University of Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens
Game Information - August 30, 2014. Heinz Field. 12:00. ESPN3.com
Location - Newark, DE
Enrollment - 21, 856 (17, 484 undergrad; 3,654 Post grad)
Stadium - Delaware Stadium. 22, 000 capacity
Notable Alumni - Joe Biden (current Vice President) and Joe Flacco (current Baltimore Ravens QB)
Conference Affiliation - Colonial Athletic Association (2007-present)
Championships - Six claimed: Most recent in 2003.
Head Coach - Dave Brock, second season. 7-5 overall record.
Series History - First meeting with Pitt.
The Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens are coming off a 7-5 season in 2013, their first under head coach Dave Brock. As they enter the second year in the Brock regime, they could be an improved team. Delaware returns quarterback, Trent Hurley, who will be in his third season as the starting quarterback. He threw for 2,207 yards and 22 touchdowns in 2013. Hurley is one of nine former FBS level players playing for Delaware as he came over from Bowling Green. The Blue Hens have two former Panthers on the roster in Sam Collura and Andrew Consevage. Furthermore, if the name Hurley sounds familiar he played his high school ball for Greensburg Central Catholic in the WPIAL.
The Hens feature one of the top playmakers at the FCS level in Michael Johnson. The 6'2" senior wideout hauled in 60 passes last year for 1,035 yards and nine scores. Another one of Hurley's favorite targets will be 6'6" senior tight end, Nick Boyle. He caught seven touchdowns in 2013. The running game will take a hit after losing both of their top backs, but Jalen Randolph looks very capable. Randolph stands in as a 6'1" 230 sophomore that did manage to get some carries as a freshman.
Defensively, the Blue Hens return some experience although they allowed 31 points per game last season. Derrick Saulsberry, the team's sack artist, returns after posting eight in 2013. Leading tackler, Pat Callaway, also returns for his middle linebacker spot. Maryland transfer, Mario Rowson started nine games last year and was the team's second leading tackler from his safety spot.
Delaware is one of the more respected FCS programs in the country. The Blue Hens participate in the CAA, and that is home to many of the Northeast's top FCS programs like Villanova, James Madison, and New Hampshire. Delaware last faced an ACC team in 2008 when they hung with Maryland before falling 14-7. Overall, the Fightin' Blue Hens have a promising offense and a defense with some returning talent and that should translate into a successful season. Athlon ranks them 23rd in their preseason rankings.