Central Connecticut State University (4-2, 1-1)
vs. Duquesne (2-3, 1-2)
Saturday, October 18, 2008 • 1 p.m. EST
New Britain, CT • Arute Field • ESPN Radio 1410
Central Connecticut and Duquesne
CCSU and Duquesne have met just once in the history of the two programs. The Blue Devils earned a 41-22 home victory on Nov. 13, 1993. This will be the first Northeast Conference meeting between the teams. Duquesne joined the league this season.
Last Time Out
Central Connecticut lost, 24-22, at Albany in its first road test during the Northeast Conference season. The Blue Devils are now 1-2 on the road this season.
Quick-Hitters from Last Time Out
Junior Hunter Wanket posted career-highs, completing 16-of-24 passes for 198 yards...Junior James Mallory had his fifth 100-yard game, rushing for 109 yards...Junior Nick Colagiovanni caught a team-best five passes for 71 yards...Mallory and sophomore Josue Paul each added four receptions...Junior Tyler Rossnagle caught a touchdown pass for the second straight game...The Blue Devils eclipsed 200 yards passing for the first time this season...Sophomore Joe Izzo went 3-of-3 on field goal tries...He connected from 24, 36 and 26 yards to become the first Blue Devil to make three or more field goals in a game since 2005...Senior captain Mike Cooke and sophomores Alondre Rush and Jeff Marino all had 11 tackles...Cooke led the team with six solo stops and 3.5 tackles for loss...Cooke and junior Ray Saunders each had a sack...Senior Frank Leon and junior Ricardo Gibson combined for a sack...Rush and sophomore Dominique Rose each had an interception...Junior Danny Rodriguez blocked a field goal try...Senior Lamont Tillery recovered a fumble...The Blue Devils totaled 10 tackles for loss, including three sacks.
Balancing the Attack
Central Connecticut has been near the top of the FCS rushing ranks for the last two-plus seasons. Junior quarterback Hunter Wanket made opponents aware of the Blue Devil passing game last weekend. Wanket completed 16-of-24 passes for 198 yards and a touchdown. Wanket, who splits time running the offense with classmate Aubrey Norris, has not thrown an interception since his CCSU debut versus Bryant. The duo has completed 67-of-110 attempts for 980 yards and 10 touchdowns this season. More impressively, they have thrown just the one interception. Their combined passer rating is 163.93.
Don't Forget About the D
The Blue Devil defense leads the Northeast Conference in tackles for loss and sacks. It also ranks among the nation's top-15 in both categories. CCSU has 49 tackles for loss, including 17 sacks. The Blue Devils are ninth in the country in tackles for loss per game (8.17) while ranking 14th in sacks per game (2.83). Additionally, Central Connecticut has forced 11 turnovers, including two or more in each of the last three games. The Blue Devils have seven interceptions and four forced fumbles.
Izzo's Perfect...And More
Sophomore Joe Izzo has yet to miss a point after attempt during his career in New Britain. He was successful on the only try of his freshman campaign and is 24-of-24 this season. Ryan Heeney was the last Blue Devil to make 20 or more consecutive extra points.
He hit 21 in a row during the 2006 season. In addition to his efforts on PATs, Izzo is 3-of-4 on field goal attempts this season. After having his first kick blocked during the season-opener versus Bryant, Izzo did not attempt a field goal until last weekend at Albany. The time off did him well, as the Southington, CT native made all three of his tries, converting from 24, 36 and 26 yards out.
1,000 Yard RECEIVING Club
Junior Nick Colagiovanni became the 11th player in CCSU history to reach 1,000 career receiving yards after hauling in a 69-yard touchdown in the 35-10 win over Wagner. He is now 10th on the list but can reach as high as seventh if he stays on his current pace.
Colagiovanni gained 231 yards as a freshman and 537 last season. With this year's 323, his career total is 1,091 yard with a 53.8 yards per game average. If he keeps at this pace, Colagiovanni would finish junior season with 1,360 career yards.
Colagiovanni Enjoys Playing in New Britain
An All-State performer at New Britain High, junior Nick Colagiovanni numbers at home are staggering. This season alone, Colagiovanni has five (of 17) catches for 187 (of 323) yards and four (of five) touchdowns in home games. The touchdowns include a 70-yarder against Bryant and a 69-yarder against Wagner. Last season, the Plainville, CT product caught 26 of his 39 passes and totaled 425 of 537 yards at Arute Field. Two of his three touchdowns, including a 71-yarder versus Merrimack, also came in home games. For his career, Colagiovanni has caught 33 balls for 670 yards and seven touchdowns in New Britain.
1,000 Yard RUSHING Club
With his 123-yard effort in a 28-10 win at Delaware State on Sept. 27th, junior James Mallory became the 17th player in CCSU history to reach 1,000 career rushing yards. He is now 15th on the list but can jump as high sixth if he stays on his current pace.
Mallory gained 130 as a frosh and 243 last season. He's already gathered up 848 yards this season for a career total 1,221 yards, a 141.3 YPG average. Is he maintains this rate, Mallory would finish his junior season with 1,927 career rushing yards.
Mallory is also on pace to become just the seventh player to record 1,000 yards rushing in one season. He would join Justise Hairston (1,847 in 2006), Stan House (1,413 in 1997 and 1,015 in 1996), Cory Harge (1,082 in 2003 and 1,032 in 2004), Harold Brown (1,067 in 1967), Major Cole (1,024 in 2002), and Jason Ziruk (1,000 in 1990).
On the Ground Again
Junior James Mallory, who has rushed for 100 yards in five of six games to open the season, ranks sixth in the nation in rushing, averaging 141.3 yards per game. Mallory ranks third in the NEC in rushing.
As a team, the Blue Devils, who average 225 yards on the ground, are 10th in the nation. The Blue Devils led the Northeast Conference in rushing for the third straight season in 2007. They also ranked in the top-10 in the nation for the second consecutive year. After leading the FCS in rushing in 2006, Central Connecticut tied for 10th in 2007. The Blue Devils averaged 257.6 yards per game on the ground last season.
Push for Five Straight Winning Seasons
The Blue Devils started their push for a fifth straight winning season with a 42-35 victory over Bryant on opening Saturday. They are now 4-2 in 2008. A 49-33 victory over Sacred Heart on November 3, 2007 guaranteed the Blue Devils their fourth straight winning season for the first time since 1965 through 1971 (seven seasons).
Wins by Decade - Second Highest Total
The Blue Devils have won 47 games in this decade, which is the second highest win total in any decade in school history. During the 70s, CCSU won 53 games. That is the highest total in program history. CCSU won 43 games during the 60s.
Since the beginning of 2004...
Since the beginning of the 2004 season CCSU posts a record of 33-15, including 20-3 at home. The 33 wins in a four-year span are the most in school history and the eight wins in 2004 and 2006 match the second-highest total in school history. Those years mark the first time since 1968-71 that the Blue Devils have posted four consecutive winning seasons.
Since 2004...5th in New England/New York/New Jersey
Central Connecticut is now 33-16 since the beginning of the 2004 season and has won games over FCS playoff contenders Colgate, Georgia Southern and Delaware State. The 33 wins is the fifth highest total among New England, New York and New Jersey FCS schools, behind only 41 wins from New Hampshire, 40 from UMass, 35 from Harvard, and 34 from Monmouth. There are 24 FCS schools among the group, including schools from the Ivy League, NEC, CAA, Patriot League and FCS Independents.
Home Sweet Home
Since the start of the 2004 season, the Blue Devils are 20-3 at home. Prior to losing twice on Arute Field last season, the lone loss had come against Rhode Island in the first home game of 2005. CCSU has outscored its opponents 688-362 in the 20 victories since the start of the 2004 season, an average of 34.4-18.1 per game. The Blue Devils have scored 21 or more points in 17 of those victories. They are 5-0 in games decided by four or fewer points during the same span.
Efficiency from Aubrey
Aubrey Norris entered the season as Central Connecticut's all-time leader in pass efficiency. Through six games this season, he is 26 of 41 for 344 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions. Norris now holds a 147.1 career rating. That rating is 29.8 points ahead of James Taft (1976-78). He has completed 142 of 243 passes with 19 touchdowns and just two interceptions. His 58.4 completion percentage is also the highest in the Blue Devil record book. Norris led the Northeast Conference in pass efficiency last season, posting a 152.1 rating, and has a 174.1 rating this season.