No. 5 William and Mary to play nationally-televised game against No. 2 Villanova

By Dan Gigliotti

The No. 5 William and Mary football team has played lights-out defense in the past three weeks, including Saturday’s win over Norfolk State and is being rewarded with the CAA’s first nationally televised broadcast in its history.

The Tribe recorded five straight scoreless quarters stringing from the second half of last week’s game against Central Connecticut State and lasting through three quarters of Saturday’s game. It was their seventh quarter without giving up a point in the three games they’ve played this season.

They stymied any effort Norfolk State made to run the ball holding them to 39 yards rushing (34 in the first half). So far on the season opponents averaged 114.3 rushing yards per game.

The Tribe offense acted as a good complement to its defense making it to the red zone in the first three drives downfield and controlling the ball for almost 15 more minutes than Norfolk State. They used a two-pronged running attack to wear down the Spartan defense in Terrence Riggins and Jonathan Grimes (26 carries, 142 yards), who also caught a ten-yard touchdown pass to begin the day’s scoring.

Quarterback RJ Archer didn’t misfire much when he dropped back to pass on Saturday gaining 153 yards and three scores on 15-20 passing. He favored his primary target DJ McAulay who caught six catches for a total of 74 yards and a couple of scores.

Thanks to their stellar play, William and Mary will be featured on a national broadcast against a team in No. 2 Villanova that has played just as well. The Wildcats are undefeated as well this season coming off of a strong performance on Saturday, taking down the University of Pennsylvania 14-3.

According to an announcement made by CAA Football and the Comcast Sports Group on Monday afternoon, the game will be shown on the VERSUS channel at 3:30 p.m. est. The time of kickoff was originally slated for 7 p.m. but was moved to an earlier time in order to accommodate the viewers in the approximately 73 million homes that the channel reaches nationwide.

Delaware double

The University of Delaware and Delaware State football teams went toe-to-toe on Saturday for the first time in regular season history.

In front of over 20,000 fans, the University of Delaware outplayed the Hornets in a closely contested match. The game couldn’t have been tighter, statistically, as both teams ran and threw for 343 total yards exactly. The Blue Hens had the ball for five fewer minutes than their opponents, but the Hornets turned the ball over twice. The second of those turnovers would prove to be costly, as it was converted into a touchdown with 11:00 min left in the game and gave Delaware a decisive 21-3 advantage.

Quarterback Pat Delvin did nearly everything for his team recording three touchdowns on the day (2 rush, 1 pass) and accounting for nearly 270 total yards on offense. 

Football fans who claim residence in Delaware were officially forced to choose their allegiance this past Saturday as the University of Delaware and Delaware State football teams squared off at Delaware Stadium for the first inaugural First State Cup. The two football programs are the only two that are native to the state and have never met on the gridiron until the postseason in 2007 (Delaware won 44-7). The game, starting this year, will be played annually with the winner leaving the field with the all-important State Cup.

After 10,000 votes were placed online, the game got its title as the First State Cup following a contest entitled “Name It” sponsored by the Delaware News Journal. Some 4,000 submissions were made giving possible ideas for this momentous game and from there it was dwindled down to the final four.

Spiders spinning new web

The No. 1 University of Richmond Spiders played their first game at home on Saturday, marking the beginning of a year-long farewell to their 81-year-old stadium, downing Hofstra in a 47-0 rout to gain their school record 12th consecutive win.

The Spiders current win streak is the longest in the Football Championship Subdivision, and they used a strong defense to suffocate the Hofstra offense. Defense was especially prevalent in the first half, as they jumped out to a 31-0 lead at the break by way of four recovered fumbles. Defensive lineman Nick Battle contributed a strong effort on Richmond’s frontline (five tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss, one sack, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovered), one worthy of CAA Defensive Player of the Week honors, as Richmond held Hofstra to under 200 total yards of offense, including 13 on the ground.

On the other side of the ball, the Spider offense converted four first-half-fumbles into 24 points while going a perfect five-for-five in red zone opportunities (four touchdowns, 1 field goal). They did so on the legs of their running backs who ran for 213 yards, most notably Justin Forte who averaged six yards per carry (12 rush, 72 yards). Quarterback Eric Ward continued his proficient play on Saturday (12-16, 165 yards, 4 touchdowns) who now has a 150.87 efficiency rating in his three games this season. The Spider offense has now scored 31 or more points in 13 straight home games.

Richmond will retire the 81-year-old UR Stadium later this year, which was founded in 1929 – previously home to the Richmond Rebels, an Atlantic Coast Football League and Continental Football League, from 1964-1967. The stadium, which seats 21,319, is making way for a $25 million project which is slated to be the new home of the Spiders in 2010. The stadium hosted the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Soccer Championships from 1995-1998 and also the 2008 National Champion Richmond Football Team from a year ago. The Spider football team is1-0 at home and hope to keep a goose egg in the loss column and go out of UR Stadium untarnished as they play Virginia Military Institute on Sept. 26.

Dan Gigliotti can be reached at [email protected]