FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The Sacred Heart football team is set for its final non-conference matchup of the season this Saturday, a tough road test in Durham New Hampshire against Dartmouth. The game will conclude a stretch of four games out of five on the road for Sacred Heart (3-2), who will look to end a two-game skid after a 3-0 start to the season. Dartmouth is off to a strong 4-0 start and is coming off a 41-18 win on the road last weekend over reigning Ivy League champion Yale.
The two teams last met one year ago this weekend on Oct. 14, 2017, with the Big Green prevailing in come-from-behind fashion, 29-26.
Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. from Alumni Field. The game will be streamed live on ESPN+ (subscription required), with radio broadcast available on 94 ESPN Radio on air and online.
• Sacred Heart hits the road to take on an Ivy League opponent for the third straight week. It is the Pioneers final non-conference game of the season.
• This will be the sixth all-time matchup against Dartmouth, all in the last nine seasons.
• SHU's defense ranks fourth in the nation in passing defense (141.8 ypg), and 22nd in total defense (326.6 ypg).
• SHU has gone two straight games without an interception for the first time since 2012.
• SHU overcame a 24-point deficit before falling to Penn last weekend, the program's largest comeback in the Division I era (since 1998).
• SHU has lost three straight to Ivy League opponents (3-4 under Nofri).
• Trailing Penn 24-0 with 10:37 remaining in the third quarter, SHU ran off 27 unanswered points to take a 27-24 led with 9:54 left in regulation, before falling 31-27 on a touchdown with 1:19 on the clock.
• The 24-0 hole was the largest deficit overcome by Sacred Heart in the Division I era (since 1998). SHU had previously erased 17-0 deficits on two occasions, both on the road. They scored 29 unanswered points to beat Duquesne 29-17 on 10/25/2008, and 31 unanswered at Wagner (11/3/2001) en route to a 45-24 win.
• Grad student Aaron Donalson scored the go-ahead touchdown after batting away a shovel pass to the running back, scooping up the loose ball and returning it 21 yards for a touchdown.
• First-year tailback Julius Chestnut was one of three Pioneers with over 50 yards rushing, finishing with 51 yards on the ground, his second 50+ yard rushing game of the season.
• RJ Trimble-Edwards' 53-yard TD catch was the longest reception of his career, and his second-career touchdown.
• Graduate quarterback Kevin Duke rushed for 70 yards against Penn, including a career-long 46 yd. run, marking the second time in his career he rushed for 70+ yards in back-to-back games.
COLLECTING THE HARDWARE:
• Noah Gettman took home SHU's first Special Teams Player of the Week from the NEC on Oct. 8 after averaging 41.8 yard/punt, downing two of his five punts inside the 20, and four inside the 25.
• SHU has scored two touchdowns on defense this season. Aaron Donalson forced a fumble and returned it 21 yards for a touchdown to help SHU battle back from 24-down against Penn.
• Dartmouth is coming off a big 41-18 victory on the road at defending Ivy League champ and preseason favorite Yale.
• Dartmouth rushed for 347 yards in the game, and was 6-for-10 passing for 101 yards. It was the fewest passes attempted in nearly 23 years.
• The Big Green is averaging 440 yards of offense per game, which ranks 30th in the nation.
• Dartmouth's defense has proven very stingy, ranking fourth in FCS in total defense (248.5 ypg), scoring defense (11.5 ppg) and rushing defense (71.8 ypg).
• Dartmouth has not allowed more than 18 yards rushing in a game this season.
• Dartmouth ranks No. 1 in FCS in turnover margin, having a +9 turnover margin, collecting nine interceptions and three fumble recoveries on defense through the first four games.
• Much of Dartmouth's offense comes on the ground, with three players average over 50 yards rushing per game, including Jared Gerbino (103.0), Rashaad Cooper (52.5) and Caylin Parker (50.0).
• Derek Kyler 188 yards per game through the air, completing nearly 75 percent of his passes for an average of 11.9 yards/completion. He has thrown eight touchdown passes and just one interception.
• Drew Hunnicutt has been the team's top receiving target this season, leading the team with 16 receptions, 331 yards and just under 83 rec. ypg. Drew Estrada (42.67 rec. ypg) and Connor Rempel (33.0 rec. ypg) also factor in the receiving game.