Welcome back for the sixth installment on the year of my weekly Colonial Athletic Association Football Pick-Em. Last week was not exactly a banner week for me, only getting one prediction right out of the five games played last Saturday. This brings my yearly record to 13-15. Let’s take a look at this week’s matchups.
In the first matchup of the week the Rhode Island Rams take on the James Madison University Dukes in a home game for JMU. The Rams are coming off a disappointing 24-21 loss against the number five ranked Elon Phoenix in North Carolina. Some good news for Rhody however, they got their star senior Quarterback JaJuan Lawson back in the game, the first time Lawson had played since Sept. 28. Lawson picked up right where he left off as well, throwing for three touchdowns and almost 350 yards passing. This bodes well for the Rams, as they still have an outside shot at qualifying for the FCS playoffs, but they need to win out for a chance to do so. The University of Rhode Island currently has a conference record of .500 at 3-3 and an overall record of 5-4. On the other side, JMU is coming off a very disappointing effort against an embattled New Hampshire squad that was able to shock the Dukes in Durham. The 35-24 loss will definitely wake up a James Madison squad that currently sits at fourth in the conference with a record in the CAA of 4-2 and 6-3 on the year. Although they are coming off a tough loss the Dukes are still among the best teams in the conference, and also the country. Expect a tough contest, but for the Dukes to end Rhody’s playoff hopes.
Official Prediction: JMU: 27, URI: 20
In the second matchup of the week, the Towson Tigers travel to North Carolina to take on the Elon Phoenix. The Tigers currently sit in that second tier of the CAA, with a conference record of 4-2 and an overall record of 6-3 on the year. Towson is also now on a two-game losing streak, and it won’t get easier against the Phoenix. The defense is what has hurt Towson their last two games, giving up 35 points in their last game against Maine, and 40 points the week prior to Delaware. The Tigers will have to figure it out defensively if they want to stop their losing streak. On the other side Elon, this past week was able to stave off a late Rhode Island rally and pull out the win against the Rams. Elon now sits at 4-1 in CAA play and has an overall record of 6-2 on the year. The Phoenix have won their last two games and boast the number one rushing offense in the conference. On the ground, Elon has rushed for 222.9 yards per game, and have 19 rushing touchdowns as a team, which is also most in the conference.
Official Prediction: Towson: 34, Elon: 28
In the third matchup of the week the Delaware Blue Hens take on the Stony Brook Seawolves in New York. Delaware currently sits atop the entire CAA with a conference record of 5-1, and the Blue Hens also have an overall record of 7-2. The Blue Hens are also currently on a five-game winning streak after a rocky start to the year had them at 2-2. Over those last five games the Blue Hens have averaged 34 points per game, and have scored at least 38 points in three of those wins. For Stony Brook, they are currently at 4-2 in the CAA and have a record of 6-3 overall. The Seawolves are coming off a bye week that should have helped in preparation for the Blue Hens. On the year Stony Brook’s rushing offense has been elite, sitting at second in the conference as a team the Seawolves have rushed for on average 206.4 yards per game.
Official Prediction: Delaware: 20, Stony Brook: 17
In the next matchup of the week the Albany Great Danes travel to Durham, New Hampshire to take on the University of New Hampshire Wildcats. The Danes are currently the cellar dwellers of the CAA, sitting in dead last with a conference record of 0-6 and an overall record of 2-7. The Danes are also on a five-game losing streak but are coming off a game in which they gave Delaware a scare, only losing 21-16. Albany on the year has let up an average of 32.2 points per game to their opponents, which is 11th in the CAA. For the Wildcats, they are coming off a huge upset win against JMU, beating the Dukes 35-24. UNH is now 2-4 in conference play and has an overall record of 3-6 on the year. The Wildcats are also on a two-game winning streak. Over that span, New Hampshire is averaging 34.5 points per game, a far cry from their average on the year of only 16.8 points per game.
Official Prediction: UNH: 27, Albany: 23
In the second to last matchup of the week, the William and Mary Tribe take on the Villanova Wildcats in Pennsylvania. On the year William and Mary is 2-3 in conference and 3-5 on the year. The Tribe are coming off a bye this past week but lost to Rhode Island a week prior to that. William and Mary currently have the worst scoring offense in the conference, averaging a measly 13.2 points per game. William and Mary also have the worst rushing offense in the conference, averaging only 52.4 rushing yards per game. Villanova is 1-5 in CAA play and 4-5 overall. The Wildcats are coming off a 45-21 road win over the Richmond Spiders, which is the most points they’ve scored since Sept. 22, when they put up 49 points against Bucknell. Prior to the large offensive output, Villanova put up against Richmond, they had been shutout in their past two games.
Official Prediction: Villanova: 23, W&M: 14
In the final matchup of the week, the Maine Black Bears take on the Richmond Spiders in Virginia. Maine is tied for the number one record in CAA play with Delaware, with a conference record of 5-1. Overall, the Black Bears are one game back of Delaware with a record of 6-3. Maine is currently on a two-game winning streak, their most recent win being a 35-28 victory over the Towson Tigers. Defense has been the key for the Black Bears this year, as they boast both a rushing and passing defense situated within the top five of the conference. Offensively Maine has been better of late, scoring at least 28 points in three of their last four games. For Richmond, the Spiders are currently sitting at 1-5 in conference and have an overall record of 3-6. The Spiders have also lost their last two games, and in those games have allowed 83 combined points to their opponents. Most recently, Richmond is coming off a loss to Villanova, losing 45-21. Richmond is currently second in the conference in total offense, averaging over 400 yards of offense per game, however, the Spiders are only seventh in the CAA in scoring offense, scoring 24.9 points per game.
Official Prediction: Maine: 31, Richmond: 17