Over the past two weeks, the Robert Morris Colonials’ offense has exploded. The offense that we saw stumble against the Buffalo Bulls and sputter against the Kentucky State Thoroughbreds is gone. It has been replaced by a new, high flying, fast and fun offense that fans witnessed against the Dayton Flyers and the Virginia Military Institute Keydets. The main reason for this transformation, and for this change, is the return of Matthew Gonzalez.
In the two games prior to his return, the offense averaged just 8.5 points per game. The offense only mustered just 228.5 yards per game. With the return of Gonzalez, the offense has rattled off back-to-back 31 point performances. The offense has also grown to average 407.5 yards per game.
The Colonials air-raid has picked up where they left off at the end of last year. In just two games, Gonzalez leads the Colonials with 250 receiving yards. The senior tight end is just one reception off the leader, DeLano Madison, with 11. Against Buffalo and Kentucky State, the Colonials averaged just 93 yards through the air. George Martin threw for 282 yards against Dayton two weeks ago. Then last week, Caleb Lewis threw for 214 yards. That’s an average of 248 passing yards in the past two weeks.
With a much more successful passing game, the RMU running game is flourishing, specifically, Alijah Jackson. Against Buffalo, Jackson had 13 carries for 85 yards and a touchdown. The KSU defense held Jackson to 8 carries for just 16 yards. Jackson has completely turned around since then. Against Dayton, he had 24 carries for 135 yards and a touchdown. The junior running back then rushed for 125 yards and a touchdown against VMI.
RMU Head Coach Bernard Clark and Alijah Jackson shared their thoughts on what Matthew Gonzalez brings to this team.
“He’s a good player,” explained Clark. “That’s what it boils down to. Matt’s a dynamic player. He does a great job, that’s why he’s an All-American.”
“Leadership. Not too much a vocal, but he leads by example,” said Jackson. “We see him working hard in practice and doing good in the games. Everybody wants to build off his energy.”