Delaware readies for visit from Penn on Saturday

Redshirt sophomore quarterback Nolan Henderson got his most extensive playing time of the season against NDSU and made the most of it.
Photo credit University of Delaware Athletics
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Delaware Blue Hens will look to bounce back from a 47-22 loss to No. 1 North Dakota State when they welcome the Penn Quakers to Newark on Saturday.

The loss to the North Dakota State Bison dropped the Blue Hens to 2-1 on the season. Delaware battled, but the Bison showed why they have won seven of the last eight FCS National Championships.

"They made plays on third down on both sides of the ball," Delaware head coach Danny Rocco told KYW Newsradio. "There were eight or nine bang-bang plays in the game, and they made all of them. Whether breaking up passes in guys' hands just in the last second or making catches on well contested throws. They're really, really good, and I'm disappointed we didn't play better. But we fought hard and kind of fought our way back to some respectability in terms of getting the ball in the end zone a couple times and generating a little bit of momentum."

It was redshirt sophomore quarterback Nolan Henderson who led those drives into the end zone in the second half. He finished 9 of 12 for 125 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 18 yards. Henderson played the vast majority of the second half after starter redshirt senior Pat Kehoe struggled to the tune of going 2 for 9 for 11 yards with an interception. 

Rocco talked about the state of the quarterback position heading into the Penn game.

"We're in the process here this week of reevaluating the position," he said. "We do that every week with every position. We'll know more here today (Wednesday) definitively about how we're going to start the game and how we're going to play the game at quarterback. We're certainly evaluating and looking at some contingency plans, one of which would certainly have Nolan taking the field as the starter. We'll know more today as we kind of really wrap up our preparation and go out to practice this afternoon."

While this is Game 4 for Delaware, it will actually be the season opener for the Quakers. Rocco discussed the challenge of playing a team that has yet to take the field.

"It's just the reality that you don't know what they're going to do," he said. "They have a new offensive coordinator (Kevin Morris), he came over from Monmouth. Monmouth had been pretty good on offense here the last several years. So we've been looking at both Penn and Monmouth, so you're kind of hedging your bet a little bit on what you're going to get. You don't really see their personnel for this year, even though they have a lot of guys coming back. You don't really know how they're going to use or how they're going to deploy their personnel."

Saturday's game kicks off at 1 p.m.

Follow Matt on Twitter @Mattleon1060.