#NECFB: And Then There Were None…

Week 9 is in the books and the race is wide open.

No team is undefeated in league play and five of the league’s seven teams have only a single blemish on their conference ledgers.

The unpredictability of conference play was again on full display this past Saturday.

Duquesne and Sacred Heart were both riding high into Week 9 road matchups with their Jerry Rice Award candidates under center, but both teams fell back to the pack in the race for the NEC title and the coveted FCS playoff bid that comes along with it.

Bryant (2-1) held the Dukes (2-1) without a touchdown pass for the first game this season and intercepted quarterback Dillon Buechel three times.  Still, Duquesne out-gained Bryant and recorded nine more first downs than the Bulldogs, but could not overcome a minus-4 showing in turnover margin.

Winning on the road in league play isn’t easy as Sacred Heart found out during its visit to Saint Francis.  The Pioneers, who are now 2-2 in league play, lost for the third time in their last three trips to DeGol Field.

Meanwhile, Saint Francis, which held SHU’s RJ Noel to only 94 yards passing and one touchdown, finally translated potential and ability into a NEC victory.

The Red Flash, who are 1-1 in league play after splitting their games against the NEC’s Nutmeg State contingent, will play their next two games on the road.

After hosting one half of the Steel City contingent in Smithfield during Week 9, Bryant will head out to Pittsburgh to face Robert Morris in Week 10.  The Colonials evened their league record at 1-1 with a Week 9 victory at NEC preseason favorite Wagner (1-3).

Central Connecticut was off from NEC play last Saturday, but the 1-1 Blue Devils are in the mix as well.

With two teams having a chance to move to 3-1 in NEC play this weekend, the picture may be a bit clearer heading into Week 11.

There is also the possibility of a three-way tie for first place after the Week 10 slate. The NEC standings may contain three 2-2 teams and another three teams at 2-1 come Sunday morning.

While the race for the NEC title is heating up, the race for the NEC’s all-time receiving record is over.

Bryant’s Jordan Harris, a Walter Payton Award candidate and a Preseason All-American, made six receptions for 91 yards in the 42-14 win over Duquesne.  The performance pushed him past former Saint Francis great Michael Caputo and into first place on the conference’s all-time receiving yards list.

Fans can watch Harris in action on November 2 when he leads Bryant into the #NECFB Game of the Week on ESPN3.  The Bulldogs will open the stretch run at Robert Morris in a game that will kick off at 12:00 pm EST.

#NECFB Fan Poll

Postgame Tweet Sheet

 

 

#NECFB Headlines

Robert Morris rallies past Wagner in thrillerStaten Island Advance (Jim Waggoner)

RMU defense, Prather spark comebackRivals.com (Andrew Chiappazzi)

Bryant defense sparks 42-14 win over DuquesneYahoo! Sports (AP)

Saint Francis shuts down Sacred HeartYahoo! Sports (AP)

CCSU football cruises to win over Salve ReginaNew Britain Herald (Matt Straub)

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