On Saturday, October 25, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute hosted eighth-ranked Hobart College. Rensselaer, coming into the game with four wins and three losses, hoped to break their two-game losing streak. Hobart entered the game with an undefeated record. The Engineers came into the game with a lot of energy as they attempted to dethrone the Statesmen and put their season back on track. Sadly, Rensselaer couldn’t handle the physicality that Hobart displayed, losing 35-3.
The Institute started sophomore quarterback Tommy Morgan for the second week in a row as junior quarterback Jeff Avery is still sidelined with an injury that he received two weeks ago against St. Lawrence. Rensselaer’s offensive rushing attack contributed 154 total yards; however, this was overshadowed by the dominance of the Hobart rushing attack as they picked up 295 total yard rushing. Neither team contributed much to the game through the air as the Engineers produced only 64 total yards while the Statesmen had 84.
Rensselaer’s defense was led by senior defensive back Nick Borkowski, who had 10 tackles and an interception on the afternoon. However, the Engineers defense had a weak showing as the Statesmen averaged 7.8 yards per carry and 5.3 yards per passing attempt.
As the game opened, RPI won the coin toss but elected to defer possession until the second half. The Institute’s defense stopped Hobart on their first drive, but when Hobart got the ball back for their second possession, they found the end zone after a 33-yard run. Hobart missed the extra point attempt; the score was 6-0. Hobart regained possession with two minutes left in the quarter and they began to drive down the field until the ball was intercepted by junior defensive back Philip Lanieri III.
Hobart regained possession with 13:05 left into the second quarter. Seven plays after regaining possession, the Statesmen found the end zone a second time as a 3-yard run put them ahead by 12. Once again, Hobart botched the extra point.
The rest of the first half was a compilation of exchanged possessions and an interception. However, with 3:36 left in the half Rensselaer drove the ball down to the 37-yard line where senior kicker Andrew Franks made an impressive 54-yard field goal to score the first and only points of the game for RPI. By making the 54-yarder, Franks broke the school’s previous record of 51 yards that he had set against WPI in September.
The Engineers began the second half with possession, but sadly, Hobart intercepted a Morgan pass and returned the interception for a touchdown, making the score 19-3. The Statesmen began to show their dominance as they scored again with 5:35 left in the third quarter to put them ahead 26-3. RPI suffered another big loss as Morgan got hit hard in the backfield forcing freshman third-string quarterback Mathew Gilman to come into the game. After the Engineers turned the ball over, the Statesmen came right back scoring with 55 seconds left in the third on a 55-yard run to increase their lead to 33-3.
Rensselaer started the fourth quarter with possession of the ball; however, after going three and out, they were forced to punt. Then, the Statesmen blocked the punt, and the ball traveled 30 yards out of the RPI end zone. The result of the play was a Hobart safety giving them a 35-3 lead. The rest of the game was a constant exchange of possession as neither team could produce much additional offense. The game ended with the Statesmen topping RPI 35-3.
With the loss, Rensselaer moves to a record of four wins and four losses with a 2-3 conference record. The Engineers travel to Springfield College next Saturday, November 8, to continue their league play.