Sciulli’s Shock Picks: RMU vs. Bryant

Michael Sciulli, Assisstant Sports Manager/Columnist

It is Saturday once again, and that means that the Robert Morris University football team (1-2) will be back in action. Last week, my predictions fared much better than the Colonials. My predictions about Ben Dinucci might not have been great, but I was correct in saying that Terence Stephens would grab his first touchdown of the year and that Caleb Lewis would see the field. However, the prediction that was the worst was about the score. I said James Madison (2-1) would win 42-14, and I was wrong. I do not think that anyone would have predicted a 73-7 loss. All I have to say about the JMU game is, wow.

One good thing for the Colonials is that it is a new week and therefore a new opponent. Across the field from RMU, this week will be the Bryant Bulldogs (2-1). This will be the Colonials first Northeast Conference matchup of the season, and I am excited. This is what we have all been waiting for. To me, this is the first real test of the Bernard Clark era. I could care less about the nonconference games. If RMU wants to return to the glory days that Joe Walton brought to campus, it starts with the NEC.

So here we go, new week, new predictions, Sciulli’s shock picks begin now:

The score

So I am going to start by formally apologize for building any anticipation for this game in the previous paragraph. I do not think that this game is going to go well for the Colonials. For starters, the last time the Colonials won a game on the road was Oct. 9, 2015, when the Colonials knocked off Wagner in a game that ended 9-6.

Now into the nitty gritty, the Bulldogs offense is good, in fact, entering this contest they are the best offense in the NEC. Bryant’s offense is first in the conference in points per game (33), average yards per game (442.7), passing yards per game (298.0) and passing touchdowns (9). Trying to stop them is statistically the worst defense in the conference. RMU currently ranks last in points allowed per game (47.0), average yards allowed per game (525.3), touchdowns allowed (18), rushing yards allowed (922), rushing yards allowed per game (307.3) and rushing touchdowns (12).

One may counter this by pointing out the fact that Bryant’s defense is not that great. Well, do you know what else has been not that great? The RMU offense.

There are way too many negative factors heading into this game for the Colonials, and once again I am going to stick with the prediction that I made on the “Bobby Mo Football Show,” Bryant wins this one by the score of 56-21.

Player Prediction (RMU): Last week I used my player prediction for the Colonials on running back Terence Stephens. This week I am going to pick tight end Matthew Gonzalez to have a big game. Last week, Gonzalez and the entirety of the RMU passing game was abysmal. Gonzalez had just one catch for 11 yards. However, in the weeks prior to the JMU game, Gonzalez was on fire. He was one of the best tight ends in the nation in terms of yardage through the first two weeks. The Bryant defense, especially their pass defense, is not that great. They have allowed the second most passing yards per game in the conference (242). I think with the Bulldogs poor passing defense “Gonzo” can go off. My prediction, six receptions 120 yards one touchdown.

Player prediction (Bryant)

It’s very easy to pick Bryant’s quarterback Price Wilson as my player to watch, but while Wilson is arguably the best quarterback in the conference and the stats are there to back him up, I am going to choose one of his favorite targets as my player prediction this week. Jean Constant is leading the Bulldogs in nearly every receiving category, and I think that he could be in for a big week against the Colonials. Constant has 18 catches for 216 yards and five touchdowns so far this season, and I think that those numbers could go up this Saturday.

My Prediction: Constant is going to have a good afternoon against the Colonials defense for his stat line. For a more specific pick, let’s go with seven receptions for 140 yards and two touchdowns.

Sciulli’s most shocking pick

So far this season, ball security has been an issue for the Colonials, as evident by their seven interceptions on the season. The Bryant defense has also done a decent job at taking the ball away this season as they have four interceptions and a fumble recovery. However, I have a feeling in my gut that the Colonials are going to play a clean game. I am going to predict that for the first time this season, RMU will not turn the ball over.