CAA Roundup: Hanover product Cheatham stars for Dukes, Tribe continues slide

The following comes directly from the CAA:

 

Offensive Player of the Week

Davis Cheek  |  QB  |  Elon

Cheek completed 24-of-35 passes for a career-high 357 yards and 2 TD’s in Elon’s 19-14 win at Villanova. The freshman quarterback engineered Elon’s fourth 4th-quarter comeback of the year by throwing a 21-yard TD pass with 10:51 to go. Elon had 474 yards of offense against VU’s nationally ranked defense.

Defensive Players of the Week

Brandon Ginnetti |  DT  |  Rhode Island

Ginnetti recorded five tackles, including 3.5 TFL, and made three sacks in Rhode Island’s 31-14 win at UAlbany. It was the first three-sack performance by a Rams’ player since 2001. URI held UA to just 125 total yards, including -7 yards rushing.

Rashad Robinson |  CB  |  James Madison

Robinson made three tackles and returned an interception 82 yards for a TD in JMU’s 21-0 shutout of New Hampshire. The interception, his CAA-best fifth of the year, was the 3rd-longest return in JMU history. JMU held UNH to 193 total yards and became the first FCS team since 2013 to keep them scoreless.

Special Teams Player of the Week

Brandon Briggs  |  PK  |  Maine

Briggs was a perfect 3-for-3 on field goals, including a career-long 43-yarder, in Maine’s 23-6 triumph over William & Mary. The 43-yard field goal was the longest for a Black Bears’ kicker since 2015. Briggs has converted seven straight FG attempts.

Rookies of the Week

Ryan Stover |  QB  |  Towson

Stover completed 20-of-32 passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns, including a game-winning 14-yard TD pass with 35 seconds to go, to lead Towson past No. 23 Delaware, 18-17. The freshman quarterback added a team-high 56 yards rushing on just 8 carries.

Kortez Weeks |  WR  |  Elon

Weeks set career-highs with 11 receptions for 205 yards in Elon’s 19-14 victory at Villanova. He became just the third player in Phoenix history to top the 200-yard mark in a game and the yardage total was the 7th-highest in school history.

CONFERENCE NOTES:

 

SETTING NEW STANDARDS OF SUCCESS: Three CAA teams picked up milestone victories last week. James Madison’s 8-0 start is the best in program history. Elon’s 7-1 start is its best since 2009 and the team’s seven-game win streak is the longest since 2008. The Phoenix’s five CAA wins are more than they achieved in the past three years combined as a league member (4-20). Stony Brook’s six overall victories are its most in the regular season since 2012 and its five CAA wins are the most since joining the conference in 2013.

 

CONFERENCE GAMES MEAN CLOSE GAMES: Close games have become the standard during conference play in CAA Football. For the season, 21 of the 31 CAA Football games (67.7%) have had margins of seven points or less in the fourth quarter, including four of the six contests last Saturday.

JMU EXTENDS ONE WIN STREAK RECORD, TIES ANOTHER: James Madison extended its overall winning streak to 20 games with a 21-0 victory over New Hampshire last Saturday. The Dukes broke Richmond’s conference record of 17 consecutive wins that was set during the 2008 and 2009 seasons. JMU’s 20-game streak is the longest active streak of any FBS or FCS team and is tied for the 7th-longest streak in FCS history. JMU has also won 15 straight CAA Football contests, tying the league record of 15 consecutive wins 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 10th straight week. Elon moved up to No. 7 in the STATS Poll and No. 10 in the Coaches poll, while Stony Brook rose to No. 14 in the STATS poll and No. 21 in the Coaches Poll. New Hampshire is ranked No. 19 in the Coaches poll and No. 21 in the STATS Poll and Villanova is ranked No. 20 in both polls. The CAA’s five ranked teams are tied with the Missouri Valley for the most of any FCS conference.

 

HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE: CAA Football teams are a combined 32-13 at home this season, including 14-0 in non-conference play.

DOMINANT DEFENSE: Seven CAA teams are ranked in the top 26 in FCS in total defense, six are among the top 29 in rushing defense and six are in the top 29 in scoring defense. James Madison is ranked #1 in FCS in scoring defense (10.0 ppg), and #2 in total defense (227.6 ypg) and pass defense (132.4 ypg). Villanova is #2 in rush defense (57.8 ppg), #7 in scoring defense (16.0 ppg) and #20 in total defense (311.6 ypg). UAlbany is #13 in total defense (297.4 ypg), #15 in scoring defense (18.1 ppg) and #19 in rush defense (106.9 ypg). Delaware is #11 in scoring defense (17.1 ppg) and #16 in total defense (308.4 ypg). Stony Brook is #19 in total defense (311.1 ypg) and #13 in rush defense (94.9 ypg). William & Mary is #18 in total defense (310.0 ypg), while Maine is #22 in scoring defense (19.7 ppg) and #26 in total defense (319.6 ypg). A list of CAA teams among NCAA statistical leaders is included in the column to the left.

PICKING THEM OFF: Three of the 11 players tied for the FCS lead with five interceptions play in the CAA. Delaware’s Nasir Adderley and JMU’s Jordan Brown and Rashad Robinson have each picked off five passes in 2017. Three other players – Richmond’s Daniel Jones, JMU’s Jimmy Moreland and Stony Brook’s Travon Reid-Segure – have four interceptions.

LAULETTA CLIMBS CAA CAREER CHARTS: Richmond quarterback Kyle Lauletta has moved up to 6th on the CAA’s career passing yardage list (9,681 yds), 8th on the CAA’s career total offense list (9,828 yds) and 10th on the CAA’s career passing TD’s list (71). This season, Lauletta leads the nation in passing (369.1 ypg), passing TD’s (26) and total offense (375.5 ypg). He has thrown for over 300 yards and at least 2 TD’s in seven of eight games, including 546 yards vs. Sam Houston State and six TD passes vs. Howard.

MACK TOPS FCS IN RUSHING: Maine sophomore Josh Mack is the leading rusher in FCS this season, averaging 139.9 ypg. He’s the first Maine player since 1989 to run for over 200 yards twice in a season, tallying 255 yards vs. Bryant on Sept. 9 and 248 yards vs. Rhode Island on Oct. 14. Four of the top nine rushing performances in FCS this season have been by CAA players. Along with Mack’s two efforts, Elon’s Malcolm Summers ran for 298 yards vs. Richmond and JMU’s Cardon Johnson rushed for 265 yards at East Carolina. Unfortunately, Summers and Johnson have since suffered season-ending injuries.

UAlbany

•  Fell 31-14 to Rhode Island last week.

•  LB Nate Hatalsky set a UAlbany Div. I record by making 21 tackles vs. URI and also forced a fumble. He leads the CAA with 89 stops (11.1 pg) for the season.

•  UAlbany ranks 13th in FCS in total defense (297.4 ypg), 15th in scoring defense (18.1 ppg) and 19th in rush defense (106.9 ypg).

•  LB Eli Mencer returned a fumble 69 yards for a TD against URI. He had an 80-yard fumble return for a TD in an OT win over Villanova earlier this season.

•  UAlbany has held its opponent to less than 300 total yards in five of eight games.

•  Freshman RB Karl Mofor picked up his team-leading 5th rushing TD against URI. Mofor ranks 5th in the CAA in rushing for the season with 468 yards.

•  Donovan McDonald leads the CAA in kickoff returns (25.5 avg.) and ranks second in punt returns (10.6 avg.).

 

Delaware

•  Edged 18-17 at Towson last week, ending a three-game winning streak.

•  The Blue Hens held Towson to 304 total yards and forced 3 TO’s. UD ranks 11th in FCS in scoring defense (17.1 ppg), 16th in total defense (308.4 ypg) and 21st in rushing defense (107.9 ypg).

•  DB Nasir Adderley made 8 tackles and a one-handed intercepton at TU. He’s tied for the CAA lead with 5 interceptions for the year, including four in the past three games.

•  RB Kani Kane topped the 100-yard mark for the 2nd straight game with a career-high 113 yards on 22 carries.

•  UD ran for 229 yards at Towson, which was its 5th game with 200+ yards on the ground.

•  Frank Raggo kicked a 26-yard field goal at Towson and is 8-for-12 on the season. He has converted 57 straight extra points.

•  WR Jamie Jarmon has made at least one reception in 13 straight games.

Elon

•  Rallied past No. 13 Villanova, 19-14. Elon is on a 7-game winning streak for the first time since 2008. Four of those of victories have come against nationally ranked foes.

•  Elon’s last seven games have been decided by a total of 28 points. The Phoenix’s 5 CAA victories are more than their combined CAA win total (4) over the past three years.

•  QB Davis Cheek was 24-of-35 passing for a career-high 357 yards and 2 TD’s at VU. It was his third 300-yard passing effort.

•  Kortez Weeks set career-highs with 11 catches for 205 yards. He’s the third receiver in EU history to top the 200-yard mark.

•  DeSean McNair ran for 90 yards on 20 carries vs. VU’s #1-ranked rush defense. He’s picked up 216 yards over the past 2 games.

•  LB Warren Messer had 5 tackles, 3.0 TFL and 2 sacks at Villanova. He’s 2nd in the CAA with 76 tackles (9.5 pg).

•  Elon has recorded fourth-quarter comebacks to win four games this season.

James Madison

•  Defeated No. 13 New Hampshire, 21-0, last week. Off to the best start in school history.

•  JMU won its CAA-record 20th straight game, which is the longest streak in Div. I, and tied the league record for consecutive conference victories with 15.

•  JMU, which posted its first shutout since 2015, has held its last 7 opponents under 300 total yards. The Dukes rank #1 in FCS in scoring defense (10.0 ppg), #2 in total defense (227.6 ypg), #2 in pass defense (132.4 ypg) and #14 in rush defense (95.3 ypg).

•  QB Bryan Schor was 20-of-27 passing for 176 yards and 2 TD’s vs. UNH and set a JMU record for career TD passes with 53.

•  JMU ranks 7th in FCS in scoring offense (38.3 ppg), 12th in rushing offense (229.6 ypg) and 15th in total offense (453.9 ypg).

•  JMU forced three UNH turnovers and scored a defensive TD for the 4th straight game. The Dukes lead the CAA in TO margin (+11).

•  Jordan Brown and Rashad Robinson are tied for the CAA lead with 5 interceptions.

 

Maine

•  On a three-game winning streak after beating William & Mary, 23-6, last week.

•  Maine’s defense held W&M to 199 total yards, including 57 yards passing. Maine hasn’t allowed an offensive TD over the last eight quarters.

•  Josh Mack ran for 99 yards and a TD on 24 carries vs. W&M. Mack leads FCS in rushing with 139.9 ypg and has topped the 100-yard mark in five of his seven games.

•  Chris Ferguson was 13-of-22 passing for 192 yards and a TD vs. W&M. He’s thrown 7 TD passes with no pickoffs in the last 3 games.

•  Kayon Whitaker ranks 4th in the CAA in sacks (5.5) and 8th in TFL (9.0).

•  Brandon Briggs kicked three FG’s vs. W&M, including a career-long 43-yarder. He’s made his last seven FG’s and is 7-for-8 for the year.

•  Freshman LB Jaron Grayer made a career-high 12 tackles vs. W&M. He has a team-best 59 stops (8.4 pg) for the season.

New Hampshire

•  Suffered a 21-0 setback at No. 1 James Madison last week. It was the first time UNH has been shut out by an FCS foe since 2013.

•  QB Trevor Knight ranks 19th in FCS in total offense (275.4 ypg) and 16th in passing (255.1 ypg). He’s thrown for 14 TD’s over the last six games but failed to have a TD pass for the first time all season at JMU.

•  Neil O’Connor made 3 catches for 53 yards at JMU. He ranks 5th in FCS in receptions (7.9 pg), 7th in receiving yards (117.0 ypg) and 6th in receiving TD’s (9).

•  UNH limited JMU’s nationally ranked offense to 339 total yards and a pair of second-quarter touchdowns.

•  DT Rick Holt recorded a career-high 10 tackles at JMU, while LB Quinlen Dean had 10 tackles and 2.0 TFL. Dean leads the Wildcats with 71 tackles for the season.

•  Safety Evan Horn made a career-high 8 tackles, intercepted a pass in the end zone and had a 17-yard punt return at JMU.

 

Rhode Island

•  Picked up a 31-14 victory at UAlbany last week for their first CAA win of the year.

•  URI’s defense limited UA to 125 total yards, including -7 yards rushing. The Rams made 7 sacks and upped their season total to 24.

•  JaJuan Lawson passed for 123 yards and 2 TD’s and ran for 57 yards at UA. He’s tallied 507 yards of total off. in the past 2 games.

•  Aaron Parker caught 5 passes for 69 yards at UA but saw his URI-record streak of 9 straight games with a TD catch end. Parker is 19th in FCS in receiving yards (93.4 ypg) and has a reception in 16 straight games.

•  URI rushed for a season-high 209 yards, led by Harold Cooper with 77 yards and 2 TD’s.

•  DL Brandon Ginnetti had 5 tackles, 3.5 TFL and 3 sacks at UAlbany. It was the most sacks by a URI player since 2001.

•  DB Kwadir Brown had a team-high 7 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery  and an interception in the win at UAlbany.

 

Richmond

•  Fell 27-24 to Stony Brook last week. Four of UR’s five CAA games have been decided by 7 points or less, with two going to 2 OT.

•  Kyle Lauletta was 33-of-52 passing for 310 yards and 3 TD’s vs. SBU. He leads FCS in passing yards (369.1 ypg), passing TD’s (26) and total offense (375.5 ypg).

•  Lauletta owns UR career records for TD passes (71) and passing yards (9,681) and is 6th on the CAA’s passing yards list.

•  Dejon Brissett is 8th in FCS in receptions (7.3 pg) and 13th in receiving yards (102.5 ypg), while Cortrelle Simpson is 12th in FCS in receiving yards (102.6 ypg).

•  Tyler Wilkins made 9 catches for a career-high 112 yards vs. SBU. He’s had 90+ yards receiving in four straight games.

•  UR leads FCS in passing offense (370.9 ypg), ranks 6th in total offense (474.9 ypg) and is 21st in scoring offense (34.8 ppg).

•   Daniel Jones made a team-high 12 tackles vs. SBU and has 4 interceptions for the year.

Stony Brook

•  Earned a 27-24 win at No. 17 Richmond last week. SBU’s five CAA victories are its most since joining the league in 2013.

•  Ray Bolden made a career-high 13 catches for 118 yards and 2 TD’s at UR. He ranks 3rd in the CAA in receptions (51), 5th in receiving yards (654) and is tied for 1st in receiving TD’s (9).  He has a TD catch in 6 of 8 games and has four 100+ yard games.

•  Joe Carbone passed for 161 yards and 2 TD’s at UR. He’s thrown 14 TD passes with just one interception over the last 7 games.

•  Stacey Bedell ran for a team-high 69 yards at UR. He’s third in the CAA in rushing with 653 yards and has 6 rushing TD’s.

•  SBU is 19th in FCS in total defense (311.1 ypg), 13th in rush defense (94.9 ypg) and 29th in scoring defense (20.4 ppg).

•  John Haggart ranks 8th in the CAA in sacks (5.0) and tackles for loss (9.0).

•  DB Augie Contressa made a career-high 7 tackles at Richmond.

Towson

•  Ended a four-game slide by beating rival Delaware, 18-17, for their first CAA win.

•  Ryan Stover was 20-of-32 passing for 187 yards and 2 TD’s and also ran for a team-high 56 yards on 8 carries vs. UD. He ranks 5th in the CAA in total offense (197.8 ypg).

•  Sam Gallahan made the game-winning 14-yard TD reception with 35 seconds left. He finished with 4 catches for 33 yards.

•  John Tsimis had a season-best 5 receptions for 79 yards and a TD against Delaware.

•  Towson held UD to 264 total yards, including just 35 yards passing.

•  Aidan O’Neill is 10-for-14 on FG’s, which is tied for the most FG’s in the CAA.

•  LB Robert Heyward made a team-high 12 tackles and 1.5 TFL against Delaware.

•  All-CAA RB Shane Simpson saw his first action since Sept. 16 and had 33 yards on 8 carries.

Villanova

•  Dropped a 19-14 decision to No. 10 Elon last week. It was VU’s first home loss.

•  VU is #2 in FCS in rushing defense (57.8 ypg) and has held nine of its last 10 opponents to less than 100 yards on the ground.

•  VU allowed 474 total yards to Elon, but still ranks 7th in FCS in scoring defense (16.0 ppg) and 20th in total defense (311.6 ypg).

•  Freshman QB Kyle McCloskey made his first career start vs. Elon and passed for 137 yards and 2 TD’s and ran for a team-high 65 yards on 19 carries.

•  RB Aaron Forbes had 143 all-purpose yards vs. EU, including a career-high five receptions for 74 yards and a TD.

•  DB Rasaan Stewart and LB Jeff Steeb each had a team-high 11 tackles against Elon.

•  John Hinchen averaged 45.9 yards on 7 punts. He leads the CAA with a 43.9 avg and has a league-high 10 punts of 50+ yards.

William & Mary

•  Suffered a 23-6 setback at Maine last Saturday.

•  W&M ranks 18th in FCS in total defense (310.0 ypg),  26th in pass defense (184.6 ypg) and 29th in rush defense (125.4 ypg).

•  W&M is 2nd in the CAA with 26 sacks this season after recording 10 in 2016. The Tribe ranks 9th in FCS in sacks per game (3.25) and 17th in tackles for loss per game (7.6).

•  The Tribe was held to 199 total yards at Maine, including 57 through the air.

•  QB Tommy McKee played the 2nd half at UM and ran for a team-high 47 yards.

•  DL Bill Murray had 7 tackles, 2 sacks and forced a fumble at Maine. He’s second on the team with five sacks this season.

•  Safety Corey Parker recorded a team-high 12 tackles at Maine.

•  Kris Hooper kicked a pair of field goals at Maine and had made six this season.