The any given day mantra continues to apply to CAA football this season, and the University of Rhode Island is thoroughly enjoying life on the right side of it.
After a string of close losses in 2019, the Rams have opened the 2020 spring season with two consecutive overtime wins over ranked teams, a swing of the pendulum that feels well earned. The latest win, a 17-10 triumph over No. 18 Albany on Saturday, put the Rams into the STATS FCS Top 25.
“It was a tremendous football game with two tough teams. That’s the way CAA football seems to be. Every week, whoever you’re playing has a chance to win. You respect your opponent and you manage it as best you can,” head coach Jim Fleming said. “We’ve been very fortunate to come out on the right end of things the last two football games. Really, we’re a couple of plays away from being 0-2, but we’ve been down that road, too. Last season, we had four or five football games that were lost in the last 50 seconds. For our team to get together and be resilient and come out on the right end is a tremendous tribute to the character of the football team.”
URI checks in at No. 18 in this week’s FCS poll, its first ranking since its breakout 2018 season. After the disappointments of 2019, the Rams believed they could be back in the mix this season and they’re making it happen.
“I really felt like we had something special brewing,” Fleming said. “We put a lot of time in the fall, just getting to know each other. It was probably a blessing in disguise with the new schematic things we were doing on offense and defense, giving us chance to learn. And we’ve got a very tough group – physically tough and mentally tough.