WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — For the first time since 2006, there won't be any playoff football in Richmond this year.
Needing a win against the College of William & Mary to keep its playoff chances alive, the University of Richmond instead lost, 41-3, Saturday evening in Williamsburg, Va.
"Well obviously it didn't turn out the way we expected it to," Richmond coach Latrell Scott said. "You have to credit [William & Mary] Coach [Jimmye] Laycock and his staff and his kids for playing a great football game. They out-executed us and they made more plays than we did today."
Outside of its second drive of the game that went 77 yards on 13 plays and resulted in a 22-yard field goal by Wil Kamin, the Richmond offense struggled to string together a drive. William & Mary's strong defense held the Spiders to 263 total yards (87 of which came in the fourth when both sides used substitutes), well below the 278 yards Richmond averaged heading into the game.
The Spiders were done in by a bad second quarter in which the Tribe scored two touchdowns to take a 21-3 lead headed into halftime. During that second quarter, W&M senior quarterback Mike Callahan threw for 155 yards and one touchdown.
Any hope of a Richmond comeback was quashed when John Laub's fourth-and-goal pass from the 8-yard line intended for wide receiver Tre Gray was broken up in the middle of the endzone. Richmond trailed at the time 24-3 with 8 minutes left in the third quarter.
After Richmond jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, the Tribe responded right away. Senior tailback Courtland Marriner found a hole in the middle of the Richmond defense to rush for a five-yard touchdown to give William & Mary a 7-3 lead.
No play better showed the Tribe's control of the game than when a simple screen to tailback Jonathan Grimes on third down with William & Mary inside its own 20 went 64 yards and put William & Mary at the Richmond 18-yard line.
"We had them backed up and came with a full-out blitz," defensive tackle Martin Parker said. "We just didn't pick up the guys we needed to pick up. They got the screen off and ran it for 64 yards."
One play later, Marriner rushed 18 yards for his second touchdown of the day and put his team ahead, 14-3.
From there, the rout was on for William & Mary. It scored at least one touchdown in every quarter the rest of the game and controlled the ball for most of the rest of the game.
Callahan was named the MVP of the game as he finished 17-22 with 331 yards and two touchdowns. He should have had another touchdown but junior wide receiver Ryan Woolfolk was ruled to not have come down inbounds despite replays showing him getting both his feet in the endzone.
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Richmond's defense, which has kept the team in a number of close games this year, uncharacteristically struggled to stop the Tribe. It gave up a total of 616 yards, 285 of them rushing yards, and all four Tribe tailbacks ran for more than 50 yards, led by 78 yards for Riggins.
"We knew they were going to run the ball and our goal for this week, the one thing we that had to stop, we had to stop their rushing game," Parker said. "And they just came out and sometimes we fit our gaps and sometimes we were out of them. They gashed us."
The loss ends the careers of some great Spiders. All three captains, center Drew Lachenmayer, linebacker Eric McBride and Parker, played their last game as a Spider as well as cornerback Justin Rogers who set the Colonial Athletic Association career kickoff return yards record earlier this year.
The loss also ends Richmond's five-year winning streak against William & Mary and William & Mary was presented with the Capital Cup on the field after the game.
Richmond ends its first season Scott with a 6-5 record. Injuries hit the team hard this year, especially at quarterback where three different players started a game and a total of six players took a snap at the position.
Contact staff writer Andrew Prezioso at firstname.lastname@example.org
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