D1A Recap: Week 8

D1A Rugby: D1A Recap: Week 8
Photo Credit: Navy Rugby
With many conferences wrapping up fall action, a pair of nonconference matchups provided some late-season D1A thrills.

In an upset that shook up much of the D1A landscape, No. 12 Navy took down No. 6 Penn State 38-29 thanks to an impressive forward push from the scrum that led to multiple Midshipmen tries. Navy got on the board early with scores from Flanker Spencer Craig and 8-man Connor McNerney, and went into the half up 24-10.  Though the Nittany Lions came out strong in the second half, Navy kept its up its offensive output from the first half, with tries by Mike Galvan and McNerney again to put the game away.

“We place a big emphasis on our scrums throughout the week and understand the significance of being able to provide ourselves with a stable platform in this area,” Navy head coach Gavin Hickie said. “We want as many scrums as possible in a game. We remain fully focused on our own development week in, week out.”

Another eye-catching matchup from the weekend was No. 10 Army against Air Force in a military academy clash. West Point dominated, winning 66-7 to end its fall season on a high note and improve to 6 and 2.

In a battle of the undefeateds, the Liberty Conference’s New England division was decided Saturday when Northeastern took down UConn 53-5. Northeastern played its best all-around game of the season, with its backs leading much of the scoring as flyhalf David de Luzuriaga and center Alex Tiarks each notched two tries.

Out of the Big Ten, No. 7 Indiana finished off an undefeated conference season with a 40-0 victory over Michigan while Ohio State defeated No. 17 Wisconsin 43-19 thanks in part to the defensive fireworks of inside center Jamie Barlow, who scored two tries off interceptions.  With the Buckeye victory, Ohio State punched its ticket to play for the Big Ten Championship alongside Indiana November 11th in Elkhart, Indiana.

Red River conference play kicked off this weekend with two early conference showdowns. Texas started its first season under new head coach Zac Mizell off on the right foot with a 67-11 triumph over TCU. Meanwhile LSU began its campaign for a 2017 Red River conference title with an early conference victory over Houston 76-12.