RMU Football looks to rebound in Homecoming game

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Photo by Tyler Gallo

RMU Football gets set to host Charleston Southern for Homecoming.

By Michael Deemer, Contributor

It was not the Colonials’ day last Saturday as they fell to North Carolina A&T by a score of 41-14. Head Coach Bernard Clark and his team have a date with Charleston Southern this weekend for the Homecoming game. Coach Clark spoke on how much Homecoming means to the team this weekend.

Homecoming Energy

“It’s going to be great. It’s a lot of the guys’ last Homecoming game. They’re excited about it. They asked ‘Coach, can we wear white?’ so they’re going to wear what they want to wear. They’re excited about the game, but they’ve got a good team coming, so they can’t be too excited, they’ve got to be sure to play this football game. They know what’s at stake.”

Clark also mentioned how the crowd is a key for the team, returning to the Joe for the second time.

“It gives us the energy we need on the field when the fans are behind us, screaming and hollering when you make a big play,” he said. “Those are the things that excite you. My guys hear those things. It’s always exciting to hear 2100 people, 2500 people here screaming for us, and behind us 100-percent.”

As for the previous weekend, the Colonials fell flat. Coach Clark described how the team played in the loss to the Aggies.

“Saturday was one of those days where you just didn’t play well offensively, defensively, or special teams. It started on special teams where we kicked the ball out of bounds. They started on the 35, a team that runs the ball that well and gets them a chance to score early.”

Ironing Out the Defense

Coach Clark and the Colonials have no easy task ahead of them, a big discrepancy on defense compared to North Carolina A&T.

“This is a different team,” he said Wednesday. “Charleston Southern is a 10 personnel team. The most dynamic player on their team is their quarterback. So we have to scale it back a little bit. We have to run to the ball and we have to be more of a sure tackling team.”

Charleston Southern also has a dual-threat quarterback in Jack Chambers. The redshirt senior has thrown for 6 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, and 286 pass yards a game. He can run the ball well too. Chambers has 157 yards on the ground, roughly an average of 58 yards a game.

“He’s the guy that runs ‘the machine’. That quarterback is an outstanding player. He makes great decisions,” Clark said. “When he doesn’t see it there, he can tuck it and run it. When he drops back. We can’t let him scramble. He does a great job of getting on the edge. His running ability to get open, and throw the ball is extremely important. Once he gets outside the pocket, then he’ll start to get dangerous because he can either throw it or run it.”

A Familiar Foe

The Buccaneers were on the schedule in the spring, one of the only three games the Colonials played in the spring of 2021. So, Charleston Southern is one of the few teams Coach Clark has been used to on the Big South schedule this fall.

“It helps. In the spring, there was a 3rd and 15. We got everyone covered, he takes off and gets 16 yards. There’s a 3rd and 12, he takes off and gets 13. So it’s a situation where we know to contain him in the pocket. We had that luxury of playing him in the spring and we know what we’re getting into.

The game will be a barnburner as the Colonials aim to go .500 on the year as they face off against the Buccaneers at 3:00 pm Saturday.