WAGNER vs. BRYANT
Location: Staten Island, NY (Hameline Field)
Kickoff: 1:00 pm
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
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
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
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
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
Smell football in the air! Saturday morning, gotta love it!
— CoachMalikHall (@CoachMalikHall) September 28, 2013
— Jenny Loh ♡ (@lohjenny6) September 28, 2013
1:00 ESPN3 be there or be square
— © J (@carlsogood2seeU) September 28, 2013
— Gabbi Townsend (@gabbi_townsend) September 28, 2013
— Gail Lucas (@GmommaLuc) September 28, 2013
Good luck to CCSU Football today as they take on URI #bringhometheW
— Ashley Afonso (@AshleyAfonso) September 28, 2013
— NEC Football (@NECFootball) September 28, 2013