CAA FOOTBALL ANNOUNCES INAUGURAL ALL-CONFERENCE HONORS
Football co-champions Massachusetts and Richmond received a bevy of
post-season honors as the league announced their inaugural
all-conference teams Nov. 19.
The awards, which were voted on by the CAA’s head football coaches, were handed out after the most successful regular-season in FCS history with an NCAA record five teams making the playoffs and seven squads finishing the year with seven or more victories.
Delaware senior quarterback Joe Flacco and New Hampshire senior quarterback Ricky Santos were chosen as the CAA Co-Offensive Players of the Year, while Defensive Player of the Year honors went to James Madison senior safety Tony LeZotte and Richmond’s Dave Clawson was tabbed as Coach of the Year.
The Spiders also received three other major awards as freshman Justin Rogers was named Special Teams Player of the Year, freshman wide receiver Kevin Grayson received Offensive Rookie of the Year accolades and freshman linebacker Eric McBride was selected as Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Massachusetts led all conference schools with seven players selected to the All-CAA first team. Delaware was close behind with six first-team picks and New Hampshire had four. Hofstra, James Madison and Richmond all placed three players on the first team.
Flacco completed 251-of-370 passes for a conference-best 3,185 yards this season. He also led the league and ranked seventh in the nation in total offense (294.2 ypg). The senior from Audobon, N.J. completed 67.8 percent of his passes and threw 17 touchdowns with only five interceptions. Flacco had two 400-yard passing games and three games with more than 300 yards in the air, highlighted by a 434-yard, four-touchdown performance in the Blue Hens’ 59-52 win over FBS foe Navy. Delaware, which is 8-3 overall and headed to the playoffs for the first time since 2004, averaged a league-high 38.1 points per game.
Santos received Offensive Player of the Year honors for the third year in a row, becoming the first player in league history to accomplish that feat. He earned Offensive Player of the Year honors in 2005 and shared the award with Massachusetts’ Steve Baylark in 2006. The senior quarterback from Bellingham, Mass., completed 73 percent of his passes (230-of-315) for 2,721 yards to achieve a league-leading pass efficiency rating of 164.2. Santos threw for 22 touchdowns and also rushed for nine touchdowns, leading New Hampshire to a 7-4 record and the Wildcats’ fourth consecutive playoff appearance.
LeZotte earned CAA Football Defensive Player of the Year honors for the second time in his career and became the only player in league history to earn first-team all-conference honors in all four seasons. The senior safety from Augusta, Ga. was second on James Madison’s defense with 88 tackles, including four tackles for loss. A Buck Buchanan Award Finalist, LeZotte also had two interceptions and a league-high eight pass breakups this season. It is the fifth time that a JMU player has been named league Defensive Player of the Year since Mickey Matthews took over the program in 1999, including each of the past three seasons.
Clawson was named CAA Football Coach of the Year for the second time in the past three seasons. He guided the Spiders to a 9-2 overall record and a share of the CAA championship with a 7-1 mark after being picked to finish fourth in the South Division in pre-season polls. The fourth-year head coach has amassed a 27-19 record, earning two conference championships and a pair of NCAA FCS Championship appearances during his tenure.
Rogers electrified special teams for Richmond all season, leading the CAA and ranking third in the nation in kickoff returns by averaging 32.5 yards with two touchdowns. The red-shirt freshman from Baton Rouge, La. had a 93-yard return for a score in the Spiders’ season-opener at Vanderbilt and also had an 85-yard TD return against New Hampshire. Rogers recorded the two highest single-game return performances in the CAA this season with 222 yards against UNH and 201 yards versus Vanderbilt.
Grayson became the second Spider in as many seasons to win CAA Football Offensive Rookie of the Year honors after quarterback Eric Ward earned it in 2006. The freshman wide receiver from Richmond, Va., who was also a second-team all-conference selection, led the Spiders with 49 receptions for 695 yards and four touchdowns. Two of his touchdown receptions came in the Spiders’ five-overtime victory at Delaware, including one during the overtime session.
McBride is the second UR player in the last three years to win the CAA Football Defensive Rookie of the Year award. The freshman linebacker from Richmond, Va., led the Spiders with 104 tackles, including 46 solo stops. He also recorded 2.5 sacks and forced two fumbles during his rookie campaign. McBride made a season-high 16 tackles against Rhode Island with two tackles for loss and one sack. He finished the season eighth in the conference with his 104 tackles, registering as the only freshman among the league’s Top-15.
CAA FOOTBALL CO-OFFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE YEAR: Joe Flacco, Delaware and Ricky Santos, New Hampshire
CAA FOOTBALL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Tony LeZotte, James Madison
CAA FOOTBALL COACH OF THE YEAR: Dave Clawson, Richmond
CAA FOOTBALL SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Justin Rogers, Richmond
CAA FOOTBALL OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Kevin Grayson, Richmond
CAA FOOTBALL DEFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Eric McBride, Richmond
|2007 ALL-CAA FOOTBALL FIRST TEAM|
|(as voted on by the head coaches)|
|QB||Ricky Santos||New Hampshire||Senior|
|FB/HB||Joe Casey||Rhode Island||Junior|
|WR||Keith Levan||New Hampshire||Senior|
|OL||Nick Couturier||New Hampshire||Senior|
|OL||Scott Lemn||James Madison||Junior|
|DL||John Baranowsky||James Madison||Senior|
|S||Tony LeZotte||James Madison||Senior|
|S||Jeff Pammer||New Hampshire||Senior|
|P||Bryan Giannecchini||Rhode Island||Senior|
|2007 ALL-CAA FOOTBALL SECOND TEAM|
|(as voted on by the head coaches)|
|QB||Rodney Landers||James Madison||Junior|
|OL||Mark Stolte||Rhode Island||Senior|
|PK||David Stannard||James Madison||Junior|
|DL||Hassan Abdul-Wahid||James Madison||Junior|
|LB||Justin Barnes||James Madison||Senior|
|LB||Husain Karim||New Hampshire||Senior|
|CB||John Clements||New Hampshire||Junior|
|CB||Ki’Ameer Johnson||Rhode Island||Junior|
|CB||Evan McCollough||James Madison||Junior|
|P||Tom Bishop||New Hampshire||Junior|
|2007 ALL-CAA FOOTBALL THIRD TEAM|
|(as voted on by the head coaches)|
|QB||Jake Phillips||William and Mary||Junior|
|WR||LC Baker||James Madison||Senior|
|WR||Elliott Mack||William and Mary||Junior|
|TE||Scott Sicko||New Hampshire||Sophomore|
|OL||Terrence Apted||James Madison||Junior|
|OL||Brad Stewart||William and Mary||Senior|
|PR||LC Baker||James Madison||Senior|
|DL||Marvin Wright||New Hampshire||Senior|
|CB||Derek Cox||William and Mary||Junior|
|P||Jason Pritchard||James Madison||Junior|
THREE-OR-MORE CAA FOOTBALL TEAMS AMONG SINGLE-WEEK SPORTS NETWORK TOP 25 SINCE 2002
In every season since the inception of the Sports Network Top 25, CAA Football (Atlantic 10) has had at least three teams ranked each week in the Top 25, and as many as seven teams seven times.
CAA Football has also boasted at least two teams in the polls’ Top 10 in 65 of the last 69 weeks dating back to 2003, including a current streak of 39-straight weeks.
Two CAA Football squads (UNH 10, JMU 1) held the polls’ No. 1 ranking in 11 of 24 weeks from 2005-06.
CAA Football has five teams ranked in the final regular season Sports Networks’ Top 25. For a complete rundown of all the national polls visit page 25 of the notes.
CAA FOOTBALL IN THE SPORTS NETWORK POLL BREAKDOWN
2007 - (Week 9) - Delaware, James Madison, Hofstra, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Richmond, Villanova
2005 - (Week 3) - Delaware, James Madison, William & Mary, Hofstra, Massachusetts, Rhode Island
2004 - (Weeks 3-4) - Delaware, James Madison, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Northeastern, Villanova
2004 - (Weeks 5-6) - Delaware, James Madison, Maine, New Hampshire, Northeastern, Villanova, William & Mary
2002 - (Week 2) - Delaware, Hofstra, Maine, Northeastern, Richmond, Villanova, William & Mary
2007 - (Week 4-8, 10-11) - Delaware, Hofstra, James Madison, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Richmond
2007 - (Week 2) - Delaware, Hofstra, James Madison, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Towson
2006 - (Weeks 3-5) - Delaware, James Madison, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Richmond, Towson
2006 - (Week 6) - James Madison, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Richmond, Towson
2006 - (Week 8) - Delaware, James Madison, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Richmond
2006 - (Week 9) - James Madison, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Richmond, Towson
2005 - (Pre-Week 2, 4) - Delaware, Hofstra, James Madison, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, William & Mary
2004 - (Weeks 1-2) - Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Northeastern, Villanova
2004 - (Weeks 7-8) - Delaware, James Madison, Maine, New Hampshire, Villanova, William & Mary
2002 - (Week 3) - Hofstra, Maine, Northeastern, Richmond, Villanova, William & Mary
2002 - (Week 4) - Hofstra, James Madison, Maine, Northeastern, Villanova, William & Mary
2007 - (Week 12) - Delaware, James Madison, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Richmond
2007 - (Week 3) - Delaware, Hofstra, James Madison, Massachusetts, New Hampshire
2006 - (Pre-Week 2) - Delaware, James Madison, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Richmond
2006 - (Week 7, 10) - James Madison, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Richmond
2006 - (Week 11) - James Madison, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Towson
2005 - (Week 5-6) - Delaware, James Madison, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, William & Mary
2005 - (Week 7) - Hofstra, James Madison, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, William & Mary
2005 - (Week 10) - James Madison, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Richmond, William & Mary
2004 - (Pre) - Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Northeastern, Villanova
2004 - (Week 9) - Delaware, James Madison, New Hampshire, Villanova, William & Mary
2003 - (Pre-6, 12) - Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Northeastern, Villanova
2002 - (Weeks 7-11) - Maine, Massachusetts, Northeastern, Villanova, William & Mary
2007 - (Pre, Week 1) - Delaware, James Madison, Massachusetts, New Hampshire
2006 - (Week 12) - James Madison, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire
2005 - (Week 8) - James Madison, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, William & Mary
2005 - (Week 9) - Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Richmond, William & Mary
2005 - (Final) - James Madison, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Richmond
2004 - (Week 10-Final) - Delaware, James Madison, New Hampshire, William & Mary
2003 - (Week 7) - Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Villanova
2003 - (Week 11, 13, F) - Delaware, Massachusetts, Northeastern, Villanova
2002 - (Pre) - Delaware, Hofstra, Maine, William & Mary
2002 - (Week 1) - Delaware, Maine, Villanova, William & Mary
2002 - (Week 5-6, 12) - Maine, Northeastern, Villanova, William & Mary
CAA FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK
CAA Football squads are a combined 24-6 (.800) against non-conference FCS opponents -- a better non-conference winning percentage than any other FCS league in the country. Last season, CAA Football (Atlantic 10) finished the season 19-8 against FCS non-conference opponents which includes six games in the playoffs. Four of the five CAA Football squads ranked in the last regular season Sports Network poll make up more than 25 percent of the poll’s Top-15. Only the Southern Conference comes within one team of having as many squads ranked, but only three of its four squads are among the Top-15. For a complete list of all non-conference games and results refer to page 23 in the notes packet and be sure to check out both national polls on page 24 of the notes.
NCAA RECORDS WATCH
It is NCAA Record watch time as the year moves through the postseason. New Hampshire’s Ricky Santos and Delaware’s Omar Cuff have placed their names among some of the all-time NCAA marks. Santos ended his UNH career third on the all-time career TD pass list with 123 (Record: 140), third on the career pass yards list with 13,212 (Record: 14,496) and third on the all-time career total offense list with 14,621 (Record: 16,823). Cuff is fourth in career points-per-game with a 11.2 average (Record: 12.5) and currently holds the single-season points-per-game mark with a 18.5 average (Existing Record: 16.2). Cuff’s single-season rushing touchdown mark of 33 breaks the all-time record of 30 set last season, while his single-season overall touchdown mark of 37 breaks the all-time record of 31 set last season. Both TD marks were set by current Appalachian State running back Kevin Richardson.
THAT MAKES IT 15 IN 10 YEARS
With New Hampshire’s 48-35 win at Marshall Sept. 15 and Delaware’s 59-52 win at bowl-bound Navy Oct. 27, CAA Football has now won 15 games versus BCS/FBS opponents in the last 10 years (11 different opponents). The league also boasts two wins over the BCS/FBS level in five of the last six seasons. CAA Football sports a 10-year record of 15-56 (.211) against BCS/FBS level opponents dating back to 1997. For a complete list of CAA Football’s wins over BCS opponents check out page 23 of the notes.
NATIONAL HONORS ALL AROUND
The Sports Network and College Sporting News, both publications which devote major coverage to the FCS level of college football, selected National Player of the Week honorees following each week of competition during the regular season. CAA Football garnered recognition in nine of the 12 weeks in 2007, and boasts a total of 15 national winners. CAA Football’s total trails only the Southern Conference’s 16 National Player of the Week honorees this season. Check out pages 20-22 of the notes for a complete rundown of every National Player of the Week, including those from the CAA.
CUFF KEEPS SNIFFING THE ENDZONE
Delaware’s Omar Cuff has a knack for finding the endzone. The Landover, Md., native has scored 37 of Delaware’s 59 total touchdowns in 12 games this season (22-of-34 in eight conference games). His 18.5 points/game average, which leads the league, is also tops nationally among all NCAA Football. Cuff’s average is 4.7 points better than the second-place mark in the FCS ranks (Mike McLeod, Yale), and 5.5 points better than the FBS rankings leader (Kevin Smith, Central Florida).
THE MILLENNIUM MEN
The proverbial number which determines greatness in a running back’s season is 1,000 yards. CAA Football has six such backs in its fold, while two others finished just footsteps away from reaching the honorable plateau. Richmond’s Tim Hightower was the first to cross the 1,000 yardline this season, and now with his 1,741 mark, is pushing to the 1,750 yard level. Delaware’s Omar Cuff crossed it Oct. 27, and takes a 1,657 yard total into the quarterfinal round of the playoffs. Massachusetts’ Matt Lawrence also passed the 1,000-yard barrier on a wet and windy track, Nov. 3, and has upped his mark to 1,473. Northeastern’s Maurice Murray used a 206-yard effort, Nov. 3, to place himself among the CAA 1,000-yard rushers and finished the season with a grand total of 1,421. JMU’s quarterback Rodney Landers ended his junior campaign with a grand total of 1,273. Maine’s Jhamal Fluellen crossed into the promise land against Rhode Island, Nov. 10, and ended his junior campaign with a total of 1,052 yards. Hofstra’s Kareem Huggins (957) and Villanova running back Matt Dicken (922) each had aspirations of reaching the 1,000 mark but came up short as the 2007 season ended.
QUITE AN INAUGURAL GAME
CAA Football kicked off its first-ever season with a shootout in Williamsburg, Va. William and Mary and Delaware combined to score 80 points in the contest, 42 coming in the fourth quarter alone. The Tribe’s Jake Phillips broke a William and Mary school record by throwing for 433 yards. Delaware’s Omar Cuff tied an NCAA FCS (formerly I-AA) record for single-game touchdowns (7) -- a mark which had been set twice, and most recently in 1998. He also broke three single-game league marks including rushing touchdowns (6), total touchdowns (7) and total points (42).
BUCHANAN WATCH IN THE CAA
There are a handful of CAA Football players who were in the race for 2007 Buck Buchanan Award (FCS National Defensive Player of the Year ) consideration. The Sports Network released its Final Watch List, Nov. 16, and two players from CAA Football were part of the roster -- Jason Hatchell, Massachusetts and Tony LeZotte, James Madison.
Ballots for the honor were due Friday, Nov. 23, but several other individuals in the league arguably showed the merits to be part of the Buchanan Watch list including: Brian Bradford, Towson; Stanley Gutierrez, Hofstra; Jeff Pammer, New Hampshire, Gian Villante, Hofstra and Charles Walker, Massachusetts.
Below is a rundown of each of the seven players’ numbers during the 2007 season.
-- Brian Bradford, LB - 11 G, 65 solo, 84 assisted, 149 total, 13.5-50 TFL, 3.5-27 sacks, 1-0 INT, 3 PBU, 4 FF, 1 BK
-- Stanley Gutierrez, LB - 11 G, 34 solo, 54 assisted, 88 total, 7-20 TFL, 1.5-11 sacks, 4-10 INT, 2 PBU, 3 FF
-- *Jason Hatchell, LB - 12 G, 42 solo, 62 assisted, 104 total, 5-12 TFL, 0.5-3 sacks, 2-11 INT, 6 PBU, 1 FR, 1 FF
-- *Tony LeZotte, S - 12 G, 51 solo, 44 assisted, 95 total, 4.5-8 TFL, 2-15 INT, 8 PBU
-- Jeff Pammer, S - 12 G, 53 solo, 77 assisted, 130 total, 4-12 TFL, 1.5-8 sacks, 2-66 INT, 2 PBU
-- Gian Villante, LB - 11 G, 55 solo, 55 assisted, 110 total, 6-21 TFL, 1.5-12 sacks, 5 PBU, 2 FR, 1 FF
-- Charles Walker, LB - 12 G, 41 solo, 69 assisted, 110 total, 6.5-16 TFL, 1-3 sacks, 1-11 INT, 1 PBU, 2 FR, 2 FF
* -- Buck Buchanan Final Watch List (Nov. 16)
PAYTON WATCH IN THE CAA
Several CAA Football players were in the race for 2007 Walter Payton Award (FCS National Player of the Year) consideration. The Sports Network released its list of three finalist, Nov. 26, and while no CAA Football players were included, several showed the merits to be mentioned for the Payton honor including -- Liam Coen, Massachusetts; Omar Cuff, Delaware; Joe Flacco, Delaware; Tim Hightower, Richmond; Kareem Huggins, Hofstra; Rodney Landers, James Madison; Jake Phillips, William and Mary; Ricky Santos, New Hampshire and Sean Schaefer, Towson.
Below is a rundown of each of the nine players’ numbers during the 2007 season.
-- Liam Coen, QB - 204-318-11-2670 passing yds, 64.2%, 27 TD, 222.5 pass yds/game, 347-(-79)-2670-2591 total yds, 215.9 total yds/game
-- Omar Cuff, RB - 328-1657 rushing yds, 33 TD, 138.1 rushing yds/game, 41-387 receiving yds, 4 TD, 32.2 receiving yds/game, 170.3 all-purpose yds/game
-- Joe Flacco, QB - 262-390-5-3374 passing yds, 67.2%, 18 TD, 281.2 passing yds/game, 435-51-3374-3425 total yds, 285.4 total yds/game
-- Tim Hightower, RB - 282-1741 rushing yds, 18 TD, 145.1 rushing yds/game, 30-208 receiving yds, 3 TD, 17.3 receiving yds/game, 162.4 all-purpose yds/game
-- Kareem Huggins, RB - 178-957 rushing yds, 9 TD, 106.3 rushing yds/game, 15-103 receiving yds, 0 TD, 11.4 receiving yds/game, 189.0 all-purpose yds/game
-- Rodney Landers, QB - 130-205-0-1678 passing yds, 63.4%, 13 TD, 139.8 passing yds/game, 223-1273 rushing yds, 12 TD, 106.1 rushing yds/game, 428-1273-1678-2951 total yds, 245.9 total yds/game
-- Jake Phillips, QB - 190-336-7-2801 passing yds, 56.5%, 19 TD, 254.6 passing yds/game, 435-192-2801-2993 total yds, 272.1 total yds/game
-- Ricky Santos, QB - 256-350-7-2972 passing yds, 73.1%, 24 TD, 270.2 passing yds/game, 111-243 rushing yds, 9 TD, 22.1 rushing yds/game, 461-243-2972-3215 total yds, 292.3 total yds/game
-- Sean Schaefer, QB - 255-417-19-2553 passing yds, 61.2%, 12 TD, 232.1 passing yds/game, 475-(-157)-2553-2396 total yards, 217.8 total yds/game
CAA IN THE NFL
A total of 34 CAA Football alumni were part of NFL rosters on opening day. Below is a list of CAA Football alum who had notable stats in the most recent week of NFL action, as well as those still on rosters (includes active rosters, practice squads and injured reserve/physically unable to perform) as of Nov. 27.
Player, Alma Mater - Game Result
- Ben Patrick (Delaware) - L 37-31, SF
Arizona Cardinals (2-19 rec yd, TD, 1 tackle)
- Marcel Shipp (UMass) - L 37-31, SF
Arizona Cardinals (5-14 rush yd, TD, 2 tackles)
- Daren Stone (Maine) - L 31-13, IND
Atlanta Falcons (appeared in game)
- Mike Flynn (Maine) - L 32-14, SD
Baltimore Ravens (started game at OL)
- Christian Gaddis (Villanova) - L 36-14, JAC
Buffalo Bills (not active)
- Brandon McGowan (Maine) - W 37-34, DEN
Chicago Bears (3 tackles)
- Corey Graham (New Hampshire) - W 37-34, DEN
Chicago Bears (1 tackle)
- Mike Adams (Delaware) - W 27-17, HOU
Cleveland Browns (1 tackle)
- Stephen Bowen (Hofstra) - W 34-3, NYJ
Dallas Cowboys (2 tackles)
- Mike Leach (W&M) - L 37-34, CHI
Denver Broncos (appeared in game)
- Paris Lenon (Richmond) - L 37-26, GB
Detroit Lions (6 tackles)
- Montell Owens (Maine) - W 36-14, BUF
Jacksonville Jaguars (2 tackles)
- Lance Schulters (Hofstra) - L 3-0, PIT
Miami Dolphins (did not play)
- Darren Sharper (W&M) - W 41-17, NYG
Minnesota Vikings (2 tackles, PD, 1-20 YD INT-TD)
- Marques Coltson (Hofstra) - W 31-6, CAR
New Orleans Saints (7-93 rec yd, TD)
- Jermon Bushrod (Towson) - W 31-6, CAR
New Orleans Saints (not active)
- Mike DeVito (Maine) - L 34-3, DAL
New York Jets (2 tackles)
- Akeem Jordan (JMU) - L 31-28, NE
Philadelphia Eagles (1 tackle)
- Brian Westbrook (Villanova) - L 31-28, NE
Philadelphia Eagles (17-52 rush yd, TD, 7-40 rec yd)
- Willie Colon (Hofstra) - W 3-0, MIA
Pittsburgh Steelers (started game at OL)
- Dan Kreider (New Hampshire) - W 3-0, MIA
Pittsburgh Steelers (1-15 rec yd)
- Stephen Cooper (Maine) - W 32-14, BAL
San Diego Chargers (5 tackles)
- Jeremy Cain (Massachusetts) - L 35-6, CIN
Tennessee Titans (appeared in game)
- Steve Baylark (UMass) - Arizona Cardinals (PS)
- Raymond Ventrone (‘Nova) - New England Patriots (PS)
- Brandon London (UMass) - New York Giants (PS)
- Dominique Thompson (W&M) - St. Louis Rams (PS)
- Devale Ellis (Hofstra) - Detroit Lions (PUP)
- Brian Finneran (Villanova) - Atlanta Falcons (IR)
- Jamin Elliott (Delaware) - Atlanta Falcons (IR)
- Shawn Barber (Richmond) - Houston Texans (IR)
- Stacy Tutt (Richmond) - New York Jets (IR)
- James Ihedigbo (UMass) - New York Jets (IR)
PS - Practice Squad, PUP - Physically Unable to Perform, IR - Injured Reserve
CAA FOOTBALL - NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP NOTEBOOK
-- CAA Football’s five berths in the 2007 NCAA Division I Football Championships marks the most ever by one single conference in the playoff field.
-- CAA Football (previously the Atlantic 10 and Yankee Conference) holds the distinction of being only one of two conferences to ever place four in the playoff field -- 2004. The Gateway Conference also has done it, sending four in 2003.
-- CAA Football now has garnered a total of 69 playoff berths in the history of the league -- The Yankee Conference was established in 1946, but the Championships did not begin until 1978. In the most recent history, the league has garnered 19 berths over the last six years.
-- Over the last six years CAA Football has garnered 24 wins in its NCAA Championship competition.
-- In those same six years, CAA Football has had two different National Champions emerge in consecutive seasons (Delaware in 2003, JMU in 2004) -- the only conference which can boast that fact.
-- CAA Football is the only conference to ever boast four schools in the National Quarterfinals during the same season (2004).
-- CAA Football has had three different teams compete in the National Championship game over the last four seasons.
-- CAA Football has had at least one team advance to the National Semifinal in seven of the last 10 seasons.
-- CAA Football is 10-19 in NCAA Division I National Championship Quarterfinal games (8-17 vs. non-conference foes).
-- The three CAA Football teams remaining in the 2007 Championships are a combined 27-19 all-time against non-conference foes in the playoffs.
-- CAA Football squads will be facing Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois and Wofford in the quarterfinals of the 2007 NCAA Division I National Championships. Those three teams are a combined 4-4 when facing a team from the CAA Football conference in the playoffs.
-- CAA Football is 49-56 all-time in NCAA Championship play which includes games against conference opponents (46-53 all-time against non-conference foes).
-- Over the last five seasons only CAA Football, the Gateway Conference and the Southern have a better-than-.500 mark in the NCAA Division I National Championships. CAA Football is 21-11 in the playoffs over the last five years. The three remaining CAA Football teams are all .500-or-better in their playoff appearances during the span.
2007 CAA FOOTBALL TEAM-BY-TEAM CAPSULES
#13/13 DELAWARE (9-3, 5-3)
This Week: at #1/1 Northern Iowa (12-0)
Next Week: To Be Determined
-- Since joining CAA Football (formerly the Atlantic 10 and Yankee Conference) in 1986, Delaware is 15-9 overall against non-conference opponents in the playoffs.
-- Delaware advanced to the NCAA FCS quarterfinals for the third time in the last five years following a 44-7 win over Delaware State at Delaware Stadium. The meeting was the first-ever between the state's only Division I teams. The contest drew a crowd of 19,765, a Delaware Stadium playoff record and the third highest first round attendance game in FCS playoff history.
--Omar Cuff garnered a record-breaking day against Delaware State as he ran 38 times for 288 yards and four touchdowns. The senior set Delaware records for rushing yards in a game (288) and a season (1,657), and rushing attempts in a season (328). The First Team All-Conference selection also set a CAA record for rushing touchdowns in a career (63), and an NCAA FCS record for rushing touchdowns in a season (33). Cuff’s day also pushed him over the 4,000-yard rushing mark for his career.
HOFSTRA (7-4, 4-4)
This Week: Season Complete
-- Hofstra concluded its 2007 season with a 27-5 loss to Massachusetts.
-- Charles Sullivan concluded his Hofstra career by capturing two more school receiving records. He grabbed 11 passes for 90 yards in the Massachusetts contest, which broke Marques Colston’s career receiving yards record of 2,834 and finished up with 2,869 yards. Earlier in the season he broke the career receptions record which is now up to 238, as well as the single season receptions record -- 86 receptions for 991 yards.
-- Bryan Savage completed 21-of-34 passes for 129 yards in the Pride’s loss to UMass. His 129 yards moved him up three places to sixth on the Hofstra single season passing list with 2,668 yards in 2007. Savage moved past Ryan Cosentino (2,608 in 2002), Rhory Moss (2,639 in 1990), and Giovanni Carmazzi (2,651 in 1999).
#9/12 JAMES MADISON (8-4, 6-2)
This Week: Season Complete
-- Second Team All-Conference quarterback Rodney Landers ended the first-round game at Appalachian State with 129 rushing yards, his sixth 100-yard game of the season and third-straight on the year. The junior raised his season rushing total to 1,273 and total offense mark to 2,951. Landers set the JMU season records for QB rushing yards and total offense and finished with 12 rushing TDs and 13 passing TDs.
-- James Madison finished 8-4 in 2007 after its second-straight late-game playoff loss on the road in the last two years. JMU is now 37-13 over the last four seasons.
-- The Dukes have now played nine-straight postseason games away from home (eight road, one neutral). JMU’s last home playoff game came in the 1994 first round.
-- Tony LeZotte, the CAA Football Defensive Player of the Year, is the only player in CAA Football league history to earn First Team All-Conference honors all four years of his career.
MAINE (4-7, 3-5)
This Week: Season Complete
-- Maine concluded its 2007 season with a 39-14 loss at New Hampshire.
-- Junior Jovan Belcher recorded four sacks of UNH’s Ricky Santos in the contest at New Hampshire, giving him a total of 10 for the season. Belcher becomes the seventh Black Bear in program history to record at least 10 sacks in a season, as it was also the fourth-straight week he made multiple tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
-- Running back Jhamal Fluellen caught a pass from Michael Brusko and raced 84 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter against New Hampshire. The pass tied the school record for the longest reception in school history.
-- A total of six Maine Black Bears earned All-Conference honors in 2007. Belcher was named a First Team defensive lineman, while Fluellen earned Third Team running back honors. Also honored were Ryan Canary, Andrew Downey, Shawn Demaray and Bruno Dorismond.
#7/7 MASSACHUSETTS (10-2, 7-1)
This Week: at #4/4 Southern Illinois (11-1)
Next Week: To Be Determined
-- UMass piled up 649 yards of total offense in the first-round game against Fordham, the second-most in a game in school history. The record of 651 was set against New Hampshire in 1965. The Minutemen's 49 points were the most since the first game of the Don Brown era at UMass when they beat Delaware State, 51-0 on Sept. 4, 2004.
-- Liam Coen set the school record for passing yards in a game with 419. He broke his own personal best of 401 against New Hampshire in 2005. He threw for 304 yards in the first half, the most in a half in his career. It also marked the seventh 300-yard game of his career. Coen now has 27 touchdowns this year, third most in a single-season in UMass history.
-- Rasheed Rancher, who finished with 198 yards receiving and two touchdowns had his fourth-career 100-yard receiving game and second this season against Fordham. Rancher moved to sixth in career receiving yards in the game. He now has 1,651 in his four-year career.
#15/17 NEW HAMPSHIRE (7-5, 4-4)
This Week: Season Complete
-- New Hampshire is the only CAA Football squad to earn a berth in the NCAA Division I Football Championships in each of the last four seasons. The Wildcats are 3-4 over thos last four appearances in the playoffs.
-- CAA Football Co-Offensive Player of the Year, and reigning Walter Payton Award winner, Ricky Santos ended his career among the all-time leaders in NCAA FCS history with 123 career passing touchdowns (3rd), 13,212 career passing yards (3rd) and 14,621 career total offense yards (3rd). Santos is also the only player in league history to win conference Offensive Player of Year honors three-straight seasons.
-- Receiver Keith LeVan ended his career with 2,234 receiving yards placing him sixth all-time at New Hampshire. His 201 all-time career receptions place second on the New Hampshire all-time list behind only David Ball’s 304 career receptions.
-- Senior Jeff Pammer ended his career as the second-leading tackler in New Hampshire history with 359 stops in his four-year career.
NORTHEASTERN (3-8, 2-6)
This Week: Season Complete
-- Maurice Murray, a First Team All-Conference running back, put up his sixth 100-yard rushing game of the season in the loss to Rhode Island. It also marked his fourth consecutive, running for 182 yards. He had three rushes of 28 yards or more, including a 28-yard rush which set a new Northeastern career record in rushing yards and total touchdowns with 3,806 and 43, respectively. Murray also finishes as the all-time NU leader in rushing attempts and rushing touchdowns. His 1,421 single-season yards rank second in school singl-season history, and his 14 touchdowns equal a single-season school mark.
-- Quarterback Anthony Orio finished the 2007 season as Northeastern’s career leader in completion percentage at 56.7 percent. Orio was 51-for-74 (68.9 percent) over the final four games of the season.
-- Joe Mele, a Third Team All-Conference linebacker, had another big game against Rhode Island as he made a career-high 17 tackles and also recorded a half sack.
RHODE ISLAND (3-8, 2-6)
This Week: Season Complete
-- Rhode Island’s Damien Gresko and Bryan Giannecchini were named to the CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District I First Team. Giannecchini, a landscape architecture major, holds a 3.69 GPA. Gresko, also a 2006 CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Second Team selection, started four games on the offensive line in 2007 before suffering a season-ending injury. Gresko, an accounting and finance major, holds a 3.98 GPA.
-- Derek Cassidy scored four touchdowns (two rush, two pass) in Rhode Island'scome-from-behind 35-30 win over Northeastern. Cassidy had touchdown runs of one and two yards and finished with 71 yards on 16 carries. He also threw touchdown passes to Shawn Leonard and Jimmy Hughes, finishing with 123 yards through the air.
-- Freshman Anthony Ferrer posted his first-career 100-yard game, finishing with 109 yards on the ground and became the fourth different URI running back to lead the team in single-game rushing this season (Joe Casey, Jimmy Hughes, Jerell Jones).
#8/6 RICHMOND (10-2, 7-1)
This Week: at #12/11 Wofford (9-3)
Next Week: To Be Determined
-- Richmond is in the midst of its second playoff appearance in the last three years and the seventh in team history. The Spiders are now 4-5 (2-1 under head coach Dave Clawson) in playoff action.
-- Under fourth-year head coach Dave Clawson, the Spiders improved to 20-0 when scoring 30 points or more, 25-2 when leading at the half, 20-4 when scoring first and 17-7 when playing as a ranked team.
-- Richmond is 9-4 versus ranked opponents since 2005, but 5-0 (4-0 against teams ranked 11th or better) this season. The Spiders also reached the 10-win mark for the just the second time in school history (1998).
-- Senior Walter Payton hopeful Tim Hightower, who broke Richmond's single-game postseason rushing record with 180 yards against Eastern Kentucky, also set the Spiders' single-season (1,741) and career rushing marks (3,529) in the win and the single-season all-purpose yards record (1,949).
TOWSON (3-8, 1-7)
This Week: Season Complete
-- In his final college game, linebacker Brian Bradford made 15 tackles, and finished his career with 328 tackles, third on Towson’s career list. Bradford finished the season with 149 tackles to lead the CAA, and ranks second in NCAA FCS with 149 tackles in 11 games.
-- In the final game of his college career, wide receiver Demetrius Harrison matched his career high with 11 receptions for 95 yards. Harrison finished his career with 114 catches for 1,251 yards and nine touchdowns. As a senior, he caught 58 passes for 545 yards and ranked seventh in the CAA. Harrison ended his career tied for 15th place on Towson’s career pass receiving list.
-- In the final game of the 2007 season, quarterback Sean Schaefer completed 40-of-59 passes for a season-high 349 yards and one TD. Schaefer was especially productive considering he was sacked nine times against JMU. Schaefer will enter his senior season with 8,358 passing yards, 543 yards away from Dan Crowley and the all-time record.
VILLANOVA (7-4, 5-3)
This Week: Season Complete
-- Villanova ended its season just outside the field of 16 with a mark of 7-4 and 5-3 in league play, having beat a Top-10 foe in Delaware in the final game of the season, 16-10.
-- With the win the Villanova/Delaware series is now tied at 20-20-1.
-- Last season, sophomore linebacker Osayi Osunde had three tackles all year. This year he led the team with 82 and earned a spot on the All-Conference third team at linebacker.
-- A total of four Villanova Wildcats earned All-Conference honors in 2007. Tight end Matt Sherry was a First Team selection, while Tim Kukucka earned Second Team honors on the defensive line. Also honored were Matt Dicken as a Third Team running back and Oasyi Osunde as a Third Team linebacker.
WILLIAM AND MARY (4-7, 2-6)
This Week: Season Complete
-- With the loss at Richmond in the regular season finale, W&M finished the year at 4-7, its third consecutive losing season. The last time W&M had three-straight losing seasons was 1980-82, which were head coach Jimmye Laycock’s first three seasons.
-- Wide receiver Elliott Mack set career-highs with 10 receptions and 201 yards receiving and also scored on a 5-yard rush against Richmond. Mack was the first Tribe receiver to record a 200-yard receiving game since 2004, when Dominique Thompson (2001-04) set the school record with 244 yards at Delaware. Mack is also the first Tribe receiver to reach double-digit receptions since 2004, when current senior Joe Nicholas tallied 11 catches in a quarterfinal playoff victory over Delaware.
-- With a touchdown pass to Drew Atchison, Jake Phillips, who earned Third Team All-Conference honors, brought his career total to 36, which is tied for seventh-best in school history. Phillips matched Bud Lex’s (1946-49) career total. Phillips also surpassed the 5,000-yard mark for his career, reaching 5,128 yards passing which still stands fifth all-time.
2007 CAA FOOTBALL GAME CAPSULES -- WEEK 14
#13/13 DELAWARE AT #1/1 NORTHERN IOWA
Saturday, Dec. 1 - 2:00 pm
UNI-Dome (16,324), Cedar Falls, Iowa
Television: ESPN GamePlan - Michael Reghi (pbp), Doug Chapman (analyst), Major Howe (producer), Matt McCandlish (director)
Series: Delaware leads 1-0
Last Meeting: Dec. 6, 2003, Delaware 37-7 in Newark, Del.
Delaware (9-3, 5-3 CAA)
Coach: K.C. Keeler (Delaware, 1981)
Career: 138-46-1 (14 years)
School: 50-25 (6 years)
Rushing: Omar Cuff (12 G, 328-1657 yards, 33 TD)
Passing: Joe Flacco (12 G, 262-390-5-3374 yards, 18 TD)
Receiving: Aaron Love (11 G, 59-808 yards, 3 TD)
Tackles: Erik Johnson (12 G, 44 assisted, 48 solo, 92 total)
Sacks: Matt Marcorelle (11 G, 6.5-57 yards)
Interceptions: Fred Andrew (12 G, 2-78 yards)
Northern Iowa (12-0)
Coach: Mark Farley (Northern Iowa, 1987)
Career: 63-24 (7 years)
School: 63-24 (7 years)
Rushing: Corey Lewis (12 G, 238-1363 yards, 14 TD)
Passing: Eric Sanders (12 G, 211-277-5-2551 yards, 16 TD)
Receiving: Johnny Gray (12 G, 61-807 yards, 5 TD)
Tackles: Clifford Waters (11 G, 40 assisted, 41 solo, 81 total) and De’Veon Harris (12 G, 45 assisted, 36 solo, 81 total)
Sacks: Mike Huygens (12 G, 4.5-33 yards)
Interceptions: Brannon Carter (12 G, 5-81 yards)
#7/7 MASSACHUSETTS AT #4/4 SOUTHERN ILLINOIS
Saturday, Dec. 1 - 3:15 pm
McAndrew Stadium (17,324), Carbondale, Ill.
Television: ESPN GamePlan - Dave Weekley (pbp), Doug Graber (analyst)
Series: First Meeting
Massachusetts (10-2, 7-1 CAA)
Coach: Don Brown (Norwich, 1977)
Career: 88-39 (11 years)
School: 36-13 (4 years)
Rushing: Matt Lawrence (12 G, 294-1473 yards, 16 TD)
Passing: Liam Coen (12 G, 204-318-11 yards, 27 TD)
Receiving: JJ Moore (12 G, 73-1006 yards, 5 TD)
Tackles: Charles Walker (12 G, 69 assisted, 41 solo, 110 total)
Sacks: David Burris (12 G, 9.5-55 yards)
Interceptions: Courtney Robinson (12 G, 3-39 yards)
Southern Illinois (11-1)
Coach: Jerry Kill (Southwestern College, 1982)
Career: 103-56 (14 years)
School: 54-31 (7 years)
Rushing: John Randle (11 G, 159-859 yards, 10 TD)
Passing: Nick Hill (12 G, 233-313-4-2853 yards, 25 TD)
Receiving: Justin Allen (12 G, 52-669 yards, 6 TD)
Tackles: Chauncey Mixon (12 G, 56 assisted, 45 solo, 101 total)
Sacks: James Cloud (12 G, 6.5-56 yards)
Interceptions: Clayton Johnson (12 G, 3-50 yards)
#8/6 RICHMOND AT #12/11 WOFFORD
Saturday, Dec. 1 - 7:00 pm
Gibbs Stadium (13,000), Spartanburg, S.C.
Television: ESPN GamePlan - Dave Armstrong (pbp), Mike Gottfreid (analyst), John Kettering (producer), Jeff Montoni (director)
Series: First Meeting
Richmond (10-2, 7-1 CAA)
Coach: Dave Clawson (Williams College, 1989)
Career: 57-48 (9 years)
School: 28-19 (4 years)
Rushing: Tim Hightower (12 G, 282-1741 yards, 18 TD)
Passing: Eric Ward (12 G, 182-293-9-1952 yards, 13 TD)
Receiving: Kevin Grayson (10 G, 53-756 yards, 5 TD)
Tackles: Eric McBride (12 G, 63 assisted, 50 solo, 113 total)
Sacks: Collin McConaghy (12 G, 7.5-59 yards)
Interceptions: Seth Williams (12 G, 2-44 yards)
Coach: Mike Ayers (Georgetown, Ky., 1974)
Career: 143-113-2 (23 years)
School: 131-92-1 (20 years)
Rushing: Kevious Johnson (12 G, 166-1174 yards, 8 TD)
Passing: Josh Collier (11 G, 57-95-6-918 yards, 6 TD)
Receiving: Andy Strickland (12 G, 24-501 yards, 5 TD)
Tackles: Seth Goldwire (12 G, 49 assisted, 52 solo, 101 total)
Sacks: Matt Norcia (12 G, 4-12 yards)
Interceptions: Gary Blount (12 G, 3-59 yards)