Local Week in Review – NCAA Football Week 4
Another wild week in the NCAA produced some memorable and not-so-memorable moments for some. Here’s some quick hits from around the local and national radar.
-We’ll have full analysis of UMass football coming soon, but here’s a quick thought on the Minutemen’s game at Boston College on Saturday. They have a lot to do if they expect to compete at the Football Bowl Subdivision level. With the success of the Colonial Clash (or whatever it’s called) last year at Gillette Stadium, it was assumed UMass would be able to step up next year and easily transition to a weak conference. They proved mettle when they took Michigan to the limit last year, as well. But they were creamed by a weak Boston College team, absorbed some injuries in the process, and were badly exposed. This is something we intend to cover in full depth in the coming day or so (or whenever we stop being lazy enough to do it…*sigh*), but that’s the one thought on them for right now.
-As for BC, happiness over actually winning a game needs to be tempered against who they defeated. They pummeled a Football Championship Subdivision team that held wins over Holy Cross and Rhode Island. They still have glaring losses against Duke and Northwestern on that 1-3 record, and they are far from a team that’s ready for a bowl game. Yes, Chase Rettig bombed two 35-yards-plus touchdown passes to Colin Larmond, Jr. but at the same time, it was done against a
minor league team, so to speak. Maybe it’s the game that gets them back on track, but then again, we won’t find out until Saturday when they host their other weak conference opponent in Wake Forest. A win there and BC is 2-3 and back on track (somewhat) to a hopefully 6-6 record (they would still need to steal a win from either Clemson, Florida State, or Miami, which is a daunting task).
-Harvard rebounded from their loss to Holy Cross by handling Brown at home on Friday night. The bonus for the Crimson is that it was a conference game, which are the only games that truly matter for Ivy League teams (since they abstain from the championship tournament in the FCS). Treavor Scales ran for almost 130 yards and a touchdown, and Colton Chapple tossed two TD’s of his own. But the bonus of the 24-7 win was the play of the defense. Kyle Newhall-Caballero, who rallied Brown from a 17-7 deficit against Stony Brook during the week before, threw three interceptions against Harvard. For the Crimson defense, which was absolutely torched by Holy Cross to the tune of 320 yards passing and 30 points in the week prior, it was a positive statement in the race for the Ivy crown. Harvard has another non-conference tuneup next week at Lafayette before returning to conference play at Cornell the following week.
-As for Brown, their loss and drop to 1-1 is not easily forgotten inside the locker room because it was a conference game. Head coach Phil Estes referred to his team as “totally out of sync,” something they’ll need to repair heading into this week’s Governor’s Cup game against Rhode Island. For the Brown faithful, the URI game is something they can look forward to using in an attempt to move on past a deflating conference loss, since it’s the second game in Brown Stadium history under the lights at night. The 6 PM kickoff was used last year for the first time in the venerable structure’s now-86-year history against Harvard, and the atmosphere was absolutely electric. Nearly 25,000 fans packed the concrete bleachers to cheer on Bruno, and this year they’ll bring that to one of the most heated rivalries in the entire FCS. URI looks to defend its 2010 crown and win its fifth in the last six years. Brown leads the all-time series 67-26-2 (with seven years where the game wasn’t contested).
-Give Assumption all the credit in the world. They gave New Haven all they could handle in a 21-7 defeat at home in Worcester on Saturday night. The Greyhounds had eight sacks and forced two turnovers of a Charger offense that headlined the 25th-ranked team in Division II NCAA. Assumption’s defense kept the team in the game’s first half, which was scoreless until there was almost four minutes remaining in the second quarter. And although the Greyhounds never tied the game, it was 14-7 until the waning parts of the fourth, when Chris Ruffinscored with 4:15 to go. New Haven
was a runaway favorite in the Northeast-10 Conference and while the loss doesn’t hurt their ability to win the conference, it gives teams a blueprint on how to defend a dominant Charger team.
-How about the Coast Guard Academy? Hosting a Mass Maritime team that entered the game 2-0, the Coast Guard rolled up 35-6 halftime lead and kept their foot on the gas pedal en route to a 61-30 win. Tyler Hames notched four touchdown rushes on 122 yards and 19 carries, scoring on carries of 10, 30, 23 and 15 yards. He also added a 19-yard touchdown reception to singlehandedly outscore the entire Buccaneer team. Eric Gerken added 10 catches and 130 yards receiving for the Bears, who were winless prior to Saturday.