Robert Morris v Sacred Heart Football Preview

By Justin Criado, Staff Writer

The Colonials will welcome the Sacred Heart Pioneers Saturday Oct. 29 at noon as RMU looks to salvage what is left of the 2011 campaign. At 2-5, RMU is all but eliminated from defending their Northeast Conference crown.

The Pioneers enter the contest with a 4-3 record after their four game winning streak was snapped last week with 31-17 defeat at the hands of Monmouth. SHU boasts the second rated passing attack in the conference, averaging 239.3 yards per game.

The new signal caller for the Pioneers is quarterback Tim Little. In his first year behind center, Little has thrown for 1,528 yards and 10 touchdowns with just five interceptions on the season. His favorite target is senior wide out Rich Rossi who has caught five of Little’s scores on the year.

On the ground, SHU’s leading rusher is sophomore running back Greg Moore who has 393 yards rushing on 66 attempts this season. The Colonials will look to stop Moore and apply pressure in the backfield along the defensive front.

In last week’s heartbreaking 34-27 defeat to Bryant, junior defensive lineman Nolan Nearhoof had two sacks to go along with his five tackles and one tackle for loss. Safety Cameron Chadwick once again led all Colonials in tackles with 12 stops.

The Pioneers have a stingy defense of their own led by senior linebacker Chris Mandas. Mandas has 74 total tackles, which ranks second in the NEC. Teammate Justin Embler, along with Mandas, has 14 tackles for loss which tie them atop the conference standings thus far.

The Colonial offense will look to move the ball on SHU’s defense with a well-balanced attack. The offensive line looks settled in after some shuffling earlier in the year. Sophomore Vince Mongelluzzo has taken over the right guard position next to junior tackle Nate Hargraves.

Senior Jamie Cobb had a good game last week in his first action back since battling some early-season injuries. Cobb hauled in five Jeff Sinclair passes for 70 yards and one touchdown. In the backfield, sophomore Deontae Howard has carried the load, for the most part, posting solid numbers for a Colonial rushing attack that has suffered with the inconsistent play along the line.

RMU leads the all-time series 7-6 including a current two-game winning streak. Last year, RMU came from behind to capture their first victory of their championship season 35-31. At 2-5, the Colonials will look to climb their way back to .500, but it starts this weekend at Joe Walton Stadium.