Thank you to our friend superman7515 on AGS for stepping and providing us some CAA recaps for this week.
Three weeks into the season and the CAA picture is as transparent as testimony on a politicians’ private email server. It was all home cooking this past weekend as the home teams went 9-0, 10-0 if you count Maine’s victory in getting 63 teenage males to give up seeing a bikini for four years of their lives to play football in Orono’s balmy -125-degree weather.
Rhode Island Rams 21 – Harvard Crimson 51
The men of Harvard had the Rhode Island faithful seeing red on Saturday as the Crimson took the Rams behind the woodshed and tanned their hides. Harvard quarterback Joseph Viviano III, because is there any doubt that a Harvard quarterback will eventually be running a law firm, accounted for 340 yards of offense by air and ground, throwing for three touchdowns and rushing for another, without turning the ball over. Rhode Island, meanwhile, used three different quarterbacks, who combined for 13/33 passing and 194 yards with a touchdown and interception in the mix. Wide receiver Khayri Denny was a bright spot for Rhode Island, catching five passes for 103 yards, and returning six kicks for 131 yards. His 231 all-purpose yardage was higher than the rest of the team combined, which is fitting when you remember that like Rams in the wild, a native offense has never been spotted in Rhode Island.
Richmond Spiders 14 – Stony Brook Seawolves 42
Did you know spiders can’t digest solid foods? They have to liquefy their food before they consume it. Pretty convenient when you take a look at how Stony Brook kicked their teeth in. A week ago, there was talk that perhaps Richmond was the new number one team in town, but Stony Brook running back Stacey Bedell silenced all of that by rushing for exactly 100-yards and four touchdowns and, perhaps the most Long Island sounding quarterback of all, Joe Carbone was an efficient, if unspectacular, 11 of 15 for 155 yards with a touchdown and interception. Unable to get anything going on the ground for the Spiders, as seven rushers combined for just 32-yards, they turned to the pass. It was the much heralded Spiders quarterback, Kyle Lauletta, who struggled with trying to force a few passes on Saturday, throwing for over 400-yards, but tossing three interceptions to just one touchdown, while Richmond could only convert 3-of-9 third down attempts against a hungry Seawolves defense.
Towson Tigers 21 – Villanova Wildcats 40
In a battle of teams vying to become apex predators on the national scene, the Wildcats reduced the Tigers to mere kittens in Villanova, Pennsylvania on Saturday. Villanova quarterback Zack Bednarczyk tossed three touchdown passes in the first 20 minutes of the game, two of them to wide receiver Taurus Phillips on his way to 110 yards receiving, as the Wildcats jumped out to a 20-7 lead early in the second quarter. Towson running back Darius Victor picked up 115-yards on 22 rushing attempts, but an inability to sustain drives, and three turnovers by Towson quarterback Ellis Knudson, which included a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown by Villanova’s Rob Rolle in the fourth quarter, neutered any chance for a Tigers victory.
James Madison Dukes 28 – North Carolina Tar Heels 56
James Madison football players were ecstatic this weekend to head to Chapel Hill and put up their dukes against the Tar Heels, mostly because they knew academic study by athletes is expressly forbidden on the UNC campus. Or so I’ve heard. James Madison held their own early in the game, taking a 21-14 lead into the second quarter thanks to a pair of rushing touchdowns by Khalid Abdullah, in route to a 116-yard rushing day, and a 68-yard bomb from quarterback Bryan Schor to Cardon Johnson. But in honor of their 5’4” namesake, they came up short after the Tar Heels went on a 28-0 run over twenty minutes in the second and third quarters. Bryan Schor added a touchdown run of his own, while spreading the ball around to ten different receivers in the game without turning the ball over, to get James Madison back to within two scores late in the third quarter, but North Carolina runningback T.J. Logan added his second and third touchdowns to ice the game.
Fayetteville State Broncos 3 – Elon Phoenix 26
The Elon Phoenix have struggled since joining the CAA, but decided to pick on someone their own size last week, taking on Division 2 HBCU Fayetteville State. The D2 Broncos actually jumped out to 3-0 lead early in the game, but it was all Elon from there as the team score 26 unanswered points. The Phoenix defense played very well, holding the Broncos to 60-yards through the air and 103-yards on the ground, but the offense is going to need a lot of work or this Phoenix team is going to flame out very early in conference play. Despite the difference in depth and gaining more than double the yards of Fayetteville, Elon often found themselves having to settle for a John Gallagher field goal, as he converted all four of his attempts into 12 points, and was forced to punt by the Broncos defense a further four times.
Norfolk State Spartans 10 – William & Mary Tribe 35
The original manuscript of the classic book “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” was burned in a fire, deliberately, by the author’s wife, who wrote to a friend that the book was “a quire of utter nonsense.” Perhaps someone at William & Mary could contact Coach Laycock’s wife and suggest she do the same with the Tribe’s passing section of the playbook, which casts Mr. Hyde to the running games Dr. Jekyll. William & Mary quarterback Steve Cluley completed 58% of his passing attempts, with no touchdowns and two interceptions, despite being sacked only once in the game and kept relatively clean by his offensive line. Instead the Tribe was led by freshman Albert “You Can Call Me Al” Funderburke who gained 137-yards and 3 touchdowns on 13 rushing attempts, while Johnathan “Well” Dunn added another 89-yards and 2 touchdowns on 18 carries. Since he’s just a freshman, Funderburke hasn’t earned a real nickname yet. For now, he’s stuck with Albert “You Can Call Me Al” Funderburke, a reference to a Paul Simon song he’s probably never heard considering his age, but which featured a fantastic cameo by Chevy Chase in the music video. However, if he keeps putting up numbers like that, I’m growing on the idea of “The Thundering” Funderburke. I don’t know why; it just does it for me. Meanwhile, though the Tribe defense was unable to force any turnovers, they held Norfolk State quarterback Greg Hankerson to a Spartan 125-yards passing with no touchdowns on 25 attempts, although Hankerson did add another 43-yards and a touchdown on the ground, it was much ado about nothing as the Tribe cruised easily on their quest in the second half.
Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens 21 – Wake Forest Demon Deacons 38
There are lies, damned lies, and statistics, and looking at that final score is all of the above. Word out of Newark is that the University of Delaware football team will be switching to a dairy-free diet this week as, nearly a month into the season, the offense has apparently loaded up on cheese and just can’t seem to get their butts going. Quarterback Blake Ranking completed just 6 of 20 passing attempts for 38 yards and, miraculously, one touchdown as the Blue Hens, who had the worst passing offense in team history last year as they finished dead last in the FCS, actually look a little worse this season. Running back Jalen Randolph led the Blue Hens rushing attack, and I use that term loosely, with 36 yards and one touchdown on seven carries; while Thomas Jefferson added 30-yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. The offensive MVP for Delaware had to be Wake Forest, as two of the three Blue Hens scoring drives were from 19-yards or less. The only sustained drive for Delaware came in the middle of the fourth quarter with the game already in hand for Wake Forest. Perhaps these chickens are blue because they are anemic.
New Hampshire Wildcats 21 – Dartmouth Big Green 22
New Hampshire stayed in state this weekend for a road game against the Dartmouth Big Green of the Ivy League. Hmmm… Ivy League… dart is to pin as mouth is to head… SAT that one. The Wildcats have been known for years for a high powered offense, and while they still chuck the ball around like they don’t understand they are in New Hampshire and not New Havana, they’ve struggled on that side of the ball for the last two seasons. Quarterback Trevor Knight completed 24 of 36 pass attempts for a pair of touchdowns, but the offense didn’t put up their first points until there were only seconds left in the first half, and despite taking a 21-7 lead into the fourth quarter, they never felt like they were clicking on all cylinders and starting QB Trevor Knight was pulled. An interception midway through the final quarter by backup Adam Riese led to a short field for Dartmouth, and Emory Thompson connected with Jack Heneghan to capitalize with their first touchdown since the opening frame. On the ensuing drive, the Wildcats went three-and-out and Dartmouth again capitalized, taking a 22-21 lead with under two minutes to play, and holding on for their first victory over New Hampshire since 1976. How you lose to a team named after a Steve Guttenberg film is beyond me.
Holy Cross Crusaders 28 – Albany Great Danes 45
The mere idea that a group of Holy Crusaders would battle across the Middle East for God and Country, expending huge sums of wealth and global influence while engaging in some of the bloodiest battles mankind has ever seen, then eventually just give up and settle for Worcester, Massachusetts is a glaring condemnation on what kind of nicknames the NCAA should actually find hostile and abusive to their namesakes. Albany, on the other hand, is exactly the sort of place you could see Marmaduke living, and that’s why they continue to roll along, plowing through opponents like the 120-pound aloof canines they are. The Great Danes didn’t ask for much from quarterback Neven Sussman, he completed a respectable 75% of his passes on an 8-of-12 day, but managed two touchdowns and 183 yards in those eight completions. If you can average nearly 23-yards per completion, you’re having a good day. Why didn’t he throw it more? Well, Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks racked up 183-yards on the ground, with four touchdowns to go with it, as even when Holy Cross knew what was coming, EIH would not be denied. Holy Cross was not without weapons of their own, quarterback Peter Pujals threw for over 353-yards and a trio of touchdowns as wide receivers Richie DeNicola and Jake Wieczorek each hauled in over 100-yards receiving and a touchdown a piece. But the Great Danes defense got timely stops when it mattered, forcing four punts and a trio of turnovers, to help turn the Crusaders from a formidable opponent to a Monty Python troupe.
1) James Madison +1
2) Stony Brook +6
4) Albany +2
5) William & Mary -1
6) Richmond -5
8) New Hampshire -3
12) Rhode Island