SACRED HEART (6-1, 1-1) AT BRYANT (3-3, 1-0)
GAME 08* Smithfield, RI* 1:00 PM* Bulldog Stadium*
Setting the Scene… The 6-1 Sacred Heart Pioneers hit the road to take on the Bryant Bulldogs at Bulldog Stadium in Smithfield, Rhode Island. SHU is looking for their second straight Northeast Conference win, while Bryant is looking to snap a two game losing streak. Bryant is coming off a 41-14 loss to the Brown Bears. This is the first of back-to-back NEC road games for the Pioneers. The Pioneers have never won at Bryant and have lost three straight to the Bulldogs.
Pioneers in NEC Play... The 2013 season marks the 16th season of play in the Northeast Conference for Sacred Heart University.
- The Pioneers joined the NEC in 1998 for football.
- SHU holds a 43-61 all-time NEC record.
- The Pioneers won the 2001 NEC Championship with a perfect 8-0 record.
- SHU is coming off a 9th place finish in 2012 with a 1-7 mark.
- The Pioneers were picked to finish 7th in the 2013 NEC Preseason Coaches' Poll
Series Notes... Saturday's match-up is the seventh meeting between SHU and Bryant.
- Sacred Heart and Bryant are even at three wins a piece.
- This will be just the third trip to Smithfield for the Pioneers in the series.
- Sacred Heart's last trip to Bryant saw SHU lose 21-17 for their third third straight loss in Smithfield.
- SHU won the first three meetings in the series, but Bryant has taken the last three.
- The two teams met for the first time in 1998 and again in 2000 but not again until 2009 when Bryant began the transition to Division I.
The 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. Marty Fine is in his 11th season as the head coach at Bryant University. Fine is the winningest coach in Bulldog football history with 60 wins coming into Saturday's game. He has guided the program's transition to the Division I level since 2008, posting 33 wins over that time.
Up Next... Sacred Heart hits the road once again to take on Saint Francis (PA) in Loretto next Saturday.