Around the Northeast College Football

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As college football enters Week 3, the northeast teams have improved greatly. This past weekend included a top 25 matchup as well as in-state teams playing each other at the FCS level. Here’s a look at college football around the Northeast for Week 2: 

No. 24 Tennessee beats No. 17 Pittsburgh, 34-27 in OT 

The first game worth noting is Pitt hosting the nationally ranked Volunteers. Despite Tennessee surrendering a pair of fumbles and having a punt blocked, they still found a way to win. Pittsburgh suffered their first loss of the season, but that’s not their biggest concern. Starting quarterback Kedon Slovis, who transferred in the offseason from USC to replace Heisman finalist Kenny Pickett, suffered an injury near the end of the first half. Head coach Pat Narduzzi is unsure of Slovis’ status. That’s a major concern, considering that backup quarterback Nick Patti injured his left leg early in the fourth quarter and also has an unknown status ahead of the Panthers’ upcoming road game against Western Michigan. Tennessee’s defense, along with quarterback Malik Hooker (27/42, 325 yards, two touchdowns), were the difference makers in the overtime win on the road. Pitt running back Israel Abanikanda was the best offensive weapon with 154 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries. 

Penn State defeats Ohio, 46-10 

After their runaway victory over Ohio, No. 22 Penn State is 2-0 and nationally ranked heading into the Week 3 matchup at Auburn. Freshman running back Nick Singleton was the star of Week 2’s game against Ohio as he ran for 179 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries, including 44 and 70-yard touchdown runs. Nittany Lions fans should also be pleased with quarterback Sean Clifford, as he made no mistakes, with 227 total yards and two total touchdowns. Drew Allar replaced Clifford as Ohio had no chance of winning when he subbed in. Allar only had eight passing attempts but stayed efficient as he passed for 88 yards and two scores. Penn State’s defense was dominant, only letting the Bobcats enter Penn State’s side of the field three times.  

UTSA edges Army, 41-38 in OT 

As young as the season still is, UTSA has played in multiple overtime games already, with a loss against Houston during Labor Day Weekend. Army didn’t trail for the first three quarters, leading by as many as two touchdowns against the Roadrunners. UTSA quarterback Frank Harris played a huge role in rallying to beat the Black Knights in overtime, passing for 359 yards and three touchdowns. Zakhari Franklin caught two of those touchdown passes to add to 122 receiving yards on ten catches. Preseason All-American linebacker Andre Carter II recorded two sacks on four solo tackles in the loss. Quarterback Cade Ballard passed for 221 yards and a touchdown, while the other signal-caller, Tyhier Tyler, was more effective on the ground, with 61 rushing yards and two total scores. In overtime, UTSA held Army to a field goal, made by kicker Quinn Maretzki, giving the Roadrunners a chance to win with a touchdown. Harris threw the game-winner to De’Corian Clark from seven yards out to defeat Army in a thriller. 

Sacred Heart defeats Central Connecticut State, 14-10 

It wasn’t the most high-scoring game, with only one score in each quarter. The Blue Devils did a solid job defending the passing game, holding Sacred Heart quarterback Marquez McCray to just 61 yards passing with no touchdowns. Pioneers running back Malik Grant rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries. Rob McCoy gave Sacred Heart their other rushing touchdown. CCSU’s offense was on the same level as the Pioneers but had a more present passing game. Quarterback Romelo Williams passed for 108 yards, but threw two interceptions in the loss. The Blue Devils’ only touchdown came from running back Nasir Smith, who rushed for 92 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. He also led CCSU in receiving yards. Sacred Heart got their first win of the season after being shut out by Lafayette during Week 1, while the Blue Devils have yet to find their first victory. Sacred Heart has to clean up their turnovers, fumbling the ball four times in their win. The Pioneers look to Morgan State next, while Central Connecticut State visits Southeastern Louisiana. 

Rhode Island beats Bryant, 35-21. 

Three touchdown drives in the second quarter helped Rhode Island improve their record to 2-0 as they beat in-state rival, Bryant. The Bulldogs scored the first touchdown but lost the lead once Rhode Island scored the Rams’ second touchdown (their first touchdown included a missed extra point). Quarterback Kasim Hill had a strong Week 2 outing, passing for 290 yards, and two touchdowns, throwing just one interception. Bryant had trouble with Rhode Island’s running game, as Marques DeShields and Jaylen Smith combined for 194 yards and three touchdowns. Ed Lee was Hill’s top target through the air, recording 135 yards and a touchdown on five receptions. This included a 78-yard touchdown that gave the Rams the lead for the rest of the game. URI had ten sacks and prevented the Bulldogs from generating any sort of offense on the ground. Rhode Island’s defense was so dominant that they capped off the win with a safety late in the game. Bryant faces in-state rival Brown next, while Rhode Island hosts Delaware. 

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