Around the Northeast College Football: Struggling Northeast Teams No Match for Top Teams 

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Week 6 featured great games all across the country, but the top teams out of the Northeast (Penn State and Syracuse) had their bye week to prepare for their difficult matchups this upcoming weekend. With teams like Pittsburgh and Boston College facing tough opponents this past weekend, let’s take a look at what happened this past weekend in Northeast college football. 

No. 5 Clemson demolishes Boston College, 31-3 

Shortly after Boston College joined the ACC, the O’Rourke-McFadden Trophy was created, marking a new rivalry between the two ACC schools. However, it has not been much of a competitive rivalry. Boston College still has not beaten the Tigers since 2010 and the series favors Clemson with a 21-9-2 record. The halftime score, 10-3 Clemson, gave fans hope that the primetime matchup would finally exceed the expectations set. However, quarterback DJ Uiagalelei showed up in the second half, passing three touchdowns to three different receivers to bring the Tigers’ lead to 28. The Eagles did not score once in the second half, but were not shut out due to a 30-yard field goal by Connor Lytton. Nothing went right for Jeff Hafley’s team, whose head coaching record drops below .500 to 14-15. Boston College goes on their bye week this week, but will have another difficult matchup ahead as they travel to Winston-Salem to face Wake Forest. 

No. 15 Wake Forest dominates in victory over Army, 45-10 

Sam Hartman is normally the main part of Wake Forest’s offense, but that wasn’t necessary as the Demon Deacons gave Army a taste of their own medicine as they ran the ball a total of 42 times and had four combined rushing touchdowns, including two from Christian Turner. The only touchdown thrown by Hartman was to star receiver A.T. Perry, who had five receptions for 118 yards to add to the touchdown on his box score. Even though the Black Knights rely mainly on their rushing offense, they were unable to find the end zone on the ground. Jemel Jones passed the only touchdown for Army to Isaiah Alston, who was the best receiver of the day with seven receptions for 123 yards. The Black Knights’ next opponent is in-state foe Colgate, which should be a breeze at home. 

Liberty comes into Amherst, blows out UMass, 42-24 

While Liberty could have cleaned their defense up against one of the weakest teams in the FBS division, they relied on their offense, mainly their rushing offense, to take down the Minutemen. UMass could not pass the ball for anything, having a combined 88 passing yards and an interception with a sub-50 percent passing rate. They relied on Greg Desrosiers Jr., who ran for 110 yards and two scores on seven carries. Jordan Mahoney had a 22-yard scoop-and-score that also added to their point total, but that was not even close to enough to defeating the now 5-1 Flames. The Minutemen will continue their three-game home stand with a Saturday afternoon matchup against Northeast opponent Buffalo. 

Israel Abanikanda, Pittsburgh defeat Virginia Tech, 45-29 

When a player is mentioned in the headline of the game, that means they were unreal. That’s exactly the word I would use to describe Abanikanda’s performance against the Hokies, rushing for 320 yards and a school record six touchdowns on the ground. It’s clear that he is the best offensive player on Pitt and maybe even the best player overall. Virginia Tech scored twice on the ground and once in the air, but the most impressive touchdown was Nyke Johnson’s touchdown return off the blocked punt. That put the game at 31-29 early in the fourth quarter, but Abanikanda went to work again with two unanswered touchdowns, including an 80-yard run with just under eight minutes remaining. He will get much deserved rest as the Panthers enter their bye week, preparing for next week’s visit to Louisville under the lights. 

Yale edges Dartmouth, 24-21 

In an Ivy League matchup, the Bulldogs improve to 3-1 while the Big Green have an abysmal 1-3 record so far this season. Dartmouth quarterback Dylan Cadwallader single handedly kept his team in the game, passing for 248 yards and claiming responsibility for all three touchdowns the Big Green scored. It was quite the quarterback battle, as Yale quarterback Nolan Grooms passed had 260 all-purpose yards (passing and rushing yards) and two total touchdowns. The game ball should be handed to Tre Peterson, the running back who was handed the ball 28 times in the three-point win. He rushed for 173 yards and a touchdown that put the Bulldogs in front for good. Dartmouth will host New Hampshire this weekend, while Yale hosts Bucknell. 

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