After a tough opening day loss to Lehigh on the road, the Hawks look to get back on the winning side by welcoming in the University of the Rhode Island.

Kessler Field was not kind to MU last year (0-6) so much is riding on this game against the Rams. Shaking a home losing streak is certainly a main point of emphasis as is making sure the team doesn’t start 0-2 going into the NEC opener next Saturday at Wagner.

This is a URI team that was expected to join the NEC next year as a football-only member but after the Colonial Athletic Association added both Stony Brook and Albany for next season, the Rams decided to stay put. URI was picked 10th (out of 11) in the preseason poll but the CAA is the best league in FCS football so even a lower tier team is a tough out for anyone. Factor into all of that, the Rams didn’t play last week so there is very limited film on what the team will run both offensively and/or defensively.

I was impressed with how Monmouth played in the second half of the loss to Lehigh on both sides of the ball.

The defense, which was a major question mark going into the season, shut down the high powered Mountain Hawks and really started to gel together as a unit. There is more defensive depth to the team this year than the last few years and while there needs to be a full game effort to produce consistent results, there were glimpses of good things.

The same could be said for the offense which sputtered at the start of the game but only stopped themselves with two fourth quarter turnovers.

This is a big week for MU to get the first win and turn the season in the right direction. Expectations are high for this team and rightfully so with the talent and experience that exists.

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