#NECFB Week 5 Gameday Guide

#NECFB Week 5

WAGNER vs. BRYANT

Location: Staten Island, NY (Hameline Field)

Kickoff: 1:00 pm

Follow the Action: Watch Live on ESPN3/WatchESPN App – #WAGvsBRYLive Stats Feed

The Matchup:  It’s nearly impossible not to get hyped for this one.  It’s Homecoming Weekend on Grymes Hill as two of the top-three teams in the NEC preseason coaches’ poll will clash in the first league game of the season, and the only one on the Week 5 docket.  In addition to the 2013 conference schedule, the game kicks off the NEC’s five-week ESPN3 on-air package.  Wagner (1-3), the defending champion and 2013 NEC preseason favorite, enters having lost three in a row.  Bryant (2-1) comes off a bye week with its lone loss coming at CAA member Maine.  Viewers will have a chance to watch two of the top offensive playmakers in Division I FCS – the nation’s active career receiving leader (Bryant’s Jordan Harris) and the fifth-ranked active rushing leader (Wagner’s Dom Williams).

Bryant’s Jordan Harris and Wagner’s Dom Williams on the NEC Opener

SAINT FRANCIS vs. Fordham

Location: Loretto, PA (DeGol Field)

Kickoff: 12:00 pm

Follow the Action: Watch Live on NEC Front Row (No Fee) … Live Stats Feed

The Matchup: Saint Francis faces a nationally-ranked FCS opponent for the third time in four weeks, but this time, the Flash will play the game within the friendly confines of DeGol Field.  In a clash of Franciscans and Jesuits, the Red Flash host a Fordham team that has already defeated Villanova and FCS member Temple.  Saint Francis’ defense will have its hands full trying to contain an offense that averages 40.0 points and 476 yards of total offense per game.  The Red Flash can keep the ball out of Fordham’s hands by employing an effective ground game.  Senior running back Kyle Harbridge has reached the 100-yard rushing mark in each of the season’s first three games.

SACRED HEART at Bucknell

Location: Lewisburg, PA (Mathewson Memorial Stadium)

Kickoff: 6:00 pm

Follow the Action: Watch Live via Patriot League Network (No Fee) … Live Stats Feed

The Matchup:  Sacred Heart (4-0) takes the NEC’s lone undefeated record out to Patriot League member Bucknell.  Both teams have a win over Marist this season, but the latter has only played two games to date.  The Pioneers sit in fifth place on the National FCS leader board in rushing offense (306.5 ypg), while also boasting the nation’s fourth-ranked rushing defense (54.8 ypg allowed).  That recipe has already helped Mark Nofri’s team to a road win over Patriot League member Lafayette. Let’s see if it works at Bucknell.

CENTRAL CONNECTICUT at Rhode Island

Location: Kingston, RI (Meade Field)

Kickoff: 1:00 pm

Follow the Action: Watch Live via GoRhody.com ($$) … Live Stats Feed

The Matchup:  Central Connecticut faces a CAA member on the road for the second time in two weeks and the third time this season.  The Blue Devils enter off an emotional last-minute victory over Albany.  Rhode Island has lost 16 of its last 17 games with the lone win in that span coming at Albany in Week 3.  Rhody is averaging only 11.4 points per game and has been shut out twice.  The Blue Devils will look to continue the progress they made on the defensive side of the ball last week, while keeping RB Rob Hollomon (205 yards from scrimmage last week) rolling.

ROBERT MORRIS at Virginia Military

Location: Lexington, VA (Foster Stadium)

Kickoff:  1:30 pm

Follow the Action:  Watch Live via Big South Network (No Fee) … Live Stats Feed

The Matchup:  Robert Morris returns to action at VMI following a Week 4 bye.  The Colonials are 15-6-1 all-time when playing after a bye week, including 15-5-1 in the regular season, but have dropped their only two previous meetings with the Keydets.  RMU will face a team that has already suffered two shutouts this season albeit to two formidable opponents (Richmond & Virginia).

Pregame Tweet Sheet

 

 

 

#NECFB Connecticut Contingent Scores Big in Week 4; Conference Play on the Way

It was a good week to belong to the NEC’s Nutmeg State contingent.

Central Connecticut broke into the win column with a last-minute victory at CAA member UAlbany and intra-state rival Sacred Heart moved to 4-0 on the season by piling up a program-record 78 points.

CCSU joined Duquesne as NEC teams who have beaten former league rival Albany this season.  The Blue Devils put together a complete effort to pull out the road win.  Linebacker Chuck Watson made 15 tackles to lead a defensive effort that limited the Great Danes rushing offensive to 2.8 yards per carry.  Steve Calitri coolly kicked the longest field goal of his collegiate career to break a 17-17 tie with 00:17 remaining. And preseason All-American all-purpose runner Rob Hollomon had his usual day at the office – 205 yards from scrimmage, including 41 on the game-winning drive.  Central will have a chance to post another win over a CAA member in Week 5 when it visits Rhode Island.

Visiting Chowan, a Division II member, stunned the Homecoming crowd at Campus Field by jumping out to a 14-0 lead over Sacred Heart before the Pioneers exploded with one of the top offensive performances in the program’s history.  By the end of the first quarter, SHU held a 22-14 lead and was on its way to a romp.  The Pioneers’ defense was almost as effective at scoring points as the offense.  Sacred Heart scored three defensive touchdowns and nearly had two others.

The wet weather in Loretto was not nearly enough to put a damper on Saint Francis 2013 home opener.  Like Sacred Heart, Saint Francis also out-classed a Division II opponent in Week 4.  The Red Flash blasted Lincoln 38-7 behind a 230-yard rushing day from running back Kyle Harbridge.  The performance moved Harbridge within 445 yards of becoming Saint Francis’ all-time leading rusher.  After a solid effort at nationally-ranked James Madison in Week 3, the SFU defense was stifling as it limited Lincoln to a total of 91 yards.

Duquesne and Wagner both suffered road losses to teams from FCS power conferences.  The Dukes fell at Youngstown State despite a 362-yard passing day from rookie QB Dillon Buechel, while Wagner wasn’t able to get going at Delaware.  After being limited to only 34 yards at Syracuse in Week 3, Wagner running back Dom Williams bounced back (as we expected him to) by rushing for 120 yards against the Blue Hens.

Duquesne will be idle in Week 5, but Wagner will have a chance to get the sour taste out of its mouth.  The Seahawks open Northeast Conference play at home against Bryant in a game that can be seen live on ESPN3 and via the WatchESPN app.

Wagner and Bryant will play the first conference contest of the season and the lone league game on the Week 5 slate.

#NECFB Week 4 Fan Poll

 

Postgame Tweet Sheet

Week 4 Headlines

Sacred Heart sets record, beats Chowan 78-35Yahoo! Sports (AP)

Sacred Heart posts winConnecticut Post (Staff Report)

Freshman leads Youngstown State over DuquesneYahoo! Sports (AP)

Wagner never had a chance in loss to DelawareStaten Island Advance (Jim Waggoner)

Danes hit road at a lossAlbany Times Union (Mark Singelais)

Dual-threat Noel leads Sacred Heart’s turnaroundConnecticut Post (Bill Paxton)

#NECFB Week 4 Gameday Guide

SACRED HEART vs. Chowan

Location: Fairfield, CT (Campus Field)

Kickoff: 1:00 pm

Follow the Action: Watch Live on NEC Front Row (No Fee) … Live Stats Feed

The Matchup:  The Pioneers will look to keep the good times rolling when Division II CIAA member Chowan visits Campus Field.  Sacred Heart, which is 3-0 for the first time in five years, is the lone remaining undefeated NEC team.  The Pioneers’  bread and butter thus far in 2013 has been the ability to run the football.  Sacred Heart, which has the top-ranked rushing offense in all of Division I FCS, has eclipsed the 320-yard rushing mark in its last two wins.

SAINT FRANCIS vs. Lincoln

Location: Loretto, PA (DeGol Field)

Kickoff: 2:00 pm

Follow the Action: Watch Live on NEC Front Row (No Fee) … Live Stats Feed

The Matchup:  Following back-to-back road games at nationally-ranked opponents, Saint Francis will likely be eager to play in front of its home crowd for the first time in 2013.  The Red Flash, who are coming off a near-upset at James Madison, will look for the season’s first win against Division II CIAA member Lincoln.  If last week’s game between Lincoln and NEC member Sacred Heart was any indication, then Saint Francis could have a fruitful day running the football.  SFU running back Kyle Harbridge takes aim at a third consecutive 100-yard rushing performance against a Lincoln defense that surrendered 362 yards on the ground in Week 3.

DUQUESNE at Youngstown State

Location: Youngstown, OH (Stambaugh Stadium)

Kickoff: 4:00 pm

Follow the Action: Watch Live via YSUsports.com ($$) … Live Stats Feed

The Matchup:  The Dukes come off their bye week and face their stiffest non-conference test yet.  After a Week 1 home win over CAA member Albany and a Week 2 road loss at Dayton, Duquesne returns to Ohio to take on MVFC Youngstown State.  The Penguins were ranked in both the Sports Network and AFCA Top 25 last week, but fell out of both polls after their 55-17 Week 3 loss at Big Ten member Michigan State.  Duquesne’s defensive playmakers will have the task of containing running back Jody Webb and Co.  In two games against FCS opponents, YSU has out-scored its opponents 579 yards  The Dukes, who are averaging only 2.3 yards per carry this season, can keep the high-powered Penguin attack off the field by kick-starting their run game.

WAGNER at Delaware

Location: Newark, DE (Raymond Field)

Kickoff: 6:00 pm

Follow the Action: Watch Live courtesy of BlueHens.com … Live Stats Feed

The Matchup:  It’ll be the first-ever meeting between the Seahawks and the Blue Hens, both of whom are coming off lop-sided losses to FBS opponents.  Delaware has beaten the two FCS opponents on its schedule thus far and averaged 533.5 yards of offense per victory.  The Wagner defensive front four will need to pressure UDel QB Trent Hurley, who threw for 328 yards and 4 TDs in a Week 2 win over Del. St.  Wagner can help itself by eating up clock on offense.  Look for preseason all-NEC running back Dominique Williams (102.0 rush ypg) to bounce back after being limited to only 34 yards at Syracuse.

CENTRAL CONNECTICUT at Albany

Location: Albany, NY (Bob Ford Field)

Kickoff:  7:00 pm

Follow the Action:  Watch Live via UAlbanySports.com ($$) … Live Stats Feed

The Matchup:  A pair of old conference foes meets up in New York’s Capital Region.  Central Connecticut will become the second NEC team this season to face CAA member, and former NEC program, UAlbany.  Both teams suffered home losses in Week 3.  CCSU has dropped games to Patriot League foes the past two weeks despite noteworthy performances from RB Rob Hollomon. Hollomon is among the top running backs in the nation in several statistical categories entering the fourth week of the season. He ranks sixth in rushing yards (371), seventh in rushing yards per game (123.7) and fifth in all-purpose yards per game (201).  While the Blue Devils have shown they can run the ball effectively, head coach Jeff McInerney noted an immediate need to improve on stopping the run.

NEC Football Digest Week 4 Preview

Pregame Tweet Sheet