__College takes on Richmond in ‘oldest rivalry in the South’__
The Tribe will make its biennial trek up I-64 Saturday for the College’s 117th meeting against the University of Richmond. The Spiders (8-2, 6-1 CAA) will be looking to capture their third-straight victory over the Tribe, a feat that Richmond has not accomplished since 1971 to 1973.
p. The College (4-6, 1-5 CAA) is seeking its first win in four games, finishing up a grueling stretch that has seen the Tribe battle three teams in the FCS top 25. Richmond enters Saturday’s contest ranked seventh in the nation.
p. Following a disappointing defensive performance against James Madison University in which the Dukes rushed for 371 yards, the Tribe will have its hands full defending the running game again this weekend. But unlike the speed-based option attack of James Madison, Richmond’s primary rushing threat comes in the form of powerful running back Tim Hightower.
p. “[Hightower] is an outstanding back, a big, strong, hard running back,” Head Coach Jimmye Laycock said. “This is more of a traditional tailback running game, so it’ll be a little different types of schemes that we’ll be using here probably than what we did against James Madison. Hopefully we’ll tackle a little better, hopefully we’ll get more people to the football.”
p. Hightower will face a Tribe defense that may be missing starters Adrian Tracy and Robert Livingston, as both suffered injuries against James Madison. If unable to play, the two sophomores will join another key Tribe defender, junior linebacker Michael Pigram, on the inactive list.
p. Offensively, the Tribe has a chance to become only the eighth team in Laycock’s 28-year tenure at the College to average 30 points per game for the season. The feat will be accomplished if the Tribe scores at least 31 points against the Spiders, no easy task considering Richmond has allowed opponents to reach that total in just three games all season.
p. Regardless, the College will leave everything on the field this weekend in the pursuit of heading into the offseason on a high note and avenging their recent losses to the Spiders.
p. “It was tough going up [to Richmond] two years ago, and two years ago we ended the season with four straight losses,” junior quarterback Jake Phillips said. “It was tough for the seniors, and it was tough for the returning guys because it was a rough offseason, so we’re definitely going to try to go out on a winning note and try to get a little something positive going into the offseason.
p. “This is the last game for this team and these seniors,” Phillips said. “Pretty much this is our Super Bowl right now.”