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Monmouth vs. St. Francis preview: Hawks return for Senior Day after Hurricane Sandy

monmouthBY JEREMY SCHILLING
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

Saint Francis University (3-6, 2-4 in Northeast Conference) at Monmouth University (4-4, 3-2 in Northeast Conference)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Noon – Kessler Field, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Radio: 1160AM, 1310AM, shoresportsnetwork.com

THE LAST WHISTLE: After having their game last week against Central Connecticut State postponed (there is still a slight chance the game gets rescheduled at some point in the next several weeks), Monmouth returns to the field on Saturday at home against Saint Francis for Senior Day. But this has, to say the least, been a bizarre stretch for Monmouth. First, the CCSU game got shelved because of Sandy and its aftermath, and then the Hawks had to move to an indoor practice facility for one day earlier this week due to the Nor’easter. Monmouth head coach Kevin Callahan says it’s been a unique two weeks.

“It’s certainly been different,” Callahan said. “We’ve had years where we’ve there’s been some storms…but I think overall just the fact that we were away from football for eight days has been a bit unusual. To not even get to see our players for that amount of time was different.”

Monmouth last played on October 27 when they beat Duquesne 28-27.

St. Francis is coming off their bye week. In their last outing they lost to CCSU 32-30.

THE HISTORY:  This is the 20th time these two teams have met. Monmouth owns the series, holding a 17-2 edge.

THE MATCHUP: Keys for Monmouth:

1) Focus on football. A lot has happened over the last two weeks and everyone, whether they or their families had direct impacts from the storm or not, has had their routines disrupted. As a result, Monmouth needs to have their heads 100 percent in the game at kickoff. For those three hours, they can’t afford to thinking about anything else other than football.

2) Start fast on offense. Senior starting quarterback Kyle Frazier told me this week he is not concerned about the offense being sluggish after a couple weeks off. A fast start has been a key to all of Monmouth’s victories this season, and this week should be no different.

Keys for St. Francis:

1) Take advantage of Monmouth’s extra time off. Monmouth basically didn’t do anything football related for a week after their last game. Rust could be a factor, so taking some chances early and trying to expose some mental mistakes could be a good move for the Red Flash.

2) Run the ball a lot. St. Francis is the number one rushing team in the conference at 225 yards per game. Play to your strengths and run the ball aggressively with Keion Wade and John Kelly.

THE QUOTE: “We gotta go ahead. We gotta take advantage of the opportunities we have left. We got this game against St. Francis which is our last [home] game. We can only control what is put in front of us. ”— Frazier, a team leader, on what he told his guys after everything that’s gone on over the past two weeks.

THE STAT: Frazier is now number one on the Monmouth all-time completions list with 629.

 

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