Richmond was down for the last few seasons after the graduation of Kyle Lauletta. But if the spring is any indication, with a strong defense and capable quarterback, the Spiders should contend for a playoff berth all season.
While they lost to their only tough competition in the spring, they should in other games that they can easily out pace those behind them in the standings.
The key this fall will be to find balance and consistency on offense. The defense, poised to possible be the best in the CAA, will keep Richmond in every game. The Spiders had 28 tackles for loss and 12 sacks in four spring games -they wont get blown out by anyone. Joe Mancuso and Aaron Dykes look like the leaders of the offense -can they take the next step?
DL Kobie Turner has been named to the initial Buck Buchanan Watch list. And for good reason. In 2019, Turner had 14.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks by himself and added another 6TLF and 3.5 sacks in the spring. Turner gets in the backfield fast.
LB Tristan Wheeler was also named to the initial Buck Buchanan Watch list. He led the Spiders in tackles in 2019 and again in the spring. Along when Tyler Dressler, Richmond may have the best linebacking duo not only in the CAA, but in the entire FCS.
QB Joe Mancuso is a dual threat quarterback. He led the team in rushing in 2019 but his TD to INT ratio was poor. He must improve his accuracy and efficiency. If he does, the Spiders will be well positioned to return to the playoffs.
Key Game: September 18 at VIllanova
Worst Case: They win only the games you would expect and lose the rest of their extremely challenging schedule, and finish 5-6.
Best Case: The offense clicks and they win a couple of toss up games against the upper echelon of the CAA and make the playoffs.
Jamie is a proud 2002 graduate of James Madison University. He’s witnessed the growth of the program from no one in the stands in 1998, to the hiring of Mickey Matthews, to the 2004 National Championship, to the 2008 team, to the struggles in the early 2010s, and finally the rebuild under Mike Houston. He also allegedly really enjoys Washington, DC-based Stanley Cup winners.
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