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The Whole Nine Yards Runs Down the Week 3 Football Docket
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Hameline

All nine Northeast Conference teams will be in action during Week 3 with Monmouth and Wagner playing the lone league game on the slate. While the Outer Bridge rivals duke it out on Staten Island, Albany and Central Connecticut will take on non-conference opponents who are ranked in the Top 25. Three NEC teams – Duquesne, Robert Morris and Saint Francis (PA) – will face members of the Pioneer League. Bryant will host a CAA member, while Sacred Heart visits a perennial Patriot League power. 
 














Northeast Conference Football is back for the 2012 season and so is The Whole Nine Yards. Released on a weekly basis, the piece chronicles nine storylines surrounding the NEC’s nine football members.
 
Quite an Honor for Hameline
When you win 204 games and a National Championship along the way, you can expect to receive an honor similar to the one Walt Hameline will receive this Saturday, September 15. Wagner will name the field at Wagner College Stadium in honor of its long-time head football coach. Hameline Field will be officially dedicated in a ceremony prior to the Northeast Conference (NEC) matchup between the Seahawks and Hawks which is slated for a 1:00 pm. kickoff. At halftime, Wagner will recognize the 25th anniversary of its 1987 Division III National Championship.

Little Separation in Outer Bridge Rivalry Series
The all-time Outer Bridge Rivalry series is as even as even can be when there have been an odd number of meetings throughout the years. Wagner leads Monmouth by a slim 10-9 margin as the two sides will clash for a 20th time this Saturday on Staten Island. The series has taken a recent tilt in the Seahawks’ direction with Walt Hameline’s team having won the last three meetings. The fact that Wagner will host this year’s tilt holds little significance since home-field advantage has rarely been a factor in the outcome when these two teams meet. Seven of the last eight meetings have been won by the road team. Only Wagner’s 31-20 home win in 2010 has bucked that trend.

Dukes Look for Fifth Straight vs. PFL
Duquesne will look to repeat its Pioneer Football League sweep of a season ago. Last week’s win over Dayton has given the Dukes an opportunity to post two wins over members of the Pioneer League for a second straight year. Duquesne, which defeated both Dayton and Valparaiso in 2011, will head to Valpo for a Week 3 bout. Duquesne handed Valparaiso a 49-14 defeat in Pittsburgh last September. The Dukes produced 425 rushing yards in that contest, 164 of which came from Larry McCoy, and Sean Patterson threw three touchdown passes. Valpo’s run defense seems to be vulnerable once again this season as it has allowed an average of 249.5 yards over its first two games.

Flash Face Familiar Foe
Morehead State has had a habit of bringing out the best in the Red Flash’s offense. Set for their fourth meeting with Morehead State in four seasons, Saint Francis (PA) has averaged 34.0 points per game against the Pioneer League foe. In 2011, the Red Flash overcame an 18-point fourth-quarter deficit to win a thrilling 50-49 decision at home. There will be two key differences heading into this year’s bout. The setting will move from Loretto, PA to Morehead, KY and the Red Flash will be without Kyle Harbridge, who ran for 346 yards and four touchdowns in last season’s triumph. In place of Harbridge, who is done for the season (injury), Saint Francis’ rushing attack will feature NEC Rookie of the Week Khairi Dickson, who went for 170 yards from scrimmage during Week 2.

Celebrating With a Challenge
Head coach Bob Ford celebrated his 75th birthday on Tuesday, but he and his Great Danes won’t be enjoying any cupcakes this weekend. After opening NEC play with a win against Robert Morris in Week 2, Albany will step out of conference to face the fifth-ranked team in all of FCS - Youngstown State. The Great Danes last met a Top 25 opponent in the 2011 NCAA FCS playoffs, dropping a 31-28 decision at then-No. 22 Stony Brook. Albany last defeated a nationally-ranked foe on Sept. 19, 2009 when it handed No. 20 Maine a 20-16 loss. In 2006, Albany defeated No. 11 Delaware, 17-10, and No. 23 Central Connecticut, 19-14.

Robert Morris and Dayton Searching for Spark
The 2012 installment of the long-running rivalry between Robert Morris and Pioneer League member Dayton will feature a pair of hungry opponents. Both sides enter Week 3 having lost their first two games of the new campaign and will be thirsting for victory. Neither the Colonials nor the Flyers have moved the ball with great success, combining for 31 points in four games thus far this season. The Robert Morris offense, which managed only 10 points in games against No. 1 North Dakota and NEC preseason favorite Albany, will look to receive a spark from the return of quarterback Jeff Sinclair. The former all-NEC passer missed the last two games of the 2011 campaign and the first two weeks of 2012.

Pioneers Return to Action vs. Patriot League Foe
Sacred Heart has had two weeks to prepare for Colgate, which will be SHU’s first Patriot League opponent since a 2010 win over Georgetown. The Pioneers were idle last week after opening the season with a four-overtime heartbreaker at MEAC member Morgan State and will look to gain some momentum in Week 3 with their NEC opener against Monmouth looming in Week 4. In addition to the extra preparation time, Sacred Heart likely watched film of fellow NEC member Albany’s 40-23 season-opening win over Colgate during which the Danes totaled 315 rushing yards and turned the tide with a pair of punt blocks.

Blue Devils’ Schedule Far from Soft
Not one, not two, but three. Thus is the number of Top 25 opponents for Central Connecticut in the season’s first three weeks. The Blue Devils, who are still looking to break into the win column, will visit No. 18 New Hampshire in Week 3. Last Saturday, Central opened its home slate by facing two-time defending Patriot League champion Lehigh, which currently stands at No. 16 in The Sports Network FCS National Top 25 Poll. In the season opener, the Blue Devils visited defending Big South champion Stony Brook, who has held steady at No. 17.

Brown-led Bulldogs Back Home for Maine
After dropping its league opener on the road last week, Bryant returns home to face CAA member Maine at Bulldog Stadium. It will mark the second consecutive season that the Bulldogs and Black Bears meet. Maine knocked off Bryant, 28-13, in the 2011 season opener, with both of the Bulldogs’ touchdowns coming courtesy of Walter Payton Award candidate Jordan Brown. After an uncharacteristic rushing line in Week 1, Brown bounced back by running for 125 yards and a score in last Saturday’s 39-28 setback at Saint Francis (PA). Brown, who carried 28 times for 128 yards in last year’s meeting with Maine, will have to contend with an explosive Black Bears’ defensive line led by Michael Cole. Cole was named the College Football Performance Awards FCS National Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts in Maine’s season-opening loss to ACC member Boston College.
Albany (2-0)
at
No. 5 Youngstown St. (2-0)
Location
Youngstown, OH (Stambaugh Stadium)
Kickoff
Saturday at 4:00 pm

Multimedia Links
Listen - Live Stats
Bryant (0-2)
vs.
Maine (0-1)
Location
Smithfield, RI (Bulldog Stadium)
Kickoff
Saturday at 1:00 pm
Central Conn. St. (0-2)
at
No. 18 New Hampshire (1-1)
Location
Durham, NH (Cowell S
Kickoff
Saturday at 12:00 pm
Multimedia Links
Watch - Live Stats

 
Duquesne (1-1)
at
Valparaiso (0-2)
Location
Valparaiso, IN
 (Brown Field)
Kickoff
Saturday at 2:00 pm
Multimedia Links
Live Stats



Monmouth (1-1, 0-0)
at
Wagner (0-2, 0-0)
Location
Staten Island, NY
(Wagner Stadium)
Kickoff
Saturday at 1:00 pm
Multimedia Links
Watch on NEC Front Row - Live Stats



Robert Morris (0-2)
at
Dayton (0-2)
Location
Dayton, OH 
(Welcome Stadium)
Kickoff
Saturday at 1:00 pm
Multimedia Links
Watch - Live Stats




Sacred Heart (0-1)
at
Colgate (0-2)
Location
Hamilton, NY (Kerr Stadium)
Kickoff
Saturday at 1:00 pm
Multimedia Links
Watch - Live Stats




Saint Francis (PA) (1-1)
at
Morehead State (1-1)
Location
Morehead, KY (Jayne Stadium)
Kickoff
Saturday at 1:00 pm
Multimedia Links
Watch Live - Live Stats

*All times EST.

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