The Rhode Island Rams saw their offense sputter out in the rain tonight as they fell to the William & Mary Tribe by a score of 20-0. Rhody’s defense did all they could, but Bob Bentsen and Co. struggled to move the ball for the entire game. The fourth quarter also saw a bit of overly conservative play-calling from Joe Trainer and the rest of the coaching staff, which was a little puzzling to say the least. As a result, the Rams were shut out for the second time in four games this season. The defeat drops URI to 1-3 on the season and 1-2 in the CAA.
For those that like rock fights, the first quarter was all of that and more. Rhody tallied just one first down in the first 15 minutes en route to four three and out drives in the first half. The Tribe experienced many of the same struggles until midway through the second quarter when they pieced together a 10-play, 75-yard drive culminating in a 28-yard touchdown run by backup running back Jarrell Cooper. After a URI (you guessed it) three and out, William & Mary struck quickly on a 49-yard touchdown pass from Michael Graham to tight end Bo Revell. The one-play drive made things 14-0 heading into the locker room, and the Tribe defense took over from there.
William & Mary kicked field goals of 20 and 33 yards on their only two possessions of the third quarter to open up a 20-0 lead while the Rhode Island offense was stymied the rest of the way. We’re not entirely sure why, but Rhody didn’t exactly play like a team down by three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. The Rams ran more running plays (14) than passing plays (11) in their final three drives, despite averaging just 2.9 yards per carry on the 14 rushes. It wasn’t exactly the type of play-calling fans would expect to see from a team trying to climb out of a 20-0 hole.
We should note that the weather was very poor; it rained hard for most of the game (especially in the second half) and the field was certainly slippery. That said, we’re not sure sloppy conditions justify not putting the pedal to the metal and going for the W.
When it was all said and done, the Rams put up just 215 total yards on 65 plays, an average of just 3.3 yards per play. That will not win many football games. We’ll have much more on this one tomorrow, but suffice it to say that Rhody certainly has some adjustments to make (particularly on offense) before next week’s home game against Central Connecticut State.