Tuesday Afternoon Assessment – Reviewing the State of NEC Football Following Week 3

What to Take Away from The Week’s Results
Reason to be Bullish on Monmouth, Duquesne, and Albany

Facing their Outer Bridge rival on Grymes Hill, only a ferry ride away from the financial center of the world, Monmouth watched its stock continue to rise.

The Hawks opened their NEC schedule with a bang, posting a wire-to-wire win over a longtime foe that they hadn’t beaten since 2008.

While Monmouth was busy grounding the Seahawks in the lone conference game of the Week 3 slate, NEC preseason favorite Albany was giving a little more than a scare to the No. 5 team in the Nation, a team that handled ACC-bound Pittsburgh two weeks prior.

After opening with back-to-back victories over Patriot League member Colgate and NEC foe Robert Morris, Albany launched an upset bid at Youngstown State that ultimately came up seven points short.  The Great Danes scored the first touchdown of a game that went on to see three ties. 

Both Monmouth and Albany head into Week 4 at 2-1 with each team’s lone loss coming to a Top 25 opponent (both teams were within three points in the fourth quarter of those games).  Monmouth lost at two-time defending Patriot League champ Lehigh, the No. 16 team in The Sports Network Top 25 at the time, by a 27-17 margin. Keep in mind Lehigh scored the game’s final points on a defensive touchdown with 00:00 remaining on the clock.

You can also throw Duquesne in the mix of teams who are 2-1 with the loss coming to a high-powered opponent.  The Dukes faced No. 6 Old Dominion, which is headed to FBS Conference USA next year, in Week 1.  They bounced back to post wins over Pioneer League members in Weeks 2 and 3 and will open the league slate with a Week 4 date at Bryant.

Pigskin Tweets of the Week


Not sure if Mr. Stump was at the game, but we were and can tell you that his assessment is right on.



She’s fired up, and can you blame her?!?! Her team put 57 on the scoreboard!



Once a Seahawk, Always a Seahawk. Congratulations to the Wagner Football Family on this Silver Anniversary of the 1987 National Championship.



Pioneer Pride extends far beyond the borders of Connecticut.



Tony Graham presents the facts.


Who Gets Game Balls?
Every Week, the Overtime! Blog staff convenes and awards three game balls for outstanding effort and achievement.

The Five Flash Up Front
Senior running back Keion Wade shared the NEC Offensive Player of the Week award and freshman ball carrier Khairi Dickson kept the NEC Rookie of the Week award for a second straight week. Such individual honors can be expected when a team’s ball carriers combine for 457 yards in a winning effort, but let’s not forget about the five men in the trenches. No one has seem to notice the fact that the Red Flash lost all-NEC running back and it’s not just because the Flash’s abundance of capable backups. Much of the credit for Saint Francis’ success running the football belongs with Thurston Kino, Will Houston, Jake Smith, Colin Gdula, and Lloyd Hill. Although weekly awards programs may not acknowledge that truth, it is a safe bet that Saint Francis head coach Chris Villarrial does, as should anyone who spent 11 years up front in the trenches of the National Football League.

Dan Sullivan
One doesn’t receive The Sports Network’s National Defensive Player of the Week award for a pedestrian performance. The featured Tweet (from @Scott_Stump) above says it all. The “Danimal” looked as if he were possessed during Saturday’s Outer Bridge showdown at Wagner, playing with the ultimate energy and wreaking havoc in the Seahawks’ backfield. The junior linebacker burst past Wagner’s blockers on a number of occasions as if he were privy to the snap count. When the dust settled, Sullivan had himself 4.5 tackles for a loss (including 3.5 sacks) and Monmouth had a win in its NEC opener.

Walt Hameline
Even with his team losing, it’s impossible not to give Hameline a game ball for what was truly a special day on Staten Island. As former Wagner College SID, and current Associate Commissioner of the Big East, John Paquette, said “How many coaches can say they’ve had a field named after them while they are still coaching?” To answer Paquette’s rhetorical question, not too many, but then again there aren’t many Walt Hameline’s out there. Whoever doesn’t think Hameline is a special guy, then you haven’t spoken to Staten Island Advance writer Jim Waggoner. Most writers would dread having to speak a coach only minutes after his team suffered a 38-17 defeat, but that was not the case with Waggoner on Saturday. “That’s what’s great about Walt. He could get hit with a bomb and still manage to have a sense of humor. No matter what the situation is, he’s great to talk to,” said Waggoner. Great to talk to and worthy of a Week 3 game ball – Congrats, Coach.

Coach Hameline gives an emotinal address at a postgame reception…


Three Points of Prep for the Week Ahead
The NEC on National TV: The first of five NEC football television broadcasts will unfold on September 22 in New Britain. Central Connecticut will host Wagner in this week’s featured game, which will kick off at 7:00 pm EST and air live on Fox College Sports (FCS) and MSG+. Both teams have had slow starts to the season, but there’s very little a conference victory can’t cure.

Battle of the Backs: Bryant will host Duquesne in a NEC game that features both components of the 2012 preseason all-NEC backfield. Bryant’s Jordan Brown and Duquesne’s Larry McCoy were dubbed the league’s top-two running backs in the annual summertime survey of the NEC’s head coaches, but only one can be a winner this week. Will McCoy continue the torrid pace that has him sitting atop the NEC’s rushing leader board through three weeks of football? Will Brown, who currently ranks seventh amongst league leaders, rediscover the immense success he had in 2011 when he ran for the third-most yards (1,815) in the league’s single-season history?

A Page from Monmouth’s Playbook?: Monmouth is the lone NEC team to have beaten a CAA member thus far this season, but Albany and Saint Francis (PA) will have the chance to join that list this week. Albany will visit No. 23 Maine, a team it has beaten in two of the last three meetings, while Saint Francis (PA) will travel to No. 13 Towson.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s