CAA FOOTBALL WEEKLY RELEASE -- OCT. 10-16
The Stingier The Better
The top five scoring defenses in CAA Football are also five of the Top 10 scoring defenses in the country.
Delaware leads the country having only surrendered 39 points in six games (6.5 points/game). James Madison is second in the country with a mark of just 10.4 points allowed/game. Both Villanova and New Hampshire’s defenses have limited opponents to 15.8 points/game and are fifth and sixth in the nation, respectively. William and Mary’s defense is seventh in the country, allowing just 16 points a game.
Glancing at the league’s defensive trends (page 14 of the weekly release) going back to 2004, the conference’s current average in scoring defense of 19.3 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 318 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 five of Delaware’s six games this season and has a passing efficiency mark of 139.8 (63-106-31-841) which ranks fourth among the league leaders. The senior has completed 63-of-107 attempts for 841 yards and five touchdowns this season.
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 30-straight weeks trailing only Appalachian State’s 69-week string. The Dukes extended a streak of five-straight in the Top 10, while the Blue Hens and Tribe have each been in the Top 10 four-straight weeks. Massachusetts has been among the Top 10 three-consecutive weeks.
Team Consecutive Weeks In SN/F Top 10
No. 1 Appalachian State - 69
No. 6 Villanova - 30
No. 5 Stephen F. Austin - 8
No. 3 Jacksonville State - 6
No. 7 James Madison - 5
No. 2 Delaware - 4
No. 4 William and Mary - 4
No. 8 Massachusetts - 3
No. 9 Montana State - 3
No. 10 South Carolina State - 3
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 sixth-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 30-straight weeks. The Wildcats and Appalachian State are the only two teams with Top-10 ranked streaks longer than 10 consecutive weeks.
-- New Hampshire (90 weeks), Richmond (46 weeks), Villanova (35 weeks) and William and Mary (28 weeks) are among the nations Top-10 when looking at active consecutive-weeks ranked streaks in The Sports Network/Fathead.com poll. Montana’s active streak of 170 weeks ranked is the nation’s best.
-- 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 124.8 yards/game which ranks as the sixth-best average among rushers in the country.
-- Richmond’s Justin Rogers is the league’s all-time career leader in kickoff returns with 100 in four seasons. The senior needs 107 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.
-- Richmond’s Kevin Grayson needs 31 more receptions this year to move into the league’s all-time Top 10 in career receptions.
-- 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. 10.
-- 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 Players of the Week - October 11
CAA Football Offensive Player of the Week - Pat Devlin, QB, Delaware
Devlin earned CAA Football Offensive Player of the Week honors after leading Delaware to a 26-7 win over Maine Saturday. The senior completed 20-of-36 passes for a season-best 283 yards and a touchdown. The Downingtown, Pa., native also rushed the ball seven times for 13 yards in helping the Blue Hens extend a season-opening win streak to six-straight, their best season start since beginning 2003 with nine-straight wins.
CAA Football Defensive Player of the Week - John Greer, DB, New Hampshire
Greer, the CAA Football Defensive Player of the Week, logged two of New Hampshire’s six interceptions in a shutout-win over Richmond Saturday. Greer and his defensive teammates forced a total of seven turnovers on the day, while the six interceptions was one shy of equalling a single-game league mark. Greer’s first pick of the day came on the Spiders’ first possession when he grabbed an Aaron Corp pass and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown. His second of the game came in the third quarter when he returned the interception 20 yards before the Wildcats added a field goal to make the score 17-0. Greer, part of a defensive effort which limited Richmond to just 71 yards in the air, also made four tackles on the day.
CAA Football Special Teams Player of the Week - Ed Wagner, P, Delaware
Wagner was named CAA Football Special Teams Player of the Week after his punting efforts in the Blue Hens victory over Maine. Wagner logged three punts on the day for an average of 41.7 yards. The senior landed all three inside the Black Bear 10-yardline, including stops at the 10, 7 and 3 yardline. On the year Wagner is averaging just under 41 yards a punt and has logged four of more than 50 yards.
CAA Football Rookie of the Week - Andrew Pierce, RB, Delaware
Pierce earned this week’s Rookie of the Week, his fourth of the season, after logging 96 rushing yards and a touchdown on 26 carries in the Blue Hens’ win over Maine. The freshman also hauled in two catches for 26 yards, including a 10-yard scoring toss from quarterback Pat Devlin in the second quarter. Pierce is now the all-time leading freshman rusher in Delaware history with a six-game mark of 749. Pierce passed the old mark of 708 set by Craig Cummings in 1997.
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 (100).
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 107 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 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 30-straight weeks...Only Appalachian State has a longer streak at 69-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 fourth-straight week.
-- The league has a six-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 76-straight weeks.
FCS Coaches Top 25
-- For the third-straight week five CAA Football squads are among the Top 10.
-- CAA Football is the only league to ever have seven teams ranked in a single week, and that has now happened in six-straight weeks -- four 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’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.
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.
#6/7 VILLANOVA AT MAINE
Saturday, Oct. 16 - 12 pm
Alfond Stadium (10,000), Orono, Maine
Series: Maine leads 7-6
Villanova (3-2, 1-1 CAA)
Coach: Andy Talley
Career: 210-122-2 (31 years)
School: 182-104-1 (26 years)
Rushing: Aaron Ball (5 G, 61-333 yards, 3 TD)
Passing: Chris Whitney (5 G, 64-97-4-767 yards, 8 TD)
Receiving: Norman White (5 G, 21-293 yards, 3 TD)
Tackles: Fred Maldonado (5 G, 24 solo, 13 assisted, 37 total)
Sacks: Marquis Kirkland (5G, 1.5-13 yards)
Interceptions: Ronnie Akins (5 G, 2-16 yards)
Maine (2-4, 1-2 CAA)
Coach: Jack Cosgrove
Career: 95-105 (18 years)
School: 95-105 (18 years)
Rushing: Jared Turcotte (5 G, 92-416 yards, 3 TD)
Passing: Warren Smith (6 G, 109-163-5-1036 yards, 5 TD)
Receiving: Derek Session (6 G, 29-345 yards, 0 TD)
Tackles: Donte Dennis (6 G, 29 solo, 22 assisted, 51 total)
Sacks: Doug Alston (6 G, 3.5-14 yards)
Interceptions: Vinson Givans (6 G, 1-15 yards)
RHODE ISLAND AT #2/2 DELAWARE
Saturday, Oct. 16 - 3:30 pm
Delaware Stadium (22,000), Newark, Del.
Series: Delaware leads 18-7
Rhode Island (2-3, 1-1 CAA)
Coach: Joe Trainer
Career: 16-33 (5 years)
School: 3-13 (2 years)
Rushing: Ayo Isijola (5 G, 71-329 yards, 0 TD)
Passing: Steve Probst (5 G, 95-171-5-760 yards, 4 TD)
Receiving: Brandon Johnson-Farrell (5 G, 26-248 yards, 0 TD)
Tackles: Matt Hansen (5 G, 31 solo, 25 assisted, 56 total)
Sacks: Victor Adesanya (5 G, 2.0-21 yards)
Interceptions: Jarrod Williams (5 G, 2-3 yards)
Delaware (6-0, 3-0 CAA)
Coach: K.C. Keeler
Career: 156-60-1 (17 years)
School: 68-39 (9 years)
Rushing: Andrew Pierce (6 G, 130-749 yards, 8 TD)
Passing: Pat Devlin (5 G, 63-106-1-841 yards, 5 TD)
Receiving: Rob Jones (6 G, 16-236 yards, 0 TD)
Tackles: Andrew Harrison (6 G, 19 solo, 22 assisted, 41 total)
Sacks: Siddiq Haynes (6 G, 2.0-5 yards)
Interceptions: Tyrone Grant (6 G, 4-113 yards)
#16/15 NEW HAMPSHIRE AT #7/6 JAMES MADISON
Saturday, Oct. 16 - 3:30 pm
Bridgeforth Stadium (15,694), Harrisonburg, Va.
Series: James Madison leads 7-5
New Hampshire (3-3, 1-2 CAA)
Coach: Sean McDonnell
Career: 83-56 (12 years)
School: 83-56 (12 years)
Rushing: Dontra Peters (6 G, 77-358 yards, 3 TD)
Passing: R.J. Toman (6 G, 127-192-7-1369 yards, 9 TD)
Receiving: Terrance Fox (6 G, 36-409 yards, 4 TD)
Tackles: Matt Evans (6 G, 34 solo, 32 assisted, 66 total)
Sacks: Brian McNally (6 G, 3.0-19 yards)
Interceptions: John Greer (6 G, 3-75 yards)
James Madison (4-1, 1-1 CAA)
Coach: Mickey Matthews
Career: 86-52 (12 years)
School: 86-52 (12 years)
Rushing: Jamal Sullivan (5 G, 83-316 yards, 1 TD)
Passing: Drew Dudzik (5 G, 43-79-4-646 yards, 5 TD)
Receiving: Dae’Quan Scott (5 G, 8-139 yards, 1 TD)
Tackles: Stephon Robertson (5 G, 12 solo, 37 assisted, 49 total)
Sacks: Lamar Middleton (5 G, 2.0-11 yards)
Interceptions: Jonathan Williams (5 G, 2-30 yards)
#20/19 RICHMOND AT #8/8 MASSACHUSETTS
Saturday, Oct. 16 - 3:30 pm
McGuirk Stadium (17,000), Amherst, Mass.
Series: Massachusetts leads 13-11
Richmond (2-3, 0-2 CAA)
Coach: Latrell Scott
Career: 2-3 (First year)
School: 2-3 (First year)
Rushing: Tyler Kirchoff (5 G, 55-282 yards, 6 TD)
Passing: Aaron Corp (5 G, 67-123-4-645 yards, 3 TD)
Receiving: Tre Gray (4 G, 19-197 yards, 0 TD)
Tackles: Eric McBride (5 G, 23 solo, 32 assisted, 55 total)
Sacks: Kerry Wynn (1 G, 1.0-11 yards)
Interceptions: Justin Rogers (5 G, 2-34 yards)
Massachusetts (4-1, 2-0 CAA)
Coach: Kevin Morris
Career: 33-39 (8 years)
School: 9-7 (2 years)
Rushing: John Griffin (5 G, 100-500 yards, 5 TD)
Passing: Kyle Havens (5 G, 96-148-3-1187 yards, 6 TD)
Receiving: Anthony Nelson (5 G, 30-377 yards, 2 TD)
Tackles: Tyler Holmes (5 G, 25 solo, 26 assisted, 51 total)
Sacks: Tyler Holmes (5 G, 2.0-10 yards)
Interceptions: Tyler Holmes (5 G, 3-2 yards)