Three takeaways from RMU football’s last-second win versus Hampton

Ricardo+Watson+celebrates+RMUs+victory+over+Hampton.+Photo+credit%3A+Ethan+Morrison

Ricardo Watson celebrates RMU’s victory over Hampton. Photo credit: Ethan Morrison

By Michael Deemer, Contributor

MOON TOWNSHIP– After two straight losses on the road, RMU football returned home to face Hampton. The Colonials rebounded and stayed undefeated at home with a high-scoring 38-35 win.

Balanced Offense

The Colonials have struggled on offense to stay balanced in the run game and pass game. George Martin said postgame that “It makes everything easier. The past couple of games we were behind and when you’re behind and you have to throw to catch up, it’s a lot harder of a game. It’s a lot harder to come back from.”

That is exactly what happened as Alijah Jackson easily had one of his best games of the season with a season-high 127 yards from scrimmage and his first rushing touchdown of the season. If this trend continues, the Colonial offense will flow much easier.

Confident Colonials

Head coach Bernard Clark wanted to “mix it up a little bit” since it’s been a while since a trick play has been called. D’Andre Hicks found freshman Jaylon Brown for 46 yards on the opening series. To call a play like that, especially early in the game like that speaks volumes as to the team, despite a 3-4 record are still having fun, have the chemistry and the confidence to call it and execute it.

George Martin spoke about the team’s confidence, especially during the crucial game-winning drive. “The last drive was probably our most confident drive as the entire offense. When you play with [some of] these guys for four years, you get the feeling that they’re locked in. If you were that locked in, and you know the assignment, we’re going to push the ball down the field.”

Record-Setting Performance On D (Not In A Good Way)

This can go for both teams as 73 points were put on the board, but there was another number on the scoreboard that I’ll talk about. Hampton’s Jett Duffey had all of the Pirates scoring with five rushing touchdowns on the day, a new Big South and Hampton record. Unlike the offense firing on all cylinders, the defense was never on the right page.

“Their coach called the right plays. Our guy that was supposed to be on the quarterback wasn’t, so that’s what will happen to you.” Clark said postgame. The Colonials, if they want to be successful, need to be on the right page and have better communication, especially when a quarterback is elusive like Duffey.

Duffey has not been the only dual-threat quarterback the Colonials have faced this year. Charleston Southern’s Jack Chambers torched the Robert Morris defense with his arm and legs with 334 yards in the air and over 80 on the ground. Both games ended becoming wins, but sooner or later, it may bite them in the butt with no way of stopping them.

It wasn’t pretty, but at least it ended up being a victory. Joe Walton Stadium seems to be ‘home sweet home’ as they improve to 3-0 at home and winners of their last seven at the field dating back to 2019. That streak can continue as they face Kennesaw State Saturday at noon.