By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Delaware Blue Hens will bring a 5-3 record into Saturday’s game as they host a very talented Towson squad in Colonial Athletic Association action.
#23 Delaware is coming off a hard-fought 31-26 loss at Old Dominion. The loss was costly in more ways than one as star tailback Andrew Pierce went down early in the second half with a knee injury. It doesn’t look likely that Pierce will play Saturday and head coach K.C. Keeler says they are not sure when he will return.
“The good news is it’s not surgical,” Keeler tells KYW Newsradio. “The bad news is, because of the position he plays, it might take some time to get him back. You lose a lot. What that does is, it puts Julian Laing out there, who we have a lot of confidence in. Walk-on, former fourth-teamer, he’s now the starter, but what it does now is it makes you bring over Leon Jackson because we don’t have another running back in the program. Now Leon, who was starting for us at linebacker, now has to become your back-up running back. My only issue with that is – running the football, it’s like riding a bike, he’ll be fine – it’s the pass protections.”
Listen to the entire interview here:
Running back is not completely new to Jackson, he played it in high school and earlier in his career at Delaware.
As for Towson, they are 4-4 and coming off a 49-35 win at Villanova last Saturday. In that game their offense played probably at an optimum level against a good Villanova defense. Towson’s overall record is a bit deceiving because they have two losses to FBS on their resume to Kent State and LSU and they actually gave LSU all they could handle down in Baton Rouge before falling 38-22.
Keeler breaks down what his team needs to do in this one.
“From our offensive standpoint, we need to protect the passer and run the football,” Keeler says. “Running the football will keep their offense off the field. We have to win on special teams. Last year when we beat them at their place (35-30), we dominated on special teams. We need to do that this week. And then in terms of our defense, you’ve got to do a great job stopping the run and you can’t get caught on those cheap play-action passes where all of a sudden they’re faking the toss, and he’s out on the corner and he has a guy wide open down the field.”
Delaware and Towson will kick-off at noon on Saturday.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.