RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The No. 19/20 Richmond football team shut out the Rhode Island Rams, 37-0, in CAA action Saturday afternoon in front of a crowd of 7,837 at Robins Stadium on Homecoming Weekend.
With the win, Richmond improved to 5-2 on the season and 2-1 in the CAA, while Rhode Island fell to 0-7 overall and 0-3 in the league.
The Spider defense forced six turnovers – the first since Nov. 13, 2010 when the Spiders defeated the Rams, 15-6. Five of the six turnovers were interceptions from four different Spiders, which included LB Aaron Roane, DBDeShawn Holmes, LB Eric Wright, and DB David Jones, who had two. DL Justin Williamson and DL Evan Kelly led the defense in tackles with five apiece.
Offensively, Richmond outgained the Rams, 403-255, in total yards and held the URI to just 2-of-13 third down conversions. QB Michael Rocco led the Spiders in the win and threw for 162 yards off 17-of-31 passes with one touchdown. WR Reggie Diggs led the receiving corps with 78 yards off six catches and a touchdown, while RB Jacobi picked up 91 yards, including a long of 55, off nine rushes and a touchdown.
Richmond got right to business defensively when DL Winston Craig blocked a 24-yard field goal attempt on Rhode Island's first possession of the game that led to seven points for the Spiders.
On fourth-and-five, Richmond found the end zone on its second possession of the game with the help of Diggs, as he caught a 38-yard TD pass from Rocco. Richmond went up 7-0 off a seven-play, 80-yard touchdown drive that lasted 2:45.
After the Spiders forced four Ram turnovers, Richmond capped off the first half with a nine-yard rush from Green with six minutes on the clock. The Spiders ended a five-play, 44-yard scoring drive to go into halftime with the 23-0 lead.
At the half, the Spiders outgained the Rams, 231-115, in total yards, including 154-22 in passing yardage. Richmond recorded 13 first downs to Rhode Island's three and picked up nine points off the Spiders' four turnovers.
The Spiders picked up right where they left off as Jones came up with his first pick-six of his career 1:15 into the second half to put Richmond up 30-0. Jones' interception was counted for a 34-yard touchdown rush.
Stopping a Ram offensive threat – their first since the blocked FG in the first quarter – Jones picked up his second interception of the day four minutes left in third quarter to keep Rhode Island scoreless. Jones stopped a seven-play, 42-yard Ram drive.
With 12:49 to go, true-freshman WR Jarmal Bevels recorded his first-career touchdown when WR Porter Abell found him for 34-yards on a wildcat play that capped off the 37-0 scoring threat for the Spiders.
The Spiders are back in action next Saturday, Oct. 25 when they travel to Elon, N.C., to take on the Phoenix at 3 p.m.