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August 25, 2012

RMU wraps up camp with scrimmage

Robert Morris scrimmaged on Saturday, bringing the camp season to an official close and launching the 2012 regular season. The scrimmage gave the Colonials a final look at who will be working to right the ship after a 2-9 season in 2011, and head coach Joe Walton said there were some anticipated hiccups.

"I thought we started very slow and that's normal sometimes until you get the feel of things. But I also think our defense has improved a lot," Walton said.

Walton expressed his approval of the defense's play throughout camp, and he said the one weak link the Colonials had entering camp might be the unit's strongest group now.

"We know we had some good veteran defensive linemen, but some of our linebackers have come around and are playing better," he said. "I'm particularly pleased with our secondary. I think we're going to have a great secondary. Those kids are quick, they can intercept, they can knock balls down, they can recover."

That secondary showed flashes of doing just that, as sophomore Zach Washington stepped jumped a route and picked off a pass from sophomore quarterback Matt Layman. Washington sped down the sideline and scored untouched, helping the defense claim a 38-31 "victory" in the scrimmage.

"You make a mistake on offense, and it blows the whole timing and the whole play," walton said. "We had some mental errors in there and we have to eliminate those before next week."

The focus now turns to Robert Morris' difficult opening schedule. After opening week, the Colonials have their final conference game ever against Albany, as the NEC powerhouse is off to the Colonial Athletic Association next season. Following up that conference preview will be a showdown with perennial non-conference rival Dayton.

But all of that comes after a season opener against the defending Division I FCS national champions.

"North Dakota State is a powerhouse. They recruit well and they're a step away from being a Division I (FBS) team," Walton said. "I'll be more concerned with how mentally we approach the game, that we don't lose our poise, and we hang in there and don't make mental errors."

For more from Saturday's scrimmage, including an early projection of the potential travel roster for Saturday's opener, check out the premium link below. And if you're not signed up yet, you have just a few days remaining to get the 30-day free trial.

Click here for the full, exclusive scrimmage report

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ColonialsCorner publisher Andrew Chiappazzi can be reached at achiappazzi@yahoo.com.



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