Advertisement

Blue Hens make important progress in CAA football rout of Monmouth

Even in Game 9 on the first weekend in November, a football team can be a work in progress.

The Blue Hens made headway on Saturday, and they were quick to credit their diligence as a major factor.

A 49-17 rout of Monmouth at Delaware Stadium, keyed by a 42-point first half, was satisfying from both offensive and defensive perspectives. Coming in the wake of last week’s 27-7 loss at Elon, it was particularly welcomed.

“I think the biggest difference today, from some of the weeks where we haven’t scored as many points, is we won our one-on-one matchups this week,” coach Ryan Carty said. “We made the throws when they were there. We made the catches when the balls were in the air. We beat people in man-to-man out wide and in open-field tackles we made people miss.”

The Delaware Blue Hens, YoUDee and Baby Blue stand in front of the fans in celebration of the teams' 49-17 victory against NCAA newcomer the Monmouth Hawks at Delaware Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022.
The Delaware Blue Hens, YoUDee and Baby Blue stand in front of the fans in celebration of the teams' 49-17 victory against NCAA newcomer the Monmouth Hawks at Delaware Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022.

The trick will be continuing that against a better opponent next week.

Five takeaways from Saturday’s win

Positive sign

When Marcus Yarns ran for 10 yards on each of Delaware’s first two plays, it was a favorable omen for the Blue Hens.

Delaware Blue Hens running back Marcus Yarns (21) hangs on to the ball as he is tackled by CAA newcomer the Monmouth Hawks defense at Delaware Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. Delaware won 49-17.
Delaware Blue Hens running back Marcus Yarns (21) hangs on to the ball as he is tackled by CAA newcomer the Monmouth Hawks defense at Delaware Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. Delaware won 49-17.

Their running game continued to be an adequate and valuable complement to its passing attack, netting 183 of Delaware’s 506 total yards. Delaware averaged 7.7 yards per carry.

The workload was shared, as Yarns ran six times for 42 yards, Quincy Watson six times for 36 yards and Kyron Cumby four times for 50 yards, including a 34-yard TD dash.

Nice recovery

When Jaden Shirden sprinted 69 yards for a touchdown on the game’s second play, it seemed to possibly portend a tough day for the Delaware defense.

CAA newcomer the Monmouth Hawks running back Jaden Shirden (20) runs 69 yards for a touchdown early in the football game against the Delaware Blue Hens at Delaware Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. Delaware won 49-17.
CAA newcomer the Monmouth Hawks running back Jaden Shirden (20) runs 69 yards for a touchdown early in the football game against the Delaware Blue Hens at Delaware Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. Delaware won 49-17.

It did not.

BEST BLUE HENS:Ranking top 100 UD male athletes of all time

Monmouth didn’t find the end zone again until there was 3:43 left and the Hawks trailed by 39 points.Shirden did add to his pregame FCS-best 151.7 yards-per-game average by gaining 205 yards on 26 carries. Certainly, Delaware will review the film and find things it could have done better.

But the sophomore back didn’t elicit more damage, partially because the Hawks were forced into a deep deficit so early and had to play catch-up.

Record bookkeeping

Nolan Henderson became the first Delaware quarterback to throw five TD passes in a game twice Saturday, when he was 22-for-28 passing for 323 yards.

Delaware Blue Hens quarterback Nolan Henderson (12) looks for a pass during the football game against CAA newcomer the Monmouth Hawks at Delaware Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. Delaware won 49-17.
Delaware Blue Hens quarterback Nolan Henderson (12) looks for a pass during the football game against CAA newcomer the Monmouth Hawks at Delaware Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. Delaware won 49-17.

He’s also No. 2 on the UD lists for TD passes in a season (25, tied with Andy Hall) behind Matt Nagy (29 in 2000) and career with 49 behind Nagy’s 58.

Saturday was the sixth time Delaware has scored 42 points in a half. Ironically, the last time was in Delaware’s 42-7 win over Monmouth in 2007, the only previous meeting between the schools.

But 42 isn’t the school record for points in a half and, in fact, ranks third.

Delaware scored 44 points in the second half of the fabled Shootout in Youngstown in 1979, a 51-45 Delaware win.

The Hens had 43 in the first half of their 84-0 rout of West Chester in 2000.

Kicking game

Delaware was 4-for-5 on red-zone chances Saturday, a major improvement.

The only failure came on a series that ended with Andrew Macmillan’s missed 36-yard field-goal try in the third period. Delaware is now 2-for-7 on field goals this year

NFL POTENTIAL:UD football has nation's top tackler, can they stop Monmouth's No. 1 rusher?

Macmillan, a freshman, did convert all seven of his PAT tries and had touchbacks on all three of his kick-offs.

Delaware Blue Hens' Khory Spruill (22) rushes against CAA newcomer Monmouth Hawks' Ryan Moran (55) during the football game at Delaware Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. Delaware won 49-17.
Delaware Blue Hens' Khory Spruill (22) rushes against CAA newcomer Monmouth Hawks' Ryan Moran (55) during the football game at Delaware Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. Delaware won 49-17.

Delaware has apparently already added another kicker/punter to next year’s roster.

Nate Reed, who averaged 38.91 yards on punts and 62.8 yards on kickoffs at Division II East Stroudsburg in 2021, tweeted last week he is coming to Delaware. Reed, who is not playing this season, is a product of Manheim Central High near Lancaster, where former Delaware quarterback Nagy went.

Richmond next

A playoff atmosphere should persist next week at Delaware Stadium when the Blue Hens (7-2, 4-2) host Richmond at 1 p.m.

The Spiders handed New Hampshire its first CAA defeat Saturday 40-34 and bring 7-2 overall and 5-1 CAA marks to Newark.

Delaware Blue Hens running back Marcus Yarns (21) celebrates his touchdown with Brock Gingrich (55) during the football game against CAA newcomer the Monmouth Hawks at Delaware Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. Delaware won 49-17.
Delaware Blue Hens running back Marcus Yarns (21) celebrates his touchdown with Brock Gingrich (55) during the football game against CAA newcomer the Monmouth Hawks at Delaware Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. Delaware won 49-17.

Both Delaware and Richmond are likely FCS playoff qualifiers with 8-3 records, with each facing their traditional rival – Villanova for Delaware and William & Mary for Richmond – in the regular-season finale Nov. 19. That means whoever loses between Richmond and Delaware will be in a perilous situation the following week as spots in the 24-team playoff bracket dwindle.

Richmond has beaten Delaware the last two meetings, in 2021 there and in 2019 in Newark.

“When you have a great win,” Carty said, “you have to make sure, the things we did well, we did them for a reason because of our practice intensity, because of our focus, because of our attention to detail. And if we don’t do that this week, just because we won, then we’re not gonna win again.”

Have an idea for a compelling local sports story or is there an issue that needs public scrutiny? Contact Kevin Tresolini at ktresolini@delawareonline.com and follow on Twitter @kevintresolini. Support local journalism by subscribing to delawareonline.com.

This article originally appeared on Delaware News Journal: Delaware Blue Hens take big step in football win over Monmouth