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Friday, September 28, 2007

MU vs. Delaware Preview story for Saturday - includes more quotes, notes then will make the paper, also injury and player updates

Delaware a big step up for Monmouth


By TONY GRAHAM
STAFF WRITER
When left guard Jonathan Dunn was being recruited by Monmouth University, lining up opposite a team the caliber of the University of Delaware never entered his mind.
""I never thought we would,'' said the 6-foot-5, 315-pound fifth-year senior, a graduate of Washington Township High School.
When Dunn was a high school senior in 2002, Monmouth's non-conference opponents were Lafayette and Morgan State.
""We've come a long way since then,'' Dunn said.
Tonight, Monmouth (0-3) visits Delaware (4-0) to play before an expected sellout crowd of 22,000 at Raymond Field in Newark, Del. The Blue Hens, of the Colonial Athletic Association, are ranked No.‚12 in the Football Championship Subdivision Sports Network Top 25.
The non-conference game will mark the largest crowd ever to see Monmouth play football, the highest ranked FCS opponent the Hawks have ever played, and Monmouth's first game against a former FCS national champion. Delaware won the then I-AA championship in 2003.
Monmouth coach Kevin Callahan said the game was scheduled in 2004.
""They (Delaware) were looking for a game in the 2007 season,'' he said. ""I felt it would be a good opportunity for our program to play a game against a school that has a very rich and long football tradition and also expose our players to a great game day atmosphere.''
Is Delaware the best opponent the Hawks have faced in its 15 seasons?
""Quite possibly,'' Callahan said.
So far this season the Blue Hens have beaten William & Mary (49-31), West Chester (41-14), Rhode Island (38-9) and Towson (27-7). Delaware's offense ranks fifth nationally, averaging 483 yards of total offense.
The squad is led by 6-foot-6 senior quarterback Joe Flacco and senior running back Omar Cuff. Flacco ranks ninth nationally in total offense (281 yards per game) while Cuff leads Division I with 14 rushing touchdowns.
Delaware ranks seventh in rushing defense, allowing 80.5 yards per game, and 12th in scoring defense.
Sophomore strong safety Anthony Bratton, with 29 tackles, leads a unit that on 23 first-half drives has allowed one field goal.
""They are a good team,'' Dunn said. ""The best team I've seen on film.'

Added quotes for the blog

Callahan, Monmouth's only coach since the team first took the field at Stonehill in 1993, said his vision has always included a steady growth.

""I thought back when we started the program that hopefully the day would come when we would be playing the likes of Colgate and Delaware and Lehigh and Maine and schools such as that,'' he said.

""That day is here, not just this year but in the years leading up to the present. These are the type of teams players in our program want to play,'' said Callahan. ""For many of them it's the reason why they came here.''


Callahan on Albany's win over Delaware last year
""I think maybe it's an indication teams in the NEC can step out side the conference and compete against other conferences. We saw evidence of that last year.

""I don't think we're looking at last year, we never try to look at the past or the future.''

Note - Del. was 5-6 last season

Repeating item that will run in Saturday Press (below) - MU to begin a home and home with URI (away) next year giving MU non-conference games with Maine and URI in '08.

Notes
Monmouth has scheduled a home-and-home series with Rhode Island, also a CAA school, beginning next year in Kingston, R.I. .‚.‚. Fifth-year senior tackle Nick LoCastro (knee), who has missed the last two games, is ""good to go'' and redshirt freshman linebacker Jeff Brady, who has also missed the last two games with a medical issue, has been cleared to play, according to Callahan. .‚.‚. Of two players who have yet to play this season, Callahan said redshirt junior defensive back Marcus Shell (groin injury) could see action in two weeks, but redshirt freshman defensive back Joe Arneth (Jackson Memorial) ""at this point is concentrating on academics.'' Callahan declined to say wheher Arneth will play this season.

My personal opinion - No.

5 Comments:

Blogger Tony Graham said...

Yikes - No TV in the Press box (or wireless!) I just called to see. Maybe biggest Phillies game since '93. Woe is me. Heck, they'll probably lose to the Nats tonight..

I'm not going!!!

Kidding..kidding.

SID said I could watch the Phillies game in their office at the semi nearby Bob Carpenter Complex...I'll also bring my radio and my wireless access lap top...

Ah....what fun!!

11:05 AM, September 28, 2007  
Anonymous HenGrad2007 said...

gong....gong...gong...gong...gong...gong...gong....gong....gong...gong....gong....gong...gong...

4:21 PM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

To the gonger - Guess that's a bell of some sort??..sorry..don't know everything about UD tradition..except..I do know about Tubby Raymond (and David, AKA Phillie Phanatic) and that they're almost always a national power at their level..

4:26 PM, September 28, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They are going to need those two in the secondary especially if they want to win the NEC which is a strong possibility and with Shell's coverage ability will really revamp their pass defense.

4:51 PM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

I agree..Shell will help. I think it's "wait til next year" for Arneth, just my opinion of course.

On another note..no matter how the Del. game goes, a big key is for MU to come out of it healthy for 5 consecutve NEC games..all winnable..though I doubt they win them all..

5:16 PM, September 28, 2007  

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