MONMOUTH (4-4) vs. SACRED HEART (7-2, 2-2 NEC)
GAME 10* FAIRFIELD, CT* CAMPUS FIELD 1:00 PM*
Setting the Scene… The Sacred Heart Pioneers welcome former NEC-rival Monmouth to Campus Field for their final non-conference game of the season. Sacred Heart is coming off just their second loss of the season at Saint Francis University on Saturday afternoon. The Pioneers held a 7-3 halftime lead but scored a season low three points in the second half on their way to a 24-10 loss. SHU sits at 2-2 in the conference, tied for third place. Bryant and Duquesne are tied for first with just one NEC loss. Monmouth is coming off a thorough 48-23 beating of Cornell over the weekend. Last season, Monmouth defeated Sacred Heart 27-14 in West Long Branch, NJ.
Scouting the Hawks… Newly independent Monmouth is 4-4 this season. The Hawks are 1-1 against Northeast Conference opponents this season, having also lost to Saint Francis University 28-10. The Hawks are led by a balanced offense that averages 173 rushing yards and 211 passing yards per game. Junior running back and Connecticut native Julian Hayes leads the rushing attack with 791 yards this season. Monmouth will be joining the Big South Conference next season for football.
Head Coaches... The Pioneers will be led by second year head coach Mark Nofri in 2013. Beginning his 20th season as a member of the Pioneers coaching staff, Nofri is the longest tenured coach in Sacred Heart program history. The Pioneers were 2-9 last season with Nofri serving as the interim head coach. Nofri is also the long time linebackers coach for the Pioneers, turning out several All-Conference and All-American linebackers including Jayson Jarrett '01, Kayode Mayowa '02, Craig Capurso '02, Jon Corto '06 and Chris Mandas '11. Kevin Callahan is in his 21st season on the Monmouth Hawks sidelines. The only coach in MU history, he has guided his Hawks to five Northeast Conference titles, most recently in 2006. He is one of just 23 FCS coaches with over 100 career victories. Callahan has been voted the NEC Coach of the Year in 1998, 2003 and 2006.
Monmouth Vs. Sacred Heart Series Notes...
-This will be the 19th meeting between the Hawks and Pioneers.
- The Hawks hold a 13-5 edge in the series.
- Last meeting in Fairfield (10/22/2011), MU beat SHU 31-17, improving to
8-1 on Campus Field
.- Last season, Pioneers lost 27-14 at Monmouth. Sacred Heart rushed for
just 42 yards, with Keshaudas Spence rushing for just eight of those.
Up Next…The Pioneers will host the Duquesne Dukes next Saturday afternoon on Campus Field for Senior Day. The game will be broadcasted live on ESPN3.