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#CAAFB Week 11 Storylines

Nov 9, 2012, 11:52 AM EDT

As one of FCS Football’s premier conferences, CAA Football certainly has no shortage of news and notes from around the league. See below for some of the latest storylines coming out of our 11 programs heading into this weekend’s five league-wide matchups.

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CONFERENCE CLIPS

  • This is the sixth week this season that CAA Football has had six teams in both the TSN and FCS Coaches polls. Three CAA squads in 4/4 Old Dominion, 9/9 James Madison and 10/10 New Hampshire are also ranked in each poll’s top 10 and all three are receiving at least one first-place vote in the TSN poll.
  • The CAA remains the only league in FCS Football to have ever had six or more teams ranked in either the TSN or FCS Coaches polls in a single week.
  • All six nationally-ranked CAA squads remain in contention for a coveted FCS playoff spot.
  • UNH leads FCS Football with 123 straight appearances in the TSN poll dating back to 2004. Delaware had the third-longest streak (tied with Montana State) before falling out of the poll for the first time in 40 weeks on Monday.

WILLIAM AND MARY (2-7, 1-5) VS. 4/4 OLD DOMINION (8-1, 5-1)

  • This will be only the third-ever meeting in a series that the two teams have split. Both games in the series have been decided by four points.
  • After totaling just 58 points during the first four games (14.5 ppg) this season, William and Mary has poured on 130 points over the last five games (26.0 ppg). The Tribe will need to continue this trend against an ODU offense that leads the nation with 45.5 ppg.
  • The Monarchs also pace FCS Football in total offense (564.4 yards) and rank second in passing offense (394.9 yards). Sophomore QB Taylor Heinicke leads the nation in total offense (428.2) and in passing yards (390.0).
  • In a first this season, the Monarchs defense shut out an opponent in the first half last week against Georgia State. The Panthers would put 27 points on the board in the second half.
  • After season-ending injuries to Brent Caprio and Raphael Ortiz, junior QB Michael Graham has been named the Tribe’s starter against the Monarchs. He was also the starter against Lafayette on Sept. 8, a game in which he threw a 28-yard touchdown pass.
  • In last week’s win over the Panthers, Heinicke become ODU’s all-time leader in completions (486), passing yards (5,895) and touchdowns (52), passing former Monarch Thomas DeMarco in all three categories.
  • ODU senior LB Craig Wilkins is 10th on the all-time active career tackle leaders list with 311 stops. New Hampshire’s Matt Evans (first/437) and Delaware’s Paul Worrilow (sixth354) are also among the top 10.

9/9 JAMES MADISON (7-2, 5-1) VS. 21/25 VILLANOVA (6-3, 4-2)

  • James Madison has won four of the last six games against Villanova.
  • The Dukes have been clutch in the closing month of the regular season recently, going an impressive 13-2 in the month of November since 2008.
  • After their win over Georgia State on Oct. 20, the Wildcats secured their 21st winning season in head coach Andy Talley’s 28-years at the helm of the program.
  • Nova is also 8-2 in its last 10 games following a bye week and its four conference wins this season have all come by more than 20 points.
  • The Dukes lead the league in scoring defense (17.6 points), rushing defense (116.1 yards) and total defense (305.3)
  • Junior QB Justin Thorpe was named CAA Offensive Player of the Week after coming off the bench to finish with 16 carries for 111 yards and a pair of scores to comple­ment a contest in which he went an efficient 9-for-12 for 108 yards through the air with a third touchdown, no interceptions and no sacks.
  • Two of the league’s top rushers in JMU junior TB Dae’Quan Scott and Nova sophomore Kevin Monangai will square off on Saturday. They are currently tied atop the CAA with 99.3 yards per game on the ground.

GEORGIA STATE (1-9, 0-0) VS. MAINE (3-6, 2-4)

  • This is the first and final meeting between the two teams at the FCS level.
  • Saturday’s game is the final game of Georgia State head coach Bill Curry’s career and the last for the Panthers as a member of CAA Football as they head to the Sun Belt next season. Curry was named the first coach at GSU in 2008.
  • Senior LB Donte Dennis could become the first Black Bear to record more than 100 tackles in three consecutive seasons for the first time in school history dating back to 1980 and the first player to lead the team in tackles for three straight seasons in a decade.
  • GSU junior WR/KR Albert Wilson was named CAA Special Teams Player of the Week and CFPA National Kickoff Returner of the Week after fielding a kickoff four yards deep in the end zone and returning it for a 100-yard touchdown, representing the longest return in school history and the second kick return for a touchdown in his career.
  • Senior TE Emmanuel Ogbuehi looks to continue the most productive stretch of his Panther career after hauling in 21 catches for 259 and three touchdowns over the last five games. 

rv/rv DELAWARE (5-4, 2-4) VS. 20/23 RICHMOND (6-3, 4-2)

  • Delaware has dominated the overall series with a 19-8 lead, but the Spiders have won three of the last four against the Blue Hens.
  • Richmond continues to lead the nation after having allowed just one sack this season.
  • The Spiders are also tied for the FCS lead in interceptions (19) and fewest picks thrown (2) in 2012. They had five of the former in their 39-0 shutout of the Rams.
  • Senior DB Doug Howell paces the CAA with five picks this year.
  • The Blue Hens have kicked a league-best 16 field goals in 2012. Junior PK Sean Baner drilled a 40-yarder with two seconds remaining in regulation to send UD into overtime in last week’s loss to Towson.
  • UD freshman LB Jeff Williams joined Villanova QB John Robertson and W&M LB Luke Rhodes on the 20-member Jerry Rice Award Watch List this week. The annual award honors the national freshman of the year in FCS Football.
  • Senior FB Kendall Gaskins, who has 12 touchdowns on the fall, is just two scores shy of becoming the Spiders’ second all-time scoring leader.

RHODE ISLAND (0-9, 0-6) VS. 17/17 TOWSON (5-4, 4-2)

  • The Tigers kept their hopes of a second-straight CAA title and postseason berth alive when they topped Delaware in an overtime thriller last week in Newark.
  • Rhody will face its fifth ranked opponent of the season when it visits Towson on Saturday.
  • A pair of Tiger seniors in RB Dominique Booker (996) and QB Grant Enders (965 yards) are on track to become the 22nd and 23rd of the program’s 1,000-yard rushing club in Saturday’s game.
  • The league’s second-leading rusher with 790 yards on the fall, sophomore RB Terrance West scored a pair of touchdowns in the win over the Blue Hens, as did reigning CAA Rookie of the Week Emmanuel Holder.
  • It only took his one reception at Richmond last week for Rams senior WR Brandon Johnson-Farrell to become just the seventh player in school history to reach 2,000 career receiving yards (2,014).
  • Rams senior TE Joe Migliarese has caught a touchdown pass in all three games he has played against Towson. Three of his four receptions have been for touchdowns against the Tigers.
  • Rhody sophomore LB Andrew Bose turned in a career-high 16 tackles to go with a forced fumble last week at Richmond. The 16 stops by Bose, who ranks fifth in the league with eight tackles per game, are tied for the second most by any CAA player this season.