The Collegian
Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Game Preview: Richmond. vs. Delaware

Although the Richmond Spiders won their first game of the season last week, they suffered a serious loss with junior wide receiver Donte Boston suffering a broken rib early during the second half.

Boston, who is expected to miss at least two to three weeks, had three catches for 57 yards against Elon before leaving with his injury. He also was suspended for the season-opener at the University of Virginia.

"It's a shame because obviously he missed the Virginia game but he was able to bounce back against Elon and make some great plays," Richmond coach Latrell Scott said.

Scott mentioned a pair of freshmen wide receivers -- Jon Thompson and Ben Edwards -- and tight ends Sam Roller and Kevin Finney as possible replacements for Boston. During practice this week, Thompson said that he has practiced more with the first team in preperation for Saturday's game against the University of Delaware.

"Trying to get used to [quarterback Aaron] Corp's throwing," Thompson said. "Trying to get out there and used to running and get conditioned with the first team and doing the plays."

Thompson, who is a redshirt freshman from Radford, Va., does have experience playing with the first team. He filled in for Boston during the Virginia game and after Boston was injured against Elon. For the year, Thompson has caught three passes for 16 yards.

Although he has not produced numbers similar to Boston, Thompson said that the two games have helped him prepare for his new role.

"UVa. was really my first big game, my first college game," Thompson said. "So it was pretty good going out there getting a lot of plays, a lot of reps. Seeing the defense against other teams instead of our own team."

Besides the effect that Boston's absence will have on the passing game, the running attack will also be impacted. When Boston was healthy, defenses had to respect three good veteran receivers in Boston, Kevin Grayson and Tre Gray.

Now defenses can play another defender close to the line of scrimmage to try and stop Richmond's stable of running backs.

"We need to step up as far as a running game," junior Garrett Wilkins said. "O-line is going to have to push hard and the running backs are going to have to find holes."

Game notes:

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• Gray, Grayson and Corp were all injured during the Elon game but they will be ready to play against Delaware.

• This is the second-consecutive top-10 match-up for Richmond. The Spiders are currently ranked fifth and the Blue Hens are seventh.

• This is the Colonial Athletic Association opener for both teams. The two schools met last year to open their CAA schedule and Richmond won in Delaware, 16-15, in a game most remembered for Grayson blocking a potential game-winning field goal with 38 seconds left in the game.

• Delaware boasts a strong offense behind Penn State transfer quarterback Pat Devlin and freshman running back Andrew Pierce.

• The Blue Hens' defense has allowed only nine points all year. In the opener, it shut out Division II West Chester before allowing only three points to then-No. 9 South Dakota State. Last week, Delaware won 30-6 against Duquesne University.

Prediction:

After a slow start to the season, Richmond has played better from the second quarter against Elon. Delaware has yet to be tested on the road against a good team and it will show Saturday. Both teams will play well but Richmond will find a way to win at home. Richmond wins it, 20-17.

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