Rhode Island Drops Home Opener vs. Albany

Rhode Island Drops Home Opener vs. Albany

How it Happened
After an Albany tallied the first score of the game with 1:19 left in the first quarter on a 6-yard run from Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks, Rhody orchestrated a surgical scoring drive midway through the second quarter - capped by a T.J. Anderson 2-yard plunge into the end zone, making it 7-7.

The drive began on the Rhody 29-yard line, and was kept alive by a 13-yard run on third down by Wesley McCoy.  URI moved the chains on back-to-back plays from scrimmage, after a 17-yard rush from T.J. Anderson and a 25-yard strike from McCoy to Harold Buckner III which put the Rams in the red zone for the first time this season.  Three plays later - all Anderson rushes - Rhody found the end zone.  Albany added a TD - again from Ibitokun-Hanks - with 27 seconds left in the half, taking a 14-7 advantage at the break.

The Great Danes put the game away with two more Ibitokun-Hanks touchdowns late in the third quarter and early in the fourth before a Michael Nicastro 80-yard pick-six capped the scoring at 35-7.

Inside the Box Score

  • T.J. Anderson led the Rams with 82 yards on 15 carries, including his first touchdown of the season.  The 82 yards were a single-game high for the junior from Abescon, N.J.
  • Wesley McKoy rushed for 46 yards, including a long run of 35 yards.  He was 5-for-15 for 59 yards.  The sophomore threw three interceptions.
  • Harold Buckner III made three catches for 50 yards, while Marven Beauvais corralled two passes for 43 yards.
  • Oliver Graybar punted seven times for 291 yards (41.6 average) - including a long punt of 47 yards.
  • Khayri Denny compiled 95 total yards of offense - 79 yards coming from five kickoff returns and 16 yards on two catches.
  • Senior QB Paul Mroz entered the game with 10:26 remaining in the fourth quarter.  He finished the game 7-for-14, good for 91 yards - including a 37-yard strike to Marven Beauvais.
  • D.J. Stewart had nine tackles (six solo; three assisted).
  • Pawtucket native and redshirt freshman Momodou Mbye registered the first interception of his college career in the first quarter, picking off Albany QB Neven Sussman in the end zone.
  • Jose Duncan registered the first sack of the season in the first quarter.  Mike Ezirike also registered a strip sack of UA's Sussman in the third quarter.  William Mack III recovered the fumble.
  • In total, the Rams made 7.0 tackles for a loss of 22 yards.
  • Cornerback Rashod Dickerson - a true freshman from Brandywine, Md. - earned his first start.
  • The game captain for today's home opener was senior left guard Michael Gilbert and the anchor bearer was T.J. Anderson.

Stat of the Game
17 - Justin Hogan registered a career-high in tackles, with 17.  His previous single-game standard was 12, set in each of the final two games of the 2015 season against Stony Brook and at Towson. He leads the Rams with 25 total stops this season.

What's Next
Rhode Island heads to Cambridge, Mass. on Friday night - Sept. 16 - to take on Harvard. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. and the game will air live on the American Sports Network.