The Collegian
Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Blue Hens' air attack too much for Spiders in CAA opener

In the Colonial Athletic Association opener for both teams, the University of Delaware Blue Hens used their overwhelming air attack, led by quarterback Pat Devlin's 240 passing yards to defeat the University of Richmond Spiders, 34-13, at Robins Stadium Saturday evening.

The Blue Hens were first to score with a seven-yard run by freshman quarterback Trevor Sasek, but Richmond defensive lineman Martin Parker blocked the extra-point kick, leaving the score 6-0 to Delaware.

That would be the only score of the first quarter, but Delaware's freshman running back Andrew Pierce scored on a two-yard run early in the second quarter. Pierce, who was the CAA Rookie of the Week for the third-straight week, racked up 114 yards and three touchdowns.

The Spiders put some points on the board late in the second quarter with sophomore tight end Kevin Finney notching his first career touchdown reception from 11 yards out from quarterback Aaron Corp.

The kickers from both teams saw frustration in the first half when Richmond kicker Wil Kamin's kick was wide right. The second half ended with Delaware leading 13-6.

After several scoreless series to start the second half, Richmond rallied to even the score when senior running back Tyler Kirchoff scored on a three-yard run midway through the third quarter, evening the score at 13-13.

But that would be Richmond's last scoring drive.

The Blue Hens answered back with a quick 1:57 time of possession, ending with another Pierce rushing touchdown, this time for 13 yards.

Pierce started off the fourth quarter with an eight-yard rushing touchdown early into the fourth quarter, extending Delaware's lead to 27-13. Richmond had an opportunity to answer on a drive, but it was cut short when Corp's pass was intercepted by Delaware safety Anthony Walters.

Delaware closed out the game with another rushing touchdown, this time a 40-yard run by sophomore running back David Hayes.

Delaware head coach K.C. Keeler said that his team has not had to throw the ball a lot recently because of his team's effective running game.

"It was two very good teams playing each other," he said.

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Keeler also said that he has been able to rotate through their offensive linemen to keep them fresh as Delaware began to wear down the Richmond team.

Devlin said that his ability to complete the passes to his receivers opened up a lot of options for him to lead the offense.

"The options helped increase my flexibility in calling plays and that really helped us move the ball well and score," he said.

Richmond head coach Latrell Scott said that he knew it was a good team coming in and that they had a good quarterback and running back.

"They imposed their will on us in the second half," he said.

Scott said that the team was not able to convert on third downs as well as the Spiders had against Elon University in last week's inaugural home game.

"We, as a coaching staff, have got to make sure that we come up with the best game plan possible and put our kids in the best situation as possible to win," Scott said.

The Richmond wide receivers have been rotating for each game because of injuries. Junior wide receiver Tre Gray started the game against the Blue Hens and played one half, but did not return to the field in pads for the second half.

Senior wide receiver Kevin Grayson said it was frustrating as a team to lose the first conference game and not to have all of the starting wide receivers healthy, but the team is not worried.

"You drop one game and you come back to bounce back the next week to make sure you don't drop the next one," Grayson said.

The Spiders found a spark in the offense with redshirt freshman running back Jovan Smith. Smith had 102 rushing yards against the Blue Hens.

"I think we see what Jovan Smith can be down the stretch," Scott said.

The Spiders finish their three-game home stretch next Saturday, Oct. 2, against Coastal Carolina University with a 1 p.m. kickoff.

Contact staff writer Amelia Vogler at amelia.vogler@richmond.edu

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