- Delaware is a 26.5-point favorite in its rivalry game against Delaware State on Saturday (ESPN2, 6 p.m. EST)
- The Blue Hens are firing on all cylinders offensively, led by running back Dejoun Lee and quarterback Nolan Henderson
- Read below for a complete breakdown and a pick on the game
Make no mistake, Delaware is going to win its game at Delaware State on Saturday, the question is simply by how much.
The Blue Hens will likely finish their abbreviated season undefeated, and in their penultimate game this weekend against the Hornets, they are favored by 26.5 points. Delaware State has the luxury of hosting the Route 1 Rivalry this season, but has failed to win the matchup once in its nine-game history.
Each team has only played three games this season, but Delaware has been dominant on both sides of the ball. Meanwhile, Delaware State is only due to play three different opponents in five games, and both of the Hornets’ wins so far this spring have come against Howard.
Delaware vs Delaware State Odds
|Team||Spread at FanDuel||Moneyline||Total|
|Delaware||-26.5 (-110)||-8000||O 42.5 (-108)|
|Delaware State||+26.5 (-110)||+1800||U 42.5 (-112)|
Odds as of April 9th[promoted-sportsbook]
DeJoun Lee Running Wild
The Blue Hens offense starts with its rushing attack, which is led by redshirt senior Dejoun Lee. The Army transfer has been tremendous for Delaware and has rushed for 341 yards on just 44 carries.
Former #ArmyFootball RB Dejoun Lee becomes 8th Delaware player to rush for 200 or more yards. Lee’s 221 yards and two TDS (including this 74-yarder) help Delaware defeat Rhode Island pic.twitter.com/n46ap7B4j7
— Sal Interdonato (@salinterdonato) March 27, 2021
Pinning down how good or bad Delaware State is on either side of the ball is difficult when two of their three games have come against just one opponent. Furthermore, Howard’s only two games at all this spring came against Delaware State. For what it’s worth, the Hornets have been reasonably decent against the run, and have only allowed an average of 126 rushing yards per game and 3.75 yards per carry.
Lee should be able to feast on Saturday, however, as he averages 7.75 yards per carry. In Delaware State’s lone loss this season to South Carolina State, the Bulldogs ran for 180 yards as a team and three players ran for more than four yards per carry. Delaware redshirt junior running back Khory Spruill should get some touches as well, as he’s averaged 5.25 yards per attempt this spring.
Nolan Henderson Dealing for Delaware
While the number of games FCS teams have played around the country have varied, through three games, Delaware’s Nolan Henderson has been the eighth most efficient quarterback in the nation.
— Delaware Football (@DelawareFB) March 27, 2021
The redshirt junior has completed 69% of his passes this season for 551 yards with six touchdowns and just two interceptions. Delaware State’s defense has allowed around 200 yards per game through the air, but haven’t played against a passer that has been as sharp as Henderson. In the Blue Hens’ last game – a 35-21 win against Rhode Island, Delaware racked up 388 yards rushing, and Henderson still got enough passes in to throw for 190 yards and two touchdowns.
The best thing that can be said about Delaware State’s defense is that it has been above average in the red zone. Neither team has generated a ton of pressure on quarterbacks this season, but Delaware has held opposing offenses to converting just 27% of the time on third down. The Hornets are a much softer side in that regard, allowing opponents to convert on just under 40% of chances.
Truthfully, it’s difficult to measure where the Hornets are at as a team with such a limited sample size to evaluate. After this weekend, they go on to play South Carolina State for a second time this spring before calling it a season. Delaware has had a few games canceled, but is playing as though it has something to prove with the opportunities given.
This one might be a home game for Delaware State, but it’s not going to be pretty. Beyond the Blue Hens’ superiority on offense, they have held opponents to under 200 yards of total offense per game. With their opportunity to show off on national television against an in-state rival that they have dominated since their first meeting in 2007, Delaware should win by four touchdowns.
- The Pick: Delaware -26.5 (-110)
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