By Matt Leon
WILMINGTON (CBS) — The Delaware Blue Hens seem to be gaining more momentum every week as they get ready for Saturday’s visit to New Hampshire.
Delaware (ranked #8 in FCS) is 4-0 and coming off an impressive 51-21 thrashing of William and Mary. Head coach K.C. Keeler doesn’t hesitate in calling that their best overall performance of the season to date.
“Absolutely. I think we are a work in progress that has gotten better each week and I thought we made a big jump from Bucknell (prior game) to William and Mary.”
On Saturday, the Blue Hens will visit a New Hampshire team that is coming off a 64-61 loss to Old Dominion in a game that was one for the ages. In that contest, the Wildcats couldn’t hold a 23-point lead, and eventually allowed Old Dominion quarterback Taylor Heinicke to set an NCAA Division I record by throwing for 730 yards.
“Believe it or not, they actually did a pretty good job defensively, early on, with how potent Old Dominion is,” Keeler says. “We played down there (in Virginia) about half-an-hour from them (on Saturday). The difference was our game was at 7:00pm (against William and Mary), their game was at noon (at Old Dominion), so they got the full heat. They got probably 100 degrees on the turf, that high humidity. They are not tremendously deep on the defensive line, so it wasn’t a great match-up. Because when you’re pass-rushing, it really takes a lot out of your defensive lineman, you have to have at least eight to rotate in. And New Hampshire doesn’t have that. So I don’t think the match-up was good for them, and in the fourth quarter you could see them really starting to wilt. But they dominated the game most of the day.”
Listen: K.C. Keeler Interview
Lost in the shuffle of that loss, was the fact that 2-2 New Hampshire did score 61 points and rolled up more than 700 yards of offense. Keeler says they can move the ball all over the place on offense.
“Very creative ways of putting their guys in position to be successful. Give you a lot of conflicts. Really tough to overplay anything because they always have a counter coming back.”
Last time these two teams met was back in 2010 in the FCS playoff quarterfinals, as Delaware picked up a 16-3 win.
Kick-off on Saturday in Durham, New Hampshire, is set for noon.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.