Despite letdown, no letup at Robert Morris
College Football Videos
Robert Morris coach Andy Toole on Friday made clear his expectations for the rest of this season for his short-handed squad: The winning should continue.
Toole made no excuses for his Colonials despite having a roster reduced to eight players after school officials suspended four, including starter Jeremiah Worthem, for violating university policy.
“We have to be intelligent how we practice,” said Toole, whose team has won three straight since the suspensions and continues to lead the Northeast Conference at 7-0, 12-10 overall. “That's a balance we're figuring out: How do we make sure guys are staying in condition and staying sharp but still trying to stay fresh.”
Citing the 2011 dismissal of leading scorer Karon Abraham for violating university policy, Toole noted that RMU went on to post back-to-back 20-win seasons.
“We were able to win 50 games the following two years in his absence,” Toole said.
In the three games since the suspensions, all remaining eight players have seen action. In the first two games, seven of the eight logged at least 20 minutes. In Thursday's 79-76 win over Bryant, four of the five starters played at least 30 minutes, while the fourth starter, Karvel Anderson, played 29 minutes.
Conversely, two of Bryant's starters played all 40 minutes, and two other starters logged 39 minutes apiece.
“If you look across our league, there's a lot of teams with rotations of seven and eight players,” Toole said. “Bryant was almost a rotation of six and then a guy playing a couple minutes after that. The only thing that makes you worry is in case of anything else. Does somebody roll an ankle? Does somebody get sick? Is there something that pops up that takes somebody out of the rotation for a game? Now you're stretched thin.”
Toole said practices have been trimmed from two hours to no more than 90 minutes.
The key in advance of the 4 p.m. tipoff Saturday against Central Connecticut State at Sewall Center, Toole said, is winning at home.
Saturday caps a stretch of four consecutive home games. The Colonials then play three straight on the road before returning home to face Mount St. Mary's on Feb. 15.
“It's huge,” said Toole about winning at home. “I was thinking along those lines earlier, if something like this were to happen. See how guys respond when they go on the road.”
RMU is 3-0 in road conference games.
Toole promised to continue monitoring playing time and said he likely will add a few walk-ons for practices.
“We've put some feelers out,” he said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Student ‘geek squad’ to help train Steel Valley classmates on iPads
- Road, entrance may ease traffic, Dayton Fair officials say
- Steelers’ Harrison awaits go-ahead from Tomlin before practicing
- One Direction brings the thrills to Heinz Field audience
- 4 ejections, benches-clearing scrum mark Pirates’ win over Reds
- Law enforcement often feels overwhelmed by Mon Valley’s heroin epidemic
- Steelers notebook: WR Bryant sidelined after minor procedure on right elbow
- Pa. breeding ground for corruption, experts say
- Inside the Steelers: Roethlisberger strong in goal-line drills
- Slot cornerback Boykin should give Steelers options in secondary
- Inaugural Geibel STEM camp gives pupils interactive, fun science experience