The final week of non-conference play ended much like the first one did for the Northeast Conference – a winning record and a couple of marquee victories.
— SHU Pioneers (@SHUBigRed) October 4, 2014
The NEC went 4-2 against FCS opponents in Week 1.
In Week 6, NEC teams went 2-1 against FCS foes.
Like Bryant and Central Connecticut did in Week 1, Sacred Heart beat a CAA team on the road in Week 6. The Pioneers used a dominant defensive effort to top No. 24 Delaware in what was the program’s first-ever matchup against a member of the CAA.
Central Connecticut’s Week 5 triumph over Rhode Island ensured a winning record for the NEC against the CAA this season and SHU’s 10-7 victory at Delaware put an exclamation point on it in Week 6.
The final 2014 regular season tally — NEC 5, CAA 2.
The NEC, which wasn’t even allowed to participate in the FCS playoffs until 2010, posted a .714 win percentage against a conference that has produced four national champions since 2003.
Hours before SHU snapped the Blue Hens’ 22-game non-conference home win streak, Bryant was busy handing Patriot League member Bucknell its first loss of the season.
The Bulldogs shot out to a 27-0 halftime lead over the Bison, who entered the game at 4-0 and had already defeated Sacred Heart.
Throw in Wagner’s shutout of Division II member Alderson Broaddus and Duquesne’s manhandling of West Liberty and the NEC posted an .800 win percentage in Week 6.
And, then there was the news earlier this week that Saint Francis’ Khairi Dickson was joining the Walter Payton Award Watch List, bumping the NEC’s representation there to three.
Dickson, whose Red Flash were idle in Week 6, still leads the FCS in rush yards (916).
Like it or not, NEC football has arrived on the national scene.
NEC vs. CAA in 2014
BRYANT 13, Stony Brook 7
CENTRAL CONNECTICUT 31, Towson 27
Albany 19, CENTRAL CONNECTICUT 0
James Madison 38, SAINT FRANCIS 22
BRYANT 13, Maine 10
CENTRAL CONNECTICUT 38, Rhode Island 14
SACRED HEART 10, Delaware 7
— Shaun DePasquale (@FCSScout) October 4, 2014
Duquesne beats D-II West Liberty 39-13: PITTSBURGH (AP) Dillon Buechel threw for 330 yards and two touchdown … http://t.co/6tsvRgzKXb
— CFBUpdates (@CFBUpdates) October 4, 2014
— Craig Haley (@CraigHaley) September 30, 2014