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Friday, October 12, 2007

MU football story for Saturday Press

Make predictions, comments here, or scroll down a few threads for another Wagner prediction/comment topic

My prediction: Monmouth will gang up to stop the run and induce Wagner to throw which may not be a strong point. MU has to make sure it is in front by enough so it is not vulnernabe to a late Piotr Czech field goal.

My Prediction Record: 4-1.
My score: Monmouth, 24-19



By TONY GRAHAM
STAFF WRITER

WEST LONG BRANCH - For the second week in a row the Monmouth University football team faces the top rushing defense in the Northeast Conference.
Last week, powered by Dave Sinisi's 200 yards and three scores and Bobby Giles' 119 yards on the ground, Monmouth riddled Sacred Heart for 331 yards rushing in its 41-point triumph.
In Saturday's Homecoming Game the Hawks (1-4, 1-1) host Wagner (4-1, 2-0) which leads the NEC in rushing defense giving up only 98.8 yards per game on the ground. It also ranks first in total defense, 280.6 yards per game,and is No. 1 in scoring defense yielding 13.2 points per game.
That's just fine with Monmouth redshirt junior tight end John Nalbone. ""It was the same thing last year going into their game,'' said Nalbone. "'They were a highly ranked defense.''
In 2006 Monmouth defeated Wagner for the third time in four years, 28-7.
""It definitely does make us work harder and concentrate on doing everything right,'' said Nalbone who last week led all Monmouth receivers with four catches for 59 yards including a 16-yard TD pass from Brett Burke.
The 6-4, 240 pound Nalbone, has 12 receptions this season for 143 yards.
""He's a big target, runs well, certainly gives us another option in the pass game,''s aid Monmouth coach Kevin Callahan. "'Everybody kind of starts looking towards Adam (San Miguel) from an opponent's standpoint.''
The game matches Monmouth redshirt sophomore running back David Sinsi vs. Wagner senior running back Jason Butler.
Sinisi, averaging 6.2 yards per carry, hopes to extend his nation's leading touchdown scoring streak to 18 games.
Butler leads the NEC with 659 yards rushing on 149 attempts,but has yet to score a rushing touchdown in 2007.
Last week Wagner upended a Robert Morris team, 20-13, which handed Monmouth a 20-17 setback Sept. 8 at Kessler Field.
Senior Piotr Czech, former Keyport High School star, added field goals of 28 and 35 yards extending his school record total to 38.
Czech has converted 10-of-11 attempts this season hitting twice from 54 yards and is 7-for-7 from inside the 40.
""He's very formidable,'' said Callahan. ""They get across midfield they can kick a field goal. He is a weapon.''
Nalbone said Monmouth hopes to build off last week's momentum. ""It was a good way to have a first win with a big, convincing win,'' he said. ""It has definitely showed in practice and I think will propel us though NEC games.''
Notes
Callahan said reserve quarterback Andrew Mandeville (Raritan) is still out with a shoulder injury suffered against Delaware. He said reserve defrnsive tackle Jeff King (Raritan) should be back after suffering a knee injury vs. Delaware.
e-mail tonygsports@aol.com.

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