With Conference play heating up in the CAA, the present is as good a time as any to introduce the CAA Pick-Em. Here is my take and predictions of each CAA football team’s game this upcoming weekend.
In our first preview, the Rhode Island Rams take on the Brown Bears of the Ivy League for the chance to win the Governor’s’ Cup. The Bears won this game last year 24-21 over the Rams at Brown Stadium. Brown has won six of the last seven games against Rhody. Rhode Island football in 2018 is currently in a renaissance though, with a 3-1 record on the year upsetting Delaware in week one, blowing out Albany in week two, scaring FBS opponent UConn in a shootout in East Hartford in week three, and after a bye, winning a convincing defensive showdown against Harvard in week five. However, with Brown limping so far in the early season, going 1-2 and losing to Harvard in their conference opener, the Rams should have a cakewalk against their in-state foe to move to 4-1.
Official Prediction: URI: 27, Brown: 13.
Moving on in the predictions we take a look at Elon against James Madison. Both teams are undefeated in conference play, and only have one loss on the year. Saturday’s matchup between the two will be only the seventh meeting between the two teams, with JMU holding a dominant record of 6-0 over the Phoenix. The two teams have played each other every year since 2014, with JMU outscoring Elon 204 to 44. Look for much of the same to happen this weekend.
Official Prediction: JMU: 38, Elon: 6.
Next, we’ll be taking a look at the matchup between Richmond and Delaware which will be played in Virginia. Both teams have struggled this year and are still looking for their first conference win. Delaware was originally a top 15 team in the preseason, but have not been able to gain steam after a big upset given to them by URI in the first regular season game of the year. Richmond has been worse, however, coming off back-to-back blowout losses against Stony Brook and James Madison. Look for Delaware to pull off the road win.
Official Prediction: Delaware: 28, Richmond: 17.
The next matchup is Albany versus William and Mary in a battle of the CAA basement dwellers this year. Both teams have been rocky in the early season and are looking to get back on track with a win. Albany currently sits at 2-2, with William and Mary sitting at 1-3, both teams are 0-1 in conference play. Albany comes into this matchup with all the momentum, as they have a two-game winning streak, while William and Mary have lost three in a row, being outscored in that time 136-17. Look for Albany to get their third win in a row, and of the year.
Official Prediction: Albany: 35, William and Mary: 7
It’s a battle of Northeast teams in our next matchup, as New Hampshire takes on Holy Cross of the Patriot League. Both teams have been bad so far on the year, with UNH sitting dead last in the CAA at 0-4, and Holy Cross sitting tied for last in the Patriot League at 1-4. New Hampshire’s offense has been dreadful this year, not scoring over 14 points in any game so far. Look for Holy Cross to pull off the road win in Durham.
Official Prediction: UNH: 14, Holy Cross: 24
In the second to last matchup of the weekend, Villanova takes on Maine in Orono. Villanova is currently 3-2 on the year, but 0-2 in conference play, while Maine is 2-2 on the year, and 1-0 in conference play. Both teams are ranked inside the FCS Stats top 25, with Maine at 25 and Villanova at 19. Villanova started the year off with an upset win of FBS opponent Temple, and a blowout win over Lehigh, but then lost twice in their next three games to conference opponents Towson and Stony Brook. Maine started the season with two wins and putting up over 30 points in each game, but dropped the next two to FBS opponent Central Michigan, where the Black Bears only put up five points, and Ivy League opponent Yale, where they only scored 14 points. Look for Villanova to get their first conference win of the year in a tough road test.
Official Prediction: Villanova: 31, Maine: 24
In the last matchup of the weekend, Stony Brook and Towson face off in a top of conference slugfest in Maryland. Both teams currently reside in the FCS Stats Top 25, with Stony Brook sitting at 13 and Towson sitting at 23. Stony Brook is 4-1 on the year, and 2-0 in conference, while Towson is 3-1 on the year, and 1-0 in conference. Stony Brook’s lone loss of their 2018 campaign came in the season opener, against FBS opponent Air Force. Since then, however, the Seawolves have been ballin’, with three straight blowouts after against Bryant, Fordham, and then CAA foe Richmond to open conference play, Stony Brook then came from behind on Villanova to win in a 29-27 nailbiter in New York. Towson’s lone loss of the year also came to an FBS opponent, Wake Forest. Besides that the Tigers have been nothing short of convincing, with an average margin of victory of 17.6 in their three wins. Look for Towson to get some home cooking this week against Stony Brook.
Official Prediction: Towson: 38, Stony Brook: 28.