Week 2 CAA FCS Football Game Breakdowns

George Hammond

Week 2 Colonial Athletic Association Game Breakdowns

Although the first week of the 2012 season went pretty much according to script, one CAA team definitely put an exclamation point on its victory. New Hampshire rolled to a surprisingly easy 38-17 victory over host Holy Cross as quarterback Sean Goldrich threw for two touchdowns in his first college game. Two crossover games between FCS and FBS schools highlight this week’s schedule as New Hampshire travels to Big Ten country to take on Minnesota, while Maine takes a short trip south to face Boston College in its opener.

Let’s take a look at week two:


#15 NEW HAMPSHIRE AT MINNESOTA (noon at TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN)

Minnesota (1-0) survived three overtimes to beat UNLV 30-27 in Las Vegas in its opener. Jordan Wettstein’s 32-yard field goal in the final OT proved to be the difference. The Gophers dominated statistically (478 totals yards to 275), but couldn’t put UNLV away as Minnesota hurt itself with 11 penalties for 86 yards. For New Hampshire, the Wildcats rolled up 531 yards of offense against Holy Cross. The key for the Wildcats on Saturday is to force Gophers’ quarterback MarQueis Gray into making bad decisions. Gray was 17 of 30 for 269 yards passing, but he missed several open receivers. Meanwhile, Goldrich completed 21 of 31 passes for 193 yards and two TDs. The redshirt freshman added a team high 71 rushing yards on ten carries. Joey Orlando had seven receptions for 102 yards and R.J. Harris had 12 receptions. This is the first meeting between the two schools.

Projected score: New Hampshire 16, Minnesota 31


MAINE AT BOSTON COLLEGE (1 p.m. Saturday at Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, MA)

This will be the 1,000th game in Maine football history and the Black Bears have a difficult assignment.  BC already has a game under its belt, a 41-32 loss to Miami, while Maine starts its season Saturday. The series is tied 3-3, with Boston College winning the last game played, 22-0 in 2006. The Eagles showed plenty of firepower against Miami as it rolled up 542 yards of offense, but three turnovers were costly. Maine is coming off a 9-4 season, one of the best in school history when it beat Appalachian State in the FCS playoffs. The defense should be solid, but inexperience on the offensive side is a concern.

Projected score: Maine 10, Boston College 24


#11 OLD DOMINION AT HAMPTON (6 p.m. Saturday at Armstrong Stadium, Hampton, VA)

Taylor Heinicke, the reigning College Sports Madness Offensive Player of the Week, passed for four touchdowns and broke two school passing records as Old Dominion rallied to defeat Duquesne 57-23 on Saturday. The Monarchs racked up 723 total yards and Heinicke accounted for 530 of them. Heinicke passed for 492 yards on 63 attempts, both school records. Heinicke's 41 completions fell just six short of Old Dominion's record. That doesn’t bode well for Hampton (0-1), which dropped its season opener to Tennessee Tech 41-31. Hampton allowed 384 yards in the first half as Tennessee Tech built a 31-7 advantage. Last year ODU beat Hampton, 45-42.

Projected score: Old Dominion 42, Hampton 17


DELAWARE STATE AT #24 DELAWARE (3:30 p.m. Saturday at Delaware Stadium, Newark, DE)

The Blue Hens (1-0) hold a 3-0 series edge over their in-state rivals. Last year Delaware rolled to a 45-0 victory. Delaware State (1-0) opened its season last week with a 17-10 triumph over the Big South’s VMI. Sophomore quarterback Trent Hurley looked good for the Hens in their 41-21 season-opening victory over Division II West Chester. Hurley, a transfer from Bowling Green, had 310 passing yards and three TDs. Hurley’s 310 yards marked the highest total by any player in Delaware history in his debut with the Blue Hens.

Projected score: Delaware 34, Delaware State 7


LAFAYETTE AT WILLIAM & MARY (7 p.m. Saturday at Zable Stadium, Williamsburg, VA)

Almost. That’s what William & Mary is thinking after the Tribe (0-1) lost 7-6 on Saturday to Maryland in College Park. After an outstanding performance at Maryland, William & Mary’s senior strong safety, Brian Thompson, has been selected as the Colonial Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Week as he had seven tackles and an interception. Meanwhile, teammate Luke Rhodes was the College Sports Madness CAA Defensive Player of the Week as he led the Tribe with 11 tackles. This is the opener for the Leopards, a member of the Patriot League.

Projected score: William & Mary 20, Lafayette 16


RHODE ISLAND AT MONMOUTH (1 p.m. Saturday at Kessler Field, West Long Branch, N.J.)

This is the second meeting between the two schools. Rhode lsland, which is starting its season Saturday, won the 2009 meeting in Kingston, R.I. by a score of 24-21. The Rams were scheduled to join Monmouth (0-1) in the Northeast Conference next year, but they decided to stay in the Colonial Athletic Association. In its opener, Monmouth bowed to Patriot League power Lehigh 27-17 after falling behind 21-7 at halftime.

Projected score: Rhode Island 23, Monmouth 20


FORDHAM AT VILLANOVA (6 p.m. Saturday at Villanova Stadium, Philadelphia, PA)

Villanova (0-1) bowed in its opener 41-10 to cross-town rival Temple last Friday at Lincoln Financial Field. But there were positives for the Wildcats. Villanova had 212 rushing yards, its highest total in a season opener since rushing for 235 yards against Hampton to open the 2003 season. The last time the Wildcats surpassed 200 yards on the ground in any game was on December 11, 2010 with 285 rushing yards against Appalachian State in the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs. Fordham (1-0) opened impressively with a 55-0 victory over Division II Lock Haven. Rookie head coach Joe Moorhead became the first Fordham head coach to win in his debut since Dave Rice in 1975.

Projected score: Villanova 27, Fordham 14


GARDNER-WEBB AT RICHMOND (6 p.m. Saturday at E. Claiborne Stadium, Richmond, VA)

Richmond (0-1) fell to Virginia 43-19 on Saturday while the Big South’s Gardner-Webb (0-1) lost at home to Wofford 34-7 in a rainstorm. In the two losses, Richmond and Gardner-Webb combined for just 40 yards rushing – the Spiders had 28 yards and the Bulldogs had 12.

Projected score: Richmond 24, Gardner-Webb 7


ALCORN STATE AT #5 JAMES MADISON (6 p.m. Saturday at Bridgeforth Stadium, Harrisonburg, VA)

The Dukes (1-0) had little trouble in their opener, defeating St. Francis (PA) by a score of 55-7. Their biggest concern might be to keep from looking ahead to next week’s meeting with national power West Virginia at FedEx Field outside Washington, D.C. Alcorn State (1-0) defeated Grambling State 22-21 on Saturday, but this will be a big step up.

Projected score: James Madison 45, Alcorn State 10


GEORGIA STATE AT TENNESSEE (4 p.m. Saturday at Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, TN)

An SEC team isn’t exactly the best option after losing your opener, but that’s what Georgia State (0-1) is facing. Georgia State lost to South Carolina State 33-6 in its opener while the Vols (1-0) defeated North Carolina State 35-21. This won’t be pretty.

Projected score: Georgia State 3, Tennessee 44


See All FCS Games of the Week Breakdowns