The final game of the Rhody football season comes with some good news and some bad news. Good news: the horrible nightmare that has been this season will finally come to an end! The bad news, however, is that regardless of the outcome of the game, this season will go down as one of the worst in URI football history. It’s the difference between 1-10 season and an 0-11 season, neither of which are anything to brag about. However, a winless season is just a dismal outcome, so let’s take a look at what Rhody needs to do to get a win:
The University of Maine
Mascot: Black Bears
Location: Orono, Maine
Conference: Colonial Athletic Association (CAA)
2012 Record: 4-6 (3-4)
Maine sits in the bottom half of the CAA, and their schedule and results looks eerily similar to Towson, Rhody’s opponent last week. They’ve beat the teams they should have beat, they have one decent win (versus Delaware), and they were handled easily by a BCS school. Still the scary part about Maine, and the scary part about any CAA school, really, is how easily they handled Georgia State. To be blunt, Georgia State is not good at football. Yet somehow, they completely trounced Rhode Island to the tune of 41-7. Meanwhile, Maine is coming off a 51-7 beat-down of the very same Georgia State Panthers squad. Now we at Rhody Rampage have never been big fans of the “Well, Rhody beat St. Louis, and St. Louis beat Duke, so RHODY IS BETTER THAN DUKE!!!! WOOHOO!!!!” logic, but it’s certainly noteworthy.
Once again, Rhode Island is going to have to contend with a stud quarterback – this time it’s Maine’s Marcus Wasilewski. He’s coming off a 262-yard, four touchdown game versus the Panthers, and has put up 17 TDs so far this season. He’s also a threat to scramble, having done so 90 times this season for an average of about 26 yards per game. The good news is Rhody has been better at containing QBs recently. Last week they held Towson quarterback Grant Enders to 5 attempts for -2 yards. The Rams will need a similar effort this week if they expect to record a win. Besides Wasilewski, Maine also has an explosive running back in Rickey Stevens. He absolutely lit up Georgia State, tallying 179 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. Stevens has put together a 709-yard season with an impressive 5.8 yards-per-carry average, but last week was his first and only touchdown run of the season. Still, Rhody is coming off a game in which they allowed a nauseating 260 yards rushing, so expecting Stevens to have a good game isn’t a long shot.
Quite simply, we just don’t think the Rams are good enough to win this, or any game this year. While it would be nice to snag a moral victory on Senior Day, it just doesn’t seem plausible. Let’s just get the season over with so Rhody can work on rebuilding the team for a bounce-back year in 2013.