Sacred Heart to Battle Bryant on Family Weekend this Saturday

Photo Credit: Steve McLaughlin
Photo Credit: Steve McLaughlin

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FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The Sacred Heart football team will return home for just the second time in seven weeks on Saturday for a Family Weekend matchup against Bryant. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Campus Field on ESPN3. Both teams are coming off road victories last weekend with Bryant (5-2, 2-1 NEC) topping Fordham by one point, and the Pioneers (4-2, 2-0 NEC) pulling out a thrilling 28-25 win at Central Connecticut.

OPENING KICKOFF

•  SHU is the lone remaining unbeaten team in NEC play, one game up on Bryant

•  SHU put up a season-high 542 yards of offense last week at CCSU.

•  SHU has gone four straight games without an interception on defense for the first time since 2009. The program has never gone five straight games without an interception in the Divsion I era (since 1998).

•  Bryant will be SHU's third straight opponent, against whom they have at least a two-game losing streak.

•  SHU is 2-0 in NEC play for the first time since 2014. The Pios have started 3-0 only twice before (2000, 2001).

STARTING OFF:

•  Senior quarterback Kevin Duke has spread the ball around this season, throwing 13 touchdown passes to eight different receivers.

•  Sacred Heart is coming off its best offensive output of the season (540 yards).

•  Andrew O'Neill had a career-high 170 yards receiving and two touchdowns on 10 catches, one of which was the No. 10 play on SCTop10.

•  Duke went 21-for-28 for 374 yards (14-15 for 242 yards in the second half), threw for three touchdowns and rushed for one more. His 413 yards of total offense were the most in a single game in the NEC this season.

•  Jordan Meachum topped the century mark for the third time this season with 107 yds rushing.

•  Kezio Snelling had three catches for a career-high 103 yards receiving.

•  It was the first time since Nov. 8, 2014 that SHU (also against CCSU) had two receivers go over 100 yards receiving in the same game.

•  Ed Cuddahy caught his second career touchdown pass.

•  SHU has allowed its three-highest yard totals in each of the last three games, including season-highs in rushing (323/Penn), passing (254/Dartmouth) and total yards (531/Dartmouth) over the last two games.

•  SHU's defense ranks 10th in the nation in passing defense (173.4 ypg).

•  SHU currently sits T-31st in the nation in third down defense (31-of-92/33.7%)

COLLECTING THE HARDWARE:

•  Duke was named the NEC Co-Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this season on Oct. 22 after turning out the 413 yards of total offense, the highest single-game total in the NEC this season.

SCOUTING BRYANT

•  The Bulldogs enter the game 5-2 after a tight 42-41 win over non-conference opponent Fordham on Oct. 20.

•  The Bryant Football team was picked to finish third in the NEC Preseason Poll.

•  Bryant returns eight starters on offense and had a record six players named to the Preseason All-NEC Team.

•  Leading the returnees is senior linebacker Thomas Costigan. A four-year starter, posted 103 tackles, 11.5 sacks and 17 tackles for a loss during an impressive junior season that saw him become the fourth AP All-American in program history.

•  Senior wide receivers Jean Constant and Tom Kennedy represented the Bulldog offense on the NEC Preseason Team. Kennedy was an All-NEC First Team selection last fall after leading the Bulldogs with 57 catches for 888 yards and nine touchdowns. He also rushed for three touchdowns, finishing second in the NEC with 12 total touchdowns.

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