ColonialsCorner takes a look at three keys to Saturday's game against Bryant.
1. Contain Jordan Brown on special teams. Brown will get his carries; Bryant won't abandon its running game and have quarterback Mike Croce throw 35 times. But where he can hurt Robert Morris even more is by giving Bryant a short field, or even taking a kick back for a touchdown. He's done it once already this year, and the Colonials have been susceptible to good returns. They can't be on Saturday.
2. Force Turnovers - They are the great equalizer. With a struggling running game of their own, Robert Morris will be hard-pressed to sustain drives. In order to preserve it's health and sanity, the defense has to be opportunistic. Brown won't cough up the ball often, so that means putting intense heat on Croce often. Whether the sacks lead to short drives, fumbles, or poor passes that can be picked off, the Colonials must get the pressure on Croce when he does drop back to pass. That may mean extra run blitzing, as well, in an attempt to blow plays up in the backfield.
3. Next Man Up On Defense - R.J. Cook is out again, but defensive end Connor Sullivan and linebackers Jon Krepps and Kyle Cooper are all questionable. ColonialsCorner expects them to suit up, but they may be subbed out more often. While Robert Morris subs heavily, especially on the defensive line, the communication abilities of Krepps and Cooper are key to the defense. Safeties D.J. Myers and Cameron Chadwick, outside linebacker Brad Banas, and defensive ends Nolan Nearhoof and Steve Mitchell will need to make sure their units are all on the same page. It'll be especially crucial for Mike Cook and Dan Mignogna to be on point as the backups for Krepps and Cooper as well.
The middle linebackers are the quarterbacks of the 3-4 defense. If Krepps and/or Cooper aren't on the field, Cook and Mignogna have to take the reigns and ensure the defense doesn't miss a beat. If it does, Jordan Brown could make it a long day.
ColonialsCorner publisher Andrew Chiappazzi can be reached at email@example.com.