Producer of the Wes McElroy Show from 3pm - 6pm
Jesse has been with Clear Channel Media & Entertainment since 2010. He considers himself a Richmond transplant as he has lived in the River City for over 10 years now but grew up in the Western Maryland area. Deciding to attend VCU he studied Broadcast Journalism and English while spending time working at radio stations WVCW and WRIR. Jesse is currently the producer for the Wes McElroy Show as well as other shows for Sports Radio 910. Being from the Maryland area he is a diehard fan of the Baltimore Ravens and the Washington Capitals. Besides his work at Sports Radio 910 he also writes a blog for VCU basketball’s radio website.
1 – Pass Hap, Hap, Happy – We’ve seen the trend the last couple years of the NFL becoming a passing league and we got a big ole helping of it in week 1. According to the Elias Sports Bureau a record 63 touchdown passes were thrown. Six QBs threw at least three TD passes; Peyton Manning (7), Eli Manning (4), Phillip Rivers (4), Matt Schaub (3), Aaron Rodgers (3), and Colin Kaepernick (3).
2 – RG3’s Newest Endorsement: Rust-Oleum – It was a tale of two halves for RG3 and the Redskins against the Eagles. In the beginning, the second year QB looked out of sync, scared to step into his throws, and threw an interception. But the second half he looked a little more comfortable and threw 2 touchdown passes. So with Green Bay also looking to not start the season 0-2, this should be a good test for the Griffin and this offense.
3 – Is the Ravens’ nest a mess? – The first half of their season opening game against the Broncos couldn’t have gone any better, so what exactly happened at halftime?! Peyton Manning picked apart their secondary in the second half with surgical precision. There are a lot of new faces on this defense so we’ll see if the cohesiveness is there against a bad Browns team that turned the ball over three times in week 1.
4 – Keeping up with the Eagles’s – A lot of offseason hype surrounding Chip Kelly’s new offensive system and it went off without a hitch against the Redskins, well at least for the first half. A 53-play first half gave them a 28-point lead at half time, but what a pace like that can do to the human body showed in the second half. It will interesting to see how they keep up against a Chargers team that died out in the second half of their first game as well.
5 – Can someone please cure David Wilson’s Fumbleitis? - The stage is set for the former Hokie to have a breakout season. At the beginning of last season he went into head coach Tom Coughlin’s doghouse after fumbling in the season opener, and against the Cowboys history repeating itself not once, but twice. New York did resign Brandon Jacobs, but I don’t see him as threat to take the starting job. Wilson has showed that he can be a lead back in the NFL but you know the Broncos will be gunning for him.
6 – I’ll have an Iron City beer or 12! – Coming into the eason a lot of questions surrounded the Steelers offense, and a retooled offensive looked promising until midway through the first quarter, when pro bowl center Maurice Pouncey went down for the season. After that all the wind was sucked out of Pittsburgh’s sails and the running game looked just awful. They did bring Jonathan Dwyer back so they’ll see if that helps, but a tough Cincinnati defense that has to be licking their chops.
The No.11 Richmond Spiders led 21-13 at halftime against NC State in Raleigh, but 10 unanswered points including a 48-yard field goal with 33 seconds left gave the Wolfpack the victory 23-21. Quarterback Michael Strauss had a career day going 29 of 45 for 300 yards and 2 touchdowns. Another Spider breaking a career mark, was defensive lineman Kerry Wynn as he racked up 11 tackles, he now leads the team with 16 tackles through 2 games. The rushing attack only put up 22 yards in the stat line but this was due to big losses on a few runs, sophomore Jacobi Green ran for 35 yards and 1 touchdown. NC State quarterback Pete Thomas threw 2 interceptions to Wayne Pettus and Ayo Ogunniy, but as they took over at their own 21-yard line with 1:59 left, he led them down the field for 48 yards in 7 plays setting up Niklas Sade’s 48-yard blast. Also during that game an unusual play resulted in a freak injury. Wide receiver Ben Edwards lost his helmet and then as a NC State defender tried to bring him down, a laceration occurred on his head that required 9 stitches.
Richmond (1-1) will stay on the road, and in the state of North Carolina, for their next contest but this time taking on the Runnin’ Bulldogs of Gardner-Webb (1-1). The Spiders will most likely be without one of their top playmakers in Edwards due to the injury he sustained against NC State. Richmond could still be in pretty good shape as last year they took care of GW 41-8 at Robbins Stadium, which was the first meeting between the two programs. For the 2nd straight game the Spiders will face a team with a first-year head coach as the Runnin’ Bulldogs hired Carroll McCray after Ron Dickerson Jr. resigned. The last time out for Gardner-Webb it was a 55-0 loss at the hands of Marshall, a game that saw 8 GW players on the field for the first time during their college careers. The Runnin’ Bulldogs are led by a Runnin’ Bulldog as running back Juanne Blunt (5’9 201lbs) is averaging 107.5 yards through 2 games.
The Spiders passing attack is one of the best in the nation as they lead the CAA in passing yards per game (306.5), completions (58), attempts (90) and passing touchdowns (6), also good for 11th overall in the National rankings. One of the many weapons on their offense, WR Stephen Barnette, has started the season on the right foot racking up 180 yards on 11 catches and 2 touchdowns. Below I caught up with Stephen and we talked about what a close loss to an FBS opponent like NC State does for the team’s confidence, and what it’s like to play on the same team as your twin brother.
The No. 12 Richmond Spiders opened up their 2013-2014 campaign at Robbins Stadium with a 34-0 win over the VMI Keydets. With the win Richmond won their 8th straight home opener, extended their winning streak to 11 games over VMI, and is now 17-0 against non-conference FCS (1-AA) opponents since 2004. On offense quarterback Michael Strauss shined throwing for 265 yards and 3 touchdowns. Also the future of the Spiders running game may have emerged with true sophomore Jacobi Green running for 97 yards on 8 carries. Captain Ben Edwards looked like a duel threat chalking up 95 yards and touchdown through the air and another 32 yards on the ground.
The night turned into a soggy one as the Spiders went into the locker room with a 21-0 lead and then came out to a 70 minute severe weather delay. The defense was immoveable that night allowing VMI only to cross the 50-yard line 3 times all game, and only 174 yards of total offense. Also the Spiders forced 3 turnover with interceptions from LB Walt Sparks (1st career), CB Dominique Miller (1st career), and DT Winston Craig.
Next up for the Richmond Spiders (1-0) it’s the ACC’s NC State Wolfpack (1-0). NC State opened up their season with a 40-14 win over Louisiana Tech, which was also first-year head coach Dave Doeren’s debut. The Wolfpack seemed to favor the ground game that day using 6 ball carriers to run for 237 yards; Richmond only allowed VMI 39 yards of rushing. The Spiders do have experience in beating FBS teams posting wins against Duke 3 times since 2006.
Below I caught up with defensive lineman, team captain, and Louisa product Kerry Wynn. We talked about what the win over VMI meant after the way last season ended, and his experience in beating FBS teams.
1 – Houston Texans (AFC South) - Most complete team in football, look out for their passing attack with rookie WR DeAndre Hopkins and a healthy WR Andre Johnson.
2 – Denver Broncos (AFC West) – The offense will put up a lot of points but I don’t know who is going to stop the quarterback on this team.
3 – Cincinnati Bengals (AFC North) – Defensive line is probably the nastiest in the league with Geno Atkins, Michael Johnson, and Carlos Dunlap. Easier conference schedule than Baltimore gives them the AFC North.
4 – New England Patriots (AFC East) – Worst division in football and Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are still there, defense could become elite as the season carries on.
5 – Indianapolis Colts (Wild Card) – In my opinion Andrew Luck will become a top 10 QB as the year goes on, also look for WR T.Y. Hilton to have a break out year.
6 – Baltimore Ravens (Wild Card) - Ray Lewis and Ed Reed may be gone; but enter Darryl Smith, Matt Elam, Elvis Dumervil, and Michael Huff.
1 – Green Bay Packers (NFC North) – People want to sleep on the Packers but Aaron Rodgers got himself another weapon in RB Eddie Lacy, which was their biggest hole last season.
2 – Seattle Seahawks (NFC West) – The best secondary in football and probably one of the smartest quarterbacks in the league in Russell Wilson.
3 – New Orleans Saints (NFC South) – Watch out for the Saints! Sean Peyton is back and I think him and Drew Brees, want to remind people that they haven’t gone back to their doormat days.
4 – Dallas Cowboys (NFC East) – This team has more talent than people are giving them credit for. Also DeMarco Murrary is a beast, and Dez Bryant is finally emerging as threat everyone thought he was going to be, but also I believe the NFC East can be won at 9-7.
5 – Atlanta Falcons (Wild Card) – Matt Ryan does have one of the league’s passing attacks in WR Julio Jones, WR Roddy White, and TE Tony Gonzalez, but their defense could keep them out of games.
6 – San Francisco 49ers (Wild Card) – While on paper they have the most complete roster in the league, question marks still surround QB Colin Kaepernick’s decision making.
AFC Wild Card Round
Ravens over Bengals
- This will probably be the rubber match from the regular season; Baltimore’s defense is too much here.
Patriots over Colts
- I like Luck but I’ll take Brady over him any time, well at least for the next couple years.
AFC Divisional Round
Texans over Ravens
- It will be closer than their regular season meeting from last season, but I think Houston’s defense can push around Baltimore’s O-line.
Broncos over Patriots
- We finally get the Manning vs. Brady matchup we wanted from last season, but Manning gets Brady here one more time with his old favorite weapon, Wes Welker.
NFC Wild Card Round
Falcons over Cowboys
- I believe their passing attack is too much for Dallas’s young secondary, also as long as Tony Romo is under center, I can’t pick Dallas.
49ers over Saints
- Elite defense (49ers) vs. elite offense (Saints), and in a matchup like that I go with the defense any day.
NFC Divisional Round
Seahawks over Falcons
- Like I said Seattle’s secondary, in my opinion, is the best in the league, and they’ll be able to handle the Falcons aerial threats. I like Russell Wilson and the ‘Hawks getting their revenge from last season’s divisional game.
Packers over 49ers
- While this matchup last season was the Colin Kaepernick coming out party, if Green Bay’s pass rush stays healthy, I think they will remind Kaepernick of that, and not in a nice way.
AFC Championship Game
Texans over Broncos
- I believe Houston is the most complete team in football. Denver will have Von Miller back but I still don’t think that’s enough, given their secondary will have issues. I think Houston’s defensive front 7 including, J.J. Watt, Brian Cushing, and Joe Mays can make it a miserable day for Denver’s patchwork offensive line.
NFC Championship Game
Seahawks over Packers
- Ahh…what better for the NFC championship than a rematch of the infamous Fail Mary game!? It will be interesting to see the match of Seattle’s secondary of Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor (Hokie), Earl Thomas, and Brandon Browner against the Packers attack of Jordy Nelson, Randle Cobb, Jermichael Finley, and Eddie Lacy, but like I said earlier I take defense any day.
Super Bowl XLVIII
Texans over Seahawks
- Two of the most complete teams in football that I think bring a game that will go up and down. The Texans O-line can take care of Seattle’s front 7, but will have a challenge throwing the ball. With that I think this can be an old fashioned battle on the ground between two bruising backs in Arian Foster and Marshawn Lynch. I just like Houston’s defense a little more than Seattle’s, but I think this could be one hell of a matchup which we’ll get a preview of in week 4.
Training camp is underway for the Richmond Spiders. The defending CAA champions will have 22 practices leading up to its 2013 season opener against VMI at Robins Stadium on August 31. Under head coach Danny Rocco, all 22 of the Spiders practices will be open to the public for the second consecutive year.
With practices being held at both Robins Stadium and the Grass Practice Fields on River Road, fans attending practice are asked to remain in the bleachers. In Robins Stadium, fans are asked to sit in the stands on the west side of the stadium. Only coaches, players, scouts and athletic personnel are allowed on the field. Fans are reminded that dates and times are subject to change due to weather.
August 5th 2:15-4:45 PM Robins Stadium
August 6th 2:15-4:45 PM Robins Stadium
August 7th 9:45 AM-12 PM Robins Stadium
August 8th 9:45 AM-12 PM Robins Stadium
August 9th 9:45 AM-12 PM Robins Stadium
August 10th 9:45 AM-12 PM Robins Stadium
August 11th 2:15-4:45 PM Robins Stadium
August 12th 9:45 AM-12PM Robins Stadium
August 13th 8:45-10:30 AM Robins Stadium
August 13th 4-5:45 PM Grass Fields on River Road
August 14th 9:45 AM-12PM Robins Stadium
August 15th 8:45-10:30 AM Robins Stadium, 4-5:45 PM Grass Fields on River Road
August 16th 9:45 AM-12PM Robins Stadium
Scrimmage August 17th 9:45 AM-12PM Robins Stadium
August 19th 9:45 AM-12PM Robins Stadium
Scrimmage August 20th 8:45-10:30 AM Robins Stadium Practice - August 20 4-5:45 PM Grass Fields on River Road
Scrimmage August 21st 6-8PM Robins Stadium
August 22nd 8:45-10:30 AM Robins Stadium, 4-5:45 PM Grass Fields on River Road
Scrimmage August 23rd 10:15 AM-12PM Robins Stadium
Training Camp Coverage
For complete coverage of Spider football spring practice including video, interviews, photos, and practice reports be sure to go to the 2013 Training Camp Central page on RichmondSpiders.com. Fans can also follow along with training camp through the Spider Football Twitter and Facebook pages. Fans can also see exclusive photographs by following the team on Instagram search RichmondFootball.
Season and singlegame tickets for Spider football are currently on sale. For more information, please contact the Robins Center Ticket Office at 1-877-SPIDER1 or visit RichmondSpiders.com.