CAA FOOTBALL WEEKLY RELEASE -- NOV. 7-13
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
-- CAA Football holds both the No. 1 and No. 2 spots, William and Mary and Delaware, in the poll for the first time since Oct. 5, 2009. Richmond and Villanova, respectively, held the positions for four-straight weeks last season.
-- Villanova has been part of the poll’s Top 10 for 34-straight weeks...Only Appalachian State has a longer streak at 73-straight weeks.
-- CAA Football makes up three of the Top 10 for the second time this season (Sept. 6). The league made up 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 this week. Only six of the league’s 10 teams were part of the Top 25 this week.
-- 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 80-straight weeks.
FCS Coaches Top 25
-- For the first time since Oct. 5, 2009, CAA Football occupies the Top-2 spots in the poll as Delaware and William and Mary are No. 1 and 2, respectively. Last season Richmond and Villanova respectively occupied No. 1 and 2 for four-straight weeks.
-- For the second time this season three CAA Football squads are among the Top 10 (Sept. 6).
-- Only six league squads are ranked this week, ending its streak of nine-straight weeks with seven ranked teams. CAA Football is the only league to ever have seven teams ranked in a single week of the Coaches poll.
-- CAA Football has had at least four squads ranked every week in the FCS Coaches poll since it debuted in 2007.
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. Each individual now moves on to the national award selection with an opportunity to be named an ESPN Academic All-American.
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
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 73 points in nine games (8.1 points/game). James Madison and Villanova each rank third in the country with a mark of just 14.2 points allowed/game. New Hampshire’s defense has limited opponents to 15.0 points/game and ranks sixth in the nation, while William and Mary’s mark of 15.1 points allowed per game is not far behind -- seventh in the country
CAA Football’s league average of 19.4 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 22.7 points allowed/game.
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 19.4 points allowed/game is the lowest it has ever been.
The current average of yards allowed is also at an all-time best -- 321.1 yards/game, nearly three yards better than the previous low mark of 324 yards/game last season.
2010 CAA Football -- Did You Know...
-- CAA Football teams make up the Top 2 and three of the Top 10 in both The Sports Network/Fathead.com poll and FCS Coaches poll.
-- The league had its nine-week streak of seven ranked squads end this week. With James Madison falling out of the Top 25 CAA Football shows just six ranked teams this 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.
-- Three teams from CAA Football have been ranked No. 1 at some point this season in either of the two major national polls. Villanova was top-ranked in both polls earlier this year, while both William and Mary and Delaware are ranked No. 1 this week.
-- Villanova has been part of The Sports Network/Fathead.com Top 10 for 34-straight weeks.
-- 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 leads the league and ranks third in the country with an average of 12.6 tackles per game.
-- New Hampshire’s Dino Vasso has five interceptions this season in nine 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 536 yards of total offense to place his name among the league’s career Top 10 list in the category.
-- Richmond’s Justin Rogers logged three kickoff returns for 56 yards in the Spiders’ overtime win against James Madison helping him takeover the league’s all-time career record for kickoff return yards (2,486).
-- William and Mary’s Jonathan Grimes is 290 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) in the last two seasons. The Blue Hens join JMU this from this season, and both Richmond and Villanova from 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 then-nationally-ranked Virginia Tech, Sept. 11.
-- CAA Football is represented by 40 alums on 2010 NFL rosters as of Nov. 8.
-- 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, Delaware and William and Mary’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 34-straight weeks. The Blue Hens and Tribe have each been in the Top 10 eight-straight weeks. New Hampshire’s Top-10 streak ended after it slipped to No. 17. The Wildcats had been part of the Top 10 three-straight weeks since Oct. 18.
Team -- Consecutive Weeks In SN/F Top 10
No. 3 Appalachian State -- 73
No. 9 Villanova -- 34
No. 8 Stephen F. Austin -- 12
No. 6 Jacksonville State -- 10
No. 2 Delaware -- 8
No. 1 William and Mary -- 8
No. 10 Bethune-Cookman -- 1
No. 5 Eastern Washington -- 4
No. 4 Wofford -- 4
No. 7 Southeast Missouri State -- 2
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 scoring (28.0 points/game), ranks second in rushing (186.1 yards/game) and is third in the league in total offense (365.2 yards/game). A two-time First Team All-CAA Football selection, Ijalana has started all 48 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 Set The League Mark
Richmond returnman Justin Rogers garnered one league career record in the opening weekend of this season and broke one more in the Spiders’ win over James Madison in Week 10.
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 (109) and return yards (2,486) record holder.
The Louisiana native took the league’s top spot from NFL legend Brian Westbrook. The former Villanova Wildcat logged 2,433 kickoff return yards from 1997-2001.
CAA Football Players of the Week - November 8
CAA Football Offensive Player of the Week - Steve Probst, QB, Rhode Island
Probst won CAA Football Offensive Player of the Week honors for the second time this season after leading Rhode Island to a 17-14 upset-win over Villanova Saturday at home. The junior completed 14-of-21 passes for 107 yards and rushed 18 times for 101 yards in the win. Probst, who ranks third in the league averaging 213 yards of total offense a contest, became the first player to rush for 100 yards against Villanova’s defense in 24 games (2008). The Rams’ win over Villanova was just the third in the all-time series and first since Oct. 22, 2005. Rhode Island has now beaten two Top-10 teams in the same season for the first time since 2001.
CAA Football Defensive Player of the Week - Tyler Holmes, LB, Massachusetts
Holmes garnered his second-straight and third CAA Football Defensive Player of the Week honor this season thanks to two interception returns for touchdowns in the Minutemen’s 39-24 win over Maine at home. The junior became the third player in league history to record two interceptions returned for touchdowns in the same game, and the first since Towson’s Allante Harrison did it against Elon in 2004 (Maine’s Bill Curry vs. Liberty, 10/10/1992). Not only was Holmes’s interception feat a league record, but he was also the first player in major college football this season to turn in such an effort. Only 22 other FCS-level players have hauled in two interceptions and took them back for six in the same game, the last being Southeast Missouri State’s Kellin White in 2004.
CAA Football Special Teams Player of the Week - Willie McGinnis, DL, Rhode Island
McGinnis provided Rhode Island’s second defensive touchdown of the day in the Rams’ 17-14 win over Villanova Saturday, enroute to his first-ever CAA Football Special Teams Player of the Week honor. The junior finished the day with three tackles including a sack for four yards, but his biggest impact on the game came with just over two minutes left in the contest. The defensive lineman broke through on a Villanova punt attempt from deep inside the Wildcats’ redzone for the block. McGinnis, who is among the league’s defensive linemen tackling leaders, fell on the loose ball in the endzone for the score which gave Rhode Island a 17-7 edge. The block and touchdown were both career firsts for McGinnis.
CAA Football Rookie of the Week - Andrew Pierce, RB, Delaware
Pierce can be considered a regular on the league’s Rookie of the Week list as he has now won it six times in 10 weeks. The running back helped the Blue Hens top Towson Saturday, 48-0, at Delaware Stadium. Pierce, the league’s first 1,000-yard back of the season, carried it 16 times for 79 yards and two scores. He also hauled in four catches for 11 yards. The frosh is the first UD running back to ever eclipse the 1,000-yard rushing mark, and the fastest Blue Hen to reach the 1,000-yard rushing mark in a season (nine game). Pierce is now the Delaware all-time leader in freshman rushing touchdowns upping his total to 12 against Towson.
Delaware’s Devlin Part Of Unitas Golden Arm Award Final List Of 10
The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award watch list was recently trimmed to 10 and Delaware quarterback Pat Devlin’s name remained on the list
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., is the only NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision player on the final list of 10.
Devlin, a Blue Hen captain, has started eight of Delaware’s nine games this season and has a passing efficiency mark of 145.5 (133-199-1-1613) which ranks second among the league leaders. The senior has completed 133-of-199 attempts for 1,613 yards and seven touchdowns this season.
Unitas Golden Arm Award List of 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
CAA Football 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 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 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 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
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 16 of the weekly release.
#17/15 NEW HAMPSHIRE AT #9/9 VILLANOVA
Saturday, Nov. 13 - 12 pm
Villanova Stadium (12,000), Villanova, Pa.
Series: Villanova leads 11-9
New Hampshire (5-4, 3-3 CAA)
Coach: Sean McDonnell
Career: 85-57 (12 years)
School: 85-57 (12 years)
Rushing: Dontra Peters (9 G, 121-527 yards, 6 TD)
Passing: R.J. Toman (9 G, 189-302-9-2025 yards, 11 TD)
Receiving: Terrance Fox (9 G, 53-562 yards, 5 TD)
Tackles: Matt Evans (9 G, 56 solo, 57 assisted, 113 total)
Sacks: Brian McNally (9 G, 7.0-40 yards)
Interceptions: Dino Vasso (9 G, 5-(-10) yards)
Villanova (6-3, 4-2 CAA)
Coach: Andy Talley
Career: 213-123-2 (31 years)
School: 185-105-1 (26 years)
Rushing: Aaron Ball (9 G, 105-506 yards, 4 TD)
Passing: Chris Whitney (9 G, 128-190-5-1476 yards, 16 TD)
Receiving: Norman White (9 G, 45-552 yards, 7 TD)
Tackles: Marquis Kirkland (9 G, 33 solo, 29 assisted, 62 total)
Sacks: Thomas Weaver (9 G, 3.0-13 yards)
Interceptions: James Pitts (9 G, 3-64 yards)
#2/1 DELAWARE AT #14/13 MASSACHUSETTS
Saturday, Nov. 13 - 1 pm
McGuirk Alumni Stadium (17,000), Amherst, Mass.
Series: Delaware leads 24-6
Delaware (8-1, 5-1 CAA)
Coach: K.C. Keeler
Career: 158-61-1 (17 years)
School: 70-40 (9 years)
Rushing: Andrew Pierce (9 G, 195-1014 yards, 12 TD)
Passing: Pat Devlin (8 G, 133-199-1-1613 yards, 7 TD)
Receiving: Nihja White (9 G, 34-425 yards, 3 TD)
Tackles: Andrew Harrison (9 G, 27 solo, 34 assisted, 61 total)
Sacks: Chris Morales (5 G, 2.5-23 yards)
Interceptions: Tyrone Grant (9 G, 4-113 yards)
Massachusetts (6-3, 4-2 CAA)
Coach: Kevin Morris
Career: 35-41 (8 years)
School: 11-9 (2 years)
Rushing: Jonathan Hernandez (9 G, 183-769 yards, 7 TD)
Passing: Kyle Havens (9 G, 177-272-5-2091 yards, 14 TD)
Receiving: Anthony Nelson (9 G, 52-657 yards, 2 TD)
Tackles: Tyler Holmes (9 G, 42 solo, 49 assisted, 91 total)
Sacks: Tyler Holmes (9 G, 4.0-25 yards)
Interceptions: Tyler Holmes (9 G, 5-70 yards)
#1/2 WILLIAM AND MARY AT JAMES MADISON
Saturday, Nov. 13 - 1:30 pm
Bridgeforth Stadium (15,694), Harrisonburg, Va.
Series: James Madison leads 17-15
William and Mary (7-2, 5-1 CAA)
Coach: Jimmye Laycock
Career: 207-143-2 (31 years)
School: 207-143-2 (31 years)
Rushing: Jonathan Grimes (9 G, 163-647 yards, 8 TD)
Passing: Mike Callahan (6 G, 72-113-3-965 yards, 6 TD)
Receiving: Ryan Moody (9 G, 30-477 yards, 1 TD)
Tackles: Dante Cook (8 G, 39 solo, 42 assisted, 81 total)
Sacks: Marcus Hyde (9 G, 4.5-29 yards)
Interceptions: Dante Cook (8 G, 2-134 yards)
James Madison (4-5, 1-5 CAA)
Coach: Mickey Matthews
Career: 86-56 (12 years)
School: 86-56 (12 years)
Rushing: Jamal Sullivan (8 G, 133-535 yards, 4 TD)
Passing: Drew Dudzik (9 G, 94-174-9-1252 yards, 5 TD)
Receiving: Kerby Long (9 G, 16-283 yards, 2 TD)
Tackles: Stephon Robertson (9 G, 32 solo, 52 assisted, 84 total)
Sacks: D.J. Bryant (9 G, 2.5-24 yards)
Interceptions: Jonathan Williams (9 G, 2-30 yards)
RHODE ISLAND AT #21/23 RICHMOND
Saturday, Nov. 13 - 2 pm
Robins Stadium (8,700), Richmond, Va.
Series: Richmond leads 12-5
Rhode Island (4-5, 3-3 CAA)
Coach: Joe Trainer
Career: 18-35 (5 years)
School: 5-15 (2 years)
Rushing: Ayo Isijola (9 G, 104-447 yards, 3 TD)
Passing: Steve Probst (9 G, 160-272-8-1481 yards, 6 TD)
Receiving: Anthony Baskerville (9 G, 42-419 yards, 2 TD)
Tackles: Matt Hansen (9 G, 55 solo, 44 assisted, 99 total)
Sacks: James Immins (8 G, 3.0-12 yards)
Interceptions: Jarrod Williams (9 G, 3-36 yards)
Richmond (5-4, 3-3 CAA)
Coach: Latrell Scott
Career: 5-4 (First year)
School: 5-4 (First year)
Rushing: Tyler Kirchoff (9 G, 102-453 yards, 6 TD)
Passing: Aaron Corp (5 G, 67-123-4-645 yards, 3 TD)
Receiving: Tre Gray (8 G, 34-435 yards, 2 TD)
Tackles: Eric McBride (9 G, 39 solo, 62 assisted, 101 total)
Sacks: Martin Parker (9 G, 3.5-28 yards)
Interceptions: Justin Rogers (9 G, 2-34 yards)
MAINE AT TOWSON
Saturday, Nov. 13 - 2 pm
Unitas Stadium (11,198), Towson, Md.
Series: Maine leads 5-3
Maine (3-6, 2-4 CAA)
Coach: Jack Cosgrove
Career: 96-107 (18 years)
School: 96-107 (18 years)
Rushing: Jared Turcotte (6 G, 99-452 yards, 3 TD)
Passing: Warren Smith (9 G, 172-264-9-1730 yards, 9 TD)
Receiving: Derek Session (9 G, 45-546 yards, 1 TD)
Tackles: Donte Dennis (9 G, 45 solo, 42 assisted, 87 total)
Sacks: Doug Alston (9 G, 3.5-14 yards)
Interceptions: Vinson Givans (9 G, 2-48 yards)
Towson (1-8, 0-6 CAA)
Coach: Rob Ambrose
Career: 6-24 (3 years)
School: 3-17 (2 years)
Rushing: Chris Hart (8 G, 113-518 yards, 1 TD)
Passing: Chris Hart (8 G, 82-172-6-1013 yards, 9 TD)
Receiving: Erron Banks (9 G, 29-249 yards, 0 TD)
Tackles: Jordan Dangerfield (9 G, 43 solo, 43 assisted, 86 total)
Sacks: Matt Morgan (9 G, 4.0-25 yards)
Interceptions: Chris Patterson (9 G, 1-6 yards)