Ocotober 10 bluehens.com:
NEWARK, Del. — The University of Delaware may not have played perfectly, but the No. 2 ranked Blue Hens stayed perfect with a 26-7 Colonial Athletic Association football victory over the University of Maine on a picture-perfect day at Delaware Stadium Saturday afternoon.
Delaware, which remained undefeated with a 6-0 mark (3-0 CAA), took advantage of three Maine turnovers and All-American candidate Pat Devlin bounced back with a solid passing effort to send the Hens to a relatively easy victory against a tough opponent. They did so in front of a special guest as former Delaware Senator and current U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden attended the game to cheer on his alma mater.
Maine (2-4, 1-2 CAA), which was coming off a 17-14 overtime victory over then No. 14 New Hampshire last week, could never overcome the miscues and managed just 237 total yards on the day.
The Hens, who entered as the top defensive unit in the nation at the NCAA Division I level, allowing just 6.4 points per game, jumped out to a 19-0 lead at halftime and built the margin to 26-0 early in the third quarter before allowing a late third-quarter score by the Black Bears.
Delaware linebacker Paul Worrilow opened the scoring when he returned a fumble 11 yards for a touchdown midway through the first quarter, cornerback Tyrone Grant intercepted a pass just in front of the UD goal line late in the second quarter to set up a Blue Hen field goal just before the half, and linebacker Andrew Harrison put an end to another Black Bear drive when he recovered a fumble at the Delaware 24-yard line early in the final quarter.
“We were disappointed with some sloppy play today, but you have to enjoy every win in this league because every week is brutal,” said Delaware head coach K.C. Keeler. “I do realize that this is all a process and to come out and have a 19-point win against a good Maine team is still very satisfying. I just thought we were a little off today, especially on offense, but the good news is that we know we can be a really good team in this league. We had a great week of practice after travelling to Virginia back to back weeks (wins over nationally top 10-ranked Richmond and James Madison) but we were banged up. At halftime I told our team,’you let good teams hang around and you will get beat’. We played much better in the second half.”
Devlin, who missed all but one play in last week’s 13-10 win over James Madison due to a concussion, bounced back with a solid effort as he completed 20 of 36 passes for a season-high 283 yards and fired a 10-yard touchdown pass to freshman running back Andrew Pierce in the second quarter. Devlin’s favorite target on the day was sophomore Rob Jones, who caught six passes for 105 yards.
Pierce, who leads the CAA and all NCAA FCS freshmen in rushing at 130.6 yards per game, had another big day as he ran for 96 yards on 26 carries and scored on a three-yard run in the third quarter to push the lead to 26-0. He upped his season rushing total to 749 yards, breaking the UD season freshman record of 708 set by Craig Cummings in 1997.
The Hens, off to a 6-0 start for the first time since a 9-0 start vaulted them to the NCAA I-AA national championship title, have now won their first three conference games for the first time since the 2007 season when the Hens also advanced to the national championship game.
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