Nov. 13, 2006
The Richmond Spiders and William & Mary Tribe will renew the fourth-oldest rivalry in college football, Saturday, Nov. 18, when they meet at Zable Stadium in Williamsburg, Va. The 116th meeting in the all-time series between the Spiders and Tribe is slated for a 1 p.m. kickoff.
Bob Black (play-by-play), former Richmond defensive standout Jasmonn Coleman (analyst) and Matt Smith (sideline) will handle the radio call which can be heard in the Richmond area on ESPN Radio 950 AM and worldwide at RichmondSpiders.com.
With a win this weekend, the Spiders will record back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1997-98. A victory over the Tribe will also help Richmond to a combined total of 15 wins in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1997-98.
The Tribe owns a 59-51-5 lead in the series, dubbed the oldest college football rivalry of the South, but both teams are 4-4 over the last eight meetings. In those same eight contests dating back to 1998, both teams are averaging 26 points per contest and neither has won more than two straight.
Richmond is under the direction of third-year head coach Dave Clawson, who has compiled an eight-year career record of 46-46 and a 17-17 mark in his tenure at Richmond. William & Mary's Jimmye Laycock has compiled a 27-year career mark of 178-126-2, all coming during his time with the Tribe.
-- Richmond's defense has now recorded at least one sack in 20 of its last 22 games dating back to the second game of the 2005 slate. The only games this season when the Spiders did not sack the opposing quarterback was against Bucknell, which attempted just nine passes, and at Villanova.
-- Richmond has outscored its opponents in the second and third quarters this season. The Spiders' biggest margin of victory in a single quarter is the third (62-21). Richmond's opponents have outscored the Spiders 47-43 in the first quarter and 55-45 in the fourth quarter.
-- Freshman Andrew Howard is a perfect 30-for-30 in PAT attempts this season. The true freshman placekicker has also connected on nine of 11 field goal attempts.
-- The Spider offensive line ranks third in the conference giving up just 15 sacks this season. Richmond's defense has sacked opponents 17 times this season which is eighth-best in the league.
-- Richmond's defense has only allowed two individuals to pass the 100-yard rushing mark all season. Marvin Burroughs of Villanova rushed for 124 yards on 14 carries, while Matt Dicken, also of Villanova, carried it 21 times for 120 yards. The Spiders have had four 100-yard rushing games spread through three different players this season.
-- Richmond recorded five takeaways in last week's loss to Towson, marking the most since recording three interceptions and two fumble recoveries at Maine, Sept. 17, 2005. The Spiders have forced eight turnovers in their last three games, compared to eight takeaways over their first seven games this season.
Goloboski has gone over the 100-tackle mark in each of his last two seasons, and currently has 94 tackles on the season. Gray has 79 tackles in 2006, and is in search of his second-career 100-tackle season and the first since his sophomore stint in 2004 (102 tackles).
Gray just missed his third-straight double-digit tackle performance against Towson, but has recorded a tackle-for-loss in eight of the Spiders' 10 games this season. One more stop this season will give Gray 80-or-more tackles in each of his last three seasons.
Goloboski had his string of four-straight double-digit tackle games halted at Villanova, but made 11 stops last week against Towson. The Hereford, Md., native needs 10 tackles against the Tribe to finish his career ranked among the Top-4 all-time in tackles at Richmond.
THIS IS A RIVALRY
Dubbed as the oldest rivalry in the South, and ranked as the fourth-oldest in college football, Richmond vs. William & Mary will meet for the 116th time this weekend.
The Tribe holds a lead of 59-51-5 in the all-time series, and has won 19 of the 35 meetings in Williamsburg. The Spiders won last year, 41-7, in Richmond and have won as many as eight-straight in the all-time series (1912-16 as the teams played twice in 1913, 1914 and 1915). William & Mary owns a series-long win streak of 15 games from 1939-54.
A true testament to the rivalry can be seen in the last eight meetings. Both teams are 4-4 in meetings dating back to 1998. Even more telling is the average score in those eight games -- 26-26.
Last season's 41-7 win over William & Mary marked the fourth-largest point total for the Spiders in the all-time series as Richmond tallied a 41-0 win over the Tribe in 1899.
A RICHMOND WIN WOULD...
-- Make the team 6-5 to end the season for the first time since 1997.
-- Give the Spiders two-straight winning seasons for the first time since 1997-98.
-- Mark the first time the Spiders have combined for 15 wins in back-to-back seasons since 1997-98.
-- Make the Spiders 3-2 on the road this season and 9-8 all-time on the road under Clawson.
-- Give Clawson his second-straight win over William & Mary.
-- Make Clawson 2-1 in his head coaching career against the Tribe.
-- Move Clawson to 47-46 as a head coach and 108-92-1 in his coaching career.
-- Mark the Spiders' second-straight and fifth in the last nine against William & Mary.
-- Cut the Tribes' lead in the all-time series to 59-52-5 and make William & Mary's mark 19-16-1 in games played in Williamsburg.
-- Give Richmond an all-time record of 455-594-53.
A RICHMOND LOSS WOULD...
-- Make the Spiders 5-6 to end the season for the first time since 1999.
-- Mark the first time the Spiders have lost five-straight to close out the season since 1996.
-- Mark the longest losing streak (five games) since losing five-straight in 2004.
-- Make the Spiders 2-3 on the road this season and 8-9 on the road during Clawson's tenure.
-- Move Clawson to 46-47 as a head coach and 107-93-1 in his coaching career.
-- Make Clawson 1-2 in his three all-time meetings against the Tribe.
-- Give the Tribe a 60-51-5 lead in the all-time series, and a 20-15-1 mark in games played in Williamsburg.
-- Give Richmond an all-time record of 454-595-53.
TURNOVERS LOOM LARGE
Winning the turnover battle is something Richmond head coach Dave Clawson has stressed ever since beginning his tenure as the Spiders' leader. Last season Richmond held a turnover margin of +5 which ranked fifth in the Atlantic 10.
This season, through 10 games, the Spiders have a turnover margin of -6, 12th in the conference.
In the four games Richmond has lost the turnover battle, it is 1-3.
Another number to look at is points off turnovers. Opponents have scored 56 points off Richmond's 22 turnovers, while Richmond has scored 31 points off their 16 takeaways.
The Spider offense and defense are among the Top-2 in the Atlantic 10 inside the redzone. Richmond's offense is tops in overall redzone efficiency (89.3 percent) and fourth in redzone efficiency in A-10 games (86.7 percent).
The Spiders have failed only three times this season inside the redzone, twice on missed field goals and once by kneeling on the ball at the VMI one-yardline to end the game, Sept. 16.
Of the Spiders' 241 total points scored this season, 147 of them have come on drives inside the opponents' redzone.
Richmond's defense is second in overall redzone defense (65.5 percent) and third in redzone efficiency defense in A-10 games (66.7 percent).
Since missing the New Hampshire game due to a concussion (suffered against Northeastern), junior Arman Shields has been impressive in the passing game.
The wideout has caught no fewer than four balls over the last five games, and is averaging 77.1 yards through the air in the span.
Two weeks ago at Villanova, Shields caught eight passes, a season-best for the Spiders, for 124 yards. The 100-yard receiving game was the sixth of his career and just the second for the Spiders this season (Matt Hale - 102 vs. New Hampshire).
The Washington, D.C., native currently ranks ninth on the all-time career receiving list with 1,721 in three seasons. His 138 career-receptions are sixth-best ever at Richmond.
BIG PLAYS NEEDED
The Spiders are in search of big plays. Last season Richmond scored on eight plays of 35-or-more yards. This season, with only one game remaining in the regular season, Richmond has managed just four scores of at least 35-yards in length. The most recent coming against Bucknell, Sept. 23 (47-yd pass from Levi Brown to Andy Lehatto).
The Spiders are also lacking explosive plays overall. Through 13 games in 2005, Richmond had 26 plays of at least 35 yards. With one game remaining in 2006, the Spiders have made just 11 plays garnering 35-or-more yards.
OVER THE AIR
Spider football games can be heard live on the Spider Sports Network. The network includes two new radio affiliates for all of Spider Athletics. ESPN Radio 950 AM will carry every Spider Football game in 2006, while The Wolf 93.1 FM will broadcast each the Spiders' scheduled three night games (at Duke, Delaware, at Villanova).
The "Voice of the Spiders" Bob Black, a veteran broadcaster in his 23rd season for the Spiders, will handle the play-by-play.
Former Spider defensive standout Jasmonn Coleman (analyst) will join Black in the booth for his second season with Spider Football. Coleman, a Henrico High School product, played in 42 games on the defensive line for the Spiders during his career. During the 1997 season, as a senior, Coleman tied for the team lead with seven sacks.
Matt Smith reports from the sidelines, offering listeners an all-access field level view of the action and will have the first word from the Spiders and head coach Dave Clawson live from the locker room following the game.
Matt Josephs rounds out the radio team, producing the broadcasts and anchoring the Spider Sportsdesk from the studios of flagship station ESPN Radio 950, keeping listeners up-to-date on Atlantic 10, state and national college football scores and highlights throughout the day.
NCAA I-AA PLAYOFF RECAP & RANKINGS
Richmond was impressive in their two contests in last season's NCAA I-AA playoff run. The Spiders finished the Championship format ranked among the Top-5 in several categories combining all 16 teams in the field.
In its two games, the Spiders were a perfect 9-for-9 on trips inside the redzone -- one of just four teams in the entire field of 16 to be perfect in the category.
The Spider defense allowed an average of 17 points in its two games during the playoff run, which ranked second among the 16-team field. Only Nicholls State allowed an average of fewer points in its playoff run (14 points in one game).
Richmond's defense allowed opponents a 33 percent success rate on third-down conversions in the NCAA I-AA Championships. Only Texas State had a better opponent third-down conversion figure of 30.6 percent in the 16-team field.
The Spider offense rushed for an average of 223 yards in their two games during the NCAA I-AA Playoffs, ranking fourth among the 16-team field.
The Richmond defense allowed the third-lowest rushing average in the NCAA I-AA Playoffs, at just 147.0 per game.
BIGGER, STRONGER AND SMARTER
The Spiders have not only improved on the field, but also in both the weight room and the classroom since head coach Dave Clawson's first year at Richmond.
Since first taking over the program in the spring of 2004, Clawson has talked about the correlation of off-the-field success and program success. The Spiders have done just that, raising the team GPA at least two points in each of the four semesters. The culmination of the success came in the transition from last fall's team GPA of 2.46 to the spring 2006 team GPA of 2.62, a jump of 0.16.
As mentioned above, the Spiders have also improved in the weight room. In 2004, Richmond had just 20 players on its roster with a three-lift combined total of 1,000 pounds. In 2005, the Spiders upped the total to 42 players of 1,000 pounds. The improvement happened once again this past off-season, as now 54 players (61 percent of the roster) has a three-lift total of more than 1,000 pounds.
LEFTOVERS FROM TOWSON
-- The loss makes the Spiders 5-5 on the season for the first time since 1999.
-- The loss marks the first time the Spiders have lost four-straight since the 2004 season.
-- The loss makes the Spiders 3-3 at home this season and 9-9 at UR Stadium during Clawson's tenure.
-- The loss moves Clawson to 46-46 as a head coach and 107-92-1 in his coaching career.
-- The loss snaps Clawson's five-game win streak against the Tigers.
-- The loss marks Towson's first win in the all-time series with Richmond and makes the series 2-1 in favor of the Spiders.
-- The loss gives Towson head coach Gordy Combs his first win in the all-time series with Richmond.
-- The loss drops Clawson's career mark to 5-3 against Towson.
-- The loss gives Richmond an all-time record of 454-594-53.
-- Junior Arman Shields has now caught at least five passes in each of the last four games for Richmond.
-- Senior Lance Gray has recorded a tackle-for-loss in eight of the 10 games for Richmond.
-- Senior Adam Goloboski has recorded double-digit tackle numbers in five of the last six games for Richmond.
-- Junior Andrew Harris forced a fumble, recovered a fumble and made an interception all in the first quarter against the Tigers.
-- Harris tied career highs in tackles with nine and single-game interceptions with one against Towson.
-- Freshman Andrew Howard's 52-yard punt in the fourth quarter marked the longest punt for the Spiders this season.
-- The Spiders' defense recorded three interceptions against the Tigers marking the most in a single-game this season.
-- Richmond's defense forced five turnovers against Towson, marking the most since recording five takeaways against Maine, Sept. 17, 2005.
-- Sophomore Levi Brown made 41 pass attempts marking the most this season for a Spider quarterback.
-- Senior Ryan Mace's fumble recovery in the endzone marked the first fumble recovery for touchdown by the Spiders since redshirt-freshman Derek Hatcher returned a fumble for 21 yards and a touchdown against VMI, Sept. 16.
-- Richmond failed to make a trip into the redzone for the first time this season.
-- Towson garnered a season-best six trips inside the redzone against the Richmond defense. No team this season had more than five trips inside the Richmond redzone prior to Saturday.
Senior Johnny Campbell will play in his final game as a Spider Saturday against William & Mary in Williamsburg.