Week 10 in the NE-10
by, 10-31-2012 at 07:25 AM (1226 Views)
Two undefeated teams will meet in the final weekend of the season. Can you ask for a better match-up? Plus some home field advantage will be earned this week for the championship weekend.
Week 10 Capsules
Stonehill (4-4, 4-3 NE-10) at Pace (0-8, 0-7 NE-10)
When: November 3rd, 12:00 PM
All-Time Series: Pace leads the series, 9-8-0
My thoughts: This match-up has been pretty close over the years.
Stonehill will have gone 17 days between games when they take the field on Saturday. The Skyhawks have had a lot of time to get over the last second national television loss to New Haven. That game showed that Stonehill has moved into the top of the NE-10 and also has left the team thirsting for more. The offense moved the ball against one of the better defenses in the league and the defense stood toe to toe with an explosive offensive unit. But nothing will cure the Skyhawks better than a win this weekend. If they are going to win on the road, they are going to need to shake off the rust early and establish their presence in the trenches.
Pace fell to Assumption last weekend but seemed to play better in the loss. The Setters scored 24 points in the first half and found themselves in the game at halftime. They struggled to stop the Assumption offense in the second half and found themselves on the wrong side of the score for the ninth straight week. Jordan Raynor has been playing better as the season goes along. He has been able to move the offense more consistently up and down the field. For Pace to get their first win, they are going to have play better defense and not allow Stonehill to establish their balanced offense attack.
Pace will start the game strong but Stonehill is better on both sides of the ball. They will shake off some early rust to finish their best regular season in years in style.
Prediction: Stonehill 34 Pace 17
St. Anselm (1-8, 1-7 NE-10) at Seton Hill (0-9, 0-7 WVIAC)
When: November 3rd, 12:00 PM
All-Time Series: First Meeting
My thoughts: One of these teams will gain some momentum for the final weekend of the regular season.
St. Anselm nearly pulled off a big upset as their rally in the second half fell short. The Hawks continue to play well on their home turf against some of the top teams in the league. Andrew Murphy might just be a freshman but is starting to play like a veteran. He threw for over 400 yards again and seemed to find a couple of seams in the AIC defense. He also got the ball into the hands of Keith Charles and Justin Bernard and let them make some plays in the open field. For St. Anselm to win on the road, they are going to need to repeat their second half performance for an entire 60 minutes. If they are able to play with confidence and not let turnovers ruin their drives, they have a chance to win to win this game.
Seton Hill is having a tough final season in the WVIAC. They are winless and will move to an ever tougher conference next year. The Griffins are a very one dimensional team as they are averaging just 36 yards per game on the ground. Andrew Jackson has emerged as the starting quarterback and has thrown for over 400 yards the past two weeks and seven touchdowns. But he has struggled with interceptions as he has been picked off four times each in the last two games. The defense has struggled as well, giving up 38 points and 400 yards per game this year. Tyler Zimmer has been all over the field with 102 tackles on the season. For Seton Hill to win the game, they are going to need to take care of the ball and not let the St. Anselm defensive line pressure Jackson.
St. Anselm has proven that they are making strides this year on both sides of the ball. Their line play is much better than Seton Hill and that will be the difference in the game.
Prediction: St. Anselm 35 Seton Hill 30
Bentley (6-2, 5-2 NE-10) at Southern Connecticut (2-7, 2-5 NE-10)
When: November 3rd, 1:00 PM
All-Time Series: Bentley leads the series, 8-6-0
My thoughts: This game is always a quality match-up but will not bring the same hype this year.
Bentley rebounded nicely from two tough losses with a homecoming victory over Merrimack last Saturday. The Falcons held one of the best offenses in the country in check most of the afternoon and used their offensive attack to win the game. Danny Guadagnoli played flawlessly in running the offense and accounting for four scores. The Bentley defense has been solid all season long and last weekend was their ultimate test. They passed it with flying colors and now look to finish the regular season strong. For Bentley to win on the road, they will need to continue their stellar defense and confuse the young Southern Connecticut quarterbacks. They will also need to move the ball and not make mistakes within the red zone.
Southern Connecticut dropped their latest game to their cross-town rival New Haven last Saturday. The Owls played well in the second quarter but were not able to sustain that momentum. Jacob Jablonski appears to be done for the season after suffering an ankle injury. Michael Eckrote was thought to be the starter last weekend but eventually saw time in the second half. He will face a tall task against the Bentley defense and will need to play well beyond his years. For Southern Connecticut to pull the upset, they will need to play a complete game on both sides of the ball. The Owls will need to limit turnovers and take advantage of any Bentley mistakes.
Bentley is the more experienced team and should be able to control the line of scrimmage. They don't get the chance to play a down Southern Connecticut team and will take advantage of the opportunity.
Prediction: Bentley 45 Southern Connecticut 20
Assumption (3-5, 3-4 NE-10) at Merrimack (4-4, 3-4 NE-10)
When: November 3rd, 1:00 PM
All-Time Series: Merrimack leads the series, 12-4-0
My thoughts: Home field is on the line in this final weekend match-up.
Assumption appeared to be headed to a lost season three weeks ago. But they rebounded nicely after their bye week to have a shot at hosting a game next weekend. The Greyhounds have seen their offense find their groove the past two weeks. Despite the loss of Matt Pedone, the running game has thrived with Uly Gibson and Nick Bolio. Assumption has also played well on the defensive side and will face another tough challenge this weekend. For Assumption to win on the road, they are going to need to find a way to slow down the Merrimack offense and not let them make any big plays. They are also going to need to run the ball at the Warriors' defense to control the ball and the clock.
Merrimack dropped a game to their rival Bentley 38-21 last weekend. The Warriors struggled on the defensive side of the ball and were not able to have an answer for the Falcons. The offense did not have their usual output. Joe Clancy was not able to stretch the field with his receivers in order to set up the running game. They will need to have more success against Assumption and get the ball into the end zone when they have the chance. For Merrimack to win the game, they will need find a way for Assumption to keep their offense on the sidelines and wear down their defense with a balanced offensive attack.
Merrimack has more offensive weapons than Assumption and should be able to find some success in throwing the ball. Their defense will make some plays down the stretch to win a high scoring affair.
Prediction: Merrimack 38 Assumption 31
# 6 New Haven (8-0, 7-0 NE-10) at AIC (7-1, 7-0 NE-10)
When: November 3rd, 1:00 PM
All-Time Series: New Haven leads the series, 11-6-0
My thoughts: Do you remember October 17, 2009?
That was the last time that New Haven lost a road game in the NE-10. Since then, they have taken care of business on the road within the league. The Chargers enter the game after crushing their cross-town rival Southern Connecticut 48-9. The offense was unstoppable at times but the defense allowed their first game with over 100 yards rushing this year. Ryan Osiecki was flawless in his play especially throwing the ball down field. He found Jason Thompson twice deep for touchdowns and appears to be fully recovered from his injury. He will need to play mistake free against a solid AIC defense. He will need to control the time of possession and keep AIC on their heels through a balanced attack. The Charger defense will also need to play better and not allow AIC to establish their running game. For New Haven to win the game, they will need to limit the versatility of Kevin Arduino and not allow him to run in the open field.
AIC had all they could handle at St. Anselm. After dominating the first half, they took their foot off the accelerator in the second half and nearly dropped the game. The Yellow Jackets will finally get their shot to knock off the league's best. They have taken care of business all season long and now need to finish strong. AIC will need to find a way to slow down the New Haven offense and not let them march up and down the field with ease. For AIC to win the game, the front four for the Yellow Jackets will be the key. If they are able to get pressure on Osiecki and force him to make mistakes, they will be successful. Arduino will also need to play mistake free and make key third conversions when called upon.
This game is going to be hard hitting and not decided until the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Who does that favor? Both teams are strong second half squads and have had success late in the games. But New Haven has been here before and will find a way to squeak out the victory.
Prediction: New Haven 24 AIC 20