Sciulli’s Shock Picks: RMU vs James Madison
September 13, 2018
With another week in the books, it is once again time for Robert Morris University football (1-1). Due to the impending Hurricane Florence, this week’s game was moved to Thursday night. This means that RMU had a short week of preparation after the Colonials eked their way past Division II’s Trojans of Virginia State (0-2) by a score of 22-19 on Saturday. This marked the first victory of both the Colonials’ season and Bernard Clark Jr.’s reign at the helm of a team that has won just seven games under the previous regime.
To be honest, if the Trojans had a capable kicker, then RMU would be 0-2. However, this is a new week and a new opponent. That opponent, of course, is the number two ranked team in the country, the James Madison Dukes (1-1).
Looking at this game, all signs point to a long afternoon for the Colonials. Here are Sciulli’s shock picks:
Player prediction (RMU): This week will be the week that one of the RMU running backs scores a touchdown. The Colonials have two rushing touchdowns this season. The first came off of a short scamper from quarterback Jimmy Walker against the Dayton Flyers and second came last week when wide receiver Matthew Barr punched the ball into the end zone from a yard out. So my prediction for this week is that Terence Stephens will reach the pay dirt for his first touchdown of the young campaign. I predict that he rushes for 84 yards on 19 carries and snags a TD in the process.
Player prediction (JMU): Ben DiNucci is going to be tough to contain for RMU’s struggling defense. I predict that the transfer from the University of Pittsburgh is slated to have a big game. The Colonials have just one sack on the season and if they continue to fail to pressure the quarterback it could lead to disaster. DiNucci can get it done with his arm and his legs, and after getting torched by a mobile quarterback in VSU’s Cordelral Cook, the RMU defense could be in trouble. My prediction for DINucci’s performance, 21/29 for 300 yards and four touchdowns through the air and on the ground, plus an additional 65 yards and a touchdown on 6 carries
Sciulli’s most shocking pick: Caleb Lewis will get the call to action for the second week in a row. Against VSU, Lewis came into the game and looked good in the short stretch that he played. He was 4/6 for 20 yards but threw an interception before he was removed after just one possession. However, I think that the Louisiana State University transfer could be given a prolonged opportunity this week if Walker falters again. Lewis needs to grab this opportunity and run with it. Walker played poorly against the Trojans, and another poor performance could see Clark turn to the bench once again, and for the second week in a row choose Lewis over Walker at some point during this week’s game.
The score: Sorry RMU, I do not think this is going to be pretty. Yes, I am excited about the new era of RMU football. Yes, I was in Dayton watching the offense play phenomenal. Yes, I watched RMU come from down 12 points and block a game-tying field goal to seal their first victory of the season. However, the defense has struggled to start the year. They have allowed over 400 total yards of offense in both games this season. JMU is a great football team and will punish the Colonials if they put together a similar defensive performance as they have the past two weeks. My prediction for the final score is JMU wins big, 42-14.