Official press release from bluehens.com
NEWARK, Del. — The University of Delaware football team celebrated Homecoming in style Saturday afternoon as the Blue Hens posted a thrilling 42-35 double overtime win over No. 11 Richmond at Delaware Stadium.
Delaware (5-2, 3-1 Colonial Athletic Association), which won its third straight game and earned its second consecutive win over a Top 25 opponent, went ahead on a one-yard scoring dive by junior fullback Kani Kane to open the second overtime and the defense took over from there, sealing the deal with a big stop of the Spiders (4-3, 2-2 CAA).
The victory gave Delaware an emotional triumph for first-year head coach Danny Rocco, who served as head coach of the Spiders the previous five seasons.
Delaware junior wide receiver Jamie Jarmon stole the show for the Blue Hens as he scored three touchdowns, including a 74-yard run late in the first quarter in which he outraced a hord of UD defenders down the right sideline, a 19-yard reception from junior quarterback J.P. Caruso (#9 above) just before halftime, and a five-yard run around end with 10:06 left in regulation that tied the game at 28-28. Caruso, a first-year transfer from Appalachian State, was making just his second career start.
Jarmon rushed four times for 103 yards and caught three passes for 41 yards. On his score that tied the game in the final quarter, he took a handoff from Caruso on a speed sweep around the end, was hit at the one-yard line, and flipped into the end zone for a highlight-reel touchdown.
Delaware had the chance to win in regulation when a bad snap on a punt by Richmond gave the Hens the ball on the UR 27-yard line. After three running plays by Delaware and three timeouts by Richmond, Delaware kicker Frank Raggo had his 37-yard field goal attempt blocked.
Richmond opened the scoring in overtime on a 20-yard fade pass in the end zone from Kyle Lauletta to Dejon Brissett, but Delaware came right back to force a second overtime when Caruso hit junior tight end Charles Scarff on a three-yard scoring pass.
The Hens clinched it in the second overtime when Kane, who finished with a game and career-high 109 yards on the ground, ran 11 yards to the one and then dove over the top into the end zone from one-yard out. Delaware’s defense preserved the win, forcing Lauletta into two incomplete passes and getting a sack from senior tackle Bilal Nichols. Lauletta’s fourth-and-goal pass from the 24 on the final play of the game was batted down by UD junior cornerback Malcolm Brown.
Delaware piled up 418 total yards and converted on 8 of 16 third-down attempts. Caruso, starting just his second game at Delaware, hit on 13 of 23 passes for 130 yards and three touchdowns.
Lauletta, who entered the game leading all NCAA FCS passers in yards per game (391.3) and total offense, hit on 23 of 40 passes for 295 yards and four touchdowns but was intercepted twice, both times by Delaware junior safety Nasir Adderley.
DELAWARE HEAD COACH DANNY ROCCO:
“This was an extraordinary game between two really good football teams who played hard and played well. We were just a little more fortunate today. This was a signature win for us. Our kids fought hard for their coaches and their teammates. Our first drive was huge and we showed what we are capable of doing. I thought J.P. (Caruso) came into his own today, made some critical throws, and showed the ‘it’ factor. I am so proud of this team and our coaches. If we remain focused and continue to work hard the best is yet to come. We needed a signature win and we went out and got it. We go home relevent tonight.”
ROCCO ON FACING HIS FORMER TEAM:
“It was a little more emotional tonight than I was prepared for but it was a really special.”
CO-CAPTAIN BILAL NICHOLS:
“This is what we work so hard for and gives us a taste of what is possible here. Last year we lost some close games but this year we have that belief and that faith in each other. It was great to win this one because we know Coach Rocco really wanted this game, even though he never made it about him.”
“It was great tonight to pull our (the offense) weight and not rely on the defense. Our coaches preached all week that we had to get off to a good start and we did. Our defense fought them blow for blow.”
• Jarmon snared a touchdown reception for the fifth straight game, tying the UD record set by Bob Norris (1986) and James Anderson (1987). He also became the first UD wide receiver to run for over 100 yards in a game since Michael Johnson had 123 vs. Rhode Island in 2013. Jarmon’s 74-yard run was also the second longest ever for a wide receiver in UD history behind Johnson’s 78-yard romp in that same game vs. URI in 2013
• Delaware snapped a three-game losing streak in the series against Richmond
• Richmond had a streak of 10-straight overtime wins snapped. The string included a 62-56 five-overtime win over the Joe Flacco-led Hens at Delaware Stadium in 2007
• The Hens are now 46-17 (.730) all-time on Homecoming, including a 3-0 mark vs. Richmond, and have won six of the last eight games overall
• Delaware has now won three straight games for the first time since 2014 and three straight conference wins for the first time since 2013
• Adderley now has a team-high four interceptions and has forced five turnovers this season
• Delaware will continue action next Saturday, Oct. 28, when the Hens head to Towson for a 4 p.m. CAA matchup. The Hens will be looking to match its first four-game win streak since the 2012 season
Photo: Mark Campbell/Hen Shots