How it Happened
Rhode Island closed out the 2014 season on a high note, sending its seniors out with a victory as the Rams defeated Towson 13-7 Saturday.
The Rams (1-11, 1-7 CAA Football) never trailed, as they scored on the opening possession of the game. Senior Lyle McCombs – who topped 100 rushing yards for the third straight week – had 51 rushing yards rushing on the first drive to set up an 8-yard touchdown pass from T.J. Anderson to senior Justin Favreau.
Playing from in front, the Ram defense kept Towson (4-8, 2-6 CAA Football) off the board until late in the second quarter, when Darius Victor plunged in from 6 yards out to cap off a nine-play, 50-yard drive.
Rhode Island responded right away with a 44-yard field goal from Dylan Smith on the final play of the half. Given a short field after a botched squib kick by Towson, the Rams moved the ball 28 yards on eight plays to set up Smith's kick. Smith added a 41-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to cap the scoring and help the Rams earn their first win of the Jim Fleming era.
Towson had the ball near midfield with less than two minutes remaining, but freshman linebacker Khilyni Kennedy forced and recovered a fumble to seal the victory.
Inside the Box Score
- Rhode Island's defense limited Towson to 203 total yards. The Tigers were just 1-for-4 on red zone attempts and 0-4 on fourth downs.
- Over the final six games of the season, Rhode Island rushed for 1,021 yards.. It was a marked improvement from the first six games of the year, when Rhody ran for a combined 407 yards on the ground.
- Junior Tim Wienclaw had a team-high 13 tackles, including two for loss. He also recovered a a fumble in the third quarter, his fourth recovery of the season. It also was his seventh career recovery, tying him with Lou D'Agostino (1994-95) for the most in school history.
- Rhode Island's defensive line created consistent pressure. Senior defensive end Blake Jones had two sacks, while freshmen Anthony St. Laurent and Jose Duncan each recorded one sack. The four sacks tied a season high for the Rams.
- Seniors Donovan Walker and Andrew Bose each had 11 tackles, while Adam Parker had 10. Parker and Walker each went over 100 tackles for the season. Bose ended the season with a team-best 125 tackles.
- Senior Lyle McCombs rushed for 137 yards, his third straight game with at least 100 yards. After missing six games with an injury, McCombs rushed for 454 yards and three touchdowns in his final three games. Freshman tight end Charlie McKeeman caught one pass for 9 yards, extending his streak to 12 games with a catch. He is the lone Ram to catch at least one pass in every game this season.
- Freshman T.J. Anderson's first career pass attempt went for a touchdown. Taking a snap from the wildcat formation, Anderson hit senior Justin Favreau over the middle for an 8-yard score.
- The touchdown catch was the second of Favreau's career.
- Dylan Smith's 44-yard field goal in the second quarter was Rhode Island's lone field goal of the season. The Rams avoided becoming the first FCS school since North Carolina A&T in 2009 to go an entire season without a field goal.
- Before the game, the team honored 16 seniors playing their final game for the Rams. Linebacker Andrew Bose; defensive back Rodney Chance; defensive back Mezo Cooper; long snapper Clay Crume; fullback Justin Favreau; offensive lineman Kevin Gallogly, offensive lineman Michael Gill; defensive tackle Robert Howard; wide receiver Robbie Jackson; defensive end Blake Jones; offensive lineman Andrew Kestenbaum; running back Lyle McCombs; cornerback Alain Moise; defensive tackle Mike Rinaldi; safety Donovan Walker; and wide receiver Jawaun Wynn were honored in the ceremony.
Stat of the Game
1 – Rhode Island ended the year with the first victory of the Jim Fleming era.