The Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens and South Dakota State Jackrabbits meet Sunday in the college football NCAA Division I Quarterfinal at
The Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens look for another win after beating Jacksonville State last week. Nolan Henderson is completing 68.8 percent of his passes for 1,340 yards, 10 touchdowns and four interceptions. Thyrick Pitts and Gene Coleman II have combined for 821 receiving yards and four touchdowns while Bryce De Maille has 14 receptions. The Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens ground game is averaging 160.9 yards per contest, and Dejoun Lee leads the way with 555 yards and six touchdowns. Defensively, Delaware is allowing 11.7 points and 223 yards per game. Johnny Buchanan leads the Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens with 39 tackles, Chase McGowan has five sacks and Nijuel Hill has three interceptions.
The defense keeps on rocking.
Delaware vs South Dakota State Broadcast
Date: Saturday, May 8
Game Time: 12:00 pm ET
Venue: Dana J Dykhouse Stadium, Brookings, SD
Delaware (7-0) went into Jacksonville State and held down the high-powered attack to just 14 points – with a late touchdown as a part of it – and just 200 yards of total offense.
But that’s what the Blue Hens do. They finished second in the FCS in scoring defense starting with an outstanding secondary that doesn’t give up a thing. Yeah, JSU had quarterback injury issues, but still, it only came up with 93 passing yards with a slew of those coming late.
But to beat South Dakota State, you have to hold up on the lines.
Delaware’s style of play keeps everyone fresh. It lives on turnover margin – the team was second in the nation but turned it over twice against JSU – and the team dominates the time of possession battle. It’s the chicken and the egg – the offense controls the tempo on third downs to keep the D fresh, the D comes up with third down stops and keeps the O line from getting gassed.
Delaware held the ball for over 38 minutes in the 20-14 win last week, but …
Why South Dakota State Will Win
The Blue Hen offensive line struggled to get anything going on the ground, and the rushing attack isn’t about to work against the Jackrabbits.
South Dakota State (7-1) struggled against Southern Illinois in a 31-26 win that should’ve been a lot easier, but the defensive front held the Saluki running game to 127 yards.
The Jackrabbits win by controlling games with the ground game thanks to a killer offensive line that’s played among the best in the FCS. Against this Delaware D, they might not get their 230+ rushing yards they normally crank out, but they’re going to grind, the defensive front is a rock against the run, and the team is fantastic at the turnover battle – just like Delaware.
No, it might not have been easy against Southern Illinois, but the team was +3 in turnover margin and the offense came up with the one big drive it had to have late.
What’s Going To Happen
Delaware is going to make this very, very tough.
The Blue Hen defense is the real deal, with the ability grind games down to a stop, but South Dakota State can do that, too. QB Nolan Henderson is just good enough keep everything moving, but he can’t do it alone.
South Dakota State QB Mark Gronowski should be able to play Henderson big moment for big moment.
It’s be a tough, low-scoring battle with South Dakota State doing a bit more on third downs, and Gronowski coming up with two big pass plays that Delaware won’t.