Mr. Morrison’s Classroom: Football Mid-Season Report Card


Mr. Morrison’s Classroom is a multimedia segment that seeks to break down a team’s performance throughout the season by giving letter grades to particular categories.

Ethan Morrison

*EDITOR’S NOTE: Opinions are of the writer and not Colonial Sports Network as a whole. Mr. Morrison’s Classroom is a multimedia segment that seeks to break down a team’s performance throughout the season by giving letter grades to particular categories.

As the Robert Morris football season rolls on and the calendar flips over to October, the Colonials have hit the midway point of their season and Big South Conference play is about to begin. That means it is time for another installment of Mr. Morrison’s classroom.


That said, let’s look at RMU’s report card from the first half of this season.

Pass Offense (D-)

I do not know where to start with the quarterback play so far this season. Anthony Chiccitt was named the starting quarterback for the Colonials on Sept. 2, just 24 hours before Robert Morris kicked off their 2022 season against Dayton.

I am going to be honest. The quarterback play against the Flyers was not too bad. The interception by Chiccitt was rough, but overall he played well, slinging the rock for 189 yards and a touchdown.

But the gripe I have with the quarterback play thus far has been the inconsistency at the position. RMU has had to go through four of their quarterbacks through their first four games this season. This is not a recipe for success in the grand scheme of things.

It looks like a baseball bullpen the way they are subbing the quarterbacks out of the game. You had to replace Chiccitt when he went down with the shoulder injury against Miami (OH) on Sept. 10, but to burn through Corbin LaFrance and true freshman Zach Tanner in your fourth game is absurd.

The aerial attack for the Colonials is getting this low of a grade because they have lacked consistency in that area.

Against the Redhawks, Chiccitt went 10 for 16 with 138 yards and two interceptions. When Jake Simmons came in relief, he went 8 for 13 with 41 yards and one touchdown.

When Robert Morris returned home to take on East Tennessee State, Simmons and LaFrance combined for 163 yards and two interceptions.

In the following game against Delaware State, they barely cracked the century mark in passing yards as Simmons and Tanner passed for just 121 yards while completing just 36 percent of their passes and throwing two interceptions.


Another area that has been an issue for the Colonials has been their rushing offense. The Colonials rank dead last in the NCAA in rushing offense this season, tallying just 221 yards on the ground through four games and averaging just 1.91 yards per attempt.

With fifth-year running back Alijah Jackson, you would think he would be a valuable asset. Still, the graduate student has struggled to get anything going on the ground with RMU this season, as he has rushed for just 127 yards on 52 attempts the entire season.

The rushing offense gets even more eye-opening when you look at it game by game, as they had just 30 net yards against Dayton, 40 yards against the Redhawks, 34 yards against East Tennessee, and had their best rushing game the season against Delaware State with 119 rushing yards.

With the way the offense has been playing, the rushing offense had to step up and lift some of the weight off of the quarterback’s shoulders, but they have been unable to do so over four games, struggling to get in sync with the offensive line.


The Robert Morris pass defense has been phenomenal this season, but it has been overshadowed by the lack of consistency on the offensive side of the ball. For the most part, the defense has not played that terribly, especially the pass defense.

RMU currently sits in third place in the nation in passing yards allowed, allowing just 466 yards through the air all season long while allowing just 116.5 yards per game.

In two of the teams, four contests, they have held their opponent to under 100 yards passing, holding Dayton to 86 yards through the air and Delaware State to 33 yards.

They have also forced quarterbacks to throw four interceptions on the year, so the secondary has held up quite well even after Tavin Harville graduated last season.

These numbers might be a little inflated because some of the teams that the Colonials have faced have been run-heavy. Still, overall, the secondary and middle linebackers showed a strong showing during non-conference play.


The pass defense might be strong, but that is not the same as the rush defense as they have struggled to get anything done in that area as the defensive line has struggled to stop anything this year.

In three games this season, the team has allowed 200 yards or more on the ground and given running backs ample space to make plays on the ground.

This season, the team ranks 103rd in rushing in the nation, allowing 828 yards on the ground and averaging 5.09 yards per attempt.


Casale has been the rock for the Robert Morris defense throughout the first four games of the season as he has 21 solo tackles and 5.5 tackles for a loss, along with one sack on the season.

The transfer from Albany has made his presence felt on the defensive end for the Colonials throughout the first half of the season and looks for that to continue the rest of the way.


The Big South is no joke and Robert Morris will have to step it up to make an attempt to win a conference game.

One area that they need to step up to solidify the defense further is to tighten up both lines.

In terms of the defensive line, they have struggled to stop the run and get to the quarterback on the pass rush. In 2022, they have just four sacks through four games. If they want to improve the defensive line play, they have to tighten up and improve the rush defense and get more pressure up front.

For the offensive line, if RMU wants to get anything done on the ground on the offensive side of the ball, the O-line definitely will have to 1) tighten up as the season progresses and 2) give Jackson more holes to work with on the ground.

Finally, the quarterback play needs to show some consistency. Instead of switching quarterbacks in like a baseball bullpen, they need to find some consistency in that area by sticking with one guy instead of switching healthy quarterbacks mid-game as they did against Delaware State.


With Gardner Webb quickly approaching, if the team can complete their homework assignment, they will be in much better shape as the season progresses.