CAA News & Notes: CAA Pacing The FCS In More Ways Than One

Another week, another big spot for fifth-ranked Towson. Seven days after dismantling Maine in Orono in a matchup of teams ranked in the FCS Top 10, the Tigers will host surging No. 18 Villanova on Saturday. That's just one of the storylines to watch in Week 4.

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Straight from the CAA news desk, here's what's on tap:

Battle of Unbeatens Highlights Week 4 Slate

The Week 4 schedule is highlighted by a matchup of two nationally ranked unbeaten squads as No. 18 Villanova visits No. 5 Towson. The Wildcats have won their three games by an average of 27.6 ppg, while the Tigers’ three victories have come by an average of 22.7 ppg. New Hampshire hosts Rhode Island in the other CAA contest this week.

Road Teams Off to 3-0 Start In CAA Play

The road team has won the first three conference matchups of the season. Delaware pulled out a 36-33 triple OT win at Rhode Island on Sept. 7, while Elon won 42-20 at Richmond and Towson topped Maine, 45-23, last week as the Tigers ended the Black Bears’ six-game home win streak.

We're Number One

Several CAA players lead the nation in various statistical categories. 

Maine’s Chris Ferguson is No. 1 in passing (370.0 ypg), Stony Brook’s Tyquell Fields is No. 1 in yards per completion (19.3), Rhode Island’s Aaron Parker is No. 1 in receptions (10.5) and receiving yards (185.5 ypg) per game, Villanova’s Justin Covington is No. 1 in yards per carry (10.7), W&M’s Bronson Yoder is No. 1 in kickoff return average (40.4) and Towson’s Coby Tippett and URI’s Momodou Mbye are tied for first in interceptions per game (1.0). 

Topping 200

There were two more 200-yard receiving efforts in the CAA last week. 

UAlbany’s Juwan Green made a program-record 15 catches for 245 yards and 3 TD’s at Monmouth, while Richmond’s Keyston Fuller had 7 grabs for 208 yards and a TD against Elon. Rhode Island’s Aaron Parker set career-highs with 12 receptions for 227 yards against Delaware on Sept. 7. 

On the ground, UAlbany’s Alex James ran for 229 yards on only 12 carries in a win over Bryant on Sept. 7.

Strong Start In Non-Conference Play

CAA Football teams are 16-4 against non-conference FCS foes this season, which is the best of any conference. The league compiled a 22-9 (.710) record against non-conference FCS competition last year and went 26-6 (.813) in non-conference games against FCS opponents in 2017.

CAA Looks to Extend Success Against FBS Foes

Elon visits Wake Forest and William & Mary travels to East Carolina on Saturday as the CAA looks to extend its streak of four straight years with a FBS win. 

CAA Football teams have posted multiple victories over FBS opponents in each of the past three seasons. In 2018, Villanova beat Temple, 19-17, and Maine beat Western Kentucky, 31-28. 

CAA Football has posted 38 wins over FBS foes in its history and has won at least one game against an FBS team in 11 of the past 13 years. Since 2013, seven different teams (UAlbany, JMU, Maine, New Hampshire, Richmond, Towson and Villanova) have recorded a FBS victory.

Six CAA Teams Ranked Nationally This Week

Six CAA Football teams are ranked in this week’s STATS and AFCA Coaches Top 25 Polls. 

In the STATS poll, JMU is ranked No. 2, followed by No. 5 Towson, No. 12 Maine, No. 18 Villanova, No. 20 Delaware and No. 22 Elon. The AFCA poll includes No. 2 JMU, No. 5 Towson, No. 16 Maine, No. 18 Villanova, No. 20 Delaware and No. 22 Elon. 

The six ranked teams are the most of any FCS conference. Stony Brook and William & Mary received votes in both polls.


UAlbany

•  Overcame a 21-0 deficit, but fell 38-35 in OT at Monmouth last week.

•  Juwan Green made a program-record 15 receptions for 245 yards and 3 TD’s at MU. The receptions and receiving yards were the 2nd-most by any FCS player this season.

•  Jeff Undercuffler tied the program record for passing yards (398) and passing TD’s (4) in a game at MU. He set new UAlbany marks for completions (31) and attempts (53).

•  Jerah Reeves made 8 catches for 79 yards at MU, including a 21-yard TD reception with 4 seconds left that sent the game to overtime.

•  Karl Mofor ran for 99 yards and a TD on 12 carries at MU. He ranks second in the CAA in rushing (89.0 ypg).

•  The Great Danes piled up a season-high 511 yards of total offense vs. Monmouth.

•  LB Levi Metheny recorded a team-high 12 tackles and made an interception at MU. He leads all CAA players with 32 stops for the season.

Delaware

•  Dropped a 47-22 decision to #1 North Dakota State last Saturday.

•  ODU transfer Will Knight rushed for a career-high 115 yards on only 8 carries and also caught 3 passes for 46 yards vs. NDSU.

•  Reserve QB Nolan Henderson was 9-of-12 passing for 125 yards and 2 TD’s vs. NDSU. The TD passes were the first of his career.

•  UD took an early 2-0 lead vs. NDSU when Luke Frederick blocked a punt out of the end zone. It was his first career block.

•  Kedrick Whithead made a career-high 10 tackles vs. NDSU and leads the Blue Hens with 22 stops for the season.

•  Chichi Amachi hauled in a 44-yard TD reception vs. NDSU. He also had a 66-yard TD catch against Rhode Island on Sept. 7.

•  Jake Roth hit FG’s of 36 and 23 yards vs NDSU and is 4-for-6 on the season.

•  Delaware has won four of its last five CAA road games.

Elon

•  Picked up a 42-20 victory at Richmond last week in their CAA opener.

•  Davis Cheek passed for 234 yards and a career-high 5 TD’s at UR. It was his 3rd straight 200-yard passing effort. He has thrown 191 consecutive passes without an interception.

•  Kortez Weeks made a team-high 8 catches for 125 yards and a TD at UR. He’s had TD catches in all three games this season after not having one since 2017.

•  Elon went 9-for-9 on third-down opportunities to start the game at Richmond and scored TD’s on the first six possessions.

•  Elon had four scoring drives of at least 75 yards vs. Richmond. 12 of Elon’s 13 scoring drives in 2019 have been at least 69 yards and all have resulted in touchdowns.

•  Shamari Wingard had a 96-yard kickoff return for a TD at UR, which was Elon’s first since 2007.

•  Elon held UR to 96 yards rushing. The Phoenix rank 19th in FCS in total defense.

James Madison

•  Beat Morgan State, 63-12, last week. Have outscored past two opponents, 107-19.

•  Ben DiNucci was 18-of-23 passing for 240 yards and a career-high 4 TD’s. He ranks 3rd in FCS in completion percentage (73.4%).

•  Brandon Polk made a team-high 6 catches for 67 yards. He’s 4th in the CAA in receptions (16) and 7th in receiving yards (228).

•  JMU topped the 500-yard mark (507) in total offense for the 2nd straight game.

•  JMU has held its past 2 opponents to no touchdows in the first three quarters.

•  The Dukes rank No. 5 in FCS in rushing defense, No. 6 in scoring defense and No.7 in total defense.

•  Ethan Ratke is 5-of-7 on FG’s this season. With 36 career FG’s, he’s just four shy of JMU’s all-time record.

•  JMU is playing at Chattanooga’s Finley Stadium for the first time since capturing the national championship in 2004.

Maine

•  Lost 45-23 to Towson in their CAA opener. Ended a 6-game home winning streak.

•  Chris Ferguson threw for 401 yards and a TD vs. TU, but had 4 interceptions. He leads FCS in passing (370.0 ypg) and has thrown for 250+ yards in four straight games.

•  Maine’s top 3 receivers - Jaquan Blair (17-279), Earnest Edwards (13-273) and Devin Young (14-240) - are averaging better than 16 yards per catch and have 6 total TD’s.

•  Edwards has scored at least one TD in 10 consecutive games.

•  Maine ranks 3rd in FCS in passing offense and 14th in total offense.

•  PK Kenny Doak was a career-best 3-for-3 on FG’s vs. Towson, including two from 40+ yards. He’s 4-for-6 for the season.

•  DB Manny Patterson recorded a career-high 8 tackles against Towson.

•  Maine ranks 9th in FCS in passing defense (137.0 ypg).

New Hampshire

•  Fell 30-17 at FBS member FIU last week. Led 17-13 in the third quarter.

•  Max Brosmer became the first true freshman to ever start at QB for UNH and was 19-of-38 passing for 224 yards and 2 TD’s.

•  RS freshman RB Dylan Laube caught an 86-yard TD pass at FIU and also ran for 36 yards on 8 carries. It was UNH’s first passing TD of 80+ yards since 2014.

•  Evan Gray ran for a team-high 71 yards on only 5 carries at FIU.

•  Malik Love made 6 catches for 52 yards at FIU, which was his top effort in both categories since 2017.

•  LB Cameron Brusko made a career-high 10 tackles at FIU and is tied the team lead in stops for the season with 17.

•  WR Brian Espanet had his first career TD catch in the 1st quarter at FIU.

•  UNH opens CAA play vs. Rhode Island on Saturday. It will also be the home opener for the Wildcats.

Rhode Island

•  Off last week following a 44-36 loss in 3ot to Delaware in their CAA opener.

•  Aaron Parker set career-highs with 12 catches for 227 yards and a TD vs. UD. It was the most catches for a URI player since 1994 and the most yards since 2009. Parker leads FCS in receiving yards per game (185.5) and receptions per game (10.5).

•  Vito Priore was 30-of-48 passing for 430 yards and 3 TD’s vs. UD. He’s thrown for 250+ yards in 4 of his last 6 games and the yards were the 8th-most ever at URI. Priore ranks 2nd in FCS with 360.0 passing ypg.

•  Ahmere Dorsey had 199 all-purpose yards and 2 TD’s against UD, including a career-high 6 catches for 99 yards and a TD.

•  Branyan Javier-Castillo had a team-high 14 tackles, 2.0 TFL, a sack and an interception vs. UD. He leads the CAA with 11.0 tackles per game.

•  CJ Carrick tied his career-high with 3 field goals vs. UD, including a career-long 44-yarder that sent the game to overtime.

Richmond

•  Dropped a 42-20 decision to Elon last week in their CAA opener.

•  Joe Mancuso was 11-of-16 passing for 234 yards and 2 TD’s in the 2nd half vs. Elon. He ranks 8th in FCS in completion percentage (69.2%) and 20th in pass efficiency.

•  Keyston Fuller made 7 catches for 208 yards vs. Elon, including a 66-yard TD reception. The 208 yards tied for the 4th-highest total in UR history.

•  Richmond was held to 96 yards rushing vs. Elon after entering the game ranked 10th in FCS with 267.5 ypg on the ground.

•  Charlie Fessler tops the CAA and ranks 10th in FCS in punt return average (15.0). He also has 15 receptions for 162 yards.

•  Freshman Jake Larson is 3-for-3 on FG’s and 8-for-8 on XP’s for the season. He’s also averaging 41.7 yards on six punts.

•  Tyler Dressler contributed 10 tackles, a tackle for loss and a pass breakup vs. Elon.

Stony Brook

•  Won their 11th straight home game by beating Wagner, 26-10, last week.

•  Tyquell Fields was 11-of-19 passing for a career-high 282 yards and a TD vs. WC. It was the most yards by a SBU QB since 2013.

•  Isaiah White rushed for a career-high 131 yards and 2 TD’s on 31 carries vs. WC. He ranks 4th in the CAA in rushing (74.7 ypg).

•  Andrew Trent made 3 catches for 114 yards vs. WC, including an 82-yard reception.

•  Seba Nekhet added a career-best 89 yards on 19 carries vs. Wagner and has run for 135 yards in the past two games.

•  SBU had 551 yards of total offense against Wagner, which was its most since 2017.

•  Stony Brook’s defense held Wagner to 17 yards rushing and 209 total yards while also forcing two fumbles.

• The Seawolves controlled the ball for 39:37 and limited Wagner to 47 total plays.

Towson

•  Opened CAA play with a 45-23 win at defending league champ Maine. Off to a 3-0 start for the first time since 2013.

•  Tom Flacco threw for 232 yards and a TD and ran for 68 yards at UM. He’s passed for 200+ yards in 13 of his 15 career games and is tied for 8th in career TD passes (33) at TU.

•  Yeedee Thaenrat ran for 4 TD’s on 9 carries at Maine. He’s the first TU player to score 4 TD’s in a game since 2016.

•  Aidan O’Neill has 56 career FG’s, which is three shy of the CAA all-time record.

•  Coby Tippett has intercepted a pass in all three games and tops FCS with 3 picks.

•  Keon Paye returned an interception 73 yards at Maine after having a 38-yard pick six against N.C. Central on Sept. 7.

•  Towson picked off four passes at Maine and is +7 in turnover margin for the season.

•  The Tigers rank 10th in FCS in scoring defense (15.7 ppg).

Villanova

•  Moved to 3-0 after a 45-10 victory at Bucknell. VU has scored 30+ points in its first three games and is averaging 39.0 ppg.

•  Dan Smith threw 3 TD passes for the 3rd straight game and also ran for one at BU. He ranks 5th in FCS with 9 TD throws.

•  Justin Covington rushed for a team-high 119 yards on only 7 carries vs. Bucknell. He’s posted three straight 100-yard games and is averaging 10.6 yards per carry.

•  Six different players have caught a TD pass for Villanova this season.

•  Jaquan Amos had a 34-yard interception return for a TD vs. Bucknell, marking the 3rd week in a row that VU had a pick six. Amos has two interception returns for a score.

•  Villanova’s defense held Bucknell to 271 total yards and no touchdowns through the first three quarters.

•  Villanova ranks 4th in FCS in scoring defense (11.3 ppg) and 6th in rush defense.

William & Mary

•  Topped Colgate 38-10 to improve to 2-0 at home this season.

•  Freshman QB Hollis Mathis threw for a career-high 189 yards and a TD and added 62 yards and a TD on the ground.

•  Owen Wright rushed for a career-high 108 yards and a TD on only 16 carries.

•  Zach Burdick made two receptions for 81 yards vs. Colgate and is averaging 34.3 yards per catch for the season.

•  W&M held Colgate to 215 total yards. The Tribe recorded 9 tackles for loss.

•  W&M leads FCS with 10 caused turnovers and is +7 in turnover margin for the year.

•  Freshman Bronson Yoder returned a kickoff 93 yards for a TD, which was the first by a W&M player since 2015. He leads FCS in kickoff return average (40.4 avg.). 

•  All-CAA DL Bill Murray recorded six tackles, 2.0 TFL and a sack against Colgate

Dominant Defenses Collide At Bridgeforth When JMU Hosts UNI

James Madison and Northern Iowa meet in Friday’s national quarterfinals with a similar look – and we’re not just referring to purple-gold-and-white uniforms. 

JMU's Ron'Dell Carter Named Finalist For Buck Buchanan Award

Ron'Dell Carter Has Arrived

James Madison senior defensive end Ron’Dell Carter has been voted one of three finalists for the 2019 STATS FCS Buck Buchanan Award, which is presented annually to the most outstanding defensive player at the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level.

JMU Is Hitting On All Cylinders Heading Into Quarterfinal Round

Rashad Robinson's Ready For His Close-Up

No. 2 overall seed James Madison kicked off its 2019 FCS Playoffs in a fashion indicative of how the Dukes have played all season. 

JMU Crushes Monmouth As Myriad Program Records Fall

CAA champion James Madison piled up a program playoff record 623 yards of total offense and hammered 14th-ranked Monmouth 66-21 in the second round of the FCS Playoffs.

Dukes By The Numbers: JMU Has Been Even More Dominant Than You Realize

HIGHLIGHTS: JMU vs William & Mary

Statistically speaking, James Madison has been one of the best teams in college football throughout the 2019 season. 

JMU's Offensive Line Is Paving The Way For A Title Run

Sessions playing Call of Duty can get pretty heated among the James Madison offensive line. 

UAlbany's Defense Is Flexing Its Muscle At The Perfect Time

In a season with running back Karl Mofor leading the Colonial Athletic Association in rushing, quarterback Jeff Undercuffler leading the nation in passing touchdowns, and wide receivers Juwan Green and Jerah Reeves making one spectacular grab after another, the UAlbany offense garnering attention stands to reason. 

The Future Of UAlbany Football Is Being Constructed As We Speak

Although only 180 miles separate their campuses, it took more than a century for the game born at Rutgers University in 1869 to make its way to UAlbany. 

Jeff Undercuffler Leads UAlbany To First FCS Playoff Win

Redshirt-freshman quarterback Jeff Undercuffler threw six TD passes and Juwan Green hauled in two TDs as the University at Albany football team rolled past Central Connecticut State, 42-12, in the program’s first-ever FCS Playoff win.

The Road To Frisco Runs Through Harrisonburg

Frisco, Texas, became the home of the FCS National Championship in 2010, and since, has been the one destination most every program has circled on its map.