The Collegian
Tuesday, May 24, 2022

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​No. 8 Spiders look to extend winning streak

The Richmond Spiders will head to Maine this weekend to try to win their sixth straight game and continue to push toward a conference championship. 

Richmond will take on the 3-5 Black Bears in what could potentially be a trap game for the Spiders. This game falls one week after an emotional win against Villanova, and one week before a rivalry game against James Madison.

Following the win against Villanova, quarterback Michael Rocco said he was not worried about the team’s ability to refocus, because the team was mature and would “do what we need to do.”

The Black Bears have won only three games this season, and there is no reason Richmond should lose this game. Nevertheless, the Spiders must travel to Orono, Maine, where the temperature is projected to be in the mid-30s at kickoff on Saturday. The Spiders have not faced conditions that frigid so far this season.

On paper, Richmond is far more impressive than Maine. Over the past three games, even without star quarterback Michael Strauss, the Spiders have earned about 400 yards per game of total offense. The defense has been especially dominant over that stretch, holding opponents to an average of about 215 yards of offense per game.

There are more factors that work in Maine’s favor, though. The Spiders have been consistently bad at capitalizing on scoring opportunities recently, and their failure to earn any points despite being on the 1-yard line last week is an example of that.

Another continuing issue for the Spiders has been committing turnovers. Rocco has thrown seven interceptions this season in about four games. The Spiders have the second-worst turnover margin in the conference, forcing eight fewer turnovers.

The context of this game may be the biggest factor working against the Spiders. Maine is coming off of a bye week, so it has been preparing for Richmond for two weeks now. The Spiders, on the other hand, face multiple potential distractions, as this game is sandwiched between two tough conference matchups and Strauss returned to practice this week.

Despite the disadvantages Richmond faces this weekend, the team should still be able to control the game and earn its eighth win of the season. The Spiders have simply been too resilient to expect anything but a victory, especially against the 3-5 Black Bears.

The game will kick off at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Alfond Stadium in Orono, Maine. 

Contact sports editor Charlie Broaddus at charlie.broaddus@richmond.edu

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