CAA FOOTBALL WEEKLY RELEASE -- OCT. 17-23
The Stingier The Better
The top five scoring defenses in CAA Football are also five of the top eight scoring defenses in the country.
Delaware leads the nation having only surrendered 56 points in seven games (8.0 points/game). James Madison is second in the country with a mark of just 13.3 points allowed/game. New Hampshire’s defense has limited opponents to 15.6 points/game and ranks fifth in the nation. William and Mary has allowed an average of just 16.0 points a game, while Villanova’s mark of 16.2 points allowed per game is not far behind. The Tribe and Wildcats’ defenses rank seventh and eighth in the country, respectively.
CAA Football’s league average of 19.5 points allowed/game is tops among league scoring defense average (FCS). No conference has a scoring defense average better than 20 points a game, while the Ivy is the closest to the CAA Football mark having given up 893 points in 40 games (22.3 points/game). Only the Big East (18.8 points allowed/game) has a better league scoring defense average in all of major college football.
Glancing at the league’s defensive trends (page 15 of the weekly release) going back to 2004, the conference’s current average in scoring defense of 19.5 points allowed/game is the lowest it has ever been. The current average of yards allowed also reflects a historical best. CAA Football defenses are only giving up 317.7 yards/game, better than the previous mark over the last six years set last season (324 yards/game).
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 six of Delaware’s seven games this season and has a passing efficiency mark of 139.3 (81-129-1-1002) which ranks third among the league leaders. The senior has completed 81-of-129 attempts for 1002 yards and five 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 (32.7 points/game), second in the league in total offense (396.5 yards/game), third in the league in rushing (192.3 yards/game) and fourth in the league in passing (204.2 yards/game). A two-time First Team All-CAA Football selection, Ijalana has started all 45 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.
2010 CAA Football -- Did You Know...
-- CAA Football teams make up four 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 seventh-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 31-straight weeks. The Wildcats and Appalachian State are the only two teams with Top-10 ranked streaks longer than 10 consecutive weeks.
-- After the Oct. 4 update to the 2010 Payton and Buchanan Watch Lists, CAA Football has a national best five players recognized on both lists.
-- Delaware’s Siddiq Haynes was recently named as one of 22 players to the All-State AFCA Good Works Team for his honors and endeavors away from the game of football.
-- Delaware’s Andrew Pierce is averaging a league-best 125.7 yards/game which ranks as the fifth-best average among rushers in the country.
-- New Hampshire’s Dino Vasso has hauled in a league-best five interceptions this season in seven games. The senior’s average of 0.71 INT’s a game is fifth-best in the country. One more pick for Vasso will place him in a tie for eighth on CAA Football’s career interception list with 18.
-- Richmond’s Justin Rogers is the league’s all-time career leader in kickoff returns with 102 in four seasons. The senior needs 64 kickoff return yards to become the league’s all-time career leader in the category.
-- 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 638 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 Oct. 17.
-- 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 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 31-straight weeks...Only Appalachian State has a longer streak at 70-straight weeks.
-- CAA Football makes up four of the Top 10 for the second time this season (Sept. 13). The league made up five of the Top 10 each of the last four weeks.
-- The league has a seven-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 77-straight weeks.
FCS Coaches Top 25
-- For the third time this season four CAA Football squads are among the Top 10 (Preseason & Sept. 13).
-- CAA Football is the only league to ever have seven teams ranked in a single week, and that has now happened seven-straight weeks -- five 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, Delaware and William and Mary’s spots in the Sports Network/Fathead.com Top 10 extend streaks among the nation’s top ranked, while New Hampshire’s jump into the Top 10 is its first since spending five-straight weeks there from Nov. 22, 2009 to Sept. 13, 2010. Villanova has been part of the Sports Network’s Top 10 for 31-straight weeks. The Blue Hens and Tribe have each been in the Top 10 five-straight weeks.
Team Consecutive Weeks In SN/F Top 10
No. 1 Appalachian State - 70
No. 6 Villanova - 31
No. 5 Stephen F. Austin - 9
No. 3 Jacksonville State - 7
No. 2 Delaware - 5
No. 4 William and Mary - 5
No. 10 New Hampshire - 1
No. 8 Eastern Washington - 1
No. 7 Montana - 1
No. 9 Wofford - 1
Rogers’ Returns Piling Up
Richmond returnman Justin Rogers garnered one league career record in the opening weekend of this season 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 (102).
The Louisiana native 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 64 kick return yards to pass Westbrook’s total.
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.
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 five CAA Football student-athletes appeared 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
CAA Football Players of the Week - October 18
CAA Football Offensive Player of the Week - Chris Whitney, QB, Villanova
Whitney earned CAA Football Offensive Player of the Week honors after leading Villanova to a 48-18 win on the road at Maine Saturday. The senior, who led a Wildcat offense to 559 yards of total offense, completed 20-of-25 passes for a career-high 322 yards and three touchdowns. The league’s preseason all-conference quarterback also rushed nine times for 37 yards and two touchdowns. Whitney’s monster day came largely in the first half when he completed 15-of-17 passes for 277 yards and all three of his passing touchdowns. The last Villanova quarterback to record a 300-yard passing game was Frank Jankowski in 2005 (363 yards at JMU, Nov. 12).
CAA Football Defensive Player of the Week - Matt Evans, LB, New Hampshire
Evans, the second-straight CAA Football Defensive Player of the Week from New Hampshire, helped the Wildcats go on the road to top James Madison 28-14. The sophomore was credited with a game-high 14 tackles as well as a sack for six yards and 2.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage for losses of 10 yards. Evans helped get New Hampshire on the board when he scooped up a first-quarter fumble forced by Hugo Souza and ran it back 17 yards for a touchdown. Evans, CAA Football’s leader in tackles with 80 on the year, also forced a fumble for the second-straight week.
CAA Football Defensive Player of the Week - Eric McBride, LB, Richmond
Led by McBride, Richmond’s defense held Massachusetts to 222 yards below their season average, and upset the Minutemen in Amherst 11-10. McBride netted a team-high 11 tackles, including two behind the line of scrimmage for a loss of 11 yards. The senior was also responsible for a sack-forced fumble when he blind-sided UMass QB Kyle Havens in the third quarter. McBride and the Spiders forced three turnovers and also held UMass to 78 yards passing, nearly 160 off its average entering the contest.
CAA Football Special Teams Player of the Week - Travis Hurd, KR, Rhode Island
Hurd was named CAA Football Special Teams Player of the Week after his kick return efforts in the Rams’ narrow 24-17 loss to Delaware Saturday. The freshman took a kickoff 75 yards to the endzone just before halftime which cut the Blue Hens’ lead to 24-14. On the day Hurd returned a total of three kicks for 98 yards, rushed the ball seven times for 20 yards and hauled in two catches for 36 yards. Hurd’s return for a touchdown was the Rams’ first since Brandon Johnson-Farrell took a kickoff back 72 yards against Towson in 2008.
CAA Football Rookie of the Week - Andrew Pierce, RB, Delaware
Pierce earned this week’s Rookie of the Week, his fifth of the season, after logging 131 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries in the Blue Hens’ win over Rhode Island. The freshman, who has equalled former James Madison quarterback Rodney Landers and current Richmond defensive back Justin Rogers’ league record total of six weekly honors, reached the 10 touchdown mark and has gone over the 100-yard rushing mark in five of Delaware’s seven contests this season. Pierce’s 10 touchdowns are one shy of the Blue Hen single-season freshman scoring mark.
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 16 of the weekly release.
#2/2 DELAWARE AT #4/5 WILLIAM AND MARY
Saturday, Oct. 23 - 12 pm
Zable Stadium (12,259), Williamsburg, Va.
Series: Delaware leads 20-14
Delaware (7-0, 4-0 CAA)
Coach: K.C. Keeler
Career: 157-60-1 (17 years)
School: 69-39 (9 years)
Rushing: Andrew Pierce (7 G, 156-880 yards, 10 TD)
Passing: Pat Devlin (6 G, 81-129-1-1002 yards, 5 TD)
Receiving: Phillip Thaxton (7 G, 21-244 yards, 3 TD)
Tackles: Paul Worrilow (7 G, 16 solo, 31 assisted, 47 total)
Sacks: Siddiq Haynes (7 G, 2.0-5 yards)
Interceptions: Tyrone Grant (7 G, 4-113 yards)
William and Mary (5-1, 3-1 CAA)
Coach: Jimmye Laycock
Career: 205-142-2 (31 years)
School: 205-142-2 (31 years)
Rushing: Jonathan Grimes (6 G, 106-433 yards, 7 TD)
Passing: Mike Callahan (4 G, 63-100-3-846 yards, 5 TD)
Receiving: Alex Gottlieb (6 G, 22-219 yards, 0 TD)
Tackles: Dante Cook (5 G, 18 solo, 28 assisted, 46 total)
Sacks: Marcus Hyde (6 G, 1.5-7 yards)
Interceptions: Dante Cook (5 G, 2-134 yards)
MAINE AT RHODE ISLAND
Saturday, Oct. 23 - 12:30 pm
Meade Stadium (6,555), Kingston, R.I.
Series: Maine leads 51-34-3
Maine (2-5, 1-3 CAA)
Coach: Jack Cosgrove
Career: 95-106 (18 years)
School: 95-106 (18 years)
Rushing: Jared Turcotte (6 G, 99-452 yards, 3 TD)
Passing: Warren Smith (7 G, 127-194-6-1242 yards, 6 TD)
Receiving: Derek Session (7 G, 34-406 yards, 1 TD)
Tackles: Donte Dennis (7 G, 33 solo, 30 assisted, 63 total)
Sacks: Doug Alston (7 G, 3.5-14 yards)
Interceptions: Vinson Givans (7 G, 1-15 yards)
Rhode Island (2-4, 1-2 CAA)
Coach: Joe Trainer
Career: 16-34 (5 years)
School: 3-14 (2 years)
Rushing: Ayo Isijola (6 G, 83-391 yards, 1 TD)
Passing: Steve Probst (6 G, 111-195-7-937 yards, 4 TD)
Receiving: Brandon Johnson-Farrell (6 G, 28-267 yards, 0 TD)
Tackles: Matt Hansen (6 G, 40 solo, 31 assisted, 71 total)
Sacks: Victor Adesanya (6 G, 2.0-21 yards)
Interceptions: Jarrod Williams (6 G, 2-3 yards)
THE COLONIAL CLASH
#12/12 MASSACHUSETTS VS. #10/9 NEW HAMPSHIRE
Saturday, Oct. 23 - 3:30 pm
Gillette Stadium (68,756), Foxborough, Mass.
Series: Massachusetts leads 43-26-3
Massachusetts (4-2, 2-1 CAA)
Coach: Kevin Morris
Career: 33-40 (8 years)
School: 9-8 (2 years)
Rushing: John Griffin (6 G, 119-581 yards, 5 TD)
Passing: Kyle Havens (6 G, 108-170-4-1265 yards, 7 TD)
Receiving: Anthony Nelson (6 G, 36-420 yards, 2 TD)
Tackles: Tyler Holmes (6 G, 26 solo, 33 assisted, 59 total)
Sacks: Tyler Holmes (6 G, 2.0-10 yards)
Interceptions: Tyler Holmes (6 G, 3-2 yards)
New Hampshire (4-3, 2-2 CAA)
Coach: Sean McDonnell
Career: 84-56 (12 years)
School: 84-56 (12 years)
Rushing: Dontra Peters (7 G, 88-418 yards, 4 TD)
Passing: R.J. Toman (7 G, 149-232-8-1617 yards, 10 TD)
Receiving: Terrance Fox (7 G, 42-461 yards, 5 TD)
Tackles: Matt Evans (7 G, 42 solo, 38 assisted, 80 total)
Sacks: Brian McNally (7 G, 4.5-28 yards)
Interceptions: Dino Vasso (7 G, 5-(-10) yards)
TOWSON AT #16/15 RICHMOND
Saturday, Oct. 23 - 3:30 pm
Robins Stadium (8,700), Richmond, Va.
Series: Richmond leads 4-2
Towson (1-5, 0-3 CAA)
Coach: Rob Ambrose
Career: 6-21 (3 years)
School: 3-14 (2 years)
Rushing: Chris Hart (6 G, 77-336 yards, 0 TD)
Passing: Chris Hart (6 G, 55-115-6-655 yards, 8 TD)
Receiving: Hakeem Moore (6 G, 18-416 yards, 5 TD)
Tackles: Jordan Dangerfield (6 G, 29 solo, 24 assisted, 53 total)
Sacks: Matt Morgan (6 G, 3.0-19 yards)
Interceptions: Chris Patterson (6 G, 1-6 yards)
Richmond (3-3, 1-2 CAA)
Coach: Latrell Scott
Career: 3-3 (First year)
School: 3-3 (First year)
Rushing: Tyler Kirchoff (6 G, 66-317 yards, 6 TD)
Passing: Aaron Corp (5 G, 67-123-4-645 yards, 3 TD)
Receiving: Tre Gray (5 G, 21-229 yards, 1 TD)
Tackles: Eric McBride (6 G, 29 solo, 37 assisted, 66 total)
Sacks: Kerry Wynn (1 G, 1.0-11 yards)
Interceptions: Justin Rogers (6 G, 2-34 yards)
#11/11 JAMES MADISON AT #6/6 VILLANOVA
Saturday, Oct. 23 - 3:30 pm
Villanova Stadium (12,000), Villanova, Pa.
Series: James Madison leads 10-8
James Madison (4-2, 1-2 CAA)
Coach: Mickey Matthews
Career: 86-53 (12 years)
School: 86-53 (12 years)
Rushing: Jamal Sullivan (5 G, 83-316 yards, 1 TD)
Passing: Drew Dudzik (6 G, 53-102-6-803 yards, 5 TD)
Receiving: Dae’Quan Scott (6 G, 10-148 yards, 1 TD)
Tackles: Stephon Robertson (6 G, 17 solo, 38 assisted, 55 total)
Sacks: Lamar Middleton (6 G, 2.0-11 yards)
Interceptions: Jonathan Williams (6 G, 2-30 yards)
Villanova (4-2, 2-1 CAA)
Coach: Andy Talley
Career: 211-122-2 (31 years)
School: 183-104-1 (26 years)
Rushing: Aaron Ball (6 G, 75-394 yards, 3 TD)
Passing: Chris Whitney (6 G, 84-122-4-1089 yards, 11 TD)
Receiving: Norman White (6 G, 27-387 yards, 4 TD)
Tackles: Fred Maldonado (6 G, 25 solo, 15 assisted, 40 total)
Sacks: Marquis Kirkland (6 G, 1.5-13 yards)
Interceptions: Ronnie Akins (6 G, 2-16 yards)