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UD football moves on in NCAA playoffs

Donna McBride
University of Delaware

The Blue Hens reach the quarterfinals of the NCAA’s FCS playoffs for the first time in over a decade.


Saturday night’s 19-10 win over Sacred Heart at Delaware Stadium propels the undefeated Hens past the opening round for the first time since 2010.

And it sends UD to Alabama for a Sunday afternoon clash with Jacksonville State University.

UD head coach Danny Rocco says to advance again the Blue Hens have to play a complete game, and that didn’t happen in Saturday’s victory.

"I felt our defense played well and our special teams played well. I thought those two entities created the opportunity for us to secure victory. Offensively, we did not perform at a high-level, certainly not at a championship level, and we'll look really hard here this week to get back to playing the way we've played pretty much all season long."

Jacksonville State is coming off an impressive 49-14 win over Davidson in the first round of the FCS playoffs, and enters the game at 10-2 this season after playing five games in the fall before resuming its schedule in the spring.

Rocco says playing on the road against a good team is tough, but this Blue Hen team reminds him of previous teams he coached that found road success in the playoffs.

"I see a lot of similarities between this team right now - our team and those seems - that I mentioned that were able to advance on the road in the playoffs. And I think that starts with good solid defense. You have to play good defense to win in the playoff, you have to be able to play good defense, and then you have to be solid in the kicking game, and we've been solid."

Sunday’s matchup is the first ever meeting between the two schools. 

Kickoff is at 3 p.m. 

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.
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