#7 Delaware pulls away, knocks off #5 UR
Redshirt freshman running back Jovan Smith gained 102 yards on 10 carries, but visiting seventh-ranked Delaware struck for three-consecutive touchdowns in the second half to beat No. 5 Richmond, 34-13, Saturday at Robins Stadium in the CAA Football opener for both teams.
It was the Spiders’ (1-2, 0-1) first setback at their new on-campus stadium after christening it last Saturday with another Top-10 showdown – a 27-21 win over then-No. 7 Elon in overtime. Both games were played before sellout crowds.
Smith, a Springfield, Va. native, averaged 10.2 yards on his 10 carries – marking the first 100-yard game by a Richmond running back since then-senior Justin Forte racked up 121 yards at Towson last season (Oct. 31). Smith also caught four passes for 11 yards.
Delaware improved to 4-0 and snapped a three-game losing skid to Richmond thanks to three rushing scores from Andrew Pierce, who gained 114 yards on 26 carries. QB Pat Devlin was 14-of-21 passing for 240 yards.
After the Blue Hens opened a 13-0 lead in the first half, Richmond QB Aaron Corp engineered a seven-play, 64-yard drive and hit TE Kevin Finney with an 11-yard TD pass with 30 seconds left in the half.
Sophomore K Wil Kamin missed his first kick as a Spider, pushing the PAT try wide right and the game went to halftime at 13-6. Delaware also missed its first PAT try of the game, which was blocked by DL Martin Parker.
Richmond forced a Delaware punt on its first possession of the second half, and the Spiders went to work again by going 74 yards in nine plays to tie the game at 13-13. Smith broke loose on a 32-yard run during the drive, which was capped off by a third-and-goal TD run from Tyler Kirchoff of three yards.
Delaware responded quickly, going 78 yards in 1:57 to regain its seven-point lead and never looked back.
Senior Justin Rogers, who started both at WR and CB for the second time this season, finished with 115 all-purpose yards, had two tackles and broke up a pass. With five kickoff returns for 100 yards, Rogers is now just 147 yards shy of the CAA Football career record held by Brian Westbrook.
Also on the watch list for the Buck Buchanan Award, along with Rogers and senior LB Eric McBride, senior DL Martin Parker collected a game-high 13 tackles (2.0 TFL). Junior DL Corey Jackson posted a new career high with 11 stops.
Richmond is back in action next Saturday versus Coastal Carolina. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.