on his way to a 132-yard game.

The Great Danes struck first, with Green’s 15-yard touchdown catch from Undercuffler giving UAlbany a 7-0 lead.

After Delaware tied the game, the pair hooked up again, this time on a 64-yard score, to make it 14-7. On the play, Green outran two defenders, caught Undercuffler’s perfect pass in stride and raced to the end zone untouched.

The Blue Hens responded with a touchdown and then a field goal as the first half expired to take a 17-14 lead into the intermission.

But from that point, UAlbany’s defense held, forcing two third-quarter fumbles and getting a key sack by Danny Damico on third down that took the Blue Hens out of field-goal range.

Up next: UAlbany returns home Saturday, Nov. 16 to take on New Hampshire on Senior Day. CLICK HERE to purchase tickets.


Henderson, Hens can’t complete comeback
Nov 2nd, 2019 · by Andy Walter · Delaware State News

TOWSON, Md. — Even the way it turned out, it was a highlight-reel play.

On a fourth-and-three, at the Towson 15, with just over a minute left, with Delaware trailing by seven, Nolan Henderson dropped back to pass.

But the former Smyrna High quarterback had no one to throw to and nowhere to go, so he just started scrambling. Henderson was all the way back at the 45 when he out-ran a Tiger lineman and started sprinting for the first-down marker.

With a Towson defender charging straight at him, Henderson slid — thinking he was far enough to get the first down.

Only he wasn’t.

Henderson came up a yard short, Towson took over the ball and, a few moments later, the No. 21 Tigers were celebrating a gut-wrenching 31-24 win over Delaware in a Colonial Athletic Association dogfight at Johnny Unitas Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

There was just 1:18 remaining when Henderson’s scramble play ended. After scampering from one side of the field to the other, he said he just didn’t know exactly where the first-down marker was.

“Either way, I can’t slide there,” said Henderson. “I kind of lost track of where I had to get to after running around. At the end of the day, I’ve got to do all it takes to get that half yard.”

The redshirt sophomore QB was playing for the first time since missing two games with a concussion. Henderson, though, didn’t know if that played a part in his sliding too soon.

“Definitely, the emphasis this week was to protect myself,” he said. “I don’t know if that was the case or I just lost track of where I was. I’ve just got to lower my shoulder and do whatever I can to get that extra half yard.”

It was a pretty tough second-straight loss for the Blue Hens (2-3 CAA, 4-5 overall), who probably saw their FCS playoff chances end with the setback.

After trailing 24-14 at halftime, Delaware battled back to tie the game at 24-24 on Jake Roth’s 26-yard field goal with 11:08 remaining.

The Hens, though, couldn’t stop Towson from marching 62 yards on 10 plays to retake the lead. Yeedee Thaenrat scored the game-winning touchdown on a two-yard run with 4:54 left.
Receiver Thyrick Pitts finished with four catches for 88 yards against Towson. (Delaware sports information)

But the play that will haunt Delaware’s defense came on the play before.

With the Tigers facing a third-and-15 from their own 16, QB Tom Flacco (17-for-23, 294 yards) threw up a pass for receiver Jason Epps along the sidelines, in the end zone. Blue Hen safety Kedrick Whitehead made contact with Epps as the ball was coming down but Epps also ended up out of bounds.

The officials called Whitehead for pass interference, putting the ball at the two and setting up the touchdown.

“I asked if it was uncatchable but they don’t really like to hear that question any more,” said Delaware coach Danny Rocco. “He (Whitehead) obviously didn’t need to do it. I had the feeling like he could have just let him (Epps) finish the play and it was going to be out of bounds or overthrown.

“I was very disappointed. That was a huge, huge play in the game. We could have held them to a field goal there.”

Third downs were a problem for the Hens throughout the game. Towson was 5-of-8 on third-down conversions in the contest while finishing with a 453-415 edge in yards.

The ending, though, spoiled what could have been a pretty good comeback for Henderson and Delaware.

With Towson up 24-14 and getting the first possession of the second half, the Hens looked like they were in trouble. And, sure enough, Flacco fired a 26-yard pass to Caleb Smith (nine catches-200 yards, one TD) on that first drive.

But the Hens’ Nijuel Hill forced a fumble at the end of the reception and recovered it. On the next play, Henderson launched a 54-yard pass to freshman receiver Jourdan Townsend.

One play after that, Smyrna’s Will Knight scored on a 21-yard run and Delaware was back in the game at 24-21.

The Hens only gave up the one touchdown in the second half while forcing three turnovers.

“I really challenged the defense at halftime,” said Rocco. “I kind of felt like, if we didn’t rise up in the second half, we might give up 48 or 50 points. We played a lot better in the second half on defense.”

“In the first half, we just weren’t getting it done,” said linebacker Drew Nickles. “I don’t think we were really playing that hard. In the second half, we did play better.”

Henderson, who was playing his first game since Oct. 12, almost made a triumphant return. He completed 13-of-24 passes for 240 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Henderson also made plenty of big plays with his feet — either scrambling to buy time or running for some crucial yards. He netted 48 yards on 15 carries, scoring on a two-yard dive to the pylon for a two-yard TD run.

“He is really, really impressive,” Towson coach Rob Ambrose said about Henderson. “He’s really, really awesome with the ball in his hands. He’s going to be a threat in this league for a while. He’s a very talented young man.”

The Hens have played well in some stretches over the last two games while struggling at other times. They return home to host Albany next Saturday still trying to put a complete game together.

“We have to put it together,” said Nickles. “We probably should have done it by now but we have to do it at some point. We have flashes, definitely. But we’ve got to put it together as a team to be a good team.”

Extra points

Knight ran for a game-high 96 yards on 15 carries. That included a 35-yard run on Delaware’s final drive. … Thyrick Pitts caught four passes for 88 yards, including a 41-yarder. … Townsend had 71 yards on two receptions, including a 17-yrd scoring pass in the first quarter. … Delmar High grad Shane Leatherbury had two receptions for 47 yards for Towson.


Towson Football Takes Down Rival Delaware
11/2/19 - https://towsontigers.com

TOWSON, Md. – The No. 21/22 Towson University football team, spearheaded by 200 yards receiving by Caleb Smith and three rushing touchdowns from Yeedee Thaenrat, scored a touchdown with 4:54 left to take a 31-24 victory over rival Delaware.

With a 24-24 tie score, a 10-play, 62-yard drive by Towson (5-4, 2-3 CAA) ended in a two-yard touchdown by Thaenrat to take the lead vs. Delaware (4-5, 2-3 CAA) for good as the defense held the other way in the red zone.

Key Game Stats:

Towson led 24-14 at the half, the largest lead for the Tigers at the break against a league opponent this season. Delaware tied the game in the opening four minutes of the fourth quarter. The next drive, the Tigers scored a touchdown and held for the win.
In a high-scoring game, Towson had the edge in total offense with 453 yards compared to 415 for Delaware. Much of the difference came from passing, with Towson having 294 yards in the air compared to 240 for the Blue Hens.
Tom Flacco had a strong day as the Towson field general, throwing 17-for-23 with 294 yards and a touchdown. His primary target was Caleb Smith, who had a career day with nine catches for 200 yards, the first 200-yard receiving day for Towson since 2016, and a touchdown.
On the ground, Yeedee Theanrat ran the ball 16 times for 70 yards, scoring three touchdowns to total 12 on the season. Adrian Feliz-Platt averaged 5.5 yards a carry, totaling 55 yards on 10 rushes.
Defensively, Robert Heyward tallied up seven tackles, two sacks and three tackles for loss. Coby Tippett forced a turnover on an interception, adding seven tackles.
For Delaware, Nolan Henderson was 13-for-24 on passing with a touchdown and an interception, also adding 48 yards on the ground plus a score. Will Knight rushed for 96 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries while Thyrick Pitts caught four passes for 88 yards. Nijuel Hill concluded with six tackles and a pair of fumble recoveries.

Postgame Quote:
Towson head coach Rob Ambrose: "This was a game we knew we had to win; it's Delaware, it's November. I'm incredibly proud of my guys. The heart, the character, the resiliency, the desire and that they were not willing to lay down. I congratulate Delaware, this was a very hard-fought game, their guys played hard and they are very well-coached. Our character shined through, not what we do but who we are, I am proud of the young men that represented this institution the right way under duress."

How it Happened:

Delaware started on offense and broke into Towson territory with a Nolan Henderson 22-yard pass to Chichi Amachi. Later on third and four, a designed QB rush was stopped after one year with a quick tackle from Sam Gyeni. Delaware punted the ball and downed it on the Towson three-yard line.
Despite two rushes of 10+ yards from Adrian Feliz-Platt and D'Ago Hunter, a fumble by the latter was recovered by Delaware on the Towson 27. The Towson defense stood tall with a rush for no gain, an incompletion after a rush from Bryce Carter, then Robert Heyward taking down Henderson for a 12-yard loss on the sack. Delaware punted for a touchback.
Towson wasted no time on the next possession: on the second play, a drop off pass to Caleb Smith turned into 22 yards as the junior rolled down the sideline and was hit late for a 15-yard penalty tacked on. Next play, Tom Flacco fired down the middle back to Smith for 40 yards to set up first and goal on the one-yard line. Yeedee Thaenrat barreled ahead for his 10th touchdown of the year, giving Towson a 7-0 lead with 8:13 left in the first.
Delaware went to the ground over and over again with Will Knight to get to Towson's half of the field. DeJoun Lee added a six-yard carry, then a QB run by Henderson converted a third and short. Towson stacked up Delaware on a third and one, but the Blue Hens went for it on fourth down and converted on a direct snap to Lee for three yards. After a Henderson 10-yard rush and a Heyward tackle for a three-yard loss, a pass to an open Jourdan Townsend for 17 yards resulted in a touchdown, tying the score at 7-7 in the closing seconds of the first quarter.
Flacco got throwing on Towson's next offensive drive, throwing a pass to Jason Epps for 10 yards on a third down. Following two penalties pushing Towson back, Flacco, with all day to throw, threw a dart to Smith for 32 yards to convert a set of downs. Three plays later, again Flacco, rolling out to avoid rushers, lightly arced the ball Smith, who spun away from a tackler to get into the end zone for an 11-yard score. Towson led 14-7 with 9:06 left in the second quarter.
Henderson found Thyrick Pitts for passes of 41 and 14 yards, then added a pass interference penalty to get to the two-yard line. Henderson rushes himself, diving for the pylon and scoring to tie the game at 14-14 with 5:51 left in the second quarter.
Feliz-Platt bolted forward on a 17-yard run to begin the following drive, then three plays later, Flacco moved several yards in the pocket, then found Shane Leatherbury next to the sideline for 25 yards. Two passes to Daniel Thompson IV and the Tigers were inside the three. Thaenrat rushed twice, scoring on the second attempt for a 21-14 Towson lead with 1:37 left in the half.
Down came Delaware as Henderson rushed for 22, then a pass to Pitts for 19 got the Blue Hens inside the Towson 40. The defense stood tall and got the ball back: an incompletion off a rush from Malik Tyne, a sack by Heyward and finally, Coby Tippett picking off Henderson to give the ball back to the Tigers with 54 seconds left.
Flacco led the charge down the turf, going a 10-yard pass to D'Ago Hunter, a 19-yard catch by Smith, a Flacco rush for 17 yards and a pass interference call to get to the Delaware seven. Towson was stopped from there. Aidan O'Neill knocked down the 24-yard field goal to make it 24-14 Towson at the break.
Towson started with the ball in the second half and got downfield with a couple of 22+ yard passes, complete to Leatherbury and Smith. But on Smith's catch, a fumble was recovered by Delaware on its own 25. The Blue Hens scored in three plays, a Townsend 54-yard catch, a Lee rush for no gain and a Knight 21-yard rush for a touchdown. Towson still led 24-21 with 11:23 left in the 3rd.
Thaenrat rushed three straight times to begin the next drive for 14 yards, but he fumbled on the final carry, with Delaware recovering. The Towson defense held Delaware to a three-and-out in its own territory, forcing a punt, with was fair caught on the 10.
Again Flacco looked to Smith for a big play, finding the Albany, New York native on a 20-yard pass across the middle to convert a 3rd and 13. Feliz-Platt made a couple of nice rushes for 14 yards combined and a first down, but the Tigers did not go further. Shane McDonough punted 47 yards to the Delaware 22.
On third down, Henderson kept the drive going three times on third downs: a 14-yard throw to Amachi along the sideline, a 14-yard pass to Pitts down the middle to get near midfield and a nine-yard scramble to the sideline. Into the fourth quarter, Henderson kept completing passes to get into the red zone. On 3rd and two on the Towson nine, Delaware's pass was incomplete. Jake Roth converted the 26-yard field goal to tie the game at 24-24 with 11:08 to play.
Hunter began the drive with a 38-yard kickoff return to jump start the Tigers. On third down, again Flacco went to Smith for a 14-yard completion and a first down. Down the field the Tigers came with a couple of rushes and two more passes, then a pass interference penalty got Towson to the Delaware two-yard line. Thaenrat punched in the touchdown next play, putting Towson back ahead 31-24 with 4:54 left in the fourth.
Delaware first started to pass, with a one-handed reception by Gene Coleman II for 15 yards extending the drive, then two plays later, Knight got room on the right side on a rush for 35 yards. On third and three, Chizurum Umunakwe stopped Knight for a loss of one yard. Henderson ran all around the field, including nearly back on midfield. He got back to the line and went for the first, diving and coming up short by a yard. Towson took over on downs.
Rushes for six yards by Hunter and five yards by Thaenrat gave Towson a first down, enough to run out the clock. Towson won 31-24.

Inside the Numbers:

With a 24-yard field goal to end the first half, Aidan O'Neill tied the all-time record for field goals by a CAA player with 59.
Caleb Smith earned his first career 100-yard day on receiving. It is the first 200-yard receiving game for a Tiger since Christian Summers had 232 receiving yards vs. St. Francis on Sept. 10, 2016.
Yeedee Thaenrat earned his third game with at least three rushing touchdowns with this season. His 12 rushing touchdowns on the season is tied for ninth all-time in program history.
This is the third-straight victory for Towson over Delaware at home, including wins in 2017 and 2015.
This is the third time this year where Towson earns a victory over a team either ranked or receiving votes in the FCS rankings at the time, the other two being Maine and The Citadel.


Kick returns doom Hens in 35-25 CAA loss to Richmond
Oct 26th, 2019 · by Andy Walter · Delaware State News

NEWARK — Surrendering a touchdown on a kickoff return can be brutal.

Not only does it give the other team a huge lift, it kills the momentum your squad just gained by scoring on the play before.

“It’s not just us on the field, it’s the fans, the crowd,” said Delaware safety Kedrick Whitehead. “We get things going our way and then that happens. It’s like, hit the reset button and you have to start all over again. We have to find another way to get momentum to come back to our side.”

No. 19 Delaware somehow managed to give up a pair of TDs on kickoff returns in just the first half and never fully recovered before falling to Richmond, 35-25, on homecoming Saturday afternoon at Delaware Stadium.

The Blue Hens (2-2 CAA, 4-4 overall) did close within three points in the third quarter after trailing by 18 at halftime. But the Spiders (3-1 CAA, 4-4 overall) answered with another big play — a 63-yard touchdown pass — and Delaware never seriously threatened again.
Delaware running back DeJoun Lee stretches the ball across the goal line for a 5-yard touchdown run on Saturday.

Both coaches agreed that Aaron Dykes’ two kickoff returns — a 100-yarder in the first quarter and an 88-yarder in the second quarter — were back-breakers. It’s the first time UD gave up two kickoff return TDs in a game since a 52-18 loss to McNeese State in the 1995 I-AA playoffs.

“Anytime you give up a kickoff return, it’s hard to win a game — giving up one,” said Richmond’s Russ Huesman. “Giving up two is extremely hard.”

“The thing that disappointed me the most is I thought their team played harder than our team did today — particularly in the first half,” said Delaware’s Danny Rocco. “They had four plays of 60-plus yards in the game. … At the end of the day, that’s the difference in the football game, you can shape it however you want.”

Delaware actually looked like it might still have a chance to pull out a victory when it grabbed the momentum in the third quarter.
A quick, two-play, 56-yard drive was capped off by a 29-yard scoring run from Will Knight (Smyrna). A defensive stop was then followed by a 16-play, 80-yard march.

Pat Kehoe’s 14-yard TD pass to tight end Bryce DeMaille got the Hens suddenly back within 28-25 with 3:03 remaining in the third quarter.

However, that’s when Richmond quarterback Joe Mancuso (21-of-29 for 280 yards) found Keyston Fuller (8 catches-161 yards) all alone down the sidelines for a 63-yard scoring pass. Delaware never really challenged again.
QB Pat Kehoe made his second start in a row, throwing for 164 yards and a TD.

The Hens had the ball only twice in the final 16 minutes. The Spiders killed off the last 7:43 of the game with a 12-play, 28-yard drive.

Richmond out-gained Delaware, 418 yards to 343. The Spiders also converted 7-of-12 third-down chances plus one fourth down.

“Defensively, we really struggled to get off the field,” said Rocco. “We did fight our way back into the game. … we just couldn’t quite get enough stops to really feel like we would be able to take control or take the lead.”

While quarterback Nolan Henderson (Smyrna) was cleared to play after suffering a concussion two weeks ago, Rocco stayed with Kehoe for the whole game. The senior completed 12-of-21 passes for 164 yards with the one TD and no interceptions.

Kehoe was sacked four times for 21 yards.

“Pat had more of the reps (in practice),” said Rocco. “Pat was not the reason we lost today. We were moving the ball well enough with Pat in the game to continue. I don’t really have any regrets on the decision.”

“We were moving towards where we wanted to be,” Kehoe said about the Hens’ third-quarter comeback. “But we weren’t able to maintain the momentum on our side.”
Safety Kedrick Whitehead came down with an interception off a tipped pass.

Knight made some more big plays, running for 101 yards and the TD on 13 carries while adding 45 yards on three receptions.

Richmond seemed to be particularly motivated by its one-point loss to Yale last week. The Hens, on the other hand, seemed somewhat uninspired — especially in the first half.

Rocco thought Richmond’s kickoff returns were a sign of it.

“You see it in every game, week to week, in a lot of teams,” he said. “It’s just a reality. Every week, you’re not firing on all cylinders, you’re not playing at your best, you’re not playing at your highest level. It’s disappointing.

“We’re young. That’s probably a factor in that. But you see it on other sidelines, too. It’s the old reality that, week to week, it’s a different game.”

Extra points

Besides his passing yards, Mancuso also ran the ball 15 times for a team-high 95 yards with a pair of short TDs. … DeJoun Lee added 55 yards and a five-yard TD on 16 carries with 120 yards on kickoff returns. … The Spiders are only 13-5 all-time in Newark. … Richmond’s Dykes finished with 260 all-purpose yards, including 226 on kickoff returns. … Whitehead (Middletown) had a game-high 12 tackles with an interception and a pass breakup. … Delaware didn’t have any sacks in the contest. … The Hens play a 2 p.m. game at Towson next Saturday.
Richmond Spoils No. 19 Delaware’s Homecoming with a 35-25 Victory

10/26/2019 | https://richmondspiders.com/

NEWARK, Del. – The University of Richmond football team used a fast start and strong special teams play Saturday afternoon as the Spiders played spoiler in Newark, Delaware as the Spiders defeated the No. 19 Delaware Blue Hens 35-25 at Delaware Stadium in the Blue Hens' homecoming. The victory improves the Spiders to 3-1 in Colonial Athletic Association play while the Blue Hens fall to 2-2 in league action. The win marked the Spiders' third-straight CAA victory, the first time Richmond has accomplished that since winning four in a row in 2016.

Redshirt freshman Aaron Dykes (Knoxville, Tenn.) was the spark the Spiders needed, becoming the first player in program history to return to kickoffs back for touchdowns in the same game. His two kickoff return touchdowns ties the NCAA FCS record for a single game. Dykes had a 100-yard return in the first quarter and an 88-yard return in the second quarter for scores. He finished with a program-record 226 kickoff return yards, breaking the previous record of 222 yards held by Justin Rogers in 2007 against New Hampshire. He became the fourth Spider in program history with a 100-yard return.

Redshirt junior quarterback Joe Mancuso (Blairsville, Ga) led the Spiders offense, accounting for 375 yards off total offense and accounting for three touchdowns. Mancuso finished Saturday's game 21-for-29 passing for 280 yards a touchdown and an interception. He also led the team on the ground, picking up 95 yards on 15 carries and two scores on the ground.

Graduate transfer wide receiver Keyston Fuller (Griffin, Ga.) led the air attack, grabbing eight passes for 161 yards, including a career-long 67 yarder on the first drive to set the Spiders up deep in Delaware territory.

Defensively, the linebacking corps of freshman Tristan Wheeler (Bethlehem, Pa.) and redshirt senior Billy Caughell (Apopka, Fla.) led the charge. Wheeler finished with 11 stops, seven solo and a pass breakup, with Caughell adding 10 tackles, 1.5 for loss and a sack. Senior captain Daniel Jones (Williamsburg, Va.) added eight tackles, one for loss and a pass breakup.

Richmond finished with five sacks on the day, attacking Delaware quarterback Pat Kehoe all game long. Redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Kobie Turner (Clifton, Va.) led the way with two sacks on the day.

The Spiders led the entire game, taking the opening drive in four plays for the opening score. Mancuso connected with Fuller on a 67-yard pass on the first play from scrimmage setting up the score that was capped by a nine-yard run by Mancuso. The Spider defense held Delaware on its first possession and took its second drive 87 yards on 10 plays for their second touchdown. The ground attack covered 57 yards on the drive, including 42 yards by Mancuso, capping on a one-yard scamper by the quarterback for the 14-0 lead.

Delaware got on the board on the ensuing possession, using just four plays to drive 64 yards and taking 1:40 off the clock to cut the lead to 14-7. Dykes helped the Spiders respond with his first kick return touchdown of the afternoon, taking the consequential kick 100-yards for to push the Spider lead back to 14 points at 21-7. The 21 first quarter points are the most for the Spiders in an opening quarter since scoring 22 points in the opening quarter against Morgan State in 2014.

After Delaware got back on the board with a 32-yard field goal, Dykes and the kick return unit got all the momentum back on the Spider sideline, this time taking the kick off 88 yards to the end zone as the Spiders and Blue Hens went in to halftime with Richmond leading 28-10.

Delaware came out fast in the second half, using just 0:49 and two plays to get on the board, this time with a Will Knight 29-yard run. The two-point conversion attempt was good and cut the Spider lead down to 28-18. After a Spider punt gave Delaware the ball with 10:48 on the clock, the Blue Hens used a 16-play, 80-yard drive to score on a Pat Kehoe to Bryce De Maille 14-yard touchdown to cut the lead down to three at 28-25.

Richmond got the answer it needed on its very next possession. After Dykes took two carries for six and seven yards, respectively, the Spider offense got creative as it got Fuller matched up with a linebacker. Mancuso found him up the Spider sideline for a 63-yard touchdown pass to extend the lead back to 10 at 35-25.

After a Spider drive stalled inside the Delaware five, the Blue Hens drove the ball back out to midfield before the defense stepped up and forced a Delaware punt. Richmond took over with 7:43 remaining in the fourth quarter and refused to give the ball back as the Spiders used a 12-play 28-yard drive to run the clock down to 0:00 and secure the win.

The Spiders are back in action next week as they host the Stony Brook Seawolves at Robins Stadium on homecoming. Kickoff is set for 3:00 p.m.
Blue Hens rebound by stopping UNH
Oct 19th, 2019 · by Andy Walter · Delaware State News

NEWARK — The last two minutes were a heart-pounding race.

On one side was New Hampshire’s offense, moving steadily but deliberately down the Delaware Stadium turf.

And on the other side was the game clock, clicking away the seconds.

Which would happen first — would the Wildcats reach the end zone or would the clock hit zero?

Finally, UNH quarterback Max Brosmer’s pass to the end zone fell incomplete, the clock ran out and No. 24 Delaware could at last celebrate a hard-earned 16-10 victory over the No. 22 Wildcats before a relieved crowd of 16,730 on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

“It’s an experience,” senior defensive lineman Cam Kitchen said about the last-minute drive. “It’s definitely what you play football for. It’s fun. Your heart’s pumping. …”

And when the final pass falls incomplete?

“It’s like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders,” said Kitchen. “It’s like a sigh of relief.”
Former Smyrna High standout Will Knight gets loose for a 39-yard run late in the second quarter. Delaware sports information

Grinding out a victory meant a lot more than just surviving one last drive for the Blue Hens (2-1 CAA, 4-3 overall). It also was a measure of redemption for Delaware after its 42-7 rout at the hands of Elon last Saturday.

“This was one of the hardest weeks I’ve had in a long time,” said Delaware coach Danny Rocco.

The veteran coach used the word ‘embarrassed’ to describe the loss to Elon.

“Me losing a game is not all that uncommon,” said Rocco. “But that score was different. There was something about that game that didn’t feel right. We had to kind of press all the buttons and have all the conversations and kind of clear our emotions. … At the end of the day you either respond or you don’t respond. And this team responded.”

“Everybody goes through adversity,” said running back Will Knight (Smyrna). “We didn’t let it down us. We just kept fighting. We knew that we had to come back this week.”

In a lot of ways, Delaware just played old-fashioned football in handing the Wildcats (3-1 CAA, 4-3 overall) their first conference loss of the season.

Playing without starting QB Nolan Henderson (Smyrna), who took a hard hit to the head against Elon, the Hens threw the ball only 16 times. Instead, they kept the ball in the hands of DeJoun Lee (23 carries-103 yards) and Knight (16-101), who both went over 100 yards.
Senior defensive lineman Cam Kitchen recorded a pair of sacks, including one on which he forced and recovered a fumble. Delaware sports information

On Delaware’s only touchdown drive of the afternoon, the Hens covered 74 yards on a combined five running plays from Knight and Lee. Knight broke off a 39-yard run before Lee capped off the march with a nine-yard scoring run that tied the contest at 10-10 with 1:11 left before halftime.

The rest of Delaware’s scoring came from the right leg of Jake Roth, who made three of four field goals in the game. His 33-yarder in the third quarter and 29-yarder in the fourth quarter with 2:46 remaining accounted for the only second-half points.

“We talked about how it was going to be a dogfight and we were going to pound it,” said Lee. “Will and I talked about it — if we have a good game, this team has a good game. Obviously the ‘O’ line had a great game.

“We knew what we were getting into and we were excited about it. That’s what football is about.”

“On the way home (from Elon) on the plane, I told Jared (Ambrose) we need to get big and run the ball,” said Rocco, referring to his offensive coordinator. “As we put some drives together, we did have that rhythm where you know we were going to get five, we were going to get six, we were going to get seven or eight (yards). … We didn’t finish drives in the end zone the way you need to but it played out in our favor.”

The Hens’ defense did the rest, putting together one of their most complete performances of the season. Both UNH scoring drives came after interceptions, at the Delaware 34 and 31, in the second quarter.

Along with limiting the Wildcats to only 251 total yards, the Hens forced three turnovers. None of those turnovers were bigger than an interception by redshirt-freshman cornerback Amonte Strothers at the UNH eight yard line with 9:28 left in the game.

Kitchen also had a big game with two sacks, two pass breakups and a strip sack and recovery in the fourth quarter. The Hens had three sacks in the game after recording just one in their first six games.

“We have a lot of young guys that are very hungry,” said Kitchen. “It’s definitely something we’ve been waiting on doing.”

On the game’s final drive, the Wildcats marched 57 yards on 13 plays. They had a first down on the Delaware 22 with 10 seconds left.

On the first play, Brosmer’s pass was deflected and almost intercepted by linebacker Drew Nickles just short of the goal line.

Then on the last play, Brosmer (16-of-33 for 160 yards) tried to find Charles Briscoe running toward the sideline but led him out of bounds.

“There’s always hope if you’re willing to fight and if you care,” Rocco said about rebounding from last week’s loss. “This team cares, our coaches care. We’ve got fight and we’ve got passion. It was an ugly game in a lot of ways. We wanted it to be that.

“We had just enough firepower to find a way to win the game.”

Extra points

Delaware linebacker Matt Palmer had nine tackles and a first-half interception. … Senior quarterback Pat Kehoe completed 9-of-15 passes for 94 yards with the two interceptions. … Tim Poindexter also had nine tackles. … The Hens did give up three more sacks for losses of 32 yards. … Redshirt freshman QB Anthony Paoletti got in on a couple plays, completing a five-yard pass and getting sack for a 17-yard loss. … Roth’s other field goal attempt, from 52 yards, was long enough but hit the right upright.
No. 22 'Cats Fall at Delaware
10-19-19 - New Hampshire Wildcat Football News

DURHAM, N.H. – Senior cornerback Prince Smith Jr. (Philadelphia, Pa.) intercepted a pair of passes to lead another strong effort by the No. 22 University of New Hampshire defense, but the Wildcats came up just short in the end and dropped a 16-10 decision at No. 24 Delaware on Saturday afternoon in Delaware Stadium.

Evan Horn (33) leads the Wildcats onto the field at Delaware Stadium
The loss snapped UNH's four-game win streak. The Wildcats are 4-3 overall and 3-1 in the Colonial Athletic Association. Delaware is also 4-3 overall and the Blue Hens are 2-1 in the CAA.

The Wildcats are off next weekend and return to action with a game against Villanova on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 1 p.m. for STEM Day. Group tickets for UNH home games start at $9 and are available at www.unhwildcats.com or by calling 603-862-4000. Group ticket options include all-you-can-eat barbecue seating in the Touchdown Tents.

Max Brosmer went 16 of 33 for 160 yards
Freshman quarterback Max Brosmer (Roswell, Ga.) led the Wildcats down the field in the closing minutes in search of a winning touchdown. UNH had a first down at the Delaware 22-yard line with about 30 seconds to play, but three passes fell incomplete and the game ended.

Smith leads the team with three interceptions this season and also is the career leader with 11.

His picks of quarterback Pat Kehoe came on back-to-back Delaware possessions in the second quarter and directly led to UNH's two scores.

Carlos Washington Jr. scored a 4-yard TD to give UNH a 10-3 lead 
Kicker Jason Hughes (Atkinson, N.H.) took advantage of the first and matched his career-long with a 45-yard kick to tie the game at 3-3 with 6:08 left in the half. Sophomore Carlos Washington, Jr. followed the second interception with a 4-yard run with 3:23 left to cap a short drive and put UNH up 10-3 with 3:23 to go. Delaware tied the game at 10-10 with its only TD of the game just before the half.

Washington paced the UNH ground game with 12 carries for 60 yards.

Sophomore safety Pop Bush (Nocatee, Fla.) led the Wildcats with 10 tackles and junior safety Evan Horn (Lebanon, Pa.) had nine tackles. Senior defensive end Josh Kania (Milton, Ga.) had two of UNH's three sacks and sophomore defensive tackle Niko Kvietkus (Southington, Conn.) had the other.

Elon Earns Statement Victory with 42-7 Defeat of No. 15 Delaware
10-12-19 - https://elonphoenix.com/

ELON, N.C. – Elon University football scored 35 second-half points on the way to a convincing 42-7 CAA Football victory Saturday afternoon, Oct. 12, against No. 15 Delaware at Rhodes Stadium.

"This was a great team win," said Elon head coach Tony Trisciani. "In the locker room before the game, we talked about having to put everything together today, and I feel like we did – offensively, defensively, special teams, we won the game in all three phases. We're really proud of our guys how everybody bounced back, and we're real proud of our guys for this win."

Leading 7-0 at halftime, Elon punted on its first possession of the second half before scoring on each of its last five possessions of the afternoon. Pinning Delaware (3-3, 1-1 CAA) deep on its 10 after opening the half with the ball, the Phoenix defense pushed UD backwards and forced a punt that set Elon up at the Delaware 49. After a jet sweep to Kortez Weeks that went for two yards, De'Sean McNair picked up a blind-side blitz and Davis Cheek connected with Matt Foster from 47 yards out to go up two scores.

The long ball opened the gates for the Elon offense with the Phoenix going on to add 28 more points in the game's final 18:42. Bryson Daughtry scored his second collegiate touchdown with a three-yard sweep to the left pylon and Greg Liggs, Jr. picked off Pat Kehoe two plays later and returned it 42 yards for Elon's second pick-six in as many seasons. Elon continued to put Delaware away in the fourth quarter with McNair finding the end zone twice to cap the 42-7 victory.

Elon also made multiple max-effort plays on defense to keep the Blue Hens off the scoreboard in both halves. In the first half nearing halftime, Kehoe connected on a 33-yard pass to Thyrick Pitts with Liggs stopping the gain at the two-yard line. After the Elon defense held UD out of the end zone on the ensuing rush, the Phoenix forced a takeaway with Zack Monson falling on a fumble at the two to give Elon the ball with 1:15 to go before the break to keep the game 7-0. In the final two minutes with a 35-point lead, Cole Coleman kept Delaware off the board by poking a fumble free on the one-yard line to stop a 31-yard touchdown pass. The effort kept Delaware from adding to its total with the ball going out the back of the end zone for a touchback. Elon then took over and ran out the clock with Mark McGuire making his collegiate debut in the final 99 seconds.

Elon: Davis Cheek – 22/25, 259 yards, 1 touchdown
Delaware: Pat Kehoe – 14/24, 175 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception

Elon: Jaylan Thomas – 7 carries, 55 yards
Delaware: Will Knight – 11 carries, 69 yards

Elon: Bryson Daughtry – 6 receptions, 93 yards
Delaware: Thyrick Pitts – 4 receptions, 69 yards

Elon: Cole Coleman – 16 tackles, 12 solo, 1 forced fumble
Delaware: Kedrick Whitehead – 7 tackles, 3 solo

-Elon's 42 points match the most in a CAA Football game to date for the Phoenix. It ties the 42 Elon put up in its road win at Richmond last month.
-In beating Delaware, Elon has now defeated every CAA Football team in the league. Delaware was the only remaining program Elon had not defeated in three attempts.
-Davis Cheek's 22-for-25 day marked his best performance to date under center, completing 88 percent of his passes for 259 yards to mark the most passing yards Cheek has thrown for this season. He completed a perfect 13-of-13 in the second half after going 9-for-12 in the opening frame. 
-Elon's pocket protection did not allow a sack on the afternoon and only allowed one tackle for loss all day.
-De'Sean McNair now has four two-touchdown games in his career with two of those outings coming in 2019. The other this season came in the opener at No. 19 North Carolina A&T.
-Cole Coleman's 16 tackles are the most in a game thus far for the sophomore. Coleman has now recorded double-digit tackles in two of Elon's last three games, also making 12 stops against No. 2 James Madison. He has 35 tackles over the course of Elon's last three games to lead the team with 57 this season.
-Bryson Daughtry had a career high in both receptions and receiving yards, catching six balls for a team-best 93 yards.
-Matt Foster's 47-yard touchdown marks a career-long for the tight end. He caught 69 yards on the day with the 47-yard touchdown falling one short of his previous career high for total receiving yards.
-Joey Baughman scored the only touchown of the first half with an 11-yard rush. It marks the first touchdown of his career.

Elon will have its first of two open dates on the schedule next weekend before going on the road to close the month of October with a visit to Rhode Island on Saturday, Oct. 26, at 1 p.m. Elon will then return home for two in a row to host William & Mary and Maine on Nov. 2 and Nov. 9, respectively, at Rhodes Stadium.
No. 15 Blue Hens suffer 42-7 shocker at CAA foe Elon
Oct 12th, 2019 · by Delaware State News · Delaware State News

ELON, N.C. — After an open date last week, the Delaware football team thought maybe it was recharged and ready to go.
It wasn’t.

In an effort that may have been just as surprising as their narrow loss to Pitt two weeks ago was, the No. 15 Blue Hens got steamrolled by Elon, 42-7, in a Colonial Athletic Association football game on Saturday afternoon.

The Phoenix (2-2 CAA, 3-4 overall) ran off 28 unanswered points to begin the second half before posting the program’s first win over Delaware (1-1 CAA, 3-3 overall) in four all-time tries.

Blue Hens coach Danny Rocco didn’t mince his words after the game.

“I was very disappointed, I mean pretty embarrassed basically, how it all played out,” he said. “We’ve been down this year several times and came out of the locker room and performed in the second half.
Blue Hens QB Nolan Henderson runs the ball as Elon’s McAllister Ingram (18) waits for him. McAllister was ejected for helmet-to-helmet contact on the first-quarter play while Henderson suffered a concussion and did not return.

“We just didn’t have it in us today. I don’t really know exactly why but defensively we couldn’t get stops. … Offensively, we had a drive or two late but never really gave ourselves a chance.”

Adding injury to insult was the fact that Delaware lost starting quarterback Nolan Henderson to an illegal hit late in the first quarter.

The Smyrna High grad was sliding down after a short run when he took a helmet-to-helmet hit from Elon defensive back McAllister Ingram. Henderson’s helmet flew off and he also hit his unprotected head on the ground.

Ingram was ejected and Henderson did not return to the game.

Former starting QB Pat Kehoe took over but with only limited success. The senior completed 14-of-24 passes for 175 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Late in the first half, the Hens drove 36 yards to the Phoenix two. But Kehoe fumbled there as Elon went into halftime still leading 7-0.

Then, after the Phoenix opened up a 21-0 third-quarter lead, Kehoe threw an interception that was returned 42 yards for a touchdown that broke the game open.
Delaware linebacker Sal Mauro brings down an Elon ball carrier in Saturday’s game.

“I think we felt Pat was ready and Pat was able to step in there and perform,” said Rocco. “As the game unfolded, he certainly did some good things.

“Without a doubt, Nolan is a different kind of quarterback for us. We did have quite a few things in the game that were very much suited to his skillset. But that’s not really why the game went the way it did.”

It was 35-0 before Kehoe threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to tight end Bryce DeMaille with just 8:54 remaining.

Of Delaware’s 319 total yards, 158 came on its last two possessions of the contest. Elon finished with 435 yards.

The Hens didn’t help themselves, as they finished with seven penalties for 53 yards. They had been averaging just 2.6 penalties, the best in FCS.
Senior QB Pat Kehoe played the final three quarters after Nolan Henderson was injured.

“We did a lot of things that were very uncharacteristic of who we’ve been to this point,” said Rocco. “In this moment I can’t offer the ‘why’ as to why or how that happens.”

Delaware returns home to host New Hampshire next Saturday afternoon. With tougher opponents waiting ahead, this was a perplexing way for the Hens to start their stretch of seven straight conference games.

“We’re going to take a big step back and kind of reassess where we’re at,” said Rocco. “We certainly are going to have to do a better job in the second half of the season. I can only be hopeful that we’ll come back fighting and hungry and ready to go back to work.

“This is one Saturday afternoon. We didn’t play well but really nothing went our way. Those errors sand miscues kind of mounted on us. It’s very hard to dig yourself out of a hole when you’re down four scores. That was our fate out here today.”

Extra points

Will Knight (Smyrna) finished with a team-high 69 yards on 11 carries. … Starting running back DaJoun Lee, who returned from injury, had 29 yards on seven carries. … Khory Spruill had 19 yards on four carries in his first actin of the season while Andre Robinson didn’t play. … Thyrick Pitts had fou catches for 69 yards. … DeMaille added 69 yards on just two receptions. He looked like he was going to score his second TD late in the game but the referees ruled that he fumbled just before he crossed the goal line. … Kedrick Whitehead (Middletown) and Noah Plack each had seven tackles.
Gannon Headed Into National QB Hall of Fame
10/1/2019 - bluehens.com

PHOENIX, Ariz. – One of the greatest to ever put on the Delaware uniform had another honor added to his already loaded trophy case this past week.

Blue Hen great and longtime NFL standout Rich Gannon was announced as part of the 2019 class for the National Quarterback Hall of Fame in Phoenix, Arizona. He will be honored at the 2019 NQBC Awards Dinner and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on January 17, 2020. 

Gannon played 17 years in the NFL including six seasons with the Oakland Raiders beginning in 1999. He excelled in Oakland and was selected to the Pro Bowl following his first year as a Raider. Gannon would make four straight Pro Bowl appearances, which included two consecutive Pro Bowl MVP honors in 2001 and 2002 – a feat that no other NFL player has ever achieved.

In 2000, 2001, and 2002, Gannon was named National Quarterback of the Year by the National Quarterback Club, and AFC Player of the Year by the NFL. 

In 2002, Gannon was named NFL MVP throwing for 4,689 yards and 26 touchdowns and recording a career-high 97.2 passer rating, which helped the Raiders advance to Super Bowel XXXVII. He led the league in 2002 with 418 completions on 618 attempts and 26 TDs.

Rich Gannon grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and attended St. Joseph's Preparatory School where he would earn three varsity letters each in football and All-City honors. He would also earn multiple varsity letters in crew and basketball.

Gannon was a three-year starter at the University of Delaware. As a sophomore, Coach Tubby Raymond plugged Gannon into the famed Winged-T offense with a play book based entirely on Gannon's mobility. Rich Gannon made the offense explosive during his first year as a quarterback winning the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division I-AA Rookie of the Year award. Gannon set 21 school records, logging 7,432 of total offense, including 5,927 passing yards with 462 completions on 845 attempts.

His career included stints with the Minnesota Vikings, Washington Redskins and Kansas City Chiefs before joining the Raiders. He retired in 2005 after his seventeen years in the NFL yielded 28,743 yards passing and 180 TDs.

Upon his retirement, Gannon joined CBS Sports as an NFL game analyst in 2005. 
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Nickles Takes Home CAA Defensive Player of the Week Honors

9/30/2019 bluehens.com

RICHMOND, Va. – Playing in the city known for hard-nosed football and the 'Steel Curtain' defense, sophomore Drew Nickles of the University of Delaware did his best to embody the city he was playing in this past Saturday.

Nickles put together his best collegiate performance as the Blue Hens nearly took down ACC foe Pitt in a tough 17-14 loss in front of over 40,000 at Heinz Field. 

The Upper Black Eddy, Pa. native finished with a career-high 12 tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery for Delaware. 

"Drew's done a good job for us and is one of those guys that continues to get better every week. He's a critical part to us playing in that middle of the defense and I thought had one of his better performances this past week at Pitt. We're excited to watch him improve as the year goes on," head coach Danny Rocco said. 

On just the second play of the third quarter, Nickles made a tackle and on the way down stripped the ball from the Pitt player to set the Blue Hens up with prime field position. Delaware would score just three minutes later to take a 14-10 lead, a lead that would hold up until 10 minutes left in the contest. 

"I'm proud of the way we fought as a team and we can definitely take some positives from the game. Obviously, it's no fun losing, no matter who you're playing, but I thought we took some steps and did some good things that we'll look to take into the bye week and build upon as we enter conference play," Nickles said. 


QB Nick Patti, Pitt hobbles to victory against Delaware

Jerry DiPaola | Saturday, September 28 2019

Pat Narduzzi growled the words like a parent whose kids just let him down.

“Critical errors all over the place, 13 penalties, ridiculous,” Pitt’s coach said.

“I don’t think we came out with the emotion. We came out flat.

“Blame me for that because we have to come out revved up and ready to go every week.”

Does this sound like the rant of a winning coach? No, but that’s how Narduzzi left Heinz Field on Saturday, desperately and thankfully clutching a 17-14 victory against Delaware, an FCS team that needed three overtimes to beat Rhode Island.

Speaking of needs, Pitt needed a 100-yard drive (thanks to one of those penalties) to erase a fourth-quarter deficit and improve to 3-2 in front of an announced crowd of 44,141.

Narduzzi lamented the hard fact many college coaches face:

“Sometimes, it’s hard to get them going,” he said. “The emotion we had or didn’t have and the penalties drive me nuts.”

But the other reality is Pitt had just enough to win on a day when it almost didn’t have enough players.

“We got a character football team that found a way to win,” he said. “Some teams will find a way to lose.”

Pitt was hit hard by injuries last week, the most significant of which was quarterback Kenny Pickett, who fell on his shoulder against Central Florida and barely practiced this week. He was one of 10 regulars who were unavailable Saturday, including top running backs A.J. Davis and Vincent Davis, cornerback Jason Pinnock, linebacker Chase Pine, safety Jazzee Stocker and four others who didn’t play last week.

In stepped redshirt freshman Nick Patti, who threw a touchdown pass last week in relief of the injured Pickett. This time, he was steering the ship for four quarters.

Patti completed 23 of 37 passes with touchdowns to running back V’Lique Carter (30 yards) and wide receiver Taysir Mack (12). He also threw Pitt’s first interception since the opener.

What he did best, though, was take the ball at Pitt’s 10-yard line early in the fourth quarter, staring at a 14-10 deficit, and lean on a running game that suddenly found its feet. Todd Sibley came off the bench to rush for 106 yards and become the first Pitt running back to reach the century mark this season.

Shrugging off a 10-yard holding penalty by guard Bryce Hargrove, Patti led the winning drive. On third-and-17, he threw a 48-yard jump ball that Mack wrestled from cornerback Riah Burton at the Delaware 15-yard line. Then, he hit Mack with a pinpoint pass, leading him into an open area of the end zone for the decisive score.

That gave Pitt its winning margin with 10 minutes, 33 seconds to play. The defense, which recorded six sacks for the third time this season and only allowed touchdown drives of 21 and 41 yards, did the rest.

There was hope Pickett could play — Narduzzi didn’t make up his mind until 45 minutes before kickoff — but Patti said he prepared all week like he would start.

“I don’t think Kenny was 100 percent,” Narduzzi said. “I did warn our kids earlier in the week. I don’t care who goes. I wanted to make sure there wasn’t a letdown.

“Maybe there was a letdown. Maybe everybody thought Kenny was going to play. It comes down to health. I don’t want to put anybody in harm’s way. He goes out there and tweaks it, we’ll all be kicking ourselves in the tail. I thought we could go out there with Nick Patti and win the football game. We, obviously, did. Not in a pretty manner, but we got the ‘W.’ ”

Patti wasn’t sacked, a first for a Pitt starting quarterback this season, and limited his mistakes to a couple of bad throws and an interception that set up a Delaware touchdown.

“We don’t really get in that panic mode,” he said. “We have some veteran guys, and we know how to win.”

But Patti, 19, said he didn’t panic, even when Delaware was ahead in the fourth quarter.

“Just (having) composure and confidence in yourself,” he said, explaining the root of his demeanor. “Staying consistent throughout the game was a challenge, but I tried to get better as the game went on and learn things as the game went on.”

Pitt’s hope is the use of replacement players will prepare the team for the upcoming seven-game ACC stretch that will define the season.

“I was glad Nick was able to get out there and make some plays,” Narduzzi said. “It’s going to make us that much stronger as the season goes on.”
Hens put scare into Pitt, fall 17-14: Panthers rally to avoid upset by UD
Sep 28th, 2019 · by Delaware State News · Delaware State News

PITTSBURGH — For three quarters, Delaware was living the dream.

Against a major-college Pitt program it got crushed by five years ago, the Blue Hens were up by four going into the fourth quarter.

But the Panthers woke up just in the nick of time, putting together a winning drive early in the fourth quarter to hold off Delaware, 17-14, before a Heinz Field crowd of 44,141 on Saturday afternoon.

The 20th-ranked FCS Hens (3-2), who were thumped by P{tt (3-2) by a 62-0 margin in 2014, never really had a chance to retake the lead after the Panthers got a 12-yard touchdown pass with only 10:33 remaining.

Delaware netted just two yards on its final two drives and punted on its final five possessions.

Overall, Pitt out-gained the Hens, 443 yards to 170, in total yards.

“I thought we went toe to toe,” said Delaware coach Danny Rocco. “That was the thing that I wanted our team to be able to do. We really talked about how it comes down to one-on-one matchups — their ability to go toe to toe with the man across from them. I thought a lot of our guys did that at a high level.”
Junior receiver Gene Coleman finished with five catches for 61 yards and a TD for the Hens.

Two big turnovers helped give Delaware a shot at the huge upset.

With the Hens trailing 7-0 in the second quarter, Tim Poindexter intercepted a pass at the Pitt 41. Six plays later, quarterback Nolan Henderson fired a quick seven-yard touchdown pass to receiver Gene Coleman.

Coleman (5 catches-61 yards)spun to the outside and made a nice fingertip catch on the play that tied the game at 7-7 with 6:28 left in the first half.

While the Panthers were able to answer with a short field goal that gave them a 10-7 advantage at halftime, the Hens’ defense came up with another big turnover to start the third quarter.

This time, linebacker Drew Nickles stripped a Pitt receiver for a fumble recovery at the Panthers’ 21.

Five plays later, Henderson sprinted out to his right and fired a low five-yard scoring pass to receiver Jourdan Townsend. The true freshman came back to make a diving catch for the TD that put the Hens ahead, 14-10, with 12:53 left in the third quarter.

In his second career start, Henderson completed 14-of-31 passes for 127 yards with the two TDs and no interceptions. But the Smyrna High grad was also under constant pressure and was sacked six times.

Pitt’s ability to control the line of scrimmage limited Delaware to just 43 rushing yards.

The Hens’ longest second-half drive came late in the third quarter when they marched 56 yards on 10 plays to the Pitt 39. But the drive stalled there and Delaware was forced to punt.

Outside of that drive and the short touchdown march, Delaware netted negative-six yards on its other four second-half possessions.
UD quarterback Nolan Henderson (14) talks with receiver Jourdan Townsend after the two hooked up on a five-yard TD pass in the third quarter.

“Offensively, we had our moments,” said Rocco. “We certainly made some plays in the game. We won some matchups both in the passing game and in the run game. But, all-in-all, their defense was a little much for us.

“I think, as the game wore on, we were playing with bad field position and it was just less and less likely that we were going to get something going there.”

But there was still the matter of the Panthers scoring enough points to pull out the win. Pitt had trouble sustaining drives behind backup quarterback Nick Patti (23-of-37, 271 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT), who made his first start.

However, on a third-and-17 at its own 37 in the fourth quarter, Patti found receiver Taysir Mack on a 48-yard bomb. Three plays later, Patti fired a 12-yard scoring strike to Mack on a crossing pattern to give the Panthers the lead for good.

Mack had a pair of catches over 40 yards to finish with 124 yards on five receptions.

Once the Panthers took the lead, there wasn’t much the Hens could do to take it back.

Delaware looked like it would have one last chance with Pitt punting with 1:30 remaining. But the Hens went for the block, were called for roughing the punter and the Panthers ran out the clock.

Getting a block was really Delaware’s only realistic chance at scoring, If not the Hens would have had the ball at their own two with 1:18 on the clock.

“The odds of us going 98 (yards) was pretty slim with that defense out there,” said Rocco.
Delaware coach Danny Rocco makes a point to player Tim Poindexter during Saturday’s game at Heinz Field.

The good news for Delaware is that it has an open date next weekend. But the Hens would also like to carry some momentum from Saturday’s effort into the CAA portion of its schedule, which continues on Oct. 12 at Elon.

“We’ve got to really move this thing forward,” said Rocco. “We’ve got to be excited for the second half of our season.

“We came up here to win so we came up short. We did not accomplish our goal. But I am very proud of our team and our coaches. We’ve got some tough kids. We’ve got some kids that want to fight, kids that have the will to win.

“Today we played a team that was pretty darn good,” he added. “Most likely they’d beat us more times than not. The rest of our schedule, we don’t have a team like Pitt. Hopefully that can lead us forward to playing a higher level of ball when we get back in the CAA.”

Extra points

Safety Kedrick Whitehead (Middletown) posted 13 tackles with Nickles adding 12 for Delaware. … Will Knight had a team-high 40 yards on nine carries with two catches for 11 yards. … Pitt is now 17-1 all-time vs. FCS opponents. … Blue Hens’ kicker Jake Roth missed a 36-yard field goal in the first half, making him only 4-of-9 for the season.

Pitt Survives Scare against Delaware
9/28/2019 https://pittsburghpanthers.com/

PITTSBURGH (AP) Backup quarterback Nick Patti capped a fourth-quarter drive with a touchdown pass to help Pitt survive a scare from Delaware, 17-14, on Saturday.

Patti, who started in place of Kenny Pickett, directed an eight-play, 90-yard drive, finding Taysir Mack in the end zone from 12 yards out. The long drive put the Panthers (3-2) in the lead for good after an unexpectedly close battle with the Blue Hens.

A pair of short fields after Pitt turnovers led to touchdowns for Delaware. After a Patti interception in the second quarter, Nolan Harrison passed 7 yards to Gene Coleman II to tie the game.

When Maurice Ffrench fumbled in the third quarter to give Delaware (3-2) another short field, Henderson hit Jourdan Townsend with a 5-yard score to give the Blue Hens a four-point lead.

That's when Pitt responded with the long drive from Patti, who finished 23 of 37 for 271 yards, two touchdowns and an interception while making his first career start. He relied heavily on Mack, who had five catches for 124 yards.

In addition to Pickett, Pitt played without top running backs A.J. Davis and Vincent Davis.

Todd Sibley Jr. saw his most extensive action at running back, with 22 carries for 106 yards for his first career 100-yard rushing performance.

Delaware: The Blue Hens had one shot against a Power Five team on their 2019 schedule, and they made an impact by taking Pitt to the wire. The question will be whether they can translate that showing at the FCS level where Delaware plays in a Colonial Athletic Conference that features six ranked teams, including the Blue Hens.

Pitt: Despite the win, the slog over the Blue Hens sapped any momentum the Panthers may have had coming off an upset over then-No. 15 UCF a week ago. The absence of Pickett is concerning for the Panthers' offense. He entered the week fifth in the FBS in completions per game.

Delaware: Continues a two-game road swing by visiting Elon.

Pitt: Returns to ACC play with a trip to 3-1 Duke next Saturday.
Coach Pat Narduzzi Press Conference: Pitt vs. Delaware Preview
9/23/2019 https://pittsburghpanthers.com/

COACH NARDUZZI: Obviously it was a nice weekend that we were able to close a chapter out last night with our football team. It was a nice win for our kids, our coaches. A much needed one when really nobody else in the country was giving us a shot to win that football game. That's the sweetest thing about it.

I've said this every week and I continue to see an improvement from week one to two, two to three, and three to four, and I still think -- that's why we coach, that there's still room for improvement. I don't think you're seeing a finished product yet. And I think that's a good thing.

I think our schedule's been pretty firm as we've gone. And we need to keep our foot on the gas pedal this week because I think it's awful important with who we've got coming in here.

Again, stuff that we need to clean up that really bothers me. I think I talked about some of the positives that we did the other day. I think I did. I don't really remember, but we've got to work on ball security again this week. Ball security can get you beat really quick. Our two missed field goals that we cannot have.

I'm going to go on record saying we probably won't miss another field goal the rest of the year. Probably won't miss another field goal the rest of the year. We'll get that fixed. And the punt return for a touchdown -- and I talked last week with our kids about complacency. I sat right in here talking to them about, you know, punt team, you were really good.

I mean, Kirk has been as good, I guess in that two-weeks-ago game, as good as I've seen a punter punt here at Pitt. And I talked to him about complacency. You did it one week; can you do it again?

We go out, he was pretty good then it just takes one 58-yard punt with a 3.3 hang time to give that guy a chance to return it. And we've got a young gunner that comes down, doesn't turn it back in, we've got plenty of guys -- but again it's that complacency. You fix one thing one week and the next week it's bad again.

A week ago against Penn State, Rangers, our punt team, was bad. This week it's good. We make a play. It's like one week you fix one thing, the next week you gotta fix it. So we've got to be consistent in what we do in all three phases of the game.

Delaware, you know, coming in this week, again, great football team. Historic football team. They've got those wing helmets that are so historic. And coached by Danny Rocco.

History with Delaware for me goes way, way back to the old Yankee Conference. I've coached against them. I've played in games against them, three of them.

I was a little ball boy against these guys back in 1979. Jerry, I think you were 22 years old in '79. But I was a ball boy for them. (In) 1979, the only team we lost to at Youngstown State when my dad was head coach was Delaware.

I tell our kids all the time these games have got to be personal. It's personal for me. I'll never forget 1979. Never forget getting beat in Austintown Fitch Stadium or getting beat in the national championship game down in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Youngstown expected to win the championship. We didn't get it done because of Delaware.

And that was Tubby Raymond back in the day and Scott Brunner, the quarterback. If I was this big I could see the field and the locker room after the game. It's personal. So they've got a great football team.

Danny Rocco, again, Pittsburgh native. So they'll come back. I think they probably have 20 guys on their team from Pittsburgh probably. I know there's seven on the offensive side of the ball, I believe in two-deep. Bill Cubit, their assistant head coach, who you can tell has a lot to do with their offense as far as what they're doing.

Ambrose is obviously the offensive coordinator. But they do it as a team. And there's some similarities. The last time I played Cubit was I think 2013 when I was at Michigan State and he was at Illinois, played out at Illinois.

I see some of the same characteristics of what they do. So I think I'm familiar with it. I think Coach Bates is familiar with it. And those are good things. And then Chris Cosh who has been in the coaching profession for a long time is their defensive coordinator. He's coached everywhere.

They've got a very, very good coaching staff. They've got really good players and they will come in here ready to go and it's my job to get our guys to come back after a big win and get another one.

Q. You won on a pretty gutsy play call Saturday on fourth down. Is there any concession in the week leading up to it, following the Penn State game, that maybe between you and Coach Whipple about you want to be more aggressive in game situations later?
COACH NARDUZZI: Not really. Not really. We're always aggressive. It's like it doesn't matter. We'll be aggressive this week against Delaware. It doesn't matter. Like we always go in and have a Thursday checklist of is it conservative -- it's weird, again, it's typed up in our winner's manual-- game plan, conservative, gamble.

I always laugh and we always have weather; is weather going to be an issue? And it's always gamble. Every week I laugh, I say why do we have this conservative thing? Just throw it out; why do we even look at it? I don't think I'll ever be conservative. You'll make the best decisions for your football team.

I think, again, going back to that Penn State game, the fourth-and-one that we're afraid what defensive they're going to be in. That's a gamble especially where you are on that field.

If we don't get that one you guys are screaming and they score a touchdown on a drive, it's like you just lost the game. But we're gambling all the time. Every play is a gamble.

When you say that play is like a critical, they're all critical. If we watch tape together you'd see that I grabbed him in the huddle and said, 'Guys, we're going to go for it and you're going to make it and we've got to execute.' Comes down to execution.

But if one guy doesn't do his job, it becomes an ugly play. Becomes a gamble. The gamble is only if you don't execute. So the play was the play. It had a nice name. The whole deal. But just wait for the right time to call it against the right defense. Coach Whipple did a heck of a job. Hat goes off to him. He made the call, I listen to him and say I like it.

Q. What do you think is the issue with Alex Kessman and field goal kicking this season?
COACH NARDUZZI: I'm not going to get into -- what is he?

Q. He's three of eight.
COACH NARDUZZI: On field goals? I didn't even know that. I just take one game at a time. I know he's 0-for-2 on Saturday.

We won't get into specifics but my guess is it will get turned around. Maybe I should have done something earlier. Again I don't like mess to with kickers. I've talked to two kickers on game day, once at Clemson and once Saturday. You can probably add them up. I stay away from those guys. Only when they need it.

And so I don't know -- I shouldn't say I don't know what it is. I know what it is. I won't discuss it. But I think it will get fixed.

Q. What did you say to him after the second miss? Because you --
COACH NARDUZZI: I said, 'If you do that again I'm going to kill you.' (Smiles) No, you can ask Kess. I said to him, I said, 'Listen, don't worry about it; let it go. You're going to kick the game winner.' And I think he did. That's all I said to him.

Q. Without getting into specifics, a lot of guys went down on Saturday. What's the overall health of your team?
COACH NARDUZZI: I think we're pretty good. I think we're pretty good right now. We may not have one guy, I don't know, we may have them all. But, again, banged up but nothing bad, which is a good thing. So I feel good right now.

Q. More specifically on that final drive you were without Pinnock and Mathis at corner?
COACH NARDUZZI: Which is a good thing, isn't it? I mentioned we had 27 players, I believe, play on defense the other day. And you're playing a pretty darned good football team, as we all know. And the most impressive thing: we played guys, they stepped up, made plays.

Therran Coleman, my hat goes off to that guy. And Marquis Williams, they're waiting, begging, whining, complaining -- which they should; when do I get my chance? But you look at those three corners -- Pinnock, Mathis and Dane Jackson -- put this really good guy -- I mean you kind of sometimes have to wait your turn, but you had your turn, and you went in there -- Marquis made a nice play on a bubble, quick now and chopped the guy down.

They came in and did some stuff that you go, 'Okay, good, we can trust you.' And sometimes you don't know. It's hard to trust someone until you give them a chance to go. And that's the hardest thing as coaches. You want to play your best players to win football games. So that was a good thing those guys came in there. Now, makes us even that much stronger.

Q. Do you expect Mathis and Pinnock to play on Saturday?

Q. Seems like in all of football, there are more injuries--
COACH NARDUZZI: Why do you keep talking about injuries? (Smiles) One question, two, three, and you know I'm not talking about it, but you know I'll get after you. Okay, what have you got?

Q. Seems like in all levels of football there's a lot of injuries. Is the game changing now? Are players too big, too fast?
COACH NARDUZZI: Too big, too fast, too soft, I don't know what it is. It's not like it was in the old days. I don't know what it is. I think sometimes it's overuse. When I say overuse it's the constant, when you're in third grade, you're playing five sports.

I don't know what it is. But everybody's got him in a camp here, he's going there. These moms are driving them all over the place. You hear about it. But I think there's a long-lasting effect on these kids. So who knows what it is.

I'm not a trainer. I'm not a doctor, but I think a lot of times it's doing too much for so many years, eventually wears you out. Seven-on-sevens now compared to what they were 20 years ago, a lot more.

Q. You were down two defensive linemen. It was a hot day. They ran it 34 times, averaged two and a half yards per run. What does that say about your defensive front and how they elevated their play after their injuries?
COACH NARDUZZI: Still wished we had Keyshon Camp and Rashad Weaver, I keep saying that. I look at it all the time, man, what if we had those two guys? Because they're difference-makers.

But Coach Bates and Charlie Partridge together have done a great job with the D-line. And again credit goes to those guys. It goes to our football players that are continuing learning. If you walk by the D-line room over there they're always in there watching tape trying to figure out what that team's doing and how can I get better.

We type notes in after practice on the computer. Kids are sitting at home watching on their iPads, just like you guys have your computers open and their watching it and seeing the critique. Then they're coming in the next day watching it with the coach again and getting the same critique or more.

It's called develop your players, your young players, and that's what we have to do. And we're stuck in a jam there. The scary part was that was a scary part; your D-line is down. Also your DBs are beat up. We're putting new guys in here, and we're playing a team that's snapping the ball in eight seconds. You're like, 'Oh, boy.' You look upstairs and say a prayer.

Q. Did you play 27 players on defense four years ago?
COACH NARDUZZI: That's a long time ago.

Q. Three years ago?
COACH NARDUZZI: I don't remember. I can't even remember last year if we played 27. I don't know how many players we played against them last year. I just know there were some guys in there. Add in (Camp) and Weaver into that and you've got more.

We played 20 -- I want to say 25 on offense, 37 on special teams, if my numbers are correct.

Q. How comfortable were you with, I think Patti had to play a little bit? How do you think he did?
COACH NARDUZZI: Obviously he played really well. He made some plays. He got out of trouble, made some plays with his feet. But it's one of those guys. Again, I talked about Therran and Marquis, the same thing with Nick Patti on the other side of the ball. I'm fired up that he got to go in. And we had our plan of him going in and having a series already going into that game.

So we wanted -- when he did go in it wasn't because -- I think the first time he went in, Kenny was still in with him, if you guys recall. But we had a little couple things that we wanted to do with them, and we'll continue to maybe expand that package every week about what we can do with him because he can run. And he's tough. And again he can throw the ball as well.

He's got -- again he was our scout team quarterback a year ago so I know what he's got. He's got his tail beat in and he keeps coming back for more, so I know who he is. Didn't surprise me, but you know what, on game day when the lights are on it's a big-time game, you never know what's going to happen.

He showed us what he's going to do when he gets in there. Gives Coach Whipple, the offensive staff and myself more confidence if he has to go in there that we're good.

Q. How familiar are with you Andre Robinson, the Delaware running back and a former Penn State guy who had offers from Pitt and Michigan State?
COACH NARDUZZI: I don't know where I was. I don't remember the name. I've watched No. 10 run around. He's a big physical back. He's a good football player, and someone that we've got to have our eyes on. But they've got a few of them back there.

The other guys to mention, No. 33 here, DeJoun Lee and Will Knight, two other guys that are really good backs. One is a transfer from Old Dominion as well. So they've got guys on scholarship too. They're a good football team. They're well-coached and they're tough.

Q. Twyman is currently fourth in the country in sacks. What can you say about his continued growth?
COACH NARDUZZI: He just keeps getting better. I've talked about it every week. I don't care about the sacks or what he did four games ago or two games -- he got zero sacks this week.

So nobody cares what we did last week or what we did the week before. Everybody cares about what we're going to do this Saturday at 12:30. And I want to see him get another sack.

We'll look at all those stats. I have no clue where he was. Thanks for telling me; I don't care. But I mean it doesn't matter. Where is he going to be at the end of the year? If he's No. 1 or 4 that's good. If he drops because he's -- I hope he doesn't know that. That's why I hate these phones. These phones right here, I'm going to try to maybe tell our team -- I'm going to maybe see if I can buy them all flip phones. They can't look at anything, just flip phone. They can call mom, call your girlfriend. But you can't go on the Internet, can't go on Twitter. It's a good thing.

Q. Another stat you might care about. You're second in the nation in passing attempts, 180.
COACH NARDUZZI: We're second in the nation in pass attempts? No wonder we're not running the ball very good. You don't run it, you can't get yards.

Q. Is that a stat you like or do you prefer less?
COACH NARDUZZI: I don't care about stats. I care about Ws -- Ws, wins and losses. That's how you're graded. You're not graded about how you do it, how many times you blitz, how many times you play base, how many times you play quarters, how many times you play two. Doesn't matter. It matters how many times you win. We try to win. Doesn't matter what we have to do to win.

Q. Are you surprised that you've thrown it that much this year?
COACH NARDUZZI: Two games you're behind and you're trying to catch up. Really three games in the fourth quarter you're behind. How you -- I don't remember if we were behind or not, but you look at three games we've been behind. And we were ahead last weekend, and then the fourth quarter we find ourselves having to play catch up. We talked about the opener where you're down and you're throwing it 19 times in the fourth quarter.

So that doesn't surprise me any. And we like to throw the ball, too. And Kenny throws it pretty good and the receivers are catching it pretty good right now. So you do what you do to get first downs.

And, again, we're throwing the ball and still winning the time of possession the last two weeks, and that's important. Time to possession is key. If you're moving the sticks down the field that's good. I'd still like to score more.

Q. Making a game personal, as a coach, do you do this every game? I'm curious if there's a connection to it, you almost have to --
COACH NARDUZZI: I've got a little kid connection. So it's personal for me. Maybe not personal for him, but each one of us in some way has to find out what gets you going and who are you playing for. And to me it has to be personal. Someone's coming in here next Saturday and wants to hit you in the mouth. It becomes personal real quick.

If it's not personal going in, it's going to be personal after the first play. And to me you've got to have that mindset going in that it's personal. And to me there's always an extra flavor every week to a game. And this is a big game.

Q. With Tipton out, Dontavius is listed first at wideout, backed up by Shocky and then Jared Wayne. What has Jared shown you to earn a spot --
COACH NARDUZZI: To not earn a spot?

Q. To earn a spot as a top backup.
COACH NARDUZZI: Jared, we talked about him back in camp, out on the patio back there. He's done a great job. Wish we would have got him in more maybe Saturday. So Jared and Shocky both are doing a nice job. So it's kind of in those big games getting them in there and you're trying to win the game. It's no different.

I don't want to take Pinnock out of the game. I don't want to take Mathis out of the game. I want to keep all those guys in there. It's just little by little, we kind of give them a little bit. And Dontavius every week keeps making a play. And you just kind of let him go. And those guys will get more reps as we continue. We're going to need them to.

Q. Erick Hallett, he's listed as a safety, but I think he was running nickel for you guys too?
COACH NARDUZZI: Erick Hallett can play corner and safety. He's kind of a both. He's a great football player. Really excited about him. This week he started in our nickel package on third down when we were able to get in a true nickel package.

We wanted to do that so we could keep Pinnock out there to start with. We know Erick Hallett's a great player. Didn't want to have a, 'Okay, Pinnock needs to go to corner, we need to put a new star in there.' We didn't want to get into that with the tempo and have confusion. That was kind of narrowing it down.

I would say this week J.P. would probably be back at the star just because they tempo. They're a no-huddle team, but they kind of go a little slower than what we saw this past weekend.

So we'll kind of get back to what we do, I think. But Erick Hallett is a good football player. He played really well in the game. He can play corner. He can play star. He can play safety. We move him around. You could say he might be the third or fourth corner if we could afford to put him in there.

We thought it was really important to have him in the safety position last week and play. We wanted to give Damarri -- Damarri's going to need a blow. And we want our best cover we could on the number two receiver, and that's why we had him in there. We were able to press our slot receiver a little bit as far as the game plan goes -- with our field safety.

Q. On the punt block, was there something you saw, or did Aaron Mathews just go out and make a play?
COACH NARDUZZI: Aaron made a play. But there was something we saw. We thought we could get after it. But we do every week. I laugh at Andre Powell, who does a great job on special teams. 'I think we can really get them this week.' 'Hey, last week you said we could get them and you didn't get a block.'

You'd like to have one every week, but every week we think we're going to get one. And every week we're going to have a block and a return in of some sort that we try to go after them. But he did a great job making a play and then Wendell, scoop and score. And Aaron Mathews came back and got a nice block to get him in the end zone too.

Q. Did your offensive line make strides?
COACH NARDUZZI: I think they did. I think we had three winning performances on the offensive line, three out of four. I think our inside guys are really good. I'd like to see our tackles be a little bit better. But winning performance. We won.

So the O-line played well. And I think every week we'll get a little bit better at that position as well.

Q. Were you scared at all when Aaron Mathews went airborne?
COACH NARDUZZI: Scared? No. He's good. What I get scared about is guys after that thinking let me go jump too, because as a defensive guy you jump, I'm going to get you. And you saw the helicopter last week, you can't do that all the time. So you do it but don't do it all the time.

Q. Maurice looked like he was ready to do it.
COACH NARDUZZI: He wanted to because they see it and go, 'Oh, that was good.' And everybody goes 'whoo.' Then they want to get an 'ooh,' and sometimes an 'ooh' is like 'ah.' And that's not so good.
Panthers Cap Nonconference Slate by Hosting Delaware
9/23/2019 https://pittsburghpanthers.com/

PITT (2-2, 0-1 ACC) vs. DELAWARE (3-1, 1-0 CAA)
September 28, 2019 • 12:30 p.m., ET
Heinz Field (68,400/Natural Grass) • Pittsburgh, Pa.
RSN (AT&T SportsNet) • Pitt Panthers Radio Network

Game Storylines
• Pitt plays its final non-conference game of the season when it hosts Delaware. Following their encounter with the Blue Hens, the Panthers will close the regular season with seven consecutive ACC contests.

• Both teams are coming off thrilling one-point victories. The Panthers knocked off No. 15 UCF, 35-34, halting the Knights' 27-game non-bowl winning streak. Delaware rallied from a 14-point deficit to edge Penn, 28-27.

• Delaware is one of the most accomplished programs on the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level. The Blue Hens have been to the NCAA playoffs 21 times in their history, and have won six national championships.

• Pitt and Delaware have met just one prior time: a 62-0 season-opening win by the Panthers in 2014. James Conner rushed for 153 yards and four TDs in that victory at Heinz Field.

• The Panthers have played 17 prior games against FCS opponents and are 16-1 in those contests. This will be the sixth consecutive season that Pitt has played an FCS team dating back to 2014.

• Pitt boasts one of the country's most productive pass catching tandems in senior Maurice Ffrench (fourth nationally with 7.8 receptions per game) and junior Taysir Mack (15th with 6.8).

• Junior quarterback Kenny Pickett has an active streak of 139 passing attempts without an interception (second longest in FBS). Pickett's 1,102 total passing yards rank 16th nationally.

• Pitt has displayed a potent pass rush, collecting 18 sacks through four games. The Panthers rank fourth nationally with an average of 4.5 sacks per game. Sophomore defensive tackle Jaylen Twyman ranks fourth with 1.38 sacks per contest (5.5 total).

Series in Brief
Series Began: 2014
Series Overall: Pitt leads 1-0
At Pittsburgh: Pitt leads 1-0
At Delaware: DNA
Last Meeting: Aug. 30, 2014 (Pitt 62, Delaware 0)
Current Series Streak: Pitt has won 1 (2014)
Longest Pitt Series Win Streak: 1 game (2014)
Longest UD Series Win Streak: DNA
Largest Pitt Victory Margin: 62 points (62-0, 2014)
Largest UD Victory Margin: DNA

Broadcast Information
Television • RSN (AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh)
Tom Werme (play-by-play), James Bates (analyst), Lyndsay Rowley (reporter)

Pitt Radio • 93.7 The Fan & Pitt Panthers Radio Network
Bill Hillgrove (play-by-play), Pat Bostick (analyst), Larry Richert (reporter)

SiriusXM Satellite Radio
Sirius Channel 99, XM Channel 194, Internet Channel 956

WPTS Radio (Pitt Student Station) • 92.1 FM

Online Audio
Knowing the Grind: Blue Hens Pull Through In Penn Win
9/21/2019 10:29:00 PM By Andy Lohman (@Loh_rider)

A college football season is a grind. It's next to impossible to be at 100% for every day of a 12-game schedule. Head coach Danny Rocco noted in the postgame press conference that the triple overtime win at Rhode Island and the battle with No. 1 North Dakota State took a physical and emotional toll on the his No. 20 Delaware team.

So while the Blue Hens' 28-27 win over Penn Saturday afternoon may not have been the most complete game, the fact that Delaware came back from a two-touchdown second-half deficit to move to 3-1 on the season is something to be celebrated.

"There's a lot of things to go back and dissect and look at. Yet, the big news is that we won," Rocco said. "The big news is another game where we were trailing significantly, down two scores, we were able to come back and find a way to win. That's a real statement about the character of your kids and your program and the commitment level of your student-athletes."

After the Quakers took at 21-7 lead after the first drive of the third quarter, the Delaware offense kicked into its most efficient gear of the afternoon, scoring touchdowns on three of its next four drives.

It started with a Nolan Henderson scramble on 2nd and long with a lunge for the first down marker. A Penn personal foul tacked on to the end of the play moved Delaware deep into Quakers territory, where redshirt senior running back Andre Robinson broke free for a 25-yard gain to get Delaware into the red zone. Henderson found junior wide receiver Gene Coleman II's back shoulder in the corner of the end zone to cut the lead to 21-14.

On the next drive, it was sophomore tight end Bryce De Maille with his team-leading third touchdown of the season, burning the Penn defense on a 17-yard wheel route score to tie the game. Redshirt freshman running back Will Knight had broken several tackles earlier in the drive on a 23-yard rush to get in scoring range.

The Blue Hens went ahead for good in the fourth quarter when Knight punched it in from six yards out, his first rushing touchdown in a Delaware uniform. The score was set up by a 45-yard catch by redshirt sophomore Thyrick Pitts the previous play, where he dragged a Penn defender for several yards before eventually being taken down.

The game looked in jeopardy late in the fourth quarter when Penn returned a punt for a touchdown, but the Quakers failed to complete a pass on what would have been the go-ahead two-point conversion. Robinson gained a crucial first down on the final drive of the game that allowed the Blue Hens to run out the clock and seal the win.

Stray Observations

The defense was at its best in the third and fourth quarters. After it scored to start the third quarter, Penn failed to score on any offensive possession, punting three times and turning the ball over on downs once. The fourth-down stop came at the start of the fourth quarter when senior defensive end Brandan Hall stuffed Isaiah Malcome on third down, and sophomore linebacker Drew Nickles stuffed Karekin Brooks on fourth.
As the offense was struggling in the first half, the defense also came up with two huge turnovers to halt Penn drives. Late in the first quarter, redshirt junior Sal Mauro batted a pass at the line of scrimmage that fell into the hands of Nickles. Later as the Quakers were driving in the second quarter, redshirt freshman safety Noah Plack delivered a punishing hit on Ryan Cragun, popping the ball loose. Redshirt freshman linebacker Anthony Toro jumped on the fumble to swing momentum back to the Hens.
Toro had his most productive game in a Delaware uniform to date, finishing with the fumble recovery and five tackles.
Pitts is developing into a solid deep threat for the Blue Hens. The receiver from Manassas, Va., finished with five catches for 128 yards (25.6 yds/catch), including two for over 40-yard gains.
The offense started the game hot, marching down the field for a touchdown on the first drive of the game. Robinson had a 29-yard burst on a screen pass aided by a Mario Farinella downfield block to enter Penn territory. The next play, Pitts ran a great route to get separation and catch his second touchdown of the year.
Although the Blue Hens didn't record a sack, they applied significant pressure on Penn quarterback Nick Robinson in the second half, forcing him into several errant throws and limiting the Quakers' production.
For just the second time in the past 13 games, the Blue Hens didn't have a single turnover all afternoon. Henderson, in particularly, tossed for three TDs with no interceptions in his first collegiate start. 
PENN Football Falls Just Short At #20 Delaware, 28-27
September 21, 2019
NEWARK, Del. – So close.

The University of Pennsylvania football team went toe-to-toe with No. 20 Delaware, coming up one point short in a 28-27 loss to the Blue Hens that served notice to Ivy League football fans.

The Quakers (0-1) outgained the Blue Hens (3-1), 462-360, and were especially dominant on the ground where the Red and Blue amassed 269 yards to Delaware's 100.

If there was any questions about the mindset and attitude of the Quakers this season, they were answered when Isaiah Malcome took a Delaware punt 69 yards to the house for a touchdown to bring the Quakers within one with 2:24 to play. The offense went on the field, looking for the 2-point conversion and the lead. Nick Robinson's pass was just short to Karekin Brooks and the Blue Hens gained the one first down needed after a failed onside kick attempt by Penn and held on.

The Malcome punt return sparked a Penn team which had seen a 21-7 lead turn into a 28-21 deficit with 7:36 remaining in the game. A pair of Nolan Henderson third-quarter touchdown passes had tied the game, 21-21, and a Will Knight six-yard touchdown run had given Delaware its first lead since a 7-0 advantage just 2:29 into the game.

After Delaware touchdown, Penn had an apparent 3rd-and-9 conversion called back for an illegal shift, and the Quakers eventually punted to the Delaware 19. Adan Conyer eventually would haul down Henderson for a 12 yard loss and force the Blue Hens to punt.

Malcome would take that punt at his own 31, shake by the first man and then blow through the remainder of the defense for Penn's first punt return for a touchdown since 2010 to setup the deciding two-point play.

In his first start since 2017, Robinson was 18-for-27 for 193 yards and three touchdowns. His three touchdown passes helped the Quakers turn a 7-0 deficit into a 21-7 lead early in the third quarter.

Karekin Brooks ran 28 times for 158 yards, averaging 5.6 yard a rush. In addition to his 69-yard punt, Malcome ran nine times for 73 yards and caught one pass – a 1-yard touchdown in the second quarter.

Ryan Cragun made quite the impression in his first varsity game as the sophomore caught eight passes for 145 yards. Senior Kolton Huber caught three passes – two of them for touchdowns.

Defensively, Mohammed Diakite was busy in the secondary with 11 tackles. David Ryslik had seven tackles and a sack, while Adam Conyer had six tackles and a sack for a loss of 12 yards.

How It Happened
The Blue Hens looked like a team with three games under their belts in 2019, marching 70 yards in 2:29 to take a 7-0 lead on a 29-yard touchdown pass from Nolan Henderson to Thyrick Pitts.

Delaware marched again inside Penn territory on its second drive, but the Quakers held and the Blue hens attempted a 38-yard field goal which sailed wide ride.

With momentum, the Quakers took advantage and marched 78 yards on 11 plays for their first touchdown of 2019. Nick Robinson threw for 50 yards on the drive, including a 4-yard pass to Kolton Huber to get Penn on the board.

Penn looked to add points on its next drive, but a Robinson pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage and returned to the Delaware 27. The defense picked up the offense, though, with a big hit from Jason McCleod, Jr, on first down followed by a similar stick from Jake Heimlicher on third down to force a Delaware punt.

On their next drive, the Quakers cashed in for a 14-7 lead. Isaiah Malcome was the story of the drive with a 46-yard run to open it and a 1-yard reception to end it. All total, the Quakers covered 66 yards on seven plays in 2:51 for the lead.

The Red and Blue again held on defense and forced a punt, but a second turnover ended the Penn drive. Cragun caught a pass over the middle for what would have been a first down, but Noah Plack got his helmet on the ball and knocked it loose with 0:56 left in the half. For the second time, though, Penn's defense answered and forced a Delaware punt. Malcome bobbled the punt, but was interfered with and the Quakers took the ball and a 14-7 lead into halftime.

The Quakers marched down the field to open the second half, with Robinson throwing a second touchdown pass to Huber – this one a 12-yarder on 4th-and-1 to give Penn a 21-7 lead.

Delaware would answer with two consecutive scores to tie the game with 3:10 left in the third quarter. Each score was a pass from Henderson, with a 17-yarder to Bryce De Maille bringing the score level, 21-21.

The Red and Blue were stopped on 4th-and-2 from the Delaware 43 early in the fourth quarter, Brooks coming up just short. Again, Penn's defense stood tall and forced a Delaware field goal, and again Roth missed – this time a 44-yarder that sailed wide right with 11:20 left in the fourth quarter.

Delaware regained the ball as Penn's ensuing drive stalled quickly, and a 45-yard Henderson pass to Pitts quickly had the Blue Hens on the doorstep. One play later, Knight scampered in from six yards out to give Delaware the lead, 28-21.

Two Karekin Brooks rushes for 31 yards to open Penn's next drive had the Quakers quickly into Delaware territory, but the penalty on third down forced a Penn punt and set the stage for the defensive stand which led to Malcome's return score.

Notes To Know

Karekin Brooks now has run for 2,002 yards over his Penn career – making him just the 11th Quaker all time to reach the 2,000-yard mark.
The Quakers last two losses have come to ranked teams following a loss at No. 9 Princeton to close 2018 and the loss at No. 20 Delaware today.
Isaiah Malcome's 69-yard punt return touchdown was the first by a Penn player since Bradford Blackmon ran one back 53 yards at Yale in 2010.
Robinson's 12-yard touchdown pass to Kolton Huber on 4th-and-1 was Penn's first 4th down conversion since the 2017 season. The Quakers were 0-for-7 on fourth downs last year.
Robinson's three touchdowns match his total from all of last season and tied his career high for a game. His 18 completions are a new career high in a game.
Malcome set career highs in rushes (9), rushing yards (73), longest rush (46) and punt return yards (69). His touchdowns were the first of his career.
Kolton Huber's two receiving touchdowns match his career total entering the game.
Karekin Brooks ran for 158 yards, his first 100-yard game since going for 191 at Sacred Heart last season. In his three most recent games, Brooks had rushed for 108 yards total.
The Quakers hit the road for Week Two, visiting Lafayette on September 28 at 3:30 p.m.
Henderson-Hens rally past Penn
Sep 21st, 2019 · by Andy Walter · Delaware State News

Smyrna High grad Nolan Henderson threw three TD passes in his first start. Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell

NEWARK — Delaware had worked really hard to overcome a 14-point deficit against Penn on Saturday afternoon.

And then the Blue Hens almost threw it all away in one careless moment.

The Quakers’ Isaiah Malcome broke off a 69-yard punt return that put Penn in position to tie the score with just 2:24 left.

But Penn coach Ray Priore decided to go for a two-point conversion and the victory, the pass fell incomplete and No. 20 Delaware was able to escape with a 28-27 win over the Quakers on a hot Saturday afternoon at Delaware Stadium.

“I said on the radio (post-game show), ‘Get used to it, because we’re going to have a few more games like this,’” said Blue Hen coach Danny Rocco. “I’m just hopeful that we can find a way to finish and win those games.”

The dramatic finish overshadowed a big performance from sophomore quarterback Nolan Henderson in his first collegiate start. The Smyrna High grad completed 20-of-29 passes for 260 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.

Fittingly then, it was Henderson’s old friend and former Smyrna teammate, Will Knight, who put the Hens (3-1) ahead for good on a six-yard touchdown run with 7:36 remaining.

Ultimately, however, it was Jake Roth’s PAT kick — which put Delaware up 28-21 — that provided the winning point.

As expected, Henderson’s elusiveness in the pocket ended up being important, even though he was sacked three times.

“This guy’s going to be a great player — I’m not saying he isn’t one right now,” Rocco said about Henderson. “To be the starting quarterback, in your first start, and get a dramatic fourth-quarter win, it’s a big deal. And that’s something we need to celebrate.”

“I think his biggest asset was his ability to keep the play alive,” said Priore. “He was very, very quick in the pocket.”
Will Knight (25), a Smyrna High grad, is congratulated after his six-yard TD run with 7:36 left put the Hens to stay.

“It was definitely special,” said Henderson. “It’s definitely a blessing to be able to start for a program like this. But I really just tried to treat it like another game.

“I’ve been out there before. The only difference is I’m coming out for the first play.”

It looked like it might be a much more comfortable win for Delaware when Henderson and the Hens started the game with a quick five-play, 72-yard scoring drive. Henderson completed all four of his pass attempts on the drive including a 29-yarder to receiver Thyrick Pitts for the touchdown.

Pitts also had a big day, finishing with five receptions for 128 yards.

But the Quakers (0-1), who were playing their season opener, took over after that. Penn built a 14-7 halftime advantage.

It might have been worse than that, too, except for an interception by linebacker Drew Nickles and a fumble recovery by linebacker Anthony Toro.

But in a game where Penn out-gained Delaware, 462-360 in total yards, the Quakers didn’t go away in the second half. An eight-play, 75-yard scoring drive to start the third quarter put the Hens in a 21-7 hole.

Finally, though, Delaware woke up.

The Hens scored the game’s next three TDs. Henderson found Gene Coleman for an 11-yard TD pass and then tight end Bryce DeMaille for a 17-yarder that knotted the score at 21-21 with 3:10 left in the third quarter.

Finally, Knight (7 carries-46 yards) swept in for his six-yard TD run that capped off a five-play, 65-yard march and gave Delaware its 28-21 with 7:36 left in the game.
Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell Delaware tight end Bryce DeMaille is congratulated after his 17-yard touchdown catch tied the game at 21-21 with 3:10 left in the third quarter.

On each team’s next four drives after Penn took its 21-7 lead, the Hens out-gained the Quakers, 239 yards to 76. The only thing that almost kept Delaware from winning was Malcome’s 69-yard punt return and the ensuing two-point attempt.

On the two-point conversion try, Penn quarterback Nick Robinson (18-of-27 for 193 yards, three TDs) had some time to look for a receiver. But his low throw to a receiver just inside the end zone hit the turf.

The Quakers tried an onsides kick but it went out of bounds. A strong run by Andre Robinson (12 carries-61 yards) gave Delaware a first down before it ran out the clock.

Safety Kedrick Whitehead (Middletown), who had a career-high 14 tackles, said the Hens just tried to play good defense on the climactic two-point conversion attempt.

“At the time, you’ve just got to keep your composure,” said Whitehead. “Even if they do score, we know our offense has the capability of driving the field. Of course, we’re going to do our jobs. But we knew, at the end of the day, we had the weapons even if it didn’t go our way.

“That was exciting,” he admitted about seeing the pass fall incomplete.

After a four-overtime win over Rhode Island followed by last week’s loss to No. 1 North Dakota State, Rocco had the feeling the Hens might be a little worn down on Saturday. He tried to do some things to compensate, like substituting players frequently.

In the end, Delaware had just enough to get past Penn.

“It’s been a tough stretch,” said Rocco. “It would have been very unlikely that we would have been at our best today.

“I called upon other people to step up today. We purposely substituted a lot more today. Some how, some way, in that formula, there was just enough to be there and secure the victory at the end. I was proud of the way we competed.”

Extra points

Henderson did gain 33 yards on 13 carries, including 16 on one run. But he netted minus-two yards, in part because he was sacked three times. … Henderson’s 260 passing yards were the most for a Delaware QB in his first start since Trent Hurley in 2012. It was more than Matt Nagy, Joe Flacco and Pat Devlin had in their debuts. … The Hens was called for only one penalty, their lowest total since they also had only one against Wake Forest in 2016. … Besides his interception, Nickles was also in on a fourth-down stop with 14 minutes remaining. … Penn converted 7-of-8 third-down opportunities in the first half but was only 2-for-7 in the second. … Delaware played again without injured starters DaJoun Lee (running back) and Johnny Buchanan (linebacker). … The Hens, who were facing Penn for the first time since 1983, are now even at 3-3 in the all-time series. … Delaware goes to Pittsburgh next Saturday for a 12:30 p.m. contest.
No. 1 N.D. State dominates Blue Hens 47-22; Smyrna products Henderson, Knight shine for UD
Sep 14th, 2019 · by Andy Walter · Delaware State News

NEWARK — Unlike last year, Delaware made a couple good plays early against North Dakota State.

But, just like last year, any good plays the Blue Hens made were way too few and far between to matter against the mighty Bison.

Looking like the No. 1-ranked FCS team it is, North Dakota State shook off an early two-point deficit to steamroll No. 22 Delaware, 47-22, in its first visit to Delaware Stadium before a crowd of 14,489 on Saturday afternoon.

For local fans, though, there was also a feeling of deja vu when the Hens’ pair of former Smyrna High stars — quarterback Nolan Henderson and running back Will Knight — saw considerable second-half playing time.

Knight ran for a career-high 115 yards on just eight carries while Henderson completed 9-of-12 passes for 125 yards and a pair of touchdowns. While it was clearly too little, too late, the Smyrna duo also clearly gave Delaware’s offense some life after falling behind 27-5 at halftime.

The bottom line, though, is that seven-time FCS champion NDSU (3-0) is really, really good and the Hens (2-1) have plenty of work to do. The Bison out-gained Delaware 490 yards to 261 and held a 26-14 edge in first downs.

“I have said for quite some time, that is the model,” Delaware coach Danny Rocco said about NDSU. “That is the program that want to emulate. I’m really impressed with what I saw out there today.

“Having said that, I was very disappointed in our performance today. … We put our defense out there an awful lot in the first half — we kind of hung them out there to dry. The offense really had nothing to speak of in the first half.”

The Hens actually led the Bison (3-0) for the first time when, after stopping NDSU on a three-and-out on its opening possession, they blocked the punt. The ball went out of the end zone for a safety less than two minutes into the contest.

The Bison, however, intercepted QB Pat Kehoe at the Delaware 35 on the ensuing possession and were quickly in business.

Four plays later, NDSU scored on a one-yard run and the Bison had the lead for good.

When Ben Ellefson pulled in a five-yard scoring pass from QB Trey Lance (18-for-23, 195 yards, 3 TDs) with 30 seconds left before halftime, the Bison’s lead had swelled to 27-5.

At times NDSU manhandled Delaware’s lines, out-gaining the Hens, 268-29 in total yards in the first half. Under pressure most of the time, Kehoe completed only 2-of-8 passes for 11 yards in the first two quarters.
Smyrna product Will Knight rushed for 115 yards against North Dakota State. Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell

Delaware’s longest offensive plays in the opening half were a pair of 10-yard runs by Knight and Henderson.

While there was never any doubt that the Bison would win — especially after they scored on the opening possession of the second half to stretch their lead to 33-5 — Knight and Henderson at least made things interesting.

In the fourth quarter, Henderson found Gene Coleman on a seven-yard scoring pass. It was the first offensive TD Delaware scored in its two games against NDSU.

Later, he scrambled away from pressure and found receiver Chichi Amachi, who made a diving catch for a 44-yard scoring pass.

“With their defense, you can’t really get to your last read,” said Henderson. “It’s one, two and then you’ve kind of got to get out and try to make something happen. They’re just a great team. They’re good for a reason.”

Henderson also gained 38 yards on eight carries, although he did lose 20 for a net total of 18. Along with his rushing yards, Knight added 46 yards on three receptions.

Rocco likes what he’s seen from Knight, the Old Dominion transfer, who caught the winning touchdown pass in the Hens’ triple-overtime win at Rhode Island last week.

“He’s elusive and fast,” said Rocco. “He’s got that suddenness to go up inside the tackles and get into those creases — and then come out of the creases with speed. The really good ones can do that.”

“We have a lot to learn,” said Knight. “We came out slow and we need to do better at that, honestly. They’re a good football team — we can’t make mistakes like we did.”

Henderson was actually sacked more times (four) than Kehoe (three) but Rocco thought the sophomore’s mobility was needed against the Bison pass rush.

“Nolan gives us a different dynamic,” said Rocco. “He can throw the extraordinarily well but he does have the ability to extend some plays. It takes a little stress off your offensive line, they don’t have to be perfect there in the pocket. Nolan can make some plays with arm and obviously he can make some plays with his arm.

“That gave us a spark, no doubt — that and Will coming in there and running the ball.”

The obvious question was whether Rocco was considering changing his starting QB gong forward.

“It’s unlikely that I’ll make that decision right here in this moment,” he said in his post-game press conference.

Extra points

The Hens played without starting running back DaJoun Lee and linebacker Johnny Buchanan, who were both sidelined with knee injuries. … Defensive tackle Dominic Covatto left the game. Rather than injury, though, Rocco thought it was because of an illness he had during the week. … Defensive backs Kedrick Whitehead (Middletown) and Noah Plack had 10 tackles apiece. … Freshman Jourdan Townsend had a 59-yard kickoff return in the first quarter. … Delaware is at home again next Saturday to play a 1 p.m. game against Pennsylvania.
North Dakota State Shuts Down Delaware Early in 47-22 Road Win

9/14/2019 - https://gobison.com/

NEWARK, Del. - Top-ranked North Dakota State held 18th-ranked Delaware to less than 100 yards of total offense through the first three quarters and cruised to a 47-22 victory Saturday, Sept. 14, before a crowd of 14,489 at Delaware Stadium.

NDSU freshman Kobe Johnson rushed for 101 yards on 11 carries, freshman Trey Lance was 18 of 23 passing for 195 yards and three touchdowns, and sophomore Phoenix Sproles had three receptions for 72 yards as 10 different Bison players caught passes.

North Dakota State put up 490 yards of total offense and had a 340-92 advantage through three quarters.

NDSU's defense got pressure early and often. Eight Bison players combined for seven sacks and four of those came before halftime. Safety Michael Tutsie had a team-high 10 tackles and made his third interception in two games for the Bison.

Delaware didn't convert a third down until the fourth quarter when the Blue Hens finally put together scoring drives of 91 yards and 80 yards. Will Knight rushed for 115 yards on eight carries for Delaware while quarterbacks Pat Kehoe and Nolan Henderson went a combined 11 of 21 passing for 136 yards.

The win was North Dakota State's 24th straight dating back to 2017, the third-most consecutive wins in FCS history.

North Dakota State returns home to host UC Davis at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21. The Aggies were 1-1 heading into Saturday night's game vs. Lehigh.

Knight’s TD catch lifts Hens to wild 3-overtime 44-36 win over URI
Sep 7th, 2019 · by Andy Walter · Delaware State News

KINGSTON, R.I. — Will Knight probably won’t forget his first Delaware touchdown any time soon.

The former Smyrna High star running back scored the winning TD on a 24-yard pass from quarterback Pat Kehoe as the Blue Hens found a way to get past Rhode Island, 44-36, in three overtimes in an epic CAA football battle on Saturday night.

After Knight’s TD, the game was decided with the Rams facing a fourth-and-goal from the Delaware two.
Delaware cornerback Justis Henley celebrates after his game-ending interception. Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell
Will Knight

With URI QB Vito Priore under pressure, cornerback Justis Henley stepped in front of a pass in the end zone for a victory-sealing interception.

A moment later, Delaware’s players were happily streaming onto the new artificial turf at Meade Stadium in celebration.

“The overtime was just crazy,” said UD coach Danny Rocco. “That’s the way those things are. We made one more play. I guess we’ve got one takeaway on the season and it assured a victory there in overtime.”

“It was an incredible game,” said Henley, who also had nine tackles and two pass breakups. “An incredible feeling and one of the best nights I’ve ever had playing football.

“This is why we play the game. This is what you fight for every day – nights like tonight.”

In a contest in which the No. 22 Hens (2-0 overall) trailed 13-0 at halftime, the game was tied 22-22 after regulation.

Both squads scored touchdowns on each of their first two OT possessions.

With Delaware getting the ball first in the third overtime, Kehoe found Knight, who came out of the backfield and beat a URI defender down the sidelines to pull in the go-ahead touchown. Kehoe then hit Owen Tyler on the required two-point conversion try.

On its ensuing possession, URI (0-2) had a first down on the 10 after a pass interference penalty. The Rams eventually reached the two where the Hens came up with the deciding stop.

Kehoe bounced back from a tough first half in which he threw three interceptions. The senior ended up 26-for-38 for 282 yards with five TD passes — and no more interceptions. He also caught a two-point conversion and threw for another.

Sophomore tight end Bryce DeMaille added five catches for 61 yards and a pair of touchdowns while senior running back Andre Robinson picked up a career-high 111 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.

“We got off to a terrible start offensively,” said Rocco. “Our defense was extraordinarily resilient there in that first half and in the third quarter. They kind of kept us in the game. That thing could have gotten out of control.

“At halftime, I was very poised and very confident that we were going to win the game. I don’t know why I felt that confident about it but I knew we’d play better there in the second half — and sure enough we did.

“Pat got in rhythm a little bit. Nolan made some big plays with his legs getting some first downs. Andre Robinson ran the ball really, really hard there in that second half.”

Another Smyrna grad, quarterback Nolan Henderson, made a couple big third-down running plays, finishing with 16 yards on four carries.
Trailing 19-14, Delaware drove for what looked like might be the winning touchdown in the closing minutes of regulation. Kehoe rolled out and hit sprawling fullback Tyler for a one-yard scoring pass.

The Hens used a trick play for what turned out to be a crucial two-point conversion. Using the ‘Philly Special’ play that the Eagles made famous, receiver Thyrick Pitts took a handoff on a double reverse and threw to a wide-open Kehoe to give Delaware a 22-19 lead with only 1:22 remaining in regulation.

But that was enough time for the Rams to complete a long pass play that set up a tying 43-yard field goal by C.J. Carrick with just :19 seconds left.

After trailing 13-0 following a lackluster first half, Delaware stormed back to grab a 14-13 lead on a pair of Kehoe scoring passes. The longest of those TD tosses was a 66-yarder to receiver Chi Chi Amachie, who was all alone behind the URI defense.

Amachi had 72 yards on three receptions with Pitts adding 66 yards on four receptions.

For the Hens, the dramatic comeback win avenged a tough 21-19 loss to URI in Newark a year ago. On Saturday, the Rams were playing their first night home game in over 30 years and debuting their newly-renovated stadium.

Delaware doesn’t play another CAA game until October. The Hens host No. 1 North Dakota State next Saturday at 1 p.m.

The victory was the 700th in Delaware history, making the Hens the seventh FCS program to reach that plateau. Delaware’s proud tradition is something that means a lot to Rocco.

“I talk so much about legacy,” he said. “I talk so much about understanding and appreciating our role in that and this moment in time. It’s such a privilege to represent the University of Delaware and all those other coaches and players and teams that have come before us.

“For team 128 to go out there and start the way we’ve started, and get our 700th career win, puts us in pretty rare company. I’m really proud of that, I’m proud of our kids tonight.”

Rams Fall in 3OT Heartbreaker to No. 21 Delaware, 44-36
Sep 07, 2019  https://www.gorhody.com/

How It Happened
Playing under lights for the first time since the 1972 season opener, Rhode Island dropped a heartbreaker in triple-overtime, falling to No. 21 44-36 Saturday night.

On fourth-and-goal from the Delaware 3-yard line, Justis Henley picked off a pass in the end zone to end the thriller. The Blue Hens had taken the lead in the third overtime when Pat Kehoe hit Will Knight for a 1-yard touchdown.

Earlier in overtime, Rhody (0-2, 0-1 CAA) had taken a 36-29 lead following a 25-yard touchdown pass from Vito Priore to Ahmere Dorsey. The Rams appeared to be one play from clinching the victory when Brandon Ginnetti sacked Kehoe for a 7-yard loss on third-and-11 on Delaware's ensuing possession.

However, a pass interference call negated the play. Given a third-and-1, Delaware (2-0, 1-0 CAA) picked up the first down on an 8-yard run by Andre Robinson. On first-and-goal from the 8-yard line, three runs by Robinson made it fourth-and-goal at the 6-yard line. Kehoe was able to find Bryce De Maille in the end zone to help Delaware tie the game and force the third and deciding overtime period.

Inside the Box Score

A crowd of 8,511 people attended the game, one of the largest crowds in Meade Stadium history. The largest was 13,052 on Homecoming against Boston University in 1984.
Senior wide receiver Aaron Parker set career highs with 12 receptions and 227 receiving yards. It was the most catches by a Ram in one game since Cy Butler has 15 against Massachusetts on Oct. 1, 1994.
It was the ninth time in program history a player had 200 receiving yards in one game, and the first time since Shawn Leonard went for 275 against New Hampshire in 2009.
Senior wide receiver Ahmere Dorsey had a huge game as well, scoring two touchdowns and accounting for 199 all-purpose yards. He had career highs with six catches for 99 yards - including a 25-yard touchdown reception. He also rushed for an 11-yard touchdown and had 66 kick return yards and 23 punt return yards.
Junior wide receiver Isaiah Coulter caught five passes for 77 yards.
Redshirt junior Vito Priore threw for a career-high 430 yards on 30-of-48 passing, including three touchdowns.
It was the eighth-highest single-game passing mark in program history, and just the 12th time a URI player has topped 400 passing yards. The last was Chris Paul-Etienne with 424 against New Hampshire in 2009.
Senior linebacker Branyan Javier-Castillo had 14 tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack and one interception.
Senior defensive tackle Brandon Ginnetti had six tackles, two tackles for loss and one sack. He had a second sack that was negated by a penalty.
Redshirt senior safety Momodou Mbye had 10 tackles and one interception. It was his second interception of the season, and the sixth of his career.
Senior cornerback Malik Wilder had the third Rhode Island interception, his first as a Ram.
Senior cornerback Rashod Dickerson had six tackles, including one for a loss. He also broke up a pass.
Senior safety Brian Campbell and redshirt sophomore linebacker Jake Fire each had nine tackles. Redshirt senior defensive end Tez Wilson and redshirt junior defensive end Andre Bibeault added seven stops each.
Junior kicker C.J. Carrick was 3-of-4 on field goals, including a career-long 44-yard make with 19 seconds left in regulation to force overtime.
Senior wide receiver Ahmere Dorsey served as the game captain for Rhode Island.
Redshirt junior Andre Bibeault was the anchor bearer.

What's Next
Rhode Island will head into the bye week. The Rams are off until Saturday, Sept. 21 when they travel to New Hampshire for a 6 p.m. kickoff.
Rams Host No. 21 Delaware in CAA Opener Saturday Night
Sep 05, 2019 https://www.gorhody.com/

Delaware (1-0) at Rhode Island (0-1)
Kickoff: Saturday, Sept. 7, 7:00 p.m. EST
Live Stats | Audio | Video | Game Notes 


Saturday will be the 33rd meeting between Rhode Island and Delaware, with the Blue Hens holding a 22-10 lead in the series.
Rhode Island has won each of the last two meetings, including a 21-19 victory in the season opener for both teams last season.
Rhode Island is 6-8 at home against Delaware.
Delaware comes into the game ranked No. 21 in both the STATS FCS and AFCA Coaches Top 25 polls. 
The Blue Hens were ranked No. 15 in the country last season when Rhode Island defeated the Blue Hens. It was Rhody's first win over a ranked opponent since 2011. 
Delaware redshirt senior center Mario Farinella and senior punter Nick Pritchard both were named to the CAA Football Preseason All-Conference Team. 


Saturday's game will stream on FloFootball.com as part of CAA Football's partnership with FloSports.com.
Stone Freeman will be on the call for the game.


When the team's kickoff, it will be the first night game played in Kingston in 47 years.
The 1972 season opener was played under the lights as the Rams defeated Hampton, 27-0.
Rhode Island's Meade Stadium underwent a facelift during the offseason, as synthetic turf and stadium lighting were installed as part of a $4.1 million project.
Saturday is the first of two night games scheduled at home this season. The Rams also will host Stony Brook under the new lights on Saturday, Sept. 28.
The $4.1 million project was made possible through a pair of $1 million donations from University alumni. James Clappin '80 and a second, anonymous donor each made generous $1 million gifts, and the University will contribute $1.1 million through an auxiliary fund. The remainder of the money is being raised through other means. 
The synthetic turf provides a resilient surface, allowing for back-to-back events as well as use during or immediately after inclement weather. It will equip the facility to handle the demands of varsity, club, and intramural teams.


Senior Aaron Parker was the most productive wide receiver in CAA Football in the first week of the season, catching nine passes for 144 yards and a touchdown.
The receptions and receiving yardage were both league highs for the week.
It marked the 10th time in his career that Parker has topped 100 receiving yards in a game.
Parker is now fourth in URI history with 22 touchdown catches. He has passed Shawn Leonard, who had 21 from 2006-09.
Parker also moved into fifth all-time with 2,363 receiving yards, passing both Leonard (2,353 from 2006-09) and Cy Butler (2,348 from 1993-96) Saturday.
With 51 more receiving yards, Parker can move into the top three in receiving yards in program history. Next on the list are Darren Rizzi (2,426 from 1989-92) and Bobby Apgar (2,431 from 1993-95).
Parker is second among all active FCS-level players with his 2,363 receiving yards. Only Sam Houston State's Nathan Stewart (3,786) has more. 


Senior Aaron Parker has 144 catches, which ranks eighth in program history.
With six more receptions, he would become the sixth player in Rhode Island history to reach 150 with the Rams.
The others with 150 in their careers were Brian Forster (284 from 1983-85, 87); Brandon Johnson-Farrell (198 from 2008-12); Cy Butler (189 from 1993-96); Dameon Reilly (165 from 1983-85) and Darren Rizzi (160 from 1989-92).
Ahead of Parker on URI's all-time receptions list are Bobby Apgar (145 from 1993-95) and Tony DiMaggio (149 from 1982-85). 


Junior wide receiver Isaiah Coutler also had a touchdown catch last week at Ohio.
It was the fifth career touchdown grab for Coulter. 
It also was the fifth time that Coulter and Aaron Parker have caught a touchdown pass in the same game.
Coulter and Parker are cousins who both came to Rhode Island from Gwynn Park High School in Maryland.
Despite coming from the same high school program, Parker and Coulter had never been teammates before playing together at URI.
With 869 career receiving yards, Coulter needs just 131 more to reach 1,000. 
Hens to play Navy again in 2022

Sep 5th, 2019 · by Andy Walter Delaware State News

NEWARK – Delaware has played its share of memorable football games against Navy over the years.

UD announced on Thursday that it’s going to revive its rivalry with the FBS Division I Midshipmen.

The Blue Hens will face Navy in 2022, marking the first time the two programs have played since 2013.

“It’s important for us to give our student-athletes the opportunity 
to compete against quality opponents and that’s exactly what this game 
signifies,” Delaware coach Danny Rocco said in a press release. “In 
addition, any time you play against a service academy institution it 
adds a little bit extra because of the dedication and sacrifice that 
those institutions represent.

“We know that there’s a lot of history in this series and we hope our fans are just as excited as we are.”

The two programs have met 17 times, with the last meeting coming in 
2013. Navy holds the overall series advantage 10-7 with 14 of those 
games coming in Annapolis, Md.

The Hens are regularly scheduling FBS schools now, with upcoming 
games slated against N.C. State (2020), Rutgers (2021), Navy (2022) 
and Penn State (2023 and ’27).
Hens crush Hornets 31-13: QB Kehoe stars as UD now 9-0 vs. instate rival
Aug 29th, 2019 · by Andy Walter · DELAWARE STATE NEWS

NEWARK — It took nine games, but Delaware State finally did something it had never done against Delaware in football before.

The Hornets held a lead over the Blue Hens.

Unfortunately for DelState, that only seemed to get Delaware’s attention.

The 22nd-ranked Hens answered with 28 straight points after falling behind in the second quarter to eventually post a 31-13 victory over DelState before a Delaware Stadium crowd of 15,894 in the season opener for both teams on Thursday night.

The win gave Delaware a 9-0 all-time record in the matchup of the state’s only two FCS Division I football programs.

Senior quarterback Pat Kehoe completed 18-of-28 passes for 186 yards and two touchdowns while also running 21 yards for a score.

Sophomore receiver Thyrick Pitts added six catches for 81 yards and a TD to earn the Nate Beasley Award as the game’s MVP.

“We just knew that we had to get it going,” said Kehoe. “We were executing but we weren’t finishing drives. We knew once we were able to break through and get in the end zone, we could take off from there.”
Delaware’s Drew Nickles tackles DSU’s Bryant Dallas in the first quarter.

With the two teams playing for the first time since 2017, the Hornets took a 6-3 advantage when Fidel Romo-Martinez booted a 30-yard field goal with 7:41 left in the second quarter.

But Delaware responded with a five-play, 64-yard scoring drive to take the lead right back. Kehoe faked a handoff on a sweep and ran 21 yards untouched for a touchdown that put the Hens up 10-6.

Then, after a 47-yard punt return by true freshman Jourdan Townsend set up Delaware at the DSU 33, the Hens found the end zone again. This time Kehoe used a play fake on a third-and-short and found senior fullback Owen Tyler for a 24-yard scoring pass.

It was only the second TD of Tyler’s career.
The Hens’ Pat Kehoe runs a QB keeper for a touchdown.

While the Hens’ missed the PAT, they still owned a 16-6 halftime lead.

“It was huge,” Kehoe said about scoring a pair of TDs before halftime. “You kind of feel the momentum shift, which was big for us, taking it into halftime and then coming back out and trying to play a better second half.”

Delaware kept adding to its lead in the second half. Jake Roth’s second field goal was followed by a 14-yard touchdown catch by Pitts.

Pitts made a nice play on the throw by Kehoe, wrestling the ball away from a DSU defender for the TD that pushed Delaware’s advantage to 25-6 going into the fourth quarter.

Former Smyrna High standout Nolan Henderson, the Hens’ No. 2 quarterback, got a chance to play for the entire fourth quarter. He lined up with his former Smyrna teammate, running back Will Knight, who was making his UD debut after transferring from Old Dominion.

Knight put up his first highlight-reel play as a Blue Hen, breaking off a 61-yard run late in the game. He finished with a team-high 68 yards on four carries.

UD reserve defensive back Brian Dennis scored his first career TD in the fourth quarter when he blocked a DelState punt and returned it 15 yards into the end zone. The special-teams TD stretched the Hens’ lead to 31-6.
The Blue Hens’ Chichi Amachi catches a pass as DSU’s D’Andre Blue-Eli defends in the first quarter.

Delaware finished with an advantage of 383-344 in total yards.

DSU’s Tylik Bethea threw his first career touchdown pass, a 10-yard strike to fellow freshman Bizzett Woodley with 3:20 left, ending a seven-quarter Hornet touchdown drought against the Hens.

When the two teams meet again, next season, the situation will be a little different. Next year they’re slated to play in the final game of the regular season.

“We’ll see them again next year in the last game of the season,” said DelState coach Rod Milstead. “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. Tonight, they were the better team again. I’ll tip my hat to coach (Danny) Rocco, he had his guys well-prepared.

“We need to put four good quarters of football together. Until we do that, things won’t be in our favor.”

Extra points

Townsend’s long punt return helped make up for a fumbled punt on his first collegiate return. … Henderson completed all four of his pass attempts for 17 yards while running five times for 20 yards. … Roth had an up-and-down game in his first contest as the Hens’ full-time place kicker. The senior made a pair of field goals but missed another one as well as missing one PAT and having two blocked.. … Delaware next opens its Colonial Athletic Association schedule on Sept. 7 with a 7 p.m. game at Rhode Island.
Column: New Faces Shine In Season-Opening Win
8/30/2019 Andy Lohman bluehens.com

Delaware football knew that it had a lot of production to replace in the receiving corps for 2019. Vinny Papale, Charles Scarff and Joe Walker (who each had over 30 catches in 2018) all graduated, with the latter two fighting for NFL roster spots as the No. 22 Blue Hens opened the season by hosting Delaware State in front of 15,894 fans in the renovated Delaware Stadium.

Their replacements, tight end Bryce De Maille and receivers Thyrick Pitts and Chichi Amachi, had a combined for seven catches and 67 yards entering 2019. By the time the final whistle blew Thursday night, the three had 12 catches, 153 yards and a touchdown between them, guiding Delaware to a 31-13 victory.

The emergence of the fresh faces started almost immediately. On the first play from scrimmage, quarterback Pat Kehoe hit De Maille for seven yards on a play-action look. The very next play he found the tight end from Frederick, Md., for 11 yards and a first down.

Head coach Danny Rocco is extremely high on his young tight end, and the potential he has for the Blue Hens offense.

"He's really good," Rocco said. "He's a special kind of dual threat, big-bodied athlete. He can block, he can run a possession route, and he can get in behind people to catch the football. He's a weapon."

While De Maille had the opening lines, it was Pitts who took the lead offensively. The receiver from Manassas, Va., caught a key 17-yard crossing route on third down to keep the chains moving on a drive that ended in a 38-yard Jake Roth field goal.

Pitts really came into his own in the second half. Midway through the third quarter, he got wide open along the Delaware sideline for a 22-yard gain. After an 11-yard catch to get Delaware into Hornet territory, Pitts came down with an acrobatic catch in the corner of the end zone over a Delaware State defender for his first career touchdown, a score that gave the Blue Hens a 25-6 lead and sealed the win.

"I just looked at Pat and he gave me that look," Pitts said. "[He] threw it up and I made a play. It was awesome, great feeling."

Amachi's last catch before Thursday night was during his freshman year during 2016. But during the first quarter, he made a 16-yard catch in double coverage that converted a crucial third down on a Delaware scoring drive. Later on the same drive, his head fake left a Delaware State defensive back on his behind as Amachi caught a ball in the end zone before the play was called back for a penalty. The Philadelphia native later converted a clever 12-yard catch on the first Delaware drive of the second half that also set up a score.

"A lot of guys had their first career starts. A lot of guys really had their first legitimate taste of Division I college football. And a lot of those guys played really well today," Rocco said.

"I think you see the guys who stepped up tonight were behind older guys last year, but we knew they were plenty capable of playing, even last year," Kehoe said. "They got their shot tonight and they stepped up and performed well."

Stray Observations

The Blue Hens defensive line had an outstanding evening. Any progress Delaware State made on offense was on the edges, because Delaware had the interior shut down. The Hornets averaged just 3 yards per rush. Cam Kitchen finished with four tackles, including one for loss, while Frank Burton III and Sal Mauro each made big stuff plays. "A big key was just for us to get off the ball and cause havoc," Kitchen said.
Sophomore cornerback Justis Henley has been thrown into a starting role, and was matched up with the Hornets' top targets all night. Against the talented Kwannah Kollie, Henley had two big pass breakups in the first quarter that kept the Hornets out of field goal range.
Pat Kehoe showed off his wheels on Thursday night. The Blue Hens took their first lead of the evening in the second quarter when Kehoe waltzed 21 yards untouched after a perfectly executed read option. He later scrambled for 11 yards on third down to help set up the Pitts touchdown catch.

The Blue Hens were laying the boom Thursday night. Redshirt freshman Matt Palmer delivered a big hit on a kickoff return that stuck the Hornets at their own 14-yard line. Later, safety Noah Plack blew up a Delaware State running back on a handoff.
A lot of young players got valuable touches in the fourth quarter, highlighted by Delaware natives Nolan Henderson and Will Knight. Knight showed off his jets with a 61-yard run late in the game.

Players Mentioned

#13 Vinny Papale
6' 1"
205 lbs

#85 Charles Scarff
6' 6"
270 lbs
Redshirt Senior

#3 Joe Walker
6' 3"
205 lbs
Redshirt Senior

#2 Chichi Amachi
6' 1"
190 lbs
Redshirt Junior

#95 Frank Burton III
6' 2"
265 lbs
Redshirt Junior

#81 Bryce De Maille
6' 3"
235 lbs

#37 Brian Dennis
5' 9"
185 lbs
Redshirt Senior

#14 Nolan Henderson
6' 1"
185 lbs
Redshirt Sophomore

#21 Justis Henley
5' 11"
175 lbs

#12 Pat Kehoe
6' 4"
235 lbs
Redshirt Senior

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Delaware State University

FCS 2019 PREVIEW: Delaware State Football Eyeing Next Step Up
Delaware State is previewed as part of our two-month "Three-a-Days" series previewing all 126 FCS teams and 13 conferences -- every single day.

Brian McLaughlin

HERO Sports welcomes you to "Three-a-Days", where we will preview every single one of the 126 FCS​ programs, with three teams being released each day from June 17 to July 28. Then, we'll preview all 13 conferences from August 1-4. Today, we present ... Delaware State.

We'll leave no stone left unturned when it comes to giving the FCS diehards all they could ask for this offseason. Learn about every program in the country, with HERO Sports.

The MEAC (DSU was Tied for 8th in 2018)

COACH: Rod Milstead - At School: 2nd year (3-8 record), Overall: Same
LAST FCS POSTSEASON: 2007 (first round loss to Delaware)
2018 OFFENSE: 16.7 ppg. (113th in FCS)
2018 DEFENSE: 33.5 ppg. (90th in FCS)
KEY GAME: Nov. 10 - vs. Morgan State (in Baltimore): Last year, Delaware State fell 9-0 in this game, and this may be one of those pivotal games that prove the Hornets are on the rise. If DSU can win this one, it'll be a message to the rest of the MEAC that the Hornets are hardly an afterthought. 
SUM IT UP: Last year, Delaware State won three out of its final four games, its top total since going 5-6 in 2013. Also, two losses (Morgan State and S.C. State) were hardly blowouts. When one considers the Hornets had won just five of their previous 45 games coming into 2018, one can see that coach Rod Milstead and his staff's job of getting his DSU program to the three-win mark and playing well down the stretch is certainly something positive to point to coming into 2019.

There's also a core of talent returning to point to. The offensive line is almost entirely intact, there are defensive playmakers abound -- especially in the linebacking corps and in the secondary. Oh, and don't forget the Romo-Martinez brothers (see below) when it comes to special teams. These two make for a powerful kicking/punting tandem when the Hornets call on them. The quarterback battle between junior Shayne Smith and freshman Tylik Bethea was a healthy one in the spring, and RB Mike Waters is back from injury after being a standout earlier in his career (820 yards rushing as a freshman).

OUR TAKE: This program is far from "moribund" now, just ask typically strong North Carolina Central, who fell to DSU last year. There's a spark here, the players are hungry and this year's schedule makes it look like the Hornets could take one more step forward (four wins) in their program rebuilding process. We're not predicting a 10-2 record and a MEAC championship here, like DSU pulled off back in 2007, but we think this program continues to improve.

COUNTDOWN: The Best Player in FCS Who Wears Each Number, 1-99

TOP RETURNEE: Sr./LB Brian Cavicante (1st Team All MEAC - 89 tackles led team last year, 17 TFLs).
THE FOUNDATION: Sr./DB Jahad Neibauer (3rd Team All MEAC - 70 tackles, 3 INTs; 7 TFLs); Sr./OL Kaiden Crawford (3rd Team All MEAC); Jr./OL Liki Seu (3rd Team All MEAC); Jr./RB Mike Waters (rushed for 820 yards as a freshman, injured last year); Sr./CB Devin Smith (55 tackles, 6 TFLs); Jr./LB Alex Lozano (46 tackles, 5.5 TFL); Soph./FS David Bowman (49 tackles); Sr./P-K Fidel Romo-Martinez (41.3 yards per punt before injury); Soph./P-K Jose Romo-Martinez (8 of 11 on field goals, 41.8 as punter when older brother injured).
TOP NEWCOMER: Fr./QB Tylik Bethea (6-foot-5 prospect who threw for 1,500 yards and 15 TDs at Brooklyn (NY) Lincoln -- was in spring camp as true freshman).
THE QUOTE: "I’m ecstatic about our 2019 schedule. I’m most grateful for the seven home games on the schedule because it gives us a chance to connect and build support among our students, fan base and community. After being on the road for seven games last season, including two against major college opponents, it’s great for our program to have more exposure at home, fewer long trips and a schedule that gives us an opportunity to be more successful." -- Head Coach Rod Milstead said during spring ball


Young or not, Hens eye playoffs again
Aug 24th, 2019 · by Andy Walter · Delaware State News

NEWARK — This is Danny Rocco’s team now.

Three years of recruiting mean that much of Delaware’s football roster is made up of players that he and his staff brought in.

So while the Blue Hens lost a talented senior class to graduation, the third-year UD head coach looks at this year’s squad and likes what he sees.

“I think my most basic commentary is that we are young and talented,” said Rocco, who has a record of 14-9 at Delaware. “I think we have a lot of talent on our football team.”

But Rocco is also the first to admit that it’s difficult to predict when that talent will start producing victories on the field.

Delaware, which opens the season by hosting Delaware State on Thursday at 7 p.m., will be hard-pressed to come out of its first five games with more than three wins. That’s because the Hens host FCS powerhouse North Dakota State on Sept. 14 before going to major-college Pitt on Sept. 28.

If the Hens can then hit their stride over the final seven contests — all Colonial Athletic Association matchups — they’ll have a shot at making the NCAA Division I FCS playoffs in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2003-04.

Delaware, though, also has a lot of work to do before it reaches that level.
Returning starting quarterback Pat Kehoe — having recovered from a knee injury that slowed him late last season — appears rejuvenated in the Hens’ up-tempo attack. UD sports information/Mark Campbell

“It really goes to these skill positions as new guys are stepping into roles,” said Rocco. “In my mind there’s no doubt that many of them will be household names in our league. I just don’t know if it will be this year.

“The last thing I said to the team tonight was, this team will get better every day, every week,” Rocco added after the Hens’ final preseason scrimmage on Tuesday. “It’s because of its youth and guys are stepping into roles.”

Clearly there’s reason to think Delaware’s offense will be much improved over the injury-plagued group that limped to the finish line last fall.

New offensive coordinator Jared Ambrose has brought a different approach with him from Towson and returning starting quarterback Pat Kehoe — having recovered from a knee injury that slowed him late last season — appears rejuvenated in the up-tempo attack.

Delaware returns four starting offensive linemen, led by third-team all-CAA center Marion Farinella,

Returning part-time starter DeJoun Lee was solid at running back last year with former Penn State transfer Andre Robinson and Old Dominion transfer Will Knight (Smyrna) expected to be just as much a part of the picture. The biggest question mark right now is the hamstring injury that’s kept Robinson on the sidelines for the last week or two of preseason.
Cam Kitchen

There will be a number of new names at wide receiver and tight end, although players like Gene Coleman, Thyrick Pitts and Bryce De Maille have gotten some playing time early in their careers.

On defense, the only place Delaware has experienced starters is on the line where senior defensive tackle Cam Kitchen is being counted on as a leader. Everywhere else, though, at linebacker and in the secondary, the Hens have new starters.

Still, Rocco remains optimistic about those positions as well.
Old Dominion transfer Will Knight (Smyrna) is part of a promising running back group. UD sports information/Mark Campbell

Delaware was picked to finish fifth in the CAA and was ranked No. 23 nationally in the coaches’ poll. But the bottom line is that the success of the Hens’ season will be judged by whether they make the NCAA playoffs again.

Last year, when Delaware lost to James Madison in the first round, it marked the Hens’ first FCS tournament appearance since reaching the national title game in 2010.

“I think for the program, it’s obviously what we want to be able to do,” said Rocco. “We want to be a perennial postseason team. It’s been my experience that getting in is the trick. Once you get in, so many things can happen.

“The ability to make that cut is really definitive. What we did last year, getting in, kind of got the gorilla off the back. I’m excited about that accomplishment and I think our players have more of a confidence that this is an attainable part of their goal-setting.”

The 2019 Blue Hens


QUARTERBACK: Pat Kehoe (Sr., 6-4, 235) was a surprise starter a year ago but was the clear choice for Rocco this time around.
Last fall, the big left-hander had his best games in the middle of the season but trailed off after suffering a couple injuries, most notably to his knee. Kehoe ended up throwing 17 TD passes with nine INTs while averaging 172.92 yards per game. Kehoe has looked sharp in the Hens’ new offense, which seems to be more dynamic rather than a grind-it-out approach.

Former Smyrna High standout Nolan Henderson (So, 6-0, 185) is also expected to get on the field after doing some good things in the Villanova game. Delaware has been working on creative ways to get the ball in Henderson’s hands in preseason. Anthony Paoletti (Fr., 6-2, 210) will be the third-stringer.

RUNNING BACK: DeJoun Lee (Jr., 5-7, 185) might not have much height but he proved to be a tough runner last season when he finished with 606 yards and a pair of TDs. Andre Robinson (Sr., 5-10, 215) looked like a former Penn State recruit at times when he was named the Most Improved Offensive Player of spring practice.

And nobody would be surprised if former Smyrna High star Will Knight (Fr., 5-11, 215) makes a big impact in his first year after transferring from Old Dominion. Delaware will also have a fullback in its formation with veteran Owen Tyler (Sr., 6-4, 235) getting the starting nod in the opener.

WIDE RECEIVER/TIGHT END: The Hens lost five of their top-six pass catchers from a year ago to graduation, with Joe Walker and Charles Scarff both making it into NFL camps. Gene Coleman (Jr., 5-11, 185), with nine catches for 149 yards, and Thyrick Pitts (So., 6-3, 200) are the most experienced wideouts.

Former William Penn High standout Chichi Ameche (Jr., 6-1, 195) is getting his first chance as a starter while Delaware is also excited about the size that Penn State transfer Dae’lun Darien (Jr., 6-4, 215) brings to the position.

At tight end, the Hens will miss the production of Scarff, who caught seven TD passes last fall. But Bryce De Maille (So., 6-3, 235) did see playing time as a true freshman last year.

OFFENSIVE LINE: Delaware was happy that center Mario Farinella (Sr., 6-2, 305) was granted another year of eligibility by the NCAA. He helps solidify an offensive front that also returns starters Connor Lutz (Sr., 6-6, 305), David Kroll (Jr., 6-7, 315) and Chuka Ezeuzoh (Sr., 6-5, 315). Jamil Gilmore (Jr., 6-4, 290) steps into the starting spot at right guard.

Overall it’s a veteran group with eight of the top 10 linemen either seniors or juniors.


DEFENSIVE LINE: The Hens’ defensive front is the one place where they have experience on that side of the ball. Cam Kitchen (Sr., 6-3, 285), Frank Burton (Jr., 6-2, 255), Brandan Hall (Sr., 6-2, 245), and Caleb Ashworth (Jr., 6-4, 250) each played in all 12 games last season.

Dom Covatto (So., 6-4, 300), who has been limited because of injury, is slated to step into one of the starting defensive tackle spots. Ashworth and Burton each posted three sacks a year ago.

LINEBACKER: With Colby Reeder sitting out this season after underdoing back surgery, Delaware is largely untested at linebacker. Drew Nickles (So., 6-3, 225) and Johnny Buchanan (So., 6-0, 230) did see playing time as backups last year but projected ‘Bandit’ starter Joe Zubillaga (Fr., 6-1, 205) will be seeing his first college action.

Veteran Tim Poindexter (Jr., 5-11, 195) has been switched from safety to Bandit while Sal Mauro (Jr., 6-2, 255) is now considered a ‘KAT’ linebacker.

SECONDARY: After sending a pair of defensive backs (Nasir Aderley, Tenny Adewusi) to NFL camps, Delaware has some work to do rebuilding its secondary. Cornerback Nijuel Hill (Jr., 5-10, 185) has had some ups and downs in his career but played well in the spring and has 22 games of experience under his belt.

Former Middletown High standout Kedrick Whitehead (So., 5-11, 190) moves from linebacker to safety with Justis Henley (So., 5-11, 175), who played some as a true freshman, manning the other cornerback spot. Newcomer Noah Plank (Fr., 6-2, 210) brings some good size to safety while transfers Riah Burton (So., 6-1, 195) from Virginia and D’Juan Moore (So., 5-9, 175) will add depth.

SPECIAL TEAMS: There’s a lot to like about the Hens’ special teams with veteran Nick Pritchard (Sr., 5-10, 225) on the FCS Punter of the Year watch list. He averaged 42 yards per punt last fall, with 10 kicks over 50 yards and 16 inside the opponents’ 20 yard line.
Jake Roth (Sr., 6-0, 205) returns for his fourth year as Delaware’s kickoff specialist after posting 37 touchbacks on 62 kickoffs last season. He also hit a 48-yard field goal in the playoff game against JMU. Roth will take over full-time place-kicking duties with newcomer Ryan Coe (Fr., 6-3, 225) waiting in the wings.

Delaware Football
2019 Schedule
7-At Rhode Island* 7 p.m.
28-At Pittsburgh TBA
12-At Elon* 2 p.m.
19-NEW HAMPSHIRE* 1 p.m.
26-RICHMOND* 1 p.m.
2-At Towson* 2 p.m.
9-ALBANY* 1 p.m.
16-STONY BROOK* 1 p.m.
23-At Villanova* 1 p.m.

2018 Results
5-3 CAA, 7-5 overall
L-Rhode Island* 19-21
W-Lafayette 37-0
W-Cornell 27-10
L-North Dakota State 10-38
W-Richmond* 43-28
W-Elon* 28-16
W-New Hampshire* 38-14
W-Towson* 40-36
W-Albany* 21-16
L-Stony Brook* 3-17
L-Villanova* 21-42
NCAA FCS Division I playoffs
L-James Madison 6-20

CAA game.


Fall at Delaware Stadium: What You Need to Know

Delaware Stadium has long been the place that Blue Hens far and wide have flocked to every fall for the past 70 years. With two weeks until the 2019 Delaware football season kicks off, a new era is on the horizon and excitement is at an all-time high. As seen throughout the spring, the historic structure is in the middle of a massive facelift. 

All seats will be in place for the season opener against Delaware State on Thursday, August 29. With the Whitney Athletic Center structure still under construction, there will be no foot traffic permitted in the west concourse.

For the first time ever, Delaware Stadium will have chair backs and cup holders in select sections! The new seating will also allow for more leg and elbow room. 

Temporary restrooms will be available throughout the stadium. The north and east side restrooms will be open as usual.

As mentioned above, the concession stand on the west side of the stadium as well as the BBQ smoker tent will not be in use this season. The northeast concession booth will continue to serve our patrons during pregame as well as throughout the game. Additional concessions will be available throughout the east and south stands as well as select concession items will be available for sale in the stands via stadium vendors.

The beer garden that was previously located in the northwest corner of the stadium under the scoreboard will not be accessible. The beer garden will now be located in the southeast corner of the stadium for fans who are 21 years of age or older.

The main ticket booths, including player guest will call will now be located on the plaza in front of the Bob Carpenter Center. Patrons can still buy single game tickets out of the east ticket window. Tickets are still available for the upcoming 2019 season at: Ticket Central.

Press Box
There are temporary press boxes built on the east side stands. In 2020, the brand-new press box will be unveiled atop of the Whitney Athletic Center. 

The student section will now be located in the north end zone seating area as it is closest to the student tailgate area, The Barn.

Blue Hen Pride
The University of Delaware Marching Band will remain in the south end zone but will be shifted to the east side.

The University of Delaware Bookstore will be located in the east concourse for the entire season.

With the renovations, the new capacity beginning in 2020 will be 18,309. For 2019, with the temporary press boxes in place on the east side, the capacity will sit at 16,730.
Refer to the Gameday Central: Delaware Stadium map for more details.


Hens’ Darien having fun as receiver
Aug 14th, 2019 · by Andy Walter · Delaware State News

NEWARK — Some players can only dream about being a part of the mighty Penn State football program.

And Dae’lun Darien says he made a lot of good friends in his three seasons at Happy Valley.

But he also says he wasn’t exactly having fun there, either.

“If you’re not having fun, it takes a toll on you,” Darien admitted after a Delaware practice on Tuesday morning. “But I’m starting to have fun again.”
Dae’lun Darien, who saw action in 17 games at Penn State, knows it’s still going to take him some time to get back up to full speed as a receiver. UD sports information/Mark Campbell

Of course, part of the reason that Darien is having fun again is that he may finally have found a position.

A receiver when he first went out to Penn State out of Baltimore’s Dunbar High, Darien switched to linebacker. So he was a linebacker when he transferred to Delaware last winter — only to be quickly switched back to receiver a couple weeks into spring practice.

With the Blue Hens getting ready to host Delaware State in their season opener on Aug. 29, the 6-foot-4, 225-pound Darien has shown flashes of being a pretty big receiving option for Delaware — in more ways than one.

The junior was particularly impressive in one practice last week.

“That’s the best day he’s had,” coach Danny Rocco said afterward. “If that’s what he’s capable of doing, he could really be a significant contributor this year. … He’s coming into his own a little bit.”

Darien, who saw action in 17 games at Penn State, knows it’s still going to take him some time to get back up to full speed as a receiver.

As a youngster, ESPN labeled Darien a three-star recruit after he had 50 catches for 700 yards as a senior at Dunbar. He was a Small School All-Stater.

Darien said he put in a lot of practice time over the summer so he could “get back to my roots” as a pass catcher.

“It’s a lot of detail — a lot of detail,” he said. “I’ve gotten better. And with a good camp I can be even better.

“I believe I can be a good threat in the red zone. I want to start working on catching the ball in space and getting away.”

Of course, with his size and defensive background, there’s no reason Darien shouldn’t be a good blocker, too.

“I love hitting people,” said the former high school defensive end. “Blocking, that’s something I want to do.”

Darien is part of a relatively-new receiving corps that will step into bigger roles after the Hens graduated Joe Walker, Vinny Papale and Jamie Jarmon. Juniors Gene Coleman and Thyrick Pitts are probably the most experienced players at the position with former William Penn High standout Chichi Amachi the only senior wideout.

With six freshmen among the 14 receivers Delaware lists on its roster, the Hens may ultimately use a number of different players there.

“At that receiver position, there’s a lot of talent,” said Rocco. “But there’s not a lot of production from a year ago. So, as different people step into different roles, it’s not like you’re losing a lot of production.

“In the moment, they’re so much more interchangeable. There’s six, seven or eight of them that I honestly think can go in a game at this level, be productive and make plays.”

Darien figures to be one of those guys who gets a chance. But he also knows that playing receiver is more complicated than just running around trying to get open.
Dae’lun Darien said he put in a lot of practice time over the summer so he could “get back to my roots” as a pass catcher. UD sports information/Mark Campbell

“It is different at the college level,” he said. “You’ve got to really focus on running routes. Like, in high school, I didn’t really have to run routes like that. I ran a go route, a slant, a dig — something like that.

“When I got to Penn State, Coach (Josh) Gattis taught me a lot of things. I’m just trying to get back into that. … I’m just trying to take advantage of my last two years and get back to having fun with football.”

Extra points

Delaware doesn’t have any formal scrimmages on its preseason schedule but is slated to have referees at its usual 8:45 a.m. practice session this morning. … The main structure of the renovated home stands at Delaware Stadium is now complete with workers attaching different forms of blue seating to the sections. … Fourth-year junior tight end Brent Reed from Cape Henlopen High is expected to miss the season after suffering a knee injury.


Five CAA Football Teams Ranked In STATS Preseason FCS Top 25 Poll
Rob Washburn - https://caasports.com

RICHMOND, Va. (August 5, 2019) – Five CAA Football teams are ranked in the 2019 STATS FCS Preseason Top 25 poll that was released on Monday afternoon.

James Madison received 14 first-place votes and is ranked No. 2 to start the season. Defending CAA champion Maine opens the year at No. 7 in the poll, followed by No. 11 Towson, No. 21 Elon, and No. 22 Delaware. Five more CAA teams - Stony Brook, New Hampshire, Villanova, Richmond and Rhode Island - were among other teams receiving votes.

The CAA, Big Sky Conference and Missouri Valley Football Conference were tied for the most teams in the poll with five. Ten different conferences had at least one team ranked, with two-time defending national champion North Dakota State at No. 1.

JMU welcomes back 19 of 22 starters from last year’s 9-4 team that earned a FCS playoff berth for the fifth consecutive year. Third-team All-CAA quarterback Ben DiNucci is among nine regulars back from an offense that averaged 33.9 points per game a season ago. Ten starters return from a defense that ranked sixth nationally in points (14.6 ppg) and yards (289.5 ypg) allowed. First-team All-CAA standouts Ron’Dell Carter and Adam Smith are joined by leading tackler Dimitri Holloway. JMU also adds All-America cornerback Rashad Robinson, who missed all of 2018 due to an injury.

Maine is coming off the best season in school history, posting a 10-4 overall record, capturing its first CAA championship since 2013 and advancing to the semifinals of the FCS playoffs for the first time ever. Eight starters return from a defense that was No. 1 in the nation against the run (79.2 ypg), including all-conference standouts Manny Patterson, Kayon Whitaker, Charles Mitchell and Deshawn Stevens. Quarterback Chris Ferguson and receiver Earnest Edwards top a group of seven offensive starters back.

Towson returns 15 starters from a 7-5 squad that returned to the FCS playoffs for the first time since 2013. Senior quarterback Tom Flacco, the 2018 CAA Offensive Player of the Year, is back to lead a Tigers’ offense that averaged a league-best 365.0 yards and 34.5 points per game. He’s joined by All-America running back/returner Shane Simpson and first-team All-CAA wide receiver Shane Leatherbury. Senior All-CAA linebacker Robert Heyward tops a group of seven regulars back defensively.

Elon has seven starters returning on both sides of the ball from a 6-5 squad that made its second consecutive FCS playoff appearance. Quarterback Davis Cheek is back to lead a Phoenix offense that includes top rusher Jaylan Thomas, the 2018 CAA Offensive Rookie of the Year, and leading receiver Kortez Weeks. Cornerback Greg Liggs, Jr. and defensive end Marcus Willoughby earned All-CAA recognition defensively in 2018.

Delaware went 7-5 last season and returned to the FCS playoffs for the first time since 2010. Quarterback Pat Kehoe and top rusher DeJoun Lee lead a Blue Hens’ offense that features four returning starters on the offensive line. Defensively, all four starters are back up front, topped by defensive end Cam Kitchen.

2019 STATS FCS Preseason Top 25 Poll

North Dakota State (142 first-place votes)
James Madison (14 first-place votes)
South Dakota State (1 first-place vote)
Eastern Washington (3 first-place votes)
UC Davis
Jacksonville State
Weber State
Kennesaw State
Montana State
Illinois State
Indiana State
Southeast Missouri
Northern Iowa
North Carolina A&T
Sam Houston State

RV: Stony Brook, New Hampshire, Villanova, Richmond, Rhode Island


Penn State transfer Robinson finally settles in, eyes big year as Blue Hen RB
Aug 2nd, 2019 · by Andy Walter · DELAWARE STATE NEWS

NEWARK — A year ago, Andre Robinson’s football life was something of a mess.

The Penn State transfer didn’t know Delaware’s offense, he didn’t know more than a couple of his new teammates and the NCAA seemed to be in no hurry to sign off on his eligibility.

So ask the Blue Hens’ senior running back how much more comfortable he feels this preseason and he just smiles.

“A thousand percent,” Robinson answers. “I’m happy now. I’m in a good place.

“I’m not playing nervous or timid or any type of thing like that. I’m just going out and playing. I feel really good — it’s probably the best I’ve felt in college.”
Andre Robinson

All of which makes Delaware pretty excited about what Robinson could do on the field this season.

Remember this was a high school star who was rated as a four-star recruit when he signed with Penn State. And he might have had a good career in Happy Valley if he didn’t happened to end up behind future NFL star Saquon Barkley on the Lions’ depth chart.

Partly because of his late start with the Hens last August — he wasn’t cleared by the NCAA until UD’s first game of the season — Robinson carried the ball only 23 times for 62 yards last fall.

But with a new offensive coaching staff, the 5-foot-10, 208-pounder really seemed to come into his own during spring practice. Robinson was named the spring’s Most Improved Offensive Player.

“He had two or three runs on tape this spring that kind of reminded you of what he was when he came out of high school and he went to Penn State,” said Delaware coach Danny Rocco. “They were kind of like those, ‘Oh my gosh’ plays.”

The fact that Robinson has since put up a personal-best, 600-pound squat in the weight room only has Rocco more excited.

With veteran Daquan Lee, Robinson and Old Dominion transfer Will Knight (Smyrna) in the backfield, Rocco knows the Hens have to improve on their 105.3 rushing yards per game from a year ago. That number put them 11th out of the 12 teams in the Colonial Athletic Association.

“Our average yards per rush was relatively pathetic,” said Rocco. “We have to run the ball better.”

All Robinson knows is that he’s excited about this season. He tries not to dwell on the past.

“Life teaches you lessons,” he said after practice on Friday morning. “I think everything happens for a reason.

“I’ve had four different running back coaches, this is the fifth offense I’ve learned. I’ve kind of been through the ringer. I want to have fun this year. I want to take everything slowly and really appreciate everything because it is my last year.”

At Penn State, Robinson ran for a relatively modest 196 yards and six touchdowns in limited playing time.

It was a far cry from the 5,657 yards (8.1 yards per carry) and 80 rushing touchdowns he put up during his career at Bishop McDevitt in Pennsylvania.

Robinson admits it took a toll on his confidence.

“It’s hard,” he said. “You come out of high school being a big-time recruit. You’re ‘The Man.’ You go to college and you’re nothing. I’m not going to lie and say it’s not hard to keep your confidence through all that.”

Not that he looks at playing the same position as Barkley as a bad thing.

Robinson roomed with the future New York Giants’ star for three years.

“He’s one of my best friends,” said Robinson. “Just watching a talent like that, day-in and day-out, you just learn so much. He’d come to the sidelines during practice and games and I’d just ask him a million questions and try to learn as much as I could. It was really cool to be able to be around him.

“I think he has a decent chance to go down as the best running back ever, when it’s all said and done — if he stays healthy. He’s a great guy, too.”

Delaware, which opens the season by hosting Delaware State on Aug. 29, doesn’t need Robinson to become the second-coming of Saquon Barkley, of course.

The Hens would just be happy if he lived up to his own potential.

“I’ve been through a lot in college,” said Robinson. “Things are settled down now. Everything’s kind of fallen into place for this last year.

“Honestly, I love playing football so I have fun with everything. But it has been a while. My redshirt freshman year (in 2016) was the last time I played significantly. I’m excited to get back to that, really get in there and do some work.”


Pritchard Named to FCS Punter of the Year Watch List

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Special teams. It's an area that is often overlooked, but always plays a big part in winning football games every fall. 

With Nick Pritchard as part of that unit, the University of Delaware football program feels pretty good about their chances.

Pritchard, who earned All-CAA First Team honors last year, was named to the FCS Punter of the Year Watch List, announced by the Augusta Sports Council on Friday.

The New Egypt, N.J. native returns for his final season with the Blue Hens after ranking first in the CAA and fourth all-time in program history with an average punt of 42.0 yards in 2018. 

Of his 58 punts, 17 of them went for 50 or more yards, while 16 were downed inside the 20. 

With an average of 41.3 over the past two years, Pritchard enters his senior season ranked second all-time in Delaware history in career punt average, behind only Eric Enderson (43.6). 

Pritchard and the Blue Hens open the 2019 season on Thursday, August 29that Delaware Stadium when they host the Hornets of Delaware State. Game time is set for 7 p.m


Hens’ QB Kehoe healthy and ready to go
Jul 23rd, 2019 · by Andy Walter Delaware State News

Pat Kehoe just shrugs off all the questions about injuries. They’re part of football, right?

So what if the Delaware quarterback had to lug around a heavy brace on his injured right knee for the last several games of the season?

And it wasn’t that big a deal when a possible concussion limited his practice time the week before the Blue Hens’ playoff game with James Madison.

“I wanted to be out there playing,” Kehoe said on Tuesday at CAA Football Media Day. “I really had no choice. In my mind, I was going to be out there. It wasn’t rough. It was exactly where I wanted to be.”

It’s that no-nonsense attitude that earned the big left-hander the starting job last preseason in something of a surprise move.

Now that he’s a returning starter — and really the only QB on the roster with significant playing experience — Kehoe is expected to be a steady performer for the Hens, who were picked to finish fifth in the CAA this fall.

A 6-foot-4, 235-pound fifth-year senior, Kehoe’s knee is healthy again, he’s lost 20 pounds and he’s ready to go.

“Last year at this time, I don’t think I was able to name a starting quarterback,” said coach Danny Rocco, who is starting his third season at UD. “I didn’t have a guy who I felt was ready to go. … Our situation this year is a lot different.

“Pat has a lot of experience. He’s played in a lot of big games — he’s won a lot of big games for us. (Backup) Nolan Henderson has proven that he’s capable of playing at a high level in this league. And he’s ready to play. So our options are better.”

Even though he’s only played a total of one season in his first three seasons at Delaware, Kehoe had the reputation of being a hard-working kid. His dad, Kevin, is a longtime successful high school basketball coach in Connecticut.
Junior QB Pat Kehoe, who started all 12 games for the Hens last fall, was much more mobile before injuring his knee midway through the season. Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell

Senior defensive lineman Cam Kitchen says becoming the Hens’ starting quarterback clearly hasn’t gone to Kehoe’s head. He jokingly points out that Kehoe just helped him move his girlfriend into her new apartment the other day.

“Pat is probably the best leader we have on our team,” said Kitchen. “He’s a great quarterback, a great leader, a great friend. … He’s a big key of why we’ve had success and he’s a big reason of why our team is where it is right now.

“One of our core values is, our best player is our hardest worker. And Pat is definitely that.”

“I still want to take the same approach — the job is still up in the air,” said Kehoe. “You’ve got to approach every day (like) you’ve got to earn your money. You’ve got to keep your job. I have a lot of young talent behind me.”

Clearly, Kehoe had some big games last season when the Hens went 7-5 and made the NCAA FBS Division I playoffs for the first time since 2010. One of his best days came in a 40-36 upset of No. 10 Towson when he threw for 305 yards with four touchdown passes.

“I thought he was calm and poised in big moments,” said Rocco.

But the knee injury began to take its toll. After throwing 17 TD passes in the Hens’ first eight games, Kehoe didn’t have any in the last four contests — three of which Delaware lost.

He had four interceptions in those games. That included a loss to Villanova in which he only played sparingly before suffering the head injury.

Kehoe wasn’t cleared to play against JMU until the day before. The Hens almost went into that playoff game with untested Anthony Paoletti as their only healthy QB.

Delaware managed just 185 total yards and a pair of field goals in the 20-6 loss to JMU.

“When you get to Week 13 in a season, nobody’s healthy,” said Kehoe. “You’ve got to do what you can do. It’s unfortunate the way things turned out the last stretch of the season. But everybody put their best foot forward. We tried to represent the University of Delaware the best way we could.”

On the other hand, Delaware has a new offensive coordinator in Jared Ambrose, who held the same job at Towson. Kehoe knows he’s got to make better decisions but a shorter passing game should help his completion percentage.

“I think I’m going to have a little bit more freedom at the line of scrimmage if I like something,” said Kehoe. “If I don’t like something I can change it. Ultimately I think it will get us in the right plays and help us be successful.”

Not surprisingly, the Hens’ win-loss record is the only number that Kehoe cares about.

“It’s not about me, I just want to win,” he said. “I want to compete for a national championship. Whatever gets us there is what I’m happy with.”

Extra points

Delaware offensive lineman Mario Farinella and punter Nick Pritchard were both named preseason all-CAA. Running back Dejoun Lee was an honorable-mention pick … Delmar High grad Shane Leatherbury, a senior receiver at Towson, was also named to the preseason all-conference squad. … James Madison, with 20 of 24 first-place votes, is the preseason favorite to win the CAA. The Dukes are followed by Towson, Elon, Maine and then Delaware. … Coach Rocco said he expects Nolan Henderson, the former Smyrna High standout, to see playing time even if Kehoe starts. “I’d be disappointed if we don’t have Nolan out there early and often,” said Coach Rocco.


Four Blue Hens Earn Preseason All-CAA Accolades; Delaware Picked Fifth in Poll
7/23/2019 8:40:00 AM

Full Preseason All-CAA Release

BALTIMORE, Md. – Coming off a season where Delaware football won seven games and returned to the FCS Playoffs for the first time since 2010, the Colonial Athletic Association recognized four Blue Hens on its Preseason All-Conference lists at CAA Media Day Tuesday morning.

Redshirt senior offensive lineman Mario Farinella and senior punter Nick Pritchard were named to the Preseason All-Conference Team, while junior running back DeJoun Lee and redshirt senior tight end/fullback Owen Tyler were honorable mentions.

Farinella started every game on the line for the Blue Hens in 2018, splitting time between right guard and center on an offense that averaged 24.4 points per game. The Bloomfield, N.J., native will anchor an experienced line that returns four starters for the 2019 campaign.

Pritchard led the CAA with an average of 42 yards per punt in 2018. The New Egypt, N.J., product helped flip the field for the Blue Hens with 10 kicks of 50 yards or more and 16 punts inside the opponent 20-yard line.

Lee had a breakout year in his first season in blue and gold, leading Delaware with 618 yards, averaging 4.9 yards per rush. The quick and elusive Lee also returned 24 kickoffs for a total of 545 yards, and should once again feature heavily in the Blue Hens offense.

In addition to playing a vital role as a blocking tight end, Tyler caught nine passes for 56 yards in 2018.

A poll of the league's coaches and media relations directors picked Delaware to finish fifth, behind four teams that also made the 2018 FCS Playoffs (James Madison, Towson, Maine, Elon).

The Blue Hens open the season on Thursday, August 29 by hosting Delaware State at 7 p.m. inside Delaware Stadium.

Players Mentioned:

#33 DeJoun Lee
5' 7"
185 lbs

#31 Nick Pritchard
5' 10"
210 lbs
Redshirt Senior

#21 Owen Tyler
6' 4"
240 lbs
Redshirt Senior


Blue Hens, Delaware State Ink Six-Year Deal Through 2030 Season 

The University of Delaware and Delaware State University have signed a 
six-year deal for a football series beginning in 2024. Included in the 
deal will be the first-ever trip to Dover for the Blue Hens, which will 
occur twice during the series. 

"We are excited to have the opportunity to bring our two state 
institutions together. Both of these Universities have outstanding 
people who make an impact across the state," said University of Delaware
Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation Services Chrissi Rawak said. "This series will be an opportunity for many folks in this state to show off their pride for their respective schools." 

""This football series agreement provides another opportunity for 
Delaware's major public Universities to engage while also bringing 
together state and local officials, alumni and fans of each school, 
constituents and our communities," said Delaware State Director of 
Athletics Dr. D. Scott Gines. "We are excited to be a part of this showcase for our great institutions and the First State." 

The Blue Hens and Hornets will square off in 2019 and 2020, which are 
separate from this six-year contract. The series will begin with 
back-to-back games in Dover in 2024 and 2025, followed by dates at 
Delaware Stadium in 2026, 2027 and 2029. The host of the sixth game of 
the contract will be determined by the first five meetings. 

Between the two schools, nearly 50 student-athletes that are Delaware natives will be suited up for the 2019 contest. 

"We are looking forward to this series with Delaware State and to 
celebrate our state's two major universities. This agreement will create
a lot of excitement and enthusiasm for the fans of both universities," 
Delaware head coach Danny Rocco said. 

"It's exciting for each school and the state that our football series 
will continue into the next decade and beyond," said Delaware State head
coach Rod Milstead. "I'm also pleased that at least 
two of the games are scheduled to be played in Dover, allowing fans in 
central and southern Delaware a better opportunity to attend." 

UD and Delaware State have met eight previous times, the last time coming in 2017.


2019 FCS vs. FBS: CAA Football

By CRAIG HALEY - 6/1/19
STATS FCS Senior Editor

(STATS) - With Maine and Villanova posting wins over FBS programs last season, CAA Football continued to be adept at knocking off the big boys of Division I college football.

The CAA has nine FBS wins in the last six seasons and 38 all-time.

Who's next?

As FCS programs seek to make their mark again this year, here's a look at the games involving CAA teams:

The Matchups (14) - Albany: Central Michigan (Aug. 29); Delaware: Pittsburgh (Sept. 28); Elon: Wake Forest (Sept. 21); James Madison: West Virginia (Aug. 31); Maine: Georgia Southern (Sept. 7) and Liberty (Oct. 19); New Hampshire: FIU (Sept. 14); Rhode Island: Ohio (Aug. 31) and Virginia Tech (Oct. 12); Richmond: Boston College (Sept. 7); Stony Brook: Utah State (Sept. 7); Towson: Florida (Sept. 28); William & Mary: Virginia (Sept. 6) and East Carolina (Sept. 21)

Glamour Games - James Madison at West Virginia (Aug. 31) and Towson at Florida (Sept. 28): Curt Cignetti's JMU debut comes in the Dukes' first game against a Big 12 opponent. However, the two programs met twice before West Virginia joined the conference. Towson isn't Florida's only FCS opponent as the Gators host Ohio Valley Conference member UT Martin three weeks earlier. Towson hasn't played the SEC member previously.

Upset Alert - Maine at Georgia Southern (Sept. 7) and Liberty (Oct. 19): The defending CAA champion, under new coach Nick Charlton, gets two shots to best an FBS opponent for the second consecutive season (Western Kentucky last year). Georgia Southern fell to New Hampshire in 2017 and Liberty is only in its second season on the FBS level. Maine is playing an FBS pair for the fifth straight year.

Notable - Villanova, which upset Temple last season, is the only CAA program that isn't playing an FBS opponent this year. … Under first-year coach Mike London, William & Mary will play two FBS opponents - Virginia and East Carolina - for the first time since facing North Carolina and Navy in 1991. The Tribe trail Virginia 29-6-1 and ECU 12-4-1 in their all-time series. … Rhode Island, which lost a 56-49 thriller to UConn last season, is playing two FBS opponents - Ohio and Virginia Tech - for the first time. … New Hampshire will play in the Sunshine State for the third time, taking on FIU. Way back when in coach Sean McDonnell's first season guiding UNH, the Wildcats lost 42-41 in overtime to South Florida. The 'Cats also won a 2010 playoff game at Bethune-Cookman. … With Elon's third matchup against Wake Forest, the Demon Deacons will become the Phoenix's most-common FBS opponent since joining Division I. … In their only previous meeting, Delaware lost to Pittsburgh 62-0 to open the 2014 season. … Richmond hasn't met Boston College since 1971 and trails 4-1 in the all-time series. … Albany's first-ever game against Central Michigan is the debut of new Chippewas coach Jim McElwain, an FBS head coach previously at Colorado State and Florida. … Not surprisingly, Stony Brook and Utah State are meeting for the first time.

Former University of Delaware linebacker shot to death in Baltimore
Kevin Tresolini, Delaware News Journal May 30, 2019 

Former University of Delaware starting linebacker David Mackall has been identified by Baltimore Police as the victim killed in a shooting Wednesday afternoon, The Baltimore Sun reported Thursday.

Mackall, 28 and a Baltimore native, was found by Baltimore Southwest District patrol officers after reports of a shooting on the 1900 block of Braddock Avenue in the Walbrook neighborhood.

He had been shot in the torso and head and died after being taken to a nearby hospital, according to police.

Homicide detectives are investigating the matter.

Dave Brock, who was head coach during Mackall's final two years at UD, was saddened to hear of his tragic death.

"You want so badly for the kids you coach to be successful and when something like this happens it just guts you," said Brock, now running backs coach with the Atlanta Falcons. "You just feel so badly for the loss of opportunity for him and for his family. It's just a really sad situation."

Mackall was the father of two young sons.

Mackall transferred to Delaware before the 2012 season from the University of Maryland, where he started at defensive end as a sophomore in 2011.

He missed his first season at Delaware with an injury. Mackall then played all 12 games and started the last 10 at outside linebacker in 2013 for the Blue Hens, and finished third on the team with 75 tackles as Delaware went 7-5.

Moved to middle linebacker, Mackall then started all 12 games while leading 6-6 Delaware with 84 tackles in 2014. Mackall also intercepted two passes in his UD career.

"That guy was a physical player who put his heart into the game,” said Pat Callaway, who played linebacker alongside Mackall both seasons. “He was the guy you wanted next to you. But the only thing more important to him than football was his family. He was a huge family guy.”

Callaway is now a college scout with the Tennessee Titans. 

"I think David grew a lot when he was there," Brock said of Mackall's time at Delaware, "and kind of found himself on and off the field. I thought he provided a lot of leadership for the younger players and was a really good teammate."

Before going to Maryland, Mackall had graduated from Baltimore’s Edmonson-Westside High School and then attended Fork Union Military Academy for a year.


Blue Hens piled up the most NFL opportunities in program history (7)

5/1/19 - bluehens.com By Scott Day

Let's look at the numbers:

1.1 million students play high school football around the country
2.8-percent of them have a chance to play Division I football
1.6-percent of those 1.1 million high school athletes have a chance to go pro
Delaware has the sixth-fewest people of any state in the US

Despite those odds, the University of Delaware football program has been able to establish quite a pipeline to the NFL

In fact, the Blue Hens piled up the most NFL opportunities in program history (7), led by Nasir Adderley who became Delaware's highest draft pick in over 10 years. It's also tied for the highest total among all FCS schools in the country this season. That comes just a year after Delaware had the second-most active NFL players (6) among all FCS schools in 2018. 

Adderley's selection made Delaware just the 10thFCS school since 2009 to have top-five round draft picks in back-to-back years.

"The simple fact is that if you can play, the NFL will find you, it's their job to find the best talent in the world and that's what they will do, no matter where you are playing," current Chicago Bear Bilal Nichols said. 

Nichols was selected in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft and is one of now 102 Blue Hens since 1935 to earn a shot with an NFL organization. 

"There's a tradition at Delaware that dates back way before I even played and that tradition pushes you to be the best you can be," former NFL MVP and Blue Hen Rich Gannon said. "Knowing that there's been a lot of guys who have come through Newark and had great success in the NFL, it only pushes everyone to work harder to earn their shot."

And that's exactly what Adderley, Troy Reeder (LA Rams), Joe Wallker (Chicago Bears camp), Tenny Adewusi (NY Giants camp), Vinny Papale (Oakland Raiders camp), Charles Scarff (Baltimore Ravens) and Noah Beh (Kansas City Chiefs camp) are looking for entering rookie mini-camps: a shot.

"All I wanted was a shot and now I have it," Walker said. "Being at Delaware is a family and you're pushed by your brothers in that locker room. We want to keep that tradition and when you walk down that hall and see all the names that reached the next level, it just makes you want to grind that much harder."

That tradition included seven former Blue Hens on active NFL rosters in 2018, the second-highest total among all FCS schools. In fact, Delaware has had a draft in six different years dating back to 2007. 

The legendary Hall of Famer Tubby Raymond had a famous saying to the Blue Hen faithful, "big things happen at little old Delaware."

The NFL has sure taken notice of Raymond's sentiments. 
Print Friendly Version
Players Mentioned

#92 Bilal Nichols
DL (Capt.)
6' 4"
290 lbs

#23 Nasir Adderley
6' 0"
200 lbs

#8 Tenny Adewusi
6' 1"
200 lbs

#65 Noah Beh
6' 6"
290 lbs
Redshirt Senior

#13 Vinny Papale
6' 1"
205 lbs

#9 Troy Reeder
6' 3"
245 lbs
Redshirt Senior

#85 Charles Scarff
6' 6"
270 lbs
Redshirt Senior


Five Blue Hens Ink Deals to Join NFL Organizations
4/27/2019 - bluehens.com

NEWARK, Del. – It all starts as a dream.

Those dreams of playing in the NFL became a reality for several members of the University of Delaware football program with five different Blue Hens signing deals to join NFL organizations following the completion of the 2019 draft.

Joe Walker (Chicago Bears), Troy Reeder (LA Rams), Vinny Papale (Oakland Raiders), Charles Scarff (Ravens) and Tenny Adewusi (Giants) all earned shots to prove themselves at the next level. 

They all joined Nasir Adderley, who was chosen in second on Friday, to give the Blue Hens six different signees all in one year, the second-highest total ever (seven in 1981 is the program record). 

Walker was one of the more dynamic athletes over the past four years for the Blue Hens, spending time at both the quarterback and wide receiver spots. He is one of only seven Division I players (FCS and FBS) over the past 25 years to have over 2,000 career passing yards, 1,000 career rushing yards and over 750 career receiving yards. After transitioning to wide receiver for his final season at Delaware, the Philadelphia, Pa. native earned Third Team All-CAA accolades and ranked in the top-15 nationally, averaging 19.8 yards per catch, while scoring four TDs and 670 yards receiving. 

Reeder earned All-American accolades after finishing one of the most decorated careers in Blue Hens defensive history. He was named a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, given to FCS' top defensive player and piled up 131 tackles on the year, the fifth most in a single-season ever by a Delaware player. In just three seasons at Delaware, he piled up 283 tackles, good for 22ndall-time in program history. He was a three-time First Team All-CAA honoree. 

Papale had a career year in his final season at Delaware, hauling in 36 catches and six TDS, while amassing 618 yards. Nearly half (17) of his catches came on third down and he proved critical in the punt return game for the Blue Hens. He had two 100-yard performances on the year, including a eight-catch, 142-yard, two-TD game in a thrilling win over then-#10 Towson. 

Scarff had a breakout year in 2018, earning First Team All-CAA and Third-Team All-American accolades. He finished with a team-leading 43 catches for 498 yards and a team-leading seven TDs. The 43 receptions I the most by a Delaware tight end since Ben Patrick in 2006 and the second-most ever. His 11 career receiving TDs is also the second-highest total for a Blue Hen tight end. 

Adewusi is a physical specimen that was critical to Delaware's pass defense in 2018. He started 10 of the Blue Hens' 12 games and tallied a career-high 37 tackles, including one for a loss. He had the second-most pass break-ups on the defense with seven, along with a forced fumble. In 40 career games, he racked up two INTs and 15 pass breakups for the Blue Hens. 

Players Mentioned:

#23 Nasir Adderley
6' 0"
200 lbs

#8 Tenny Adewusi
6' 1"
200 lbs

#13 Vinny Papale
6' 1"
205 lbs

#9 Troy Reeder
6' 3"
245 lbs
Redshirt Senior

#85 Charles Scarff
6' 6"
270 lbs
Redshirt Senior

#3 Joe Walker
6' 3"
205 lbs
Redshirt Senior

Adderley Becomes Highest Blue Hen Drafted Since Flacco
4/26/2019 - bluehens.com

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – From Philadelphia to Newark to Los Angeles.

Nasir Adderley's dream has now become a reality as the former University of Delaware All-American was selected in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Chargers. He becomes the highest Blue Hen drafted since Joe Flacco was selected 17thoverall in 2007.

"This is what you dream of as a kid. It's everything you work for. I can't put it into words how much this moment means to my family and I," Adderley said. "I can't wait to get to Los Angeles and go to work."

Adderley makes Delaware just the ninth FCS school in the past 10 years to have top-five round picks in the back-to-back years.

"We're incredibly excited for Nasir and his family to get this opportunity. This is a privilege that very few young men get and we're proud to see all the hard work Nasir put in pay off," head coach Danny Rocco said. "Nasir accomplished a lot during his four years here on campus and we can't wait to watch him on Sundays."

The Philadelphia, Pa. native was a four-year starter for the Blue Hens, becoming the first player in over 10 years to start every game of his career at Delaware. He racked up 264 total tackles to rank among the top-five in defensive backs in program history in that category. He also added 11 INTs and 24 pass deflections in his career. 

"I can't thank the University of Delaware, my teammates, my coaches and so many people that helped push me to where I am today," Adderley added. "I'm humbled and grateful to have the opportunity to represent the proud Blue Hen tradition in the NFL."

This past fall, Adderley finished with a career-high 87 tackles, which ranked in the top-20 nationally for defensive backs. He also had a team-high four INTs and seven pass break-ups, to go along with his one forced fumble and fumble recovery.

He was the only player in the country with over 160 tackles and nine INTs over the past two seasons. 

#23 Nasir Adderley
6' 0"
200 lbs


Former Blue Hen Football Player and son of Coach Tubby Raymond, Dave Raymond is the mascot guru who went from being the original Phillie Phanatic to helping create Gritty:

November 2, 2018 - 6:06 PM
by Frank Fitzpatrick - PHILLYNEWS.COM

Throughout the 16 years when they were inseparable, alter-egos bound beneath 25 pounds of green fur, the Phillie Phanatic frequently saved Dave Raymond. It happened whenever the man inside the mascot's costume felt like hiding from pawing kids or incessant demands, whenever he needed pause to lament a failing marriage or mourn his mother's passing.

"I lost my mother, my marriage fell apart three months later and I'm thinking, `My God, I've still got to run around in this costume and make all these appearances,' " Raymond recalled during a recent interview at his West Grove home. "But pretty soon I'd forget it. I had this beautiful distraction. I was the Phanatic."
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All these years later, though Raymond is 62 now and on the brink of Social Security eligibility, providing those "beautiful distractions" remains his business. In fact, 25 years after he stepped aside as the groundbreaking Phanatic, his career as a mascot guru is speeding along like the three-wheeler he once raced recklessly across Veterans Stadium's notorious turf.

Raymond Entertainment, the character-branding company he founded two decades ago and now runs out of his meticulously neat Chester County colonial, is busy developing and training mascots for sports teams and businesses. One of them, Gritty, the Flyers' wild-eyed monster, has become a national phenomenon. Next month, Raymond will travel to Whiting, Ind., a tiny lakeside town where the Mascot Hall of Fame, a concept he developed in 2005, will open in a new $19 million facility. And in the crowded field of motivational speaking, he's created a lucrative niche as the apostle of fun.

Occasionally, the youthful-looking, physically fit Raymond even climbs into a costume. At a recent pharmaceutical-industry trade show, he became "Gut Guy," an irritable bowel who promotes a lower-intestine drug.

"Mascots aren't just for sports anymore. This drug company I work with set up a photo booth where you could come pose for a picture with Gut Guy," said Raymond. "When Gut Guy took his break, they asked me to put on the costume. Doctors and clinicians were coming in and as they're posing for photos, they're giving out their email addresses, being handed pamphlets. They were being teed up to be sold, but they didn't mind it. They were having fun.

"The company said they'd never had that kind of engagement. They said they were going to get a second costume made and asked me to be one of the performers. Now I'm the on-site producer and I do a little performing."

While he's worn his share of costumes since abandoning his role as sport's best-known mascot, Raymond has focused more intently on creating and training characters. His Phillies days, when his salary rose from $25 a game to the low six figures, awakened the entrepreneur in him.

Recognizing the earnings potential in being an independent contractor, he retired after the Phillies' 1993 World Series appearance and asked the company that had created the Phanatic to build him a character called Sport.
Dave Raymond, the original Phillie Phanatic whose mascot company not only devised the Flyers’ controversial Gritty but has recently made one for a giant pharmaceutical company, the Irritable Bowel. He is shown in his home office on Oct. 12, 2018, as he talks about mascots and Gritty’s success.

"They said they'd do it for free if I'd partner with them," he said. "Sport was successful going places to entertain. But my partners were supposed to get him access to children's TV. When that didn't happen, we parted ways. I bought some of their business and started Raymond Entertainment. Eventually we pivoted away from designing, building and delivering these characters to consulting."

The Phanatic's origins are familiar here. Hoping to attract more families to Phillies games, Bill Giles came up with the mascot idea in 1977. He asked Raymond, a onetime University of Delaware kicker and the son of that football program's coach, Tubby Raymond, to give up his role as a front-office go-fer to become the trumpet-nosed character.

"I'd been an intern since 1976 and Bill said he knew I'd be perfect because I was a wise-ass at parties," said Raymond. "I remember the first night I went out there [April 25, 1978]. I had no idea what I was supposed to do. I thought people were going to kill me or set me on fire. Bill just said, `Go out and have fun. It won't work unless you're enjoying yourself.' Bill was brilliant. People were telling him he was crazy but he kept saying, `Ah, it's going to be fun.'"

Thanks to Raymond's improvisational skills and sense of humor, the Phanatic became the prototype for all the mascots that followed. He irreverently mocked and mimicked umpires, opposing players and even Los Angeles manager Tommy Lasorda, who famously went ballistic when the mascot pummeled an effigy of him. He could schmooze with toddlers, slyly put down drunks, perform acrobatic feats.

Soon the spirited ex-intern who always assumed he'd follow his father into football coaching was so popular and so busy that the job became all-consuming, ultimately contributing to the end of his first marriage. Then, in a scene worthy of a Hallmark holiday movie, an inspirational moment opened Raymond's eyes to the Phanatic's value.

"One day I was doing one of these Salvation Army bell-ringers downtown," said Raymond, a father of four who lives with his second wife in a development near Avon Grove High School in rural Chester County. "They loved me because donations increased. This day I was ticked off. It was Christmas and I had all these appearances lined up. Then there's a knock at my van's door."

It was a man whose son had that morning undergone surgery to remove a brain tumor. He told Raymond the tension had been so unbearable that he left the hospital and began walking aimlessly through Center City. That's when he saw the Phanatic.

"His son loved the Phanatic and he asked if I could visit him," said Raymond. "So I put on my costume and walked to the hospital. I went in the room and his mother started to cry. And the kid looked up and said his first words since the operation. There was something special about the Phanatic being able to do that. That's when I started to pay attention.

"Mascots deliver random acts of kindness wherever they go. I don't care if it's adults or children with maladies, they're all smiling. For those few minutes of interaction, people forget about everything. What I do is silliness. But there's a real magic going on that people don't see."

On this day, Raymond's interest was focused on the Mascots Hall of Fame, set to open in December. He popped open his office laptop and proudly showed visitors some of the interactive displays in the new facility.

The idea for a mascots hall, he said, grew out of a tongue-in-cheek 2003 March for Mascots Rights that Raymond staged in Philadelphia after the Pirates' Randall Simon struck one of Miller Park's racing sausages with his bat. The event generated so much publicity that Raymond sought a way to capitalize on it.

"So in 2005 we announced that we were going to induct the Phanatic, the San Diego Chicken and the Phoenix Suns' Gorilla," said Raymond. "Each year we'd induct a few more mascots and go to their field or court [to honor them]. Then four years ago we got a call from Whiting about building something there."

Why Whiting? Well, primarily because the small town where Standard Oil began was looking for something to attract visitors from Chicago (16 miles away) and fit into its waterfront-development plans.

Raymond didn't say if he'd put on a costume for the opening ceremonies, but no one, least of all him, would be surprised if he did …

"The older you get, the more you realize you should have fooled around a bit more during your life," he said. "I will never have that regret."


Defense Shines In Annual Blue-White Spring Game

4/20/2019 - bluehens.com

NEWARK, Del. – It was a picture-perfect Saturday at Delaware Stadium.

Much like the construction site in the background, the University of Delaware football team showed the progress being made on the way to a bright future in the annual Blue-White Spring Game. 

The defense (white team) came away with the win with a score of 52-41 off a point scoring system that highlight different point totals for certain achievements. 

"It's great to get out in front of our fans again and to bring so many people back to campus. You can feel the excitement and energy that everyone has for this University and this athletic department and it's just tremendous," head coach Danny Rocco said. "I thought our defense played really well and had a good day. We have a lot of guys who don't have a ton of game experience so these opportunities are crucial to continuing our progress to where we want to be as a football program."

At half, the Blue Hens gave out their annual Spring awards which included the weight room champions (Chuka Ezeuzohand Artis Hemmingway) as well as the most improved players (Andre Robinson and Drew Nickles). 

In addition, Coach Rocco named the captains for the 2019 season which included QB Pat Kehoe, OL Mario Farinella, DB Nijuel Hill and DL Cam Kitchen. 

"I think we've got a lot of talented guys on both sides of the ball and I like the work we all have put in this spring," Hill said. "We were fortunate enough to watch the guys before us lay the path and show us how it's done, what we have to do to achieve success and that's what we're doing, we're going to keep working and keep getting better."

As for the game action, Kehoe was 12-of-20 for 140 yards and 1 TD, while Thyrick Pitts was on the receiving end of that touchdown, finishing with three catches for 72 yards. 

DeJoun Lee and Robinson combined for 8 carries for 40 yards, while Gene Coleman had five catches for 41 yards on the afternoon. 

Defensively, Nickles led the way with six tackles on the day, while Kedrick Whitehead had four tackles, a TFL and an interception. Whitehead, Hill and Amonte Strothers all had INTs on the day for the white squad. 

Print Friendly Version
Players Mentioned

#77 Mario Farinella
6' 2"
300 lbs
Redshirt Senior

#91 Artis Hemmingway
6' 2"
260 lbs

#12 Pat Kehoe
6' 4"
240 lbs
Redshirt Junior

#99 Cam Kitchen
6' 2"
275 lbs

#51 Drew Nickles
6' 3"
220 lbs


Column: "The Best Is Yet To Come"

4/20/2019 By Andy Lohman - bluehens.com

As Delaware football head coach Danny Rocco addressed the crowd at halftime of the annual Blue-White Spring Game, he directed their attention to the construction site on the opposite side of Delaware Stadium.

"The best is yet to come," Rocco declared.

Just as the renovation of Delaware Stadium will bring the University of Delaware into a new era, Rocco is looking to continue the upward progression of the football team. He delivered consecutive seven-win seasons in his first two seasons at the helm, and last year brought Delaware back to the FCS playoffs for the first time since 2010.

The Blue Hens face a new challenge this season, having to replace a significant amount of experience, especially on the defensive side of the ball, with the graduation and departure of players like Troy Reeder and Nasir Adderley.

Despite those losses, Rocco and his staff feel good about the unit, which won Saturday's spring game 52-41 in a modified scoring system that pitted it against the offense. That confidence stems from a strong defensive line, the most experienced position group on the defense.

"It's the one area where we have a lot of guys back," Rocco said. "There's a lot of guys in our defensive front that have played over 250 plays last year…that is a strength and there is depth there."

Cam Kitchen, who was voted as a captain by his teammates, spearheads the battle in the trenches, coming off a 2018 season where he totaled 47 tackles, a sack and four quarterback hurries. The depth at the line has allowed the coaching staff to move players around to linebacker and secondary positions to maximize everybody's athleticism. Sophomore linebacker Drew Nickles, just one year of college football under his belt, stood out after playing in multiple positions this spring.

The secondary is the greenest group on the defense, making the leadership role of redshirt junior Nijuel Hill, also voted a team captain, even more important.

"We have a talented player there. We have a good person there. We have a guy that really believes in the value of this team," Rocco said of his standout defensive back. "I'm encouraged with that and I'm encouraged with the talent of the other guys, [there's] just a lacking of experience."

"Obviously we're going to make mistakes as a young defensive group, but if we cover that up with enthusiasm and relentless pursuit, that's all we can really ask for," Hill said. "As you can see, we're not afraid for the challenge."

That enthusiasm was on display as the young secondary flew around the field making plays. Sophomore Kedrick Whitehead and redshirt freshman Amonte' Strothers each had interceptions and redshirt freshman Noah Plack had several big pass breakups. The score of the spring game may not factor into Delaware's 2019 record, but don't tell the defense it doesn't matter.

"Since we lost the last two years, we wanted to come out here and prove a point," Hill said.

While the offense didn't have its most prolific day Saturday, the players and coaches are still excited about the progress the team has made this spring, and its potential in the fall. First-year offensive coordinator Jared Ambrose is implementing an up-tempo system with a lot more run-pass options and multiple ways to attack defenses.

"I think Coach Ambrose's offense is really good, it suits our personnel very well," running back Andre Robinson said. "He knows his stuff. It uses our athletes; it gets us the ball in space. Can't really ask for much more than that as an athlete."

"There's a lot of flexibility and there's answers built within each play to counter what the defense does," quarterback Pat Kehoe, another captain, said.

Rocco took a moment at halftime to introduce the four team-voted captains to the crowd: Kehoe, Kitchen, Hill and offensive lineman Mario Farinella. With so many seniors graduating from last year's playoff team, it will be on this group to use their experience to guide the young Blue Hens.

"I think the thing you always look for is for them to continue to build on what they have already been able to establish and get people to follow," Rocco said. "They all have stories that they're able to take a step back and say, 'you know what, two years ago this is where I was, and then look where I am now.' So it creates that hope and that optimism for everybody in the program that if they just stay committed to what we're trying to get done, good things will happen."

"I just want to be a leader for this group," Kehoe said. "I've seen a lot of things in my time here and I want to pass that on to our younger guys and their development."

Print Friendly Version
Players Mentioned

#23 Nasir Adderley
6' 0"
200 lbs

#77 Mario Farinella
6' 2"
300 lbs
Redshirt Senior

#16 Nijuel Hill
5' 10"
185 lbs
Redshirt Sophomore

#12 Pat Kehoe
6' 4"
240 lbs
Redshirt Junior

#99 Cam Kitchen
6' 2"
275 lbs

#51 Drew Nickles
6' 3"
220 lbs

#29 Noah Plack
6' 2"
210 lbs

#9 Troy Reeder
6' 3"
245 lbs
Redshirt Senior

#39 Kedrick Whitehead
5' 11"
190 lbs

#10 Andre Robinson
5' 10"
225 lbs
Redshirt Junior


NFL scouts, coaches pack UD to test Blue Hen and other draft hopefuls at pro day

Mar 22nd, 2019 · by Delaware State News

Delaware defensive back Nasir Adderley has his vertical tested as NFL scouts look on. Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell

Delaware billed it as the biggest turnout for a pro day it’s ever had.

Over 70 scouts and coaches, including someone from all 32 NFL teams, were on hand for the session in Newark on Friday morning.

They were there to test 26 former local college football players — including 16 Blue Hens — ahead of the April 25-27 NFL Draft.

The big draw of the day was Delaware defensive back Nasir Adderley, who most experts consider a likely draft pick.

Delaware linebacker Troy Reeder and tight end Charles Scarff, as well as Wesley College receiver Alex Kemp (Caesar Rodney), also worked out for the pro personnel. Testing was done both in the Carpenter Center and in the Field House.

Blue Hen linebacker Troy Reeder sprints during testing for NFL scouts on Friday.

“This is what we’ve worked so hard for,” Reeder told BlueHens.com. “We just want an opportunity to show what we can do.

“It’s been proven that these pro organizations will find you and Delaware has shown that plenty over the years. We just want a shot.”

“For these group of guys, we’re all blessed to have this chance to show what we can do,” said Blue Hen receiver Joe Walker. “We’ve all worked together, side-by-side, for all these years and now we get an opportunity to put all of our work on display and it’s pretty special to be able to do that alongside guys who I consider my brothers.”

Fleetwood battles back

Smyrna High grad Brent Fleetwood won three of his first four matches at the NCAA Division I wrestling championships on Thursday and Friday.

A 125-pound senior for North Dakota State, Fleetwood was still alive in the wrestlebacks on Friday afternoon in the tournament being held in Pittsburgh.

Seeded No. 10 in the championship bracket, Fleetwood posted a 2-0 decision over Penn’s Carmen Ferrante before falling to Princeton’s No. 7-seeded Pat Glory, 10-0. 27-5

In the consolation bracket, Fleetwood (27-5) picked up wins over No. 25 Malik Heinselman of Ohio State, 10-0, and over No. 17 Devin Schroder of Purdue, 4-2. Fleetwood was next slated to face No. 4 Ronnie Bresser of Oregon State.

The other downstater in the NCAAs, Caesar Rodney High grad Zack Parker, lost both his matches. A 285-pound senior for Ohio University who was seeded No. 30, Parker fell to Minnesota freshman Gable Stevenson, the No. 3 seed, by an 18-3 technical fall.

Parker then lost to Purdue redshirt senior Jacob Aven in the wrestleback prelims by a 10-6 decision, marking the end of his Ohio career.

DelTech sweeps in baseball

Delaware Tech’s baseball team improved to 10-4-1 by sweeping doubleheaders against Connecticut-Avery Point (10-0 and 11-6) and Baltimore County-Dundalk (9-2 and 7-5).

Against UConn-Avery Point, freshman Jordan Haddaway (Delmar) picked up his fourth win of the season by striking out eight and allowing just three hits. In the second game, sophomore Evan Nibblett (Seaford) picked up the win in six innings, while sophomore Tyler Cunningham hit a three-run home run.

Against CCBC-Dundalk, sophomore Ben Hudson threw a complete game, while sophomore Luke Wilhelm and three hits and freshman Dylan Allen (Seaford) hit a homer. In the second game, sophomore pitcher Tommy Heffernan (Cape Henlopen) picked up the win by pitching four innings of relief, and freshman Collin Jensen hit a two-run double with two outs in the ninth inning.

DelTech falls in lacrosse

Delaware Tech’s men’s lacrosse team dropped a 16-6 decision to Mercer County on March 16.

Sophomore Connor Garrett (Dover) scored two goals, freshman Jared Mullen (Smyrna) had one goal and one assist, and freshman Dakota Kerr (Smyrna), sophomore Bobby Stevenson (Caesar Rodney), and freshman Devaughn Williams (Dover) had one goal apiece. Sophomore goalie Nathan Williams (Smyrna) had a season-high 15 saves.


• Dover High grad Kendall Small, a senior first baseman on the Wilmington University baseball squad, is tied for the team lead with 21 hits, has a team-high 18 runs and is second with 16 RBI for the Wildcats. He also has a team-best 13 walks.

• Former Caesar Rodney High lacrosse All-Stater Demetrius Stevenson, a freshman at Rutgers, may end up redshirting this season after undergoing off-season hip surgery.

• Shaina Reed, the former Polytech softball standout, is a senior at Western Carolina. She has 10 RBI and a pair of homeruns while also posting 21 strikeouts in 35.1 innings as a pitcher.

• Regan Green, who led Laurel High to a pair of softball state titles, is now a junior at Baylor after transferring from Mississippi State. She has 35 strikeouts in 36.1 innings.

• Appoquinimink High grad Myles Cale was one of the First State’s few ties to this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament. The sophomore was second on the team with 10.3 ppg for the Pirates, who lost to Wofford in the NCAA tourney on Thursday.

• Delaware Tech opened its golf schedule by hosting a four-team tournament at Baywood Greens. Freshman Ben Cooper shot an 87, freshman Cole Hatton shot a 94, sophomore Frank Myers shot a 97, and sophomore Ben Hudson shot a 107.


Blue Hens Open Spring Practice Today, Fandemonium and Spring Game Set for April 20
3/12/2019 - bluehens.com

NEWARK, Del. – Coming off a return to the FCS Playoffs, expectations are high for the University of Delaware football program entering Spring Ball.

The Blue Hens open up its spring season today at 2:45 and will have a total of 15 spring practices over the next few weeks.

Delaware will practice Tuesdays (2:45), Thursdays (2:45), Saturdays (10:30) and Sundays (10:30) up until spring break and start up again on April 9 when students return from break. All practices are open to the public.

A full spring practice schedule can be found here.

The spring schedule will be capped off with tenth annual Blue Hen Fandemonium, presented by Louviers Federal Credit Union, which will run in conjunction with the Annual Blue-White Spring Game on Saturday, April 20th at 3:30 p.m.

Delaware fans of all ages are invited to come out and enjoy an action-packed day with Blue Hen Athletics & Recreation, including a full day of family entertainment and plenty of chances to root on the Blue Hens on the field!

The Anchor Buick GMC Fan Zone, open from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., will feature numerous fun, free activities including inflatables, rides, music, games, face painting, giveaways and much more. To see our Fightin' Blue Hens in action, check out Delaware Softball as they take on UNCW at 12 p.m. and Delaware Men's Lacrosse take on Towson at 12 p.m. before the Spring Football Game at 3:30 p.m. 

For more information, visit www.BlueHens.com/Fandemonium.


Adderley Excited For NFL Combine Opportunity

bluehens.com  - 2/25/19

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – As a kid growing up in Philadelphia, Nasir Adderley dreamed of these types of moments. 

This week, Adderley gets his chance to impress the top executives from all 32 teams at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

"I'm incredibly humbled to have this opportunity and I owe everything to my support system from my family, friends, teammates, coaches and so many that have pushed me to be the very best I can be," Adderley said. "I've worked incredibly hard to try and get to this moment and I'm excited to put my best effort forward."

Like many NFL draft hopefuls, Adderley has been training at a specialized center in Arizona since the fall semester ended in December. 

This week, Adderley will arrive in Indianapolis on Friday, March 1stfor several days of interviews before testing and media interviews begin on Sunday, March 3rd. The big day comes on Monday, March 4thwhen he takes to the field for the full combine tests, which will be shown live on the NFL Network. 

"I've got a great relationship with my agent and he's been preparing me as best as possible for what I'm going to face this week. We're still figuring out my exact schedule, but I'm excited to get there and get started," Adderley said. 

The Philadelphia, Pa. native was a four-year starter for the Blue Hens, becoming the first player in over 10 years to start every game of his career at Delaware. He racked up 264 total tackles to rank among the top-five in defensive backs in program history in that category. He also added 11 INTs and 24 pass deflections in his career. 

This past year, Adderley finished with a career-high 87 tackles, which ranked in the top-20 nationally for defensive backs. He also had a team-high four INTs and seven pass break-ups, to go along with his one forced fumble and fumble recovery.

He was the only player in the country with over 160 tackles and nine INTs over the past two seasons. 

In the hundreds of mock drafts out there, Adderley is projected to be picked from anywhere to late first round to early third round. 


AP Source: Ravens Trade Joe Flacco to Broncos
Feb 13th, 2019 · by Associated Press 

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Baltimore Ravens have agreed to trade quarterback Joe Flacco to the Denver Broncos in exchange for a fourth-round pick in this year’s NFL draft and details unspecified, a person with knowledge of the agreement told The Associated Press.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Wednesday because neither team announced the deal, which was first reported by ESPN. NFL rules prohibit teams from discussing trades until the start of the league year on March 13.

Former University of Delaware standout Joe Flacco, the MVP of the 2013 Super Bowl following a miraculous win at top-seeded Denver, became available in Baltimore with the emergence of rookie Lamar Jackson, the former Louisville star who led the Ravens into the playoffs after Flacco got hurt.

The Broncos again need an upgrade at QB after Case Keenum’s middling debut in Denver, where a 6-10 finish led general manager John Elway to turn to Vic Fangio, his fourth head coach in six seasons.

Now, he’s landed his seventh quarterback since Peyton Manning’s tearful retirement following Denver’s win in Super Bowl 50.

The others all bombed: draft picks Brock Osweiler, Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch and Chad Kelly, trade acquisition Mark Sanchez and Keenum, who threw for 18 TDs and a career-high 15 interceptions last season to go with a career-high 34 sacks.

Flacco’s contract, which has three years and $63 million remaining, could be reworked in Denver. So could Keenum’s deal, which guarantees him $7 million this season, if the Broncos keep him as a backup, although they could save $11 million by jettisoning him.

Either way, Elway’s deal for Flacco continues his build-but-don’t-rebuild ethos. The Broncos have a solid core of young stars and a still superior defense led by Von Miller and Chris Harris Jr. that Elway believes can keep up with the Chargers and Chiefs in the AFC West with the right quarterback leading the way.

Facilitating his deal for Flacco was the extra fourth-round pick he had at his disposal from the Demaryius Thomas trade to Houston last fall.

In Flacco, the Broncos are turning to a quarterback who broke their hearts six years ago.

Denver was the top seed after going 13-3 in Manning’s first season in Denver and the Broncos took an 11-game winning streak into their divisional round playoff game against Baltimore.

In the waning seconds of regulation, Flacco connected with Jacoby Jones on a 70-yard touchdown pass to force overtime in a game the Ravens won 38-35 in double overtime. Safety Rahim Moore went for the interception instead of the tackle and mistimed his leap, allowing Jones to catch the ball at the 20-yard line and trot into the end zone with the tying touchdown.

Flacco, who turned 34 last month, has played all 11 of his seasons with the Ravens after being selected 18th overall out of Delaware in the 2008 NFL draft. He started immediately as a rookie and was Super Bowl MVP after the 2012 season, guiding the Ravens to a victory over San Francisco in the championship game during a playoff run that included that “Mile High Miracle” in Denver.

Flacco was the starter last season until he injured his right hip in a loss to Pittsburgh on Nov. 4. The Ravens had a bye the following week, and Jackson took over for the still-ailing Flacco on Nov. 18 against Cincinnati. Jackson produced wins over the Bengals, Raiders and Falcons before a 27-24 loss to Kansas City on Dec. 9.

Flacco was healthy enough to return the following week, but coach John Harbaugh said Jackson would be his starter in a matchup against Tampa Bay. Jackson retained the job, going 6-1 to get the Ravens into the postseason before coming up short in a first-round loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Ravens went 106-72 with Flacco as a starter, including the postseason. He is the Ravens career leader in attempts (5,670), completions (3,499), yards (38,245) and touchdowns (212). His 10 playoff victories since 2008 rank second behind Tom Brady among active quarterbacks.

Flacco and Harbaugh arrived in Baltimore together in 2008. They proceeded to reach the playoffs in each of the next five years. Flacco was the first starting quarterback since the 1970 merger to win a playoff game in each of his first five years. Russell Wilson duplicated the feat from 2012-16.

During Baltimore’s 2012 run to the Super Bowl, he threw 11 touchdown passes without an interception, his most notable being the 70-yarder to Jones in the double OT win.

The Broncos eventually recovered from that devastating defeat to win a Super Bowl in Manning’s final game. But they’ve gone just 20-28 since then while churning through quarterbacks, coaches and offensive coordinators.

The Broncos lost their final four games last season to finish 6-10, marking their first back-to-back losing seasons since the Nixon administration.

Afterward, Elway said Keenum was “probably a short-term fix,” something Keenum insisted last week didn’t bother him as he prepared for the upcoming season.


University of Delaware announces ticket plans for refurbished stadium
Kevin Tresolini, Delaware News Journal Published Feb. 7, 2019

First choice on seats in the refurbished West grandstand at Delaware Stadium will go to Blue Hens football fans who’ve donated the most to the project and who are long-time season-ticket buyers, the University of Delaware has announced.

Work has recently begun to install 1,100 club seats in the first eight rows of Delaware Stadium. Behind that, chairbacks will be placed in the middle three sections – C, D and E.

The makeover will reduce Delaware Stadium capacity from 22,000 to less than 21,000. Most of the stadium work will be done in time for Delaware’s Aug. 29 football opener against Delaware State.
The University of Delaware celebrates the start of the $60-million renovation of Delaware Stadium and the creation of the Whitney Athletic Center with a groundbreaking ceremony in December 2018.Buy Photo

The University of Delaware celebrates the start of the $60-million renovation of Delaware Stadium and the creation of the Whitney Athletic Center with a groundbreaking ceremony in December 2018. (Photo: Suchat Pederson, The News Journal)

“We want to reward loyalty. That was important to us,” Jordan Skolnick, UD senior associate athletic director for development, said of dispersing tickets in the redone area.

Delaware Stadium renovations set to begin

The 150 people who donated $10,000 or more to the project get first choice, he added. After that, it’ll depend on the number of years as a season-ticket buyer.

Last season, Delaware had approximately 1,500 season-ticket accounts that held about 6,000 tickets.

Bleacher seating remains in sections A, B, F and G in the West grandstand though it will be upgraded. A new pressbox up above will also be mounted.

UD is also switching the student seating area from the south end zone to the north so it’s closer to The Barn entertainment area that opened last season.

Delaware has four recruits for February Signing Day

The second phase of the $60-million project is the construction of the Whitney Athletic Center on the stadium’s west side. The 90,000-square-foot building will contain a wellness center, athletic training, sports medicine, nutrition, sports psychology and strength and conditioning facilities for UD student-athletes.

Club-seat holders will have access to a room that will be constructed behind the stands and connected to the second floor of the Whitney Athletic Center, with entrances through the bottoms of sections B and F. It will not be completed before next season.
A rendering of the renovated West grandstand at Delaware Stadium.

A rendering of the renovated West grandstand at Delaware Stadium. (Photo: UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE)

Stadium events before then, such as UD lacrosse games, commencement and June’s DFRC Blue-Gold All-Star Football Game, will only use the seating in the East grandstand.

The Whitney Center will also not open until the fall of 2020.

Delaware is hosting an open house on Feb. 21 at the Carpenter Center during which those interested in purchasing tickets may view their options. April 20 will be the deadline for making a deposit on desired seats. Deposits range from $25 to $100.

Parking choices may also be made then. Because of the construction, about 180 spots closest to the stadium are also being lost but there is still plenty of available parking, Skolnick said.
A rendering looking toward Delaware Stadium and the Whitney Athletic Center from the northwest corner.

A rendering looking toward Delaware Stadium and the Whitney Athletic Center from the northwest corner. (Photo: UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE)

In early May, Delaware will tell those who’ve made a deposit when they can actually choose their seats, which will be sometime from May 15-June 7.

A wide variety of season-ticket options are available priced from $99 to $210 per seat in the bleachers, $210 to $259 in chairbacks, $280 to $420 for the East boxes, $412 to $562 for club seats and $637 for loge seats.

Delaware has seven home games in 2019. The price-per-game has not increased in the non-premium seating areas from the 2018 season.

Because of the additional amenities and comfort, there is an increase in the premium areas. These include the three sections with chairbacks, the club seats and 24 loge seats, which are in open areas at the back end of the club sections.
Blue Hens Add Four to 2019 Recruiting Class

2/6/2019 bluehens.com

NEWARK, Del. – The future of the University of Delaware football program continues to get brighter and brighter.

On Wednesday, the Blue Hens welcomed four more signees to the 2019 recruiting class with the additions of OL Ryan Last (West Hempstead, N.Y./The Taft School (Conn.)), WR Noel Miller (Rockville, Md./Thomas S. Wootten), WR Jourdan Townsend (Farrell, Pa./Farrell) and DB Daniel Walker Jr. (Washington, Pa./Washington). 

The quarter join the 13 previous signees who inked their NLIs in December. That group includes OL Bradly Anyanwu (Dover, Del./Dover), TE Will Bowen (Hummelstown, Pa./Lower Dauphin), WR Ayinde Budd (Richmond, Va./Collegiate), K Ryan Coe (McDonald, Pa./South Fayette), DL Nick Coomer (Lititz, Pa./Warwick), DB Mekai Davis (Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha), TE Levaughn Lewis (Stamford, Conn./King School), LB Chase McGowan (Stafford, Va./North Stafford), DL Akie Nance (Newark, N.J./Newark Collegiate Academy), QB Cade Pribula (York, Pa./Central York),TE/FB Mateo Vandamia (Oakdale, Pa./West Allegheny), RB Quincy Watson (Norristown, Pa./Malvern Prep) and OL Owen Zechman (Middleburg, Pa./East Juniata). 

OL Ryan Last– 6'6", 290 lbs - (West Hempstead, N.Y./The Taft School (Conn.))

Last is a big body addition to the stable of talented offensive lineman for the Blue Hens. He played two years at West Hempstead before spending a prep season at the Taft School in Connecticut. At West Hempstead, he twice earned All-County and All-Conference honors, while also playing two years of lacrosse. At Taft, he helped his team take home the league title while serving as a captain. During that year, he earned All-League and All-New England accolades. He was also a member of the Athletes helping Athletes organization, which visited elementary schools to talk about sportsmanship and teamwork with children. 

WR Noel Miller - 6'1", 185 lbs – (Rockville, Md./Thomas S. Wootten)

A versatile playmaker on the outside for the Blue Hens, Miller played wherever his team needed him, earning All-County three straight seasons (2016, 2017, 2018). He finished his career hauling in 182 catches for 2,693 yards and 28 TDs, and that includes having to play QB for most of his senior year due to injuries. He earned All-Met accolades from the Washington Post in his final two seasons and received over 20 Division I offers. 

WR Jourdan Townsend– 5'11", 185 lbs - (Farrell, Pa./Farrell)

Athletic and dynamic addition to the outside for Delaware, who comes to Newark after a record-setting career at Farrell High School. Townsend leaves Farrell as the school's all-time leading receiver and scorer, finishing with 187 catches for 3,590 yards and 75 total TDs (58 receiving, 10 return, 7 rushing). He was District 10 Player of the Year as a senior and earned All-State honors during his final two seasons. As a senior, he helped Farrell go undefeated and take home the State Championship. He also was a member of the track team for three seasons. 

DB Daniel Walker Jr.- 6'2", 210 lbs- (Washington, Pa./Washington)

A hard-hitting defensive back from Western Pa, Walker is a big addition to the Blue Hens secondary. He was a dual threat for Washington, where he picked up 14 INTs in his final two seasons and racked up over 120 tackles. He was a two-time captain and two-time All-State honoree at Washington. Offensively, he hauled in 65 catches for 1,199 yards and 18 TDs in his final two seasons.

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Players Mentioned

Bradly Anyanwu
6' 3"
290 lbs

Will Bowen
6' 6"
230 lbs

Ayinde Budd
6' 5"
205 lbs

Nick Coomer
6' 4"
285 lbs

Mekai Davis
6' 0"
180 lbs

Levaughn Lewis
6' 3"
210 lbs

Chase McGowan
6' 1"
230 lbs

Akie Nance
6' 3"
275 lbs

Cade Pribula
6' 1"
200 lbs

Quincy Watson
5' 9"
180 lbs
Bears' Matt Nagy named NFL Coach of the Year
Feb 2, 2019 - ESPN.COM
Jeff Dickerson ESPN Staff Writer 

After leading the Chicago Bears to their first playoff bid since 2010, Matt Nagy has been named NFL Coach of the Year.

Nagy, who received the award at the NFL Honors event in Atlanta, is the most successful first-year head coach in team history. Hired to replace John Fox last January, Nagy led the Bears to the most victories (12) by any Bears coach in his first season since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.

“First of all, when you meet someone, right away you kind of know, you feel that connection instantly,” Bears general manager Ryan Pace said following the Bears’ playoff loss to Philadelphia. “Every single day that we’ve been together has been confirmation that he is the perfect head coach for this franchise. And it’s just going to get better and better as we go forward. We worked so well together, he’s very natural in this role and I think, we’re very, very fortunate to have him as our head coach.”

NFL Honors

• MVP Patrick Mahomes' best is yet to come with Chiefs
• Rams' Aaron Donald wins second straight Defensive Player of Year
• Colts' Andrew Luck completes comeback season with playoffs, award
• After leading Bears to playoffs, Matt Nagy named Coach of the Year
• Giants' Saquon Barkley lives up to the hype during rookie season
• Colts linebacker Darius Leonard: From unknown to rookie of year

Nagy’s first order of business was to scrap the Bears’ outdated offensive philosophies and install a version of the highly effective Andy Reid system -- the scheme Nagy learned while coaching under Reid in Philadelphia and Kansas City. The results in Year 1 were better than expected. Second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky flourished in Nagy’s offense, as his passer rating jumped from 77.5 to 95.4.

Beyond the Bears’ obvious on-field improvements, Nagy also revolutionized the culture inside Halas Hall. In the process, he accomplished the almost unthinkable: Nagy made the Bears cool again.

Almost all of Nagy’s creative ideas worked. The 40-year-old transformed the postgame locker room into "Club Dub" after victories, staged weekly offense vs. defense dance-offs and routinely kept defenses guessing by using trickery inside the red zone.

“I know Matt says it all the time, but I’m just impressed by how comfortable he is in his own skin,” Pace said. “Just be yourself. Just be you. He has a blueprint from Andy Reid and he respects him, but Matt is just himself. I think the players feel that. The staff feels that. Because if you do that every day, it comes off natural and organic and I think it’s very attractive.”
Delaware's Adderley impresses at Senior Bowl
The Associated Press - Jan 26, 2019, 6:58 PM

North safety Nasir Adderley, of Delaware, returns an interception during the second half of the Senior Bowl college football game. 

(STATS) - The consensus among NFL Draft analysts is Delaware free safety Nasir Adderley will be the first FCS player selected in the 2019 NFL Draft.

His week at the 70th annual Reese's Senior Bowl helped strengthen his growing status.

Adderley impressed enough during the practices that he was named a game captain for the North team, which beat the South 34-24 Saturday at Ladd-Peoples Stadium in Mobile, Alabama.

The Buffalo players saw too much of Adderley in college football's premier all-star game. He was in on five tackles, including a plastering of wide receiver Anthony Johnson, and intercepted quarterback Tyree Jackson in the fourth quarter.

"It's a tremendous opportunity, especially coming from where I come from," Adderley said. "I try to block out all the outside noise, just focus on what the coaches are telling me to do, and just try to get better each day."

The FCS level is historically strong with producing defensive backs. A chisled 6 feet, 195 pounds, Adderley played both cornerback and safety at Delaware, flashing elite range and physicality. He was the only player in the subdivision with over 160 tackles and nine interceptions over the past two seasons.

NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah gives the first-team STATS FCS All-American a first-round grade. He wrote in his scouting report: "Adderley is a slightly undersized safety prospect with outstanding instincts, range and ball skills. He is a former cornerback and his movement skills reflect that background. He is very fluid in his backpedal and his combination of recognition and burst allow him to cover a lot of ground. He has no issues locating the ball in the air and possesses strong, dependable hands.

"Against the run, he is aggressive to the alley and boasts a high batting average as a tackler. He also offers value in the return game, where he displays vision, speed and toughness. Overall, Adderley is an ideal, pure free safety and should be a quality starter immediately in his rookie campaign."

Western Illinois defensive tackle Khalen Saunders of the North was one of the week's more visible players - not just FCS - because his fiancée, Ayanna, gave birth to their daughter, Kambridge, while Saunders was in Mobile. He flew home to Chicago on Thursday for a quick visit and arrived back in Mobile Saturday morning.

The 6-foot, 320-pounder stood out to scouts with a blend of power and surprising agility on the defensive interior, showcased by a straight-on 9-yard sack of West Virginia quarterback Will Grier in the first quarter. "He's been awesome," Jeremiah said.

Alabama State offensive tackle Tytus Howard (6-5, 322) of the South enjoyed a coming-out party as a fast-rising prospect and two-time first-team All-America wide receiver Keelan Doss (6-2, 207) of the North sizzled as well, catching four passes for 55 yards.

Other FCS players were: North, South Dakota State cornerback Jordan Brown (four tackles), Stetson tight end Donald Parham and Northern Colorado wide receiver Alex Wesley; and South, Jacksonville State offensive guard B.J. Autry, Elon offensive tackle Oli Udoh and James Madison cornerback Jimmy Moreland (three tackles). North Dakota State running back Bruce Anderson did not play because of a quadriceps injury.

The NFL Draft will be held from April 25-27 in Nashville, Tennessee.


Blue Hen Safety Nasir Adderley grabs an Interception late in the Senior Bowl to improve his Draft prospects. 
From the Dallas Morning News:

The Cowboys are without a first-round pick this year because of the Amari Cooper trade, which has worked in Dallas' favor so far. But as long as Jerry Jones runs the team, it's impossible to rule anything out in terms of trades, meaning it's not out of the realm of possibility that the Cowboys fall in love with a prospect to the point that they're willing to trade up into the first round to select him.

If the Cowboys did trade up, Delaware safety Nasir Adderley would be an ideal target.
Adderley would be able to provide an immediate upgrade over Jeff Heath, who led all safeties in missed tackles against the run in 2018 for the Cowboys' defense.

Despite measuring at just 5-foot-11, 195 pounds, Adderley plays above his weight class when defending the run, unafraid of taking on blocks and prone to delivering big hits on ballcarriers regardless of the size difference. The word "passive" simply isn't in Adderley's vocabulary.
On top of his ability to defend the run, Adderley also thrives in coverage, having spent a lot of time at cornerback in the past. 
Adderley is a unique safety who can thrive playing deep zone and man coverage. He has impressive burst and closing speed, which allow him to stick with speedier receivers in man coverage and showcase his range from the single-high safety position.
Coming into Senior Bowl week, many were skeptical of Adderley because of the fact he came from a small school where he largely faced inferior competition. However, he did an excellent job quieting those concerns throughout the week, proving he belonged with the prospects from bigger schools.

While it's still unlikely the Cowboys would commit to spending the resources necessary to trade up into the first round, Adderley would be an outstanding target if they did, as he and Xavier Woods would provide Dallas with one of the best young safety tandems in the NFL.