No. 5 Delaware Puts it All Together, Cruises Past Towson for 48-0 CAA Football Win
November 6, 2010
Pictured from top to bottom: Leon Jackson (22), Chris Morales (98), Nihja White (19) (Photos by Mark Campbell)
NEWARK, Del. -- The University of Delaware could do little wrong on both sides of the ball Saturday afternoon as the No. 5 ranked Blue Hens piled up 589 yards of total offense and held Towson to just eight first downs on the way to a 48-0 Colonial Athletic Association rout before an appreciative Homecoming crowd of 21,603 at Delaware Stadium.
The Blue Hens (8-1, 6-0 CAA), playing for the first time since suffering their first loss of the season in a 17-16 setback to William & Mary two weeks ago, stormed back in stunning fashion as Walter Payton Award candidate Pat Devlin completed 29 of 38 passes for 318 yards and one touchdown while running for another score, Nihja White finished with nine receptions for 108 yards and one touchdown, Leon Jackson scored on a 63-yard run and finished with a game-high 88 yards on the ground, and Andrew Pierce scored two touchdowns and went over 1,000 yards for the season with 79 rushing yards.
Towson (1-8, 0-6 CAA), which lost its seventh straight game, played without dual-threat quarterback Chris Hart who was suspended on Friday due to a violation of team rules. With Hart gone, the Tigers managed just 158 total yards and eight first downs and punted 10 times - one shy of the school record of 11 set vs. Delaware in 2004. The Tigers crossed midfield just twice the entire day, never got closer than the Delaware 34-yard line, and had just one play go for 10 yards. Hart is Towson’s season leader in both passing (1,013 yards and nine touchdowns) and rushing (518 yards).
The Blue Hens, who remained in a tie for first place in the CAA standings with William & Mary with a 5-1 league mark, reached the eight-victory milestone with the win. Since 2003, each of the 21 CAA teams that have won eight or more regular season games have advanced to the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision playoffs. Delaware, which won the national title in 2003, has not advanced to the NCAA Tournament since a title game appearance in 2007.
“It’s always a great thing to win and win big on Homecoming,” said Delaware head coach K.C. Keeler, whose team won its seventh straight home game. “Our defense was lights out today. I don’t know if we could have played any better than we did. Offensively, we really got a rhythm going today with Pat running the show and it was nice to see A.P. (Pierce) get his 1,000 yards. We know what eight wins means. It was a great win and it’s great to be playing big games in November.”
The victory was the most lopsided in Keeler’s nine-year tenure at Delaware and was the largest since an 84-0 victory over West Chester back in 2000 and biggest in conference play since a 61-0 triumph over Maine during the 1995 campaign.
Delaware, which has led the nation in scoring defense for each of the last seven weeks and entered the game allowing just 9.1 points per game, posted its first shutout since a 35-0 blanking of West Chester in the 2009 opener. The Hens have yet to allow more than 17 points in any game this season.
Devlin, a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and a potential NFL draft pick, was impressive throughout the day as he threw for a season-high 318 yards and went over the 4,000-yard mark for his two-year career at Delaware, becoming only the ninth player to reach that plateau. He completed passes to 10 different receivers and went over 200 yards for the fourth time this season.
White became the first UD player to surpass the 100-yard mark on consecutive games since 2007 while Pierce and Jackson handled the running chores. Pierce, the leading freshman rusher in the nation at the FCS level at 119 yards per game, carried 16 times for 79 yards and scored on runs of 24 and 3 yards. He upped his season total to 1,014, reaching that milestones for a season and a career faster than any runner in UD history. He also set a new UD freshman record for rushing touchdowns in a season, upping his mark to 12 to break the previous standard of 11 by Daryl Brown in 1991 and by Craig Cummings in 1997.
Jackson, a sophomore who was the Hens’ No. 3 back until three weeks ago when backup David Hayes suffered an ankle injury, enjoyed his best game as a Blue Hen as he carried 11 times for 88 yards and scored on a career-long 63-yard jaunt up the middle with 2:55 left in the third quarter to push the lead to 34-0. The 63-yard run was the Hens’ longest play from scrimmage this season and longest run by a UD player since an 85-yard burst by Andy Hall against Hofstra in 2003.
Delaware drove 60 yards on its first possession of the day but came away with nothing when Mike Perry’s 21-yard field goal attempt hit the left side of the goalpost. The rest of the game was nearly flawless for the Blue Hens.
The Hens, who have now defeated the Tigers four straight times, jumped out to a 17-0 lead at the half as Devlin scored on a five-yard run with 4:09 left in the opening stanza and Pierce capped a 59-yard drive with a 24-yard burst around the right side for a 14-0 lead with 2:27 remaining in the half. Perry then booted a 29-yard field goal just 12 seconds before intermission. Delaware has now outscored opponents 74-3 in the first quarter and 158-36 in the first half this season.
A 17-point third quarter upped the Delaware lead to 34-0 as the Hens scored on three straight possessions. Pierce scored on a three-yard burst up the middle to cap the Hens’ first drive of the half, Perry converted a 22-yard field goal with 6:58 left, and Jackson ripped off his long run with 2:55 remaining in the quarter
The Hens, who are now 41-15 all-time on Homecoming, capped the scoring on a five-yard touchdown pass over the middle from Devlin to White just 3:18 into the final quarter and Walter Davis tallied his first career touchdown on a 10-yard romp with 2:07 left to play.
Towson, which entered the game ranked last in the CAA in both scoring offense (16.7) and defense (33.1), managed just two first downs and 58 yards the entire first half and failed on all 14 third down conversions for the game. Bart Blanchard, who started in place of Hart at quarterback, hit on 10 of 24 passes for 59 yards and was intercepted by Delaware senior safety Anthony Walters.
Erron Banks had six catches for 34 yards while Dominique Booker led the run game with 35 yards on 10 carries. The Tigers have now lost 12 straight CAA games since last season and eight straight road games since a year ago.
“Delaware has one of, if not the best, defenses in the country,” said Towson head coach Rob Ambrose. “We thought we could do some good things today on offense but we just dropped too many balls. I’m frustrated by some things but there was no quit in our team.”
Delaware will continue action next week when the Blue Hens travel to No. 15 Massachusetts (6-3) for a key matchup involving CAA title contenders in Amherst, Mass. The Minutemen posted a 39-24 win over Maine Saturday afternoon.
Back To Football Home Football Story Archive