How it Happened
Rhode Island's defense posted its first shutout in nearly a decade to lead the Rams to their first win of the season, a 20-0 victory over Delaware Saturday.
The defense had three interceptions that led to 10 points – including a 25-yard touchdown return by freshman Tez Wilson – as the Rams (1-5, 1-2 CAA Football) held an opponent scoreless for the first time in 99 games. URI's last shutout victory came in the form of a 3-0 win over Maine on Oct. 28, 2006.
In addition to Wilson's pick-six, freshman cornerback Ahkema Evans had an interception in the end zone in the second quarter to end Delaware's only red zone trip of the day. The Blue Hens (2-4, 1-2 CAA Football) were just 3-for-14 on third down attempts.
Sophomore Harold Cooper topped 100 yards for the second straight week. He finished with a career-high 123 and ran one in for the second game in a row.
Inside the Box Score
- After Delaware rushed for 184 yards in the first half, Rhode Island held the Blue Hens to just 19 yards on the ground in the second half.
- Junior Naiquan Thomas led the Rams with nine tackles, including seven solo stops. He also recorded his first career interception in the first quarter.
- Freshman linebacker Tez Wilson returned an interception 25 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter. It was his first career touchdown, and the first pick-six for Rhody in 24 games, dating back to Tyrone Jenkins' 43-yard return against Central Connection State on Sept. 28, 2013.
- Wilson also had two tackles, one tackle for loss and two pass break ups.
- Freshman cornerback Ahkema Evans had his first career interception in the second quarter. The pick came in the end zone, thwarting a scoring chance for Delaware. He added three tackles.
- Senior cornerback Myles Holmes had eight tackles, including one for loss, and broke up one pass.
- Redshirt sophomore Khilyni Kennedy made his first career start at linebacker and had four tackles, including one for a loss.
- Cooper had a career-high 32 touches on the day. He rushed 28 times for 123 yards (both career highs), caught three passes for 20 yards and returned one kick for 31 yards. For the day he had 174 all-purpose yards.
- Freshman kicker Justin Rohrwasser was 2-for-3 on field goals, including a career-long 41 yarder in the fourth quarter. Rohrwasser has now made at least one field goal in four consecutive games.
- Freshman Michael Curry made his collegiate debut, serving as the long snapper for Rhode Island.
- Cooper also served as URI's anchor bearer for the game while the game captain was linebacker Connor Caponegro, who finished with five tackles.
- The scout team players of the week were freshmen defensive backs Momodou Mbye and Calvin Milliner.
- Attendance for the game was 4,015.
Stats of the Game
- 0 – Delaware scored zero points Saturday afternoon at Meade Stadium. It marked just the second time since 1996 that the Blue Hens have been held scoreless.
- 99 – For Rhode Island, the shutout was the first in 99 games. The last came against Maine in a 3-0 win on Oct. 28, 2006.
Rhode Island hosts Richmond for its annual homecoming game next Saturday (Oct. 17). Kickoff is set for noon.