Here are the highlights from Coach Talley's portion of the CAA Coaches Teleconference Today:
Moderator: Please provide your analysis of the Towson game:
Coach Talley: Towson is very good. Very tough. We had a real difficult time with them. Darius Victor is a load. I think they were making the adjustments from their transfer quarterback from Oregon so they had a couple of adjustment issues as they transitioned. But Darius Victor you have to deal with him every single play. You can slow him down but you can't stop him - and we knew that. It was a typical Towson team. Very physical. Lot of skill. They are going to be good in the league. We were fortunate we were able to get one where Rob Rolle took it back 100 yards and that rally helped our cause. With six minutes to go in the game we were only ahead by 12 points, so it was still a close game and they are a dangerous team. Being able to get the interception and get a little more ahead with that touchdown really helped our cause. The score is really misleading - 40 is really a misleading number. That was a tight game right down to the wire, very hard fought and we came out bumped and bruised like you always do in a CAA game. We lost Rasaan Stewart, one of our best defensive backs, with a broken hand so he is out for a couple weeks and that is the kind of stuff you deal with in the CAA. It is just brutal. We have guys in walking casts - two offensive linemen and you wonder if you are going to be able to get to the game next week. It was a bruising game. They are going to be heard from in the CAA that is for sure.
Moderator: When you get a win over a quality team like Towson - how big is it for you to get off to a 1-0 start?
Coach Talley: We were both in the same place - both of us having played 1A teams and then getting that initial win to get to 1-1. That game was really critical for us because now instead of being 1-2 we are 2-1 on our way up to Lafayette this week. it is a very early indicator of where your football team can go and be. For us, we needed to have a challenging team and they certainly were everything you would want in terms of a CAA challenge and we were able to get into some very difficult, critical situations in the game and handle them and so it only enhances your team in that they believe that they can win or pull it out in the fourth quarter or hold somebody off - so from that perspective it was good.
Morning Call (Allentown): Talk about your Lehigh Valley connections - such as Csaszar starting on the offensive line ...
Coach Talley: Louie Csaszar is terrific - playing with a broken bone in his foot so he is in a boot right up until Thursday. He is a very tough guy and an "all football player". We are really pleased to have him and it is a shame he has to labor with that broken toe. What could be worse for a lineman than to have a broken toe when you are 300 pounds but he has really done well and played well and I wish he were healthy here but we are really glad to have him.
Morning Call (Allentown): What do you expect to see from Lafayette this week?
Coach Talley: They have been in the wars. They have already played some really good teams. They played Delaware early on and Frank Tavani has these guys ready to go. This is a big game for Lafayette - us coming in there and he is trying to right the ship a little bit. He had Princeton lined up and almost pulled that game off which makes a big difference when you are 2-1 as opposed to 1-2. This is a big game. I know we are going to see a real good Lafayette team and their record is not indicative of the kind of football team that they are. I know Lafayette well and Frank and his coaches and those kids will play hard. This is an important game for both of us.
... we haven't played Lafayette in my tenure but I always felt it was a sort of natural game. We have played Lehigh and now have a chance to come up and play at Lafayette is really neat for me.
VUSports: To what do you attribute your improved passing performance against Towson: execution, scheme, match-ups ...
Coach Talley: Zach Bednarczyk is a great passer and I don't know where anybody got the thought that he couldn't fling it. He's got a pro arm and he proved that on Saturday. He can run and throw. He is a dual-threat quarterback. Our receivers - we have three freshmen that play for us at wide-out so we are young at wide-out and we are still trying to get that situation cleared up and I think we had a good result on Saturday against a real good secondary. The big thing is we gave Zach some time to throw and when you give him time to throw he is very accurate - he has a strong, strong arm and he has that ability to run around and find people open when scrambling. I think he is one of the best quarterbacks in our league and he is continuing to prove to people that he is the real deal.
VUSports: No argument here. What are your primary concerns going into the Lafayette game?
Coach Talley: Well we had a rough go with Towson. I feel like our players don't know Lafayette at all. We have never played them. We had the same problem with Lehigh. With the scholarship levels now in the Patriot League, they can play with anybody. We have to make sure that we don't have a let-down - that they approach the game like they would approach a CAA game. That is the big thing when you play out of league in the CAA. All of our kids think that the CAA is the best around but the Patriot League has certainly proven that they have some terrific teams and you better be ready to play.
CBS Radio Sports: Can you talk about how Javon White has really stepped up his game. He looked like a man on a mission on Saturday against Towson.
Coach Talley: Javon has played great. He broke his leg in the third game last year and has rehabbed this whole time. He has worked extremely hard. He has really elevated himself to a really high level in the CAA as a running back and he has got a young, Sophomore, Aaron Forbes behind him that continues to push him so if he doesn't come out and play hard every game, he has a young guy that wants to take his job. We love what he is doing. Javon is a game breaker - he is running downhill as well. He is a pleasure to coach.
SIX CAA FOOTBALL TEAMS RANKED IN NATIONAL FCS TOP 25 POLLS FOR THIRD STRAIGHT WEEK
RICHMOND, Va. (September 19, 2016) – For the third straight week, six CAA Football teams are ranked among the Top 25 in the nation as three national FCS polls were released on Monday.
Richmond, which fell to 2-1 overall following a 42-14 loss at Stony Brook last Saturday, slipped to No. 7 in the STATS FCS Poll and the HERO Sports FCS Media Poll, and No. 9 in the FCS Coaches Poll. The Spiders face another tough challenge this Saturday as they host nationally ranked Colgate.
James Madison rose to No. 7 in the FCS Coaches Poll and is ranked No. 11 in the STATS FCS Poll and the HERO Sports Poll after a 56-28 setback at North Carolina last Saturday. The Dukes (2-1) open conference play at Maine on Saturday afternoon.
William & Mary, which rolled past Norfolk State 35-10 in its home opener last Saturday, jumped to No. 8 in the STATS FCS Poll, the FCS Coaches Poll and the HERO Sports Poll. The Tribe (2-1) starts conference play at home against Elon on Saturday night.
Villanova improved to No. 15 in the FCS Coaches Poll, No. 19 in the STATS FCS poll and No. 20 in the HERO Sports Poll following its 40-21 win against CAA foe Towson last Saturday. The Wildcats (2-1) travel to Lafayette on Saturday night.
Stony Brook vaulted into all three polls after knocking off No. 2 Richmond, 42-14, last Saturday. The Seawolves are ranked No. 18 in HERO Sports Poll, No. 20 in the STATS Poll, and No. 24 in the FCS Coaches Poll. Stony Brook (2-1) entertains unbeaten Sacred Heart on Saturday night.
UAlbany, which remained perfect at 3-0 after beating Holy Cross 45-28 last Saturday, moved up to No. 21 in the HERO Sports Poll, No. 22 in the STATS FCS Poll and No. 23 in the FCS Coaches Poll. The Great Danes are back at home against Saint Francis (Pa.) on Saturday.
In addition to the six ranked teams, Towson (1-2), Delaware (2-1) and New Hampshire (1-2) were among others receiving votes in all three national polls.
CAA Football and the Missouri Valley Football Conference led all FCS leagues with six teams in the national polls.
CAA FOOTBALL WEEKLY AWARDS:
CAA Football Offensive Player of the Week
Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks, So., RB, UAlbany (Newark, N.J./Don Bosco)
Ibitokun-Hanks rushed for 183 yards and a school-record tying four touchdowns on 28 carries as UAlbany improved to 3-0 with a 45-28 win over Holy Cross. It was the third consecutive 100+-yard effort for Ibitokun-Hanks, who leads FCS in rushing TD’s (8) and ranks second in yards (465). He had scoring runs of 40, 4, 7 and 13 yards.
CAA Football Defensive Player of the Week
Rob Rolle, Jr., S, Villanova (Newfield, N.J./Delsea)
Rolle recorded a team-high nine tackles and returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown as Villanova defeated Towson, 40-21, in its CAA opener. The interception return late in the fourth quarter set a Wildcats’ school record and was Rolle’s second defensive touchdown in the first three games this season.
CAA Football Special Teams Player of the Week
Sherman Alston, Jr., Jr., WR/KR, Stony Brook (Clifton, N.J./St. Joseph's)
Alston, Jr. returned the opening kickoff of the second half 96 yards for a touchdown as Stony Brook knocked off Richmond, 42-14. It was the first kickoff return for a touchdown by a Stony Brook player since 2012 and gave the Seawolves a 14-point lead. Alston also ran for 45 yards on seven carries and finished with 150 all-purpose yards.
CAA Football Rookie of the Week
Albert Funderburke, R-Fr., RB, William & Mary (Fredericksburg, Va./Riverbend)
Funderburke rushed for a career-high 137 yards and three touchdowns on just 13 carries in William & Mary’s 35-10 victory over Norfolk State. The freshman had a game-tying 1-yard TD run in the first quarter and recorded both Tribe scores in the second half on runs of three and 57 yards.