It’s rare that FCS teams walk out of FBS stadia with legitimate gripes that they let one get away, but William and Mary falls into that category after Saturday’s 7-6 loss to Maryland.
The Terps are nothing special at full strength, and Saturday’s version – injury-depleted, young, inexperienced – was mega-vulnerable. The Tribe was good enough on defense, allowing just 236 yards and one touchdown. W&M intercepted Maryland freshman quarterback Perry Hills three times, and for the most part kept the Terps’ skill players (liberal use of the term, by the way) in front of them.
The Tribe, however, couldn’t generate quite enough offense. W&M coach Jimmye Laycock took a conservative approach on offense, one that became even more so after starting quarterback Brent Caprio was sidelined with a shoulder injury in the first half. That left redshirt sophomore Raphael Ortiz in charge.
William and Mary will anguish over several plays, any of which might have resulted in its second win against an FBS team in four years. The Tribe settled for a short field goal after a Brian Thompson interception return set it up first-and-goal at the Maryland nine.
Kicker Drake Kuhn missed a 48-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter that would have put the Tribe up 9-0. Kuhn, however, made only 1 of 3 field goal attempts from beyond 40 yards last season.
After Maryland scored to take the lead, the Tribe put together a solid drive and were within striking range. But a W&M holding penalty – the team’s only penalty of the game – essentially nuked the possession. Instead of facing 3rd-and-4 at the Maryland 30, the Tribe had 2nd-and-20 at the Terps’ 46.
An incompletion and a sack forced a punt. The Tribe’s last chance ended with an incompletion on third down and a fourth down sack and lost fumble.
At Old Dominion, quarterback Taylor Heinicke got that whole perfection thing out of the way early in the Monarchs’ 57-23 win against Duquesne, so that he might simply concentrate on playing football the rest of the way.
After throwing just one interception all of last season, the Monarchs’ sophomore threw three in the first half, including a pick-six, as ODU trailed 20-10. The ‘Narchs figured out Duquesne’s prevent defense, and depth and talent prevailed.
Heinicke eventually completed 41 of 63 passes for 492 yards – all school records – as ODU piled up an absurd 723 yards of offense.
James Madison cruised in its glorified scrimmage of an opener, 55-7 against St. Francis. The Dukes rushed for a thousand yards, passed for a few hundred more, and everybody got orange slices and ice cream cones afterward.
Towson’s Tigers shot themselves in both feet, sat on a hot stove and then stuck their fingers into electrical sockets, commiting six turnovers and giving up a kickoff return for a TD in a 41-21 loss at Kent State.
The defending conference champs and preseason faves held Kent State to 267 yards. But that was plenty, since turnovers – four fumbles, two picks – led to four Kent State scoring drives of less than 40 yards.
Kent State’s average starting field position was the Towson 42. Kent stuffed Towson’s rushing game (Terrance West netted 31 yards), and though Grant Enders passed for 246 yards, he threw the two picks and was sacked four times.
Speaking of self-inflicted wounds, Villanova was done in during a minute-and-a-half span and by two long runs in its 41-10 loss to FBS Temple.
The Wildcats trailed 7-3 when quarterback Chris Polony threw a pick-six. Kevin Monangai fumbled two plays later, setting up Temple at the ‘Nova 24. The Owls scored three plays later for a 21-3 lead.
‘Nova scratched back to within 21-10 late in the second quarter. But Temple’s Matt Brown got loose for a 56-yard touchdown run inside 30 seconds before halftime that made it 28-10. Kenny Harper’s 38-yard touchdown run on Temple’s first possession of the second half pushed it to 35-10. Over.
New Hampshire debuted another balanced, entertaining offense in a 38-17 win at Holy Cross. Redshirt freshman QB Sean Goldrich accounted for 264 yards passing and running in his first college game, as the Wildcats piled up 531 yards. He led back-to-back 98- and 95-yard touchdown drives in the third quarter that clinched it.
Wildcats’ tackling machine and Buchanan Award winner Matt Evans had a fairly quiet statistical game, with just nine tackles.
Delaware eased past Division II area rival West Chester 41-21, with QB Trent Hurley throwing for 310 yards and three touchdowns. Coach K.C. Keeler wasn’t happy with Hurley’s three interceptions, or with a defense that allowed 410 yards and 209 yards rushing to West Chester’s Rondell White.
The Georgia State Fighting Currys got whacked at home by South Carolina State 33-6, which doesn’t bode well for the team picked to finish last in its one-and-done venture through the CAA.
The Currys gave up 488 yards as S.C. State’s offense played keep-away for 11 minutes longer. Ga. State back Donald Russell (120 yards) was the closest thing to an offensive weapon for a team that gave up six sacks and converted 2 of 13 chances on third down.
The Currys get Tennessee next and, well, the less said the better.
Maine was idle last weekend, as were Northeastern and Hofstra.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun