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Jeff Nations

Welcome to the CAA


Can we get a mulligan for Latrell Scott this season, please?

Taking over for ultra-successful Mike London (now Virginia's coach, where thus far he has not been), Scott certainly had to know it would be a tough comparison. Playing a season-opening money game against London's Cavaliers wasn't exactly a warm welcome (try a 34-13 loss) for the former Virginia assistant, but not at all unexpected -- there are very few Appalachian State/James Madison success stories when it comes to FCS schools taking on the big boys.

The Spiders won their next one, an overtime decision against a solid Elon squad, then lost big to Delaware, crushed Coastal Carolina and got shut out by New Hampshire. At 2-2 and 0-1 in the Colonial Athletic Association, Richmond has had more than its share of hard knocks already -- and it promises to get much tougher.

Still ranked 19th in this week's Coaches Football Championship Subdivision poll, the Spiders have already faced two ranked teams in No. 2 Delaware and No. 15 New Hampshire, face another on Saturday at No. 8 Massachusetts, and have yet to play at No. 7 Villanova, at home against No. 6 James Madison and at No. 5 William and Mary -- all conference foes, by the way.

Here's the worst part, though: the Spiders are already plenty banged-up, especially at the quarterback position. That looked to be a position of real strength heading into this season, with USC transfer (and former starter) Aaron Corp winning the job. He didn't last a series in last week's 17-0 loss to New Hampshire, suffering a season-ending knee injury while throwing a pick-six.

The guy who lost his starting job to Corp, backup sophomore John Laub, was already out with an injury and still isn't ready to take the field, leaving third-stringer Nick Hicks the best option. Also the Spiders' starting punter, Hicks might have been advised to do a bit more of that (5 punts for 232 yards, 46.4 yards per kick) and a little less of this (9-for-27 passing for 64 yards, 5 interceptions).

Hicks is bound to be better than that, but judging by Richmond's remaining schedule, he needs to get a whole lot better -- fast -- or Scott will be left hoping Laub is a quick healer.

Welcome to the CAA, coach Scott.




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