It was Senior Day today at Meade Stadium, as the Rhode Island Rams honored 17 departing football players in the final home game of their careers. But other than that, not much else was memorable about today’s contest between the Rams and Villanova Wildcats. ‘Nova teed off on Rhody in the first half before calling off the dogs as they coasted to a 45-0 win in Kingston. The victory moved the Wildcats to 5-5 on the season and 4-3 in the CAA, while URI is now guaranteed a losing record in the conference. The Rams fell to 3-8 (2-5) with just one game remaining in what is shaping up to be a pretty tough season.
Villanova and their star quarterback John Robertson came out of the locker room firing and never looked back. After the Rams were forced to punt on the first drive of the game, the Wildcats marched the ball down the field, finishing things off with a 5-yard TD run from Robertson. The sophomore QB was just getting starting though, as he racked up four rushing touchdowns in the first half. And to say ‘Nova moved the ball at will would be an understatement. Check out their five first half touchdown drives: 5 plays 82 yards (2:03), 4 plays 61 yards (1:40), 6 plays 22 yards (2:20), 9 plays 90 yards (4:48), and 8 plays, 77 yards (3:32). It was a surgical dissection of URI’s defense as it felt like the Rams never really had a chance today.
A quick touchdown in the third quarter prompted Villanova head coach Andy Talley to insert his backups… and Rhody still couldn’t find the end zone against them. The Rams managed a paltry 88 yards of total offense on the afternoon, but still ran 47 plays from scrimmage. For you non-math majors out there, that’s less than two yards gained per play. 59 yard passing plus 35 yards rushing equaled the worst offensive performance of the season for Joe Trainer’s squad.
By contrast, the Wildcats posted 517 total yards, 338 of them coming on the ground. Robertson was the main culprit as he coupled 133 rushing yards with his four TDs. ‘Nova attempted only 11 passes on the day; they didn’t need to throw considering they were running the ball at will all afternoon.
The Rams have certainly had exciting moments this season, but these last two games seem to indicate that they’re moving in the wrong direction. They’ll have one more shot to bounce back next week when they take on Maine in their final game of the season. We’ll have a little bit more on this one coming up tomorrow before we start thinking about that one.