Villanova Wins The CAA Championship, Gets Automatic Bid to the NCAA Division 1 FCS Football Championship
#6 Villanova 21 Delaware 13
The Villanova Wildcats are the CAA Champions by defeating the Blue Hens of Delaware 21 – 13 in the Battle of the Blue in Newark. Villanova and James Madison have identical 7 – 1 conference records. Nova gets the trophy and the automatic bid to the FCS Division 1 Football Championship by virtue of their win over JMU.
The Cats had to earn this one. Nova had to come from behind, then stop the Blue Hens twice at the goal line with just over a minute to play to get their first conference title since 2012. It was the 14th win for Villanova over Delaware in the last 16 games. And it was the 8th straight road win for the Wildcats against the Blue Hens.
Trailing 13 – 7 going into the fourth quarter Nova scored on a 1-yard run by Jalen Jackson with 11:43 showing on the clock. Quarterback Daniel Smith found Jaaron Hayek for a 24-yard scoring strike less than 3 minutes later to take the lead. Then the Cats hung on.
Delaware drove to the two-yard line with less than 90 seconds to play, but could not get into the endzone. Two plays to go. Jared Nelson and Garrett Zobel stuffed the third down play. Linebacker Qwahsin Townsel made a stop on the fourth down play inside the one-yard line to secure the victory for Villanova. That after Smith gained two yards on first down to give him enough room to kneel and have the clock run out.
Justin Covington had the other Villanova touchdown on a 2-yard run in the first quarter.
The Blue Hens outrushed the Wildcats 130 – 124 yards. But it was Nova who had a 238 – 144 passing yard edge.
Smith threw for 208 yards on 12 completions having one score and one intercepted. Smith ran for a team-high 47 yards. Covington netted 44 yards. Hayek caught 5 passes for 117 yards, the longest was 64 yards.
Delaware quarterback Zach Gwynn threw for 143 yards. Christian Benford had another interception, his 7th of the season and 15th of his career, and Ty Trinh picked off a pass. Gene Coleman II led the Blue Hens with 4 receptions for 60 yards.
Forrest Rhyne led the Villanova defense with 13 tackles. Amin Black added 9 stops.
The 24-team field will be announced at 12:30 PM on Sunday.
Princeton 34 Penn 14
The University of Pennsylvania Quakers ended the season losing to the long-time rival Princeton Tigers 34 – 14 at Franklin Field. The victory was the third straight for the Tigers in the series. Penn led 7 – 3 after one quarter on an Aidan Sayin to Rory Starkey 5-yard touchdown pass. Then Princeton would score four touchdowns in the second quarter to take control of the game.
The Tigers scored twice within a minute and nine seconds early in the second stanza. Blake Stenstrom rushed for a 5-yard score at the 14:21 mark. On the next possession Matthew Winston intercepted a pass and returned it 34-yards for a touchdown. Dylan Classi took a double-reverse pitch and threw the ball to John Volker for an 18-yard touchdown pass. Cole Smith ended the touchdown run for the Tigers with a 1-yard plunge.
The Quakers got the last touchdown early in the fourth quarter on a Trey Flowers 10-yard touchdown run.
Sayin ended the game with 255 yards in the air on 19 completions on 38 attempts. He threw a touchdown pass and had two intercepted. Starkey caught 4 passes for 68 yards and became the 22nd player in program history to record 1,000 career-yards. He snared his 10th career touchdown, one of 13 Penn receivers to catch 10 scoring tosses. The Red and Blue totaled 328 yards of offense, 4 more than the Orange and Black.
Prince Emili had 8 tackles in his final game. Brian O’Neill ended his career with 6 tackles giving him 200 career stops. Jake Heimlicher recorded a sack giving him a team-leading 7.5 sacks this season.
The season ends for the Quakers who recorded a 1 – 6 record in the Ancient Eight.
Princeton shares the Ivy League Championship with Dartmouth.
Tulsa 44 Temple 10
The Owls fall to 1 – 6 in the American with a 44 – 10 loss to the Golden Hurricane of Tulsa in Oklahoma. Temple fell behind 27 – 0 at halftime getting their only scores in the third quarter. Rory Bell connected on a 33-yard field goal at the 8:40 mark. Amad Anderson, Jr. hauled in a 23-yard pass from quarterback Justin Lynch with 5:13 showing on the scoreboard. Lynch started at quarterback after D’Wan Mathis informed the team that he in entering the transfer portal.
Five different Tulsa players scored touchdowns. Quarterback Davis Brin threw for two scores and ran for another. Brin completed 18 of 30 passes for 297 yards. Josh Johnson snared 9 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown. Tulsa netted 216 yards on the ground.
Lynch had 162 yards in the air completing 2 of 37 passes. He had a score and a pick. Randle Jones caught 6 of those passes for 42 yards.
Amir Tyler made 9 tackles for the Owls.
RECORDS / SCHEDULE
Villanova 9 – 2 overall, 7 – 1 CAA FCS Football Playoff
Penn 3 – 7 overall, 1 – 6 Ivy League First Game of 2022 Season
Temple 3 – 8, 1 – 6 vs. Navy November 27 at the Linc
Written By: Glenn Papazian