This week’s CAA schedule included a lot of backups playing in the fourth quarter and empty seats in the stands at games’ end.
The schedule was heavily weighted toward non-conference games, and the average margin of victory was 29.8 points – the low Towson’s 20-17 escape against William and Mary, the high Old Dominion duct-taping Campbell to a goalpost at Foreman Field 70-14.
Despite the coach’s protestations to the contrary, the Fighting Currys appear to be regressing after getting cuffed around at home by fellow startup Texas San Antonio.
Start with the day’s most competitive game, which turned out to be a good choice for the CAA’s new TV deal with the Peacock Sports Network.
Folks will focus on the hard-luck Tribe’s late penalty that negated what would have been the winning touchdown – an improvised, scrambling pass from Raphael Ortiz to the rapidly emerging Tre McBride.
But beneath that, William and Mary lost because it couldn’t get Towson’s offense off of the field quickly enough. Six of eight Tigers’ possessions comprised at least eight plays and four minutes. Towson ran 19 more plays and had the ball for almost 12 more minutes. The Tigers converted 6 of 12 third-down chances.
W&M averaged a more than respectable 5.0 yards per play. It simply didn’t have enough snaps, particularly for a young quarterback making his first start and having to work his way around a quick, athletic defense.
The Tribe is 0-3 for the first time since 1999. W&M hasn’t started 0-4 since 1981, Jimmye Laycock’s second season, when the schedule was dotted with I-A opponents and Laycock periodically wondered what he had gotten himself into.
Old Dominion led 28-0 after one quarter and 42-14 midway through the second quarter in Saturday’s exercise with uniforms. QB Taylor Heinicke threw for 486 yards and seven touchdowns, though he paled in comparison to his Campbell counterpart in the cool name category.
Camels’ quarterback Dakota Wolf rushed for 140 yards, before sack yardage, and threw for another 56 yards. Clearly, he is someone we would follow into battle, or happy hour, if only to be able to say his name in stories afterward.
We’d provide more ODU stats and highlights, but they all come with asterisks after such a game.
In Lexington, Richmond’s Justin Grant ran back the opening kickoff for a touchdown, jump-starting the Spiders’ 47-6 win at VMI. UR outgained the Keydets 487-197 and took advantage of three turnovers, including a pick-six.
JMU’s NFL experience resulted in a big check ($350 large) and a 42-12 loss to ninth-ranked West Virginia at Dan Snyder’s playpen. The ‘Eers Geno Smith rocking chaired his way to a 34-for-39 passing performance for 411 yards and five TDs as coach Dana Holgorsen left much of the playbook in Morgantown.
The downside for JMU is that quality wide receiver Daniel Brown had to be carted off the field with an injury on the first play of the game. The Dukes held out back Dae’Quan Scott with an ankle injury, good for his and their chances down the road.
New Hampshire took the overland route in a 43-10 win against Central Connecticut State. The Wildcats had three backs over 80 yards and totaled 331 yards rushing, the most in six years.
UNH played its second game without starting quarterback Sean Goldrich, injured early in a loss to Minnesota. Backup Andy Vailas was 14-for-20 for 122 yards and a touchdown in his first start. Goldrich’s status for Saturday’s CAA opener at Old Dominion will be evaluated later this week. Suffice to say it would be helpful if he were available and full-go.
Maine dusted Bryant College 51-7, after which the Bear petitioned from Valhalla to have his name removed from any football team that couldn’t put up a better fight than that – particularly against a team from Maine. Odin was the first to sign the petition.
Villanova realized it was playing Rhode Island – the blue-on-blue Ram helmets gave it away – and pulled away for a 31-10 win in the day’s only other conference game. ‘Nova scored the game’s last 24 points, outgaining the Rams 245-65 in the second half. Freshman QB John Robertson accounted for 234 yards of offense, and Kevin Monangai scored a couple of TDs.
Delaware won a snappy, 2 1/2-hour affair against Bucknell 19-3. Hens’ kicker Sean Baner had a workout, with four field goals, and tailback Andrew Pierce (101 yards) again was productive. QB Trent Hurley completed two-thirds of his passes (14-for-21) for 161 yards and scored the only touchdown on a scramble.
The Blue Hens’ defense held Bucknell to just 70 yards rushing and 93 yards total in the second half, setting up an intriguing matchup next Saturday against William and Mary and its stout offensive line.
Georgia State’s breakdown was comprehensive in Saturday’s 38-14 loss to Texas San Antonio. UTSA is playing its second season of football, Georgia State its third. The Fighting Currys committed four turnovers, gave up a long kickoff return, had a field goal blocked, and permitted the Roadrunners 225 yards rushing (of course) before a crowd of 11,000 at the Georgia Dome. FBS, here we come.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun