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2023 Opponent Snapshot: Delaware

I feel like I’ve seen those ugly helmets before.

Syndication: Wilmington News Journal William Bretzger/Delaware News Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

Quick 2022 Recap

It was the first season at the helm for Ryan Carty, a former Blue Hen quarterback who returned to the program as the head coach after four seasons as KC Keeler’s offensive coordinator at Sam Houston State. It was a solid first season for Carty, who led Delaware to an 8-5 record and an FCS playoff berth, falling to the eventual champions South Dakota State 42-6 in the second round.

Offensive Player to Watch: WR Jourdan Townsend

The Blue Hens will be tasked with replacing second team All-CAA quarterback Nolan Henderson, but they return quite a few weapons offensively. The most dangerous is potentially Jourdan Townsend, who earned third team All-CAA honors last year after putting up 61 catches for 698 yards and 6 touchdowns. Townsend doesn’t have overwhelming size at just 5-foot-11, 185 pounds, but he’s shifty and agile, with the Blue Hens occasionally utilizing him as a punt and kick returner.

Defensive Players to Watch: Safeties Nic Ware and Ty Davis

Delaware loses a ton of experience on the defensive side of the ball, with their top five tacklers from the 2022 season having graduated. One of the few areas where the Blue Hens will have some experience is at safety, where Nic Ware and Ty Davis both return with starting experience. Neither were full-time starters — Ware started seven games, while Davis started nine games — but this is a Delaware defense that doesn’t have a whole lot of proven performers coming back.

Delaware Wins If

Penn State doesn’t show up and forfeits. No offense to the Blue Hens — congrats on cashing that check — but there is a 0% chance the Nittany Lions lose to Delaware. It would literally be one of the biggest upsets in college football history.

Penn State Wins If

This game won’t so much be about if Penn State wins, as much as it’ll be about how it looks doing so. If we go back to the last time the Nittany Lions played a CAA opponent, it was 2021 when they beat Villanova 38-17. The biggest takeaway from that game? Penn State couldn’t run the ball, only mustering 2.4 yards per carry on the day. Unfortunately for the Nittany Lions, it was a sign of things to come, as they struggled running the ball the rest of the season en route to a 7-6 finish.

So looking at Delaware, the process will be just as important as the result. Penn State should have little trouble with the Blue Hens, and it needs to show that in all facets of the game. Hopefully, Drew Allar will take a seat in the middle of the third quarter with 300 passing yards and 4 TDs.