By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports
Football has finally returned to New England – welcome back, we missed you!
And with the return of a brand new football season, it can only mean one thing: 10 Games to Watch has officially returned to Noontime Sports (get excited!).
So – similar to last year – we will highlight 10 New England D3 contests to watch (and follow/attend) this weekend, as well as our predictions for each contest, too. And as always, you can let us know what you think of our predictions by sending us a tweet to @NoontimeSports or @Noontime_FB (our brand new football Twitter handle!).
Let’s kick-off a BRAND new season with our first installment of 10 Games to Watch in week one!
Univ. of New England at Coast Guard Academy (Thursday, Aug. 30th | 7 p.m.): The Bears open its 2018 campaign against a new opponent (UNE), which will certainly be a team to watch this fall as a first-year varsity program. But tonight, we’ll take the Bears over the Nor’Easters, which will be led by junior quarterback Ryan Jones. PREDICTION: Coast Guard 28, UNE 10
WPI at Anna Maria (Friday, Aug. 31st | 7 p.m.): WPI is one of our teams to watch this fall – as we mentioned earlier this week, they are very determined to challenge Springfield College for the top spot in the NEWMAC – so look for the Engineers to begin their season with a week one win against a non-conference/Worcester area foe. PREDICTION: WPI 35, Anna Maria 14
Western New England at Springfield College (Friday, Aug. 31st | 7 p.m.): Junior Hunter Belzo and the Pride’s offense will look to continue its momentum from last season, which began with an opening day win over their neighbors in the Battle for the Pynchon Saw. PREDICTION: Springfield 28, WNE 21
Dean College at Curry College (Friday, Aug. 31st | 7 p.m.): This will be a good test for the Colonels, who were picked to finish third in the CCC (tied with Endicott College). Sure, they graduated some key pieces from last year’s squad, which advanced to the New England Bowl, but an opening day win against the Bulldogs could provide the Purple and White with some much-needed early season momentum. PREDICTION: Curry 27, Dean 14
Becker College at MIT (Friday, Aug. 31st | 7 p.m.): Coach Brian Bubna and the Engineers will look to begin a new chapter – and yes, a new season, as well! – with a win against a Becker squad they topped last season on the road. PREDICTION: MIT 21, Becker 7
Endicott College at Framingham State (Saturday, Sept. 1st | 12 p.m.): For the past few seasons, the Rams of Framingham State have had their way with the Gulls of Endicott. However, this game has the making for a potential upset, so don’t be surprised if the Blue and Green fly home to Beverly with an opening day win. PREDICTION: Endicott 24, Framingham State 20
Buffalo State at Bridgewater State (Saturday, Sept. 1st | 12 p.m.): Buffalo State should certainly provide some challenges for the Bears of Bridgewater State, which almost defeated the Bengals last season in New York. This game has the makings for an exciting first week contest, which could come down to the final drive. PREDICTION: Buffalo State 26, Bridgewater State 17
Salve Regina at Worcester State (Saturday, Sept. 1st | 12 p.m.): If the Lancers hope to contend for the MASCAC crown this fall they must find a way to get past some of the region’s top teams, including Salve Regina. The Seahawks were picked to finish second the CCC Preseason Coaches’ Poll on Wednesday, and will certainly provide Worcester State with some challenges on both sides of the ball. PREDICTION: Salve Regina 29, Worcester State 24
Husson Univ. at Union College (Saturday, Sept. 1st | 1 p.m.): An opening day win against a talented Union squad would be a tremendous ways to start the post-John Smith era at Husson. The Eagles return some key pieces from last year’s squad, which should certainly help them contend against some of the best teams in both New England and New York this fall. PREDICTION: Husson 17, Union 13
Plymouth State at Castleton Univ. (Saturday, Sept. 1st | 1 p.m.): The Panthers maybe the favorite in this contest, but don’t overlook the Spartans’ offense, which will be led by senior wide-out Ryan Barry and classmate/halfback Moe Harris. PREDICTION: Castleton 21, Plymouth State 20