The Flat Hat is live in the Zable stadium press box with updates, analysis, news and more as the College takes on the Blue Hens in their 2009 CAA opener.
End of fourth quarter: The game winds down as Delaware puts together another garbage-time drive, finishing with a short, 4-yard touchdown pass from Devlin with 31 seconds left. It won’t matter as this game was over long before time ran out.
Wideout Brett Fox recovers the final on-side kick for the College, and a single knee does it from here.
Chants of “4-0” resonate from the student section interspersed with the Alma Mater as the final horn sounds.
The College puts together an absolutely dominating 30-20 win, a final score that does not portray the difference between these two teams. The squad is off to its first 4-0 start since 1994, and heads to Villanova next week to take on the no. 2 Wildcats.
Stay tuned for full postgame coverage, coming shortly.
1:00, fourth quarter: On 3rd and 10, Grimes breaks a great run up the middle for 18 yards down to the 4, spinning off of multiple tacklers. On the next play, he takes a pitch and cuts through the left side for a touchdown. If this game wasn’t over before, it certainly is now. Grimes is now up to 98 yards on the day, in what has mostly been tough running between the tackles.
Tribe 30, Delaware 13
2:00, fourth quarter: Delaware attempts the on-side kick, but it takes a Tribe bounce and is recovered by David Caldwell. He finds some open space ahead of him and takes it all the way to the Blue Hen 22. Archer hands off to Grimes around the left side who gets the couple. Delaware takes a timeout, as the College tries to bleed out the last couple minutes of clock.
The large Delaware crowd that made the journey from Newark is now heading for the exits. Needless to say, they’ve been very quiet this game.
2:00, fourth quarter: In garbage time, Delaware is driving, now down to the Tribe 31. Much of the first team defense remains in, but the College is backing off the line with the game in hand. Delaware currently has -18 yards rushing, the second fewest total in school history.
Devlin just completed a nice touchdown pass to Rob Jones to cut it to a ten point deficit. They go for two to try to make it a one possession game, but Devlin’s pass is incomplete.
Tribe 23, Delaware 13
5:00, fourth quarter: There was one main question for the Tribe entering this game as many wanted to know if they were for real. With the clock winding down in the fourth quarter, there’s no doubt that the College has answered with a resounding yes. The Tribe has absolutely dominated a Delaware squad that nearly knocked off no. 1 Richmond and that many had predicted would be a top team this season. The Blue Hens were picked to finish above the Tribe in the preseason CAA coaches and media poll.
Four games into the season, the Tribe is about to be 4-0 and is looking like a true national title contender. There are a lot of great teams in the CAA, but you have to give the College as good a shot as anyone. Laycock has rode a suffocating defense and a very good quarterback to four wins, none of which were close. The Tribe is off to its first 4-0 start since 1994 and this year could be shaping up to be one of Laycock’s best teams.
It’s early, but this could have the potential to be one of the greatest Tribe squad’s ever. Thoughts?
7:00, fourth quarter: The defense is up to the task again, and they’re now spreading the wealth around. Backup DE Ravi Pradhanang sacks Devlin on first down, before an incompletion brings up third and 16. Devlin completes to a receiver, but it’s well short of the marker. The Blue Hens punt on fourth and 3 as the College’s defense continues it’s dominant night.
Webb fair catches it at the 18-yard line.
8:00, fourth quarter: Two passes and a run now, and it’s 4th and 2 again. Laycock doesn’t hesitate and goes for it again. Archer runs a bootleg right and he had McAulay wide open over the middle, but couldn’t find him. An incompletion hands the ball back to Delaware with 8:35 remaining on the clock.
First and 10 Delaware at the 33.
10:00, fourth quarter: Laycock is pounding the ball now with his backs and running the clock. Three straight runs up the middle come up just short of the first down marker. It’s fourth at 2 at the 44 and Laycock goes for it.
He calls up a beautiful quarterback draw and Archer scrambles to pick up the first untouched.
12:00, fourth quarter: Wes Steinman drills a receiver on second down, holding him to a three yard game. He’s been everywhere tonight and is having a true breakout game for the Tribe. Trantin and Francks have been excellent all season, so that’s quite a linebacking corps that the Tribe has assembled.
A play later, Devlin is hit as he throws and fires incomplete on third and 5. Delaware punts yet again, and it takes a Tribe bounce out to the 48 yard line where Archer takes over.
13:00, fourth quarter: The College is forced to punt and Miller booms it into the end zone. Laycock seems content to let his defense preserve this win, playing cautiously with a draw to Grimes on third and long. It’s a strategy that worked against U.Va. and certainly seems to be working here.
First and 10 Delaware at their 20.
14:45, fourth quarter: On a second down screen play, safety David Caldwell busts in, forces a fumble and recovers it. A huge play by the Tribe defense as the stadium explodes. Points on this drive should just about ice the game.
Also, the Tribe outgained the Blue Hens 122-46 in that quarter. And 28 of those 46 yards came on a single play at the end of the quarter.
End of third quarter: A busted run play and an incompletion (forced by a great hit from safety Robert Livingston) seem to indicate that the Blue Hens are headed for another three and out. But on third and 11, Devlin steps up and hits Rob Jones down the sideline for a gain of 28. A huge play for Delaware as they fight to keep this game competitive. It will be first and 10 Delaware at the 47.
1:00, third quarter: The Tribe stalls on third and 8 at the 38 as Archer throws an incompletion over the middle, intended for Varno. They now line up for only their second punt of the game. It’s a good one by Miller, but goes just a half yard too far and the College is unable to knock it out of the end zone.
Delaware takes over at their 20. A missed opportunity by the College to really put this game away.
2:00, third quarter: Just as I say that, Grimes goes up the middle again for 6, and he’s up to 59 yards on 14 carries. Archer then hits Marriner in the flat and he breaks two tackles to pick up the first down, gaining 17. A great run for the junior who left a couple of Blue Hen defenders grasping air. First and 10 Tribe at the Delaware 41.
Archer is now up to 309 yards, which is a career high. It is his fifth career game at quarterback, and he also went over 300 against Villanova last season.
3:00, third quarter: Chase Hill continues his career day, catching a 9-yard ball over the middle on second down. Grimes then easily picks up the first with some tough running. He hasn’t posted the numbers this year that he did last year, but no one should underestimate his contributions. He’s been pairing with Marriner and Terrence Riggins to form a potent rushing attack, in the absence of which the Tribe would be nowhere near as powerful as they are now.
5:00, third quarter: After a first down fumbled snap, Laycock plays cautiously near his own goal line, handing the ball to Grimes on second down and long. He powers ahead for 8 yards to bring up 3rd and 2. Archer completes to Rob Varno for a gain of 6 and the College is on the move again.
7:00, third quarter: On 3rd and 13, the Tribe comes on the blitz and Evan Francks drills Devlin who fires an incompletion over the middle. He took quite a shot on that play.
Delaware punts down to the Tribe 9, where Webb is quickly wrapped up.
A big stop for the defense to prevent the Blue Hens from continuing on their offensive momentum. A long scoring drive here would really put the pressure on Delaware.
8:00, third quarter: David Hayes bursts through the right side for a 20-yard gain to take Delaware out to the 40. A five-yard carry by the fullback and an incompletion bring up 3rd and 5, where Devlin completes over the middle to Tommy Crosby for the first down at the Tribe 48.
10:00, third quarter: The Tribe looked every bit as dangerous on offense on that drive as in the first half, and it seems clear that whatever adjustments the Delaware defense made at halftime, they had little effect. We’ll now see what the Tribe defense does out of the locker room.
Pate booms the kickoff through the end zone for a touchback and the Blue Hens take over at their 20.
10:00, third quarter: A great misdirection fake and Courtland Marriner is left all alone for a 12-yard gain. The Delaware cornerback saved a touchdown with a great 1-one-1 tackle, but it makes little difference. On the next play, Grimes bulls through the middle for an impressive 9-yard run into the end zone. It’s his first touchdown run of the season and makes it 23-7. The snap is off on the extra point and Pate never gets a chance to kick it, keeping the Tribe at 23.
Tribe 23, Delaware 7
11:00, third quarter: Archer continues to look impressive. After getting nearly sacked, he completes several passes down to the Delaware 22. He’s getting tons of time from his offensive line and is picking apart the Delaware secondary. With no one open, he throws one away and it’s 2nd and 10 Tribe at the 22.
13:00, third quarter: AP: Not too sure what Pate’s deal is this year, but one thing is for sure, and that is that Laycock has not hesitated to go to him. The feeling within the program is that Pate will turn it around sooner rather than later, and, overall, he has been pretty solid inside 30 yards.
Thanks for reading, Pike.
13:00, third quarter: The Tribe offense has come out of the halftime locker room firing. A 9-yard run from Courtland Marriner is followed several plays later by a quick strike to McAulay. First and 10 Tribe at the Delaware 43.
Start of 2nd Half: We’re underway as Delaware kicks off to the Tribe 15. Grimes takes it out to the 30 where the Tribe offense will take over.
Official attendance: 12,259
Halftime: Some quick halftime stats for you.
Tribe: 15 attempts for 30 yards
Delaware: 10 attempts for -14 yards (That isn’t a mistake, it’s negative)
Penalties and yards lost:
Tribe: 2 for 11 yards
Delaware: 4 for 42 yards
Time of Possession:
Halftime: A very good first half for the Tribe, and one which should leave them plenty about which to be pleased. After two quarters, Delaware has had little answer for the Tribe offense as R.J. Archer is 15-21 for 253 yards and 2 touchdowns. Chase Hill has 4 catches for 134 yards and both touchdowns.
Defensively, the College has dominated with the exception of the Blue Hens final drive of the day. Adrian Tracy has three sacks and linebackers Wes Steinman and Jake Trantin have been all over the field. Delaware has been held to -14 rushing yards thus far on 10 attempts.
That final drive did change the complexion of the game, however. What could have been an overwhelming Tribe lead was cut to a manageable 10-point differential as Devlin looked very strong in the pocket. Teams have a habit of having more success in 2-minute drills which could partially account for that late movement. But the College will want to clamp down in the second half and I’m sure Bob Stoops will have plenty to tell his defense at halftime.
It will be Tribe ball when we resume.
End of first half: Archer takes a knee to send this one to halftime.
Tribe 17, Delaware 7
0:17, second quarter: Delaware drives down to the Tribe 25, before Tracy comes up with his third sack of the game to back them up to the 30.
A play later, Devlin throws a gorgeous deep ball over the middle to the back of the end zone where he connects with Phillip Thaxton for seven points. A great throw under heavy pressure and an even better catch. The Blue Hens needed that one badly.
Tribe 17, Delaware 7
1:00, second quarter: A big return by Delaware is thwarted by a great tackle from the kicker Pate. Holding on the play backs them up to their 25, however.
On first down, Tracy gets a hand to Devlin’s pass to force an incompletion. A play later, Devlin completes down the right sideline to Rob Jones for 19 yards. A good job stepping up in the pocket by the Blue Hen signal caller.
1:45, second quarter: Laycock lines up to go for it again and Archer spends the play clock attempting to draw Delaware offsides. The Blue Hens stay put and the quarterback is forced to call the Tribe’ final timeout of the half. This time Laycock sends out Pate who drills a 29-yarder.
Tribe 17, Delaware 0
2:00, second quarter: An incompletion and short pass play to Grimes brings up 3rd and 4 from the 16. Archer has all day in the pocket and hits Varno just short of the first down marker. The College takes a timeout on 4th and 1.
3:00, second quarter: On 3rd and 5 from the 48, Archer hits McAulay downfield for a big 12-yard gain. A play later, Delaware cornerback Anthony Walters jumps a corner route, but just can’t bring in the ball. Archer makes him pay for that missed opportunity. He hits tight end Rob Varno for a 20-yard gain down to the Delaware 20 and the Tribe is threatening once again.
4:00, second quarter: A short run and a pass completion bring up 3rd and 5. The Tribe d-line collapses the pocket around Devlin and he attempts to step up and throw a desperation deep ball, but it falls harmlessly incomplete. Another three and out forced by the Tribe defense, the third for Delaware of the game.
Webb returns the punt back up to the 42 where the College will take over.
6:00, second quarter: A few posts mysteriously disappeared right there. Not sure what’s up with that, but I’ll do my best to sum up what happened.
After the Tribe turned it over on 4th and 1, the defense came up strong. Wes Steinman hit the Blue Hen running back in the backfield for a loss of 5, and then followed it up with a sack of Devlin for a loss of 9. After a short third down completion, the Blue Hens punted as the Tribe defense firmly seized the momentum back for the College.
On the ensuing possession, the Tribe drove down inside the Delaware 25, before stalling after a block in the back penalty brought up 3rd and long. Pate pushed a 37-yard field goal wide right and Delaware now takes over at their own 20.
Big missed opportunity for the Tribe to really put the nail in Delaware’s coffin right there.
12:00, second quarter: A good return by Webb on the Delaware punt takes the Tribe out close to their 40-yard line. They quickly drive down to the Delaware 44, where they currently face 3rd and 1. Archer just went deep to McAulay, but badly overthrew his receiver, nearly resulting in an interception. It’s really his first bad throw of the game.
A play later, Grimes is stopped for no gain on 3rd and 1, and it’s decision time for Jimmye Laycock on fourth and 1 as the Tribe takes a timeout.
End of first quarter: Still working no-huddle and mainly out of the shotgun, Delaware runs three plays and picks up about seven yards as the quarter ends on a Delaware fourth and 3.
As they have all year, the College has come out fired up and absolutely dominated this first quarter. Archer has the Blue Hen defense backed completely off the line of scrimmage with his precision passing. He is now 5-6 for 158 yards and 2 touchdowns. Meanwhile, the defense has handled Delaware’s no-huddle shotgun with ease, not allowing them inside their 40 yard line.
The score at the end of the first quarter for the Tribe’s last three games:
Tribe 16, CCSU 0
Tribe 14, Norfolk State 0
Tribe 14, Delaware 0
1:00, first quarter: TOUCHDOWN TRIBE! Two plays later on 3rd and medium, Archer hits Hill again over the middle and he cuts outside down the right sideline for a 20-yard touchdown.
Archer did a great job of staying in the pocket against the blitz and waiting for the last possible second to throw the ball. He found Hill just in front of the linebackers, who takes it in for the score.
Hill’s line so far: 2 catches, 111 yards, 2 touchdowns
Tribe 14, Delaware 0
1:00, first quarter: The Tribe strikes for a big play again. Archer hits wideout Cameron Dohse coming across the middle of the field and Dohse cuts outside for a big 37-yard gain to bring the Tribe down to the Delaware 27. Archer looks extremely sharp this game, similar to how he came out last week against Norfolk State.
3:00, first quarter: Webb calls for a fair catch on the punt around his 5, but bobbles the kick. He is hit by a Blue Hen gunner nearly simultaneously and the Tribe recovers. The officials throw a flag for fair catch infringement, but it looked to me like he got hit after he coughed up the ball. Should have been no penalty.
Either way, The Tribe takes over a their 23, and Grimes starts the drive off by bulling his way up the middle for 9 yards. A play later, he picks up four more for a first down at the 36.
5:00, first quarter: After taking over at their own 23, Devlin picks up a first down on the ground out to the 36. He throws for another one two plays later, completing a pass to wideout Tommy Crosby who is drilled by the defense on the play. The Blue Hens go no-huddle on a 3rd and 4 at the Tribe 44. It’s a quarterback draw and the entire defense is there waiting. Devlin is swallowed up by several defenders led by Adrian Tracy and Delaware punts.
7:00, first quarter: TOUCHDOWN TRIBE! On first down, Archer rolls to his left on a play action fake and hits junior wideout Chase Hill on a dead run at midfield. Hill outsprints the defense for a 91-yard touchdown as the Blue Hens are stunned. An absolutely beautiful pass, Hill had about a step on his defender, but Archer put it right on the money and Hill never even had to break stride. That play is a school record for longest passing touchdown.
Tribe 7, Delaware 0
7:00, first quarter: On 3rd and 11, senior DE Adrian Tracy chases down Devlin for a big sack on third down as the stadium goes crazy.
Delaware punts down to the Tribe 5, where redshirt freshman B.W. Webb takes it out to the 10. He should have let that one go for a touchback.
9:00, first quarter: Great pursuit by junior DT Michael Stover on a screen play turns what could have been a big play into a 5-yard gain. The Tribe had been blitzing Devlin constantly and that screen backed them off a little. Devlin then has time to find his tight end on 3rd and 5 for a first down.
Two completions later and UD picks up another first near midfield.
So far, Tribe defensive coordinator Bob Shoops is willing to send the extra man on the blitz, but is mixing up his play calls with stunts and overlaps.
11:00, first quarter: After a 5-yard pass to wideout D.J. McAulay and a short run to junior Courtland Marriner, Archer can’t find anyone open on third down and the Tribe punts.
Archer looked a little tentative on his first extended drop back, possibly lingering effects from the knee injury he suffered two weeks ago against Central Connecticut.
David Miller sends the punt into the end zone for a touchback.
12:00, first quarter: Delaware punts to the Tribe 35 where senior quarterback R.J. Archer and the College’s offense take over. Two quick plays to sophomore tailback Jonathan Grimes, a run and a short pass, pick up a first down near midfield.
14:00, first quarter: Delaware center Rob McDowell begins the game by snapping it way over quarterback Pat Devlin’s head and into the end zone. Devlin gets there and just manages to throw it away before the Tribe defense closes in. That’s followed by a completion for no gain and an overthrown deep ball and the Tribe gets a quick three and out. Devlin had a man open on that 3rd down pass though, but missed him for what would have been a big gain.
15:00, first quarter: And we’re underway as Pate sends a booming kick down to the 2. Delaware returns it to the 32, but a 10-yard holding penalty knocks them back to the 17.
Pregame: The Tribe wins the toss and will defer to the second half. Senior Brian Pate on to kick off moving towards the north end zone.
Pregame: A high school band has played the national anthem and the teams are about to emerge from the locker room. We’re about 5 minutes away from kickoff and there are still a fair amount of empty seats. Those should fill quickly as the remaining tailgaters trickle in. Student section only about 2/3 full so far.
Pregame: This week’s keys to the game.
The College has been remarkably even-handed in their offensive distribution, averaging 175.7 yards per game on the ground and 155.3 through the air. That ratio has proved golden for the Tribe so far this season and if they can find a similar balance Saturday a win should follow.
Delaware has not maintained similar equality, putting an emphasis on a passing game which has averaged 211.3 yards per contest. Leading that attack is Penn State transfer Pat Devlin, who has accounted for 7 total touchdowns. Stopping Devlin must be a priority for the Tribe defense.
Play four quarters
The Tribe’s last two contests have both been comfortable
wins, but they have seen the College back off in the second half. Delaware took no. 1 Richmond to the brink in week two before losing on a blocked field goal. Anything short of a maximum
Tribe effort will likely come up short.
Pregame: The anticipation for this game has been building all week for both sides and there is a palpable air of expectation inside the statement. Richmond road was packed with Tribe and Delaware fans on the way in, and there is expected to be a big student turnout as well for parent’s weekend. This game was sold out on Monday, the College’s first sellout since its 2007 contest vs. JMU, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see a large vocal student section.
As for the game itself, this one marks a crucial moment for both teams. Delaware will seek to even it’s CAA record at 1-1 following a tough opening loss to Richmond on a last-second blocked field goal as they try to put memories of last year’s 3-8 mark firmly behind them.
Meanwhile, as nice as the Tribe’s season opening victory over Virginia was, this is the squad’s first true test after two easy wins over lower-conference teams. Delaware has proven that they are a much different squad from the one that the College destroyed 27-3 last season and will no doubt be looking for some measure of revenge. A Tribe win here would cement the College’s standing as one of the top teams in the FCS.
Pregame: We’re about 30 minutes before kickoff here at Zable stadium and it’s shaping up to be what looks like a pleasant evening — as long as the rain holds off. Both teams are now stretching on the field for pregame warmups and this sellout crowd is starting to file in.
We’ll be here all night keeping you posted on everything from Williamsburg. Chime in with comments and questions below. I’ll get to them as soon as possible.