The Rhode Island Rams will close out their mini-two game home stand tomorrow when they take on the 5-2 (2-1) Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens. It’ll be Rhody’s third crack at putting together back-to-back wins, but they’ll have to do it against one of the better teams in the CAA. Unlike Richmond, Delaware has a high-powered offense but a not-so-good defense, so URI’s game plan will have to adjust accordingly. We predicted a win in this one, but the Fightin’ Blue Hens have been a little bit better than expected this season. Still, the Rams picked up a huge win at home last week – no one should be questioning their ability to do it again. Here’s what it will take:
1. Ramp Up the Offense
Rhody was able to win last week without the benefit of a touchdown, but that most likely won’t fly against the Fightin’ Blue Hens. Delaware has put up 28+ points in all but one of their games, including three instances of 40+. The Rams will need to put together a sustained attack on offense to not only put up points, but to keep the Blue Hens’ offense off the field.
2. Limit Delaware’s Explosiveness
URI’s defense has been strong this season, but they absolutely cannot afford a breakdown like they succumbed to against New Hampshire. An effort like last week may not limit Delaware to 12 points, but it certainly could keep the Rams within striking distance in the fourth quarter.
3. Convert Red Zone Appearances into Seven Points
Field goals will not cut it tomorrow. Delaware can put points on the board, so Rhody is going to need to take advantage of every opportunity they get to put up touchdowns. The Fightin’ Blue Hens defense has been allowing the opposition to score, so URI can’t afford to slack on offense tomorrow afternoon.
4. Make a Big Special Teams Play
This has been a key component to Rhode Island wins this season, and tomorrow will be no different. A blocked field goal, punt, or a big kick return can sway momentum in Rhody’s direction. The special teams play has been exceptional this season – let’s hope it continues.
5. Keep the Home Crowd Rowdy
Following last week’s win, the Rams are now 2-1 at Meade Stadium on the season. In addition, the home crowds have been not only full, but behind their team 100%. If URI can get the 12th on board them once again, it can hopefully rattle the opposition.
So what do you think – can Rhody pull it off and move to .500 (3-3) in the CAA on the year? Let us know in the comments!