#28 Richmond FCS Football 2022 Preview

Richmond Spiders
Overall Rank: #28
#4 CAA
 Richmond Logo
Richmond had a pretty good 2021 season, but they certainly will have some momentum heading into 2022. After a 2-5 start, the Spiders reeled off four wins in a row to finish off the year with a respectable 6-5 record. Those four wins came against some good CAA foes and Coach Russ Huesman and company will hope to continue that momentum into 2022.
2021 Record: 6-5, 4-4
2021 Postseason: None
Coach: Russ Huesman (24-25 at Richmond, 24-25 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Billy Cosh
Defensive Coordinator: Justin Wood
Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Aaron Dykes, RB, 516 yards
Passing: Beau English, QB, 355 yards
Receiving: Leroy Henley, WR, 459 yards
Tackles: Tristan Wheeler, LB, 114   
Sacks: Aidan Murray, DL, 5.0
Interceptions: Tristan Wheeler, LB, 2
Other Key Returnees: RB Savon Smith, WR Jasiah Williams, TE Connor Deveney, DB Aamir Hall, DB Aaron Banks, LB Philip O’Connor, DL Aidan Murray, DB Angelo Rankin, LB Xavier Marshall
Key Losses: QB Joe Mancuso, OL Clayton McConnell, OL Tim Coleman, DL Darius Reynolds, LB Tyler Dressler, DL Kobie Turner, DB A.J. Smith
Quarterback Joe Mancuso will need to be replaced after throwing for 1,677 yards and 14 touchdowns last season. Beau English was his backup last season and threw for 355 yards in limited action. Reece Udinski though has more experience. He started 27 games with VMI dating back to 2017. He spent last season at Maryland. Udinski put up some big numbers during his time at VMI and could provide Richmond with a new dynamic to their offense. The ground game did a lot of the work last season though and Aaron Dykes and Savon Smith can certainly do that again.
It was the offense that really turned it on late last season, but the defense was pretty solid and steady across the entire 2021 campaign. A stout and experienced defensive line along with linebacker Tristan Wheeler spearhead a very good pass rush. The secondary is now a pretty experienced unit and they should be more efficient this season. It would help though if they could be more effective creating turnovers. The Spiders had a terrible turnover margin and that needs to change if this group is going to take a step forward and reach the playoffs.
The Bottom Line:
Since Coach Huesman took over the program in 2017, Richmond has been a mid-level team in the CAA. They seemingly are always a win or two away from a solid season with a trip to the playoffs. If a couple things can go their way in 2022, the Spiders could be one of the best teams in the CAA and put an end to their playoff drought. Unfortunately, it is perhaps more likely that they get agonizingly close and miss out for another year.
Projected Postseason:  None
2021 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 145.3 (60th in nation, 5th in conference)
Passing Offense: 192.0 (76, 7)
Total Offense: 337.3 (84, 8)
Scoring Offense: 24.0 (78, 6)
Rushing Defense: 114.3 (20, 4)
Pass Defense: 217.5 (58, 8)
Total Defense: 331.7 (26, 4)
Scoring Defense: 20.0 (21, 3)
Turnover Margin: -0.45 (96, 11)
Sacks: 2.82 (16, 2)
Sacks Allowed: 2.00 (56, 4)