CAA Football: Delaware, Richmond advance to semifinals

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December 5, 2007

10:35 PM

Two of the Tribe’s toughest CAA football foes advanced to the semifinal round of the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs this past weekend. The no. 6 University of Richmond Spiders defeated no. 11 Wofford College 21-10, while the no. 13 University of Delaware Blue Hens knocked off the no. 1 University of Northern Iowa Panthers in a 39-27 shootout.

p. Richmond’s victory advanced the Spiders to their first-ever semifinal appearance in the FCS, where they will meet the back-to-back defending champion Appalachian State University Mountaineers Dec. 7. The Spiders’ success this year has hinged on senior running back Tim Hightower, who rushed for 88 yards and two scores in the quarterfinal win over Wofford. Richmond’s run-centered offense ranks second in the CAA with 238.8 yards per game and leads the conference with 5.6 yards per carry average.

p. Against the College, Hightower was held in check, gaining only 60 yards on 15 attempts in the Spiders’ season finale 31-20 victory.

p. “He’s an outstanding back,” Tribe Head Coach Jimmye Laycock said prior to the Richmond game. Hightower has averaged 140.7 yards a game this season to lead the CAA.

p. The Blue Hens outlasted the top-seeded and previously undefeated Panthers in a game during which Delaware fell behind 13-0 early before reeling off 19 straight points to take the lead for good.

p. The Hens have been led by tailback Omar Cuff, who shredded the Tribe defense to the tune of an FCS record-tying seven touchdowns in Delaware’s 49-31 season-opening victory over the Tribe. Cuff leads the CAA with 34 touchdowns this year, while Hightower is second with 20.

p. Delaware travels to take on no. 3 Southern Illinois University, who defeated CAA champion University of Massachusetts 34-27 in the quarterfinals this weekend. The Blue Hens last won the FCS in 2003.

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