D1A Weekend Recap: Week 3

D1A Rugby: D1A Weekend Recap: Week 3
Photo Credit: Peggy Fontanesi, Rugby Today
With top 20 matchups and conference showdowns on the docket this weekend, several teams faced major tests in the Big Ten, PAC and Rugby East. In a top 10 matchup, <a href=”http://d1arugby.com/team/penn-state/”>No. 7 Penn State</a> defeated <a href=”http://d1arugby.com/team/kutztown/”>No. 10 Kutztown</a> 54-24 to gain sole possession of first place in Rugby East. After a close first half, Penn State’s pack took over, controlling possession with mauls while Connor Cassidy and Lock Leo Van Buskirk notched tries to put the game away. Also out of Rugby East, <a href=”http://d1arugby.com/team/notre-dame-college/”>No. 14 Notre Dame College</a> looked to keep up with Penn State and build momentum after an upset over <a href=”http://d1arugby.com/team/army/”>No. 12 Army</a> last week. Notre Dame dominated <a href=”http://d1arugby.com/team/buffalo/”>Buffalo</a> on both sides of the ball for a 79-12 victory, with fullback Marcus Tupuola’s two tries leading the way. After this week, Notre Dame College sits at 2-1 in the Rugby East Conference standings along with Kutztown and Army, who are all chasing undefeated Penn State. <br /><br />Across the country, <a href=”http://d1arugby.com/team/utah/”>No. 11 Utah</a> and <a href=”http://d1arugby.com/team/colorado-state/”>No. 15 Colorado State</a> came together for an early west coast clash between top PAC and Rocky Mountain Conference teams. Utah looked strong in its first full match of the season, taking home a 42-12 victory while finding room for improvement and looking ahead to PAC Conference play in the spring. “Colorado State can present real problems when they get rolling, so we were happy with the defensive improvement we saw having held them to just five points for 76 minutes,” said Utah head coach Jonathon Law. “We missed on several opportunities, but we executed well on several others. It gives us a solid win over a well-respected, ranked opponent as well as numerous points to coach up.” <br /><br />Big Ten favorite and <a href=”http://d1arugby.com/team/indiana/”>No. 6 overall Indiana</a> also continued their winning ways in conference play, narrowly beating out <a href=”http://d1arugby.com/team/ohio-state/”>Ohio State 36-29</a>. After being down 24-19 at the half, and 29-26 with ten minutes left, the Hoosiers scored a late try and relied on their strong defense to secure the win in the final minutes. While Indiana hung on and moved to 3-0 in the conference, <a href=”http://d1arugby.com/team/michigan-state/”>Michigan State</a> picked up a 38-10 victory over <a href=”http://d1arugby.com/team/illinois/”>Illinois</a>, moving to 2-0 in the conference. <br /><br />Headlining this week’s Liberty Conference action was a battle of I-95 undefeateds between <a href=”http://d1arugby.com/team/iona/”>Iona</a> and <a href=”http://d1arugby.com/team/fordham/”>Fordham</a>. Iona showed no signs of weakness winning 63-17, their third straight game putting up at least 60 points.