The visiting Minutemen from the University of Massachusetts scored on their opening drive to take a 3-0 lead, but couldn’t score again until the fourth quarter with the game out of reach as the Richmond Spiders forced six turnovers in a 34-12 home victory.
The visiting Minutemen from the University of Massachusetts scored on their opening drive to take a 3-0 lead, but couldn’t score again until the fourth quarter with the game out of reach as the Richmond Spiders forced six turnovers in a 34-12 home victory. The Spiders have now won 16 straight, the longest active streak in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), to retain their No.1 ranking in both the FCS and the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA).
The Spiders (7-0) are undefeated for a reason. Game after game when one unit struggles, another steps up. They have a knack for getting exactly what they need precisely when they need it. On September 12th at Delaware, WR Kevin Grayson blocked a field goal attempt with 38 seconds remaining to eek out a one-point win.Versus visiting VMI with his defense giving up 28 points, QB Eric Ward passed for 394 yards and 3 TDs. Two games ago, NT Martin Parker forced a turnover on JMU’s final drive to secure a narrow four-point victory in Harrisonburg.
Today, in wet and windy conditions, Ward could only muster eight completions on 20 attempts for a meager 52 yards, with zero TDs and one interception, not the kind of stat line you’d expect from the Preseason All-American. Filling the void in production was senior RB Justin Forte who gained 118 yards on 26 carries, punching two of them into the end zone. Forte came into the game as the CAA’s top rusher and is now averaging 113 yards in his last four contests.
The MVP of the day though was the Spiders’ ‘Stonewall Defense.’ They held UMass to 62 yards rushing on 30 carries for a measly 2.1 yards per carry average. Junior DB Justin Rogers forced an interception and recovered a fumble, and five other Spiders also collected picks on the day as they rattled and harassed both UMass QBs, Kyle Havens and Scott Woodward, all day long.
With the win Richmond ties a school record for the best start to a season, matched only by the 1985 squad who went 7-0 but then lost game No.8.