NEC football is BACK for a 22nd season. All seven teams lift the lid of the 2017 campaign with games on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of this week.
Plenty was written about #NECFB this summer and the word counts have increased with the arrival of GAME WEEK.
We have done all the work for you and constructed your End-of-the-Summer NEC Football Reading List.
GAME WEEK READS
Bryant begins new era under up-tempo Perry – Woonsocket Call (Branden Mello)
EXCERPT: A number of other Bryant leaders who were on 2014 team see some similarities, but they know how hard it will be for the squad to replicate that start.
Get to know Central Connecticut State, Syracuse football’s first opponent – Syracuse.com (Staff)
EXCERPT: SU head coach Dino Babers called opening against the Blue Devils a “very dangerous situation.” How much of that is truth and how much is coachspeak?
Duquesne Football Faces Stiff Test To Open Season On Thursday — CBS Pittsburgh (93-7 The Fan)
EXCERPT: “It’s new for us to go up to that part of the country, but a couple years we opened against Old Dominion, they put 25-30,000 people in their seats and two years ago, we went up and playing Buffalo and actually were leading that game in the 4th quarter at one point in time,” said Schmitt.
Duquesne Dukes bringing FCS playoff contender to Brookings – Argus Leader (Matt Zimmer)
EXCERPT: The Dukes are the first team to get a shot, and while they’ll be decided underdogs against the defending Missouri Valley Football Conference champions, they are not an early-season sacrificial lamb. This is an FCS team with some momentum of its own.
Stetson to honor Blakely at season opener – YAHOO! Sports (STATS)
EXCERPT: Sacred Heart is planning to hold a moment of silence before the nonconference game.
Fenimore to start for Red Flash – WTAJ (Alex Cawley)
EXCERPT: Coach Chris Villarrial pointed to the Houston transfers’ progression in camp, as well as his ability to check out of plays at the line of scrimmage, as the reason for his decision.
Alex Thomson, Wagner College football team set for opener Thursday – Staten Island Advance (Advance Sports Desk)
EXCERPT: Last season was about recovery and rebuilding for Wagner College, which won one game in Jason Houghtaling’s first year as head coach in 2015.
PRESEASON PRESS CLIPPINGS
Lack of veteran QBs adds uncertainty to NEC season – STATS Inc (Craig Haley)
EXCERPT: The 6-foot-5 Thomson, Wagner’s starting quarterback, and 6-6 Dolegala, Central Connecticut State’s starter, stood tall like Met Life Stadium, site of the conference’s unofficial kickoff to the 2017 season.
Intensity Grows in Northeast Conference Football — HERO Sports (Brian McLaughlin)
EXCERPT: Here’s the key thing to know when it comes to Northeast Conference football: Don’t take any game lightly.
2017 NEC Season Preview – STATS Inc (Craig Haley)
EXCERPT: Plus, with the NEC such a competitive conference – there hasn’t been an unbeaten champion since 2008 – Saint Francis has to reload quickly. Duquesne, last year’s co-champion with the Red Flash, was installed as the league’s preseason favorite.
FCS preview: Five players to watch and games to watch for 2017 – Pittsburgh Tribune Review (Jeff Vella)
EXCERPT: Northeast Conference title again could come down to this matchup of preseason favorites, which Duquesne lost 14-10 last season. That cost the Dukes a berth in the NCAA FCS playoffs.
Sewall preparing for his last season at Bryant, beyond — The Newport Daily News (Josh Krueger)
EXCERPT: A Sewall playing at a high level at a Football Championship Subdivision program with pro football aspirations may sound familiar. Sewall’s older brother, Bobby, was a standout at Brown University and was invited to training camp with the Tennessee Titans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers before landing with the Jacksonville Sharks of the Arena Football League.
Cumberland duo expected to help Bryant win games — Pawtucket Times (Branden Mello)
EXCERPT: Fine, who Perry called a team leader because of his experience in the program, said he enjoys the amount of responsibility put on his shoulders.
R.I. college football preview: Predictions aren’t optimistic even though coaches are – Providence Journal (Bill Koch)
EXCERPT: If James Perry can repeat the success of his playing days as a head coach, Bryant’s program is in excellent hands.
Duquesne’s A.J. Hines looks to improve on record-setting freshman year – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Omari Sankofa II)
EXCERPT: Now the Wilson, N.C., native enters this fall with a full offseason of workouts under his belt. As a result, he said he feels stronger and faster and has his eyes set on winning the Walter Payton Award, the FCS equivalent of the Heisman Trophy.
Duquesne football to honor Dan Rooney with helmet stickers – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Adam Bittner)
EXCERPT: “The Rooney family has meant so much to both Duquesne University and our football program that we wanted to show our appreciation and honor the life of Mr. Rooney,” Dukes coach Jerry Schmitt said in a press release.
A.J. Hines, Duquesne a perfect marriage – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Jeff Vella)
EXCERPT: The coaches won him over during his visit, and it didn’t hurt that Hines’ favorite team is the Steelers.
Robert Morris football gets a boost from the return of Moon grad Cole Blake – Beaver County Times (Jim Equels)
EXCERPT: “He’s hungry to play,” Banaszak said. “He’s 100 percent and he’s anxious to build on those two good seasons he gave us.”
Saint Francis only looking ahead – WTAJ (Alex Cawley)
EXCERPT: Leading up to their first game on September 2nd, SFU will continue to find answers, which include a starting quarterback.