STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Following their first win over the Saint Francis Red Flash (3-3, 1-1 NEC) since 2011, the Robert Morris football team (2-4, 1-0 NEC) looks to win consecutive conference games for the first time since 2013 on Saturday. Standing in their way are the Wagner Seahawks (1-5, 1-1 NEC), who hope to be refreshed after last week’s bye and take down the Colonials. This should be another great NEC matchup, so let’s see how these teams compare on paper.
Keeping up with the Colonials
Last week’s game against Saint Francis did not seem to be going in the Colonials direction as the teams entered their locker rooms for halftime. Their offense had been stagnant minus a late field goal to close out the half.
The struggles on offense continued, as the second half showed little change from the first. Caleb Lewis was called upon to replace George Martin at quarterback, a move that paid off well in the end. Lewis ended the game with two touchdown passes to his name. The LSU transfer also made some key plays late in the game during the Colonials’ comeback in the final quarter. His ability to locate weapons such as DeLano Madison and Matthew Gonzalez kept RMU’s hopes alive.
Ultimately, Nick Bisceglia’s field goal won the game in overtime, but this was an all-around great team effort by Robert Morris. Alijah Jackson, for example, had his fourth straight 100-yard rushing performance, proving once again that defenses have no answers for his speed and elusiveness. Aniello Buzzacco helped lead the defensive charge of the second half and overtime by recording 17 tackles, a career-high.
There was some luck, some great plays by great players, and an all-around great team effort last week from Robert Morris. This team seems to be hitting their stride, and they hope to close out their four-game road stand with another big conference victory.
Scouting the Seahawks
Wagner enters Saturday’s game coming off of a loss against Monmouth (3-2, 1-0 Big South) two weeks ago. A week prior to that loss, the Seahawks picked up their first win of the season by handing the Long Island University Sharks (0-5, 0-4 NEC) a 24-14 loss.
Wagner’s offense struggled to find success against a very talented Monmouth team. Their 191 total yards is the second-lowest total they have posted all season. On the ground against Monmouth, Wagner only accumulated 87 rushing yards, while averaging 2.7 yards per carry. Their offense sits in second to last in scoring offense with an average of 15 points per game. Wagner’s total offense places them in last place in the NEC, but the Robert Morris defense sits in sixth place in the conference. Expect their offense to try and test the RMU defense early in order to find a big play.
The Wagner defense sits just one spot behind the Colonials, which leads me to think the offensives will shine in this game. One player that could shine is Wagner’s Jeremiah Lorick, who sits at fifth in the conference in receptions, I expect him to try and torch the Colonials’ secondary.
Players to Watch
Caleb Lewis (RMU, QB)
It is unclear if Lewis will start on Saturday, but I believe that he will start under center for the Colonials on Saturday. He led Robert Morris to both of their wins this season, and he has a good chance of leading them to a win against Wagner as well due to his ability to find the open man and deal with high-pressure situations.
Aniello Buzzacco (RMU, LB)
Following the best game of his RMU career, I expect Buzzacco to go out and make even more noise against a struggling Wagner offense. He will be a huge factor on every play due to his ability to locate the ball carrier.
Jeremiah Lorick (Wagner, WR)
Lorick is the clear go-to receiver for the Seahawks. He is able to find ways to get open and bring down any ball thrown his way. Lorick will need to be double teamed by the Colonials secondary, especially when you bring in the fact that he scored in his last game into consideration.
Ikechukwu Ogwuegbu (Wagner, RB)
The Maryland transfer reached the endzone against Monmouth despite some struggles from the rest of the Wagner ground game. Expect him to get a lot of carries come Saturday in an effort to keep his momentum going.
I believe that Robert Morris will win this game due to their many offensive weapons. Expect Wagner to jump out to an early lead, but don’t be surprised if the defense locks down Wagner later in the game.
Final: 27-20 RMU