Hard to believe that it is week four of the college football season but it is. There are some great non-conference games on the schedule for this week so without further ado, here are our game previews for some of the 15 Division One programs in the area.
#23 New Hampshire Wildcats (3-0) at Pitt Panthers (2-1): Pitt was upset by Western Michigan last week so you know the Panthers will be chomping at the bit to avenge that loss.
The Wildcats struggled offensively in a 19-13 win over Lafayette. Bret Edwards and company need to get their mojo back today otherwise it will be a long afternoon for the Wildcats.
Pitt’s front seven on defense will present some problems but the Wildcats might be able to make some plays on the perimeter in the three step passing game and screens. Getting the ball out of Edwards quick will be key.
I think UNH plays tough but winning this game will be tough because they will struggle to match up up front on both sides of the ball.
Sacred Heart Pioneers (2-1) at Dartmouth Big Green (1-0): Dartmouth had its hands full with Valpo last week but still cane away with a 2828 win. Sacred Heart best Morgan State 21-7.
The Pioneers win with their running game and defense. Look for them to try and shorten this game as they do not want to get into a shootout with Dartmouth. The Big Green can make some explosive plays on offense but are young on defense and they give them back.
This game will be tight. It will come down to limiting the mistakes and protecting the football. Whichever team can establish its style of play early, will win this game.
Cornell Big Red (0-1) at Yale Bulldogs (0-1): The Bulldogs need to bounce back after a tough 20-17 loss to Holy Cross last week.
Tony Reno’s team looked rusty at times, especially on offense. Getting the running game going early today will be key. Expect a heavy dose of Zane Dudek as the Bulldogs try to get on track against a Cornell defense that played decent in their loss to VMI last week. They only gave up 112 yards rushing. The Bulldogs will earn it on the ground.
Holy Cross Crusaders (2-1) at Monmouth Hawks (2-1): Holy Cross and Monmouth are familiar foes as they faced off in the playoffs two years ago. The Hawks won that game. Now the two teams meet again.
The Crusaders bounced back nicely last week, beating Yale 20-17. Holy Cross went back to a formula that works for them. A strong running game and quality defense.
Look for more of the same today as the Crusaders will lean on Matthew Sluka and Peter Oliver on offense and linebacker Jacob Dobbs on defense to make plays and win them this game.
Merrimack Warriors (2-1) at Delaware State (1-2): The Warriors should get back against a Delaware State defense that is generous.
Westin Elliot and the Warriors offense played well but the defense struggled at times, especially on third down. Expect the defense to clean things up this week. The Warriors should get back on track this week after last week’s tough loss.
Bryant Bulldogs (1-2) at Marist Red Foxes (0-2): The Bulldogs played tough last week at Akron but the Zips pulled away late.
Chris Merritt’s squad will look to get back on track against a Marist team that has only played one game thus far.
The Bulldogs were balanced last week without Daniel Adeboboye and look for more of the same this week as they look to get back on track. Throwing the ball more effectively will be a priority.
Central Connecticut State Blue Devils (1-2) at Miami Hurricanes (1-2): Let’s face it, this is an experience game for the Blue Devils. They want to go down to Miami, play well and hope to compete.
The pressure is on Miami coach Manny Diaz and with a 1-2 record, the Canes are going to want to put it on the Blue Devils. If Central can take of the ball and run it effectively, they might have a shot of being competitive but it is going to be tough. The hope is they come out of it healthy.
Maine Black Bears (1-2) at Northern Illinois Huskies (1-2): The Black Bears got in the win column last week with a 31-26 win over Merrimack. The offense played well but the defense had some issues.
The Black Bears D will need to play much better against a Northern Illinois offense that can score points. The Huskies upset Georgia Tech week one but then got blown out at Michigan last week. They can be wildly inconsistent.
Maine head coach Nick Charlton emphasized getting the first one after last week’s win. This will be a tough game to win but if the Black Bears play well on offense and get some key stops, especially in the second half, they can get the next one..
Wyoming Cowboys (3-0) at UConn Huskies (0-4) : UConn just can’t get into a rhythm on offense and the defense has really struggled. The visiting Cowboys and their high powered offense aren’t exactly what the Huskies needed to cure their ills.
Right now, it is all about finding positives for UConn. It is about doing the little things right. This program cannot move forward without finding positives in what they do. For now, it is about Lou Spanos getting this team to play harder and smarter.