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November 5, 2011

Game Day: RMU at Central Connecticut State

Robert Morris (2-6, 2-3 NEC) at Central Connecticut State (2-7, 1-5 NEC)

Kickoff: Noon EST

Radio and TV: WPIT 730 AM, wpitam.com, and PCNC TV in Pittsburgh area.

Live Stats: Live stats available on the official CCSU site.

Last Meeting: 42-24 Robert Morris

The Skinny: Robert Morris needs a win to shake off a three-game losing streak and avoid securing a losing record in the NEC.

RMU Hall of Famer Brian Cleary's X-Factor for Saturday
Which team is ready to throw in the towel? [...]It's safe to assume that the 2011 season has been a huge disappointment for both programs. Coach Walton is putting the final 3 games in the player's hands. "That's going to be up to the players. If they want to finish strong and play hard these last few games, we'll see what we can do," Walton said. "The good thing is a lot of them will be back next year. And some of them won't be playing if they don't get any better. Some of them are playing for jobs."

Some folks might see that as a coach ready for the season to be over, I see it as a challenge. Here is the Colonials' chance to show that while this season has been a disappointment, they are not ready to close the book on the 2011 season just yet. Both teams want to finish strong having something to build off of heading into the offseason. A huge road victory for the Colonials would help lift the spirits of this team and give them confidence heading into the final 2 games.

For more on Cleary's take on the game, check out his preview by clicking this link

Colonials, Blue Devils could ignite the scoreboard
Though both teams have struggled this year, Saturday's game could be similar. The main reason? It's strength against strength, weakness against weakness.

Robert Morris has the league's best run defense, and while Central Connecticut no longer leads the league in rushing yards, they've still been prolific at 165 yards per game. The Colonials, meanwhile, have struggled on the ground. But the Blue Devils have struggled stopping the run, succeeding far more at shutting down the pass (second in the NEC), which has been Robert Morris' only successful method of moving the ball at times.

So this could likely come down to the little things, like third down conversions and sustained drives, two topics that the Colonials have focused on this week.

"We have to convert on third down. We have terrible stats on third down completions," quarterback Jeff Sinclair said. We have to limit our mistakes, with penalties at the wrong time, and we have to manage the game better."

For more on the match-up, check out the feature story here

Quotable: Jeff Sinclair on finishing strong
"It's hard to say it, but we really don't have a shot of winning (the title). We've lost three games in the conference. It's almost impossible to win it. So we're all trying to get better, even our seniors. They don't want to go out as a losing team. They want to win the last three and see if it will carry over."



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