Spider football seeking balance, better defense heading to Towson

The following comes directly from the CAA:

Offensive Player of the Week

Kyle Lauletta  |  QB  |  Richmond

Lauletta completed 24-of-40 passes for 353 yards and three touchdowns and added 19 yards and a TD rushing in Richmond’s 41-38 double-overtime victory over UAlbany. The senior rallied the Spiders from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit by recording his fifth straight 300+-yard passing effort. Lauletta became UR’s career leader in passing TD’s with 62.

Defensive Player of the Week

Troy Reeder |  LB  |  Delaware

Reeder recorded a team-high 12 tackles (seven solo), one tackle for loss, and helped force a fumble that was returned 45 yards for a touchdown as Delaware knocked off Stony Brook, 24-20. The junior led a Blue Hens’ defense that held SBU scoreless in the second half and the third-quarter forced fumble helped UD rally from a 20-7 halftime deficit.

Special Teams Player of the Week

Frank Raggo  |  PK  |  Delaware

Raggo connected on a 50-yard field goal to help Delaware overcome a 13-point halftime deficit and defeat Stony Brook, 24-20. The field goal was the fifth-longest in UD history and marked the second straight week that he’s made a kick from 50 yards. Raggo, who is 6-of-8 on FG’s for the year, also converted all three of his extra point attempts.

Rookie of the Week

Jaquan Amos |  DB  |  Villanova

Amos tallied four tackles, a tackle for loss and tied a FCS record by returning a fumble 99 yards for a touchdown in Villanova’s 31-0 triumph over Maine. With the Black Bears driving for a game-tying TD in the second quarter, Amos became just the third player in FCS history to record a 99-yard fumble return. He was part of a VU defense that posted its second shutout of the season.

CONFERENCE NOTES:

 

ESPN’S COLLEGE GAMEDAY RETURNS TO JMU: For the second time in three years, ESPN’s College GameDay will be broadcast from the James Madison University Quad on Saturday morning. The nationally acclaimed college football pregame show airs from 9 a.m. to Noon and will set the stage for a big CAA Football showdown between No. 1 JMU and No. 11 Villanova. More than 12,000 fans attended the previous GameDay show at JMU on Oct. 24, 2015. It will be the eighth College GameDay to originate from a FCS location and the ninth overall at non-FBS sites. JMU will be the second non-FBS school to host multiple times, joining North Dakota State (vs. Delaware St in 2013 and vs. Incarnate Word in 2014).

 

CONFERENCE GAMES MEAN CLOSE GAMES: Close games continued around CAA Football last Saturday as three of the four conference contests had margins of seven points or less in the fourth quarter. For the season, 13 of the 15 CAA Football games have featured scores within a touchdown or less in the final quarter.

JMU TIES WIN STREAK RECORD: Reigning FCS national champion James Madison extended its winning streak to 17 games with a 20-10 triumph at Delaware on Sept. 30, matching Richmond’s conference record of 17 consecutive victories that was set during the 2008 and 2009 seasons. The Dukes’ 17-game streak is the longest active streak of any FBS or FCS team and is tied for the 13th-longest streak in FCS history. JMU has also won 12 straight CAA Football contests, which is tied for the fourth-longest streak in league history. The record of 15 straight wins was set by UMass from 1965-67.

FIVE CAA TEAMS RANKED IN NATIONAL POLLS:  Five CAA Football teams are ranked nationally in this week’s FCS Top 25 polls. James Madison remained No.1 in the STATS and FCS Coaches polls for the seventh straight week, while New Hampshire moved up to No. 12 in both set of rankings. Villanova rose to No. 11 in the STATS poll and No. 14 in the Coaches Poll and Richmond edged up to No. 13 in both polls. Elon climbed to No. 16 in the STATS poll and No. 20 in the Coaches Poll. UAlbany, Delaware and Stony Brook were among others receiving votes in both polls. CAA Football had the second-most ranked teams of any conference, trailing only the Missouri Valley with six. The CAA tied a league record with seven ranked teams in the STATS Top 25 poll on Oct. 2.

 

HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE: CAA Football teams are a combined 23-6 at home this season, including 14-0 in non-conference play.

NON-CONFERENCE SUCCESS: CAA Football teams are 20-3 against non-conference FCS opponents this season, which is the best non-conference FCS winning percentage (.870) of any league. Making the numbers even more impressive is the fact that six of the victories have been on the road. CAA Football teams went 24-7 in non-conference games against FCS opponents last season, which was the best winning percentage by an FCS conference.

DOMINANT DEFENSE: Six CAA teams are ranked in the top 25 in FCS in scoring defense and six are among the top 30 in total defense. James Madison is ranked #3 in FCS in total defense (231.2 ypg) and #3 in scoring defense (11.6 ppg), while Villanova is #6 in scoring defense (13.2 ppg) and UAlbany is #11 in total defense (251.2 ypg). There are also six CAA teams in the top 30 in rushing defense, led by #2 Villanova (50.0 ypg). A list of CAA teams among NCAA statistical leaders is included in the column to the left.

SUCCESS THROUGH THE AIR: Richmond quarterack Kyle Lauletta tops the nation in passing (404.6 ypg) and total offense (412.4 ypg) and is second in passing TD’s (17), while Spiders’ receivers Cortrelle Simpson (128.6 ypg) and Dejon Brissett (114.4 ypg) rank third and sixth in FCS in receiving yards per game. New Hampshire quarterback Trevor Knight is 14th in FCS in total offense (300.0 ypg), while his top target, Neil O’Connor, ranks fourth in receiving yards (127.6 ypg) and receptions (8.0 pg) and tied for 2nd in TD catches (8).

SUMMERS, MACK AMONG FCS RUSHING LEADERS: Elon junior Malcolm Summers is the leading rusher in FCS with 755 yards this season, and ranks third nationally with 125.8 yards per game, while Maine sophomore Josh Mack is second with 131.0 ypg.

UAlbany

•  Edged 41-38 in 2ot at Richmond last week. It was UA’s second OT game this season.

•  Will Brunson was 18-of-29 passing for a career-high 339 yards and a career-best 4 TD’s at UR. The yardage total was the 4th-highest in UA history. He also ran for a TD.

•  UAlbany held the Spiders to 60 yards rushing. The Great Danes rank 11th in FCS in total defense (278.2 ypg), 16th in scoring defense (17.0 ppg) and 13th in rush defense (88.5 ypg) for the season.

•  Richmond (413 yds) was the first team to tally more than 285 total yards against the Great Danes this season.

•  WR Jerod Diggs made a team-high 5 catches for 137 yards and a TD at UR. It was his second 100-yard receiving effort this season. He’s 6th in the CAA in receiving yards (68.8 ypg).

•  LB Nate Hatalsky made 7 tackles at UR. He ranks 2nd in the CAA in stops (65) and tied for fifth in TFL (7.0) for the season.

 

Delaware

•  Rallied from a 13-point halftime deficit to post a 24-20 victory at No. 23 Stony Brook.

•  UD didn’t allow a point in the 2nd half at SBU. The Hens rank 15th in FCS in scoring defense (16.8 ppg) and 28th in total defense (319.2 ypg).

•  LB Troy Reeder made a team-high 12 tackles at SBU and leads the team with 41 stops and 4.0 TFL for the season.

•  Kareem Williams ran for a team-high 75 yards on 16 carries at SBU and tops the team with 298 yards for the season.

•  Frank Raggo booted a 50-yard field goal at SBU, which was his 2nd straight week with a 50+-yard FG (school-record 55 yd. vs. JMU).

•  QB JP Caruso saw his first extended action at SBU and was 7-of-14 passing for 80 yards and a TD and also ran for 65 yards.

•  DB Malcolm Brown returned a fumble 45 yards for a TD late in the third quarter to cut the UD deficit to 20-17.

Elon

•  Moved into sole possession of first place in the CAA after beating William & Mary, 25-17. Elon is off to a 5-1 start for the first time since 2009.

•  Elon held W&M to 271 yards and is giving up just 247.5 ypg over the past 2 games.

•  Malcolm Summers ran for 81 yards and 2 TD’s vs. W&M. He’s rushed for 724 yards over the past four games and leads FCS with 755 yards for the season.

•  Warren Messer recorded 8 tackles, 1.5 TFL and recorded a safety to seal the win in the fourth quarter. He tops the CAA with 68 tackles.

•  Elon made seven sacks vs. W&M, which was its highest total since 2009. Marcus Willoughby had twp sacks vs. the Tribe is 2nd in the CAA with four for the season.

•  Elon’s last five games have been decided by a total of 22 points. The five-game win streak is the longest since 2009.

•  Elon has won three wins over Top 25 foes.

James Madison

•  Off last week. Host #11 Villanova this Saturday. ESPN’s College GameDay show will air live from the JMU Quad.

•  JMU has won 17 straight games, which is the longest Div. I streak in the nation. The Dukes matched Richmond’s CAA record of 17 consecutive victories in 2008-09.

•  QB Bryan Schor, who has thrown for 1,031 yards and 12 TD’s this season, is three shy of JMU’s career TD passes record of 51.

•  JMU ranks 5th in FCS in scoring offense (41.8 ppg), 7th in rushing offense (289.8 ypg) and 4th in total offense (557.5 ypg).

•  JMU ranks 3rd in FCS in total defense (231.2 ypg), 3rd in scoring defense (11.6 ppg), 4th in pass defense (141.8 ypg) and 14th in rush defense. The Dukes have held their past four opponents under 300 total yards.

•  LB Kyre Hawkins leads JMU in tackles (31) and sacks (2.5) and has four pass breakups.

•  RB Trai Sharp has topped the 100-yard rushing mark in two of his last three games.

Maine

•  Committed six turnovers and suffered a 31-0 setback at Villanova last Saturday.

•  Josh Mack was held to 22 yards rushing at VU after topping the 100-yard mark in his first three games. He ranks 2nd in FCS in rushing (131.0 ypg) and 12th in all-purpose yards (145.5 ypg).

•  WR Jaleel Reed made a season-high 6 catches for 85 yards at VU. He leads Maine with 14 receptions and 160 receiving yards.

•  Jaron Grayer recorded a team-high 11 tackles at VU. The redshirt freshman has made 10+ stops in two of his four contests.

•  Maine limited VU to just 219 total yards, including 61 through the air. The Black Bears recorded five sacks, with Kayon Whitaker and Alejandro Oregon each getting two.

•  Earnest Edwards tops the CAA and ranks 12th in FCS with a 27.4 KOR average.

•  All-CAA WR Micah Wright saw his first action at VU and had 3 catches for 39 yards.

New Hampshire

•  Off last week. Return to action with a trip to Stony Brook this Saturday.

•  Trevor Knight ranks 14th in FCS in total offense (300.0 ypg) and 19th in passing (267.0 ypg). He has thrown for 1,048 yards and 9 TD’s over the last three games.

•  Neil O’Connor made 7 catches for 134 yards and 3 TD’s vs. Bryant. It was his third game with 100+ yards this season. He ranks 4th in FCS in receptions (8.0 pg), 4th in receiving yards (126.3 ypg) and 2nd in TD’s (8).

•  RB Evan Gray ran for a season-high 98 yards and 2 TD’s on just 11 carries vs. Bryant.

•  UNH leads the CAA with a +5 turnover margin and has committed the fewest turnovers (5) of any team in the league.

•  Quinlen Dean made 11 tackles vs. Bryant and ranks 4th in the CAA with 8.8 stops per game.

•  Isaiah Perkins is tied for the CAA lead in interceptions with three.

Rhode Island

•  Off last week. Travels to CAA foe Maine this Saturday.

•  Aaron Parker made a career-high 10 receptions for a career-best 128 yards and a TD at Brown. He tied a URI record set in 1984 with a TD catch in 7 straight games. He ranks 11th in FCS in receiving yards (103.0 ypg) and 5th in the CAA in receptions (5.8 pg).

•  Tyler Harris ranks 23rd in FCS in passing yards (251.8 ypg) and has thrown for 200+ yards in 4 of his 5 games.

•  DE L.B. Mack III had a career-high 10 tackles, 4.5 TFL, a forced fumble and a sack at BU.

•  Harold Cooper rushed for 80 yards on only 9 carries at Brown, including a 54-yard TD run in the first quarter. He ranks 10th in FCS in all-purpose yards (146.8 ypg).

•  LB Justin Hogan made a team-best 12 tackles at Brown, which was his 5th career game with double-digit stops.

•  URI has scored six touchdowns of 51 yards or longer over the first five games.

Richmond

•  Rallied for a 41-38 double OT victory over UAlbany last Saturday.

•  Kyle Lauletta threw for 358 yards and 3 TD’s and also ran for a score vs. UA. He has topped the 300-yard mark in all five games. Lauletta leads FCS in passing yards (404.6 ypg) and total offense (412.4 ypg) and ranks second in passing TD’s (17).

•  Lauletta set a UR career record for TD passes (62) and ranks 2nd on UR’s career passing yards (8,756) list.

•  Cortrelle Simpson ranks 3rd in FCS in receiving yards (128.6 ypg) and 18th in receptions (6.4 pg), while Dejon Brissett is 8th in FCS in receptions (7.6 pg) and 6th in receiving yards (114.4 ypg).

•  UR leads FCS in passing offense (404.6 ypg), ranks 3rd in total offense (528.6 ypg) and 9th in scoring offense (39.2 ppg).

•  UR’s defense recorded a season-high 7 sacks vs. UAlbany. The Spiders are 2nd in the CAA with 17 sacks over the first five games.

 

Stony Brook

•  Had their four-game winning streak snapped after 24-20 loss to Delaware.

•  Joe Carbone completed 23-of-36 passes for a career-high 272 yards and 2 TD’s vs. UD. He’s thrown 10 TD passes with no interceptions over the last 5 games.

•  Ray Bolden made 8 receptions for a career-high 136 yards and 2 TD’s vs. UD. It was his third 100+-yard effort of the season.

•  SBU’s defense held UD to 288 total yards. The Seawolves rank 18th in FCS in total defense (293.8 ypg) and 25th in scoring defense (19.2 ppg). They’ve limited 3 of their last 4 opponents to under 300 yards.

•  Stacey Bedell ran for a team-high 80 yards on 16 carries vs. UD and leads SBU with 427 yards and 5 TD’s on the ground.

•  LB Shayne Lawless made a team-high 9 tackles vs. UD and tops SBU with 43 for the season.

•  Darin Peart and Travon Reid-Segure are tied for the CAA lead with 3 interceptions.

Towson

•  Off last week. Entertain No. 13 Richmond this Saturday.

•  Ryan Stover has thrown for more than 200 yards in 3 of his last 4 games. He ranks 6th in the CAA in total offense (204.0 ypg).

•  WR Jabari Greenwood caught a team-high 10 passes for 78 yards vs. VU. It was the 2nd time in 3 games he’s had 10+ catches and he ranks 4th in the CAA in receptions (6.2 pg).

•  Towson has held three of its five opponents to under 300 total yards. The Tigers rank 37th in FCS in total defense (340.0 ypg).

•  Kanyia Anderson recorded his 4th sack vs. Villanova. He leads the CAA with 9.0 TFL for the season and is second in sacks.

•  Aidan O’Neill is 7-for-9 on FG’s for the season. The seven FG’s are tied for the second-most in the CAA.

•  Monty Fenner made two interceptions vs. Villanova and is tied for the CAA lead with three pickoffs for the year.

Villanova

•  Forced six turnovers and blanked Maine, 31-0, last week. VU has posted shutouts in both of its home games this season.

•  VU held Maine to 227 total yards, including 16 yards rushing. The Wildcats rank 2nd in FCS in rushing defense (50.0 ypg) and have held eight straight opponents to less than 100 yards on the ground.

•  VU is 6th in FCS in scoring defense (13.2 ppg) and 14th in total defense (283.8 ypg).

•  Aaron Forbes ran for a team-high 63 yards on 14 carries vs. Maine. He leads the Wildcats with 311 rushing yards.

•  Freshman QB Jack Schetlich threw for 61 yards and a TD and also ran for a score in his first career start vs. Maine.

•  DB Jaquan Amos tied a FCS record by returning a fumble 99 yards for a TD vs. UM.

•  Safety Rasaan Stewart tallied nine tackles, 1.0 TFL, an interception and a fumble recovery in the win over Maine.

William & Mary

•  Fell 25-18 at Elon last week. Nearly erased a 23-3 halftime deficit.

•  QB Brandon Battle saw his first significant action and was 11-of-21 passing for 155 yards and a TD.

•  Nate Evans ran for a team-high 77 yards and a TD at Elon. He’s rushed for 248 yards and 3 TD’s over the past three games.

•  W&M held Elon to 63 yards and no offensive points in the 2nd half. The Tribe ranks 19th in FCS in scoring defense (17.8 ppg), 24th in total defense (310.8 ypg) and 26th in rushing defense (111.2 ypg).

•  W&M has recorded a CAA-best 19 sacks through the first five games after totaling just 10 in 2016. The Tribe ranks 4th in FCS in sacks per game (3.8) and 10th in tackles for loss per game (8.4).

•  LB Josh Dulaney tallied eight tackles, a sack and 2.5 TFL at Elon. He’s tied for second in the CAA with 8.0 TFL for the season.