No. 18 Richmond will travel to No. 6 William & Mary Saturday in need of a win to make its fourth-straight playoff appearance.
William & Mary leads the all-time series 59-55-5, but Richmond has won the last five matchups.
"For this season, I can say this is the biggest rivalry we are going to have," senior linebacker Eric McBride said. "We want to win more than ever."
McBride was named the league's defensive player of the week for the second time this season after making 13 tackles, a forced and recovered fumble on the same play, and an interception against the University of Rhode Island.
Head coach Latrell Scott said he was looking forward to the game in front of a sold out crowd at Zable Stadium.
"They are similar schools academically, athletically, and in what we are both able to do, " he said. "We are proud to be able to play them and have been successful against them in the past."
A Richmond win would make this senior class the winningest class in school history, with 42 wins, exceeding the 41 wins by last year's seniors.
McBride said this was not going to be his last week as a Richmond Spider.
"I have been telling the guys all week, train like you want to win this game more than ever," he said.
The rivalry between Richmond and William & Mary is oldest in the South and the fourth oldest in college football behind Lehigh v. Lafayette, Yale v. Princeton, and Yale v. Harvard.
William & Mary head coach Jimmye Laycock, 62, is coaching his 31st year at William & Mary. Scott, 35, said he was not intimidated by Laycock, but admired him for his success at W&M.
"My job is to go out there and try to beat his team," he said.
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Junior wide receiver Donte Boston said Richmond's offensive line had come a long way since the beginning of the season and was almost back to full strength. The Tribe also had a solid defense that they will execute a good game plan against, he said.
Last week, Boston sprinted for a career-long 77-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to give Richmond a 9-6 lead in its win against Rhode Island.
"It was great to prove to the team that I can step up when they need me," Boston said.
William & Mary is a team with continuity that does not change much over the years, and has only allowed 10 turnovers on the season, Scott said.
Richmond and William & Mary are the league's two least penalized teams and among the FCS leaders.
Before last year's game, both teams announced that the winner would take home the inaugural Capital Cup trophy, which replaced the old I-64 trophy. The Cup shows the historical significance of Williamsburg and Richmond as the last two capitals of Virginia.
The new Capital Cup has all 119 games so far inscribed. Richmond quarterback Eric Ward was selected as the inaugural Capital Cup MVP.
In the Spiders' last meeting with William & Mary, senior Andrew Howard completed a 48-yard field goal as time expired to bring No. 4 Richmond past No. 5 William & Mary, 13-10.
Contact reporter Amanda Sullivan at email@example.com
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