1) Albany 2.0? - Stony Brook is strikingly similar to Albany. Both teams are from New York, albeit different parts of the state. Both teams are new to the CAA and have struggled in their inaugural seasons. And both teams had a great deal of success in their previous conferences. Prior to joining the CAA, the Seawolves played in the Big South, where they won at least a share of the previous four conference championships. Their transition to the CAA, however, has not been so smooth, with their only conference victory coming over Rhode Island in the first game of the season. Richmond will hope that the outcome of the game is similar to the Albany game, but Richmond's road record this season suggests that may not be the case.
2) Weak on the Road - Head coach Danny Rocco used the term "Road Warriors" earlier in the season to describe one of the team's themes during a two-game road trip. So far this year, the Spiders have not lived up to this saying, losing their four road games. All four losses, however, have been one-possession games. In the four losses, Richmond has been outscored by a total of 13 points. Historically, Rocco has done well on the road in November, going 18-4 as a head coach and 4-0 at Richmond in such games. Something has to give this week; will it be Richmond's performance on the road this season, or will it be Rocco's ability to guide his teams to late-season wins on the road?
Keys to a Richmond victory:
1) Prevent Big Plays - Stony Brook ranks toward the bottom of nearly every offensive category in the conference, including points per game, where it is second-to-last with 18.6 points per game. I am confident the Spiders' defense will be able to control Stony Brook's offense, but there is always the threat of big plays, which have plagued the Spiders at different points this season. If the Spiders force Stony Brook to score by putting together long drives, I am confident the defense will not surrender many points to the Seawolves.
2) Take Advantage of Scoring Opportunities - Brandon Jordi has played exceptionally this season, but he has seen too much action. Jordi leads the conference in field goal attempts with 19, which is five more attempts than second place. This speaks to Richmond's inability to score touchdowns when it is deep in its opponent's territories. The Spiders should be able to win going away this Saturday if they can take advantage of these opportunities. Based on Richmond's performance so far, that is a gigantic if.
Final Score - 23-7 Richmond - The offense will pick up a good amount of yards, but stall several times in Stony Brook territory. The defense won't surrender much as it will lead the Spiders to a pretty comfortable victory.
Contact staff writer Jack Nicholson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow him on twitter at @URJackNicholson
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