There are five weeks left in the football season and the Rams still find themselves without a win. Making matters worse, the quarterback position is falling apart before our very eyes.
Though there are a plethora of issues with this team, the situation at QB is far and away the most critical. With everything from injuries to suspensions to poor performances, it is hard to find any positives behind center. Looking back at the past few months has made this clearer than Ben Stein with Visine.
I’m not trying to discredit the players’ efforts or how much the team cares about the product they put on the field. However, it cannot be denied that this season is one to forget, an unfortunate trend that has become all too familiar in recent University of Rhode Island football memory.
In just five games and less than a full half as starting quarterback this season, redshirt freshman Mack Lowrie has thrown for 834 yards with five touchdowns and interceptions apiece. Though these numbers aren’t terrible, the fact that he went down with an injury to his throwing shoulder against Villanova on Oct. 11 and has yet to return may be signs of big trouble for the Rams.
In his Colonial Athletic Association conference call earlier this week, head coach Jim Fleming said that Lowrie is still fielding doctors’ opinions and will decide if he needs surgery or just rehabilitation at a later date. After weeks of body blows, the Rams were dealt yet another gut punch, and it could be fatal to their chances of achieving at least some success before the season ends.
Now that Lowrie is no longer an option this week against a Maine squad that currently possesses the best pass defense in the CAA, Fleming will have his work cut out for him when it comes to picking a plan B. On one hand, there’s James Caparell who began last week against Richmond completing only two of his 14 passes with four interceptions. On the other hand, redshirt junior Kolt Peavey is just 25-56 with one touchdown and three interceptions to his name in his URI career.
The fourth member of the quarterback corps was Luke Casey, who is currently suspended indefinitely from the football team. The redshirt freshman got into legal trouble back in August for allegedly jumping on his girlfriend and punching her in the face while they were attending an all-day concert in Maryland according to NBC 10. It is safe to say Casey won’t be expected back in a Rams uniform anytime soon as long as the investigation continues.
All this trouble at quarterback has sent shockwaves through the entire team’s play. The majority of the offense has been on the shoulders of freshman running back Harold Cooper, who recently returned from a high ankle sprain. In five games, he has rushed for 185 yards in 48 attempts. The defense has faced its fair share of failures as well, but a heightened workload with so many interceptions, fumbles and 3-and-outs has only made matters worse.
Rhode Island’s 0-7 season may be a foregone conclusion at this point but it doesn’t mean the team should give up. With five games left, there are five more opportunities for Caparell or Peavey to move to the forefront of the offense, or for a potentially healthy Lowrie to solidify his role as starter. Regardless, at least one of them finishing the season on a high note could be the difference between racking up a few victories and URI’s second winless season in the last three years.