After showing signs of life in the fourth quarter, the Robert Morris football team was unable to keep up with the Buccaneers of Charleston Southern, dropping their third straight game by a final score of 27-14.
Robert Morris (0-3, 0-2 Big South) failed to make enough big plays on offense, yet again, by going just 3 of 12 on third down. Likewise, the Buccaneers (1-2, 1-2 Big South) converted on over half of their attempts by going 10-19 on their third-down attempts.
There was a brief part of the second quarter that almost felt like the Colonials had successfully spun momentum in their favor after falling behind early. After pinning the Buccaneers at the one, RMU started their ensuing offensive drive at the CSU 45.
Transfer receivers D’Andre Hicks and Daevon Robinson then helped their quarterback, George Martin, by making some fantastic grabs to put the Colonials on the Buccaneers’ doorstep. Hicks capped off the drive by taking a shovel pass to the house with 3:13 in the opening half that tied the game at seven. The score was the team’s first touchdown in seven quarters of action.
Within two minutes, the Buccaneers had reclaimed the lead.
Some quick completions and elusive runs by CSU quarterback Jack Chambers had knocked the Colonials back on their heels within seconds of the drive starting. After containing Chambers and forcing a third down, the Colonials then provided him with a break by committing a pass interference play that positioned the Buccaneers just outside of the RMU 20 yard line. Chambers quickly made Robert Morris pay by floating a pass to Isaac Ross, who changed direction on his route and created separation, for a touchdown. The quick score saw the Buccaneers go 74 yards in just 1:39 and take a 14-7 lead.
The Chambers-Ross connection was troublesome for Robert Morris all afternoon. Ross had seven receptions for 102 yards by the game’s end. His touchdown was accompanied by a plethora of timely receptions, most of which put CSU in the red zone or provided them with a spark when a drive was on the verge of stalling out.
Chambers used both his arm and legs, completing 60% of his passes and throwing for 255 yards. On the ground, he proved that a collapsing pocket would not phase him by evading defenders and picking up first downs en route to rushing for 79 yards.
Running back Terrence Wilson found the endzone, too, scoring the first touchdown of the game and then tallying another on CSU’s opening drive in the second half to put the Buccaneers up 21-7. He had over 100 all-purpose yards, totaling 47 yards on the ground and 54 receiving yards.
Robert Morris found a little more success on the ground in the second half after rushing for an abysmal 12 yards over the course of the first 30 minutes of play, but it was the passing of George Martin that showed the most life as time wore on.
After amassing just 51 yards through the air last week, Martin garnered over 300 passing yards and two touchdown passes against CSU. His 38-yard completion down the sideline to Alijah Jackson set up another pop pass to D’Andre Hicks from within the red zone that resulted in a touchdown to make the score 24-14.
Hicks had seven receptions for 72 yards, finishing second in receiving on the day beyond Jackson, who made his two receptions count by hauling in 97 receiving yards.
RMU was still within striking distance when the offense took the field with under five minutes to play. Martin, however, made his biggest error of the game at the worst possible time by throwing an interception that gave CSU the ball and took time off of the clock. A 61-yard completion to Alijah Jackson had given RMU a chance to pull off a miracle, but it was all for nothing after a fourth down pass in the red zone missed tight end Dylan Smith, securing a 27-14 win for CSU.
Robert Morris faces Monmouth next week in the Colonials’ first home game of the season.