It’s our 5th edition of the NEC Roundup. This week, we learn some things about Wagner, learn very little about SHU, and a new threat for the conference title solidifies their position. Let’s see what happened this week in the NEC!
URI 42, CCSU 7:
Why did CCSU lose so badly? Easy. Every scoring drive started at the URI 40 or better, and three of them started inside the 50. The first half points for the Rams were all the result of bad punts and bad defense. The second half points came off of three turnovers – a pick six and two others where the ensuing drives resulted in touchdowns. Bad day for the Blue Devils.
Fordham 38, SFU 20:
The Red Flash put forth a great effort against the undefeated Fordham Rams, but it wasn’t enough. This was a game until the fourth quarter – SFU was leading 20-17 – but the Rams rallied and dropped 21 points on the Flash before they knew what hit ‘em. Still, Saint Francis has made a good effort against two strong teams this year in James Madison and Fordham. They may be a more formidable foe than originally suspected.
RMU 37, VMI 31:
This battle of the Decent (RMU) vs. the Bad (VMI) came down to overtime and a 17-yard run by Deontae Howard to get the win for the Colonials. This game was back-and-forth all the way until RMU pulled ahead late in the fourth quarter. The Keydets had late-game heroics in mind and tied it up with a second to go.
SHU 16, Bucknell 0:
The Pioneers dropped the Bison for their 5th win of the year and preservation of the undefeated season. This was finally a game against some real Divison I competition for SHU, so it’s a statement game, right? Right?! Not so fast. Bucknell has been as bad a program over the last decade as Sacred Heart, and they don’t look to be much better this year. The Bison turned the ball over seven (seven!) times, including four interceptions from first-time starter Trey Lauletta. Four-year starter at quarterback Brandon Wesley was hurt, as were the Bison’s usual starter at right guard and an all-league defensive end.
So for the third consecutive week at least, we learn very little about Sacred Heart and whether or not they are legitimate. Given the woes that Wagner is facing, it is likely that we won’t learn a lot next week, either.
Bryant 47, Wagner 28:
Wagner shows that the defensive problems that were exposed in their earlier loss to Merrimack were legitimate. Bryant’s Westerhaus, usually quite prolific, was merely decent, but the Bulldogs’ running game came through in a big way with 301 yards and four touchdowns. Wagner spotted BU 17 points before they could get anything going themselves.
Bryant has put themselves in position to make a run for the conference title, and Wagner needs to find a way to salvage their season as they face undefeated Sacred Heart next week.
That concludes this week’s NEC Roundup! The Dukes return to action next weekend against West Liberty – Saturday at 12:30 PM! Be there, Dukes fans, or be a quadrilateral with four equal sides and four right angles!