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Courtesy: CAA
Delaware's Andrew Pierce.


Courtesy: CAA
          Release: 12/30/2010
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 The Stingier The Better
    The top four scoring defenses in CAA Football are also four of the top six scoring defenses in the country.
    Delaware leads the nation having only surrendered 161 points in 14 games (11.5 points/game).  James Madison is ranked third in the country with a mark of just 14.7 points allowed/game.  New Hampshire’s defense limited opponents to 16.5 points/game, while William and Mary gave up just 16.7 points/game ranking fifth and sixth in the nation, respectively.
    CAA Football’s league average of 20.4 points allowed/game is tops among league scoring defense average (FCS).  The next closest at the FCS level is the Ivy League which finished with an overall conference mark of 22.5 points allowed/game.
    Glancing at the league’s defensive trends (page 21 of the weekly release) going back to 2004, the conference’s current average in scoring defense of 20.4 points allowed/game is the lowest it has ever been.
    The current average of yards allowed (330.0) is six yards off the league’s all-time best -- 324 yards/game from last season.


Delaware’s Haynes Named AFCA All-State Good Works Team Captain
    During a time of year when giving and compassion are celebrated, Delaware senior defensive lineman Siddiq Haynes has been announced by Allstate Insurance Company and the American Football Coaches Association as the 2010 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® Captain, a community service award determined by college football fan voters on ESPN.com.
    Haynes is the first Team Captain recognized in the 19-year history of the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®, one of the most prestigious off-the-field honors in college football.
    Haynes, a Second Team All-CAA Football selection who anchors a defense which leads the nation in scoring defense, was a walk-on in Newark.  Haynes has contributed to a variety of community service organizations around Newark, Del. and his hometown of Durham, N.C. He has volunteered to serve the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Newark, DuPont Children’s Hospital, New Castle Youth Football and the Special Olympics of Delaware, among other organizations. The senior has also supported various cancer initiatives, such as lung cancer walks and bone marrow drives.
    Haynes and his fellow Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® members will be invited to New Orleans to participate in a special community service project prior to the 2011 Allstate® Sugar Bowl. The players will join a team of Allstate volunteers to help clean up various locations in the Lower Ninth Ward, an area devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. For the third consecutive season, the Good Works Team® will also be honored at halftime of the Allstate® Sugar Bowl, which will be televised nationally on ESPN on Jan. 4, 2011.


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 Pat Devlin leads the league with a passing efficiency mark of 155.4, which is also third-best in the country.
-- Delaware is the only CAA Football squad to not record a win in the regular season over an eventual playoff team.  The Blue Hens’ losses came to William and Mary and Villanova (both playoff teams).  Delaware did not face New Hampshire during the regular season and its three non-conference opponents did not advance to the postseason.
-- Delaware was 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 joined 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 is 22-5 against non-conference FCS opponents this season (17-3 in the regular season).
-- 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.
-- 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.


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 13 of Delaware’s 14 games this season and has a passing efficiency mark of 155.4 (239-350-2-2812) which is tops among the league leaders and third in the country.  The senior has completed 239-of-350 attempts for 2,812 yards and 22 touchdowns this season, while only surrendering two interceptions.


2010 CAA Football All-Americans
    CAA Football has garnered a total of 32 All-America accolades thus far in the postseason.  Take a look at page seven of the weekly release for a full rundown of the individuals honored as All-Americans from the 2010 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 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 two previous 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.


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, who started all 53 games of his Villanova career, was the only member of the list of 63 who plays for an FCS program. The 2010 Outland Trophy winner, Wisconsin’s Gabe Carimi, was honored at the The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show on Dec. 9.
    Ijalana, a three-time First Team All-CAA Football offensive lineman who finished 10th in the Outland voting, was an anchor for the Villanova offensive front which ranks as the league leader in both rushing offense (194.9 yards/game) and scoring (30.8 points/game), and third in the league in total offense (370.0 yards/game).

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


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 22 of the weekly release.


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.

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 National Championship game for the third time in his nine-year tenure at Delaware.  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 (12.0).


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 had five student-athletes appear on the honor’s 20-player Watch List this season.
    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, was also part of the 2010 Watch List while William and Mary’s junior Jonathan Grimes was a newcomer to the list earlier this season.


NCAA Championship Notebook
-- Delaware’s trip to the National Championship game marks the fifth-straight year and seventh time in the last eight years CAA Football has had a squad competing in the final.  The league has won the last two and four of the last seven.

-- For the third-straight year CAA Football and the Big Sky Conference will square off in the National Championship game.  Montana has represented the Big Sky each of the last two, while Delaware is the third different team to represent CAA Football in the championship game over the last three seasons.

-- CAA Football holds a winning playoff mark against every conference that has competed in the postseason since 2003, including a record of 5-3 against the Big Sky.

-- The league holds a record of 46-24 (.657) in playoff games over the last eight years.

-- Current Big Sky Conference squads are a combined 6-7 when squaring off against CAA Football teams in the playoffs.  Eastern Washington won its first-ever matchup against a CAA opponent (Villanova) to advance to the National Championship game.

-- The Blue Hens are 20-11 in the postseason since becoming part of CAA Football (1986).

-- Counting this season, Delaware’s last four trips to the postseason have included a quarterfinal loss to a conference team in two overtimes (William and Mary, 2004) and three trips to the National Championship game (1-1; 2003, 2007, 2011).

-- Delaware is 11-2 in postseason play since 2003, having played in the National Championship twice during the time frame.

-- 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).


Friday, Jan. 7 - 7 pm
Pizza Hut Park (22,500), Frisco, Texas
Television:  ESPN2/ESPN2HD/ESPN3
Series:  First Meeting

Delaware (12-2, 6-2 CAA)
    Coach:  K.C. Keeler
    Career:  162-62-1 (17 years)
    School:  74-41 (9 years)
    Rushing:  Andrew Pierce (14 G, 301-1513 yards, 13 TD)
    Passing:  Pat Devlin (13 G, 239-350-2-2812 yards, 22 TD)
    Receiving:  Nihja White (14 G, 55-679 yards, 6 TD)
    Tackles:  Paul Worrilow (14 G, 42 solo, 62 assisted, 104 total)
    Sacks:  Chris Morales (9 G, 3.5-31 yards)
    Interceptions:  Anthony Walters (12 G, 7-138 yards)      

Eastern Washington (12-2)
    Coach:  Beau Baldwin
    Career:  36-14 (4 years)
    School:  26-11 (3 years)
    Rushing:  Taiwan Jones (12 G, 221-1742 yards, 14 TD)
    Passing:  Bo Levi Mitchell (14 G, 271-462-14-3194 yards, 34 TD)
    Receiving:  Brandon Kaufman (14 G, 67-1094 yards, 13 TD)
    Tackles:  J.C. Sherritt (14 G, 79 solo, 79 assisted, 158 total)
    Sacks:  Renard Williams (14 G, 6.0-53 yards)
    Interceptions:  Matt Johnson (14 G, 5-73 yards)