Nov 13, 2013, 3:17 PM EDT
With just two weeks remaining in the 2013 regular season, and just one if you’re Rhode Island, we look back at the week that was. Week 11 proved just how critical it is for players and teams to step up their abilities down the home stretch. Across the league, numerous individuals and squads set career- and program-highs.
Some bests came in clutch fashion, like UR QB Michael Strauss’ school record-tying five-touchdown performance in a 39-31 win at Stony Brook, or William & Mary limiting Delaware to -35 yards rushing in its 24-10 road victory. Strauss also became the first Spider to throw for over 3,000 yards in one season, while the Blue Hens’ rushing effort was the worst in UD history and the fourth-best defensive effort in Tribe history. New Hampshire QB Andy Vailas set a new career-high with 397 passing yards in his team’s 33-17 win over JMU, while Villanova QB John Robertson continued his stellar season by tying a career-high with four rushing TDs in a 45-0 victory over Rhody. Robertson also moved into first place in school history in QB rushing yards with 2,262 over his two-year career. In the only other contest of the week, Maine maintained its winning ways with a gutsy 33-27 win at UAlbany, improving the Black Bears to 9-1 on the season. Maine’s record represents the program’s best-ever start .
UAlbany dropped a 33-27 decision to Maine on Saturday to mark the team’s fourth loss by six or fewer points this season. RB Omar Osbourne totaled 134 rushing yards and one TD, while WR Kevin Chilis had three catches for 74 yards and one TD. Osbourne ranks third in CAA Football with 104 rushing yards per game. Great Danes head coach Bob Ford, who owns a career record of 265-189-1, will coach the final home game of his 40-plus-year career at UAlbany on Saturday against New Hampshire.
Delaware senior DB Travis Hawkins returned William & Mary’s opening kick 97 yards to the house for a TD, marking just the second time in UD history that a player accomplished such a feat on the contest’s opening kickoff. LB Patrick Callaway led the way defensively with a career-high 18 tackles, while DE Zach Kerr had two of Delaware’s three sacks. P Eric Enderson booted the ball nine times for an impressive 48.4 yard-per average.
James Madison WR Quintin Hunter (pictured) finished with a career-high 139 yards on seven catches to go with two TDs in the loss at New Hampshire. He’s also the first Dukes receiver to register over 100 yards this season. RB Dae’Quan Scott rushed for 63 yards and also passed for 69 yards and one TD, a play that came on a halfback pass to Hunter early in the second half. Already JMU’s all-time scoring leader with 252 points, Scott is just one rushing score shy of becoming the Dukes’ all-time leader in the category as well.
Maine defeated the Great Danes on the heels of some key defensive plays. Black Bears LB Christophe Mulumba earned his fourth CAA Football Rookie of the Week honor after registering 19 tackles – a season-high in the league – and fellow LB Troy Eastman finished just shy of double figures with nine tackles. DB Michael Mangiarelli had one INT and DE Trevor Bates forced a fumble with less than two minutes to seal the win. Maine has won 11 straight games versus FCS foes, with its last such loss coming on Nov. 3, 2012, against James Madison.
New Hampshire QB Andy Vailas set new career-highs for attempts (49), completions (28) and yards (397) in the Wildcats’ 33-17 win over JMU. It was his first start for UNH since Oct. 5. WR R.J. Harris returned from a three-game injury absence to haul in 10 catches for 183 yards and a career-high three TDs. Fellow WR Justin Mello also had a career day with 10 catches for 123 yards. UNH has now won three straight in its series with the Dukes, who last won in Durham in 2006.
Rhode Island honored 17 seniors prior to its game against Villanova. One of those seniors, LB Doug Johnson, finished the contest with his third INT of the year. DB Tim Wienclaw led the Rams with 11 tackles, while freshman LB Adam Parker secured seven tackles.
Richmond signal caller Michael Strauss had a historic day in the Spiders’ 39-31 win over Stony Brook on Saturday. The junior tied a school record with five TD passes and went 28-of-38 for 380 yards en route to becoming the first Spider to surpass the 3,000-yard single-season passing mark. Richmond LB Eric Wright recorded an interception in the contest versus the Seawolves, moving the Spiders’ streak of games with at least one pick to 20 straight games.
Stony Brook RB James Kenner set a career-high with 136 rushing yards and three TDs in the Seawolves’ setback to Richmond. Kenner has rushed for over 100 yards in three consecutive games. Senior DB Winston Longdon unleashed for a career-high 10 tackles to lead a defensive unit that has given up a total of 138 rushing yards over the last two games and only allows 134.4 rushing yards per game this season, which ranks 32nd in the FCS.
Villanova QB John Robertson made headlines yet again for the Wildcats after tying a career-high with four rushing TDs and rushing for 133 yards in Saturday’s 45-0 win over Rhody. Robertson broke the Villanova record for rushing yards by a QB and can now boast 2,262 yards over 23 career games. Former ‘Cats QB Chris Whitney (2007-10) held the previous mark. The Nova defense arguably had the most impressive performance in CAA Football this season, limiting the Rams to a mere 88 total yards of offense (53 yards passing, 35 rushing).
William & Mary toppled a top-20 ranked opponent for the third-straight week after holding Delaware to a season-low 207 yards of total offense on Saturday. The Tribe defense, which is currently tied for the FCS lead in scoring defense with North Dakota State (12.2 ppg), has not allowed a touchdown since the second quarter of the JMU game on Oct. 26. The Blue Hens finished with their lowest rushing total in program history with -35 yards on the ground. W&M RB Mikel Abdul-Saboor rushed for a career-high 140 yards on 32 carries to solidify his fifth 100-yard rushing game of the season, while QB Brent Caprio threw for two TD passes in the win.
EYE-OPENING STATS OF THE WEEK:
- Did you know? – The last time a conference team finished undefeated in league play was in 2006, when UMass went 8-0 in the Atlantic 10 (one year before transitioning to CAA Football). Currently 6-0 in the conference, Maine can win the CAA Football title outright and become the league’s automatic qualifier with a win over Rhody on Senior Day this weekend.
- Towson (.504), Maine (.500) and Richmond (.497), rank No. 6, 7 and 9, respectively, in the FCS for third down conversion percentage.
- William & Mary ranks third in the FCS with just four total passes intercepted this season. Richmond, meanwhile, ranks second in the FCS in passes intercepted with 16 this season. The Tribe and Spiders will meet during Rivalry Week on Nov. 23 in Richmond.
- Towson RB Terrance West leads the nation in scoring (26 TDs) and rushing yards (1,618), while also ranking fifth in the FCS in all purpose yards with 177.30 ypg.
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