PSAC West Week 2
September 13th, 2019 1:30pm
Week 2 in the PSAC
After what can only be considered one of the best opening weekends in PSAC west history it’s time to forget about last week and turn our attention to week 2 - the first week of PSAC crossover play.
Before we turn our attention to this week’s games lets look back at what was a great three days of football for the division. From the Thursday victories by Mercyhurst, Gannon and Slippery Rock all three were great games for the league. Friday night Cal U rolled over Saint Anselm in a game which many considered expected. Saturday we saw a strong showing by the Fighting Scots while they visited Grand Valley. IUP scored a big home victory over a very good New Haven team. Lastly Clarion traveled to Seth Grove stadium and pulled the upset of the weekend. The Golden Eagles controlled the game from start to finish and made an early statement that they could be a very pleasant surprise in the PSAC West. I was very excited to follow along and watch both Gannon and Clarion win on Saturday. To see these programs have success and bring exposure and respect to the entire division bring great excitement (even if it makes my picks wrong) it is great for the league.
This week we have some great matchups as we open the first of two weeks of crossover match ups. We have four matchups of undefeated teams. Only one game will feature two teams who fell in their opening match ups, that contest will take place at Sox Harrison Stadium on the campus of Edinboro. We also get to see the new look Griffins led by new coach Dan Day in their opening game of the season. This week we will get a better look at two of the “contenders” in the division as Cal U will host Kutztown and Slippery Rock will play host to a scorn Shippensburg team. Should be a great weekend of contests as we get deeper into the season and begin to see how we stack up with the east division.
Week 2 Games:
Bloomsburg (0-1) @ Edinboro (0-1)
- Edinboro played a tough game last week against top 25 program Grand Valley State. Bloomsburg on the other hand played Stonehill College out of the NE10 conference. Bloomsburg was head under 170 yards of total offense and allowed over 450 yards. Stonehill is a quality program but this is very alarming that the proud program that Bloomsburg is, struggled so drastically in the opener. The stats showed a worse difference in the Edinboro game from last week only 120 yards of offense and over 500 allowed. This will be a gut check game for both of these programs; the ability to avoid a 0-2 is paramount in a successful season. With next week’s matchup on the road Edinboro is going to play desperate and will show some heart. For the Huskie faithful this could prove to be a long season and possibly the season that ends the league’s longest stretch of finishing over .500. The pick Edinboro 23 Bloomsburg 14
West Chester (1-0) @ Gannon (1-0)
- A last minute score lifted West Chester past NE10 opponent Bentley. Gannon also won over an NE10 school, last Thursday they won a tough contest at Southern Connecticut State. Both of these teams won by the same score last week 14-7. The Golden Rams will look to make a statement this week but this is not the same Golden Knights that Gannon put on the field last season. The Gannon defense bent a lot last week but showed a toughness that has not been seen the last few seasons. Gannon is a better team but the big dog from the east will be a very tough test for the upstart Golden Knights. The Pick West Chester 24 Gannon 21
IUP (1-0) @ Millersville (1-0)
- Two unbeaten programs will meet in Millersville this Saturday, IUP and Millersville both enter this week 2 matchup 1-0. IUP won a huge matchup last week against NE10 favorite New Haven 24-13. Millersville won a thriller 21-20 over Pace - The Setters missed a game winning field goal as time expired. IUP has high goals for this season and even with the turnovers in week one they still came away with a great win. The Millersville defense had a great opener holding Pace under 100 yards rushing. The Crimson Hawks will be a major upgrade in competition for Millersville, and I do not think that they will be prepared for the overall team speed that IUP brings on both sides of the ball. The Pick IUP 34 Millersville 17
Shepherd (0-1) @ Mercyhurst (1-0)
- After the setback last week the new PSAC program Shepherd will open crossover play. The Rams make the long trip to Erie to visit the rolling hills campus of Mercyhurst University. Mercyhurst will look to welcome Shepherd to the league with a tough test. I expect this to be the first of many tests that Shepherd may struggle with. The PSAC is a deep league, much deeper than the old WVIAC and now Mountain East. This is not the Shepherd team of five or ten years ago. The PSAC is going to be a much tougher test for the Rams than many others expect. The Mercyhurst Lakers came away with the victory week one over Lake Erie 21-16, a game much closer than many expected. Since joining the league in 2005, that is how Mercyhurst tends to win games by out working and out willing teams. Shepherd will look to avoid a 0-2 start, and outgaining Ohio Dominican by over 120 yards shows that the Rams have the firepower to make this a tough game for the Lakers. The Pick Shepherd 20 Mercyhurst 17
Lock Haven (1-0) @ Clarion (1-0)
- A battle of unbeaten teams from picturesque Clarion County this Saturday as the Bald Eagles of Lock Haven visits the Clarion Golden Eagles. Both programs opened 2019 with impressive victories. Lock Haven rolled 57-13 over Lincoln of the CIAA. For the first time since 2000 the Golden Eagles played Shippensburg and came out victorious, final score 48-28.Lock Haven will see an uptick in completion this weekend but the offensive output last week was impressive. Clarion got off to a quick start and hung on to secure the victory. Clarion running back Mylique Mcgriff will look to build on the 179 yard output in week one. The pick Clarion 34 Lock Haven 27
East Stroudsburg (1-0) @ Seton Hill (0-0)
- We get to see the coaching debut of new Seton Hill head coach Dan Day as the Griffins play host to the 1-0 Warrriors of East Stroudsburg. ESU had a big win in week one as they upset Division 1 Wagner. Wagner play UConn in their opener and kept that game very close, East Stroudsburg dominated all aspects of their matchup last week earning a 24-14 victory. Expect the experience of playing a game week one to help East Stroudsburg this week but the excitement of a new coaching staff and a change in culture could help the Griffins keep this game close. The pick East Stroudsburg 30 Seton Hill 17
Shippenburg (0-1) @ Slippery Rock (1-0)
- Last week Slippery Rock travel north to visit Wayne State and cruised to a 63-37 victory, of course questions abound but the dominating victory was just the jump start the Rock was looking for. On the other hand the Red Raiders opened up 2019 with something that had not happened since the turn of the century. The Golden Eagles of Clarion traveled to Seth Grove Stadium and upset the home standing Red Raiders. The 48-28 game left Shippensburg with many questions, most of all why the slow start on offense. The Rock will look to keep the good times going this weekend but if they can not sure up a defense that allowed over 500 yards to Wayne State last week we could be in for a track meet this weekend. PSAC offensive player of the week Roland Rivers should keep the Rock rolling on offense but head coach Shawn Lutz will need to shore up the defense to avoid the upset bid by the Red Raiders. The pick Slippery Rock 38 Shippensburg 27
Game of the Week :
Kutztown (1-0) @ Cal U (1-0)
- Both Kutztown and Cal U had great showings in week one, Cal U traveled to Saint Anselm and came back to the Mon-Valley 1-0 after a 59-13 victory. Kutztown defeated one of the NE10 favorites Assumption 54-16 at home. Kutztown had the more impressive overall effort posting over 600 yards of offense. Golden Bear quarterback Collin DiGalbo accounted for six touchdowns, two on the ground and four in the air. Total DiGalbo had over 350 yards of offense. The strong showing by the Golden Bear offense was complemented by a defense that surrendered just over 300 total yards. Last week the Vulcan’s crushed forced seven turnovers and held the Hawks to negative yardage on the ground. This week we will see a much tougher test for the Vulcan football team. Last season the Golden Bears held off the Vulcans for a 34-31 victory at home, the game was played in wet conditions last season and with a 50/50 chance of rain for Saturday this week could also see ball control being a key to the game. This game is a matchup of two of the top young passers in the league. Noah Mitchell and Collin DiGalbo both had strong opening weekends and will be pivotal to team success this weekend. The battle to watch will also be the Golden Bear rushing attack which gained over 300 yards last weekend against the Vulcan front seven who held the Hawks to negative yardage last week. The pick Cal U 27 Kutztown 24
This week we get to look for bragging right not over other conferences but against the east side of our own league. Last year West Chester won the league title but it was Slippery Rock making a playoff run. I’ll be pulling for our side of the league but following this great conference we all know that every team will play hard and make their school, alumni and fans proud. Enjoy week two all across our commonwealth as we creep deeper into football season.
With an improving weather forecast this is setting up for a wonderful early season weekend in the PSAC. This will be a great litmus test for many programs in the league. Enjoy the weekend and support all of the students participating from the trainers to the cheerleaders and the marching bands. Check back next week as we get ready for the final crossover weekend. Follow along @zsimpson_d2 for updates throughout the week and weekend.