Fumbles cost Delaware in loss to Stony Brook
— The Delaware football team’s first game under interim head coach Dennis DottinCarter featured many of the same struggles that led to the firing of head coach Dave Brock six days earlier.
The Blue Hens fell to visiting Stony Brook 28-3 Saturday at a blustery Delaware Stadium in CAA action.
Delaware entered Saturday’s game having fumbled just six times all season, with only three lost. The football hit the turf seven times while the Blue Hens were on offense, five of which were recovered by the Seawolves. Delaware had not fumbled seven times in a single game since a 1998 loss to Richmond nor lost five since 1995 against
“The wind was up, maybe the ball was a little bit slippery – I didn’t touch it – but at the end of the day, they’re all excuses,” Dottin-Carter said. “We need to do a better job holding onto the football and we’ll work on that in practice. We’ll work on ball security.”
Delaware made an early emphasis to utilize the passing game more than it had in previous games. Sophomore quarterback Joe Walker managed 134 yards through the air, though 65 yards passing came in the fourth quarter with the score largely out of hand.
“I’m not going to blame the wind, but the wind was obviously a factor,” DottinCarter said. “They had to play against the wind, too. We knew we wanted to run the football, especially when we were going into the wind … It wasn’t the wind, we’ve just got to execute better.”
Walker fumbled four times and lost three of them.
The Hens recorded just 104 yards rushing, led by 53 yards from junior running Wes Hills.
The first quarter ended in a scoreless tie, but Delaware had possession and was moving the ball effectively, gaining 40 yards on the drive to cross into Stony Brook territory. But four plays into the second quarter, the Hens elected to go for it on fourth-and-6. Walker was hit as he dropped back to pass and lost the ball. Stony Brook’s Jaheem Woods scooped up the fum- ble and returned it 55 yards for a Seawolves touchdown.
Delaware drove 60 yards on 18 plays the ensuing possession, but had to settle for a 23-yard field goal try. Frank Raggo’s kick was successful – the Hens’ only points on the afternoon. The score remained 7-3 into halftime.
Delaware (2-5 overall, 0-4 CAA) received to begin the second half, but the drive ended with a Walker fumble on only the fifth play of the series.
The Seawolves (5-2, 4-0) capitalized on the possession as quarterback Joe Carbone ran 24 yards for a score on a fourth-and-13 play.
Stony Brook running back Stacey Bedell scored 20 and 33-yard touchdowns in the final quarter to bring the score to its 28-3 final.
Delaware fired Brock on Sunday, following a 24-17 loss to William & Mary the previous day. The Hens surrendered an 11-point fourthquarter lead while allowing 21 points in the final period. Brock had a 19-22 record as Delaware’s coach and the team’s record had gotten worse in each of his first three seasons.
Dottin-Carter, previously the co-defensive coordinator, was promoted.
“Everything was a first when you’re looking at the seat that I’m doing it from. But at the end of the day, it’s still football. The biggest change for me was that I wasn’t able to coach as much as I would’ve liked to have coached,” he said. “I am extremely proud of the guys for the way they came together this week. The effort that they put forth in practice, they did a tremendous job. I thought they were focused, they were locked in. At the end of the day, the result was not the result that we wanted, certainly not the result we expected when you consider how well we practiced this week.”
Follow Sean Grogan on Twitter: @Sean_CecilWhig
Wes Hills rushed for 53 yards, but the Blue Hens offense remained stagnant, as UD fell to Stony Brook, 28-3.