2010 CAA Football -- Did You Know...
-- CAA Football teams make up half of the Top 10 in both The Sports Network/Fathead.com poll and FCS Coaches poll.
-- The league has seven ranked squads in each of the national polls for the fifth-straight week. No league other than CAA Football has had more than six teams ranked in either poll on a single week dating back to 2007.
-- Villanova has been part of The Sports Network/Fathead.com Top 10 for 29-straight weeks. The Wildcats and Appalachian State are the only two teams with Top-10 ranked streaks longer than 10 consecutive weeks.
-- After the recent update to the 2010 Payton and Buchanan Watch Lists, CAA Football has a national best five players recognized on both lists. See the notes that follow for details on which CAA Football standouts are among those honored.
-- CAA Football has two among the Top 25 national rushing leaders...Delaware’s Andrew Pierce, averaging 130.6 yards/game, is at No. 6 while UMass’ John Griffin ranks 21st with his rushing average of 100.0/game.
-- Richmond’s Eric McBride has a total of 48 tackles through four games this season, placing him sixth among the national rankings with an average of 12.0 tackles/game.
-- Richmond’s Justin Rogers is the league’s all-time career leader in kickoff returns with 98 in four seasons. The senior needs 147 kickoff return yards to become the league’s all-time career leader in kick return yards.
-- Towson’s Hakeem Moore not only leads the league, but also ranks 10th in the country in all-purpose yards with an average of 169.4 through five games.
-- Villanova’s Matt Szczur needs 498 all-purpose yards to move among the league’s career all-purpose yard Top-10 list.
-- William and Mary’s Jonathan Grimes is 801 all-purpose yards away from ranking in CAA Football’s career Top-10 list for the category.
-- James Madison is the third CAA Football squad to earn votes in the Associated Press (AP) poll in the last two seasons. The Dukes are also just the second FCS school in AP Top 25 history to receive votes in two consecutive polls.
-- CAA Football is a combined 17-3 against non-conference FCS opponents this season. The league is also 19-10 thus far in all non-conference action.
-- CAA Football has topped three ACC non-conference opponents in the last two seasons including James Madison’s, 21-16, win over then-nationally-ranked Virginia Tech, Sept. 11.
-- CAA Football is represented by 40 alums on 2010 NFL rosters as of Sept. 26.
-- A CAA Football program has won four of the last seven National Championships, while the other three have gone to one school -- Appalachian State (Southern Conference). The league’s four National Championships in that span have gone to four different league squads.
-- CAA Football has been represented in the NCAA Division I National Championship game in six of the last seven seasons.
-- Northeastern (1993-2009) and Hofstra (2001-09), previously part of CAA Football lineage, ended football programs following the 2009 season.
-- CAA Football, now a 10-team one-division league, will welcome Old Dominion to its membership in the 2011 season and Georgia State in the 2012 season.
CAA Football Now Has Five on the Buck Buchanan Award Watch List
The Buchanan Award is in its 16th season and will be presented to the FCS National Defensive Player of the Year on Thursday, Jan. 6 in Frisco, Texas - the night before the national championship game. CAA Football will be looking for a repeat in 2010, as James Madison defensive end Arthur Moats won the honor last season. Moats became the second Duke and CAA Football student-athlete to log the honor.
2008 National Champion Richmond boasts three on this year’s Watch List -- seniors Eric McBride, Martin Parker and Justin Rogers. Parker finished 13th in the 2009 Buchanan voting while both McBride and Rogers earned several preseason honors. Senior Terence Thomas, who made eight tackles and a sack in Villanova’s National Champion win last season, was a newcomer to the preseason in July. Massachusetts’ linebacker Tyler Holmes is the league’s newest addition to the 20-player list which was updated Oct. 4. Holmes ranks among both the national and league leaders in tackles per game this season.
CAA Football has five standouts on the most recent list, and is the most from any of the nine FCS conferences honored.
Buck Buchanan Award Watch List Honorees
-- Tyler Holmes, LB, Massachusetts
-- Eric McBride, LB, Richmond
-- Martin Parker, DL, Richmond
-- Justin Rogers, DB, Richmond
-- Terence Thomas, LB, Villanova
CAA Football Has Five on the Walter Payton Award Watch List
The Payton Award Watch List, a guiding stick used to help determine the top individual in the Football Championship Subdivision, was updated Oct. 4 as four student-athletes earned spots on the 20-player list.
The Payton Award is in its 24th season and will be presented to the FCS National Player of the Year on Thursday, Jan. 6 in Frisco, Texas - the night before the national championship game.
Reigning National Champion Villanova boasts three on the Watch List -- seniors Ben Ijalana, Matt Szczur and Chris Whitney. Szczur finished 21st in the Payton balloting last season, while Ijalana was named to the 2010 Outland Trophy Watch list. Delaware senior Pat Devlin, who was 17th in the 2009 award voting, is also part of the 2010 Watch List while William and Mary’s junior Jonathan Grimes is a newcomer to the list.
CAA Football logged five standouts on the preseason list, and all of them remained on the list’s most recent release, making the league’s total the most from any of the 11 FCS conferences honored.
Walter Payton Award Watch List Honorees
-- Pat Devlin, QB, Delaware
-- Jonathan Grimes, RB, William and Mary
-- Ben Ijalana, OL, Villanova
-- Matt Szczur, WR/RS, Villanova
-- Chris Whitney, QB, Villanova
Delaware’s Devlin Named To The Unitas Golden Arm Award Watch List
Delaware quarterback Pat Devlin was selected to the Watch List for the 2010 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.
The honor is bestowed annually to the top senior quarterback in the nation by the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Foundation and acknowledges performance on the field, character, citizenship, and integrity. The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation, Inc., has awarded more than $525,000 in scholarships to deserving scholar-athletes from local area high schools both in Maryland and Kentucky.
Devlin, a native of Downingtown, Pa., was the only NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision player named to the watch list.
Devlin, a Blue Hen captain, has started four of Delaware’s five games this season and has a passing efficiency mark of 144.4 (43-70-1-558-4) which ranks fourth among the league leaders. The senior has completed 43-of-70 attempts for 558 yards and four touchdowns this season.
Villanova’s Ijalana Named To The Outland Trophy Watch List
Villanova senior offensive tackle Ben Ijalana was one of 63 players named to the 2010 Outland Trophy Watch List released in June. The Outland Trophy, which has been presented annually since 1946, is given to the nation’s top interior lineman.
Ijalana is the only member of the list of 63 who plays for an FCS program. The 2010 Outland Trophy winner will be announced on The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show on Dec. 9.
Ijalana, a preseason All-CAA Football and All-America selection, leads a Villanova offensive front which ranks first in the league in scoring (29.6 points/game) and fourth in the league in both rushing (186.2 yards/game) and total offense (364.0 yards/game). A two-time First Team All-CAA Football selection, Ijalana has started all 44 games of his Villanova career. The 6-4, 320 pound Ijalana is a native of Hainesport, N.J., and a graduate of Rancocas Valley High School.
Rogers’ Returns Piling Up
Richmond returnman Justin Rogers garnered one league career record opening weekend and is inching closer to another.
The senior, who was the nation’s third-best kick returner as a redshirt-freshman in 2007 by averaging better than 30 yards/return, is the CAA Football career kickoff return record holder (98).
The senior is getting close to taking the league’s top spot on the career kickoff return yards list away from NFL legend Brian Westbrook. The former Villanova Wildcat logged 2,433 kickoff return yards from 1997-2001. Rogers needs 147 kick return yards to pass Westbrook’s total.
CAA Football In The Polls
For a complete rundown of both the Sports Network/Fathead.com Top 25 and the FCS Coaches Poll visit page 12 of the weekly release. Below are highlights and notes about CAA Football in this week’s rankings.
The Sports Network/Fathead.com Top 25
-- Villanova has been part of the poll’s Top 10 for 29-straight weeks...Only Appalachian State has a longer streak at 68-straight weeks. The Wildcats and Mountaineers are the only squads with current double-digit Top 10 streaks.
-- CAA Football makes up five of the Top 10 for the third-straight week.
-- The league has a five-week streak of seven teams ranked in The Sports Network/Fathead.com Top 25...a league record for that many teams in consecutive weeks. The last time the league had consecutive weeks of seven among TSN’s poll was Sept. 20-Oct. 11, 2004 (4 weeks).
-- The league has had at least three teams ranked every week since The Sports Network’s poll began and two teams among the poll’s Top 10 in 75-straight weeks.
FCS Coaches Top 25
-- For the second-straight week five CAA Football squads are among the Top 10.
-- The league’s four-week string of seven ranked squads extends a poll first. CAA Football is the only league to ever have seven teams ranked in a single week, and that has now happened in five-straight weeks -- three weeks better than the league’s previous best -- Sept. 7-14, 2009.
-- CAA Football has had at least four squads ranked every week in the FCS Coaches poll since it debuted in 2007.
Villanova, James Madison, Delaware, William and Mary and Massachusetts’ spots in the Sports Network/Fathead.com Top 10 extend streaks among the nation’s top ranked. The Wildcats have been part of the Sports Network’s Top 10 for 29-straight weeks trailing only Appalachian State’s 68-week string. The Dukes, despite a loss last weekend, extended a streak of four-straight in the Top 10, while the Blue Hens and Tribe have each been in the Top 10 three-straight weeks. Massachusetts has been among the Top 10 two-consecutive weeks.
Team Consecutive Weeks In SN/F Top 10
No. 1 Appalachian State - 68
No. 6 Villanova - 29
No. 5 Stephen F. Austin - 7
No. 3 Jacksonville State - 5
No. 7 James Madison - 4
No. 2 Delaware - 3
No. 4 William and Mary - 3
No. 8 Massachusetts - 2
No. 9 South Carolina State - 2
No. 10 Montana State - 2
CAA Football Players of the Week - October 4
CAA Football Offensive Player of the Week - Steve Probst, QB, Rhode Island
Probst earned his first CAA Football weekly honor, by leading Rhode Island to a 27-24 overtime win against Brown Saturday in the battle for the Rhode Island Governor’s Cup. Probst finished the day 22-of-38 for 187 yards passing, but did most of his damage on the ground rushing for 59 yards and a career-high three touchdowns. The junior’s biggest touchdown of the day came on the first play of the Rams’ first possession in overtime when he scampered 25 yards for the game-winning touchdown. The Rams, led by Probst’s five total touchdowns in the last two contests, have now won two-straight games in the same regular season for the first time since 2006.
CAA Football Defensive Player of the Week - Dante Cook, LB, William and Mary
Cook, one of two CAA Football Defensive Players of the Week, was part of a William and Mary defense which limited Villanova to just 62 rushing yards in a 31-24 Tribe win in Williamsburg. For the second-straight week Cook picked off a pass and scored for the Tribe defense. Saturday’s version of a Cook interception was an 84-yard TD-return for the sophomore in the second quarter which helped put the Tribe in front 20-0. Cook finished the game with eight tackles, including a half tackle for a loss of two yards for a Tribe defense.
CAA Football Defensive Player of the Week - Justin Rogers, DB, Richmond
Rogers, another CAA Football Defensive Player of the Week, made his presence felt on defense for the Spiders in a 41-19 non-conference drubbing of Coastal Carolina. The senior had a pass breakup, forced a fumble, made five tackles and recorded the 11th and 12th interceptions of his career. The second of his two picks came with just over a minute left in the game and resulted in a 34-yard touchdown return for the Buck Buchanan Award candidate. Rogers, who also returned three punts for 52 yards in the game, became Richmond’s all-time career leader in interceptions returned for a TD by garnering his third Saturday.
CAA Football Special Teams Player of the Week - Brian Harvey, PK, Maine
Harvey is one of two CAA Football Special Teams Player of the Week after his game-winning 37-yard field goal in overtime helped Maine take back the Brice-Cowell Musket with a 16-13 win over New Hampshire. The sophomore, who earlier had missed a 46-yarder in the first quarter, redeemed himself in the extra period after New Hampshire’s overtime possession ended with an interception by Jerron McMillian. Harvey is now 2-for-3 on the year in field goals, while his 37-yard game-winner marked a season-long.
CAA Football Special Teams Player of the Week - Mike Perry, PK, Delaware
Perry also earned CAA Football Special Teams Player of the Week honors thanks to his 28-yard game-winning field goal against James Madison on the road. The junior, who hit a career-long 47-yarder to knot the ballgame at 10-10 early in the fourth-quarter, converted his sixth field goal of the season with just three ticks left on the game clock at JMU’s Bridgeforth Stadium. The game-winning field goal was the first for Delaware in the final minute of a regulation game since 1987.
CAA Football Rookie of the Week - Trevor Sasek, QB, Delaware
Sasek is this week’s CAA Football Rookie of the Week after replacing an injured Pat Devlin, and leading Delaware to a 13-10 win on the road over No. 3 James Madison. The redshirt freshman finished the day completing 13-of-21 passes for 124 yards. He also rushed 14 times for a net of just nine yards, but was responsible for the Blue Hens’ only touchdown of the day. Sasek’s most impressive feat in the contest came when he led Delaware on its game-winning drive in the fourth quarter which amassed 69 yards on 14 plays and chewed up nearly seven minutes of the game clock.
James Madison Earns Associated Press Top 25 Votes...Again
James Madison garnered votes in the Associated Press (AP) Top 25 over a two week stretch from Sept. 12-19 this season.
JMU became the third CAA Football squad in the last two seasons and the sixth FCS squad to earn votes in the AP poll when it appeared on two voters’ ballots, Sept 12. Ray Ratto of the San Francisco Chronicle had the Dukes at No. 22, while Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News ranked JMU at No. 19.
Madison was again among those receiving votes in the Sept. 19 poll, appearing at No. 18 on Wilner’s ballot, making it only the second FCS squad in AP Top 25 history to receive votes in consecutive weeks.
The AP changed its policy and opened its poll to all Division I football teams following Appalachian State’s upset at nationally-ranked Michigan in September of 2007. Previously, just FBS teams were permitted.
The Mountaineers went on to receive votes in two consecutive AP polls (Sept. 9 and 16) that season. Northern Iowa appeared once (Nov. 18) and Appalachian State got votes in the final poll after winning the National Championship in 2007. Richmond and Villanova both earned recognition last season in the AP poll. The Spiders garnered votes in the Nov. 1 edition, while Villanova logged votes in the final AP poll of the year following its National Championship. Montana also garnered votes in the Dec. 6 edition of the AP poll in 2009.
James Madison’s recognition came after outlasting then-nationally-ranked Virginia Tech, 21-16, in Blacksburg, Va., Sept. 11, in front of 66,233 at Lane Stadium.
Bring On The BCS/FBS
CAA Football is not afraid of hanging with the BCS/FBS big boys. Over the past five seasons the league has posted 10 wins against BCS/FBS foes, including the league’s most recent and high-profile victory...James Madison over Virginia Tech, 21-16, Sept. 11.
Combining the 2009 season (four wins over BCS/FBS opponents) with JMU’s win shows five victories over the upper level of Division I Football in two seasons.
The league’s BCS neighbors in the Atlantic Coast Conference have managed a 3-3 mark against CAA Football over the last two seasons...CAA Football’s wins over the ACC in that time frame are: Richmond over Duke (‘09), William and Mary over Virginia (‘09) and James Madison over Virginia Tech (‘10).
The league has an all-time mark of 28-119 (.190) against BCS/FBS opponents dating back to the 1978 I-A/I-AA split by the NCAA.
CAA Football has won 19 games versus BCS/FBS opponents since 2000. The league has garnered at least one win over BCS/FBS foes in eight of the last nine years, and multiple wins over BCS/FBS teams in six of the last nine years.
For a complete list of CAA Football’s wins over BCS/FBS opponents check out page 15 of the weekly release.
#11/11 RICHMOND AT #22/23 NEW HAMPSHIRE
Saturday, Oct. 9 - 12 pm
Cowell Stadium (6,500), Durham, N.H.
Series: Richmond leads 10-8
Richmond (2-2, 0-1 CAA)
Coach: Latrell Scott
Career: 2-2 (First year)
School: 2-2 (First year)
Rushing: Kendall Gaskins (4 G, 37-222 yards, 2 TD)
Passing: Aaron Corp (4 G, 65-120-3-638 yards, 3 TD)
Receiving: Tre Gray (3 G, 15-170 yards, 0 TD)
Tackles: Eric McBride (4 G, 19 solo, 29 assisted, 48 total)
Sacks: Kerry Wynn (1 G, 1.0-11 yards)
Interceptions: Justin Rogers (4 G, 2-34 yards)
New Hampshire (2-3, 0-2 CAA)
Coach: Sean McDonnell
Career: 82-56 (12 years)
School: 82-56 (12 years)
Rushing: Dontra Peters (5 G, 68-347 yards, 3 TD)
Passing: R.J. Toman (5 G, 107-163-7-1203 yards, 8 TD)
Receiving: Terrance Fox (5 G, 31-383 yards, 4 TD)
Tackles: Matt Evans (5 G, 30 solo, 24 assisted, 54 total)
Sacks: Brian McNally (5 G, 3.0-19 yards)
Interceptions: Ryan McGuinness (5 G, 2-3 yards)
MAINE AT #2/2 DELAWARE
Saturday, Oct. 9 - 1 pm
Delaware Stadium (22,000), Newark, Del.
Series: Delaware leads 22-7
Maine (2-3, 1-1 CAA)
Coach: Jack Cosgrove
Career: 95-104 (18 years)
School: 95-104 (18 years)
Rushing: Jared Turcotte (4 G, 81-361 yards, 3 TD)
Passing: Warren Smith (5 G, 90-134-4-880 yards, 4 TD)
Receiving: Derek Session (5 G, 25-324 yards, 0 TD)
Tackles: Vinson Givans (5 G, 15 solo, 21 assisted, 36 total)
Sacks: Doug Alston (5 G, 2.5-7 yards)
Interceptions: Vinson Givans (5 G, 1-15 yards)
Delaware (5-0, 2-0 CAA)
Coach: K.C. Keeler
Career: 155-60-1 (17 years)
School: 67-39 (9 years)
Rushing: Andrew Pierce (5 G, 104-653 yards, 7 TD)
Passing: Pat Devlin (4 G, 43-70-1-558 yards, 4 TD)
Receiving: Phillip Thaxton (5 G, 11-146 yards, 3 TD)
Tackles: Anthony Walters (5 G, 25 solo, 12 assisted, 37 total)
Sacks: Siddiq Haynes (5 G, 2.0-5 yards)
Interceptions: Tyrone Grant (5 G, 3-66 yards)
#7/6 JAMES MADISON AT TOWSON
Saturday, Oct. 9 - 7 pm
Unitas Stadium (11,198), Towson, Md.
Series: James Madison leads 16-5-1
James Madison (3-1, 0-1 CAA)
Coach: Mickey Matthews
Career: 85-52 (12 years)
School: 85-52 (12 years)
Rushing: Jamal Sullivan (4 G, 57-228 yards, 1 TD)
Passing: Drew Dudzik (4 G, 31-57-3-510 yards, 4 TD)
Receiving: Brian Barlow (4 G, 7-76 yards, 0 TD)
Tackles: Stephon Robertson (4 G, 8 solo, 28 assisted, 36 total)
Sacks: Lamar Middleton (4 G, 2.0-11 yards)
Interceptions: Jonathan Williams (4 G, 2-30 yards)
Towson (1-4, 0-2 CAA)
Coach: Rob Ambrose
Career: 6-20 (3 years)
School: 3-13 (2 years)
Rushing: Chris Hart (5 G, 63-264 yards, 0 TD)
Passing: Chris Hart (5 G, 47-91-6-563 yards, 8 TD)
Receiving: Hakeem Moore (5 G, 16-387 yards, 5 TD)
Tackles: Jordan Dangerfield (5 G, 27 solo, 16 assisted, 43 total)
Sacks: Matt Morgan (5 G, 3.0-19 yards)
Interceptions: Nick Oates (4 G, 1-0 yards)
RHODE ISLAND AT #4/5 WILLIAM AND MARY
Saturday, Oct. 9 - 7 pm
Zable Stadium (12,259), Williamsburg, Va.
Series: William and Mary leads 11-2
Rhode Island (2-2, 1-0 CAA)
Coach: Joe Trainer
Career: 16-32 (5 years)
School: 3-12 (2 years)
Rushing: Ayo Isijola (4 G, 56-273 yards, 0 TD)
Passing: Steve Probst (4 G, 82-149-4-644 yards, 4 TD)
Receiving: Brandon Johnson-Farrell (4 G, 22-213 yards, 0 TD)
Tackles: Chris Edmond (4 G, 25 solo, 11 assisted, 36 total)
Sacks: Victor Adesanya (4 G, 2.0-21 yards)
Interceptions: Jarrod Williams (4 G, 2-3 yards)
William and Mary (3-1, 1-1 CAA)
Coach: Jimmye Laycock
Career: 203-142-2 (31 years)
School: 203-142-2 (31 years)
Rushing: Jonathan Grimes (5 G, 86-356 yards, 7 TD)
Passing: Mike Callahan (4 G, 63-100-3-846 yards, 5 TD)
Receiving: Alex Gottlieb (5 G, 18-192 yards, 0 TD)
Tackles: Brian Thompson (5 G, 23 solo, 18 assisted, 41 total)
Sacks: Marcus Hyde (5 G, 1.5-7 yards)
Interceptions: Dante Cook (4 G, 2-134 yards)