Sep 4, 2014, 11:26 AM EDT
Hard to believe that Week 1 of the 2014 football season is already in the books. All but one of CAA Football’s 12 teams have played a game, with Rhode Island still waiting to start the year at Marshall on Saturday.
Yes, the league only came away with three victories over the weekend, but that’s understandable, considering that seven of the 11 of contests featured opponents from the FBS — including five FBS foes which played in a bowl game last season. Villanova dropped a thriller in the Carrier Dome to Syracuse in two overtimes, 27-26, after a failed two-point conversion determined the Wildcats’ fate. You have to love the call from coach Andy Talley to go for two there – gutsy. Delaware, James Madison, William & Mary, Elon and New Hampshire all fell to FBS foes in their respective openers. Stony Brook and Towson fell at home to Bryant and Central Connecticut State, respectively.
UAlbany, Maine and Richmond came away with wins over the weekend. The Great Danes trailed Holy Cross 13-0 to start the fourth quarter, but fought back and returned a costly HC fumble 79 yards with less than one minute to play to earn a huge 14-13 win. Maine’s defense stifled Norfolk State, while the offense did just enough to outlast the Spartans, 10-6. Lastly, Richmond picked up right where it left off one year ago, racking up 643 yards of offense in a 55-10 route of Morehead State at home.
If you missed anything from Week 1, including video highlights, photos, team recaps and so on, check out these pages below.
- UAlbany: The Great Danes’ 14-13 victory over Holy Cross not only came in shocking fashion — the aforementioned returned fumble for a TD with 44 seconds remaining — but it was the team’s first win in the newly constructed (completed in 2013) Bob Ford Field and the first for new head coach Greg Gattuso. It’s also the first time in 41-plus years that UAlbany had a different coach leading the way on the sidelines. Prior to the win on Saturday, UAlbany’s last victory came in the 2012 season finale versus CCSU. Senior LB Kyle Jordan forced two fumbles in the contest, including the difference-maker, and added nine tackles (five solo).
- Delaware: UD’s 62-0 shutout at Pitt was the team’s first shutout loss since the 1996 season. The Blue Hens had scored at least one point in 220 consecutive games, which was tops in CAA Football before Saturday. Sophomore punter Eric Enderson, an All-CAA selection in 2013, booted the ball eight times for an average of 46.6 yards.
- Elon: In the Phoenix’s 52-13 loss at Duke, senior WR/R Kierre Brown recorded 174 return yards to bring his career total to 2,017. That now ranks first all-time at Elon in return yards, passing Rod Clark (1991-94). Brown also added five catches for 70 yards in the setback to lead his team.
- James Madison: The Dukes fell on the road at Maryland by a score of 52-7 on Saturday, though a pair of freshman, CB Jimmy Moreland and RB John Miller, each finished the game recording their first college milestones. Moreland grabbed his first interception as a Duke that eventually set up a one-yard TD run from Miller, also his first career score. Sophomore RB Khalid Abdullah rushed for 67 yards and on the defensive side, senior S Dean Marlowe made nine stops and broke up two passes in the loss.
- Maine: The Black Bears totaled just 187 yards of offense in their win over Norfolk State, but made up for it on defense, allowing a mere 100 yards of total offense in an eventual 10-6 win. Perhaps even more impressive than that dominance is the fact that NSU only gained 33 yards passing versus 67 yards on the ground. Sophomore LB Christophe Mulumba Tshimanga, last year’s CAA Football Defensive Rookie of the Year, made 14 tackles, 2.5 for loss, while junior DE Trevor Bates recorded an interception in the win.
- New Hampshire: UNH fell at Toledo, 54-20, despite trailing just 17-14 at halftime after starting the game on a 14-3 run. Junior QB Sean Goldrich matched career highs with 291 yards passing and 39 attempts, while setting a new personal best for completions with 27. Senior WR R.J. Harris notched nine catches for 149 yards and one TD, and Goldrich also added one rushing score and another TD pass to RB Nico Steriti.
- Richmond: The Spiders opened 2014 looking like the dangerous team that ended 2013 with four straight wins. UR’s yardage total of 643 versus Morehead State ranked second all-time for a single-game in program history and the 55 points scored are the most ever in a season opener. UR true freshman Jeremiah Hamlin paced the offense on the ground with 80 yards and two TDs, while sophomore Brian Brown caught five passes for 110 yards in the victory. The UR defense allowed just 309 yards and DB Justin Grant totaled 10 tackles and two pass breakups.
- Stony Brook: The Seawolves’ faithful showed up in full force last Thursday night for the game versus Bryant, as the announced crowd of 10,252 was the third-largest in Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium history. SBU played well on D, allowing 233 yards of total offense and forcing nine punts total. Dating back to last season, Stony Brook has held an opponent to fewer than 300 yards of offense in seven of the team’s last 12 games. On offense, however, the Seawolves accumulated just 186 yards, with transfer RB Stacey Bedell rushing for 116 yards. WR Adrian Coxson had just two catches, but totaled 77 yards with a long catch of 61 that turned into the squad’s lone score in the 13-7 loss.
- Towson: The Tigers fell to Central Connecticut State, 31-27, on Saturday night. Sophomore RB and CAA Football 2013 Offensive Rookie of the Year Darius Victor tied a career-high with 105 yards and scored one TD on the ground, while QB Connor Frazier rushed for 80 yards and two scores in the setback. Redshirt freshman LB James Simms led the TU defense with 14 tackles and senior DE Ryan Delaire led the unit with its lone sack of the night. Towson, which plays at West Virginia this Saturday, has won 11 straight road games dating back to 2012.
- Villanova: QB John Robertson accounted for 316 yards of offense (199 yards passing, 115 rushing) and senior WR Poppy Livers returned a punt 67 yards for a TD in the Wildcats’ tough, two overtime loss at Syracuse. Livers’ punt return for a score was just the second at Nova in the last 30 years, while the senior captain led Villanova with five catches for 58 yards. Defensively, juniors Don Cherry and Jordan Hunter each registered two tackles for loss and the ‘Cats held an 87-69 advantage in total offensive plays. VU now owns a 10-5 mark in overtime contests under head coach Andy Talley.
- William & Mary: Junior RB Mikal Abdul-Saboor carried the ball just 10 times versus Virginia Tech, gaining 85 yards on the ground. Senior WR Tre McBride had four catches for 62 yards, and senior kicker John Carpenter connected on 3-of-4 field goals to account for the Tribe’s nine points in defeat. Defensively, William & Mary had three players reach double-digit tackles in Marcus Harvey (career-high 11 total, one forced fumble), Luke Rhodes (11) and DeAndre Houston-Carson (11). Did you know? The game featured the longest current tenured FBS head coach (Frank Beamer of Virginia Tech) against the FCS’ longest current tenured head coach (the Tribe’s Jimmye Laycock).
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