Delaware ready for first FCS playoff game since 2010

Matt Leon
November 21, 2018 - 1:46 pm
Delaware redshirt senior wide receiver Joe Walker

Mark Campbell/University of Delaware Athletics

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Delaware Blue Hens are back in the playoffs.

They will make their first FCS post-season appearance since 2010 on Saturday, visiting fellow Colonial Athletic Association program James Madison in the first round.

The Blue Hens lost their final two regular season games, but their overall body of work was strong, and they were one of a record six CAA teams to get into the playoff field. 

"Our student athletes were extremely excited when we saw Delaware go up there on the selection show," Delaware head coach Danny Rocco said. "Just a real joyful moment for our team and for our university and our fan base."

In Delaware's loss to Villanova to end the regular season, starting quarterback Pat Kehoe suffered a concussion. His status is up in the air as he works his way through the concussion protocol. Sophomore Nolan Henderson and redshirt senior J.P Caruso both saw action against the Wildcats.

"We certainly have options at quarterback, and we're certainly looking at a variety of ways to play this game," Rocco said.

While it's been a while since the Blue Hens played a playoff game, the Dukes have played a ton the last couple of years. James Madison actaully won the national title in 2016 and then last season the Dukes advanced to the national championship game before falling to North Dakota State.

James Madison brings an 8-3 record into this post-season. 

"Offensively, they run the ball very well," Rocco said. "This quarterback (redshirt junior Ben DiNucci) is very accurate in the RPOs and in the passing game, and he's very athletic. Defensively, their statistics really do speak for themselves. They're one of the leading defenses in the country."

That JMU defense allows just 14.6 points and 295.3 yards per game. 

Saturday's game gets underway at 3 p.m.

Follow Matt on Twitter @Mattleon1060.