CAA FOOTBALL WEEKLY RELEASE -- OCT. 24-30
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 73 points in seven games (9.1 points/game). James Madison is third in the country with a mark of just 13.4 points allowed/game. Villanova’s defense has limited opponents to 14.9 points/game and ranks fifth in the nation. New Hampshire has allowed an average of just 15.3 points a game, while William and Mary’s mark of 16.0 points allowed per game is not far behind. The Wildcats’ and Tribe defenses rank sixth 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). The next closest at the FCS level is the Ivy League which has an overall conference mark of 22.9 points allowed/game.
In all of major college football, only the Big East’s average scoring defense is comparable to CAA Football as it also has limited opponents to 19.5 points/game (56 contests).
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 19.5 points allowed/game is the lowest it has ever been.
The current average of yards allowed is hovering around a historical best. CAA Football defenses are giving up 324.2 yards/game, 0.2 yards more than its previous low mark of 324 yards/game.
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.
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 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.
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 eighth-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 32-straight weeks.
-- The Richmond/Villanova game marks the fourth time in six years the previous two FCS National Champions will meet. Last season, Richmond (2008) fell to Appalachian State (2007) in the NCAA Quarterfinals, 35-31. In 2006, Appalachian State (2005) hosted James Madison (2004) in the regular season and won 21-10. In 2005, Delaware (2003) beat JMU (2004), 34-28.
-- 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.
-- New Hampshire’s Matt Evans and Rhode Island’s Matt Hansen both lead the league with an average of 11.6 tackles per game. The two also rank eighth and ninth nationally in the category.
-- New Hampshire’s Dino Vasso has hauled in a league-best five interceptions this season in eight games. 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 104 in four seasons. The senior needs 35 kickoff return yards to become the league’s all-time career leader in the category.
-- William and Mary’s Jonathan Grimes is 444 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.
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, is an anchor for the Villanova offensive front which leads the league in both scoring (30.0 points/game) and rushing (194.7 yards/game), ranks second in the league in total offense (392.4 yards/game) and is fourth in the league in passing (197.7 yards/game). A two-time First Team All-CAA Football selection, Ijalana has started all 46 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 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 (104).
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 35 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 list in July. Massachusetts’ linebacker Tyler Holmes, who is averaging more than 10 tackles a game, was a midseason addition to the list when it was updated Oct. 4.
CAA Football has five standouts on the most recent list, and is tied with the Southern Conference (also five honorees) for 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 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 32-straight weeks...Only Appalachian State has a longer streak at 71-straight weeks.
-- CAA Football makes up four of the Top 10 for the second-straight week and third time this season (Sept. 13). The league made up five of the Top 10 from Sept. 20-Oct. 11 (four weeks).
-- The league has an eight-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 78-straight weeks.
FCS Coaches Top 25
-- For the second-straight week and fourth 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 eight-straight weeks -- six 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.
CAA Football Players of the Week - October 25
CAA Football Offensive Player of the Week - Jonathan Grimes, RB, William and Mary
Grimes earned CAA Football Offensive Player of the Week honors after helping William and Mary take down CAA Football’s lone unbeaten team, Delaware, 17-16 Saturday in Williamsburg. The junior carried the ball 21 times for 77 yards and logged four kick returns from 95 yards. Grimes’ biggest impact on the game came thanks to his arm when he tossed a six-yard touchdown pass to Chase Hill with 4:24 left to play in the contest. The play, off a halfback-toss, proved to be the game-winner for the Tribe after the Blue Hens missed a 42-yard field goal with 25 seconds left in the game. Grimes’ honor now places him among the league’s all-time winningest athletes having earned six weekly honors in his three seasons.
CAA Football Defensive Player of the Week - Matt Evans, LB, New Hampshire
Evans garnered the CAA Football Defensive Player of the Week honor for the second-straight week, after helping New Hampshire to a 39-13 win over Massachusetts in the Inaugural Colonial Clash Saturday at Gillette Stadium. The sophomore, winner of the game’s Bill Knight MVP Trophy, logged a game-high 13 tackles including a half tackle for a loss of two yards. Evans, now the third-straight league defensive honoree from the Wildcats’ unit, also garnered his first career interception and forced a fumble in the contest. Evans and the New Hampshire defense limited UMass to just 43 yards on the ground Saturday, more than 150 yards off the Minutemen’s average per game entering the weekend.
CAA Football Special Teams Player of the Week - Wil Kamin, PK/P, Richmond
Kamin was named CAA Football Special Teams Player of the Week after logging 10 points in Richmond’s 28-6 win over Towson Saturday at Robins Stadium. The sophomore was a career-best 3-for-3 on field goal attempts, connecting on a career-long 45-yarder early in the second quarter. Kamin, who logged an average 60-plus yards on his kickoff duties during the contest, also averaged better than 47 yards on four punts and limited the Tigers to just nine total yards in punt returns.
CAA Football Rookie of the Week - Terrel Walker, RB, Maine
Walker earned this week’s Rookie of the Week award after logging a large portion of the Maine ground attack in the Black Bears’ win at Rhode Island, 28-23, Saturday. The rookie, who had played in just two games prior to the Rhode Island contest, carried the ball four times for 99 yards and his first career score Saturday. The Taunton, Mass., native picked up a huge chunk of his yardage in the third quarter when he broke free for 86 yards and a touchdown with 3:47 left in the third quarter. The 86-yarder ranked as the longest play from scrimmage for the Black Bears this season and also marked the conference’s longest rush this season.
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 seven of Delaware’s eight games this season and has a passing efficiency mark of 143.2 (104-161-1-1295) which ranks second among the league leaders. The senior has completed 104-of-161 attempts for 1,295 yards and six touchdowns this season.
Villanova, Delaware, William and Mary and New Hampshire’s spots in the Sports Network/Fathead.com Top 10 extend streaks among the nation’s top ranked. Villanova has been part of the Sports Network’s Top 10 for 32-straight weeks. The Blue Hens and Tribe have each been in the Top 10 six-straight weeks, while New Hampshire has now sustained a two-week string in the Top 10.
Team Consecutive Weeks In SN/F Top 10
No. 1 Appalachian State - 71
No. 5 Villanova - 32
No. 4 Stephen F. Austin - 10
No. 2 Jacksonville State - 8
No. 6 Delaware - 6
No. 3 William and Mary - 6
No. 10 New Hampshire - 2
No. 8 Eastern Washington - 2
No. 7 Montana - 2
No. 9 Wofford - 2
CAA Football Has Four 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. 25 and CAA Football now has four student-athletes 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 two on the newest Watch List -- seniors Ben Ijalana 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 is a newcomer to the list.
Villanova’s Matt Szczur, who has played in just four games for the Wildcats this season, was removed in the list’s most recent update after earning a spot on the preseason release.
CAA Football’s total of four on the watch list equals the Big Sky’s mark of four for the most honorees listed among the 11 FCS conferences recognized.
Walter Payton Award Watch List Honorees
-- Pat Devlin, QB, Delaware
-- Jonathan Grimes, RB, William and Mary
-- Ben Ijalana, OL, Villanova
-- Chris Whitney, QB, Villanova
#14/14 RICHMOND AT #5/5 VILLANOVA
Saturday, Oct. 30 - 12 pm
Villanova Stadium (12,000), Villanova, Pa.
Series: Villanova leads 20-9
Richmond (4-3, 2-2 CAA)
Coach: Latrell Scott
Career: 4-3 (First year)
School: 4-3 (First year)
Rushing: Kendall Gaskins (7 G, 71-380 yards, 3 TD)
Passing: Aaron Corp (5 G, 67-123-4-645 yards, 3 TD)
Receiving: Tre Gray (6 G, 24-287 yards, 1 TD)
Tackles: Eric McBride (7 G, 32 solo, 42 assisted, 74 total)
Sacks: Martin Parker (7 G, 2.5-24 yards)
Interceptions: Justin Rogers (7 G, 2-34 yards)
Villanova (5-2, 3-1 CAA)
Coach: Andy Talley
Career: 212-122-2 (31 years)
School: 184-104-1 (26 years)
Rushing: Aaron Ball (7 G, 88-449 yards, 3 TD)
Passing: Chris Whitney (7 G, 97-141-4-1248 yards, 13 TD)
Receiving: Norman White (7 G, 34-460 yards, 5 TD)
Tackles: Marquis Kirkland (7 G, 24 solo, 24 assisted, 48 total) &
Fred Maldonado (7 G, 31 solo, 17 assisted, 48 total)
Sacks: Marquis Kirkland (7 G, 2.5-17 yards)
Interceptions: James Pitts (7 G, 2-56 yards)
#18/18 MASSACHUSETTS AT #15/15 JAMES MADISON
Saturday, Oct. 30 - 3:30 pm
Bridgeforth Stadium (15,694), Harrisonburg, Va.
Series: Massachusetts leads 7-6-1
Massachusetts (4-3, 2-2 CAA)
Coach: Kevin Morris
Career: 33-41 (8 years)
School: 9-9 (2 years)
Rushing: John Griffin (7 G, 126-580 yards, 5 TD)
Passing: Kyle Havens (7 G, 140-225-5-1715 yards, 9 TD)
Receiving: Anthony Nelson (7 G, 47-610 yards, 2 TD)
Tackles: Tyler Holmes (7 G, 35 solo, 36 assisted, 71 total)
Sacks: Tyler Holmes (7 G, 3.0-15 yards)
Interceptions: Tyler Holmes (7 G, 3-2 yards)
James Madison (4-3, 1-3 CAA)
Coach: Mickey Matthews
Career: 86-54 (12 years)
School: 86-54 (12 years)
Rushing: Scott Noble (6 G, 66-336 yards, 3 TD)
Passing: Drew Dudzik (7 G, 75-134-7-1016 yards, 5 TD)
Receiving: Kerby Long (7 G, 13-255 yards, 2 TD)
Tackles: Stephon Robertson (7 G, 27 solo, 39 assisted, 66 total)
Sacks: D.J. Bryant (7 G, 2.0-22 yards)
Interceptions: Jonathan Williams (7 G, 2-30 yards)
RHODE ISLAND AT TOWSON
Saturday, Oct. 30 - 3:30 pm
Unitas Stadium (11,198), Towson, Md.
Series: Tied 5-5
Rhode Island (2-5, 1-3 CAA)
Coach: Joe Trainer
Career: 16-35 (5 years)
School: 3-15 (2 years)
Rushing: Ayo Isijola (7 G, 88-412 yards, 1 TD)
Passing: Steve Probst (7 G, 133-228-7-1192 yards, 5 TD)
Receiving: Anthony Baskerville (7 G, 33-336 yards, 2 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)
Towson (1-6, 0-4 CAA)
Coach: Rob Ambrose
Career: 6-22 (3 years)
School: 3-15 (2 years)
Rushing: Chris Hart (7 G, 95-418 yards, 0 TD)
Passing: Chris Hart (7 G, 63-133-6-809 yards, 8 TD)
Receiving: Hakeem Moore (7 G, 19-421 yards, 5 TD)
Tackles: Jordan Dangerfield (7 G, 32 solo, 34 assisted, 66 total)
Sacks: Matt Morgan (7 G, 3.0-19 yards)
Interceptions: Chris Patterson (7 G, 1-6 yards)
#3/4 WILLIAM AND MARY AT NORTH CAROLINA
Saturday, Oct. 30 - 3:30 pm
Kenan Stadium (60,000), Chapel Hill, N.C.
Series: North Carolina leads 12-0-2
William and Mary (6-1, 4-1 CAA)
Coach: Jimmye Laycock
Career: 206-142-2 (31 years)
School: 206-142-2 (31 years)
Rushing: Jonathan Grimes (7 G, 127-510 yards, 7 TD)
Passing: Mike Callahan (5 G, 70-110-3-939 yards, 6 TD)
Receiving: Ryan Moody (7 G, 24-405 yards, 1 TD)
Tackles: Dante Cook (6 G, 28 solo, 34 assisted, 62 total)
Sacks: Michael Stover (7 G, 2.5-17 yards)
Interceptions: Dante Cook (6 G, 2-134 yards)
North Carolina (4-3)
Coach: Butch Davis
Career: 75-41 (10 years)
School: 24-21 (4 years)
Rushing: Johnny White (7 G, 94-549 yards, 5 TD)
Passing: T.J. Yates (7 G, 133-203-3-1635 yards, 11 TD)
Receiving: Zack Pianalto (6 G, 30-311 yards, 1 TD)
Tackles: Zach Brown (7 G, 35 solo, 17 assisted, 52 total)
Sacks: Quinton Coples (7 G, 4.5-34 yards)
Interceptions: Da’Norris Searcy (4 G, 3-53 yards)