The Collegian
Sunday, February 25, 2024

Spiders headed to FCS playoffs after six year absence

<p>Redshirt junior running back Savon Smith confronts defender at the homecoming game against New Hampshire on Nov. 5.</p>

Redshirt junior running back Savon Smith confronts defender at the homecoming game against New Hampshire on Nov. 5.

The University of Richmond football team will return to the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs for the first time since 2016.

Despite losing the CAA championship against the College of William & Mary on Nov. 19 — which would have given the team an automatic playoff bid — UR was selected as a non-seeded team alongside 23 other schools to compete in the tournament. 

“We know we wanted to win a CAA Championship, but we gotta get over that one quickly,” UR head coach Russ Huesman said in a press conference after the game against William & Mary on Nov. 19. 

UR’s last trip to the playoffs was six seasons ago, where the team defeated North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in the first round and the University of North Dakota in the second round to advance to the quarterfinals, where the Spiders ultimately lost to Eastern Washington University

This will be Huesman’s first trip to the playoffs with the Spiders during his tenure as head coach. 

As defensive coordinator for the Spiders from 2004-2008, Huesman won a national championship with the team in 2008, but since returning as head coach in 2017, the Spiders have not competed in the playoffs until now. 

The Spiders ended the season with an 8-3 overall record and a 6-2 record in conference play. The team’s season started with a loss away against a power-five conference team at the University of Virginia, but after that, UR found its way in the win column with three straight wins against Saint Francis University, Lehigh University and Stony Brook University. 

After that, the Spiders lost in double overtime away against Elon University, but the Spiders would go on another winning streak — this time for five games — leading up to the season finale loss against William & Mary. 

The Spiders will face the Wildcats of Davidson College in the first round of the playoffs at 2 p.m. on Nov. 26 at Robins Stadium. 

Contact sports writer Jimmy James at

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