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Blue Hens build strong CAA foundation in Richmond
There was a lot for Delaware to feel good about, and for its Colonial Athletic Association football rivals to worry about, after the Blue Hens’ 34-13 win over Richmond at handsome new Robins Stadium Saturday.
Delaware excorcised some demons, ending that unprecedented three-year losing streak to the Spiders.
The Blue Hens did so with the kind of offensive balance that gives defense fits — 236 yards rushing and 240 passing — while averaging 7.0 yards per play.
And while the defense allowed its first two touchdowns of the year, it was solid, too, giving up just 234 yards and toughening up after Richmond tied the game 13-13 on its first possession of the third quarter. That allowed Pat Devlin, Andrew Pierce and that offense to do its thing, getting back-to-back touchdowns to secure the win and then another later for good measure. The defense also got two takeaways — DT Justin Johnson’s fumble recovery and CB Anthony Walters‘ interception.
It was just one CAA game, and it came against a Richmond team that while ranked fifth — the Spiders have been overranked all season in my opinion — has a great nucleus but did lose two-thirds of its starters from last year. Delaware’s superior experience showed.
In other CAA games Saturday, Villanova had some trouble with pesky Penn before winning 22-10, James Madison only beat Liberty 10-3 and UMass rallied to thwart Stony Brook 26-21. See the pattern? None of those games should have been close. But the underdogs rose to the occasion, demonstrating the importance — and difficulty — of summoning the necessary passion week after week. William & Mary also needed a late touchdown to top Maine, but the Black Bears are physical and winning in Orono is always difficult.
This week Delaware travels to James Madison, where it has not won since 2001 — Tubby Raymond’s 299th victory — and has been thoroughly outclassed in its last two visits while falling 44-24 in 2006 and 41-7 in 2008.
As highly anticipated as that Richmond visit was, this is much better. As impressive as the Richmond win was, JMU will be a much better measure of Delaware’.
By Kevin Tresolini, The News Journal