This week after some searching we were able to link up with The Fightin’ Hens, a great source for all your Delaware football needs. Thanks to Rich for taking the time out to chat with us.
BSD: Who has been a pleasant surprise thus far in getting Delaware to a 2-0 start?
TFH: QB Joe Walker.
In 2015 the Delaware passing game was dreadful. A combination of inexperience from Walker, the OL, and receivers dropping passes--made for many hair-pulling 3rd downs.
Stats do not tell the whole story so far in 2016, Walker has shown poise and accuracy thus far -- two things we only saw glimpses of last season. This week against the Deacons I hope Walker continues to progress, though I’m worried Duke Ejiofor will give him happy feet after a quarter of play and won’t wait for his 2nd read --thus tucks & runs.
BSD: Looking at last week's box score, it doesn't look there was much emphasis on the passing attack. Do you expect the focus on the ground game to continue against Wake?
TFH: Hell yes.
Though Joe Walker is making progress and the offense should take shots downfield, I am sure Coach Brock will take calculated risks. I expect UD to grind away with short passes and lots of handoffs. Brock will wanna shorten the game: A) less plays equals less hits on our 63-scholarship limited roster – compared to WF’s 85, health is priority one B) Blue Hens gotta keep running even if they aren’t getting much… keep Deacs honest so #53 cannot pin his ears back.
BSD: Who are a couple playmakers to watch on the Blue Hens defense?
TFH: #73 Blaine Woodson (2014 CAA Defensive Rookie of the Year)
-- has the size to stuff the run and the quick feet to get to the QB – anchor of the UD defense
#9 Troy Reeder (transfer from Penn State to play with bro Colby at UD, where their father played as well)
-- not sure he has a weakness-- quick, strong, smart, before he leaves UD there’s gonna be a lot of kids with a number nine Fightin’ Blue Hens jersey
BSD: How do you see the game unfolding on Saturday evening?
Brock is gonna have a few “tricky” plays to try and catch the Deacs sleeping, likely setup by some successful rushes. I’d like to think WF would start apathetic because they’re playing an FCS school, but I doubt former UD coaches Cohen and Ruggiero will let that attitude slide.
“Attack” – it’s a word Brock emphasizes a lot.
UD is gonna attack the Deacs, but they will be smart about their choices. He won’t abandon the run even if UD falls behind because priority #1 will be team health. But at the same time-- if a win is within reach in the 2nd half he’ll empty the magazine for the players. A big paycheck and a “W” leaving NC would be quite awesome.
BSD: Is Joe Flacco a elite quarterback? (sorry, had to)
Damn-- he should be though!
He has elite arm strength and size. The end of 2015 was his only occurrence of missing significant time from injury. He just gets impatient and loves throwing the deep passes. Sometimes those deep passes break a defense’s back either via huge reception or PI call. Other times, his 50/50 ball is to a guy that can’t muscle it down like an Anquan Boldin could in those 2012 playoffs or the throw was just a terrible decision because he got tired of checking it down to the TE or RB. Sigh. Joe would be the perfect Raiders QB of the early Al Davis era.
Flacco seems to have some deep threats this year and maybe when Nick Boyle (Blue Hen!) gets back from his 10-game suspension, the Ravens will make another playoff run.
Oh, by the way....Joe Biden is an elite Vice President!
Thanks to Rich again for his time. Here’s to an injury free game and a fantastic all day tailgate!