CAA preview: Blue Hens headed to Annapolis

CAA preview: Blue Hens headed to Annapolis
September 12, 2013, 8:15 am
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Colgate @ New Hampshire, Sat. 12:00 p.m.
Delaware @ Navy, Sat. 3:30 p.m.
Bryant @ Maine, Sat. 3:30 p.m.
Stony Brook @ Buffalo, Sat. 3:30 p.m.
Saint Francis @ James Madison, Sat. 6:00 p.m.
Richmond @ Gardner-Webb, Sat. 6:00 p.m.
William & Mary @ Lafayette, Sat. 6:00 p.m.
Rhode Island @ Albany, Sat. 7:00 p.m. on CSN
Delaware State @ Towson, Sat. 7:30 p.m.

Matchup of the week: Delaware @ Navy, Sat. 3:30 p.m.

The Blue Hens head to Annapolis this week to face Navy and the NCAA’s top rush attack. The Midshipmen rushed for 444 yards in their opener against Indiana and will look for similar success against Delaware.

Navy is well known for its option running attack and it looked as good as ever in Week 1. The Hoosiers were not able to force a turnover or even a punt from the Midshipman who methodically tore them apart for 41 points.

Delaware comes into this game currently boasting the CAA’s top rushing defense. Through two games, the Blue Hens have given up only 62 yards total on the ground. Navy may not be able to run the ball at will as they did against Indiana.

In addition to a strong rush defense, Delaware also has the CAA’s top offense averaging 533.5 yards a game. The Blue Hens have a strong, balanced attack that can give the Midshipmen fits. Navy’s offense is not built to play from behind and a few early scores from Delaware could force Navy out of its comfort zone.

Ultimately, this game will be won or lost based on how well Delaware can defend against Navy’s rushing attack. If their first two games are any indication, Navy may have its hands full trying to solve this defense.

Player to watch: Kevin Chillis, WR, senior, Albany

Albany will make its CAA debut as they host Rhode Island Saturday night. Rhode Island has sputtered to start the season and could struggle again thanks to wide receiver Kevin Chillis.

Through two games, Chillis has 14 catches for 247 yards and three touchdowns. He will be facing a Rhode Island defense that has had trouble preventing teams from putting points on the board. They rank dead last in the CAA in scoring defense with 37.5 points per game. The Rams gave up four passing touchdowns in their first game, which bodes very well for Chillis and quarterback Will Fiacchi. Chillis is poised for a very big game in Albany’s introduction to the CAA.

You can watch Albany in its debut against Rhode Island on CSN. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

Upset alert: Bryant @ Maine, Sat. 3:30 p.m.

This is a classic trap game for Maine. They are riding high after a big win over UMass at Gillette Stadium and play No. 19 Northwestern next week. It would be very easy to overlook their matchup with Bryant this week.

Bryant, however, is 2-0 for the first time since 2010. They allowed Assumption only 170 yards last week and blocked two punts on their way to a 34-7 route.

Maine might be 2-0, but the Black Bears have played sloppy football thus far. They have turned the ball over five times and committed 15 penalties in those two wins. Bryant has won its first two games by forcing mistakes and capitalizing on them. Another careless performance from Maine could cost them.

On CSN: Rhode Island @ Albany, Sat. 7:00 p.m.

Albany will make its CAA debut taking on Rhode Island on Saturday night. Bob Ford returns for his 41st year as head coach of the Great Danes as they hope to make a splash in their new conference. Rhode Island is on their heels after losing their first two games, but hope to spoil Albany's welcome by pulling off the upset. Catch all the action on CSN.