Three takeaways from RMU football’s blowout loss at Central Michigan

Darius+Bracy+is+wrapped+up+by+RMUs+Quentin+Jackson.

Photo by Jack Reeber/CMU Athletics

Darius Bracy is wrapped up by RMU’s Quentin Jackson.

By Michael Deemer, Contributor

The Robert Morris Colonials lost a football game 45-0. Yeah, it was bad, but let’s be real, the storylines going into any FCS versus FBS program have a David and Goliath feel to it even before the opening kickoff, regardless.

It felt like everything went wrong for the Colonials adding on to everything going right for Central Michigan on Saturday. Not only were they missing their star running back, but also missing their entire tight end group. The one-sided affair between the two at Kelly/Shorts Stadium made it easy to spot the flaws for the Colonials and the advantages the Chippewas had during the afternoon.

The Colonials Missed Alijah Jackson…BAD

Coach Bernard Clark has high expectations for the senior running back, telling Colonial Sports Network, “It’s important for him to get things going.” With him not on the field Saturday, it was obvious to see that their run game fell flat, having just 96 yards all game with an average of 3.2 yards per play. Freshman Jaylon Brown had the longest play of the game for the Colonials with just a 24-yard rush, their longest play from scrimmage and the only time they crossed midfield.

There Shouldn’t be Conservative Playcalling… even against an FBS opponent

Now I’m not here to take Coach Clark’s job or anything, but it was very disappointing to see a lot of inside zone or draw run plays for no gain. I think any coach in the world can back me up on that, but playing against an FBS team down 4 or 5 scores, still going three and out I believe is a waste of a drive. Senior quarterback George Martin threw a paltry eight times the whole game for only 13 yards. It would have been nice to be more aggressive and drive up the field using his arm. You have nothing to lose (at that point). It could build confidence for him and the receiving corps for the future.

However, take my opinion with a grain of salt. I also understand the argument that Coach Clark wanted to protect the ball and limit turnovers, as Dan Gutowsky on ESPN said that they didn’t want to take risks downfield, especially with their thin roster traveling, which the Colonials did, coughing up only 1 fumble, coming in the third quarter. Clark has played in the NFL and coached at the collegiate level for years, I haven’t, so don’t take my word for it.

Jamar Shegog continues to impress

45-0 is not great, but if you go in-depth and look at the numbers, some of the individual defensive stats didn’t translate to the score that was shown in Mount Pleasant. One of the players that seemed to be everywhere on the field was redshirt-sophomore linebacker Jamar Shegog, who recorded 18 tackles, seven of them being by himself, and a sack. Before Saturday, he had 29 tackles, 13 of them solo and no sacks. Keep an eye for the rest of the year for number 53 coming off of a season where he was named to the HERO Sports FCS Freshman All-America team.

Conclusion

Now, is 45-0 good? No. Can the Colonials improve from this? Yes, absolutely. The better team won on Saturday and that’s not up for debate. The Chippewas have been bowl contenders in the last couple of years and should be up there to win the MAC East this season, so it wasn’t shocking at all.

The Colonials have a bye week this week and face Howard next Saturday, September 25, a great opportunity to put this game in the rearview mirror against a team coming off a similar performance, a 62-0 rout at the hands of Maryland. This will be the first home game in almost two years, and the first game since the father of RMU football, Joe Walton, passed away. Emotions should be high and I expect RMU to come out with a better performance and have their full team.