Richmond, VA (SportsNetwork.com) – Richmond had won a “playoff” game already,
so there was no stopping the Spiders and quarterback Michael Strauss when the
actual FCS postseason began Saturday.
Strauss threw four touchdowns to power Richmond to a 46-24 win over Morgan
State in the first round.
The Spiders (9-4) will travel to seventh-seeded Coastal Carolina (11-1) next
Saturday for a second-round game.
Coach Danny Rocco’s team basically won a playoff game last weekend at William &
Mary. The winner of that game was going to be the fourth and final playoff team
out of CAA Football, and the Spiders won going away, 34-20.
They rolled the momentum right into their game against Morgan State (7-6),
jumping to a 22-0 lead after the first quarter. Strauss capped the game’s first
drive with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Diggs and Seth Fisher scored on
Diggs (eight receptions, 132 yards) ended the first-half scoring with another
touchdown reception – an 11-yarder with 20 seconds left in the second quarter –
to give Richmond a 29-10 halftime lead.
Strauss completed 22-of-32 pass attempts for 272 yards and one interception. He
also threw touchdowns to Rashad Ponder and Fisher.
Richmond has struggled with turnovers in its losses, but gained a 4-2 advantage
in turnover margin, intercepting Morgan State quarterback Moses Skillon three
times and forcing him into a fumble.
Skillon rushed for a touchdown and threw for 285 yards and two touchdowns. Herb
Walker Jr. carried the ball 21 times for 120 yards for the Bears, who earned
the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference’s automatic bid to the playoffs off a
tiebreaker between five first-place teams.
MEAC teams have lost in the playoffs every year since 1999.