BY JEREMY SCHILLING
48 hours before announcing who their star recruits for the 2012 season will be, Monmouth University Football announced the star dates on their 2012 schedule.
The Hawks 2012 quest for the Northeast Conference’s berth for the Football Conference Subdivision’s playoffs will begin on September 1st on the road against Lehigh, who made it to the quarterfinals this year.
Highlights also include the University of Rhode Island coming to West Long Branch, New Jersey for the first time on September 8th and a trip up Ithaca, New York to face Cornell for the first time on Oct. 13.
“We are excited for the challenge of the 2012 schedule,” said Head Coach Kevin Callahan in the release. “Lehigh’s Goodman Stadium offers a great atmosphere to start the season. We are looking forward to the rematch with URI and the first ever meeting against Cornell. There is a great deal of parity among the teams in the Northeast Conference. Every game is important as each of the league's nine teams are competing for the conference's automatic berth in the FCS Playoffs.”
Judging by last year’s results, Monmouth’s toughest stretch would seem to come in the middle of the season, where they face Albany (8-4 in 2011, co-champions of the NEC with Duquesne, represented the conference in the FCS playoffs) on the road, Cornell (5-5), an opponent they have never faced, on the road, Bryant (7-4) at home and Duquesne (9-2) on the road.
Also judging by last year’s results, their easiest stretch would appear to come at the end, where their last three opponents (Central Connecticut State, St. Francis and Robert Morris) were a combined 8-25.
But as those around the league will tell you, looks can be deceiving due to the knowledge base about incoming recruits and young players moving up in the lineup for each team being so small.
Monmouth, which finished 5-6 overall in 2011 and 4-4 in the NEC, is hopeful that the added experience of some of their younger players coupled with the return of veteran guys like starting quarterback Kyle Frazier can put them over the hump this year and send them into the FCS playoffs.
National Signing Day, where teams can announce their new class of recruits, is this Wednesday. Look for the Hawks to be busy on the defense, where they need added depth desperately at linebacker and in the secondary.
The 2012 schedule is as follows:
September 1 – at Lehigh
September 8 – Rhode Island
September 15 – at Wagner
September 22 – Sacred Heart
September 29 – at Albany
October 6 – BYE
October 13 – at Cornell
October 20 – Bryant
October 27 – at Duquesne
November 3 – Central Connecticut State
November 10 – St. Francis
November 17 – at Robert Morris