NEWARK, Del. – Five first-half turnovers set the tone for a dominant day for the University of Delaware football team Saturday afternoon as the Blue Hens jumped out to a big halftime lead and pulled away for a 41-14 victory over Cornell at sun-drenched Delaware Stadium.

Delaware (1-1), which won its second straight home game, turned those five turnovers into 27 points and never looked back as the Blue Hens spoiled the season-opener for their Ivy League foe and first-time opponent Cornell (0-1).

The Blue Hens recovered a fumble on Cornell’s first play from scrimmage in the opening minute and intercepted four Big Red passes in the first half on the way to a 27-0 halftime lead.

Delaware junior quarterback Joe Walker hit on 20 of 30 passes for a career-high 202 yards and two touchdowns, junior wide receiver Jamie Jarmon set career-highs with eight catches for 84 yards and scored his first career touchdown, junior running back Kareem Williams rushed for a game-high 121 yards, and junior running back Kani Kane scored three short touchdown runs to pace the offense.

The Blue Hens piled up 427 yards of total offense and gained 200 or more yards on both the ground and through the air for the first time since the 2013 season.

Delaware’s defense held Cornell to just 315 total yards. Senior defensive tackle Bilal Nichols (above) recovered a fumble on the first play from scrimmage to set up Delaware’s first touchdown and later intercepted a pass inside Cornell territory to set up another score. Linebacker Colby Reeder, safety Nasir Adderley, and cornerback Malcolm Brown also intercepted passes to lead Delaware.

Delaware head coach Danny Rocco
“We are very happy with the score and the outcome. We needed to come in here today and win a football game, extend the lead, and control the tempo against a team that I felt would compete relay hard. Winning 41-14 is a good score but my expectations are higher than that. There is a lot to learn from what happened out there today. I felt defensively once again we got off to a great start, took the ball away, and got off the field. I think offensively we had some really good drives for touchdowns. Early on we were able to get the ball in the end zone down in the red zone, which is what we have struggled with earlier this season.”

Defensive Tackle Bilal Nichols
“It felt great out there today. We really preached this week that we needed to get more takeways and that we needed to go after the ball more. It was great that we came out fast because that was our emphasis this week.”

HEN SCRATCHINGS:

  • Hens have won their first two games at home for the sixth time in the last eight years but for the first time since 2014
  • Williams, whose 49-yard run in the third quarter was the longest by a Blue Hen runner this year, recorded his third career 100-yard rushing effort
  • Delaware gained over 200 yards in both passing and rushing in the same game for the first time since a 33-30 win over Albany on Oct. 12, 2013
  • Delaware senior linebacker Charles Bell recorded a game-high 12 tackles
  • In addition to the four interceptions, Delaware’s defense also broke up six passes and had three sacks
  • Wide receiver Vinny Papale, who suffered a bruised lung in the first quarter of last week’s game vs. Virginia Tech, returned to action and caught a pass for 14 yards
  • Kane scored his three touchdowns on just five carries and finished with 11 yards
  • Senior WR Diante Cherry was held without a catch for only the fourth time his 35-game career, still needs just one reception to reach 100 for his career at Delaware
  • Freshman running back Khory Spruill (at right) rushed for 39 yards for the Blue Hens

MEDIA INFORMATION: Contact Scott Selheimer | selheime@udel.edu | Office: 302-831-8007 | Cell: 302-562-5129