Week 3 CAA FCS Football Game Breakdowns

George Hammond

Week 3 Colonial Athletic Association Game Breakdowns

Weather delays and lopsided scores were the norm last Saturday concerning Colonial Athletic Association teams. Many schools are finishing up their nonconference slates this week before conference play heats up next weekend. While CAA schools didn’t fare so well this week against FBS schools, James Madison gets its chance Saturday when it meets West Virginia at a neutral site. There is one conference game that is significant: William & Mary at Towson. The Tigers need this game after losing their opener to Kent State. They can’t afford to go 0-2 with LSU waiting in the wings.


#3 JAMES MADISON VS. WEST VIRGINIA (4:30 p.m. Saturday at FedEx Field, Landover, Md.)

One thing James Madison won’t be when it meets West Virginia is intimidated. Two years ago the Dukes shocked Virginia Tech 21-16 in Blacksburg, VA when they caught the Hokies in a short week following Virginia Tech’s Labor Day contest against Boise State. This is the second meeting between the schools. WVU won the previous meeting in 2004, 45-10, in Morgantown, WV.  With its 42-3 triumph over Alcorn State Saturday, JMU is 2-0 for just the second time since 2005. Quarterback Justin Thorpe, who was the College Sports Madness’ Offensive Player of the Week in the CAA, led the way with 101 rushing and 14 of 18 passing. The Dukes built a 28-0 first-half advantage en route to the easy victory. WVU (1-0) was idle this week after opening its season (Sept. 1) with a 69-34 victory over Marshall. If there was a concern for the high-flying Mountaineers in that contest, it was the fact they allowed 545 yards offense to Marshall. Still, the contest was over early and a lot of those yards might have been accumulated as Marshall was in deep catch-up mode.

Projected score: West Virginia 34, James Madison 16


BUCKNELL AT #24 DELAWARE (3:30 p.m. Saturday at Tubby Raymond Field at Delaware Stadium, Newark, Del.)

The Blue Hens (2-0) withstood a nearly one-hour weather delay to topple in-state rival Delaware State 38-14. Redshirt freshman wide out, Jerel Harrison, hauled in his first two career touchdown receptions and linebacker Paul Worrilow posted a career-high 18 tackles to lead the defense. Trent Hurley, who threw for 310 yards in his Delaware debut last week in a 41-21 win over West Chester, hit on 12 of 21 passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns against the Hornets despite getting a lot of pressure from the Hornets’ defense. Delaware had just 282 total yards of offense. This week the Hens face a longtime rival from the 1950s and 1960s in the Middle Atlantic Conference as the Patriot League’s Bucknell (1-0) visits. This is the first meeting since 1985. The Bison had a weather delay on Saturday too, as their 19-17 victory over Marist was delayed 68 minutes due to a thunderstorm. Junior quarterback Brandon Wesley was 20 of 27 passing for 190 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Bucknell’s head coach is Joe Susan, a 1978 Delaware grad.

Projected score: Delaware 31, Bucknell 13


WILLIAM & MARY AT #11 TOWSON (noon Saturday at Unitas Stadium, Towson, Md.)

After a bye week, Towson (0-1) will host William & Mary, which is now 0-2 after two heartbreaking losses.  Two weeks ago it fell to Maryland, 7-6. On Saturday, after playing two quarterbacks against the Terrapins, the Tribe went with Michael Graham against Lafayette in their home opener. Graham struggled, completing 7-of-19 passes for just 54 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Raphael Ortiz came in late in the fourth quarter, and on his second drive with the Tribe down 16-7, he drove the team 80 yards to cut the deficit to 16-14. William & Mary had to attempt an onside kick with less than two minutes left, but Lafayette recovered and ran out the clock. Since Ortiz had success, William & Mary head coach Jimmye Laycock might start his third quarterback in three weeks. Towson lost to Kent State 41-21 (Aug. 30) when it committed six turnovers. Last year, the Tigers had only 17 for the entire season.

Projected score: Towson 28, William & Mary 13


RICHMOND AT VMI (1:30 p.m. Saturday at Foster Stadium, Lexington, Va.)

After losing to Virginia in its opener, Richmond came back in style, routing Gardner-Webb 41-8 on Saturday. This contest was delayed 83 minutes for weather, but once the game started, the Spiders rolled to their 500th victory in school history. Senior running back Kendall Gaskins had a career single-game high four touchdowns. For VMI (1-1), Jabari Turner had a 45-yard touchdown reception with 8:29 remaining to help VMI survive a late-game drive by Chowan to eke out a 24-17.

Projected score: Richmond 34, VMI 10


RHODE ISLAND AT VILLANOVA (3:30 p.m. Saturday at Villanova Stadium, Villanova, Pa.)

Villanova (1-1) bounced back from a season-opening loss to handle Fordham 28-13. Villanova trailed 13-7 at halftime but outscored the Rams 21-0 in the second half. Sophomore Austin Medley led Villanova with 125 yards on 16 carries.  Fordham was held to 70 yards total offense in the second half. Meanwhile, Rhode Island (0-1) opened its season with a disappointing 41-6 loss at Monmouth of the Northeast Conference. Behind an experienced offensive line, Monmouth finished with 539 yards of total offense, including 272 yards rushing and 267 yards passing. It scored on six of its first seven possessions.

Projected score: Villanova 30, Rhode Island 7


CENTRAL CONNECTICUT STATE AT #16 NEW HAMPSHIRE (Noon Saturday at Cowell Stadium, Durham, N.H.) 

After an impressive season-opening victory against Holy Cross, New Hampshire (1-1) struggled at the Big Ten’s Minnesota Saturday, bowing to the Gophers, 44-7. Plus, starting quarterback Sean Goldrich sprained his left shoulder on the game’s second play and was lost for the rest of the game. Goldrich could be out about a month. Backup Andy Vailas was 18 for 34 for 158 yards and an interception for the Wildcats. Except for an eight-play, 76-yard scoring drive late in the first quarter, the Wildcats and their no-huddle offense were overwhelmed by the Gophers. New Hampshire finished with 68 yards rushing on 32 attempts. The Wildcats will try to rebound this week against the visitors from Connecticut, who bowed to Lehigh 35-14. Central Connecticut State is now 0-2.

Projected score: New Hampshire 42, Central Connecticut State 10


MAINE AT BRYANT (1 p.m. Saturday at Bulldog Stadium, Smithfield, R.I.) 

The Black Bears (0-1) fell to Boston College 34-3 in its opener and 1,000th game for Maine’s program on Saturday. The Eagles scored 17 points in the final 7:09 of the second quarter to break it open. Boston College outgained the Black Bears 229-65 in the first half. Maine’s Marcus Wasilewski, who was making his first career start, was 20 of 42 for 134 yards and two interceptions. Bryant (0-2), meanwhile, fell to St. Francis, Pa., 39-28 in its Northeast Conference opener. The Bulldogs are 0-2 for the first time since 2004. Bryant had trouble stopping St. Francis’ running game as the Red Flash totaled 339 yards on the ground. This is the first time a CAA school has visited Smithfield. 

Projected score: Maine 28, Bryant 10


CAMPBELL AT #12 OLD DOMINION (6 p.m. Saturday at Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium, Norfolk, Va.)        

Quarterback Taylor Heinicke led the Monarchs (2-0) to a 45-7 drubbing of Hampton. Heinicke had 213 passing yards and three touchdowns. Coupled with his 492 passing yards in the opening win against Duquesne, Heinicke has already thrown for more than 700 yards this season. Heinicke also led the Monarchs with 55 rushing yards on 11 carries. Old Dominion’s defense held Hampton (0-2) to 245 yards total offense, recovering two fumbles and intercepting two passes. Although Campbell (1-1) toppled NAIA Virginia-Wise 10-0 Saturday night, this week’s contest will be a major step up against the Monarchs. 

Projected score: Old Dominon 45, Campbell 7  


TEXAS-SAN ANTONIO AT GEORGIA STATE (6 p.m. Saturday at the Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Ga.)  

Although Georgia State (0-2) fell to Tennessee, 51-13, in Knoxville Saturday, it was the first time Georgia State has scored any offensive points against an FBS team. Christian Benvenuto made the first bit of Panthers history on the night with his 32-yard field goal in the first quarter, capping a 14-play drive for 60 yards. He added a 30-yarder late in the second quarter when Georgia State recovered a fumble by Tennessee, pulling Georgia State within 14-6 with 5:37 left before halftime. But then the Vols took over. UTSA (2-0) has victories over South Alabama and Texas A&M-Commerce. 

Projected score: UTSA 31, Georgia State 20


See All FCS Games of the Week Breakdowns