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This weekend’s New England college football matchups

September 1, 2011

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THURSDAY
UMASS at HOLY CROSS

In first night game at Fitton, fifth-year senior Ryan Taggart is at the controls for HC. Minutemen hand the ball to redshirt freshman Brandon Hill.

NEW HAMPSHIRE at TOLEDO
Wildcats must corral All-American wideout/special teamer Dave Page (94 catches), the only player in the FBS to take three kicks to the house in 2010.

FRIDAY
N.Y. MARITIME at BENTLEY
Falcons thrilled to have reigning Northeast-10 MVP Bryant Johnson (66 percent passer last fall) back under center for a third straight season.

CURRY at STONEHILL
Skyhawk senior Stephan Neville of Foxborough has eight career kickoff returns for scores, including a Division 2-record tying four last season.

WESTFIELD STATE at NICHOLS
Steve Marino back for his 22d season on the Owls’ sideline; former Notre Dame assistant Kevin Loney kicks off his first in Dudley.

BECKER at FITCHBURG STATE
Falcons have a bounce in their step thanks to the return of Pat Haverty, who guided the program to four winning seasons from 2002-06.

MOUNT IDA at UMASS-DARTMOUTH
Mustangs have plenty of firepower in QB Scott Drosendahl, breakaway back Johrone Bunch, and big-play wideout Nick Lynch.

ADRIAN at HUSSON
With 50 newcomers on the roster, the Eagles will implement the spread attack under first-year coach Sean Murphy.

SATURDAY
FORDHAM at UCONN

Lots of questions in Storrs, including the identity of the starting QB, but senior kicker Dave Teggart of Northborough is nearly a lock from 50 yards and in.

BRYANT at MAINE
Nonconference tilt features two of the top cover corners in the region, seniors Jerron McMillian (Black Bears) and Samad Wagstaff (Bulldogs).

SOUTHERN CONN. at CENTRAL CONN.
With Gunnar Jespersen back at the trigger, the Blue Devils again will be in the hunt for the Northeast Conference crown.

MARIST at SACRED HEART
Luke Wischnowski and Tim Little vying to replace four-year starter Dale Fink, the Northeast Conference’s all-time passing leader.

KUTZTOWN at SAINT ANSELM
Gifted senior receiver Marc Wilson and Hawks have plenty of motivation after last year’s 41-0 season-opening drubbing at Kutztown.

BOWIE STATE at ASSUMPTION
Rob Conrad started his Greyhound career at safety, started at corner last fall, and shifts his 5-10, 180-pound frame to linebacker as a senior.

WEST CHESTER at NEW HAVEN
Pete Rossomando welcomes back 21 starters for the preseason pick in the NE-10, including strong-armed QB Ryan Osiecki.

WPI at MERRIMACK
Host Warriors have a pair of preseason All-Americans in hard-hitting linebacker Shawn Loiseau and sackmaster Tony Johnson.

UNION at SALVE REGINA
Seahawks closed 2010 with five straight wins under first-year coach Bob Chesney and led Division 3 in red-zone defense.

FRAMINGHAM STATE at ENDICOTT
Prime matchup in Week 1: two programs coming off historic seasons, including the reigning NEFC champion Gulls.

NORWICH at WESTERN NEW ENGLAND
ECFC champion Cadets feature a two-way threat in junior QB Kris Sabourin; Golden Bears counter with senior Bryce Brown.

CASTLETON STATE at PLYMOUTH STATE
With the graduation of eight defensive starters, host Panthers face a formidable challenge against passing whiz Shane Borzowski.

WORCESTER STATE at ANNA MARIA
With the return of 20 starters, Brien Cullen and his Lancers have set their sights high: on their first NEFC title since 1997.

CRAIG LARSON