GAMEDAY PREVIEW: HAWKS CLOSE OUT SEASON AT RMU
(4-5, 3-3 NEC) at Robert Morris University (4-6, 3-4 NEC)
Saturday, November 17, 2012; 12:00 p.m.
Joe Walton Stadium, Moon Township, Pa.
Radio Coverage: Shore Sports Network, WOBM 1160AM and 1310AM, shoresportsnetwork.com
Matt Harmon (Play by Play); Greg Viscomi (Color Analyst)
For tickets call 412-397-4949 or visit HERE for more information.
Directions to Robert Morris
For Directions to Robert Morris visit HERE.
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**A full game preview is available at www.GoMUHawks.com**
A look at the game:
Monmouth and Robert Morris will square off today in the final game of the regular season for both teams The Hawks (4-5, 3-3 NEC) fell at home on Senior Day a week ago to Saint Francis, while the Colonials (4-6, 3-4 NEC) have won two in a row, most recently getting a road win at Sacred Heart. The Colonials began their season losing five of their first six, but have since won three out of four. Last weekend Robert Morris rallied from 11 points down in the fourth quarter and took the lead with 35 seconds remaining for their third win. Eighteen Monmouth seniors will play their final game in blue and white.
Kyle Frazier leads Monmouth's passing attack, which ranks first in the Northeast Conference and 27th in the NCAA at close to 250 yards per game. MU also ranks atop the NEC in total offense, netting over 400 yards per contest. Frazier and senior wideout Tristan Roberts will play their final game, and the pair have had success in their 15 games together. Roberts has caught 63 balls from Frazier since the beginning of 2011, good for 704 yards and 4 touchdowns. Roberts also has registered 24 receptions for 347 yards and 5 touchdowns from graduating senior quarterback Craig Peterson. The Hawks are 2nd in the NEC in rushing defense and 20th in the NCAA, giving up just shy of 125 yards per game on the ground.
Morris comes into the final game of the season looking to extend a two-game win
streak that included four point wins over rival Duquesne and Sacred Heart. The
Colonials run a pro-style offense that head coach Joe Walton ran while he coached
in the NFL. The offense was somewhat hit by graduation last season, but senior
Jeff Sinclair returns under center. The Colonials have benefited by the
emergence of junior running back Evan Taylor who is eighth in the NEC in
rushing. Robert Morris ranks sixth in the NEC in passing offense, seventh in
rushing offense, eighth in scoring offense and eighth in total offense.
Defensively the Colonials are led by senior defensive lineman Nolan Nearhoof
who is one of the best pass rushers in the league. RMU ranks second in the NEC
in sacks per game.
The coaching matchup:
Kevin Callahan is in his 20th season at Monmouth as the Hawks' head coach. Callahan owns a 113-91 career coaching record, all with Monmouth. Callahan is one of 23 head coaches in the FCS with over 100 career victories. The only coach in Monmouth history, he has led the Blue & White to five Northeast Conference championships, in 1996, 1998, 2003, 2004 and 2006. Callahan has earned NEC Coach of the Year accolades in 1998, 2003 and 2006. Prior to arriving in West Long Branch, Callahan served as defensive coordinator at Colgate for eight seasons and at Wagner for three years. He began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Albany (1977-79) and Syracuse (1980) before becoming a Seahawk assistant in 1981.
Robert Morris is led by Joe Walton, who is in his 19th season at the helm of the of the Colonials. Including this season, Walton owns a 109-85-1 record in Moon Township and has had just seven losing seasons. Robert Morris has won a record six NEC titles, two Mid-Major National Titles and has won two ECAC Classic games. Walton coached the NFL's New York Jets for six seasons and also spent time as the offensive coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Walton was a two-time All-American tight end at The University of Pittsburgh. He also played a total of eight seasons in the NFL as a member of the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins.
Inside the MU-Robert Morris series:
Today marks the 18th time that Monmouth and Robert Morris have played, going all the way back to 1994. The Colonials hold the edge in the series 10-7, and have won the last three meetings and four of the last five. Last season, the Colonials held on to beat Monmouth 23-20 at Kessler Field. Kyle Frazier threw for 241 yards in the loss, but the Hawks were done in by penalties, committing 13 for 136 yards. Eric Spillane had a chance to tie the game with 2:18 remaining, but missed just short on a 49 yard field goal attempt. RMU won the last game at Joe Walton Stadium, 17-16.
Did You Know?
Robert Morris and Monmouth have played in close games over the years. In fact, nine of the 17 games between the teams have been decided by a touchdown or less, with five games decided by three points or less. RMU has won the last two games between these two teams by a combined four points.