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Friday, September 07, 2007

MU football preview vs. RMU/make predictions

This is basically the Press story that will run Saturday..this is also a longer version of what will appear in the paper...

Since I am locked into high school football Fridays these advance MU stories - as is this one- are usually written off interviews done Thursday or during the week .

My pick: MU, 24-20 .

Season Record: 1-0.


By TONY GRAHAM
STAFF WRITER
WEST LONG BRANCH - The Monmouth University football team's 2007 home opener, a first time accompanying live video streaming of Monmouth football on the internet, and ground breaking for the school's new 4,000 Multi-purpose Activity Center (MAC).
It's all part of Saturday's busy and historical day on the Shadow Lawn campus.
""The most important thing is the football game,'' said Monmouth athletic athletic director Marilyn McNeil of the Northeast Conference game, the first NEC contest of 2007 for the defending champion Hawks (0-1) and Robert Morris (0-1).
""But in terms of the day here in Monmouth athletics this is monumental,'' said McNeil referring to the ground breaking ceremonies which will be held at noon in the parking lot behind Boylan Gymnasium, the site of the new athletic facility.
"'I've been waiting 15 years for this,'' said McNeil. ""The idea that this is going to become a reality, it's going to change us so positively.''
McNeil said the MAC should be ready for the 2009-2010 men's and women's basketball season.
""I'm excited the ground breaking is surrounded by the football game,'' she said. ""Because it's all about all of what we mean in college athletics. This is a building for the fans, the students, the community.
""This is the right century here,'' she said. ""We've been hiding in the last century for too long.''
On Kessler Field the Hawks today hope Saturday marks the beginning of a drive to a fourth NEC championship since 2003.
""It's a must win,''said quarterback Brett Burke. The red shirt junior, was 14-for-25 for 173 yards with one TD and no interceptions last week in his first collegiate start, a 21-14 setback at Maine.
""The way football is, every game is important but a conference game, this early, it's a must win,''said Burke, a Wall High School graduate. ""That's how we have to approach it.''
Kevin Callahan, Monmouth coach, said facing an NEC opponent this early in the season, ""makes it a very big game.
""They were one of the teams in my preseason coaches poll that I picked right at the top of the Conference because of the many veteran and experienced players they have returning. They're a scary team to be playing this early in the year.''
In the poll, Albany was picked No. 1, Monmouth No. 2, and Robert Morris was picked tied for third place with Central Connecticut State.
Burke said it was good to get his first start under his belt. "'It's not very good that we didn't win,''said Burke. ""I felt comfortable. I just have to improve this week and the offense as a whole, we have to improve.''
Where as Monmouth's secondary, with just one returning starter, did not face a furious passing attack last week vs. run-oriented Maine, Saturday should be different.
Erik Cwalinski, Robert Morris' junior quarterback who threw 19 TD passes in 2006, last week hooked up with senior flanker Mario Hines on a 62-yard bomb in a 23-12 loss to Dayton.
Cwalinski (18-39-1, 236 yards vs. Dayton) was also sacked five times.
""It (Maine) really wasn't a game where you could get a specific evaluation of the secondary,'' said Callahan. ""I think that will change this week.''
The live video streaming will involve two cameras, one at the pressbox level and another on Kessler Field according to Greg Viscomi, Monmouth's sports information director and video maven.
The production will be directed by Jarred Weiss, a Monmouth junior.
There is a fee to watch and detailed information is available at http://www.gomuhawks.com/.
""Everybody's doing it,''said McNeil of the internet streaming. ""It really is a service and it's time that we stepped up,'' she said.
NOTES...Starting left tackle Nick LoCastro (knee) will not play Saturday said Callahan who said more will be known on the status of the 6-6, 295 pound senior when results of an MRI are received. Derek Rosinski, a 6-6, 300 pound sophomore, is slated to start in his place....With 147 career catches senior Adam San Miguel needs three to tie the school record set by second year Dallas Cowboy Miles Austin...Redshirt sophomore running back David Sinisi will be trying to score a touchdown in a 14th game in a row. His current streak is the longest in the FCS (Football Championship Subdivision, formerly known as 1-AA).

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