2022 CAA Football

CAA Football Weekly Report | Week 5

CAA Football Weekly Report | Week 5

Catch up on the CAA Football weekly news, notes and awards. See who shined on the gridiron this week.

Sep 30, 2022 by FloFootball Staff
CAA Football Weekly Report | Week 5

See who shined on the gridiron this week for the talented teams of the CAA.


Co-Offensive Player of the Week

Jaden Shirden | RB | Monmouth

Shirden rushed for 211 yards and two TDs on 22 carries (9.6 ypc), as Monmouth earned a 49-42 victory at No. 9 Villanova. 

The sophomore had a 56-yard TD run in the third quarter, before scoring the game-winner from 16 yards out with 46 seconds left. It was Shirden’s second 200+-yard outing in the past three games.

Co-Offensive Player of the Week

Reece Udinski | QB | Richmond

In less than three quarters, Udinski completed 35-of-42 passes (83.3%) for a season-best 357 yards and a career-high five TDs, as Richmond beat Stony Brook, 51-7. 

The five TD passes were the second-most in UR history, with four coming on consecutive first-half drives. He tops FCS in completion pct. (78.6%) and has thrown for 300+ yards in back-to-back games.

Defensive Player of the Week

Marcus Hillman | LB | Elon

Hillman recorded a team-high eight tackles, 2.0 TFLs, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery to help Elon pick up a 35-31 win at 14th-ranked William & Mary. 

The sophomore caused and recovered a fumble with 7:47 to play that helped the Phoenix rally from an 18-point halftime deficit. Elon's defense held W&M to three points and 117 yards in the second half.

Special Teams Player of the Week

Dylan Laube | RB/RET | New Hampshire

Laube tied a school record with a 92-yard punt return for a TD in New Hampshire’s 37-14 win at Towson. The return was the longest in FCS this season and the second-longest in CAA history. 

Laube finished the game with 250 all-purpose yards, which included a team-best 114 yards rushing. 

He leads FCS in punt return average (21.7) and is second in all-purpose yards.

Rookie of the Week

Reese Poffenbarger | QB | UAlbany

Poffenbarger repeats as CAA Rookie of the Week after completing 18-of-26 passes (69.2%) for 257 yards and two TDs in UAlbany’s 45-26 triumph over Central Connecticut St. 

The freshman had scoring passes of 22 and 6 yards to tight end Thomas Greaney in third quarter to help the Great Danes pull away. It was his third straight game with 250+ passing yards.

CONFERENCE NOTES

CLASH OF TOP 25 TEAMS HIGHLIGHTS WEEK 5 SLATE: There are four conference games on the Week 5 slate, highlighted by the only matchup nationally between two Top-25 teams, as #17 Richmond visits #23 Elon. 

Sixth-ranked Delaware, which is one of only six FCS teams off to a 4-0 start, hosts Towson, No. 14 Villanova travels to Maine and Stony Brook entertains No. 18 William & Mary. 

In non-league play, Monmouth takes a two-game win streak to Lehigh, Rhode Island meets Brown for the Governor's Cup, and New Hampshire heads to FBS member Western Michigan.

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

The success has continued in 2022 as CAA teams are 16-4 (.800) against FCS opponents. The 16 wins are the most of any FCS conference, while the .800 win percentage trails only the Ivy League, which is 10-2 (.833).

QUALITY QUARTERBACKS: CAA Football has featured some of the best quarterback play in FCS this season. 

The league has six of the top 16 QB's in FCS in pass efficiency (VU's Connor Watkins, EU's Matthew McKay, W&M's Darius Wilson, UA's Reese Poffenbarger, UD's Nolan Henderson and UR's Reece Udinski) and five of the top 19 in passing yards (Udinski, Henderson, Poffenbarger, McKay and MU's Tony Muskett). Udinski also leads the nation in completion percentage (78.6%) and Henderson is 4th in TD passes (14).

GETTING IT DONE ON THE GROUND: Six of the top 20 rushers in FCS play in the CAA. MU's Jaden Shirden leads the nation at 166.0 ypg, UA's Todd Sibley is ninth (110.2 ypg), EU's Jalen Hampton is 11th (109.3 ypg), UNH's Dylan Laube is 14th (105.8 ypg), W&M's Bronson Yoder is 16th (104.0 ypg) and VU's Jalen Jackson is 19th (97.7 ypg). Last week alone five backs topped the 100-yard mark, including 211 yards from Shirden.

DEFENSES CREATING OFFENSE: While offenses around the CAA are putting plenty of points on the board, several teams have gotten help from their defense. 

In Week 1, Rhode Island's Jordan Jones (42 yards) and New Hampshire's Randall Harris (25 yards) returned interceptions for TDs. W&M's Jalen Jones (33 yards) and Richmond's Aaron Banks (35 yards) scored on pickoffs in Week 2. 

In Week 4, UR's Tyreke Funderburk had a 30-yard pick six and UAlbany's Joseph Greaney scored on a 77-yard fumble return.

UDINSKI NAMED NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Richmond's Reece Udinski was chosen as the FCS National Player of the Week by NCAA.com after throwing for 357 yards and five TDs in a win over Stony Brook last week. He's the fourth CAA player in four weeks to be honored nationally. 

Delaware's Johnny Buchanan was the FedEx Ground National Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 5 after making a school-record 23 tackles in a win over Navy. 

William & Mary's Jalen Jones was the Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 12 after intercepting three passes in a win vs. Campbell. 

Delaware's Nolan Henderson was the FedEx Ground Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 19 after passing for 379 yards and four TDs as the Hens beat Rhode Island.

SEASON-HIGH SIX TEAMS RANKED IN TOP 25 POLLS: A season-high six CAA teams are ranked in the latest AFCA Coaches Top 25 poll and five are ranked by Stats Perform. 

Delaware moved up to No. 6 in both polls, while Villanova is No. 14 in the Stats poll and No. 15 in the AFCA poll. Richmond is ranked No. 17 by Stats and No. 22 by the AFCA, William & Mary is No. 18 in the Stats poll and No. 21 in the AFCA poll and Elon is ranked No. 23 in both polls. Rhode Island is No. 25 in the AFCA rankings and New Hampshire and Monmouth are among others receiving votes in both polls. The CAA's six ranked teams are the most of any conference.

FOUR CAA PLAYERS NAMED SEMIFINALISTS FOR CAMPBELL TROPHY: Maine offensive lineman Mike Gerace, New Hampshire defensive lineman Niko Kvietkus, Stony Brook offensive lineman Kyle Nunez and William & Mary defensive lineman Carl Fowler were chosen as semifinals for the Campbell Trophy, which recognizes the best football scholar-athlete in the nation for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary leadership.

UAlbany

•  Defeated Central Connecticut, 45-26, last week for their first win of the season.

•  Reese Poffenbarger was 18-of-26 passing for 257 yards and two TDs vs. CCSU. He ranks 14th in FCS in passing yards (275.3 ypg) and 13th in pass efficiency (160.8).

•  Todd Sibley ran for a season-high 190 yards vs. CCSU, including a 97-yard TD on the opening play. It was his third straight 100-yard outing and he's ninth in FCS in rushing.

•  Thomas Greaney made a team-high six catches for 87 yards and two TDs vs. CCSU. He leads all tight ends in the CAA in receptions (20), receiving yards (305) and TDs (four).

•  DL Joseph Greaney returned a fumble 77 yards for a TD vs. CCSU.

•  LB Jackson Ambush recorded a season-high 14 tackles vs. CCSU and has 26 stops over the past two games.

•  Tyler Pastula ranks 10th in FCS in punting (44.9 avg) and has five kicks of 50+ yards.

Delaware

•  One of only six FCS teams to start 4-0 after beating Hampton, 35-3, last week.

•  Nolan Henderson was 30-of-43 passing for 296 yards and a career-high five TDs vs. HU. He ranks third in FCS with 14 TD passes and ranks 13th in FCS in pass yards (272.2).

•  Thyrick Pitts made seven catches for 61 yards and three TDs vs. HU, which was the most TD grabs by a UD player since 2013. He also went over 2,000 career receiving yards.

•  Jourdan Townsend has 10 receptions for 164 yards and three TDs in the past two games.

•  Johnny Buchanan leads the CAA with 48 stops. He was the FCS National Defensive Player of Week after 23 tackles vs. Navy.

•  Delaware's defense has held three of its four opponents to less than 10 points. The Hens are sixth in FCS in scoring defense, eighth in total defense and fifth in pass defense.

•  UD held Hampton to 0-for-12 on third down and ranks third in FCS in third-down conversion defense (22.4%).

Elon

•  Off to a 3-1 start for the first time since 2018 after rallying past W&M, 35-31.

•  Elon overcame its largest deficit (18 pts) to win in its FCS program history at W&M.

•  Jalen Hampton ran for 145 yards and three TDs at W&M, including a game-winning 15-yard TD with 1:07 left. He has rushed for 304 yards over the past two games.

•  Matthew McKay threw for 207 yards and a TD and ran for 85 yards at W&M. He ranks ninth in FCS in total offense (312.0 ypg), seventh in FCS in pass efficiency and 15th in passing yards. He's been responsible for at least three TDs in three of Elon's four games.

•  Skyler Davis leads the CAA with seven FG, including two from 52 yards. His 58 career FGs are one shy of Elon's FCS career mark.

•  Elon is 18th in FCS in total defense (309.5 ypg) and 14th in total offense (447.5 ypg).

•  LB Marcus Hillman tops the team in tackles (31), TFLs (7.0) and sacks (2.5). He's made at least six stops in all four games.

Hampton

•  Fell 35-3 at nationally ranked Delaware last week in their CAA opener. Hampton's 3-0 start was its best since 2007.

•  Jadakis Bonds had three catches for 44 yards at UD. He's second in the CAA in receiving yards (315) and has at least one TD catch in three of the year's four games. Bonds tallied a school-record 15 TD receptions in 2019 and is HU's career leader in TD grabs.

•  Romon Copeland made three receptions for 111 yards at NSU, including a 75-yard TD catch.

•  QB Malcolm Mays has thrown a TD pass in three of Hampton's first four games and is completing nearly 60% of his passes.

•  Hampton leads the CAA and ranks 14th in FCS in rush defense (80.2 ypg). The Pirates are also 22nd in scoring defense and 32nd in total defense.

•  DeAndre Faulk recorded a team-best 14 tackles at Delaware.

•  Qwahsin Townsel leads Hampton in tackles (38) and has 3.5 TFLs, an interception and a fumble recovery.

Maine

•  Host defending champion Villanova in their CAA opener on Saturday.

•  Joe Fagnano was 21-of-43 passing for a season-high 289 yards and two TDs at BC. He has thrown for over 200 yards in five of his past seven games.

•  Zavier Scott set career-highs with eight receptions for 135 yards at Boston College.

•  TE Shawn Bowman had 3 catches for 34 yards at BC, including a 17-yard TD grab. He's had at least three catches in each game.

•  Montigo Moss caught a TD pass (4 yards.) for the second straight game at BC.

•  Punter Brian Cooey averaged 44.3 yards on  six punts at BC and ranks 17th in FCS with a 43.4 avg. He has four punts of 50+ yards.

•  Buggs Brown recorded a career-high 11 tackles at BC.

•  Adrian Otero added 10 stops at BC and reached 200 tackles for his career. He leads Maine with 24 tackles this season.

Monmouth

•  Outlasted No. 9 Villanova, 49-42, for their first CAA victory.

•  Jaden Shirden rushed for 211 yards and two TDs vs. VU, including a game-winning 16-yard TD run with 46 seconds left. It was his second 200+-yard outing in the last three games. He leads FCS in rushing (166.0 ypg).

•  Tony Muskett threw for 167 yards and three TDs at VU and ran for 78 yards. It was his 19th straight game with at least one TD pass. He has thrown for 200+ yards in eight of his last nine games and ranks 19th in FCS in passing.

•  Owen Wright had two rushing TDs at VU and leads FCS in scoring (15.0 ppg). He has scored at least two TDs in all four games.

•  Assanti Kearney made a pair of TD catches at VU and tops MU with 226 receiving yards.

•  Da'Quan Grimes had a team-best 12 tackles and leads MU with 31 stops.

•  Monmouth got interceptions from Davis Smith and Mike Reid in the fourth quarter at Villanova.

New Hampshire

•  Stayed atop the CAA standings at 3-0 after a 37-14 victory at Towson.

•  Dylan Laube tied a UNH record with a 92-yard punt return for a TD at TU. He also ran for 114 yards and finished with 250 all-purpose yards. He leads FCS in punt returns, ranks second in AP yards and 14th in rushing.

•  Max Brosmer was 17-of-23 passing for 194 yards and three TDs at Towson. He has thrown seven TD passes in the past two games.

•  Joey Corcoran had 6 receptions for 71 yards and a TD at Towson. He's made 18 catches over the past three games.

•  Heron Maurisseau made a 49-yard TD catch vs. NCCU and followed with a 51-yard TD grab in the win at Towson.

•  DE Dylan Ruiz recorded a career-high 3.0 sacks at Towson. He ranks second in the CAA with 4.5 sacks for the season.

•  All-America DE Josiah Silver, who ranked sixth in FCS with 12.5 sacks last year, has tallied 3.5 sacks and 5.0 TFLs through four games this season.

Rhode Island

•  Beaten 45-24 at ACC member Pitt in URI's first game against a ranked FBS foe.

•  Kasim Hill was 17-of-30 passing for 223 yards and a TD at Pitt. He has thrown for 200+ yards in three of the team's four games and has had at least two TD passes in seven of his last eight contests.

•  Marques DeShields ran for a team-high 82 yards and two TDs, including a 63-yarder, at Pitt. He ranks seventh in the CAA with 267 yards.

•  Kahtero Summers made four catches for 55 yards at Pitt. He has three TD receptions over the past three games and ranks 8th in the CAA in receiving yards (247).

•  Jake Fire tallied a career-high 13 tackles and forced a fumble at Pitt. He leads the Rams with 38 stops.

•  Davey Schaum-Bartocci is averaging 42.5 yards per punt, with seven inside the 20.

•  Jordan Jones, who ranked fifth in FCS with six interceptions last year, picked off two passes at SBU. He returned the first one 42 yards for a TD for his second career pick six.

Richmond

•  Won their CAA opener for first time since 2015, topping Stony Brook, 51-7.

•  Reece Udinski was 35-of-42 passing for 357 yards and a career-high five TDs vs SBU. He leads FCS in completion pct. (78.6%), ranks ninth in passing and has 11 TDs with one interception.

•  Jasiah Williams made 10 catches for a career-best 112 yards and a TD vs. SBU. He ranks third in FCS with 34 receptions and has made at least nine catches in three of his four games.

•  Leroy Henley made six catches for 62 yards and two T's vs. SBU and set career-highs with 9 receptions for 127 yards at Lehigh.

•  Jakob Herres is the FCS active leader in career receptions (243) and is 2nd in career receiving yards (3,178).

•  Tristan Wheeler made a career-high 19 tackles at UVA and a team-best 12 vs. SFU. He's 2nd in the CAA with 43 tackles and has made 299 career stops in just 28 games.

•  Tyrek Funderburk intercepted two passes vs. SBU, including a 30-yard pick six.

Stony Brook

•  Dropped a 51-7 decision at Richmond last week.

•  SBU took a 7-0 lead at UR on a 38-yard TD pass from Daron Bryden to Khalil Newton. It was the Seawolves' longest scoring play of the season.

•  LB Reidgee Dimanche made a team-high 10 tackles and 2.0 TFL's at Richmond. He leads the Seawolves with 24 stops for the season.

•  DB Carthell Flowers-Lloyd contributed 7 tackles and 3.5 TFL's at UMass. He's 2nd in the CAA with 5.5 TFL's in only three games.

•  Jordan Jackson and Eric Black each recorded their first sacks of the season at Richmond.

•  CAA Preseason POY Ty Son Lawton suffered an injury at UMass and didn't play at Richmond. He has 70 yards this season.

•  Kyle Nunez is back for his fifth season on the SBU offensive line. He's earned All-CAA honors in each of his four previous years. Nunez was named a semifinalist for the prestigious Campbell Trophy.

Towson

•  Fell 37-14 to New Hampshire last week in their CAA opener.

•  Da'Kendall James made a team-high 3 catches for 52 yards vs. UNH. He has at least 3 receptions in all four games this season.

•  Tyrrell Pigrome threw for 142 yards and a TD vs. UNH. He was the first Towson QB since 2019 to have over 100 yards passing and rushing in the same game vs. Morgan.

•  Devin Matthews rushed for a career-high 112 yards and two TDs at Bucknell and tops the Tigers with 245 yards for the season.

•  LB Ryan Kearney made a team-best 11 tackles against UNH and tops the team with 32 stops for the season.

•  LB Mason Woods has registered 23 tackles and an interception in the past three games.

•  D'Ago Hunter returned a kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown at WVU. It was the first KOR for a TD by Hunter and Towson since 2019.

Villanova

•  Edged 49-42 by Monmouth in their CAA opener last week.

•  Jalen Jackson rushed for a career-high 187 yards and three TDs vs. Monmouth. He's the third different VU back to run for 100+ yards in the past two games, joining DeeWil Barlee (177) and TD Ayo-Durojaiye (109).

•  Connor Watkins passed for 239 yards and a TD and ran for 58 yards and two TDs vs. MU. He ranks fifth in FCS in pass efficiency and has thrown at least one TD in each game.

•  Jaaron Hayek had six catches for 136 yards vs. MU. He tops the CAA and is fifth in FCS with 408 receiving yards and has eight career games with 100+ yards.

•  Jalen Goodman contributed a team-high seven tackles and a forced fumble vs. MU.

•  Rayjoun Pringle has a touchdown catch in his last three games.

•  VU ranks 8th in FCS in rushing and 14th in total offense. The Wildcats have eclipsed 450 total yards in three of their four games.

William & Mary

•  Fell 35-31 to Elon last week. It was W&M's fourth straight game with 30+ points.

•  Darius Wilson passed for a season-high 252 yards and 3 TD's vs. Elon. He ranks eighth in FCS in pass efficiency.

•  W&M ranks seventh in FCS in rushing (253 ypg). The Tribe is also ninth nationally in total offense and 19th in scoring offense.

•  Bronson Yoder has rushed for 100+ yards twice this season. He ranks 16th in FCS in rushing (104 ypg) and has scored four TDs.

•  Caylin Newton made a season-high five catches for 114 yards vs. Elon, including a 75-yard TD reception in the first quarter.

•  John Pius had five tackles and 1.5 TFL's against Elon. He's second in FCS with 7.0 sacks and tops the CAA with 12.0 TFL's.

•  The Tribe has recorded 14 sacks over the first four games, which is second in the CAA.

•  W&M is limiting opponents to a 29.6% conversion percentage on third downs, which is 16th-best nationally.