Preview: Colonials look to ground Flyers

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Preview: Colonials look to ground Flyers

Photo credit: David Auth

Photo credit: David Auth

Photo credit: David Auth

Photo credit: David Auth

Nick Hedderick, Sports Editor

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MOON TOWNSHIP– After a stunning loss to Kentucky State (1-0) last week, the Robert Morris football team (0-2) will look to make a statement against the Flyers of Dayton (1-0) on Saturday. In addition to these two teams meeting up once again, this will be the homecoming game for the Colonials. What will RMU need to do to walk away with the win? Can the Flyers spoil homecoming weekend? Let’s find out.

Previewing the Colonials

The Robert Morris football team has had a rocky start to their season. A visit to Buffalo (1-1) saw the Colonials put up a good fight against the Bulls and the performance gave RMU fans a lot of hope in the process. Last week, however, Robert Morris was upset by Kentucky State by a score of 13-7.

In last week’s game, the Colonials made a few crucial mistakes while also failing to stop the rush attack from the Thorobreds offense. KYSU amassed over 200 yards on the ground against a Colonials defense that couldn’t contain the run aside from the first few possessions.

RMU also committed two turnovers in the redzone, which ended up hurting the Colonials tremendously. Ball security will definitely be a crucial part of this week’s game.

Despite the loss, there were some positives from this game, including the performance of Terence Stephens, Jr. He gained 69 yards on the ground in addition to a receiving touchdown. Despite having the ball for 13 minutes less than KYSU, Robert Morris moved the ball fairly well. Their 217 total yards doesn’t stick out, but the offense seemed to be functioning well. In order to beat Dayton, the Colonials will need to be much more effective on offense. They will also need to tighten up on defense.

Scouting Dayton

Dayton will pay a visit to Joe Walton stadium looking to get revenge on the Colonials for beating them 13-10 when the two teams battled it out in Moon Township in 2017. The Flyers were able to get the better of the Colonials last season by a final of 49-28, getting some revenge for the previous season. They will look to completely avenge the loss on Saturday.

This season, Dayton is 1-0 following a 42-35 win over Indiana State (0-2). The passing offense was very impressive, as the Flyers had 251 yards through the air. Quarterback Jack Cook threw for two touchdowns and then scored two additional touchdowns on the ground. Running back Sean Prophit also scored twice in addition to his 65 yards on the ground.

On defense, Dayton struggled despite getting the win. They allowed a staggering 358 yards on the ground and 505 yards in total. Although the defense struggled to stop Indiana State, they did pick off quarterback Ryan Boyle twice. The Colonials have two very skilled running backs who could find great success against the Flyers rush defense. Dayton will need to utilize their dual-threat quarterback as well if they want to achieve victory on Saturday.

Players to Watch

Jacob White, Defensive back, Robert Morris

White led the Colonials in tackles last week with nine. His presence is felt all over the field and despite being a freshman, he seems to be a force on the defensive side of the ball already.

Terence Stephens, Running back, Robert Morris

Stephens and Alijah Jackson seem to flip flop when it comes to who is going to have the better game. Both backs are extremely talented and capable of making big plays. I believe that Stephens will plow through the Dayton defense on a few occasions en route to having a great performance for the Colonials.

Jack Cook, Quarterback, Dayton

Cook is a very skilled player and the Colonials need to make sure that he feels pressure throughout the game. He is able to use his feet to escape that pressure though, so RMU needs to figure out a way to shut him down on the ground and in the air.

Sean Prophit, Running back, Dayton

Prophit is coming off of a good performance in his last game. His two touchdowns were huge for the Flyers and this talented back should find the open field for a few big runs on Saturday.

Prediction

I believe that RMU will come out eager to make a statement following their loss last week. I expect them to play even with Dayton until the middle of the second half. Dayton’s playmakers will be able to create a deficit that RMU won’t be able to come back from. The Colonials will show promise in this game, but the Flyers will walk away with the win.

Final score: 45-27 Dayton

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