UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va. - The No. 22-ranked Richmond Spiders posted an impressive, 39-0 shutout of the Rhode Island Rams before a sold-out Homecoming crowd of 8,700 at Robins Stadium on Saturday night. With the victory, the Spiders improve to 6-3 on the season overall and to 4-2 in CAA conference play.
The Spider defense forced five turnovers on the evening, with five different players getting an interception. DB Cooper Taylor led the team with 13 tackles, 0.5 sacks and a forced fumble, while DL Justin Williamson ran back his first career interception 24 yards for a touchdown.
Offensively, FB Kendall Gaskins ran for two more touchdowns, rushing 16 times for 92 yards. QB Michael Strauss completed 17-of-25 passes for 199 yards and two scores, while WR Stephen Barnette had four catches for 98 yards. Fellow WR Ben Edwards also had a great game, catching five passes for 36 yards and a TD, while running the ball four times for 52 yards.
Leading 13-0 at halftime, Richmond got touchdowns on a pair of long, impressive drives. Strauss connected with Edwards on a 7-yard pass to open the scoring, while Gaskins plunged in from 1-yard out for the other Spider TD.
The story of the first half was the dominating Spider defense. Led by Taylor, the Richmond defense surrendered just 101 yards in the first 30 minutes. Taylor had eight tackles, 0.5 sacks and a pass breakup in the first two quarters, while DB Darryl Hamilton had an interception.
In the third quarter, the Spiders pulled away from the Rams, out-scoring their conference rival, 23-0. In the frame, TE Hunter Westfall scored his first career touchdown from 3-yards out and Gaskins rumbled in from 15 yards for his second score of the day. The scoring continued with Williamson's INT return for a touchdown, while Hinshaw chipped in a field goal from 24 yards to finish the offensive outburst.
In the fourth quarter, the defense continued its dominating performance, posting its first shutout since defeating Hofstra on September 19, 2009. A 39-yard field goal from Hinshaw in the final frame gave the Spiders its winning margin of 39-0 over Rhode Island.
For the game, Richmond out-gained the Rams, 469-189, allowing URI to tally just 10 first downs for the entire contest. The 189 yards allowed and the five turnovers forced by the Spider defense were both season bests.
The No.22 Richmond Spiders will host the Delaware Blue Hens on Senior Day at Robins Stadium next Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.