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Delaware With Critical Saturday Match-Up At ODU

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(credit: University Of Delaware)

(credit: University Of Delaware)

Matt Leon Matt Leon
Coming on board at KYW was a homecoming for Matt Leon. Born and raised...
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By Matt Leon

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Delaware got back on track last weekend for homecoming, snapping a two-game losing streak with a resounding 47-24 win over Rhode Island.  The Blue Hens now set their sights south as they travel down to #6 Old Dominion for a key Colonial Athletic Association match-up on Saturday.

The 5-2 Blue Hens (2-2 in the CAA)  beat Rhode Island with back-up quarterback Tim Donnelly leading the way, as usual starter Trent Hurley sat out with a foot injury.  Head coach K.C. Keeler talks about Hurley’s status.

“We had him in a cast for about eight days and when he came out of the cast he was really stiff, so he didn’t play last week,” Keeler tells KYW Newsradio.  “But he’s feeling a little bit better this week, he’s had two good days of practice.  So we’re just going to manage it and see how he feels on Saturday.”

LISTEN: Matt Leon interviews K.C. Keeler

Donnelly played well against Rhode Island, completing 19 of 27 passes for 191 yards and a score.  He also ran for a touchdown.

Old Dominion is 6-1 on the season and scoring almost 47 points a game behind sophomore quarterback Taylor Heinicke who has thrown 24 touchdowns in seven games.

“They spread you out,” Keeler says.  “One personnel group.  It’s all four wide receivers and a running back.  They keep things very simple, they don’t a lot of motions, so you sort of know where they are.  But what they do is they let Taylor sort of work his magic.  Very strong arm, great sense of understanding when the routes are going to break open.  Great anticipation, and just a really bright kid.  And also he’s very elusive, so if you do get pressure on him, he’s very good at getting out of trouble and making plays with his feet or making plays downfield in the passing game.”

Keeler says one way to slow down that Monarch offense is to make sure his offense stays on the field as much as possible.

“It’s a combination of, do you need 40 points? You probably don’t need 40 points if you can get 40 minutes.  What I mean is time of possession.  So in that 60 minute time of possession, can you dominate that time of possession, limit the number of opportunities Old Dominion gets?  If you don’t limit their opportunities, boy they’re going to put points on the board.  And I just don’t think we have enough firepower to keep up with them.  So I think it’s going to be an opportunity for us for some ball control, a passing game that’s going to keep us on the field, moving the chains.  But also we have to take some shots.  We need to be smart enough to know when there’s opportunities and take some shots downfield to get some points on the board.”

This will be the second meeting, all-time, between the two teams.  Delaware won the first last season 27-17 in Newark.

Kick-off for this year’s match-up on Saturday is set for noon in Norfolk, Virginia.

You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.

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