CAA FOOTBALL WEEKLY RELEASE -- NOV. 28-DEC. 4
The Stingier The Better
The top five scoring defenses in CAA Football are also five of the top seven scoring defenses in the country.
Delaware leads the nation having only surrendered 128 points in 11 games (11.6 points/game). James Madison is ranked third in the country with a mark of just 14.7 points allowed/game. William and Mary and New Hampshire’s defenses have limited opponents to 15.4 and 16.2 points/game and are fifth and sixth in the nation, respectively. Villanova’s mark of 16.4 points allowed per game ranks seventh in the country.
CAA Football’s league average of 20.3 points allowed/game is tops among league scoring defense average (FCS). The next closest at the FCS level is the Ivy League which has an overall conference mark of 22.5 points allowed/game.
Glancing at the league’s defensive trends (page 20 of the weekly release) going back to 2004, the conference’s current average in scoring defense of 20.3 points allowed/game is the lowest it has ever been.
The current average of yards allowed (326.4) is 2.4 yards off the league’s all-time best -- 324 yards/game from last season.
2010 CAA Football -- Did You Know...
-- Three CAA Football teams occupied the No. 1 spot in The Sports Network/Fathead.com Top 25 this season. Delaware was No. 1 during the final regular season week, William and Mary held the spot in the Nov. 8 edition and Villanova was in the top spot for a total of four weeks this season.
-- The league had its nine-week streak of seven ranked squads end Nov. 1. No league other than CAA Football has had more than six teams ranked in either poll on a single week dating back to 2007.
-- 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 Pat Devlin leads the league with a passing efficiency mark of 151.3, which is also sixth-best in the country.
-- New Hampshire’s Matt Evans leads the league and ranks fifth in the country with an average of 12.3 tackles per game.
-- New Hampshire’s Dino Vasso has five interceptions this season in 11 games. One more pick for Vasso will place him in a tie for eighth on CAA Football’s career interception list with 18.
-- New Hampshire’s R.J. Toman needs 258 yards of total offense to place his name among the league’s career Top 10 list in the category.
-- William and Mary’s Jonathan Grimes is 12 all-purpose yards away from ranking in CAA Football’s career Top-10 list for the category.
-- Delaware is the fourth CAA Football squad to earn votes in the Associated Press (AP) poll (Nov. 7-14) in the last two seasons. The Blue Hens also join JMU (Sept. 12-19) from this season in being only the second CAA Football team to earn votes in consecutive weeks. Both Richmond and Villanova earned votes in single weeks last season.
-- CAA Football finished a combined 17-3 against non-conference FCS opponents during the regular season. The league was also 19-11 in all non-conference action this year.
-- CAA Football has topped three ACC non-conference opponents in the last two seasons including James Madison’s, 21-16, win over nationally-ranked Virginia Tech, Sept. 11.
-- CAA Football is represented by 41 alums on 2010 NFL rosters as of Nov. 29.
-- 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.
-- Rhode Island, a current CAA Football member, announced Nov. 22, that it would move to the Northeast Conference beginning in 2013. The Rams will compete as part of CAA Football in both the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
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 18 of the weekly release. Below are highlights and notes about CAA Football in this week’s rankings.
The Sports Network/Fathead.com Top 25
-- Three CAA Football squads have held the No. 1 spot in the The Sports Network/Fathead.com Top 25 this season - Delaware, Villanova and William and Mary.
-- CAA Football only has three teams in the Top 10 this week - third time this season. The league had as many as five of the Top 10 from Sept. 20-Oct. 11 (four weeks).
-- The league had its record nine-week streak of seven teams ranked in The Sports Network/Fathead.com Top 25 end Nov. 1.
-- Only four of CAA Football’s 10 teams are ranked in the Top 11 this week - down from six in the Top 25 the last two weeks.
-- If you’re counting teams that receive recognition by way of votes in the poll, eight of CAA Football’s 10 were honored this week - four in the Top 15 and four outside of the poll receiving votes.
-- 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 82-straight weeks.
FCS Coaches Top 25
-- Two CAA Football teams have been No. 1 in the Coaches poll this season - Delaware and Villanova.
-- Just three CAA Football squads appear in this week’s Top 10 - third time this season. The conference had as many as six among the Top 10 earlier this season (Sept. 20).
-- CAA Football’s nine-straight weeks with seven ranked teams ended Nov. 1. CAA Football is the only league to ever have seven teams ranked in a single week of the Coaches poll.
-- Four CAA Football teams are among the Top 11 this week, marking the first time this season the league has had fewer than six ranked teams.
-- CAA Football has had at least four squads ranked every week in the FCS Coaches poll since it debuted in 2007.
Delaware’s Devlin Among Unitas Golden Arm Award Final 10
Delaware quarterback Pat Devlin advanced to The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award watch list final 10 this season.
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. The honor has been handed out to more current NFL players than the Heisman.
Devlin, a native of Downingtown, Pa., was the only NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision player part of the 2010 Unitas Watch list this season.
Devlin, CAA Football’s Offensive Player of the Year and First Team All-CAA Football quarterback, has started 10 of Delaware’s 11 games this season and has a passing efficiency mark of 151.3 (179-266-2-2158) which is tops among the league leaders and fifth in the country. The senior has completed 179-of-266 attempts for 2,158 yards and 14 touchdowns this season.
Unitas Golden Arm Award List Final 10
-- Andy Dalton, TCU
-- Pat Devlin, Delaware
-- Nathan Enderle, Idaho
-- Colin Kaepernick, Nevada
-- Jake Locker, Washington
-- Greg McElroy, Alabama
-- Christian Ponder, Florida State
-- Ricky Stanzi, Iowa
-- Tyrod Taylor, Virginia Tech
-- Scott Tolzien, Wisconsin
Eight CAA Football Players Earn ESPN Academic All-District Honors
A total of eight CAA Football student-athletes were awarded honors as ESPN Academic All-District winners and consideration for an ESPN Academic All-America selection.
Below is the list of individuals honored in their respective districts.
ESPN Academic All-District First Team Honorees
-- Angelo Babbaro, RB, Sr., Villanova
-- Pat Devlin, QB, Sr., Delaware
-- Yaky Ibia, DL, Sr., Towson
-- Chris Jeannot, TE, Jr., New Hampshire
-- Mark Mackey, WR, Sr., Delaware
-- Anthony Nelson, WR, Sr., Massachusetts
-- Matt Rae, DL, Jr., Rhode Island
-- Zack Reed, TE, Sr., Delaware
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 was 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 three-time First Team All-CAA Football offensive lineman, is an anchor for the Villanova offensive front which ranks tied for the league-lead in rushing offense (188.5 yards/game), second in the league in scoring (27.6 points/game) and third in the league in total offense (366.2 yards/game).
Ijalana has started all 50 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 All-CAA Football Honors
CAA Football announced its 2010 All-Conference honors November 22.
The awards, voted on by the 10 CAA Football head coaches, were handed out following a 2010 season which saw seven teams ranked among the Top 25 for a record nine-straight weeks. Within that same span the league also saw five of its own among the Top 10 in four-straight weeks. CAA Football also extended its string of wins against FBS opponents to eight in the last nine seasons.
Delaware senior quarterback Pat Devlin was chosen as the 2010 CAA Football Offensive Player of the Year. The league’s Defensive Player of the Year honor was awarded to both Massachusetts junior linebacker Tyler Holmes and Richmond senior linebacker Eric McBride. William and Mary junior kick returner Jonathan Grimes logged CAA Football Special Teams Player of the Year honors and Rhode Island second-year head coach Joe Trainer picked up the CAA Football Coach of the Year award. Delaware freshman running back Andrew Pierce and James Madison linebacker Stephon Robertson were the league’s Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year, respectively.
Devlin was the Blue Hens’ offensive leader enroute to a share of the 2010 CAA Football crown. The Downingtown, Pa., native is tops in the league and sixth nationally in passing efficiency over 10 of Delaware’s 11 games with a mark of 151.3. Devlin, one of 10 finalists for the Unitas Golden Arm Award, ranks second in the league averaging 215.8 yards passing per contest. The senior, one of the 20 finalists for The Sports Network/Fathead.com Walter Payton Player of the Year Award, heads into next weekend’s postseason after completing 179 of 266 passes for 2,158 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Holmes and McBride are two of the league’s four Buck Buchanan Defensive Player of the Year finalists. Holmes, a Blacksburg, Va., native finished his junior campaign with 110 tackles and five sacks in 11 contests. He also tied for the league lead in interceptions after hauling in five over 11 games, including two returned for touchdowns in the same contest. McBride, who ended his Richmond career with 54-straight starts at linebacker, ranks second in the league with 118 tackles in 11 games. The three-time First Team All-CAA Football honoree also leads the league in recovered fumbles with three.
Grimes, one of the most decorated student-athletes in CAA Football history having now earned eight honors in just three seasons, ranks second in the league with a mark of 25.3 yards per kickoff return. The junior leads the conference with 1,428 all-purpose yards on the season and is 12 yards shy of landing on the CAA Football career Top 10 all-purpose yards list. On top of his special teams duties, the Palmyra, N.J., native also ranks fifth in the league with 787 rushing yards for a William and Mary squad which won a share of the league title.
Trainer took the reigns at Rhode Island in 2009, and after going winless in the league last season, led the Rams to a 4-4 mark in CAA Football play in 2010. The second-year Rhody leader saw seven student-athletes win All-CAA Football recognition, including two First Team picks. Trainer, a long-time assistant under current Villanova head coach Andy Talley, finished the year with a mark of 3-3 against ranked foes including wins over No. 8 New Hampshire and No. 3 Villanova. The Rams special teams led CAA Football and ranked among the nation’s Top 15 in kickoff returns averaging 23.8 yards a return.
Pierce made a name for himself within the Delaware offensive scheme immediately when he opened the season with four-straight 100-yard rushing games. The Bridgeton, N.J., native, who eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark in week 10, enters the postseason with a league-best 1,149 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns on 234 carries. Pierce garnered six CAA Football Rookie of the Week honors and another Offensive Player of the Week award pushing his total to a league record seven weekly honors in just one season.
Robertson, a two-time CAA Football Rookie of the Week winner, was the second leading tackler on a Dukes defense which ranked second in the league in total defense. The Alexandria, Va., native had a game-high 13 stops in James Madison’s epic win over then-nationally ranked Virginia Tech in September. The freshman also forced a Darren Evans’ fumble with five minutes left in the game which gave the ball back to the Dukes and allowed them to ice the contest. Robertson, who finished the season averaging nine tackles a game, ranked among the league’s best in forcing fumbles with three.
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 has an all-time mark of 28-120 (.189) 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 21 of the weekly release.
Keeler And Laycock Among Robinson Award Candidates
Delaware’s K.C. Keeler and William and Mary’s Jimmye Laycock represent CAA Football among the 20 finalists for the Eddie Robinson Award, which honors the national coach of the year and is sponsored by Fathead.com.
The Robinson Award, in its 24th year, will be presented at the national awards banquet on Thursday, Jan. 6 in Frisco, Texas – the night before the national championship game.
Keeler and Laycock both led their squads to the CAA Football Championship in 2010. The Blue Hens, under Keeler’s leadership, finished the regular season 9-2 and enter the postseason with the nation’s top scoring defense. Laycock and the Tribe earned the league’s automatic bid into the playoff field after going 4-0 against ranked teams including wins over then-No. 1 Villanova and then-No. 2 Delaware.
CAA Football Has Six Among Buck Buchanan Award Nominees
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 boasted 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 list in July. Massachusetts’ linebacker Tyler Holmes, who finished the season averaging more than 10 tackles a game, was a midseason addition to the list when it was updated Oct. 4. New Hampshire’s Matt Evans was the league’s final addition after moving his way into the nation’s Top 5 in tackles per game (12.3).
Buck Buchanan Award Watch List Honorees
-- Matt Evans, LB, New Hampshire
-- Tyler Holmes, LB, Massachusetts
-- Eric McBride, LB, Richmond
-- Martin Parker, DL, Richmond
-- Justin Rogers, DB, Richmond
-- Terence Thomas, LB, Villanova
CAA Football Has Five Among Walter Payton Award Nominees
The Walter Payton Award is given to the top individual player in the Football Championship Subdivision and CAA Football has had five student-athletes appear on the honor’s 20-player Watch 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 boasted as many as three on the Watch List earlier this season -- seniors Ben Ijalana, Matt Szczur and Chris Whitney. 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 was a newcomer to the list earlier this season.
Walter Payton Award Watch List Honorees
-- Pat Devlin, QB, Delaware
-- Jonathan Grimes, RB, William and Mary
-- Ben Ijalana, OL, Villanova
-- Matt Szczur, WR, Villanova
-- Chris Whitney, QB, Villanova
NCAA Championship Notebook
-- New Hampshire’s appearance in the NCAA Championships marks its seventh-straight postseason berth. Since both Montana and Southern Illinois failed to make the playoffs, the Wildcats now have the longest active playoff appearance streak in the country.
-- Georgia Southern (6-3) and Lehigh (2-3) hold a combined mark of 8-6 against CAA Football opposition in the playoffs since 1978. Bethune-Cookman and Stephen F. Austin will be squaring off against CAA Football teams for the first time in the playoffs.
-- Villanova is 0-6 in NCAA playoff road games since becoming a member of CAA Football (1988). New Hampshire is 4-5 on the road in the playoffs.
-- Delaware is 11-4 in home playoff games since it became a member of the CAA Football (1986). William and Mary, since joining the football conference in 1993, has won four of five playoff games at Zable Stadium.
-- CAA Football’s four postseason squads are a combined 22-11 since 2003 in playoff games - Delaware (8-2), New Hampshire (5-6), Villanova (5-1), William and Mary (4-2).
-- Since 2003 CAA Football teams are a combined 20-7 when facing foes from the MEAC (4-0), Patriot (8-1), Southern (7-6) and Southland (1-0) during the playoffs.
-- Over the last two seasons CAA Football teams are 13-4 in NCAA Division I Championship games when not facing league opponents -- Appalachian State, Montana and Northern Iowa (twice).
-- CAA Football teams are 37-18 (.673) in playoff games over the last seven years when not facing league foes -- the best non-conference playoff percentage by any of the automatic-bid conferences.
-- In 2007 CAA Football became the first league to ever garner five postseason berths in the NCAA Division I Football Championship field of 16. The league went on to garner five more berths in the 2008 bracket.
-- 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).
#19/18 LEHIGH AT #5/5 DELAWARE
Saturday, Dec. 4 - 12 pm
Delaware Stadium (22,000), Newark, Del.
Series: Delaware leads 29-16
Coach: Andy Coen
Career: 30-26 (5 years)
School: 30-26 (5 years)
Rushing: Jay Campbell (12 G, 152-629 yards, 5 TD)
Passing: Chris Lum (12 G, 194-337-11-2519 yards, 17 TD)
Receiving: Ryan Spadola (12 G, 73-1058 yards, 8 TD)
Tackles: Mike Groome (12 G, 64 solo, 54 assisted, 118 total)
Sacks: Colin Newton (12 G, 6.5-43 yards)
Interceptions: Jarard Cribbs (12 G, 7-92 yards)
Delaware (9-2, 6-2 CAA)
Coach: K.C. Keeler
Career: 159-62-1 (17 years)
School: 71-41 (9 years)
Rushing: Andrew Pierce (11 G, 234-1149 yards, 12 TD)
Passing: Pat Devlin (10 G, 179-266-2-2158 yards, 14 TD)
Receiving: Nihja White (11 G, 42-516 yards, 4 TD)
Tackles: Paul Worrilow (11 G, 23 solo, 52 assisted, 75 total)
Sacks: Chris Morales (7 G, 2.5-23 yards)
Interceptions: Tyrone Grant (11 G, 4-113 yards)
#11/10 NEW HAMPSHIRE AT #13/13 BETHUNE-COOKMAN
Saturday, Dec. 4 - 1 pm
Municipal Stadium (10,000), Daytona Beach, Fla.
Series: First Meeting
New Hampshire (7-4, 5-3 CAA)
Coach: Sean McDonnell
Career: 87-57 (12 years)
School: 87-57 (12 years)
Rushing: Dontra Peters (10 G, 133-684 yards, 7 TD)
Passing: R.J. Toman (11 G, 208-332-10-2278 yards, 15 TD)
Receiving: Terrance Fox (11 G, 62-654 yards, 6 TD)
Tackles: Matt Evans (11 G, 69 solo, 66 assisted, 135 total)
Sacks: Brian McNally (11 G, 9.0-48 yards)
Interceptions: Dino Vasso (11 G, 5-(-10) yards)
Coach: Brian Jenkins
Career: 10-1 (First Year)
School: 10-1 (First Year)
Rushing: Matt Johnson (11 G, 136-700 yards, 7 TD)
Passing: Matt Johnson (11 G, 151-231-5-2053 yards, 14 TD)
Receiving: Jevaughn Reams (11 G, 37-623 yards, 2 TD)
Tackles: Ryan Lewis (11 G, 40 solo, 34 assisted, 74 total)
Sacks: Ryan Davis (11 G, 5.5-38 yards)
Interceptions: Michael Williams (10 G, 6-51 yards)
#20/22 GEORGIA SOUTHERN AT #4/4 WILLIAM AND MARY
Saturday, Dec. 4 - 1:30 pm
Zable Stadium (12,259), Williamsburg, Va.
Series: William and Mary leads 1-0
Georgia Southern (8-4)
Coach: Jeff Monken
Career: 8-4 (First Year)
School: 8-4 (First Year)
Rushing: Robert Brown (10 G, 158-722 yards, 5 TD)
Passing: Jaybo Shaw (12 G, 59-111-3-1071 yards, 4 TD)
Receiving: J.J. Wilcox (12 G, 18-490 yards, 3 TD)
Tackles: Derek Hayden (12 G, 49 solo, 30 assisted, 79 total)
Sacks: Brent Russell (12 G, 6.0-41 yards)
Interceptions: Laron Scott (12 G, 6-75 yards)
William and Mary (8-3, 6-2 CAA)
Coach: Jimmye Laycock
Career: 208-144-2 (31 years)
School: 208-144-2 (31 years)
Rushing: Jonathan Grimes (11 G, 193-787 yards, 8 TD)
Passing: Mike Callahan (8 G, 113-175-3-1546 yards, 10 TD)
Receiving: Ryan Moody (11 G, 43-700 yards, 2 TD)
Tackles: Dante Cook (10 G, 47 solo, 48 assisted, 95 total)
Sacks: Marcus Hyde (11 G, 5.5-30 yards)
Interceptions: Dante Cook (10 G, 2-134 yards)
#10/11 VILLANOVA AT #3/2 STEPHEN F. AUSTIN
Saturday, Dec. 4 - 3:30 pm (ET)
Homer Bryce Stadium (14,575), Nacogdoches, Texas
Series: First Meeting
Villanova (7-4, 5-3 CAA)
Coach: Andy Talley
Career: 214-124-2 (31 years)
School: 186-106-1 (26 years)
Rushing: Aaron Ball (11 G, 138-618 yards, 5 TD)
Passing: Chris Whitney (11 G, 158-245-5-1818 yards, 17 TD)
Receiving: Norman White (11 G, 56-685 yards, 7 TD)
Tackles: Marquis Kirkland (11 G, 45 solo, 35 assisted, 80 total)
Sacks: Marquis Kirkland (11 G, 4.5-30 yards)
Interceptions: James Pitts (11 G, 3-64 yards)
Stephen F. Austin (9-2)
Coach: J.C. Harper
Career: 23-24 (4 years)
School: 23-24 (4 years)
Rushing: Ramonte Hampton (10 G, 104-399 yards, 6 TD)
Passing: Jeremy Moses (11 G, 303-499-4-3658 yards, 34 TD)
Receiving: Gralyn Crawford (11 G, 69-889 yards, 5 TD)
Tackles: Devin Ducote (11 G, 43 solo, 64 assisted, 107 total)
Sacks: Kenneth Charles (11 G, 10.0-65 yards)
Interceptions: Josh Aubrey (11 G, 2-19 yards)