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Another week, another Top 25 CAA matchup — plus, pivotal non-conference matchups for a pair of league contenders.
Straight from the CAA news desk, here's what's on tap:
Three Conference Games On Week 8 Slate
There are three conference games on the Week 8 schedule, highlighted by No. 22 New Hampshire visiting No. 24 Delaware.
Also on the league slate, No. 2 James Madison travels to in-state rival William & Mary, while UAlbany hosts Rhode Island. In non-conference action, Towson entertains Bucknell, Richmond welcomes Yale, and Maine heads to Liberty.
Quality Teams From Top To Bottom
The CAA's depth and parity were on display last Saturday as five of the league's six nationally ranked teams lost to conference foes, with four of the setbacks coming to unranked opponents.
UAlbany won 38-21 at No. 9 Towson, Elon downed No. 15 Delaware 42-7, Richmond got a 24-17 victory at No. 18 Maine, and New Hampshire picked up a 20-14 win at No. 22 Stony Brook.
In a top-five showdown, JMU rallied for 21 fourth-quarter points to defeat No. 5 Villanova, 38-24.
CAA Games Provide Plenty Of Excitement
Ten of the 18 CAA games played this season have been decided by eight points or less, including three overtime contests.
On Oct. 7, JMU edged Stony Brook, 45-38 in overtime after the Seawolves kicked a game-tying field goal with five seconds left.
On Sept. 29, Stony Brook edged Rhode Island, 31-27, on Tyquell Fields’ 50-yard TD run with 11 seconds to play.
On Sept. 21, Villanova edged Towson, 52-45 in overtime, and New Hampshire got past Rhode Island, 27-24, on a field goal as time expired. Delaware pulled out a 36-33 triple OT win at Rhode Island on Sept. 7.
Home Not So Sweet
Road teams have had a lot of success in CAA play this season. Through 18 games, visiting teams have an 11-7 record.
Strong Performance In Non-Conference Play
CAA Football teams are 23-5 (.821) 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.
Five CAA Teams Ranked Nationally This Week
Five 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. 7 Villanova, No. 18 Towson, No. 22 New Hampshire, and No. 24 Delaware. The AFCA poll includes No. 2 JMU, No. 7 Villanova, No. 20 Towson, No 23 New Hampshire, and No. 24 Delaware.
The five ranked teams are tied for the most of any FCS conference. Five other CAA teams — Stony Brook, Maine, Elon, UAlbany and Richmond — were among other teams receiving votes in the STATS poll.
John Daka Earns National Honor
JMU defensive end John Daka was selected as the STATS National Defensive Player of the Week after tallying career-highs of nine tackles, 5.0 TFLs, and 2.0 sacks while also forcing a fumble in the Dukes' win over Villanova.
Daka was the fifth CAA player to receive national accolades from STATS, joining New Hampshire's Oleh Manzyk (Freshman/Oct. 7), Maine’s Earnest Edwards (Special Teams/Sept. 22), Elon's Marcus Willoughby (Defense/Sept. 9), and Villanova's Jaquan Amos (Defense/Sept. 2).
Top Receiving Tandems Go Head-to-Head
Saturday's matchup between Rhode Island and UAlbany features two of the top receiving tandems in FCS.
The Rams' duo of Aaron Parker (47 rec., 746 yds, 6 TDs) and Isaiah Coulter (43 rec., 657 yds, TDs) rank first and second in the CAA in receptions per game, while the Great Danes' Juwan Green (46 rec., 702 yds, 8 TDs) and Jerah Reeves (46 rec., 565 yds, 4 TDs) are tied for third in catches per game.
All four rank among the top 15 in FCS in receptions, and Parker, Coulter and Green are also among the top 11 in FCS in receiving yards per game. All four players have had three games with at least 100 receiving yards this season.
• Defeated Towson, 38-21, last week for their first road win of the season.
• Jeff Undercuffler threw for 380 yards and 2 TDs at UR and has 16 TD passes in the last 5 games. He’s 3rd in the CAA in passing (268.7 ypg) and is 2nd in FCS with 20 TD passes.
• Juwan Green made 8 catches for 156 yards at Towson. He ranks 2nd in the CAA in receptions (46) and receiving yards (702). His 8 receiving TDs are the most in the CAA.
• Jerah Reeves had 10 receptions for a career-high 143 yards at Towson. He's made 25 catches for 369 yards in the last 3 games.
• Karl Mofor ran for 120 yards and 2 TD's on 30 carries at Towson. It was his 3rd 100-yard effort in the past four games.
• UAlbany’s defense limited Towson to 280 total yards and is allowing just 231.5 ypg over the past two games.
• Eli Mencer recorded 3.5 TFLs and 3.0 sacks at Towson. He leads the CAA with 13.0 TFLs and ranks 2nd with 6.5 sacks.
• Dropped a 42-7 decision at Elon last week.
• Pat Kehoe passed for 175 yards and a TD at Elon after starting QB Nolan Henderson was injured in the first quarter.
• Will Knight ran for a team-high 69 yards on 11 carries at EU. He tops UD in rushing (345 yds) for the season and is averaging 8.4 ypc.
• TE Bryce De Maille made 2 catches for 69 yards at Elon, including a 38-yard TD reception in the 4th quarter. He leads the Blue Hens with 4 TD catches for the season.
• Thyrick Pitts had 4 receptions for 69 yards at Elon. It was the fourth time in six games that he's tallied at least four catches.
• Kedrick Whithead made a team-high 7 tackles at Elon. He leads the Blue Hens with 56 tackles for the season.
• UD committed 7 penalties at Elon after having only 13 in the first five games combined.
• Nick Pritchard averaged 41.5 yards on 8 punts and placed 4 of them inside the 20.
• Scored 35 second-half points and rolled past Delaware, 42-7, last week.
• Davis Cheek was 22-of-25 passing for a season-high 259 yards and a TD vs. UD. His completion percentage (88%) was an EU record and the best in FCS this season.
• WR Bryson Daughtry set career-highs with 6 catches for 93 yards vs. UD and also scored a TD on a 3-yard run.
• DeSean McNair had 2 rushing TD's for the 2nd time this season and the 4th time in his career vs. UD. He leads EU with 5 TDs.
• Kortez Weeks made his season-high with 8 receptions for 56 yards against UD.
• Cole Coleman registered a career-high 16 tackles and forced a fumble vs. UD. He leads Elon with 57 stops this season.
• Elon held UD to 319 total yards and is allowing just 301.5 ypg over the last 2 games.
• Greg Liggs, Jr. had a 42-yard pick-six vs. UD. It was his 4th interception in two games.
• Rallied past Villanova, 38-24, last week for their 3rd straight win over a ranked foe.
• Ben DiNucci threw for 216 yards and 3 TDs vs. VU. He's 5th in FCS in completion percentage (70.4%) and 8th in pass efficiency, and has 11 TD passes with only 2 int.
• Latrele Palmer ran for a career-high 103 yards on only 8 carries vs. VU, becoming the 3rd different back to top the 100-yard mark in the past four games. The Dukes rank 8th in FCS in rushing (252.4 ypg).
• JMU ranks 8th in FCS in total offense (477.4 ypg) and has topped the 500-yard mark in five of the past six games.
• JMU has held 6 of its 7 opponents under 100 yards rushing and ranks No. 2 in FCS in rushing defense (67.3 ypg).
• The Dukes also rank No. 8 in FCS in scoring defense and No. 10 in total defense.
• John Daka set career-highs with 9 tackles, 5.0 TFLs and 2.0 sacks vs. VU and also forced a fumble. He's 2nd in the CAA with 12.5 TFLs for the season.
• Suffered a 24-17 setback to Richmond last week.
• Chris Ferguson, who ranks 18th in FCS in passing (275.8 ypg), suffered a 1st quarter injury vs. UR. True freshman Joe Fagnano threw for 157 yards and a TD off the bench.
• Maine rushed for a season-high 209 yards vs. UR with Joe Fitzpatrick picking up a team-best 93 yards on 19 carries.
• Earnest Edwards ranks 5th in FCS with 24.9 yards per catch and has scored a TD in 11 of his last 12 games. He's also 3rd in FCS in kick returns and 4th in all-purpose yards.
• Andre Miller made 4 catches for a season-high 115 yards against UR, including an 87-yard TD reception in the 3rd quarter.
• Charles Mitchell recorded six tackles, 3.0 TFL and a sack vs. Richmond. He's tied for the team lead with 6.0 TFLs for the season.
• Maine ranks 13th in FCS in passing defense (175.0 ypg) and hasn’t allowed more than 244 yards passing in a game this season.
• Increased their winning streak to four after a 20-14 victory at Stony Brook last week.
• Max Brosmer passed for 196 yards and 2 TDs at SBU. It was the 3rd time in five games that he's thrown a pair of TD passes.
• Evan Gray rushed for a team-high 54 yards on 15 carries at SBU and has run for 436 yards on 52 attempts (8.4 ypc) over the past five games.
• Brian Espanet made 4 receptions for 59 yards and 2 TDs at SBU. He leads the Wildcats with 4 receiving TD's this season.
• UNH leads the CAA and ranks No. 7 in FCS in scoring defense (16.2 ppg). The Wildcats have held 4 of their 5 FCS opponents to 14 points or less.
• Jason Hughes has kicked 7 FGs in the past three games, including four over 40 yards.
• Max Oxendine recorded a career-high 9 tackles in his first collegiate start at SBU.
• Evan Horn intercepted a pass for the second straight game at SBU.
• Fell 34-17 at ACC foe Virginia Tech last week. Trailed by just 7 in the 4th quarter.
• Vito Priore passed for 286 yards and a TD at VT. He’s thrown for over 285 yards in all 6 games and is 4th in FCS in passing (333.8 ypg). Priore is the first URI QB to throw for 2,000 yards in a season since 2008.
• Aaron Parker made 5 catches for 64 yards at VT. He’s 2nd in FCS in receiving yards per game (124.3) and 7th in receptions per game (7.8). Parker is 2nd in career receiving yards (2,982), 4th in receptions (182) and 3rd in TD catches (27) at URI.
• Isaiah Coulter had 9 receptions for 152 yards at VU, which was his 3rd 100+-yard effort in 4 games. He's had 36 catches for 527 yards and 3 TDs over the past 4 contests.
• C.J. Carrick made 3 FGs at VT, including 2 from 41 yards. He has 25 career FGs, which is tied for 5th in URI history.
• Branyan Javier-Castillo made 11 tackles at VT and leads the CAA with 10.5 tackles per game (63 total).
• Picked up a 24-17 victory at Maine last week. Won back-to-back CAA games for the first time since 2017.
• UR's defense had 4 sacks against Maine and has recorded 11 in the past two weeks.
• Maurice Jackson tallied 7 tackles, 2.5 TFL and 2.0 sacks at Maine. He leads the CAA with 7.0 sacks and is 3rd with 11.5 TFL.
• Tyler Dressler made a career-high 20 tackles at Maine, which is the most by any player in FCS this season.
• Keyston Fuller caught a 66-yard TD pass at Maine and has made 24 receptions for 535 yards (22.3 ypc) over the past 5 games.
• Joe Mancuso passed for 226 yards and a TD at Maine and also ran for a team-high 28 yards and 2 scores.
• Brandon Feamster added a career-high 12 stops and 1.5 sacks at Maine.
• Richmond had no turnovers and no penalties in the win at Maine.
• Dropped a 20-14 decision to New Hampshire last week.
• Ty Son Lawton rushed for a career-best 124 yards and a TD vs. UNH. He's run for 320 yards and 5 TDs over the last 3 games.
• Tyquell Fields threw for 180 yards and a TD vs. UNH. He's had at least 180 yards and a TD passing in six of SBUs seven games.
• Nick Anderson made 3 catches for 77 yards vs. UNH and has 231 receiving yards over the past two contests.
• Jean Constant, who tops the CAA and is 15th in FCS in punt returns (10.9 avg), has caught a TD pass in five consecutive games.
• SBU ranks 16th in FCS in total offense (459.3 ypg) and has tallied more than 430 yards against 5 of its 6 FCS opponents.
• The Seawolves are +4 in turnover margin, which ranks 27th in FCS.
• LB Elijah Duff recorded a career-best 13 tackles against New Hampshire.
• Suffered a 38-21 setback to UAlbany last week.
• Tom Flacco threw for 187 yards and 2 TDs vs. UA and moved to 7th in career TD passes (36) at TU. Flacco ranks 4th in the CAA in passing (239.3 ypg) and also leads Towson in rushing with 274 yards.
• Yeedee Thaenrat has scored 8 rushing TDs in the past four games. He's 2nd in the CAA in scoring with 54 points (9.0 ppg).
• Aidan O’Neill has 57 career FGs, which is two shy of the CAA all-time record.
• Shane Leatherbury had 4 catches for 47 yards vs. UA. He leads TU with 27 receptions for 411 yards and 3 TDs.
• Robert Heyward made a team-high 11 tackles vs. UA and tops the Tigers with 51 stops for the season.
• Towson leads the CAA in turnover margin (+7) and interceptions (9).
• Towson recorded a season-high four sacks against UAlbany.
• Lost 38-24 at James Madison last week, ending a six-game winning streak.
• Daniel Smith threw for a career-high 387 yards and 3 TDs at JMU. He’s accounted for at least 3 TDs in all 7 games and has 26 (20 pass/6 rush) for the season, which tops FCS.
• Changa Hodge set career-highs with 8 catches for 134 yards and 2 TDs at JMU.
• Freshman Jaaron Hayek has caught 23 passes for 347 yards and 4 TDs over the past four games.
• Villanova ranks 14th in FCS in scoring offense (37.3 ppg) and has scored at least 33 points in six of its seven games.
• Villanova ranks 16th in FCS in rush defense (99.4 ypg) and has held five opponents to less than 95 yards on the ground.
• Forrest Rhyne made a team-high 13 tackles, 3.0 TFL and 2.0 sacks at JMU. He leads VU in all three categories for the season with 62 stops, 10.0 TFL, and 5.5 sacks.
William & Mary
• On a bye last week. Return to action on Saturday against No. 2 James Madison.
• Kilton Anderson threw for 245 yards and 3 TDs vs. Villanova. It was the most passing yards by a W&M QB this season.
• Kane Everson made a career-high 11 catches for 131 yards and 2 TDs vs. Villanova. He's had 18 receptions for 252 yards and 3 TDs over the past two games.
• Bronson Yoder ranks 4th in FCS in kickoff return average (32.7 avg.) and has returned 2 kickoffs for a TD.
• W&M's offense is averaging 31.8 ppg in its four games against FCS opponents.
• Zach Burdick has made 20 receptions for 365 yards and a TD and ranks 5th in the CAA in yards per catch (18.2).
• W&M has forced 11 turnovers and is +2 in turnover margin for the year.
• Corey Parker leads W&M with 43 tackles and also has 3.5 TFLs and 4 PBUs.