NEWARK, Del. — The University of Delaware defense rose to the occasion once again Saturday afternoon as the Blue Hens held William & Mary to just 196 total yards and forced three turnovers in a 17-0 Colonial Athletic Association football victory before a spirited Parents & Family Weekend crowd at Delaware Stadium.
The Blue Hens (4-2, 2-1 CAA) won their second straight game and improved to 3-1 at home this season as they intercepted two passes and recovered a fumble. The shutout was Delaware’s first since a 21-0 victory over William & Mary in 2011 at Delaware Stadium, a span of 68 games.
Delaware gained just 195 yards itself but used the outstanding defensive effort and a solid performance on special teams to post the victory before a season-high crowd of 18,721.
Junior quarterback J.P. Caruso, who made his first career start for the Blue Hens, threw for 78 yards and tossed a 27-yard scoring strike to junior wide receiver Jamie Jarmon with 9:01 left in the second quarter for all the points the Blue Hens would need.
The Blue Hens made it 10-0 just before halftime as junior Frank Raggo converted a 45-yard field goal as the clock expired. The score was set up by an interception by redshirt freshman linebacker Colby Reeder at the Tribe 26-yard line.
William & Mary (2-4, 0-3 CAA) lost its third straight game despite a solid defensive effort itself, holding the Blue Hens to just 10 first downs and a season-low 195 yards. Freshman quarterback Shon Mitchell, making his first career start, hit on 18 of 36 passes for 101 yards but was intercepted twice.
Delaware concluded the scoring when junior Kani Kane (team-high 50 yards rushing) used a big second effort to bull into the end zone from one-yard out with 5:52 left in the fourth quarter for a 17-0 lead. That score was set up when junior safety Nasir Adderley, who earlier returned an interception 45 yards, recovered a muffed punt by the Tribe’s Jalen Christian at the W&M 14-yard line. Adderley also had six tackles and two pass breakups.
HEAD COACH DANNY ROCCO:
“I was really pleased with the way this team responded at home. Our defense really stole the show today. They played with great passion, great energy, and great confidence. We have a great structure on defense in place and the players are buying in. I also knew our special teams would be important today and they were really solid. Our offense had a few good drives today but we just couldn’t sustain it. We still have a lot of work to do. We were +3 today (in turnovers) and you are not going to lose many games when you do that.”
LINEBACKER TROY REEDER
“We are building (on defense) week in and week out. This was really our first complete game on defense today. We are developing and that has been our emphasis. I looked up and saw zeros on the scoreboard and I wanted to keep it like that.”
• Delaware has now held opponents scoreless for six straight quarters and for 91:38 minutes since last week’s 24-20 win over Stony Brook
• Delaware’s 195 total yards was its lowest total in a victory since the Blue Hens managed just 172 yards in a 10-6 win over Richmond on Nov. 10, 2001 at Delaware Stadium. That victory marked head coach Tubby Raymond’s 300th career win
• Jarmon has now caught four touchdown passes on 18 receptions this season and has caught a touchdown pass in three straight games, the third longest streak in UD history and the longest by a UD player since All-American Eddie Conti during the 1998 campaign
• Former Delaware captain and current Carolina Panthers starting safety Mike Adams was the Honorary Captain and took part in the pre-game coin toss
• Delaware entered the game ranked last in the NCAA in punt returns (-0.3 yards per return) but Jarmon returned two for 28 yards, including a season-long 15-yarder
• Junior punter Nick Pritchard punted 10 times for a 40.4-yard average and had five land inside the William & Mary 20-yard line
• Junior RB Thomas Jefferson upped his career rushing yardage total to 1,798 to move into 20th place on the all-time UD list
• Delaware will continue action next Saturday, Oct. 21, when the Hens host CAA foe Richmond for Homecoming at Delaware Stadium. The game will match UD head coach Danny Rocco against the team he served as head coach for the previous five seasons. Delaware will be looking to win three straight games for the first time since 2014
Photo: University of Delaware Blue Hens official site
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