UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va. – The No. 14/15 Richmond Spiders football team shutout the VMI Keydets, 34-0, as both teams kicked off the 2013 season at a sold-out Robins Stadium. The defense shined as the Spiders registered their 33rd shutout in a season opener in program history.
Richmond (1-0) held the Keydets to just 174 total yards (39 rushing, 135 passing) and nine first downs. Five Spiders led Richmond with five total tackles and DB Justin Grant had a team-high three solos and a breakup, while DL Kerry Wynn led the team with two quarterback hurries and 1.5 tackles for a loss.
Offensively, WR Ben Edwards and RB Jacobi Green led the Spiders as they both registered outstanding performances. Edwards led the receivers with 95 yards and one touchdown on seven receptions with a career-long 59-yard catch. Green registered a 95-yard day off of eight attempts with a career-long 53-yard run in addition to a 7-yard touchdown catch.
Three quarterbacks saw action for Richmond, with starting QB Michael Strauss having a stellar day as he went 23-for-36 for 265 yards and three TDs.
Richmond got off to a fast start as it took an early 7-0 lead on the first drive of the game. QB Michael Strauss was sharp in the 12-play drive, completing 7-of-8 passes for 62 yards, finishing the drive with a 7-yard pass to RB Jacobi Green in the end zone for Green’s first of his career.
With three minutes to go in the first half, Richmond sprinted out to a 14-0 ballgame off a 59-yard touchdown pass to WR Ben Edwards from Strauss, career-highs for both Spiders.
After a career-first interception from LB Walt Sparks on the Keydets’ 43 yard-line, Strauss found WR Stephen Barnette in the end zone for 12-yard touchdown pass to give Richmond the 21-0 lead heading into the break.
The Spiders dominated on both sides of the ball in the first half, leading VMI 309-60 in total yards, while the Spiders registered 16 first downs to the Keydets’ two.
After an hour and 25-minute lightning delay, the two teams returned to the field and began the third quarter at 9:05 p.m.
After a VMI 50-yard punt, Green opened the Spiders’ first drive of the half with a career-long 53-yard run all the way to the Keydets’ 23 yard-line that led to the first field goal of the game. PK Brandon Jordi connected on his first collegiate field goal of his career on his first attempt to put Richmond up 24-0.
VMI’s first attempt to put a point on the board came after two-consecutive Spider penalties on the Keydets’ second drive of the third quarter, but a pass interference and a false start on the offense forced VMI to punt it away.
After a 38-yard field goal from Jordi to close the third quarter, true freshman QB Kyle Lauletta capped off a 13-play, 72-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown to TE Hunter Westfall to increase the Spider lead to 34-0 for the final score of the game.
The Spiders return to the field Saturday, Sept. 7 when they take on the NC State Wolfpack in Raleigh, N.C. at 6 p.m.