#29 Delaware FCS Football 2019 Preview

Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens
Overall Rank: #29
#6 CAA
 Delaware Logo
Delaware finally made the playoffs again in 2018 after an eight year absence. They lost to James Madison in the first round, but it was still a big step in the right direction. Coach Danny Rocco has a lot of big holes to fill this season, but he has also been bringing in very strong recruiting classes and the hopes remain high heading into 2019.
2018 Record: 7-5, 5-3
2018 Postseason: FCS Playoffs
Coach: Danny Rocco (14-9 at Delaware, 104-51 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Jared Ambrose
Defensive Coordinator: Chris Cosh
Returning Leaders:
Rushing: DeJoun Lee, RB, 606 yards
Passing: Pat Kehoe, QB, 2,075 yards
Receiving: Gene Coleman, WR, 149 yards
Tackles: Caleb Ashworth, DT, 56
Sacks: Caleb Ashworth, DT, 3.0; Frank Burton, DT, 3.0
Interceptions: Nijuel Hill, DB, 2
Other Key Returnees: RB Charlie Booker, WR Adam Scott, OL Mario Farinella, DT Cam Kitchen, P Nick Pritchard
Key Losses: RB Kani Kane, WR Joe Walker, WR Vinny Papale, TE Charles Scarff, LB Troy Reeder, S Nasir Adderley, LB Ray Jones
The offense was not great last season, but this is now an experienced group and the depth and talent is improving across the board. Quarterback Pat Kehoe threw for 2,075 yards and 17 touchdowns. His completion percentage can stand to improve, but Kehoe is an experienced signal caller who will put his offense in a position to win games. Most of the top receivers are gone though and that is where some of the younger players need to step up and make an impact. DeJoun Lee is a talented running back and return man, who rushed for 606 yards last season. Losing Kani Kane, who rushed for ten touchdowns, will hurt, but the hope is Lee can punch the ball into the end zone when given the opportunity or that one of the young backs can take over that role.
The defense has been very good lately, but they too lose some key players, including second round draft pick Nasir Adderley. The defensive front is in decent shape with Caleb Ashworth, Frank Burton and Cam Kitchen leading the way. The rest of the defense will rely quite heavily on newcomers or inexperienced players, but it would not be too surprising if this group eventually is playing up to the expectations set by recent Delaware teams.
The Bottom Line:
Delaware plays North Dakota State and Pitt in non-conference play, but the CAA slate is not as daunting as it could be. They do not play James Madison or Maine and that will help the win total. However, trips to Elon and Towson will be extremely difficult. That game at Elon on October 12th could prove to be a very important early conference matchup. A win there and this group will be in a great position to get back to the playoffs.
Projected Postseason: None
2018 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 105.3 (108th in nation, 11th in conference)
Passing Offense: 195.1 (79, 8)
Total Offense: 300.4 (107, 10)
Scoring Offense: 24.4 (86, 7)
Rushing Defense: 134.9 (30, 6)
Pass Defense: 216.7 (60, 9)
Total Defense: 351.6 (33, 7)
Scoring Defense: 21.5 (19, 3)
Turnover Margin: 0.08 (53, 6)
Sacks: 1.33 (100, 11)
Sacks Allowed: 2.25 (80, 6)
HERO Sports 2019 Recruit Rankings:
#33 Jourdan Townsend
#66 Daniel Walker
#73 Akie Nance
#97 Noelly Miller
#200 Will Bowen
#247 Quincy Watson