FB GAMEDAY PREVIEW: HAWKS FACE HOLY CROSS FOR FIRST TIME
Monmouth University (0-3) at Holy Cross (1-2, 0-0 Patriot League)
Saturday, September 7, 2013; 6:00 p.m.
Fitton Field (23,500), Worcester, Mass.
Radio Coverage: Shore Sports Network, WOBM 1160AM and 1310AM, shoresportsnetwork.com
Matt Harmon (Play by Play); Gary Kowal(Color Analyst)
For tickets call (508) 793-2573 or visit HERE for more information.
Directions to Fitton Field:
For Directions to Fitton Field visit HERE
The game can be viewed for free online on the PATRIOT LEAGUE NETWORK
**A full game preview is available at www.GoMUHawks.com**
A LOOK AT THE GAME:
Today’s game will be the first meeting between Monmouth and Holy Cross. The Hawks are looking for their first win after falling to No. 19 Lehigh by three last weekend while the Crusaders cruised past Central Connecticut State last weekend outscoring the Blue Devils 52-21 in New Britain.
Monmouth looks to break into the win column after facing ranked opponents in two of the first three weeks, including opening the season against No. 2 Montana State. The Hawks are coming off an impressive effort against the Mountain Hawks, one which had them leading midway through the fourth quarter. In that contest junior quarterback Brandon Hill had his first career 300-yard passing day while junior Neal Sterling set the Monmouth mark for receptions in a game and became the first Hawk to go over 100 yards receiving since week six of last season. Two running backs went over 100 yards rushing for the first time since 2007 and the defensive unit forced three turnovers and scored a defensive touchdown but the Hawks came up three points short in their home opener. While it is just the third time in school history that Holy Cross will host a game under the lights, it will be the third time this season that Monmouth has played a night game this season. In fact, prior to 2013, MU had not played a night game since the 2010 season opener against Colgate.
Holy Cross is coming off an impressive offensive effort in its 52-21 win over Central last week, setting a school record by running the ball 72 times. The Crusaders racked up 419 rushing yards, the most in 30 years, behind Reggie Woods’ 153 yards on 24 carries. Holy Cross also features a talented wide receiver in senior Mike Fess who led the Patriot League in receptions in 2012. Fess, who has three touchdowns and over 200 all-purpose yards this season, will face a MU defense that has allowed a 100-yard receiver in each of the first three games of the year. Holy Cross opened the season with a one-point loss to Bryant before falling 49-7 to then-fourth ranked Towson, which has risen to third in the recent polls.
THE COACHING MATCHUP:
Kevin Callahan is in his 21st season at Monmouth as the Hawks’ head coach. Callahan owns a 114-94 career coaching record, all with Monmouth. Callahan is one of 21 active head coaches in the FCS with over 100 career victories and his 114 victories ranks 15th among active FCS coaches. The only coach in Monmouth history, he has led the Blue & White to five conference championships, in 1996, 1998, 2003, 2004 and 2006. Callahan has earned NEC Coach of the Year accolades in 1998, 2003 and 2006. Prior to arriving in West Long Branch, Callahan served as defensive coordinator at Colgate for eight seasons and at Wagner for three years. He began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Albany (1977-79) and Syracuse (1980) before becoming a Seahawk assistant in 1981.
Tom Gilmore is in his tenth year as the head football coach at Holy Cross, and has posted a 54-49 career record leading the Crusaders. Gilmore has been named Patriot League Coach of the Year twice, both in 2006 and 2009. He led the Crusaders to their first Patriot League Title in 18 years in 2009, earning a trip to the NCAA playoffs before falling in the first round to Villanova. Prior to his time in Worcester, Gilmore spent four seasons as the defensive coordinator at Lehigh, and helped them to back-to-back Patriot League titles in 2001. Gilmore was a standout lineman at Penn, winning four straight Ivy League titles and was the Ivy League Player of the Year in 1985, still one of just two linemen to win the award.
INSIDE THE MU-HOLY CROSS SERIES:
Today marks the first time that the Hawks and Crusaders will meet. Holy Cross, a member of the Patriot League, has sponsored football since 1884.
DID YOU KNOW?
Monmouth cornerback Tevrin Brandon’s four pass breakups against the Bobcats ranks him second in the country behind Eastern Illinois’ D.J. Bland who had six in week one. Brandon, a UConn transfer, is also one of MU’s kick returners and is listed as the backup punt returner.
HAWKS TO JOIN THE BIG SOUTH IN 2014
In February of 2013 Monmouth University officially accepted a invitation to join the Big South Conference as an associate member in the sport of football. With most of the Big South schedule already set, the Hawks were forced to play an independent schedule for the first time since 1995. The Hawks will get an early look at the Big South tonight when they face future conference rival Liberty University under the lights at Williams Stadium. The Hawks signed a four-year deal with the Big South and will compete for the league’s auto bid to the FCS Playoffs with the Flames, Coastal Carolina, Charleston Southern, Presbyterian and Gardner Webb.
SPILLANE NEEDS ONE POINT TO TAKE SOLE POSESSION OF SECOND PLACE IN SCORING
Senior kicker Eric Spillane hit a 35 yard field goal to end the first half against Lehigh and two extra points to give him 216 career points. That number ties MU wide receiver Miles Austin, who put up those points in blue and white with 36 touchdowns. Spillane has done it with 40 field goals, first all-time in MU history, and 96 PAT’s. With one more point, Spillane will move into second place all-time alone, only behind former Hawks running back David Sinisi.
DID YOU KNOW?
Wide receiver Neal Sterling set the new Monmouth record for single game receptions with his 13 grabs against Lehigh. Sterling went for 126 yards, marking the first 100+ yard receiving performance for a Hawk since Tristan Roberts went for 174 yards against Cornell last season.
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