After a disappointing finish to last week’s game, Robert Morris knew it had something to prove this week. Traveling on the road, the Youngstown State Penguins had a lot to prove as well following a tough loss against Pitt last week.
A rainy game resulted in a lot of inaccurate passes and drops by both teams. Ultimately Youngstown State was able to adjust and endure the weather finding their first win on this early season. Robert Morris couldn’t find any offensive rhythm and would lose in overtime, 21-14.
Robert Morris yet again impressed with their defensive performance. Granted the weather conditions were not ideal, the Colonials were able to contain the running game of the Penguins in addition to pressuring the quarterback. Unfortunately, this would not last.
Mike Stojkovic, the heart and soul of the Colonials defense, showed up hungry tonight as he made 11 tackles, 2 being tackles for a loss. Defensive backs on the Robert Morris defense also kept their hands up deflecting keeping the ball away from the grip of the Penguins’ receivers.
Matt Barr was given few opportunities to throw the game today in completing only two passes out of 11 attempts. Weather may well have played a factor in play calling, regardless Barr, when getting the chance, was well off target and struggled the entire night.
Ram Owens was the only offensive player that seemed to show up as he ran for 152 yards on 33 attempts and two touchdowns. Averaging 4.6 yards per carry, Owens had a lot of help from his linemen in opening up gaps to run through.
Hunter Wells, the Youngstown State quarterback, and his receivers had a tough day early, but began to throw in sync with his receivers later as the game progressed. Wells would end up finishing with 11 completions, 107 yards and two passing touchdowns.
Robert Morris busted out of the gates forcing a fumble on the Penguins’ first drive of the game. The ensuing play, a run by Owens right up the middle, gutted the interior Youngstown State. The running back drove right through and ran for 41 yards giving the Colonials an early 7-0 lead.
Robert Morris went no where for the rest of the half accumulating only 65 yards at the half. The team did a good job in keeping a handle on the ball when in their possession, but struggled to score anymore points, going into the halftime with a lead, 7-0.
Youngstown State came out in the second half showing more offensive power. Their first possession of the second half began on RMU’s 41 yard line. Youngstown State would end up driving the ball all 41 yards with running back Martin Ruiz capping it off with a one yard touchdown to tie the Colonials, 7-7.
The Robert Morris offense wouldn’t be silenced as it would respond with a 77-yard drive that was carried by Owens and the rest of the running corps, putting RMU on top, 14-7. It was the next Penguin drive that would bring the home team right back in the game.
Youngstown State matched the Colonials and would go 75 yards on the following drive. Leaning heavily on the running game and found themselves on the RMU 1 yard line. Wells found his receiver wide open in the end zone and tie the game late.
After both teams failed to produce anymore points, the game would eventually head into overtime. Youngstown State would only need one possession to put the final nail in the coffin. The Colonials would lose the game on a fourth and three play that resulted in a sack just seconds after the snap.
Robert Morris needs to regain its confidence as they will face Notre Dame of Ohio next week. The game will be played at home in Moon Township at 3:00p.m. and will hope to win their first game of the year.
Photo Credit: RMU Sentry