#17 Richmond FCS Football 2013 Preview

George Hammond

Richmond Spiders

Overall Rank: #17
#4 CAA

Richmond Team Page#17 Richmond FCS Football 2013 PreviewBuy Richmond Football Tickets

It took Danny Rocco just one season to turn around Richmond’s fortunes as the Spiders earned a share of the Colonial Athletic Association crown. The five-win turnaround is the second-best in the history of the program. Despite the success, however, last season ended in disappointment when the Spiders failed to receive a bid to the FCS playoffs. Richmond became the first CAA team since 1996 to go 8-3 (6-2 in the league) and not make the playoffs. It is using that snub as motivation this year.

2012 Record: (8-3, 6-2)
2012 Postseason: None
Coach: Danny Rocco (8-3 at Richmond, 55-23 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Brandon Streeter
Defensive Coordinator: Bob Trott

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Jacobi Green, RB, 174 yards
Passing: Michael Strauss, QB, 1,169 yards
Receiving: Ben Edwards, WR, 852 yards
Tackles: Eric Wright, LB, 78
Sacks: Kerry Wynn, DL, 4.5
Interceptions: Wayne Pettus, DB, 3; Reggie Barnette, DB, 3

Other Key Returnees: WR Stephen Barnette, DL Evan Kelly, DL Jacob Pierce, DB Justin Grant, TE Sam Roller, OL Jacob Ruby, OL Sedale Young, OL Austin Gund, OL Mark Spier, OL Nick Ritcher.

Key Losses: RB Kendall Gaskins, QB John Laub, TE Kevin Finney, DB Cooper Taylor, LB Darius McMillan, DB Darryl Hamilton, P Nick Hicks, K Remington Hinshaw.

Start with wide receiver. The Spiders are loaded as Ben Edwards, who caught 80 passes last year, second-best in school history, and Stephen Barnette with 56 receptions are back. And quarterback Michael Strauss, who took over last year when John Laub broke his ankle, now has game experience, too, as he started the final four games. The offensive line yielded just five sacks last year and all starters return. On defense, the front line should be solid.

The Spiders are inexperienced at running back as Kendall Gaskins is gone as are the second and third leading rushers from 2012. Plus, one potential running back, T.J. Moon, suffered a leg injury in the spring game. Also a concern is the kicking position as last year’s starter, Remington Hinshaw, transferred to Virginia Tech.

The Bottom Line:
Richmond was picked fourth in the CAA preseason poll, and that seems about right. If the Spiders can find a running back and prove to be as opportunistic as last year, their 24 interceptions was tops in nation, they can be in the title chase. Plus, the schedule is favorable. Richmond doesn’t meet Villanova or New Hampshire, two teams chosen to finish ahead of them in the polls, and Towson is sandwiched between Rhode Island and Albany.  Look for the Spiders to make the playoffs in 2013.

Projected Postseason: FCS Playoffs

2012 Team Stats
Rushing Offense: 140.64 (71st in nation, 8th in conference)
Passing Offense: 271.18 (20, 2)
Total Offense: 411.82 (33, 5)
Scoring Offense: 33.18 (21, 3)
Rushing Defense: 149.55 (51, 4)
Pass Defense: 236.91 (84, 8)
Total Defense: 386.45 (71, 7)
Scoring Defense: 21.55 (30, 4)
Turnover Margin: 2.00 (1, 1)
Sacks: 1.36 (92, 8)
Sacks Allowed: .45 (3, 1)

Madness 2013 FCS Football Recruit Rankings:
#29 Brian Brown
#38 Charles Mack


See all College Sports Madness Top 44 FCS Football Previews