HARRISONBURG — The toughest non-conference game against FCS competition for any Colonial Athletic Association squad this season will be played Saturday when Delaware travels to No. 1 North Dakota State.
Kickoff at the Fargodome is set for 2 p.m.
It’s the first contest as part of a home-and-home series between the two programs.
“It really is an extraordinary atmosphere,” Delaware coach Danny Rocco said Monday during the CAA coaches teleconference about North Dakota State’s home venue. Rocco most recently coached there as headman at Richmond when the Spiders fell to the Bison in the 2015 FCS national semifinals.
“My student athletes are really excited to have this opportunity,” Rocco said, “to play against the defending national champions and to be able to go in that environment.”
The last time a CAA team played in the Fargodome, James Madison upset North Dakota State in the 2016 semifinals en route to winning the national title.
Rocco said for the Blue Hens (2-1) to upend the Bison (2-0) that his team would have to play a nearly flawless game.
This past Saturday, Delaware didn’t turn the ball over in its 27-10 win over Cornell as first-year starting quarterback Pat Kehoe threw a touchdown and rushed for another.
“You got to make yourselves hard to beat,” Rocco said. “Field position for them is momentum and energy and you have to be able to be on top of field position. Then penalties, protecting the ball and negative plays those are kind of things that generate so much momentum for them in that environment.
“So you’ve got to play a complete game, and a complimentary game.”
NDSU makes the return trip to Delaware on Sept. 14, 2019.
Towson On The Rise
Towson’s win at No. 10 Villanova was its first road victory over the Wildcats since 2012 and its first win over any top-10 opponent for the first time since Dec. 21, 2013 when Tigers beat No. 3 Eastern Washington in the FCS playoffs.
“I think it can be [a statement game],” Towson coach Rob Ambrose said. “If we decide this is the road we want to stay on, and all the good things we did to get here are important enough to us, it’ll be a game people remember positively. If we don’t want to do that, then this will be a game everyone remembers as a flash in a pan.”
Towson hasn’t had a winning season since 2015, but are off to a 2-1 start this year and getting solid quarterback play from Rutgers transfer Tom Flacco, the younger brother of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.
He threw for 320 yards and three touchdowns in the win at Villanova.
“He did a good job,” Ambrose said. “And I think he’s done a better job week to week that he improves just a little bit every day and every week, and that allows us to play better.”
Great Danes Have Great WR
Albany freshman wide receiver Dev Holmes is turning heads.
His 459 receiving yards top the CAA and rank fourth in all of FCS. His eight grabs for 238 yards and a touchdown helped Albany beat Morgan State this past Saturday and earned him CAA Rookie of the Week honors on Monday.
“He’s getting a lot of single coverage that he’s taken advantage of,” Albany coach Greg Gattuso said. “He’s a mature young man that is still learning and getting better every day.”
Six CAA Teams Stay In Top 25
The six CAA teams that were in last week’s STATS FCS Top 25 remained in this latest edition of the poll released Monday by the organization.
JMU stayed put at No. 2. Elon was bumped to No. 12 from No. 14 while Maine moved up from No. 17 to No. 13 and Villanova fell from No. 10 to No. 15 after losing at home to Towson this past weekend. The Tigers are receiving the most votes outside the poll.
Stony Brook is in at No. 20 and Rhode Island is in at No. 23.