Around the Northeast: College Football Edition


For college football fans, it is another start of an anticipated season that should see plenty of highlights and excitement. While great college football can be seen across the country, the northeast region of the sport carries some of the week’s most intriguing matchups and has some top talent from across the country. In today’s Around the Northeast (college football edition), I’ll take a look at some of the most intriguing matchups for northeast college football teams. 

Pittsburgh (Next Game: Vs. West Virginia) 

As the #17 team in the nation according to the AP College Football Top 25 Poll, Pittsburgh was one of the most exciting teams in college football and this is a team that’s certainly going to be very competitive in 2022. While the team is without Kenny Pickett at quarterback for 2022, Kedon Slovis is an excellent replacement and is in position to play a huge role after showcasing his skills in three years as a starter at USC. If the Panthers needed someone to step in with experience in big games and the talent to compete against tough opponents, Slovis is the perfect match, especially with plenty of passing targets for him. With Jared Wayne and Konata Mumpfield as receiving targets along with tight end Gavin Bartholomew, Pitt has the talent to make an exciting and dynamic passing offense, especially with the hiring of new offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti. Defensively, they’re going to be just as good if not better than last season with plenty of returning players like Calijah Kancey and Brandon Hill along with transfers like Notre Dame’s Shayne Simon. In the team’s first game, a Backyard Bowl matchup against West Virginia, the Panthers will be the heavy favorites to start 1-0 in the 2022 season. 

Penn State (Next Game: Sep. 1 Vs. Purdue) 

While Penn State didn’t quite crack the AP Top 25 poll, don’t let that fool you. This is still a talented football team and it will give other football programs trouble this season. Sean Clifford is returning to an offense that went 7-6 in 2021 and while they may have questionable running back depth, the team looks strong with receivers like transfer Mitchell Tinsley and Parker Washington. While the Nittany Lions may have players on defense like Ji’Ayir Brown and Curtis Jacobs, they have much to prove with young talent and transfers a plenty. Heavily favored in their upcoming matchup vs. Purdue, they’ll look to put away all questions in a competitive Big Ten schedule. 

Army (Next Game: Vs. Coastal Carolina) 

The Black Knights are returning in 2021 with a strong football program. Army runs a heavy-run offense led by mobile quarterback Tyhier Tyler along with two strong running backs in Tyree Robinson and Tyson Riley. While the running offense remains a strong part of their team, the passing game remains weak with Isaiah Alston as their primary receiving target. However, due to passing not remaining a vocal part of the offense, it shouldn’t be a great weakness for the Black Knights. The defense remains strong with good depth across this field and the defensive coordinator will already have a test in week one against Grayson Mccall and Coastal Carolina. With another test against Wake Forest on their schedule, it will be interesting to see how the Black Knights respond to those two challenging matchups.  

Syracuse (Next Game: Sep. 3 Vs. Louisville) 

After going from 1-10 in 2020 to 5-7 in 2021, the Orange are looking to get even better with new offensive coordinator Robert Anae taking over an offense that relied on running the ball last season. It brings back Garrett Shrader as a familiar face for this team at the quarterback position and allows Anae to have more flexibility with his play calling through Shrader’s mobility. Sean Tucker returns to the Orange as not only one of the most dangerous weapons for this team, but also one of the most feared running backs in all of college football. Tucker will almost certainly remain a huge focal point of the Orange offense as he looks to improve an already phenomenal 2021 offense. Syracuse may have some question marks at defense like its secondary, but they’ll hope to put those questions to rest in their first game this upcoming Saturday against a Louisville team that has been a tough opponent for the Orange in recent matchups. 

Maine (Next Game: Sep. 3 vs. New Mexico) 

Maine enters the 2022 football season with new head coach Jordan Stevens at the helm as former head coach Nick Charlton departed to join the University of Connecticut as an offensive coordinator. Stevens, who most recently served as the assistant coach at Yale, will look to guide Maine and improve upon the team’s 6-5 record last season. Joe Fagnano, who was injured for seven games in 2021, will attempt to come back better than ever as the quarterback aims to reach his true potential. The key for this Maine team is health as Boston College transfer Kobay White could become a top target if he stays healthy in 2022. It’s a rebuilding year for the Black Bears, but there’s plenty of reason for excitement with a young defense and a young coach with ties to the program.[Text Wrapping Break][Text Wrapping Break]  

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