Richmond outlasted Delaware to reach win No. 8 for the season, all but assuring a playoff berth for the eighth-ranked Spiders.
Quarterback Kyle Lauletta and receiver Brian Brown had typically strong games, but the offensive standout was tight end Garrett Hudson, who reeled in several game-altering catches.
Hudson finished with three catches for 64 yards and two touchdowns in the 31–17 Richmond win.
The final score was close, but the outcome of the game was rarely in question with the only real pressure coming from a fourth-quarter surge by the Blue Hens that was thwarted by turnovers. Richmond ended up recovering two of three Delaware fumbles, both coming at key moments in the game, and they intercepted UD quarterback Joe Walker twice.
Richmond’s defense was stifling and its offense was, at times, outstanding. Lauletta and Brown connected on six passes for 139 yards and a touchdown. Lauletta ended the day with 286 passing yards and three touchdowns, showing why Richmond has the top-ranked passing offense in the CAA.
On the defensive end — besides creating five turnovers — the squad kept Delaware from converting a third down for almost 45 minutes of game time. They had two on their opening drive and didn’t get a third until the beginning of the fourth quarter.
A noticeably elated coach Danny Rocco said he was pleased with the win. With several players sidelined, Rocco stressed the importance of backup players filling those spots. Before the game he told his team, “Regardless of what your role is, do more,” and many players delivered, he said. “Even a guy like Brian Brown jumped out there and was spectacular.”
On the ground, Deontez Thompson continued to acquit himself well in the absence of the two injured backs who were ahead of him on the depth chart. He racked up 145 total yards and added a touchdown.
This victory put the Spiders over the eight-win plateau that Rocco said was the mark they needed to reach to make it to the postseason. “It is extremely exciting and thrilling to me to make it to eight wins with a game still to play," he said. "Bouncing back from last week's defeat was really special, it really showed our character.”
Rocco was confident that eight wins would be enough. When asked if he thought there was any chance that number wasn’t sufficient, his response was “no way.”
Richmond’s backup quarterback David Broadus was inactive from the game. He usually plays multiple positions during a game, from running back to wildcat quarterback to punter. Rocco said that his absence was a coach's decision, but offered no further comment.
Next week, Richmond takes on William & Mary in the regular season finale in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Contact sports writer Mike Cronin at firstname.lastname@example.org