RMU vs. Monmouth Preview

Justin Criado, Staff Writer

After a disheartening 13-12 loss to Morgan State and a week off, the Colonial football team will open Northeast Conference (NEC) play Saturday Oct. 1 against Monmouth (2-1).

RMU is searching for their first win of the season after dropping all three of their non-conference games. The Colonials beat the Hawks 17-16 in a thriller last year at Joe Walton Stadium, but it’s the Hawks that are on top of the NEC now.

Lead by All-American strong safety Jose Grumbs, MU held Central Connecticut State to 267 total yards in a 24-12 win. Grumbs was named a Preseason All-American by Consensus Draft Services (CDS) and is a four-year starter.

The front four for the Hawks is anchored by Howard-transfer Ian Simon who leads the team with two sacks through the first three weeks. The RMU offense has yet to find its rhythm with quarterback Jeff Sinclair behind center, but they were an extra-point away from capturing their first win of the season two weeks ago in Baltimore.

Tight end Shadrae King has proved to be the Colonials’ most consistent receiver as he hauled in five Sinclair passes for 36 yards against MSU. Also providing a deep threat for RMU is sophomore Donte Jeter who made his first start against the Bears and caught two passes for 16 yards.

The Colonial defense will look to stop quarterback Kyle Frazier and company. Frazier threw for 2,072 yards and nine touchdowns a season ago and is in his third year as the Hawks’ starting quarterback.

Lead by All-NEC defensive end Nolan Nearhoof, RMU will look to put pressure on Frazier just like they did to Josh Council. Nearhoof had a game-high 11 tackles against the Bears as he looks to become the NEC Defensive Player of the Year.

Kickoff is set for noon Saturday Oct. 1 at Kessler Field as the Colonials look to defend their crown with their first victory of the season in NEC play.