STONY BROOK, N.Y. – The University of Delaware picked up the signature football win it’s been searching for Saturday night as the Blue Hens rallied from a 13-point halftime deficit and downed No. 23 ranked Stony Brook 24-20 at LaValle Stadium.

Malcolm Brown picked up a fumble and raced 45 yards for a touchdown with 4:04 left in the third quarter to pull the Blue Hens to within three points and fullback Kani Kane’s six-yard scoring burst just two minutes into the final stanza proved to be the game-winner as Delaware (3-2, 1-1 CAA) picked up the pivotal Colonial Athletic Association win.

Stony Brook (4-2, 3-1 CAA), which entered the game tied atop the CAA standings with an unbeaten mark in league play, had a four-game win streak snapped despite leading 20-7 at the break.

Delaware’s defense came up big down the stretch as the Blue Hens held the Seawolves out of the end zone on the final drive of the night to clinch the victory. Delaware’s defensive line trio of Blaine Woodson, Bilal Nichols, and John Nassib sacked SBU quarterback Joe Carbone at the UD 18-yard line on a fourth down play in the final seconds to preserve the victory.

Stony Brook gained possession on its own nine-yard line with 3:12 left to play and drove 73 yards on 14 plays, converting six first downs on the way. But the Blue Hen defense stiffened, forcing two incomplete passes and the final sack to save the day.

Blue Hen junior quarterback J.P. Caruso (at right), a first-year transfer from Appalachian State, took over for starter Joe Walker in the first quarter and led the Hens to the victory as he completed 7 of 14 passes for 80 yards and a touchdown and also rushed for 65 yards.

His scrambling 23-yard scoring strike to Jamie Jarmon with 12:37 left in the first half tied the game at 7-7 before the Seawolves took a 20-7 lead into intermission thanks to two scoring throws from Carbone to Ray Bolden.

Kareem Williams led the Delaware ground game with 75 yards on 16 carries while Kane finished with 57 yards, including a 32-yarder that set up his game-winning touchdown. Diante Cherry and Charles Scarff also caught three passes each for the Hens.

The defense had seven tackles for loss, a sack, and four pass breakups with safety Nasir Adderley and linebacker Troy Reeder leading the way with 12 tackles each. It was Reeder who teamed with fellow linebacker Jalen Kindle to strip the ball from SBU running back Donald Liotine and force the fumble that Brown picked up and took to the end zone to spark the comeback.

Delaware junior kicker Frank Raggo came up big for the second straight week to also spark the rally. Just one week after connecting on a school-record 55-yard field goal vs. James Madison, he nailed a 50-yarder on Saturday with 8:47 left in the third quarter to pull the Hens to within 20-10.

HEAD COACH DANNY ROCCO
“We would have taken the win any way we could get it. We played poorly in the first half and didn’t have any rhytmn. I made it very clear at halftime that what I had witnessed was unacceptable and we had to focus on winning football games and that first-half effort was not going to do it. I told them after the game that one of the most important things we have to do in life and in football is to be able to respond. And we responded in the second half. We responded with some energy and with some leadership and then we finished in a big way here today. “

J.P. CARUSO
"I have so many emotions running through my head. I am so proud of this team, so proud of these coaches for believing in me. It’s a nice feeling. We have a long way to go and we know that. We have to go to practice tomorrow and fix up our mistakes because we have a long road ahead. The ball hasn’t been bouncing our way out and little things have made us lose games. We have been fixing those and we probably had our best week of practice this week. We knew this was the biggest game we had so far and everyone came together and said ‘lets start winning some games.’“

MALCOLM BROWN
“The special thing about this team, this defense in particular, is that we didn’t give up and we came away with the win. We preach every day that we have to stay together and keep playing. A win like this is pivotal for this team and hopefully we can use this as momentum to spark us for the rest of the year.”

HEN SCRATCHINGS

  • Delaware snapped a six-game losing streak vs. Top 25 teams, earning a win for the first time since a win over No. 25 William & Mary on Oct. 3, 2015. It was also the Hens’ first victory over a Top 25 team on the road since a 32-31 victory over No. 7 Towson in 2013
  • Delaware will return home to Delaware Stadium to face William & Mary for Parents & Family Weekend next Saturday, Oct. 14, at 3:30 p.m.
  • Delaware made its first-ever visit to Stony Brook and its first visit to Long Island since 2008 vs. Hofstra. The Hens have now won six straight games on Long Island since the 1969 season
  • Walker, who played the first two series before giving way to Caruso, went over 3,000 career total offense yards during the game
  • Woodson started his 38th straight game
  • Delaware played the game without three starters on defense – CB Justin Watson, LB Charles Bell, and DE Cam Kitchen. All three are out with season-ending injuries suffered earlier this season.

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