Football Looks for Second Straight Win, Plays at Lafayette on Saturday at 6 p.m.

Football Looks for Second Straight Win, Plays at Lafayette on Saturday at 6 p.m.

The Central Connecticut football team looks for its second straight victory this Saturday night on the road at Lafayette at 6 p.m.  The Blue Devils are facing their second straight Patriot League team after winning at Fordham, 24-13, last week.  The game is the final non-conference game of the season for the Blue Devils who will open Northeast Conference play on the road next week at Robert Morris.

FULL CCSU GAME NOTES

Today's Game • The Blue Devils travel to play at Lafayette tonight at 6 p.m., meeting the Leopards for the fourth time in the history of the two programs. Today marks the second of four-straight road games for the Blue Devils, their longest road swing since the 2006 season when they also played four straight on the road.  Following the two Patriot League games, Central will open NEC play with back-to-back road games at Robert Morris and Bryant to begin league action.
 
vs. the Patriot League • The Blue Devils are playing a Patriot League opponent for the second straight week after posting a 24-13 win over Fordham last Saturday.  Central has faced teams from the Patriot every year since 2012 and 11 times overall (Patriot League began in 1986).  The Blue Devils are 3-8 in those games.  The three victories came on the road at Colgate in 2005 (24-22) and at Lehigh in 2009 (28-21), and then last week at Fordham.
 
Blocked Punts • Sophomore DJ Exilhomme blocked a key punt just before halftime last week in the road win at Fordham, leading to a CCSU touchdown with under a minute to play before halftime.  The blocked punt was the third of the year for the Blue Devils in their first four games.  They lead the country in that category.  Exilhomme was named the NEC Special Teams Player of the Week for his play.
 
Ibeh With the Pick 6 • Junior Grant Ibeh recorded his second career interception and took it to the house to give the Blue Devils a 24-13 lead and win over Fordham last week.  It was his first career touchdown.
 
Five Sacks • The Blue Devil defense sacked Fordham's quarterback five times in the road victory on Saturday.  The five sacks were the most in a single game for Central since a home win over Saint Francis U last season.
 
Bagley to the House • Junior defensive back Tajik Bagley became the first Blue Devil since 2003 to return a punt for a touchdown two weeks ago when he returned a Columbia kick 82 yards for a score in the first quarter.  The last Blue Devils to return a punt for a touchdown, prior to Bagley, was former defensive back Donnie Rose, who returned a punt 90 yards vs. Monmouth on Nov. 1, 2003.  
 
Prime Performer • Senior quarterback Jacob Dolegala has begun his final season with the Blue Devils with great success.  Dolegala is 62-of-100 for 756 yards, five touchdowns and just one interception so far on the season. The 62 percent completion rate is the highest of his career entering the fifth game of the season.  Dolegala was 13-of-25 for 168 yards, two touchdowns and an interception a week ago in the win at Fordham.  On the year he has been sacked just five times in four games.
More Jake • Dolegala's 168 yards in the air last Saturday give him 6,664 career passing yards with the Blue Devils.  He's already the school record holder in that category, and surpassed 6,000 yards in the loss to Ball State to start the season. He is 12th all-time in NEC history. His two touchdowns last week give him 37 for his career, good for second place in school history.  He is eight touchdowns shy of the school record of 45.  
 
Shutout • The Blue Devils posted a 55-0 shutout victory over Lincoln (PA) on Sept. 7 in front of over 5,000 fans at Arute Field.  It marked the first shutout for the Blue Devils since they defeated Robert Morris at home 34-0 during the 2015 season.  
 
Blue Devils Picked to Repeat • The Central Connecticut football team was tabbed the Northeast Conference preseason favorite at the league's 2018 Social Media Day at MetLife Stadium, it was announced on July 24, 2018. The Blue Devils were tabbed the preseason favorite, collecting five first-place votes from the league's coaches. Duquesne was tabbed second, followed by Bryant, with each collecting a single first-place vote. CCSU closes out the regular-season at home against the Dukes on Nov. 17. 
 
Mushaw WAS the Match! • For the past four years, head football coach Pete Rossmando and the Blue Devil football program have teamed up with the Be The Match Program to add more than 750 CCSU students, faculty and staff to the national bone marrow registry. This past year they got word that one of the people they had signed up had been chosen as a match. Junior linebacker Mike Mushaw was recently selected as a match, and this summer he donated his marrow to help save the life of someone he has never met.  CCSU football has joined the efforts of Villanova football head coach Andy Talley to raise awareness of the need for marrow donors and helping patients receive life-saving transplants. Talley and others have helped recruit thousands of potential donors to the registry by encouraging their football players, other students and their peers on other teams to sign up, along with friends, family and teachers. Last year alone, close to 10,000 people joined the Be The Match Registry through Get in the Game. Save A Life. donor registry drives. 
 
Northeast Conference Champions • The Blue Devils won their fifth Northeast Conference title with an undefeated 6-0 league record in 2017.  It was the first unbeaten conference season for an NEC team since 2008.  The league title is the fifth for CCSU since the 2004 season, and their first since 2010. Central finished the home portion of its schedule 5-1, including five straight home wins to end the season. 
 
Eight Straight Wins • Prior to last season's loss to New Hampshire in the FCS playoffs, the Blue Devils won eight straight games in a single season for the first time in school history. The last streak of nine or more straight wins came from 1954-55 when CCSU won nine straight games (all six games of 1954 and first three of 1955).
 
Rossomando Coach of the Year and Eddie Robinson Finalist Head coach Pete Rossomando was named the NEC Coach of the Year last season.  He was also an Eddie Robinson Award finalist for the National Coach of the Year Award.
 
Turnovers • The Blue Devils finished 15th in the country in turnover margin last season (+10) having forced 11 fumbles and intercepting 15 passes in 12 games.  They led the conference in that category.
 
Defensive TD's • The Blue Devils led the country in defensive touchdowns in 2017 with six. Central returned two fumbles and four interceptions for a touchdown in the 12 games.  Senior Tymir Hinton had a pair of those touchdowns. 
 
Interceptions for a Score • The Blue Devils have now returned eight interceptions for a touchdown in their last 26 games, dating back to 2016. Junior Grant Ibeh intercepted a pass and returned it 19 yards for a score in the 24-13 win over Fordham on Sept. 22, 2018. CCSU tied an NCAA record by returning an interception in four straight games from Sept. 23 through Oct. 14, 2017.
 
26 or More • During their eight-game winning streak last season Central scored 26 or more points in each of those games.  It was the first time in school history that CCSU had scored 26 or more points in eight consecutive games.
 
Overtime, Again • The Blue Devils played one of the most memorable games in school history in 2017 topping Wagner 51-45 in 4OT on Staten Island.  The game is the longest in school history and the ninth-ever overtime game for CCSU.  The Blue Devils are now 6-3 all-time in overtime.  Central had previously played three double overtime games and was 1-2 in those games.  They lost 23-17 at Robert Morris in 2006, won 49-48 at Monmouth in 2010 and lost 51-44 at Lehigh in 2013, all in double OT.  
 
NEC Front Row • Thanks to a continued partnership between the Northeast Conference and the Pack Network, live webcasts of NEC sports will be available free of charge on NECFrontRow.com. The site will carry every CCSU NEC football game this season, excluding those games designated by the NEC to air on ESPN3/ESPN+.

 

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