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Mass. College Football: Five Games To Watch This Weekend (Week Three Predictions)

Harvard University senior Scott Hosch will commence the season under center for the Crimson. (Photo Credit: AmericanSportsnet.com)

Harvard University senior Scott Hosch will commence the season under center for the Crimson. (Photo Credit: AmericanSportsnet.com)

By Matt Noonan 

Another weekend of college football has arrived – hooray!

Below are five games to watch/follow (and predictions) – make sure to circle back on on our social media channels this weekend (Facebook and Twitter) for updates, scores and news.

Merrimack at Assumption (Friday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m.): Both teams will look to capture their first Northeast-10 Conference victory this evening as the Greyhounds host the Warriors in what promises to be an exciting ‘Friday Night Lights’ contest. Assumption’s Brendan Tobey is second in the conference in passing yards per game (246.5) and has tossed three touchdowns thus far, while Alex Shain is the top rusher in touchdowns (three) and yards per game (126.0). Merrimack’s defense is sixth in the NE-10, but tied for fourth in sacks (four). Brian Carroll has had an impressive season for the Warriors on defense, tallying 20 total tackles, including 17 solo stops, so expect him and his teammates to challenge Tobey and Shain. PREDICTION: Assumption 25, Merrimack 23 

Boston College vs. No. 9 Florida State Univ. (Friday, Sept. 18 at 8 p.m.): Following a pair of non-conference clashes, the Eagles host their first conference contest against an impressive Seminoles squad that captured their initial games against Texas State (59-16) and South Florida (34-14). Dalvin Cook is second in the nation in rushing, compiling 422 yards on the ground and five touchdowns. The Eagles defense will need to focus on Cook, while winning the time of possession on offense. PREDICTION: Florida State 34, Boston College 20 

Harvard at Rhode Island (Saturday, Sept. 19 at 1 p.m.): The Crimson’s title defense begins tomorrow as they travel one state over to face a Rhode Island, which has lost a pair of games this season, including a 47-0 setback to Syracuse. Harvard signal-caller Scott Hosch will start the season under center, looking to guide the Crimson to their fourth consecutive week one victory. PREDICTION: Harvard 30, URI 17 

American International College (AIC) at New Haven (Saturday, Sept. 19 at 1 p.m.): This should be an interesting match-up with both squads claiming NE-10 victories last weekend. New Haven rallied to defeat Bentley with a late field goal, while AIC quarterback Kwame Jarvis tossed a trio of touchdown passes in the Yellow Jackets’ 44-13 victory over So. Connecticut State. Andre Anderson of New Haven is second in the conference in rushing yards, averaging 110 yards over two games, while locating the end zone twice. Jerrod Shelby has paced the Yellow Jackets’ defense with a team-high 17 total tackles (eight solo stops) and one sack (six yard loss). New Haven captured this contest last year, registering a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter to claim a 31-24 victory. PREDICTION: AIC 28, New Haven 25 

UMass vs. Temple (Saturday, Sept. 19 at 3 p.m./Gillette Stadium): The Owls – currently receiving votes in the AP Top 25 and Coaches Poll – have won back-to-back games, including an opening week victory against Penn State (27-10). Last week, the Owls defense intercepted Cincinnati quarterback Gunner Kiel four times en route to 34-26 victory. This week, Temple travels takes on a UMass squad that lost its opener against Colorado, 48-14, but wide receiver Tajae Sharpe finished the game with 11 catches for 138 yards. The Minutemen will need to limit their mistakes from one week ago to defeat a talented Temple squad. PREDICTION: Temple 31, UMass 26 

Mass. College Football: Five Game To Watch (Week Two)

By NoontimeSports.com 

The second week of the college football season is upon us, so let’s pick a few games to watch – five to be exact – and predictions.

Best of luck to all teams competing this evening and tomorrow – make sure to check-back every Friday of the season for our ‘Five Games to Watch’ post.

UMass (0-0) at Colorado (0-1): The Minutemen commence its 2015 season on the road (Saturday, Sept. 12 at 2:00 p.m.), competing against a Buffaloes squad that fell to Hawai’i last Thursday. UMass will look to continue its turnaround from last season, which saw the offensive unit post 45 scores compared to 13 touchdowns in 2013. Second-year graduate student Blake Frohnapfel will be the team’s signal-caller and was recently named to four watch lists, including the Dave O’Brien Award, which is given to the top quarterbacks across college football by Davey O’Brien, according to the UMass Athletic website. He is also in the running for the Manning Award, an accolade that is handed out by the Allstate Sugar Bowl to the top signal-caller in the country. Expect the quarterback to have a big game and lead his team to victory. PREDICTION: UMass 24, Colorado 21

Stonehill College (1-0) at Merrimack College (0-1): On Wednesday, Stonehill head coach Robert Talley described this matchup as a ‘good rivalry.’ This rivalry will be played under the lights in North Andover (Friday, September 11, 7:00 p.m.) as both teams open Northeast-10 Conference play following an interesting first week. The Skyhawks defeated Bloomsburg (originally No. 11 in the country), while the Warriors fell to Bowie State by just three points (35-32). Stonehill is now receiving votes in the national poll.

Matt Clifford highlighted the Warriors’ defensive outing, posting five solo tackles; two pass-breakups and one fumble recovery, while Brian Carroll paced the unit with eight total tackles – all eight tackles were solo stops. Stonehill quarterback Matt Foltz completed 13 of 19 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns, running back Colin Markus rushed for one score and 122 yards on 27 carries, and Donovan Phanor, who was tabbed the conference’s Defensive Player of the Week, registered seven total tackles, one interception, one pass-breakup and one fumble recovery. This has the making of a great game, but expect defense to be the focal point. PREDICTION: Stonehill 31, Merrimack 27

New Haven (0-1) at Bentley University (0-1): Last weekend, the Falcons fell behind early, but showed great fight down the stretch in a 35-20 setback to Mercyhurst. Martin Bannerman rushed for a pair of touchdowns, while Michael Baron finished two-for-two on field goals and extra points, respectively. Bryan Hardy had an impressive outing on defense, finishing with seven total tackles – five solo stops – one tackle for a loss and one fumble recovery. Bentley will look to utilize its strong finish from a week ago to get off to a good start this evening (Friday, September 11) when they commence NE-10 play against New Haven, which fell to Slippery Rock, 39-13. Bentley anticipates a good crowd this evening that will assist the squad in picking up its initial victory of the season. PREDICTION: Bentley 27, New Haven 21

SUNY Cortland (1-0) at Framingham State University (1-0): Following a week one victory against Endicott College, Tom Kelley and the Rams turn the page to another difficult opponent: The Red Dragons. In 2012, Cortland and Framingham State met in the NCAA Division III Tournament with the Red Dragons prevailing by just one point. Saturday’s game (September 12, 12:00 p.m.) could be a potential playoff preview, however, the Rams will need another strong outing from quarterback Matt Silva, who tossed five touchdowns last weekend against the Gulls. Framingham State will also rely heavily on Svenn Jacobson, who paced the defense with 11 total tackles – five solo stops – and one forced fumble. The Red Dragons rallied to win their first game, posting 13 points in the final frame to overcome a 17-13 deficit at the break. Carson Lassiter led the Red Dragons defense with 13 total tackles, while recording a trio of pass-breakups and one forced fumble. PREDICTION: Framingham State 20, Cortland 17

WPI (1-0) at Worcester State University (0-1): One week after an exciting three-point victory against MIT, the Engineers of WPI will look to continue its momentum on Friday evening (September 11, 7:00 p.m.) when they make the short trip to Worcester State University. WPI’s defense came up with some important stops down the stretch, including a fumble recovery by Brian Murtagh with 3:03 remaining in the fourth quarter. Defense will again be the focal point against a talented Worcester State offense, but so will special teams. WPI will need to contain Terrence Gibson, who recorded 187 yards on three kickoff returns last week. Gibson also hauled in a pair of touchdown receptions from quarterback Trevor Vassey, who completed 16 of 36 pass attempts for 315 yards. Vassey also tossed three touchdowns in his team’s setback to Salve Regina University. This has the making for a classic ‘Friday Night Lights’ contest, but the question is which defense or player will make ‘the play’ to seal the win? PREDICTION: WPI 35, Worcester State 34

Mass. College Hoops: New Haven Edges Stonehill In East Regional Finals

By NoontimeSports.com 

University of New Haven is headed to the NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Quarterfinals following a dramatic 58-57 win over Stonehill College on Monday evening in the East Regional Finals in Garden City, New York.

Briana Bradford recorded the game’s most important steal with four seconds remaining before dashing down the court for a right-handed layup, which sealed the victory and punched the Chargers’ ticket to the quarterfinals in South Dakota.

Stonehill immediately called a timeout following the basket and attempted to net the game-winner, but Kelly Martin’s three-point attempt did not drop and the Chargers escaped with an exciting one-point win.

Bradford netted seven points, pulled down six rebounds and recorded one assist and one steal, while teammate Aquillin Hayes scored a game-high 21 points. Hayes also recorded 10 rebounds.

Tori Faieta paced Stonehill with a double-double of 19 points and 16 rebounds; Martin chipped in 12 points, four assists and six boards, while Ashley Gendron and Amy Pelletier scored five points apiece.

Stonehill led New Haven, 33-32, at the break, but the Chargers outscored the Skyhawks during the second stanza, 26-24.

New Haven converted 26-of-69 attempts from the floor, including three trifectas. Stonehill connected on 19-of-61 attempts and finished with four triples. The Skyhawks sank 15-of-18 shots at the free throw line – Martin finished a perfect 10-for-10 at the stripe – while Hayes connected on 3-of-4 attempts, the only free throws recorded by the Chargers.

The Chargers, who trailed most of the second half, earned their initial lead of the second stanza with 5:56 remaining as Elizabeth Cruso drilled a three-pointer that provided them with a 53-52 advantage.

Cruso would extend the Blue and Gold’s advantage with another triple at 4:26 before Stonehill closed the gap at 3:18 with a layup by Paige Marshall.

Marshall converted Stonehill’s final field goal of the evening, a trifecta with 56 seconds remaining, which put the Skyhawks up, 57-56.

New Haven, which entered the East Region as the second-seed, will face the winner of Cal Poly-Pomona/California Baptist University on Tuesday, March 24.

Mass. College Football: 10 Games To Watch This Weekend

By NoontimeSports.com 

Another weekend of college football is set to commence tomorrow afternoon and below is 10 Games to Watch.

Harvard at Columbia: The Crimson needed a late field goal to defeat Dartmouth last weekend, but don’t expect that to be the case this weekend. Harvard, which enters the contest 6-1 overall, will look to earn its seventh win against a winless Columbia unit.

Boston College at New Mexico State: After an exciting win against Virginia Tech, the Eagles will look to build on their momentum this weekend against a 1-8 New Mexico squad.

Assumption at LIU Post: The Hounds will look to conclude their regular season with a victory against an offense that ranks fourth in the conference in yards per game (465.9). Assumption is 4-1 on the road this season, while LIU Post is 2-1 at home.

Bentley at New Haven: The Falcons will look to end their slate on a two-game winning streak as they travel to New Haven to face a Chargers squad that’s 1-2 in their last three games. Quarterback Danny Guadagnoli ranks second in the Northeast-10 Conference in passing yards per game (282.0) and fifth in touchdown passes (17).

Stonehill at Merrimack: The Skyhawks will look to conclude their regular season with a win against a talented offensive unit, which is led by quarterback Joe Clancy. A win for Stonehill could result in a home championship game next weekend.

So. Connecticut at AIC: As of now, the Yellow Jackets are expected to host Stonehill next weekend for the conference championship, but a loss to the Owls and a Skyhawks win could result in a trip to Easton. AIC’s offense ranks third in the conference in points (311).

Framingham State at Bridgewater State: The Bears haven’t defeated the Rams since 2009, a game they won in Bridgewater. Tomorrow’s key matchup will be BSU quarterback Mike McCarthy versus the Rams defense.

UMass Dartmouth at Fitchburg State: Both teams have been pleasant surprises this season, so expect a good battle between the Corsairs and Falcons. A win for Fitchburg would keep them above .500, while a victory for UMass Dartmouth snaps a two-game skid.

Western New England at Endicott: The Golden Bears, who have won two of their last three games, recorded 563 yards of total offense last weekend against Curry College. Endicott enters tomorrow’s contest on a five-game winning streak and remains undefeated in New England Football Conference play.

Amherst at Williams: Tomorrow’s matchup isn’t just the 128th meeting between these two schools, but also the final contest at Weston Field. Amherst won last season’s meeting, 23-20.

Mass. College Football: 10 Games To Watch This Weekend

By NoontimeSports.com 

The 10th week of the college football season kicks-off this weekend and below are 10 Games to Watch.

Virginia Tech at Boston College (Saturday, 12 p.m.): The Eagles will look to bounce back their 34-10 loss to North Carolina last weekend. BC’s Steve Addazio won’t be making any quarterback changes, but expects Chase Rettig to have a good game.

Pace at Stonehill (Saturday, 12 p.m.): The “Comeback Kids” will entertain a winless Pace squad on Saturday. The Skyhawks have won three straight, including their exciting victory a few weeks ago against New Haven, and will look to conclude their “Senior Day” festivities with a victory.

Norwich at Mount Ida (Saturday, 12 p.m.): “Mustang City” has won three straight and currently resides in second place in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) with three other teams. One of those teams happens to be the Cadets, a squad they defeated a year ago in Newton. A win against Norwich would keep Mount Ida’s conference championship hopes alive.

Merrimack at Assumption (Saturday, 1 p.m.): The Warriors will take their high-powered offense on the road this weekend to face an impressive Hounds unit that’s 5-3 overall. Merrimack quarterback Joe Clancy leads the Northeast-10 Conference (NE-10) with 38 touchdowns and 405.9 passing yards per game.

AIC at New Haven (Saturday, 1 p.m.): The Yellow Jackets will take their four-game winning streak on the road against a Chargers squad, which earned a 40-21 victory a week ago against Southern Connecticut. AIC, New Haven and Stonehill are tied for first in the NE-10, so this game is important for both units.

Mass. Maritime at Framingham State (Saturday, 1 p.m.): Are you ready for another edition of the Kelley Cup? The Buccaneers and Rams will meet for the second straight year in Framingham, and you can expect Massachusetts Maritime to have a chip on their shoulder, especially after losing in overtime a year ago.

Trinity at Amherst (Saturday, 1 p.m.): The Lord Jeffs returned to the win column last week by defeating Tufts in Medford, 17-7. This week, they’ll face a Trinity squad that’s coming off a three-point setback to Middlebury. Trinity enters the contest as the second best scoring offense in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), while Amherst checks in as the second best scoring defense.

So. Connecticut at Bentley (Saturday, 2 p.m.): The Falcons will look to snap its two-game skid on “Senior Day” against a quality Owls unit. As always, keep an eye on wide receiver Jeff Hill and quarterback Danny Guadagnoli.

Dartmouth at Harvard (Saturday, 5 p.m.): Coming off a triple-overtime loss to Princeton, the Crimson will look to rebound against a quality Big Green opponent. As usual, keep an eye on sophomore halfback Paul Stanton Jr., who rushed for two scores last weekend.

Endicott at MIT (Saturday, 5 p.m.): After earning an impressive win on the road last weekend at Western New England, MIT will look to continue their momentum against a talented Gulls squad, which hasn’t lost a contest since September 21 against Kean. Endicott’s defense has done its job over the past two weeks against Coast Guard and Nichols, but will definitely need to pressure quarterback Peter Williams, as well as stop the halfback duo of Justin Wallace and Brad Goldsberry.

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