A weekly attempt by the Overtime! Blog staff to neatly summarize what transpired on the gridiron…
Just the Facts
3 facts from the week that was in NEC football
– NEC teams went 2-0 against CAA members in Week 1.
– Three NEC teams – Bryant, Wagner and Sacred Heart – held their opponents to 7 points or fewer.
– Duquesne became the second-ever NEC team to hold a fourth-quarter lead over a FBS member. The Dukes led Buffalo, 28-24, on Saturday. In 2012, Wagner held a 3-0 edge over Florida Atlantic.
40 Words or Fewer
Summing up every game on last week’s slate using no more than 40 words.
BRYANT – 13-7 win at Stony Brook
The Bulldogs’ defense stifled the Seawolves and paved the way for the program’s first road win over a CAA member. A great start for a Bryant team that was pegged sixth in the NEC preseason poll.
CENTRAL CONNECTICUT – 31-27 win at Towson
The Blue Devils welcomed their new head coach (Pete Rossomando) by pulling off what was arguably the most-notable upset on the entire Week 1 FCS schedule. A complete effort allowed CCSU to shock last year’s FCS national runner-up.
DUQUESNE – 38-28 loss at Buffalo
The Dukes spotted their FBS opponent 21 points, but stormed back to take a 28-24 fourth-quarter lead. Although they didn’t hang on, the Dukes put forth a remarkable effort in what was their first-ever game against a FBS foe.
ROBERT MORRIS – 29-10 loss vs. Eastern Kentucky
The Colonials posted a plus-4 turnover margin, but could not slow down the EKU run game. Another plus for RMU was its ability to clamp down in the Red Zone, allowing only two touchdowns in seven chances.
SACRED HEART – 28-7 win at Marist
It was a “Battle of Champions” with both teams coming off first-place finishes in 2013. SHU head coach Mark Nofri was likely dissatisfied with his team’s three first-half turnovers, but he has to be encouraged by the final result.
SAINT FRANCIS – 52-23 loss at Fordham
The Patriot League preseason favorite proved too much to handle for SFU. The Red Flash’s power offense racked up over 200 yards rushing, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a high-octane Fordham attack that averaged 37.6 ppg last year.
WAGNER – 21-3 win at Georgetown
The Seahawks were ferocious on defense, logged 8.0 tackles for loss and applying constant pressure on the passer. Offensively, it looks as if Wagner has found some stability at the QB position after starting four different signal callers in 2013.
A look at the week’s top performers and the reasons why they earned an Overtime! Game Ball.
Rob Hollomon (Central Connecticut)
The all-purpose extraordinaire was at the top of his game during the Blue Devils’ marquee Week 1 victory. He rushed for 161 yards, including the game-winning score, and made a game-high nine receptions. Oh, and he logged 71 return yards, too.
Khairi Dickson (Saint Francis)
There were big shoes to fill at the RB position following the graduation of All-American Kyle Harbridge, but Dickson appears prepared for the challenge. In his first game as a full-time starter, the junior ran for 244 yards and two touchdowns against a Fordham team that is expected to contend for a national title.
Nick SanGiacomo (Central Connecticut)
Hollomon may have gotten all of the headlines from Saturday night’s big win, but it wouldn’t have been possible without SanGiacomo’s play at QB. The physically-gifted signal caller logged a 78.6 complete percentage on the road against a Top 25 team.
Chris King (Duquesne)
His 199 yards receiving accounted for the second-highest Week 1 total in all of Division I FCS. Taking advantage of single coverage, King hauled in an 88-yard third-quarter scoring strike that tied the game at 21-21. He added another highlight-reel TD catch to give the Dukes a 28-24 lead on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Gordon Hill (Sacred Heart)
This ball-hawking safety made 5 stops, including 1.0 TFL, and a game-changing interception. With SHU holding a 14-7 lead, Hill produced a Pick-6 on the opening play of the second half and the Pioneers rolled from there.
Honorable Mentions: Central Connecticut Defense – This unit received some postgame praise from head coach Pete Rossomando, and rightfully so. “Our defense played outstanding today. Against a team that runs the ball like that – you ask anybody they would have said these guys will rush for 300 against us. Our guys held strong.” … Bryant Defense — The Bulldogs limited a CAA team to 8 first downs and 186 yards of total offense.
Week 2 Schedule
Saturday, September 6
Merrimack at BRYANT 1:00 pm
Clarion at SAINT FRANCIS 1:00 pm
DUQUESNE at Youngstown State 4:00 pm
WAGNER at Florida International 6:00 pm
Albany at CENTRAL CONNECTICUT 6:00 pm
Lafayette at SACRED HEART 6:00 pm
ROBERT MORRIS at North Dakota 7:00 pm