2023 CAA Football

CAA Football Weekly Report | FCS Playoff Quarterfinals

CAA Football Weekly Report | FCS Playoff Quarterfinals

Catch up on the CAA Football weekly news, notes and awards.

Dec 9, 2022 by FloFootball Staff
CAA Football Weekly Report | FCS Playoff Quarterfinals

Catch up on the CAA Football weekly news, notes and awards.


Friday, Dec. 9 โ€“ FCS Playoff Quarterfinals
William & Mary (11-1, 7-1 CAA) vs. Montana State (11-1, 8-0 Big Sky) at Bobcat Stadium, Bozeman, Mont. (ESPN2), 10:15  p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 26 - First-Round Results
Delaware 56, Saint Francis (Pa.) 17
New Hampshire 52, Fordham 42
Richmond 41, Davidson 0
Furman 31, Elon 6

Saturday, Dec. 3 - Second-Round Results

#5 William & Mary 54, Gardner-Webb 14
#8 Holy Cross 35, New Hampshire 19
#1 South Dakota State 42, Delaware 6
#2 Sacramento State 38, Richmond 31


W&M ADVANCES TO FCS PLAYOFF QUARTERFINALS: William & Mary defeated Big South champ Gardner-Webb, 54-14, last Saturday to advance to the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs for the first time since 2009. 

The Tribe set school playoff records for points, total yards (608), rushing yards (302) and forced turnovers (six) in the win. 

W&M has won eight in a row, and its 11 overall victories this season are tied for the most in program history.

BOZEMAN BOUND: Next up for W&M is a Friday-night clash with Big Sky champ Montana State, which also is 11-1. 

The game features two of the nation's most prolific rushing attacks, with MSU ranked No. 1 in the FCS (332.8 ypg), and W&M ranked No. 4 (276.7 ypg). 

The Tribe is on an eight-game winning streak and is 6-0 on the road this season, while the Bobcats have won nine consecutive games and own a FCS-best 19-game home winning streak.

PLAYOFF SUCCESS: The CAA has had at least two teams advance to the second round of the FCS playoffs every year since the final expanded to 20 (and then 24) teams in 2010. 

The conference has had at least one team in the quarterfinals every year since 1995 and has had at least one team in the semifinals for the past nine seasons. 

CAA teams are 29-31 all-time in the quarterfinals and 8-3 in quarterfinal games since 2015.

RECORD-SETTING SATURDAY: Records were broken in all four first-round playoff games involving CAA teams. 

Richmond quarterback Reece Udinski broke the FCS playoff record for completion percentage with his 28-of-31 (90.3%) passing performance against Davidson. 

New Hampshire running back Dylan Laube set a FCS playoff record with 424 all-purpose yards vs. Fordham. 

Elon's Skyler Davis kicked field goals of 51 and 52 yards at Furman to tie the FCS record of seven 50+-yard FG's in a season. 

Delaware quarterback Nolan Henderson threw four touchdown passes against St. Francis to set a school record with 32 for the season.

FIVE CAA TEAMS RECEIVE FCS PLAYOFF BERTHS: Five CAA Football teams - Delaware, Elon, New Hampshire, Richmond and William & Mary - received berths in the NCAA FCS playoffs. 

The five teams were the most for the CAA since getting six in the field in 2018 and tied the Big Sky for the most of any league in 2022. 

The CAA also had five teams make the playoffs in 2007, 2008 and 2011. 

CAA teams went 3-1 in first-round action and had four teams compete in the second round for the first time since 2016.

TEN FROM CAA NAMED FINALISTS FOR STATS PERFORM AWARDS: Nine players and one coach were selected as finalists for national awards from Stats Perform. 

Monmouth running back Jaden Shirden and Richmond quarterback Reece Udinski were among 30 finalists for the Walter Payton Award as the top offensive player in the FCS. 

Delaware linebacker Johnny Buchanan, Elon linebacker/safety Marcus Hillman, William & Mary linebacker John Pius and Richmond linebacker Tristan Wheeler were among 30 finalists for the Buck Buchanan Award as the top defensive player in the FCS. 

UAlbany quarterback Reese Poffenbarger, William & Mary cornerback Jalen Jones and Towson linebacker Mason Woods were among 25 finalists for the Jerry Rice Award as the top freshman in the FCS. 

William & Mary's Mike London was among 16 finalists for the Eddie Robinson Award as the top coach in the FCS. 

Wheeler also was a finalist for the Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete Award. 

Shirden and Pius were top-3 vote getters and earned invitations to the awards banquet in Frisco on Jan. 7.

SHIRDEN, PIUS HEADLINE ALL-CONFERENCE AWARDS: Monmouth running back Jaden Shirden, who ran for a FCS-best 1,722 yards with 13 TDs, was chosen as the CAA Offensive Player of the Year, while William & Mary linebacker John Pius, who ranked among the top 5 in FCS in sacks (11.5) and tackles for loss (19.5), was selected as the CAA Defensive Player of the Year by the league's head coaches. 

Other top honors went to New Hampshire's Rick Santos as CAA Coach of the Year, Towson's D'Ago Hunter as CAA Special Teams Player of the Year, UAlbany's Reese Poffenbarger as CAA Offensive Rookie of the Year and William & Mary cornerback Jalen Jones as CAA Defensive Rookie of the Year. 

Richmond's Tristan Wheeler received the Chuck Boone Leadership Award. 

DOMINANT IN NON-CONFERENCE PLAY: CAA teams have been dominant against FCS nonconference opponents over the past five years, winning a remarkable 76% of those games. 

The success continued in 2022, as CAA teams were 21-5 against FCS foes in the regular season. The 21 wins and the .808 win percentage was the best of any FCS conference.

William & Mary (11-1, 7-1 CAA)

โ€ข  Rolled past Gardner-Webb last week, 54-14, to reach the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs for the first time since 2009.

โ€ข  Darius Wilson threw for 240 yards and three touchdowns and ran for a team-high 89 yards vs. GWU. He ranks eighth in FCS in pass efficiency.

โ€ข  Bronson Yoder has topped the 100-yard mark six times and became W&M's first 1,000-yard rusher (1,133 yds.) since 2016.

โ€ข  W&M has rushed for 300+ yards in five of its past six games. W&M is fourth in the FCS in rushing, eighth in total offense and 17th in scoring.

โ€ข  JT Mayo had TD catches of 34 and 43 yards in a 1:02 span of the second quarter vs. GWU.

โ€ข  John Pius ranks fourth in FCS in sacks (11.5) and ninth in TFLs (19.0), and he leads the Tribe with 71 total tackles.

โ€ข  W&M forced six turnovers against GWU. Tye Freeland had two of W&M's four interceptions.

โ€ข  W&M won 10 regular-season games for the first time in school history. The Tribe is 6-0 on the road and has won eight straight games.