CAA Games of the Week: Decisive Saturday to Chase Looms – FloFootball
Every team in the Colonial Athletic is facing a conference loss, with Richmond’s thrilling win over previously unbeaten New Hampshire in the league to reach Week 10.
The Spiders’ 40-34 win opened the door to a diverse group of championship hopefuls heading into the penultimate regular season Saturday. With head-to-head matches between some of the title contenders at the top of the Week 11 roster, however, a few hopefuls will be eliminated.
Few conferences at any level of college football are entering their final weeks with a championship race as competitive as the CAA, which has six teams still in the mix.
No. 12 Richmond at No. 17 Delaware
2022 Richmond vs Delaware
For the second week in a row — and depending on how week 11 shakes up, perhaps for the second in three straight weeks — Richmond is playing the most famous game on the agenda. The Spiders are experiencing a role shift after last week’s bid to beat No. 1 New Hampshire at home.
This week, Richmond is looking to the road to protect its top spot against a supposedly strong opponent heading for its place in the FCS playoffs.
“We came to this college to play meaningful games in November. We are in one,” Delaware coach Ryan Carty said. “It’s great to have the opportunity to be in situations like this and play meaningful games this time of year.”
The similarities between Delaware and Richmond hardly end at the identical placements coming up to the notable games of November.
Starting with quarterback Nolan Henderson of Delaware (206-318, 2,391 yards, 25 touchdowns/6 interceptions) and Reese Odinsky of Richmond (269-353, 2,574 yards, 22 touchdowns/4 interceptions), the offenses are similar to each other. Both futuristic teams feature reliable targets in Jake Herres and Jourdan Townsend, proven weapons that can turn big first defeats or reach the end zone with Jasiah Williams and Thyrick Pitts, potential game creators Leroy Henley and Chandler Harvin.
Each attack also has the ability to effectively move the ball on the ground. Richmond’s Aaron Dykes is a reliable player every time, and Delaware’s Kieron Coombe has shown a knack for tearing up blasters.
“Our defenses are the two best defenses in the league,” Carti said. “Our midfielders are some of the best in the league.” “Sure, there are a lot of similarities between us… It will be a fight. It will be about who can stop the attack a little better.”
Carte cited spin and special teams as keys to watch. Availability will be another.
Arachnid trainer Ross Huisman said Odinsky had a “lower body” injury. Richmond was without Marlem Lewis, the best passing player, as well as linebacker Savon Smith in last week’s win over New Hampshire.
No. 22 Rhode Island at No. 21 New Hampshire
Rhode Island maintained its quest for the program’s first playoff appearance in nearly 40 years last week with its first win over Maine in 15 games. Now, the Rams will be looking for another significant win when they visit New Hampshire.
Since its first CAA season in 2007, Rhode Island has been winless at Wildcat Stadium. A time-lapse field goal netted New Hampshire’s victory when the two last faced off at Durham in 2019.
Despite losing in Richmond last week, the United could still claim a share of the CAA Championship with a win. At 6-3, the Wildcats may need to win for a chance to qualify for the playoffs. The same is true of Rhode Island, which learned the hard way a season ago that 7-4 doesn’t guarantee a berth in the postseason.
First win over Maine Black Bears since 2006.
RhodyFootball November 7 2022
“We know what we have to do,” Rams coach Jim Fleming said. “We all play a lot at the table here. So, I know Ricky [Santos] These guys will be ready.”
Fleming shouted out URI’s Director of Sports Information Shane Donaldson for an accurate summary of this closing stretch, beginning with Rudy’s win in Maine: The playoffs have already begun for these teams.
Rhode Island is New Hampshire’s third consecutive top 25 opponent, after an impressive October 22 win over Elon and last week’s first-place match with Richmond. Those matches followed much different paths, with the UN jumping all over Elon early on in the win, but she needed to come together – and one match comes one game shy of completing – from the 24-0 loss against the Spiders.
“A little bit of performance anxiety goes out of the gate, and in the end, this is a game that has big implications,” Santos said. “That moment was a bit big for some guys, but they faltered and had some conviction in the second half…. But if you’re going to win a match like this in November, down the road against a strong opponent, you simply can’t start that slow.”
Getting off to a faster start this week means pushing the Pan-American nominee Dylan Loeb to go in the first half. Laube turned Richmond’s game on its head with a pair of touchdowns, including a 100-yard kick-back.
Marquis Deshields, the always dangerous superstar player in the Loop and Rhode Island, plays a major role in every crime. Establishing the race will be crucial for quarterbacks, Max Brusmer and Kassem Hill, to have some breathing space against two of the CAA’s top defensive lines.
Vilanova at No. 8 William and Mary
2022 Vilanova vs William & Mary
William and Mary have achieved the best overall record, best rating and tied for #1 on the top of the CAA, heading into the final two weeks in good standing. The Tribe team’s success is partly due to their ability to win away from Zabel Stadium, as they moved into a top 5-0 program with their big win at Hampton last week.
– William & Mary Tribe Football (WMTribeFootball) November 9, 2022
William & Mary closes out their Week 11 home roster with a Villanova group that may have seen their playoff hopes evaporate last Saturday in Tucson. The 27-3 loss dropped the Wildcats to 5-4 overall and knocked out the CAA championship picture.
However, a win over a top-10 contender, with the battle for the blue against top-20 ranked Delaware looming, Vilanova may have an outside opportunity still making its way to the curb. The Wildcats shouldn’t lack motivation when they try to spoil William & Mary’s Conference Championship aspirations.
Away from the league title, William and Mary may also play to gain the home ground advantage in post-season depth. As far as the tribe was from Zabul Stadium, winning more home games as the top four seed is an attractive and achievable goal.
No. 18 Elon in the Hampton
After Elon completed a perfect mark at home, he finished his regular season on the road in Hampton. Phoenix lost their last two games away from Rhodes, on October 15 in Rhode Island and October 22 in New Hampshire, complicating the course for the CAA Championship.
Elon Football November 8, 2022
To claim a share of her first CAA crown, Elon needs a win this week, and the United, Richmond, William and Mary lose at least once. Phoenix has the head-to-head advantage over Richmond, William and Mary, as well as fellow Delaware loser, but trails the others with a flawed head-to-head match.
Away from the conference championship track, Elon will likely seal with a win at Hampton to secure himself a place in the playoffs. An 8-3 overall mark with a win over three of the top 20 opponents would likely give Phoenix another game at Rhodes Stadium. Losing to 7-4 could wipe out their chances in the playoffs.
Hampton has boasted one of the best rushing defenses in the CAA all season, and his showing last week against Colonial’s best rushing attacker, William and Mary, reflected the Buccaneers at their best. With Elon boasting one of the best defenses creating a spin in the country, Saturday’s affair can be very challenging.
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