Your William and Mary Tribe team kicked off the 2022 football season in a huge way on Friday night with an emphatic 41-24 victory over the Charlotte 49ers on the road. The win marked the first for an FCS school over an FBS team in the 2022 season and paved the road for a huge season in head coach Mike London’s fourth season at the helm. This week, the Tribe was ranked #20 in the FCS rankings after the big victory over Charlotte.
After three straight losses to close the 2021 season with a 6-5 record, the Green and Gold needed a marquee victory to start this season off on the right foot. The victory also marked the first win for the Tribe over an FBS opponent since 2009 when the Tribe took down Virginia on the road as well. Reigning CAA Rookie of the Year Darius Wilson dazzled in his first game back as the Bronx native put up 324 yards by himself, including a 19-yard reception from fellow quarterback Hollis Mathis (yes you read that right). The duo spent several snaps together on the field with Mathis lining up as a wide receiver. Mathis finished the game with 31 yards passing and 14 yards rushing.
Offensive coordinator Christian Taylor mixed up the play calling throughout the game to keep the 49ers defense on their toes. In the fourth quarter, the Tribe outscored Charlotte 21-0 after the 49ers took the lead in the late stages of the third quarter. The Tribe did not commit a turnover, only committed seven penalties, and punted just twice in the entire game. Talk about efficiency!
So…where do we go from here? The initial shock and excitement has worn off and it is time to prepare for this week’s opponent, the Fighting Camels of Campbell. This is the first of many meetings between the two schools, as Campbell is set to join the CAA on July 1, 2023. Campbell also enters the game 1-0 after defeating the Citadel 29-10 at home last Thursday. Defense will be key for the Camels, after forcing three turnovers in Week 1 and not allowing a touchdown until the final 2:53 of the game. It will be a tall order to stop the talented Tribe offense though.
William and Mary racked up 559 yards of total offense including 303 rushing yards. The Tribe poses threats up and down the depth chart with a whole host of ball carriers and two incredibly talented quarterbacks. After one week, William and Mary leads the CAA in total offense and rushing offense, while running back Bronson Yoder leads the conference in rushing yards. It will be interesting to see if Coach Taylor employs a similar play calling style against the Camels this week. This will be an interesting matchup to see how the Tribe’s prolific offense matches up with the tough Campbell defense.
On the other side of the ball, leading the way for the Campbell offense is quarterback Hajj-Malik Williams. The junior just became Campbell’s all-time passing leader in Week 1 after throwing for 175 yards and a touchdown. For the Tribe, preseason all-American Nate Lynn and linebacker John Pius lead the way for the Tribe. Both players had 1.5 sacks while Pius led the Tribe with nine tackles in the opener against Charlotte.
William and Mary also announced that this weekend will be White Out so get to Zable Stadium early and pack the stands in your white shirts. Kickoff is slated for 6 pm on Saturday. ROLL TRIBE.