‘Cats head into bye week with a perfect 3-0 record



James Evans

With the ‘Cats going into their bye week at a perfect 3-0 and 1-0 in the conference and with two blowout wins and a close-knit battle against a Division I-A opponent, what better then to look at a preview for the rest of the season to come. As the ‘Cats begin their Atlantic 10 schedule, there will be a lot of tough games in the next coming week.

The ‘Cats do not have it easy game coming off the bye week to face No. 4 ranked Northeastern, last year’s A-10 co-champs. One of the better teams in the conference, Northeastern comes into the game having beaten William and Mary and edging out Rhode Island last weekend, 42-39. The ‘Cats will have to be on the look out, because Northeastern has a quality defense and head coach Ron Brown will be sure to have drawn up a good defensive plan to try and cause trouble for ‘Nova quarterback Joe Casamento.

‘Nova then will take on two middle-of-pack teams, James Madison and Rhode Island, the following two weeks. However, do not expect an easy win for the ‘Cats because any A-10 game is always tough.

Then following an unusual second bye week of the season, the ‘Cats will begin a stretch against three top 20 teams in the next five weeks. On Oct. 25, No. 12 ranked UMass visits ‘Nova. The Minutemen are of to a good start this year again. Their 1-1 record is deceiving, considering they played possible BCS bowl-bound Kansas State this past week and were leading going into the second quarter, before the Wildcats ran off 21 straight points. However, be assured this team will perform up to their ranking for the remainder of the season.

The next two weeks have ‘Nova on the road to visit Richmond and Hofstra. Both of these games will not be guaranteed wins by any means of the imagination. The ‘Cats will have to try and keep their minds fixed on these opponents and hope their minds don’t stray toward the following two weeks.

The ‘Cats last two opponents of the year are No. 16 Maine and No. 8 Delaware. ‘Nova will travel to Maine in the middle of November, hopefully looking to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Black Bears have made it to the playoffs the last two years and both times have won one game before being knocked out. Head coach Jack Cosgrove will be sure to have his team gunning for a playoff appearance coming down the home stretch and this game could be the deciding factor of whether Maine or ‘Nova goes to the playoffs.

If the ‘Cats survive the game against the Black Bears, they could possibly be sitting on a chance to claim the A-10 crown against Delaware. The Main Line showdown will be featuring two cream of the crop teams in this league. Delaware, ranked second in this year’s preseason poll, has started off the season with two blowout wins and seems to be proving why it was chosen as the second team. If this game has half the excitement as last year’s thriller, we are in for a good show.