Newark, DE (WWBT)- William and Mary traveled to Delaware with hopes of starting a winning streak and getting back into the CAA championship discussion. Instead, the Tribe failed to find the scoreboard and struggled to get things going offensively.
Delaware scored three touchdowns and its defense did the rest, as William and Mary fell to the Blue Hens, 21-0. It marked the Tribe's first shutout loss since 1997, a 14-0 loss which also came to Delaware. Jimmye Laycock saw his team fall to 3-3, 1-2 in conference play.
Led by sophomore running back Andrew Pierce's 143 yards on the ground, Delaware outgained W&M, 338-210, and controlled the time of possession, 34:35-25:25. Additionally, the Tribe was just one of 13 on third-down situations.
Senior linebacker Jake Trantin led the Tribe with a game-high 12 tackles, while junior linebacker Brian Thompson totaled ten stops. Senior defensive end Marcus Hyde also came up big with eight tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery, while senior safety Jake O'Connor recorded six tackles and an interception.
After holding Delaware to a three-and-out on the game's opening series, sophomore linebacker Quincey September blocked Rauley Zaragoza's punt to give W&M starting field position at midfield. Although W&M moved to UD's 31-yard line, an illegal block penalty stalled the drive and forced the Tribe to punt.
While a Drake Kuhn punt pinned Delaware at its own 2-yard line to begin the ensuing series, the Blue Hens marched 98 yards in nine plays to go ahead 7-0 on a 29-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tim Donnelly to wideout Bobby Russo with 6:57 remaining in the first quarter.
W&M looked as if it would answer with points on its next drive, but Kuhn's 44-yard field goal attempt from the left hash missed wide to the right.
A 4-yard touchdown run by Andrew Pierce with 13:43 remaining in the second quarter pushed Delaware's lead to 14-0. The drive covered just 24 yards and was aided by a short W&M punt.
The Tribe responded to UD's second touchdown by marching into the red zone, but Delaware cornerback Travis Hawkins intercepted senior quarterback Michael Paulus at the 7-yard line to halt W&M's scoring opportunity.
After both teams went scoreless in the third quarter, the Blue Hens extended the margin to 21-0 with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Donnelly to wide receiver Nihja White with 13:19 remaining in the contest. The 15-play, 91-yard drive lasted 6:52 and came mostly on the ground, as the Blue Hens piled up 58 rushing yards on nine carries.
Although W&M moved into the red zone on its next possession with sophomore quarterback Brent Caprio taking over under center, it was unable to come away with any points when it turned the ball over on downs at the UD 17-yard line.
The Tribe will return to action next Saturday when it hosts New Hampshire. The Wildcats are tied atop the CAA standings with a 2-0 conference record.