Sacred Heart (3-1, 1-0 NEC) vs. CCSU (3-1, 0-0 NEC)
Saturday, Oct. 5 | 2:00 p.m.
Campus Field | Fairfield, Conn.
FAIRFIELD, Conn. – After nearly a month without a home game, the Sacred Heart football team makes a triumphant return to Campus Field on Saturday afternoon with a 2 PM kickoff against their in-state NEC rival CCSU. The game will be part of Homecoming weekend on campus at Sacred Heart and will also serve as the team's cancer awareness game. Both the Pioneers and Blue Devils enter Saturday's contest with NEC-leading 3-1 overall records in 2019. The NEC's 'Game of the Week' can be seen nationally on ESPN3.
- QB Logan Marchi was incredible once again in a Week 4 win at LIU, finishing 25-for-33 for 375 yards, 3 TD and 1 INT. He torched the Sharks throughout the first half, throwing all three touchdowns and accumulating 253 yards in the opening 30 minutes. This gives Marchi 300+ yards in three straight games, making the first time in program history a SHU QB has accomplished the feat. During the Pioneers' three-game win streak, Marchi has gone 68-for-103 (66%) for 1,098 yards (366 per game) with 12 TD and 1 INT.
- WR Tyrese Chambers is quickly becoming the go-to receiver in an explosive SHU offense as the first-year receiver is already a three-time NEC Rookie of the Week honoree. Chambers put up eight catches for 144 yards (18.8 yards per reception) with 2 TD in a Week 4 win over LIU. He broke his own SHU rookie record for receiving yards in a game while his 60-yard catch-and-run on a slant in the second quarter established a new career-long reception. For the season, Chambers currently leads all FCS first-years in receiving touchdowns (5) and receiving yards per game (92.8) while he sits second in receiving yards (371) and third in receptions (21) and receptions per game (5.3).
- RB Julius Chestnut had a big day, carrying the ball a career-high 28 times for 143 yards and 1 TD in a road win at LIU in Week 4. Chestnut added three catches for 45 yards, giving him a career-high 188 total yards from scrimmage. The 2018 NEC Rookie of the Year has rushed for 444 yards with six total TD in four games this season. His 143-yard effort at LIU is his fifth career 100+ yard performance in 15 career games.
- Two of the leading factors behind the offense's success through four games is that the Pioneers are one of just two teams in the FCS who've committed one turnover (+5 turnover margin) and have played at least four games. SHU is also one of just four FCS teams who have allowed one sack or fewer through four games in 2019. Prior to the LIU road win, the Pioneers were the only team in the nation who came in without a turnover or sack allowed.
- SHU's offensive line - LT J.D. DiRenzo, LG Anthony Della Fave, C Josh Sokol, RG Nick Carnesale, RT Donald Rappoccio - continue to dominate as the Pioneers have allowed one sack in 144 dropbacks through four games, translating to a 0.69 percent sack success rate for opponents when SHU drops back to pass in 2019.
- Now in his eighth season at the helm, Coach Mark Nofri is already the winningest head coach in program history, owning an all-time career mark of 47-37 (.560) with five winning seasons to his credit.
- QB Logan Marchi became the program's first-ever CFPA FCS National Performer of the Week, an honor handed out weekly to the top individual performance in the nation, following SHU's 56-40 road win at Lafayette. Marchi took on a starring role, dropping big plays all over the field to finish 22-for-32 for 407 yards with 6 TD and 0 INT, engineering the highest-scoring game for SHU since 2013. Marchi became just the second SHU QB to throw for six scores in a game while his 6 TDs led all FCS QBs in Week 3.
- The Pioneers were picked second in the NEC Preseason Coaches' Poll, earning one first place vote, as SHU finished last season 7-4 overall (5-1 NEC) on their way to a split of the NEC Regular Season title which represents the program's third NEC crown over the last six seasons.
TALE OF THE TAPE (2019 stats/rankings)
|CCSU (NEC rank)||Category||Sacred Heart (NEC rank)|
|35.8 (1)||Points||33.5 (3)|
|412.2 (2)||Total Offense||440.2 (1)|
|239.8 (1)||Rushing Yards||134.2 (5)|
|172.5 (6)||Passing Yards||306.0 (1)|
|29:33 (5)||Offensive Time of Possession||28:19 (6)|
|333.8 (4)||Total Defense||440.5 (9)|
|90.0 (1)||Rushing Yards Allowed||144.8 (6)|
|10/5||Rushing TDs/Passing TDs||7/12|
|243.8 (7)||Passing Yards Allowed||295.8 (9)|
|1/10||Rushing/Passing TDs Allowed||7/6|
|30:27||Defensive Time of Possession||31:41|
|+7 (1)||Turnover Margin||+5 (2)|
|26.8 (6)||Points Allowed||25.5 (4)|
INSIDE THE LIU BOX SCORE (SHU 34, LIU 10)
- Despite trailing 7-6 at the end of the first quarter, SHU ripped off 21 unanswered points that powered the way to a 34-10 road win over the Sharks.
- QB Logan Marchi was incredible once again, finishing 25-for-33 for 375 yards, 3 TD and 1 INT. He torched the Sharks throughout the first half, throwing all three TDs and accumulating 253 yards in the opening 30 minutes.
- This was Marchi's third straight 300+ yard performance, marking the first time in program history a SHU QB has accomplished the feat.
- RB Julius Chestnut had a big day all-around, registering career-highs in carries (28) and total yards from scrimmage (188) as he went for 143 yards on the ground while adding three catches for 45 yards. Chestnut broke free for a 44-yard score that iced the game away late in the fourth quarter.
- The three-time NEC Rookie of the Week WR Tyrese Chambers was the go-to guy for Marchi once again as the first-year tallied eight catches for 144 yards (18.0 ypc) and 2 TD. Chambers broke his own SHU rookie record for receiving yards in a game while his 60-yard score on a slant in the second quarter established a new career-long reception.
- A balanced SHU receiving core saw six different Pioneers snag at least three catches on the day. WR Troy Holland grabbed three catches for 94 yards, including a 62-yard bomb that was the longest play of the game. WR Yasir Berry tallied four catches for 50 yards while TE Del Driscoll caught three balls for 37 yards, one of which was his first career touchdown.
- On the defensive side of the ball, SHU limited LIU to just 10 points, matching a season-best for fewest points allowed in a game. LB Chris Outterbridge led the way with eight tackles while SS Noah Provenzano added seven. CB Shamere Collins came up with his first career INT while RJ Trimble-Edwards, a converted WR, picked up his second career sack with the Sharks driving late in the second quarter.
- In terms of total yardage, SHU outgained LIU 519-276 (+243) including a massive 375-135 advantage in passing yards. The 276 yards for LIU is a season-low in terms of yards allowed by the SHU defense.
- The Pioneers allowed one sack (the first SHU's OL had allowed all season) and Marchi threw an INT in the third quarter (the first turnover committed by SHU on the season).
- SHU came into their Week 4 meeting at LIU as the only team in the nation that hadn't allowed a sack or committed a turnover in 2019.
INSIDE THE LAFAYETTE BOX SCORE (SHU 56, LAF 40)
- Despite trailing at the half 24-21, SHU came storming out of the halftime locker room and outscored the Leopards 21-3 in the third quarter to power past Lafayette, 56-40
- Going down 24-14 midway through the second quarter, SHU started a streak of six straight possessions ending in a touchdown that lasted into the fourth quarter
- This marked a fifth straight victory for the Pioneers over Lafayette as well as the second straight over a Patriot League foe in 2019
- QB Logan Marchi took on a starring role, finishing 22-for-32 for 407 yards, 6 TDs and 0 INT
- Marchi became just the second SHU QB to throw for six scores in a game, matching the program record set by Dale Fink against Duquesne on Nov. 14, 2009
- His 75-yard TD score to Snelling is the longest TD pass for SHU in a game since an 80-yard toss from RJ Noel to Tyler Dube came against Cornell (Oct. 17, 2015 – 40 games ago)
- The WR duo of senior Kezio Snelling (five catches, 158 yards, 3 TD) and first-year Tyrese Chambers (nine catches, 133 yards, 2 TD) combined for 14 catches for 291 yards and 5 TDs in the victory
- For Snelling, he posted single-game career-highs across the board while Chambers set single-game program records in all three statistical categories
- Snelling's three receiving scores is tied for the second-highest single-game total in program history, a feat accomplished just nine times by five different Pioneers
- Snelling's 31.6 yards per catch average is the fourth-highest single-game total in program history and the highest since Joey Henley put up 31.8 yards per catch back on Sept. 17, 2005 against Iona (154 games ago)
- SHU's defense allowed 623 total yards from Lafayette, including 545 combined passing and rushing from QB Kevin Shoemaker (411 passing, 143 rushing) but the Pioneers came up with two interceptions and four sacks which proved enough for the 16-point win
- LB Mike Wilen tallied double-digit tackles for the fourth time in his career, finishing with a game-high 10 tackles including 2.5 TFL and one sack
- DE Chris Agyemang racked up two sacks, marking the fourth time in his career in which he finished with more than one sack in a game
- CB Lamar Evans and SS Alaam Horne each snagged their first career INT on defense in the win
- The 56 points scored for the SHU offense is tied for the sixth-most in a game in school history and represents the highest-scoring total in a game since defeating Bryant 56-28 on Oct. 19, 2013 (62 games ago)
- In addition, the 56 points for the Pioneers is tied for the fourth-most in school history against an FCS opponent
INSIDE THE BUCKNELL BOX SCORE (SHU 30, BUCK 10)
- The outcome was decided in the second quarter as the Pioneers exploded for 23 for their 30 points scored on the evening.
- SHU's defense pitched a clinic in the first half, allowing just 75 total yards and three points from the Bison to give a decisive 23-3 edge to the Pioneers at the half.
- SHU went over 500 yards on offense, 191 of which came on the ground while 316 came through the air. Fifth-year QB Logan Marchi finished 21-for-37 for 316 yards, three TDs and no interceptions. Sophomore RB Julius Chestnut carried the load on the ground, rushing a career-high 21 times for 162 yards (7.7 yards per carry) and three total TDs (one rushing, two receiving). Sophomore WR Naseim Brantley (six catches, 96 yards) and first-year WR Tyrese Chambers (four catches, 94 yards, 1 TD) were the top pass catchers on the day for the Pioneers.
- A balanced attack through the air saw Marchi find eight different players who tallied at least one reception on the evening.
- The defense came away with three sacks, two interceptions, nine pass breakups and 10 QB hurries on the day as CB Shawn Ramcheran and SS Noah Provenzano both snagged interceptions late to seal the victory.
- Sophomore LB DeAndre Byrd was everywhere on the defensive end, finishing with a team-high eight tackles while adding half a sack, one TFL and one forced fumble
- Sophomore DE Kevin Peprah added six tackles and one TFL while first-year LB Myles Talley was all over the field, registering four tackles, his first career sack and leading the team with 1.5 TFL
- The victory moved SHU to 8-0 in home openers under HC Mark Nofri, outscoring the opposition by an average margin of +26.9 in the eight-game win streak.
- Playing in front of a record crowd for a home opener, the announced official attendance of 4,187 is 30 higher than the Pioneers' previous-highest home opener crowd of 4,157 achieved in the 2018 opener against Lafayette (Sept. 1, 2018).
INSIDE THE MAINE BOX SCORE (MAINE 42, SHU 14)
- SHU's ground game, which led the NEC with 241.1 yards per game average last season, was largely held in-check by a Maine run defense that led the nation in 2018. The Pioneers gained 115 yards on 33 carries, led by Julius Chestnut who totaled 65 yards on nine carries (7.2 ypc). Fifth-year Eli Terry, who suffered a season-ending injury on the first play from scrimmage last season, saw the bulk of the work in the fourth quarter in his first game back and scored his second career touchdown.
- New faces led the SHU defense last Friday as sophomore inside linebacker Robert O'Donnell racked up a game-high eight tackles in his first career action. Junior Lamar Evans made six takcles while three Pioneers turned in four apiece. Sophomore Kevin Peprah recorded the game's only sack, the first of his career.
- Fifth-year transfer QB Logan Marchi started for SHU and played all but one series, going 12-for-29 for 104 yards and no interceptions against a Maine team that forced 18 last season. Marchi also punched in a one-yard score in the first quarter, good enough for the second rushing TD of his collegiate career.
- The Black Bears put the game away in the first half, scoring a touchdown on all six of their drives in the opening two quarters of play.
- Maine's three-year starter at QB, Chris Ferguson, tossed for a career-high 423 yards and three touchdowns including 404 yards in the first half alone, all against a SHU pass defense that ranked Top 5 in the country in 2018.
- After being outscored 42-7 and outgained 487-65 in the first half, SHU came back to shutout Maine (7-0) and outgain the Black Bears 142-95 in the second half
- Entering the game with 1952 career rushing yards, fifth-year RB Jordan Meachum gained 33 yards on nine carries to move to within 15 yards of becoming the eighth SHU player in program history to gain 2000+ career rushing yards
- Sophomore WR Naseim Brantley caught a career-high five receptions for 25 yards
- Sophomore WR Troy Holland went for 33 yards in his first career action, including an impressive 32-yard catch in the fourth quarter
- Prior to the loss, the last time SHU had lost in the team's first game of the season came all the way back in 2012 with a 30-27 overtime loss at Morgan State.
- In the first-ever meeting between the two sides, SHU dropped to 3-3 all-time in games played against nationally-ranked opponents.
- The Pioneers came into the game riding a three-game win streak against ranked foes, having beaten No. 24 Delaware (2014), No. 21 Bryant (2014) and No. 20 Stony Brook (2016) all within the last six seasons.
- The game also represented the first time SHU has ever faced an opponent ranked Top 10 in the nation.
CCSU SCOUTING REPORT
- CCSU (3-1, 0-0 NEC) is a prestigous program, having most-recently won the NEC in 2017, while going 6-5 overall last season with a 4-2 mark in NEC play. Both NEC defeats came by a combined 10 points to SHU (28-25) and Duquesne (38-31)
- The Blue Devils were one of the better all-around teams in the conference in 2018, finishing 20th in FCS in scoring offense (33.8 PPG) and 41st in scoring defense (25.5 PPG)
- CCSU features the NEC's top scoring offense (34.3 PPG) in 2019
- The strength of this CCSU team lies in the run game as the Blue Devils lead the NEC and rank 16th nationally in rushing offense (239.8 yards per game) behind a four-headed monster of RB Keonte Lucas (30 carries, 301 yards, 3 TD), QB Aaron Winchester (38 carries, 241 yards, 1 TD), RB Danley Exilhomme (23 carries, 124 yards, 1 TD) and RB Enyce Walker (28 carries, 111 yards, 1 TD)
- All four ball carries have 20+ carries and 100+ yards through four games this season
- This is all being done without the luxury of Aaron Dawson, the Blue Devils' leading rusher in 2018, who hasn't played in a game thus far in 2019 after putting up 896 yards and 13 TD as a sophomore last season
- CCSU features one of the most-talented offensive lines in the country with three 2018 All-NEC linemen (J'Von Brown, Connor Mignone, Cole Phelps) all returning this season to pave the way for the current top NEC rushing attack
- Brown was a 2019 HERO Sports Preseason Second Team All-American
- Dual-threat QB Aaron Winchester has been a marvel through four games as the Georgia State transfer has thrown for 690 yards (64.6 completion percentage) with 5 TD and 2 INT while running for 241 (6.3 yards per carry)
- Winchester has played every snap for the Blue Devils in 2019 and ranks as the NEC's leader in completion percentage (64.6) as well as the second-best passing efficiency (150.6) and yards per completion (13.02)
- WR Tyshaun James is one of the most dynamic playmakers in FCS as he has seven total TD through four games (12th FCS, 1st NEC) including four receiving and three rushing
- James averages 24.6 yards per reception and most-recently tallied 118 yards against FBS opponent Eastern Michigan
- The Blue Devil defense is another strong unit, allowing 26.8 points per game with the top rushing defense (90.8) in the NEC
- CCSU already has three defensive touchdowns in 2019, the most of any team in the country, while also leading the conference in turnover margin (+7; 11 turnovers forced, 4 turnovers lost)
- CCSU has nine interceptions through four games, the second-most of any team in FCS this season, as seven different Blue Devils have at least one INT in 2019
- Former head coach Pete Rossomando resigned in January to become the OL coach at Rutgers, making way for first-year HC Ryan McCarthy to take the helms after serving as the offensive coordinator in 2018
- The 2018 QB Jacob Dolegala signed on with the Cincinnati Bengals and is on the active roster in the NFL for the 2019 season
INSIDE THE SERIES: SHU vs. CCSU (CCSU leads 12-9)
- With 21 all-time meetings in the series, the only school the Pioneers have played more in the program's history is St. Francis U (23 all-time meetings)
- The two sides have met once each season since SHU was elevated into the NEC in 1998
- CCSU has the edge in the all-time series with a mark of 12-9 against the Pioneers
- Under head coach Mark Nofri, SHU is 4-3 against CCSU with an even 2-2 mark in games against the Blue Devils played in Fairfield
- SHU won three straight meetings in the first three seasons with Nofri as the head coach (2012-14) and the Blue Devils followed with three straight wins of their own between 2015-17
- The most-recent battle was an epic affair that came down to the final minutes as the Pioneers pulled out a 28-25 win in New Britai
TYRESE CHAMBERS | NEC ROOKIE OF THE WEEK, NATIONAL FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK HONORABLE MENTION (SEPT. 23)
- For the third straight week, SHU first-year WR Tyrese Chambers earned NEC Rookie of the Week accolades
- The rookie sensation was again the go-to target for QB Logan Marchi as he hauled in 8-of-10 targets for 144 yards (18.0 ypc) and 2 TD in a 34-10 road win at LIU
- Chambers broke his own SHU first-year single-game record for receiving yards in a game while his 60-yard score represented a new career-long reception
- Seven of his eight receptions went for first downs while his first two catches on the day both went for touchdowns
- For Chambers, the first-year is on a torrid pace as he has 21 receptions for 371 yards (17.7 ypc) and 5 TD in the last three games after playing one series in a season-opening loss at Maine
LOGAN MARCHI | CFPA NATIONAL PERFORMER OF THE WEEK, CSM NEC OFFENSIVE POW, NEC OFFENSIVE POW (SEPT. 15)
- QB Logan Marchi was the big winner of the week, hauling in an FCS National Performer of the Week as well as both the College Sports Madness and conference's NEC Offensive Player of the Week honor
- This marks the first time in program history that SHU has seen a player honored with National Performer of the Week honors on offense as Marchi was distinguished with an award handed to the top individual performance in Week 3 of FCS play
- Marchi's finished with a line of 22-for-32 for 407 yards with 6 TD and 0 INT, engineering the highest-scoring game for the Pioneers since 2013
- He became just the second SHU QB to throw for six scores in a game, matching the program record established by Dale Fink against Duquesne on Nov. 14, 2009
- The six-touchdown total also represents the most passing TDs in a game for any FCS QB in week 3
- Marchi's 407 yards represents a new career-high, marking the first time in his collegiate career he has thrown for over 400 yards and the fourth time he has gone for 300+ in a game
- The yardage total is the second-highest single-game total for a SHU QB in program history
TYRESE CHAMBERS | NEC ROOKIE OF THE WEEK (SEPT. 16)
- WR Tyrese Chambers earned his second straight NEC Rookie of the Week honor after going off in a 56-40 road win at Lafayette, registering nine catches for 133 yards and 2 TD
- Both his nine-catch and 133-yard efforts are new single-game program records for first-years
- Six of Chambers' nine catches went for first downs or touchdowns while he caught 9-of-11 targets (81.8 percent) and carried the ball three times for 12 yards
- Chambers' TD catches were for 24 and 20 yards, the second of which came in the Pioneers' opening drive of the third quarter that gave SHU a lead they wouldn't relinquish for the remainder of play
- After seeing limited action in the season opener at Maine, Chambers has exploded over the last two contests, totaling 13 catches for 227 yards (17.5 yards per catch) and 3 TD
LOGAN MARCHI | CSM NEC OFFENSIVE POW (SEPT. 8)
- Fifth-year QB Logan Marchi took on a starring role for the Pioneers on Saturday night, finishing 21-for-37 for 316 yards through the air to go along with three touchdowns and no interceptions to earn College Sports Madness NEC Offensive Player of the Week honors
- This marked the third time in Marchi's collegiate career he has gone for 300+ yards in a game, falling just shy of his career-high 365-yard performance against UConn as a sophomore with Temple in 2017. He also continues to play mistake-free football as he has yet to throw an interception in his first 66 passing attempts as a Pioneer.
- Utilizing several different players, Marchi spread the ball around as eight different players had at least one catch on the evening. Marchi also utilized the deep ball quite well, averaging an impressive 15 yards per completion against the Bison. Marchi's 316-yard outing also marked the first time this season that an NEC quarterback has thrown for over 300 yards.
JULIUS CHESTNUT | NEC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK (SEPT. 9)
- Chestnut, the 2018 NEC Rookie of the Year and four-time NEC Rookie of the Week award winner last season, earned his first career Offensive Player of the Week distinction by the conference
- A stellar all-around outing saw the sophomore rush a career-best 21 times for 162 yards (7.7 yards per carry) and three total TDs (one rushing, two receiving)
- Coming into the game against Bucknell with three career receptions, Chestnut caught three passes for 25 yards, two of which went for touchdowns
- Chestnut broke the defensive struggle open midway through the second quarter with a career-long 86-yard touchdown that made it 10-3 SHU
- He was the lone NEC player to rush for over 100 yards on Saturday while his three total TDs tied for the lead among all non-QBs in the NEC
- His 162 yards on the ground are just two short of his single-game career-high of 164 established in a 49-26 home win over Bryant last season
- Chestnut's 187 total yards from scrimmage on Saturday represented a career-best and are the most by an NEC player in a game thus far in the season
- For his efforts, Chestnut was also named an FCS National Offensive Player of the Week Honorable Mention
TYRESE CHAMBERS | NEC ROOKIE OF THE WEEK (SEPT. 9)
- Chambers made big plays all over the field on Saturday, finishing with four catches for 94 yards and a touchdown in a 30-10 home win over Bucknell
- The first-year receiver posted catches of 24, 28 and 37 yards, a pair of which were highlight-reel worthy receptions, as the big-play threat burst open the Bucknell defense and led to a 300+ yard game for QB Logan Marchi
- After seeing little time in the season opener at Maine, Chambers was thrust into the Pioneers' three-WR sets and came away with a near 100-yard effort as well as his first career TD
HOLD THE LINE
- SHU's offensive line play has been stellar through four games as the combination of LT J.D. DiRenzo, LG Anthony Della Fave, C Josh Sokol, RG Nick Carnesale, RT Donald Rappoccio has started all four games and allowed their first and only sack on the season at LIU
- The Pioneers are one of just five teams in the nation who've allowed one or fewer sacks thus far in 2019
- Marchi hasn't hit the turf once in his 144 dropbacks this season, translating to a 0.69 sack percentage for opposing defenses combined through four games
- The three-game streak to start the season without a seasons represents the third time in the last four seasons that SHU has rolled off a streak of three straight games without allowing a sack
- Making this even more impressive is only Della Fave and Sokol played last season in their current positions. DiRenzo started all 11 games at right tackle in 2018 and has shifted to the left tackle spot in 2019. Carnesale is a graduate transfer addition from Towson this season while Rappoccio was a backup his first two years at SHU
- WR Tyrese Chambers is quickly establishing himself as one of the top first-year wide receivers in all of FCS
- Through four games, Chambers leads all FCS first-years in receiving touchdowns (5) and receiving yards per game (92.8) while he sits second in receiving yards (371) and third in receptions (21) and receptions per game (5.3)
- Making this even more impressive is the three-time NEC Rookie of the Week has done all his damage over the last three weeks as he played just one series in the season opener at Maine
MARCHI-NG DOWN THE FIELD
- QB Logan Marchi's red-hot play over the last three games has catapulted him up the national ranking list as he ranks 10th in FCS in passing efficiency (166.8), 11th in passing TDs (12), 21st in passing yards (1,202), 11th in passing yards per game (300.5) and eighth in yards per completion (15.03)
- Marchi is one of just four QBs in FCS to throw for at least 10 touchdowns and have no more than one interception so far in 2019
CHESTNUT CARRYING THE LOAD
- Through four games in 2019, including just three as the team's primary ball carrier, RB Julius Chestnut has racked up 431 rushing yards on 79 carries (5.6 yards per rush) to go along with 6 total TD (four rushing, two receiving)
- Chesnut ranks Top 20 in both rushing yards (431, 18th in FCS) and rushing yards per game (107.8, 11th FCS)
- His four rushing scores has him tied for 32nd in FCS
PROTECT THE BALL
- As a team, SHU has turned the ball over once through four games this season. An INT at LIU ended a three-game streak to start the season in which the Pioneers didn't have any turnovers lost.
- Logan Marchi's interception at LIU capped an incredible streak of 120 straight passes thrown without an INT, a streak that ranks third all-time at SHU behind Dale Fink (148) in the 2010 season and RJ Noel (126) in 2013
- The Pioneers are one of just 13 teams in the country that hasn't lost a fumble yet this season and one of just 19 teams that has one or fewer INTs
- With these two stats combined, the Pioneers are one of just four teams that has lost one or fewer turnovers in 2019 and one of just two teams that has one turnover and played four games this season
- Fifth-year Jordan Meachum (RB) and senior Chris Agyemang (DE) earned Preseason All-NEC honors
- Meachum was also named to the CFPA FCS Performer of the Year Watch List, one of just 40 players across the nation to earn a spot and one of just three from the NEC to gain recognition. Meachum was one of just 14 non-quarterbacks listed on CFPA's 2019 preseason watch list, for an award handed to the nation's top player
- The defending NEC Co-Champion Pioneers' 2019 slate features 12 contests, the most regular season games SHU has played since the 2013 campaign
- A year after going 4-1 in games played at Campus Field, SHU is set to host five games in 2019 with the home opener slated for Saturday, Sept. 7 against Bucknell at 6 PM
- In the five-game non-conference slate, SHU challenges three Patriot League programs (Bucknell, Lafayette, Lehigh) in addition to the spotlight showdown at Maine to open the season and a mid-October contest at Penn
- The NEC welcomes a new member in 2019 as the Pioneers travel to Long Island (formerly LIU Post) on Saturday, Sept. 21st as all league members face a seven-game conference schedule, an increase of one from previous seasons
- In the Mark Nofri era (since 2012), the Pioneers have fared quite well in games played away from Campus Field, sporting a 22-21 record with six consecutive seasons finishing .500 or better as well as four straight 3-3 campaigns
- In a decision that was announced following the team's annual Spring Game, the Pioneers elected five captains for the 2019 season. Shawn Ramcheran (Sr., CB), Chris Agyemang (Sr., DE), Noah Provenzano (5th-Year, SS), Jordan Meachum (5th-Year, RB) and Josh Sokol (Sr., C) will serve as team captains this season
- Ramcheran is entering his second straight season serving as a team captain while Agyemang, Provenzano, Meachum and Sokol are all entering their first season in a leadership position
GOING, GOING, GONE – SHU'S RUSHING ATTACK
- SHU led the NEC and ranked 15th in the country in rushing offense in 2018, averaging 241.1 yards per game on the ground with a 5.50 yards per carry average
- The Pioneers shape up well in 2019 with the return of running back duo Jordan Meachum (1396 rushing yards, 11 TDs in 2018) and Julius Chestnut (713 yards, 7 TDs), who combined for over 2000 yards in 2018
- Meachum rushed for the second-highest single-season total in program history last season while also representing the program's first 1,000+ yard rusher since 2013
- Chestnut was the program's first NEC Rookie of the Year since RJ Noel in 2013 as the four-time NEC Rookie of the Week had a huge breakout campaign in 2018 with 713 rushing yards and seven touchdowns while playing in all 11 games
- In addition to the dynamic duo of Meachum and Chestnut, fifth-year Eli Terry returns in 2018 as the then-senior started the Pioneers' season opener against Lafayette and rushed for 27 yards on the first play of the game, only to suffer a knee injury on the ensuing tackle that cut his senior season short
- In those seven victories, SHU rushed for at least 153 yards in every one
- In the seven SHU victories from last season, the Pioneers averaged 271.1 yards per game on the ground compared to 188.5 in the team's four losses
- Three season-long starters along the offensive line last season – Anthony Della Fave, Josh Sokol and J.D. DiRenzo – return in 2019 with two new starters taking over at right guard and right tackle
ON THE DEFENSE
- Hordes of Pioneers return in 2019 (9-of-11 starters) after putting together a very solid 2018 campaign wherein SHU allowed 22.1 points per game (23rd FCS, 2nd NEC), 148.8 passing yards per game (5th FCS, 1st NEC) and 336 total yards per game (26th FCS, 2nd NEC) while the team also excelled in red zone defense (.686; 7th FCS, 1st NEC) and third-down defense (.318; 20th FCS, 2nd NEC)
- SHU returns nine starters on defense, including all three of its linebackers and three each on the defensive line and secondary units
- Eight of the team's nine leading tacklers from last season return to the field for SHU in 2019 including the leader tackler from each position group – linebackers (Mike Wilen 79), lineman (Chris Agyemang 55) and secondary (Jayden Jordan 54)
- SHU allowed less than 300 yards of total offense four times in 2018 and held opponents to single-digit point totals three times
- In the last five seasons, SHU has held its opponent under 200 yards of total offense eight times including in two of the final three games of the 2018 season (Robert Morris – 172, SFU 162)
- The Pioneer defense pitched a clinic in the 2018 season finale as SHU held SFU to just 49 yards rushing, a season-best for the Pioneers as well as the lowest rushing total for a SHU opponent since Lafayette rushed for 40 net yards on Sept. 9, 2017 (19 games ago)
- One area wherein SHU can improve in 2019 is in forcing turnovers as the Pioneers posted just seven interceptions and 15 total turnovers last season, both of which ranking lower-third in the nation
GETTING A PICK
- SHU tallied just seven interceptions in 2018 but finished on a high note with two interceptions a 13-7 win over SFU in the season finale that won the Pioneers a share of the NEC Regular Season title
- The Pioneers went five straight games without an interception last season for the first time in the team's Division I era (since 1999)
- Noah Provenzano and Jayden Jordan tied for the team-lead with two interceptions in 2018, combining for four of the Pioneers' seven total INTs
- One positive is SHU returns all five players who posted at least one interception in 2018 as well as 10-of-11 Pioneers who either forced or recovered a fumble
QUESTIONS AT QUARTERBACK
- SHU needs to make up for the loss of two-year starting quarterback Kevin Duke to graduation as he finished his career third all-time at SHU in passing yards (4745), fourth in pass completions (375), fifth in touchdown passes (30) and second in completion percentage (.591)
- Among the contenders for the starting job include incumbents senior Grant Lowary, junior Jake Radic and sophomore Marquez McCray along with fifth-year East Tennessee State transfer Logan Marchi
- Whoever claims the job will look to improve upon a passing attack that finished last in the NEC and 100th in FCS averaging just 168.5 yards per game
JUMPING OUT FRONT
- The Pioneers went 5-0 in 2018 when they scored first and were also undefeated at 4-0 when leading at the half
PUTTING THE GAME AWAY
- When looking at the season as a whole, the Pioneers dominated the season halves of games all throughout 2018, outscoring opponents 154-66 (+92) in the third and fourth quarters combined
- The single-largest margin came in the third quarter as SHU outscored opponents 96-45 (+51)
- On the defensive side, SHU allowed just 66 points in the second halves of games last season including just 21 points in the fourth quarter through 11 games in 2018
- This is compared with the first halves of games where the Pioneers were outscored 177-155, allowing nearly three-times as many points than in the second half
SHOULDERING THE LOAD – JORDAN MEACHUM NOTES
- After gaining less than 600 yards in his first two full seasons as a Pioneer, Jordan Meachum broke out with a monster 2018 campaign, ranking ninth in FCS with 148.5 all-purpose yards per game, fourth in FCS with 126.9 rushing yards per game and seventh in FCS with 1,396 total rushing yards
- His 1396 rushing yards is the second-highest single-season total in program history while he ranked second on the team with 18 receptions for 237 yards (13.2 yards per catch)
- Meachum ran for a school record 318 yards and 13.8 yards per carry in a 49-26 home win over Bryant and produced seven 100+ yard performances on the ground in 11 games last season, including five straight to finish the campaign
- He is the 10th player in school history to rush for 1,000+ yards in a season and the first to do so since Keshaudas Spence in 2013
- Meachum was a two-time NEC Offensive Player of the Week in 2018 on his way to earning All-NEC Second Team honors
- He enters his final season as a Pioneer with 1,952 career rushing yards, ranking eighth all-time at SHU
EDGE PRESSURE – CHRIS AGYEMANG NOTES
- SHU's top defensive lineman last season, Agyemang enjoyed a breakthrough 2018 season in which the then-junior earned All-New England and All-NEC First Team honors
- Agyemang ranked fourth in the NEC with seven total sacks as well as 15.5 tackles for loss while appearing in all 11 games
- He sat second on the team with 55 total tackles and added in a forced fumble and fumble recovery
- An imposing force all season, he racked up three games with more than one sack in 2018 and produced a career-high nine tackles in a road win at Wagner (9/22)
CHESTNUTS AND BOLTS – JULIUS CHESTNUT NOTES
- A rookie sensation in 2018, sophomore Julius Chestnut racked up 713 yards on 116 carries (6.1 yards per carry) with seven touchdowns in 11 games
- The 2018 NEC Rookie of the Year became the first Pioneer to win the conference's major award since RJ Noel back in 2013
- Chestnut was a four-time NEC Rookie of the Week honoree in 2018 as he rushed for 100+ yards three times (all of which came in NEC play)
- He rushed for a season-high 164 yards and three TDs against Bryant (10/27) which started a string of three consecutive 100+ yard performances wherein he had a 70+ yard rush in all three games