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CAA Football notes: Tribe find openings for McBride

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W&M finds openings for WR McBride

William and Mary coach Jimmye Laycock said there wasn’t more emphasis than usual on getting the ball to preseason All-America wide receiver Tre McBride last week. But there was an emphasis on quarterback Steve Cluley recognizing McBride’s matchups.

McBride and Cluley hooked up 11 times for 209 yards and two touchdowns in a 35-31, last-minute loss to No. 5 Villanova. The yardage was the sixth-most in school history.

McBride had 25 catches for 281 yards in the Tribe’s first six games.

“We just wanted to make sure Steve knew where Tre was all the time,” said Laycock, whose 18th-ranked team (4-3, 1-2 in CAA) takes on visiting Delaware on Saturday. “In certain coverages, we liked the matchup maybe wherever Tre was.”

Cluley, a sophomore, threw for 105 yards the previous week in a 32-3 loss to No. 3 New Hampshire. Laycock said Cluley got better protection against Villanova and made good decisions. He found Sean Ballard five times for 85 yards.

“He’s still a sophomore quarterback in his first year playing,” Laycock said. “There’s going to be some frustration in there. He continues to understand the offense and continues to understand the reads and progressions and what we want to get accomplished in different situations.”

McBride helped with some big-time catches, including one on which he was leaping and twisting on a pass that was behind him. He had a school-record 359 all-purpose yards.

Uncharacteristic penalties for Tribe

William and Mary entered the game ranked first nationally in fewest penalties per game (3.8) and second in fewest penalty yards (29.3). The Tribe had eight penalties for 70 yards against Villanova. The Wildcats had nine for 92 yards as both teams were hit with multiple personal fouls.

“Certainly we’ve got to correct some of those things,” Laycock said. “There were some situations that came up that we probably didn’t handle them as well as we should have handled them. We’ll address those.”

Freshman making impact for JMU

James Madison coach Everett Withers said he’s challenged his coaches to “go find the Jimmy Morelands” when they’re recruiting.

Moreland, a 5-foot-10, 175-pound cornerback from Royal Palm Beach, Fla., has made a major impact as a true freshman. He’s tied for the CAA Football lead with three interceptions and has two touchdowns, three blocked kicks, two recovered fumbles, five passes broken up and 31 tackles.

“Jimmy’s an instinctive football player,” said Withers, whose team plays a nonconference game at Charlotte on Saturday. “He understands the game. He’s one of those guys who have a knack for the football.

“It goes back to finding those guys in recruiting. Our philosophy in recruiting is to find guys who will help us win right now. I’m not this big redshirt guy. If a guy can come in and help us … put him on the field and let him play.”

Dukes’ Marlowe

to miss first half

JMU safety Dean Marlowe will miss the first half against Charlotte after the CAA upheld a targeting call on Marlowe two weeks ago against Towson.

Marlowe was ejected for a hit in the second half. NCAA rules mandate that a player ejected in the second half must sit out the first half of the next game.

JMU had a bye last week.

CAA commissioner Tom Yeager said the league and the NCAA concurred that the call on Marlowe was correct.

— Tim Pearrell

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