September 7th, 2022 3:00am
One week down. And we have some NE10 matchups that count as non-conference games.
Assumption (1-0, 0-0 NE10) at Merrimack (0-1, 0-0 D1 FCS NEC)
When: September 9th, 7:00 PM
All-Time Series: Merrimack leads the series, 15-9-0
My Thoughts: Old conference foes.
Assumption defeated Kutztown 3-0 to open the season with one of the biggest upsets in the country. A mere field goal was more than enough for the Greyhounds as their defense was the star of the game. They just allowed Kutztown nothing all day long. For Assumption to win on the road, they will need to repeat that defensive effort against a Division I FCS foe. The offense will need to find some room and make some plays to take the pressure off their defense.
Merrimack lost their opening game to Holy Cross 31-17. The Warriors played from behind the entire evening and were not able to slow down the Crusaders’ offense. For Merrimack to win the game, they will need to spread out their offense and use their size and speed to their advantage. The defense will need to pressure the quarterback and get off the field on third down.
This game has the makings of a close one. Merrimack will pull away in the fourth quarter, but Assumption will not be a pushover.
Prediction: Merrimack 27 Assumption 17
Southern Connecticut (0-1, 0-0 NE10) at New Haven (0-1, 0-0 NE10)
When: September 10th, 1:00 PM
All-Time Series: New Haven leads the series, 25-6-1
My Thoughts: Battle of the Elm City.
Southern Connecticut fell in their home opener to highly ranked Shepherd 48-7. The Owls were not able to contain Harlon Hill winner Tyson Bagent as he picked up where he left off in 2021. For Southern Connecticut to win the game, they will need to find consistent play on both sides of the ball. The offense needs to move the ball and their defense needs to get stops.
New Haven lost a tough one at Bowie State 27-20 last weekend. The Chargers deserved a better result after controlling the first third quarters of the game. They allowed 20 points in the final eight minutes and that was the difference in the game. For New Haven to win on the blue turf, they will need to come out and take control of the game earlier. The offense needs to move the ball up and down the field while their defense needs to limit big plays.
New Haven is the better team and will grab their first victory of the season.
Prediction: New Haven 38 Southern Connecticut 10
Franklin Pierce (0-1, 0-0 NE10) at Carson-Newman (0-1, 0-0 SAC)
When: September 10th, 1:00 PM
All-Time Series: First Meeting
My Thoughts: Two teams picked at the bottom of their leagues.
Franklin Pierce enters the game from a 10-7 loss to Edinboro. The Ravens were in the game the entire afternoon but were not able to find the end zone consistently to grab the victory. The defense did its job, and the offense was bottled up at times. For Franklin Pierce to win on the road, they will need to repeat their defensive game plan and then the offense needs to find its groove.
Carson-Newman dropped their opening game to West Georgia 38-7. The Eagles allowed over 300 yards through the air and were not able to stop the big play. For Carson-Newman to win the game, they will need to establish their running game and win the game in the trenches.
This game will be a close one, but the home team will benefit from their home crowd.
Prediction: Carson-Newman 17 Franklin Pierce 13
American International (0-1, 0-0 NE10) at Saint Anselm (1-0, 0-0 NE10)
When: September 10th, 3:00 PM
All-Time Series: American International leads the series, 17-3-0
My Thoughts: Always a close, competitive matchup.
American International lost on the road to Frostburg State 21-7. The Yellow Jackets had glimpses of a better outcome but were not able to make enough plays to win the game. The offense moved the ball at times and the defense caused some turnovers. For American International to win on the road, they will need to find a more balanced offense. And the defense will need to make plays to set up the offense to take advantage.
Saint Anselm defeated Millersville 28-10 to open their season. The defense was the star of the game for the Hawks as they consistently pressured the Marauder quarterbacks. The offense took a while to warm up and then marched up and down the field. For Saint Anselm to win at home, they will need to repeat their execution from opening night. Solid defense and an offense that is in sync.
This will be a close game, but Saint Anselm will pull away in the final quarter.
Prediction: Saint Anselm 24 American International 16
Pace (1-0, 0-0 NE10) at Bentley (0-1, 0-0 NE10)
When: September 10th, 4:00 PM
All-Time Series: Bentley leads the series, 17-5-0
My Thoughts: Could be the best matchup of the weekend.
Pace jumped out early to defeat East Stroudsburg 31-16 last Thursday night. The Setters returned the opening kickoff for a score and then caused a fumble on the ensuing kickoff to score again. The defense was strong all night long and the offense used another big play to grab their first win of the season. For Pace to win on the road, they will need to succeed in all three phases of the game. The offense needs to move the ball and the defense will need to slow down the Bentley offense.
Bentley lost a tough game at West Chester 17-16. The Falcons had a chance late in the game to steal a victory but were not able to take the game as a late Hail Mary hit the turf. They rallied in the second half as they scored 17 straight points but allowed a late field goal. For Bentley to win at home, they will need to find their offense. The Falcons need to move the ball and score in the red zone. The defense will need to limit the Pace big play capability.
Both teams will play an evenly matched game, but Bentley will drive the field late to win the game.
Prediction: Bentley 27 Pace 24