Around the Northeast CFB: Northeast teams sweep during Week 3


College football is about to begin conference play, which means only the top teams will be playing each other. As non-conference schedules begin to wrap up, let’s look around the region at some of the top games. 

No. 22 Penn State handles Auburn, 41-12 

Penn State fans were chanting “SEC” after running back Nick Singleton put on another great performance, leading the Nittany Lions to back-to-back victories over Auburn. Singleton, a freshman, rushed for 124 yards and Penn State had five rushing touchdowns combined, including two from Singleton. The defense did its job, giving Auburn nothing to work with offensively. Quarterbacks T.J. Finley and Robby Ashford each threw an interception, while Finley fumbled twice. It’s uncommon, but the Nittany Lions aren’t ready for their Big Ten schedule. They face Central Michigan on Saturday. 

No. 23 Pittsburgh defeats Western Michigan, 34-13 

The Panthers visited Kalamazoo and left victorious as they never lost the lead once. Despite the absence of Kedon Slovis, Pitt did just fine, relying more on their running backs and defense. Running back Israel Abanikanda impressed many, rushing for 133 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries. Defensive back Marquis Williams had a pick-six, which was a 22-yard return. Kedon Slovis has been cleared, but coach Narduzzi elected not to use him. They might not need him on Saturday, as Rhode Island is the Panthers’ next matchup at Acrisure Stadium. 

Syracuse edges Purdue, 32-29 

Here’s something interesting: Syracuse is undefeated through Week 3. They’ve looked like a team worthy of being undefeated, routing both Louisville and UConn before barely beating a solid Purdue team. On Saturday, running back Sean Tucker was not pleased with his performance. He recorded no touchdowns and had 65 all-purpose yards. He also did fumble once, which was rare for the preseason All-American. Quarterback Garrett Shrader helped the offense with three passing touchdowns, but did not have a great completion rate (about 45%). A 17-yard interception returned for a touchdown by defensive lineman Caleb Okechukwu was what separated the Orange from the Boilermakers. The ACC part of Syracuse’s schedule begins with another home game, facing Brennan Armstrong and Virginia on Friday night. 

UMass beats Stony Brook, 20-3 

The Minutemen did not make an appearance on last week’s edition of Around the Northeast, so I thought I would highlight UConn’s rival as they took down Stony Brook in Amherst. It was a defensive effort for UMass, highlighted by a 94-yard pick-six by defensive back Jordan Mahoney. The other touchdown was an 18-yard pass from Gino Campiotti to Cameron Sullivan-Brown. The defense held the Seawolves to just three points total, which was expected due to Stony Brook being an FCS team. The Minutemen, who are an FBS Independent (like UConn), will go on the road again, this time facing Temple in Philadelphia. 

Boston College defeats Maine, 38-17 

Boston College fans had to suffer for the first two weeks, losing to Rutgers and Virginia Tech. However, the Eagles finally earned their first win against Maine, an FCS team. Quarterback Phil Jurkovec performed well in the victory, passing for 320 yards and two touchdown passes. Running back Pat Garwo III rushed for 78 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, Boston College picked off Maine quarterback Joe Fagnano twice and recovered a fumble lost by the Black Bears. Boston College will be in Tallahassee next, facing Florida State to begin their ACC schedule. Maine will face off against Villanova at home next, which should be a good game for Fagnano to try and shake off the two interceptions he threw. 

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