Spi­ders

Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend - - Col­lege Foot­ball -

wasn’t happy about was my ac­cu­racy and my bal­ance in the pocket,” said Lauletta, who was rarely pres­sured. “I think I was more bal­anced to­day and I think a lot more ex­tra yards came be­cause the ball was on the money.”

UR (2-1), ranked No. 8 in the STATS FCS poll, led 48-7 at in­ter­mis­sion. Lauletta threw touch­down passes of 6 yards, 14 yards, 3 yards, 70 yards, 6 yards and 34 yards be­fore he was re­placed by red­shirt fresh­man Joe Man­cuso. That sub pat­tern sug­gests UR in­tends to red­shirt Kevin John­son, a ju­nior who led the Spi­ders to the 2016 FCS quar­ter­fi­nals af­ter Lauletta tore his right ACL in the reg­u­lar-sea­son fi­nale.

Rich­mond scored 34 points in the sec­ond quar­ter.

The Spi­ders lim­ited the Bi­son (1-2) on first and sec­ond downs, caus­ing chal­leng­ing down-and­dis­tance sit­u­a­tions for the vis­i­tors from the Mid-Eastern Ath­letic Con­fer­ence. Howard was one of eight on third-down op­por­tu­ni­ties dur­ing the first half. UR was five for five.

The sec­ond in­ter­cep­tion by ju­nior line­backer Dale Matthews set up Rich­mond at Howard’s 3, and a quick touch­down made the score 34-0 with 8:44 left in the sec­ond quar­ter. UR was up 48-0 when Howard scored with nine sec­onds left in the first half.

“It’s just a credit to the coaches putting us in those sit­u­a­tions in prac­tice,” Matthews said of UR’s de­fense.

This was the first home game for Russ Hues­man, hired as Rich­mond’s coach in De­cem­ber, and the re­turn to UR of firstyear Howard coach Mike Lon­don. Lon­don played de­fen­sive back for the Spi­ders 1979-82 and, as a coach, led them to the 2008 FCS cham­pi­onship.

Howard opened the sea­son with a 43-40 win at FBS mem­ber UNLV, and Hues­man said the re­sult in­spired this two-word re­ac­tion from him: “Oh, no.” Then the Bi­son played another FBS team on the road, Kent State, and lost 38-31. In Howard’s third con­sec­u­tive road game, it wasn’t sharp.

“It’s been chal­leng­ing, but at the same time, you’ve got to play who you’re play­ing, and we played a re­ally, re­ally good foot­ball team to­day,” said Lon­don. “They dom­i­nated a lot of ar­eas. But we are road tested now, we’re road war­riors.”

Rich­mond’s front seven con­trolled Howard’s run­ning game and forced fresh­man quar­ter­back Caylin New­ton, the brother of Carolina Pan­thers quar­ter­back Cam New­ton, to fre­quently pass on third-and-long. Lon­don re­placed New­ton af­ter he com­pleted two of 11 passes for 74 yards, with two in­ter­cep­tions. New­ton re­turned a few se­ries later.

Rich­mond was try­ing to im­prove a run­ning game that had been unin­spir­ing, and rushed for 332 yards.

“I’ll give our backs a lot of credit. They made some great cuts, made some peo­ple miss, and they ran through some arm tack­les,” said Hues­man. “And that’s why you get 322 yards rush­ing in a game.”

Notes: Howard’s visit com­pletes Rich­mond’s non-CAA sched­ule. UR opens league com­pe­ti­tion Satur­day at 6 p.m. vs. Elon at Robins Sta­dium.

The Spi­ders next sea­son play Vir­ginia, Fordham and St. Fran­cis in non­con­fer­ence games. … The ca­pac­ity of Robins Sta­dium is 8,217, rather than the 8,700 from past years, be­cause of the in­stal­la­tion of hospi­tal­ity tents in the end zones, where tem­po­rary bleach­ers stood dur­ing foot­ball sea­sons.

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