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Previewing The Enemy: Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens

Welcome to Beaver Stadium, Delaware.

No. 7 Penn State (1-0) will continue its 2023 campaign Saturday against the Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens (1-0).

The Nittany Lions easily took care of business with a 38-15 victory over West Virginia, while the Blue Hens did the same by defeating Stony Brook 37-13.

First-time starter Drew Allar threw for 325 yards and three touchdowns for the Nittany Lions, while Delaware’s Ryan O’Connor put together a performance of 346 yards and one touchdown. Saturday, meanwhile, will be the first-ever matchup between the two programs, and Penn State owns a 116-79-12 record against current FCS teams.

Let’s preview its next FCS opponent before kickoff.

The Team

A member of the Colonial Athletic Association, Delaware is 1-0 after defeating Stony Brook last Thursday. The Blue Hens went 8-5 overall (4-4 CAA) in 2022, making it to the second round of the FCS Playoffs before losing to South Dakota State.

Ryan Carty is in his second year as the program’s head coach. He was previously the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Sam Houston for four seasons. Carty is the first coach in Delaware history to lead the Blue Hens to the playoffs in their inaugural season.

Meanwhile, Manny Rojas is in his fourth season as the defensive coordinator. The Delaware defense’s 18.2 scoring points per game and 137.8 passing yards per game were both second-best nationally in 2022.


Delaware scored 37 points in its opener last week. O’Connor, the team’s starting quarterback, threw 346 yards, one touchdown, and went 24-for-38 with two interceptions against Stony Brook. This is O’Connor’s first year as Delaware’s starter after he played in four games in 2022, completing 15 passes for 170 yards and a touchdown.

The Blue Hens have an impressive running back in Marcus Yarns, who rushed for 107 yards and two touchdowns in the opener. Behind him is Kyron Cumby, who also scored a touchdown.

Similar to Penn State, O’Connor spread the ball around quite a bit last week. Chandler Harvin’s 100 receiving yards were the most on the team last week, but he didn’t record any touchdowns. Kym Wimberly Jr.’s one touchdown made him the lone wide receiver to record a score, while his 81 receiving yards were second on the team. Braden Brose’s 75 receiving yards were good for third-best on the team.

Delaware has a dangerous offense for FCS standards. Last season, the Blue Hens’ 3,450 passing yards were second-most in the division, while their 1,864 rushing yards were fourth-most in the CAA.


Tyron Herring, Ty Davis, and Christian Pierce each recorded an interception last week. Herring, a cornerback, also led the team in tackles last week with eight total. Last year, Davis ranked sixth on the team in total tackles with 54.

Meanwhile, linebacker Jackson Taylor’s seven tackles were the second-most on the team, while Keyshawn Hunter, Steven Rose Jr., and Dillon Trainer all recorded five tackles.

Delaware’s defense held Stony Brook to 13 points in week one while the Seawolves totaled 327 offensive yards. Keeping teams from scoring has been a staple under Manny Rojas, as the Blue Hens have held opponents to under 20 points per game in two of the three previous seasons he’s been on the job.

Special Teams

Junior Nate Reed is Delaware’s kicker after joining the team from James Franklin’s alma mater East Stroudsburg. He went 1-for-2 against Stony Brook, hitting a 34-yard field goal attempt.

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About the Author

Nolan Wick

Nolan is a third-year journalism major from Silver Spring, Maryland. He's an avid fan of all D.C. sports teams and Liverpool F.C. If Nolan isn't writing about or watching sports, you can probably find him listening to all sorts of music or traveling. To keep up with Nolan, you can follow him on Twitter @nolan_wick or email him at [email protected].

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