DELAWARE (CBS) — The University of Delaware Blue Hens will look to make it two straight wins on Saturday when they host William & Mary in a Colonial Athletic Association match-up.
Delaware improved to 3-2 on the season (1-1 in the CAA) last weekend with a hard-fought, 24-20 win on the road over Stony Brook. The Blue Hens outscored the Seawolves 17-0 in the second half after trailing 20-7 at the break.
“It was definitely a tale of two halves,” Delaware head coach Danny Rocco tells KYW Newsradio. “We went up there in the first half and we just didn’t play with the physicality that I had been accustomed to seeing our team play with, kind of dug ourselves a hole. In the locker room at halftime, I addressed some things that I felt needed to be addressed and to the credit of our student athletes, they responded in a very positive way.”
Joe Walker started at quarterback for the Blue Hens against Stony Brook, but J.P. Caruso took over the offense in the first quarter and handled things the rest of the way. Caruso, a redshirt junior transfer from Appalachian State, finished 7 of 14 throwing the football for 80 yards and a touchdown with one interception. He also rushed for 65 yards on nine carries.
“I think that the obvious thing to do here today, moving forward, would be to give J.P. the opportunity to take the reins and be the primary option for us at quarterback,” Rocco says. “There’s a lot of things that he’ll need to do better and he knows that. But I think what he did do was he gave us a spark and I think it was more just with how decisive he was. He was very decisive in making decisions and he did a lot of things instinctively, in terms of running with the football. When plays would breakdown he’d extend the play and make a throw or extend the play and run for a first down.”
William & Mary is coming off a 25-17 road loss to Elon which dropped the Tribe to 2-3 on the season (0-2 CAA). As usual, they are proving tough to score against, allowing just 17.8 points per game.
“They are always physical,” Rocco says. “There’s always an element defensively of playing hard and playing physical and then they really tend to bring a lot of different kinds of pressures. It’s a big part of who they are. You’ve got to be able to kind of beat them to the punch, you’ve got to be able to make them pay a little bit for being aggressive with some of this pressure. That’s not just throws down the field, that’s really in your run game. You’ve got to be able to block these moving targets to create some seams for your running backs and some running lanes.”
Last year, Delaware lost on the road to William & Mary, 24-17.
Saturday’s game kicks off at 3:30pm.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @Mattleonkyw.