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ELON, N.C. – With the 2018 Elon football season approaching, get to know the Phoenix's upcoming opponents with our preview series sponsored by Courtyard by Marriott. The Phoenix will play the second of back-to-back road games at Delaware at 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 13.
DELAWARE BLUE HENS
Location: Newark, Del.
Home stadium: Delaware Stadium
Conference: CAA Football
2017 record: 7-4
2017 conference record/finish: 5-3 (T-4th)
2017 Postseason: None
All-Time series: Delaware leads 2-0
Head coach: Danny Rocco (2nd season)
Letterwinners returning/lost: N/A
Offensive/Defensive starters returning: N/A
Top returning offensive players:
• RB Kani Kane (142 att., 594 yds., 4.2 ypc, 7 TD)
• RB Kareem Williams (101 att., 469 yds., 4.6 ypc, 1 TD)
• WR Jamie Jarmon (29 receptions, 327 yds., 6 TD)
Top returning defensive players:
• LB Troy Reeder (89 tackles, 7.0 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FF)
• DB Nasir Adderley (78 tackles, 4.0 TFL, 0.5 sacks, 5 INT, 2 FF)
• DB Ray Jones (60 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 1 INT, 5 PBU)
Aug. 30 vs. Rhode Island*
Sept. 8 vs. Lafayette
Sept. 15 vs. Cornell
Sept. 22 at North Dakota State
Oct. 6 at Richmond*
Oct. 13 vs. Elon*
Oct. 20 at New Hampshire*
Oct. 27 vs. Towson*
Nov. 3 at Albany*
Nov. 10 at Stony Brook*
Nov. 17 vs. Villanova*
A Glance at the Blue Hens
A familiar name in CAA Football, head coach Danny Rocco is in his second season guiding the Delaware program following five seasons with the Richmond Spiders.
In Rocco's first year at Delaware, the Blue Hens averaged 21.2 points and 314.8 yards per game. The squad saw four of its players earn All-CAA Football accolades following the 2017 campaign. Two of those four return – second-team tight end Charles Scarff and third-team running back Kani Kane. Scarff caught 12 passes for 71 yards and scored three touchdowns in his junior season, while Kane led the team with 594 rushing yards and seven scores on the ground as a junior. The Blue Hens will have to replace a pair of all-league offensive linemen. Delaware may have a quarterback battle on its hands, as returning starter J.P. Caruso, who threw for 755 yards and eight touchdowns, will be challenged by Darius Wade, a graduate transfer who threw for over 1,000 yards and five scores in 26 career games at Boston College.
On defense, Delaware allowed just 16.8 points and 305.5 yards per contest. The unit produced four all-league honorees, including three first-team selections. Of the four, two return – first-team linebacker Troy Reeder, who tallied a team-best 89 tackles, and first-team safety Nasir Adderley, who intercepted a team-high five passes. Delaware also boasts the 2017 CAA Football Defensive Rookie of the Year in linebacker Colby Reeder, who mad 49 total stops, including 8.2 for a loss last season. As a unit, the Blue Hens ranked 10th nationally in scoring defense and turnover margin. UD's 16 interceptions rated 14th in the country.
Delaware alternated wins and losses over their first four games of 2017, earning wins over Delaware State and Cornell, but falling at Virginia Tech and top-ranked James Madison. The Blue Hens then reeled off three consecutive wins, including an overtime thriller over #11 Richmond, before dropping an 18-17 contest at Towson. UD would win two of its final three, picking up wins at Maine and over Albany before dropping the finale at Villanova.
Just twice have Elon and Delaware met on the football field. Both contests have been since the Phoenix joined CAA Football for the 2014 season. In that inaugural campaign, the maroon and gold dropped a 34-24 decision at Delaware. The next year, UD defeated the Phoenix 14-10 at Rhodes Stadium.