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Paul Falewicz

Week 11 in the NE-10

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It is the first ever NE-10 championship weekend. Besides the championship game, there are three other match-ups to finish the out the season in style.

Week 11 Capsules

Southern Connecticut (2-8, 2-6 NE-10) at Stonehill (5-4, 5-3 NE-10)

When: November 10th, 1:00 PM

All-Time Series: Southern Connecticut leads the series, 15-1-0

2012 Result: @ Stonehill 13 Southern Connecticut 0

My thoughts: These two teams have had polar opposite seasons.

Southern Connecticut has struggled the entire season. The Owls have their first losing season since most of the team was in diapers. They have not been able to play consistently in any of their games this season. Even in the two victories, they were not as crisp as they should have been. Last week, they hung with Bentley until late in the game. They were not able to slow down the Falcons late in the game and were on the losing end of the score. For Southern Connecticut to win on the road, they are going to need to play well beyond their years. They are going to need to have a balanced offensive attack and find a way to slow down the Stonehill offense.

Stonehill is in the middle of a great season. They have exceeded expectations in everyone's eyes but their own. The Skyhawks had confidence that they would have a good season and they have delivered. The four losses this year include two nationally ranked teams and the other two were receiving votes at one point in the season. Stonehill finished the regular season with a record breaking day at Pace. For Stonehill to win the game, they are going to need to play mistake free and establish their presence on both sides of the ball. They can end the season on a high note.

Stonehill has more playmakers on both sides of the ball and is playing very well right now. They will have no problem moving the ball and should be able to limit Southern Connecticut.

Prediction: Stonehill 35 Southern Connecticut 10

St. Anselm (2-8, 1-7 NE-10) at Merrimack (5-4, 4-4 NE-10)

When: November 10th, 1:00 PM

All-Time Series: Merrimack leads the series, 10-3-0

2012 Result: @ Merrimack 81 St. Anselm 35

My thoughts: This might be a match-up to keep your eyes on.

St. Anselm seemed to be making strides until they allowed 81 points to Merrimack a couple of weeks ago. But it appeared to be a teaching moment for head coach Pat Murphy and his staff. Since that game, they nearly upset AIC and then won on the road at Seton Hill. Yes, Seton Hill is not a powerhouse but it is great motivational tool for the Hawks. It shows that they can win on the road and should give them a chance this weekend. For St. Anselm to win to the game, they are going to need to find a way to slow down all of the Merrimack offensive weapons. They didn't do that three weeks ago and should be able to improve upon that performance.

Merrimack had higher expectations for the season and is not happy with a .500 record in the league. They succeeded at times but struggled at others. Joe Clancy and Isaiah Voegeli are the most dangerous combination in the league and will need to finish out the season on the same page again. The Warriors will need their defense to slow down the St. Anselm spread offense. For Merrimack to win the game, they will need to move the ball with ease and not let turnovers ruin potential scoring drives. Plus their defense will need to step up and not allow St. Anselm to wear them down with their quick pace.

This game will see a lot of points on the scoreboard. It will be a lot closer than the previous match-ups but Merrimack should be able to make more plays to grab the victory.

Prediction: Merrimack 35 St. Anselm 31

Assumption (3-6, 3-5 NE-10) at Bentley (7-2, 6-2 NE-10)

When: November 10th, 1:00 PM

All-Time Series: Bentley leads the series, 33-7-1

2012 Result: Bentley 21 @ Assumption 14

My thoughts: This match-up is always a hard nosed game.

Assumption has seen several different phases of their season. At one point, they were dropping games in the final minutes. Then, they turned it around in order to win consecutive weeks with solid performances. The Greyhounds have the ability to compete with any team in the league and have proven it most of the season. It was on display in their loss at Merrimack. They showed an explosive offense that can move the ball either on the ground or through the air. But they have no answer in the second half for the Merrimack offense. For Assumption to win on the road, they are going to need to continue their offensive explosive and stay balanced. They are going to need their defense to play better and not allow Bentley to move the ball with ease.

Bentley was this close to play in the NE-10 championship game this weekend. They suffered consecutive four point losses to the teams directly ahead of them in the standings. A different outcome in one of those games would have seen a date in the championship game this weekend. But the Falcons have had a solid season and have nothing to be upset at. They took care of business when they needed to and were in both losses until the end. For Bentley to win their eighth game of the season, they will need their defense to pressure Assumption and not allow them to move the ball up and down the field. They will also need Danny Guadagnoli to play mistake free and get the ball into the hands of his playmakers.

This game will be one of the more physical match-ups of the weekend. Both teams already battled hard for 60 minutes and this game will be no different. Bentley will find a way to win the game late.

Prediction: Bentley 28 Assumption 24

AIC (7-2, 7-1 NE-10) at # 5 New Haven (9-0, 8-0 NE-10)

When: November 10th, 12:00 PM

All-Time Series: New Haven leads the series, 12-6-0

2012 Result: New Haven 37 @ AIC 6

My thoughts: Didn't we just see this match-up a couple of days ago?

AIC struggled in their home finale and lost their first game in the league this year. The Yellow Jackets were not able to stop the New Haven offense in the first half and fell behind early. The offense had trouble moving the ball and when they did get into the red zone, they were not able to come away with any points. Kevin Arduino was not the dual threat that he had been the entire season. The New Haven front four did a good job getting in the way of Arduino and not allowing him to run free. For AIC to win the league championship on the road, they are going to need to be disciplined football. If they are able to limit penalties and not turn the ball over, they are going to need their defense to find a way to stop all of the weapons that New Haven can put on the field.

New Haven took care of business last Saturday to win their 16th straight NE-10 game and their 13th straight NE-10 road game. The Chargers looked very comfortable and did pretty much whatever they wanted in the game. Ryan Osiecki moved the offensive to perfection in the first half and the defense stepped up whenever AIC made a trip into the red zone. The front four of the Chargers defense also controlled the line of scrimmage and did not let Arduino find any holes in the defense. For New Haven to win the league championship, they are going to need to continue to play their game. Osiecki will direct the offense up and down the field with ease and the defense will need to slow down the AIC running game.

New Haven made it look easy last weekend but AIC will put up a better fight this weekend. The Chargers are a more experienced team and will take care of business down the stretch to hoist the first ever NE-10 championship game trophy.

Prediction: New Haven 31 AIC 16

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Updated 11-07-2012 at 02:40 PM by Paul Falewicz

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Comments

  1. Win with heart's Avatar
    Paul, are we the only conference in the whole country that have a championship week like this? I mean every team will play another team again. For New Haven, they have nothing to gain but everything to loose with this game and this is not good. The scary part is AIC has nothing to loose and everything to gain. This is crazy, New Haven better has the week of than play this game and get no credits at all and the risk of injury when they win.
    Updated 11-07-2012 at 09:17 PM by Win with heart
  2. Win with heart's Avatar
    And if they loose, they will drop in the RR. I for one do not like this game. Hope the NE10 conference will take a look into this matter and figure out a better way for all of the teams in the conference. Maybe another out of conference game would be better?
  3. Paul Falewicz's Avatar
    The reason behind this was to strength SOS. But it appears that the games will not count towards SOS per the NCAA. It gives the teams an extra game and with that the risk of losing the game. New Haven is in the playoffs either way and it playing for home field advantage.
  4. NewHaven Alum's Avatar
    New Haven doesn't haven to play the championship game and still have the home field advantage for the first round do they not? If New Haven wins the game, they still will be where they are at at this point correct? If it is true then why play the game? Another word, I would like to know what are the advantages for New Haven to play this game beside the risk of injuries.
  5. wiseguy10053's Avatar
    Could not agree more with "Win with heart" and "NewHaven Alum." New Haven should not even have to play this game. Good job NE-10 Conference for this meaningless week and game.
  6. Win with heart's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Falewicz
    The reason behind this was to strength SOS. But it appears that the games will not count towards SOS per the NCAA. It gives the teams an extra game and with that the risk of losing the game. New Haven is in the playoffs either way and it playing for home field advantage.
    Then why are we even playing this game Paul? Like NewHaven Alum said, UNH doesn't have to play this championship game and still have a home playoff game. Make no sense at all.
  7. Paul Falewicz's Avatar
    One reason is the 10 game rule. Teams need to play 10 games against D2 teams to be eligible for the playoffs. Merrimack and Pace are not eligible this year because they play 9 and 8 games against D2 teams. It also matters for home field. New Haven will play at home with a win and on the road with a loss. It was done to help teams get the 10 game but that might go away when Post is voted in.
  8. Falcon Backer's Avatar
    Paul, if I read it correctly it is 10 games total they have to play and 8 have to be d 2 games
  9. Paul Falewicz's Avatar
    I thought that they were increasing it to 10 D2 games. Since the handbook is no longer public, it is all speculation. There are two categories on the NCAA website for SOS. One is with the right number of games and one is with fewer games. There are 10 teams with only 9 D2 games including Merrimack and Pace.