#15 Delaware FCS Football 2022 Preview

Delaware Blue Hens
Overall Rank: #15
#2 CAA
 Delaware Logo
After a disappointing season offensively, Delaware went out and grabbed Ryan Carty to lead the program. He spent the last four seasons as the offensive coordinator at Sam Houston. Last season the Bearkats ranked fifth in the FCS in total offense and third in scoring offense with an impressive 41 points per game.
2021 Record: 5-6, 4-4
2021 Postseason: None
Coach: Ryan Carty (0-0 at Delaware, 0-0 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Terence Archer and Chris Rogers
Defensive Coordinator: Manny Rojas
Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Quincy Watson, RB, 159 yards
Passing: Zach Gwynn, QB, 1,328 yards
Receiving: Thyrick Pitts, WR, 669 yards
Tackles: Johnny Buchanan, LB, 80
Sacks: Chase McGowan, DE, 4.0
Interceptions: Amonte’ Strothers, DB, 2
Other Key Returnees: QB Nolan Henderson, WR Brett Buckman, TE Bryce De Maille, DB Kedrick Whitehead, LB Liam Trainer, DB Noah Plack, DB Joe Zubillaga, DT Artis Hemmingway, DE Tommy Walsh, DB Justis Henley, LB Anthony Toro
Key Losses: RB Dejoun Lee, WR Gene Coleman, OL David Kroll, LB Colby Reeder, DB Andrew Pawlowski, LB Dae’Lun Darien, DB Nijuel Hill
The new look offense will be led by Nolan Henderson. The senior signal caller was an All-CAA quarterback in 2020-2021, but missed all but four games last season with an injury. He threw for 646 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions last season prior to the injury. Thyric Pitts will be Henderson’s favorite target after catching 43 passes for 669 yards and seven touchdowns. Brett Buckman is an experienced wideout and tight end Bryce De Maille will get involved in the passing attack as well. The ground game lacks experience, but should benefit from a potent passing game. Junior Quincy Watson is the team’s top returning rusher with just 159 yards.
Coach Carty inherits a pretty good defense that has the potential to be great in 2022. The unit returns a ton of talent and experience. The numbers may not be all that impressive if the offense puts points on the board as quickly as some expect, but this is a unit that can get the big stops. Linebacker Johnny Buchanan was the team’s leader in tackles in 2021 with 80. He will again be joined by Liam Trainer, who recorded 61 tackles. The one place this defense really struggled last season was getting to the quarterback. Chase McGowan is back after tallying 4.0 sacks, but the players like Tommy Walsh and Artis Hemmingway need to boost their sack totals too. The secondary has plenty of options, but they will need to make more big plays in 2022. Of course, a more consistent pass rush would certainly help the secondary in that regard.
The Bottom Line:
The biggest conference games for Delaware could come at the beginning and the end of the season. Their conference opener comes on September 17th at Rhode Island. The Rams are an interesting team coming off their best season in a long, long time and are looking to reach the playoffs for the first time since 1985. They may need a win over Delaware to do that. The Blue Hens finish the campaign with another road trip, this time to conference favorite Villanova.
Projected Postseason:  FCS Playoffs
2021 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 119.7 (94th in nation, 9th in conference)
Passing Offense: 180.1 (88, 9)
Total Offense: 299.8 (105, 11)
Scoring Offense: 19.7 (95, 9)
Rushing Defense: 134.5 (39, 6)
Pass Defense: 204.9 (34, 5)
Total Defense: 339.4 (32, 5)
Scoring Defense: 23.4 (37, 6)
Turnover Margin: -0.27 (86, 10)
Sacks: 1.55 (94, 10)
Sacks Allowed: 2.09 (62, 6)