#NECFB: Bryant, Sacred Heart & Robert Morris Make Triumphant Week 5 Road Trips

If they weren’t a NEC title contender before, then they are now.  Bryant opened conference play in a big way, topping defending champion Wagner on the road in the #NECFB ESPN3 On-Air Game of the Week.

The Bulldogs (3-1, 1-0), who were picked for a third-place finish by the conference’s preseason coaches’ poll, won the first NEC game on the 2013 season schedule, and the only league contest on the Week 5 slate.

After using a dominating performance by their ground attack (301 rush yards) coupled with some key takeaways on defense (3 INT, 1 FR) to sink Wagner (1-4, 0-1), the Bulldogs will step back out of conference for a Week 6 matchup at CAA member Stony Brook.

The Week 5 non-conference highlights came courtesy of Sacred Heart and Robert Morris as both teams notched road wins.

SHU pitched its first shutout in more than a decade, blanking Patriot League member Bucknell to move its record to a perfect 5-0.  The Pioneers are only one of 12 undefeated Division I FCS teams remaining. Their recipe for success has been simple – win the turnover battle, run the ball and stop the run.  Sacred Heart ranks atop the entire FCS leader board in turnover margin (+2.8/g) while boasting the nation’s best rushing defense (66.2 ypg allowed) and the eighth-ranked rushing offense (276.0 ypg).

Meanwhile, Robert Morris used an aerial assault to pull out a win at Big South member VMI.  Quarterback Paul Jones became the program’s first 300-yard passer since 2005 by total 321 yards and two touchdowns in the 37-31 double overtime victory.  Although Jones had a great day under center, it was the RMU defense and running back Deontae Howard who stepped up in the overtime periods.  The Colonials held VMI scoreless on two OT possession and Howard broke free for the game-winning 17-yard touchdown run.

With their NEC opener on ESPN3 looming, Central Connecticut and Saint Francis both dropped non-conference contests.  Central Connecticut had trouble finding its footing at CAA member Rhode Island, while Saint Francis put a serious scare into No. 16 Fordham.

SFU running back was sensational against Fordham.  His 71-yard touchdown run and catch on the ensuing two-point play gave the Red Flash a 20-17 lead heading into the final quarter.  Harbridge finished with 291 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries, accounting for the second-highest rushing total in Division I FCS this season.

When CCSU and Saint Francis kick off their Week 6 battle at 1:00 pm on October 5, two of the nation’s top runners will take center stage.

While Saint Francis has Harbridge, whose 188.3 rush ypg average leads FCS, Central has Preseason All-American Rob Hollomon.  The CCSU running back, who totaled 1,710 all-purpose yards in 2012, has the 11th-most rushing yards (556) in FCS this season.  Hollomon managed only 25 rush yards at URI, but did break a 73-yard kickoff return.

#NECFB Week 5 Fan Poll

Postgame Tweet Sheet

Week 5 Headlines

Bryant spoils Homecoming for WagnerStaten Island Advance (Jim Waggoner)

Robert Morris hangs on over VMIYahoo! Sports (AP)

Fordham pulls away from St. Francis lateYahoo! Sports (AP)

CCSU football falls to URINew Britain Herald (AP)

Local College Football Roundup: Sacred Heart forced 7 turnovers in winConnecticut Post (Staff Reports)

One thought on “#NECFB: Bryant, Sacred Heart & Robert Morris Make Triumphant Week 5 Road Trips

  1. JD Roussel comes through with 3pics this week! Player of the week hands down! Put on for your team bro #RI #SHU #24 #MyBrothersKeeper

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