Sacred Heart (3-2, 1-1 NEC) at Penn (1-2, 0-1 Ivy)
Saturday, Oct. 12 | 1:00 p.m.
Franklin Field | Philadelphia, Pa.
Sacred Heart | Penn
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Following a disappointing outing on Homecoming against CCSU, the Sacred Heart football team heads back on the road for non-conference play with a trip to Philly to take on Penn on Saturday at 1 PM. This serves as the Pioneers' final non-conference road game of 2019 and also just the second all-time meeting against the Quakers as SHU is looking to avenge a 31-27 loss at home last season to their Ivy League foe. Saturday's game can be seen on ESPN+.
- QB Logan Marchi has been incredible throughout the 2019 campaign, throwing for 1,328 yards with 12 TD and 3 INT through the first five games of the season. He rattled off a program record three-game streak of 300+ passing yards and finished an incredible streak wherein he went 120 straight passes to begin the season without throwing an INT. The streak ranks third all-time at SHU behind Dale Fink (148) in the 2010 season and RJ Noel (126) in 2013.
- 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 leads the team in receptions (24), receiving yards (424) and receiving touchdowns (five). On a national scale, Chambers leads all FCS freshmen in receiving yards per game (84.4) and receiving touchdowns (five).
- RB Julius Chestnut has been the primary ball carried this season and has racked up 542 rushing yards (108.4 per game) and 648 total yards from scrimmage with six total TD (four rushing, two receiving). The 2018 NEC Rookie of the Year already has as many 100+ rushing yard performances this season (three) than he did in 11 games played last season. He ranks just outside the Top 10 in rushing yards, sitting 13th in the FCS, with 542 on the season while his 108.4 rushing yards per game is 10th nationally. Chestnut is coming off a 111-yard effort on 19 carries (5.8 yards per carry) against CCSU in Week 6.
- The Pioneers have thrived in the fourth quarter all season long, outscoring the opposition by a combined score of 35-13 through five games. SHU hasn't been outscored in the fourth quarter of any game thus far in 2019.
- SHU's offensive line - LT J.D. DiRenzo, LG Anthony Della Fave, C Josh Sokol, RG Nick Carnesale, RT Jon Mucciolo/Donald Rappoccio - continue to dominate as the Pioneers have allowed just two sacks in 178 dropbacks through five games, translating to a 1.12 percent sack success rate for opponents when SHU drops back to pass in 2019. Among the 124 teams in the FCS, SHU is one of just six who've allowed two or fewer sacks this season.
- 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 47-38 (.553) 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)
|PENN (IVY rank)||Category||Sacred Heart (NEC rank)|
|23.3 (5)||Points||27.4 (2)|
|437.7 (4)||Total Offense||395.4 (2)|
|213.7 (1)||Rushing Yards||129.8 (4)|
|224.0 (5)||Passing Yards||265.6 (1)|
|30:16 (5)||Offensive Time of Possession||26:15 (8)|
|356.0 (7)||Total Defense||445.2 (8)|
|123.7 (6)||Rushing Yards Allowed||153.6 (6)|
|4/5||Rushing TDs/Passing TDs||7/12|
|232.3 (6)||Passing Yards Allowed||291.6 (8)|
|3/7||Rushing/Passing TDs Allowed||10/7|
|29:44||Defensive Time of Possession||33:45|
|-4 (6)||Turnover Margin||+2 (3)|
|26.7 (7)||Points Allowed||26.0 (5)|
INSIDE THE CCSU BOX SCORE (CCSU 28, SHU 3)
- CCSU racked up 464 total yards of offense and forced four turnovers while the Pioneers managed just 238 total yards and fell way short of their NEC-leading 300.5 passing yards per game heading to the game, finishing with just 126 on the day
- The formidable CCSU defense, which came in having forced 11 turnovers in the first four games of 2019 (Top 10 in the nation), was at it again with four takeaways (two fumble recoveries, two interceptions)
- SHU came into the game having lost just one turnover all season, one of just two teams in the nation that had one turnover and have played at least four games heading into last weekend
- RB Julius Chestnut continued to pile up the yardage, totaling 111 on the ground on 19 carries (5.8 yards per carry) as he led the SHU offense with his third 100+ yard performance on the season
- FS Jayden Jordan led the effort on the defensive end, finishing with a career-high 11 tackles in the losing effort, the most by a Pioneer in any game so far this season. LB Chris Outterbridge added nine tackles, giving him 17 over the last two games combined, while CB Shawn Ramcheran added seven in defeat
- QB Logan Marchi struggled against the playmaking Blue Devil defense, finishing the day 10-for-28 throwing for 126 yards with 0 TD, 2 INT and one sack taken
- Marchi came into the contest with a SHU record three straight 300+ passing yard outings as this was also his first multi-INT game of his five-game career as a Pioneer
- The announced crowd of 5,402 is the most in school history for a SHU Homecoming and the second-highest for a home game in school history, falling just short of the 5,569 the Pioneers drew for Family Weekend in 2017 against Dartmouth
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.
PENN SCOUTING REPORT
- Penn (1-2, 0-1 Ivy League) has recorded a winning record in each of head coach Ray Priore's four seasons as the head coach
- The Quarkers are the only Ivy League program to have a winning record every year these last four seasons (since 2015) and look to continue their winning ways in 2019
- Seven starters are back from last year's team on offense while eight return on defense
- The hallmark of this Penn team last season was the defense that ranked 13th in the FCS with 20.9 points allowed per game
- Through three games this season, Penn has done a great job against quality competition, allowing 28 points in a one-point loss at nationally-ranked Delaware, allowing Lafayette to put up 24 on the road (SHU allowed 40 in their win earlier this season), and seeing the Dartmouth Big Green put up 28 last week
- Three of the top four tacklers are back and all four starters in the secondary return: Mohammed Diakite, Tayte Doddy, Jacob Martin and Conor O'Brien
- LB Zach Evans leads the way defensively with 28 total tackles in three games while nine different Quakers have produced at least half a sack in 2019 (10 sacks as a team through three games)
- LB Brian O'Neill is an all-around threat with 21 tackles while leading the team in both TFL (6.5) and sacks (2.0)
- The offense struggled last season, scoring just 18.6 points per game, which ranked 109th in the FCS
- Penn ran the ball 400 times last season for 1,619 yards and 12 scores and the run-first trend has continued into 2019 with the Quakers putting up 641 yards on 122 carries (5.3 yards per carry) with 4 TD so far this season
- RB Karekin Brooks has been the primary ball carrier with 76 carries, 451 yards and 4 TD while averaging 5.9 yards per carry and 150.3 yards per game through three appearances
- Brooks' 150.3 yards per game average leads the nation while he ranks 26th in yards per carry (5.9) and 28th in total rushing yards (451) despite having played only three games while most teams in the FCS have played five
- QB Nick Robinson has played every snap this season for Penn and has put up respectable numbers, going 63-for-91 (69.2%) on his passes this season for 672 yards (224 per game) with 5 TD and 1 INT
- Robinson has also carried the ball 20 times for 60 yards on the season as he has the option to pass or run on his dropbacks
- Leading the receiving unit is WR Ryan Cragun who has hauled in 16 catches for 273 yards and 2 TD while having played in just two games
- Cragun averages 136.5 yards per game, a total that ranks second in the nation, while his 8.0 receptions per game has him ninth in FCS
INSIDE THE SERIES: SHU vs. Penn (Quakers lead 1-0)
- The two sides met for the first time in 2018 with the game ending in a 31-27 win for the visiting Quakers on what was Homecoming weekend for the Pioneers last season
- Trailing 24-0 to Penn early in the third quarter, SHU ripped off 27 unanswered points to take the lead but the Quakers answered with a game-winning touchdown with just over one-minute remaining to stun the Pioneers
- Special teams played a large role in the outcome, with Penn blocking two SHU field goal attempts as well as an extra point on the go-ahead score
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
PLAYING THE FULL 60 MINUTES
- A trend that has continued all season long through five games is the Pioneers' commitment in the second half, specifically the fourth quarter
- SHU has outscored the opposition 35-13 (+22) in the fourth quarter of games this season, compared to a 117-102 margin (-15) for the Pioneers in the three other quarters combined
- The Pioneers are allowing an average of 2.6 points per quarter in the fourth quarter this season compared to 7.8 per quarter in the three other quarters combined
HOLD THE LINE
- SHU's offensive line play has been stellar through five games as the combination of LT J.D. DiRenzo, LG Anthony Della Fave, C Josh Sokol, RG Nick Carnesale, RT Jon Mucciolo/ Donald Rappoccio have allowed just two sacks all season
- The Pioneers are one of just six teams in the nation who've allowed two or fewer sacks thus far in 2019
- In addition, SHU's O-line has limited opponents to 3.20 TFL per game, the fourth-lowest average allowed of any team in FCS
- Marchi has hit the turf twice in his 178 dropbacks this season, translating to a 1.12 sack percent rate for opposing defenses combined through five games
- The three-game streak to start the season without a sack 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 Mucciolo is in his first collegiate 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 five games, Chambers leads all FCS first-years in receiving touchdowns (5) and receiving yards per game (84.8) while he sits third in receiving yards (424), sixth in receptions (24) and second in receptions per game (4.8)
- Making this even more impressive is the three-time NEC Rookie of the Week has done all his damage over the last four weeks as he played just one series in the season opener at Maine
MARCHI-NG DOWN THE FIELD
- Even with last week's disappointing effort against CCSU, QB Logan Marchi's red-hot play over a three-week stretch catapulted him up the national ranking list as he ranks 31st in FCS in passing efficiency (147.9), tied for 17th in passing TDs (12), 25th in passing yards (1,328), 19th in passing yards per game (265.6) and 13th in yards per completion (14.76)
- Marchi is one of just eight QBs in FCS to throw for at least 12 touchdowns and have three or fewer interceptions so far in 2019
CHESTNUT CARRYING THE LOAD
- Through five games in 2019, including just four as the team's primary ball carrier, RB Julius Chestnut has racked up 542 rushing yards on 98 carries (5.5 yards per rush) to go along with 6 total TD (four rushing, two receiving)
- Chestnut ranks Top 20 in both rushing yards (542, 13th in FCS) and rushing yards per game (108.4, 10th FCS)
- His six total TDs rushing scores has him tied for 29th in FCS
PROTECT THE BALL
- Even with the four-turnover game against CCSU, SHU is tied for 17th in the nation for fewest turnovers lost (five) 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
- 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