SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University football team kicks off the 2018 season on Saturday afternoon as it welcomes Division II New Haven to Beirne Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.
Saturday will be move-in day for students at Bryant University.
Opponent: New Haven
Location: Beirne Stadium (Smithfield, R.I.)
Kickoff: 3:00 p.m.
Watch Live: NECFrontRow.com
Listen Live: WOON 1240 AM/99.3 FM or onworldwide.com
Live Stats: Sidearm
Game Notes: Bryant | New Haven
- Saturday will be the first meeting between Bryant and New Haven.
- The Bulldogs are a former member of the NE-10 but the Chargers were an independent (1999-03) and were not a program (2004-08) during Bryant's time in the league.
Beirne Stadium Upgrades
- Beirne Stadium has undergone some renovations since the Bulldogs last played at home in November 2017.
- FieldTurf and permanent lights were installed, giving the Bulldogs some of the best FCS facilities in the Northeast.
20th Season of Bryant Football
- Bryant Athletics is celebrating the "20th Season of Bryant Football" in 2018-19.
- The Bulldogs began the program in 1998 and played their first varsity season in 1999.
Bulldogs Notes and Notables
- Bryant finished the 2017 season with a 6-5 overall record and a 4-2 mark in the Northeast Conference. It was the Bulldogs' first winning season since 2014.
- The Black and Gold won each of their final four games in 2017, the first time they had won four-straight since the 2014 season.
- Bryant has been picked third in the NEC Preseason Poll and a record six players were named to the Preseason All-NEC team.
- In addition, senior LB Thomas Costigan (Stamford, Conn.) and redshirt-junior WR/RS Jean Constant (Delray Beach, Fla.) were named STATS FCS Preseason All-Americans, the first in program history.
- Costigan posted 103 tackles, 11.5 sacks and 17 tackles for a loss on his way to NEC and ECAC Defensive Player of the Year honors last fall.
- Constant became the first Bulldog since Jordan Brown (2011, 2012) to earn multiple All-NEC honors in the same season last fall. He finished fifth nationally with 148.5 all-purpose yards per game thanks to a program-record 989 kick return yards.
- Bryant also welcomes back record-setting redshirt-senior QB Price Wilson (Marietta, Ga.). Wilson threw for a program-record 3,311 yards, finishing just 10 yards shy of breaking the NEC single-season record.
- The Bulldogs also welcome back leading receiver senior Tom Kennedy (Farmingdale, N.Y.), All-NEC defensive linemen Kevin Lazo (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) and Dillon Guthro (Newburyport, Mass.) and All-NEC kicker Gavin Rowley (Hampstead, Md.).
- Lazo tied for the national lead in blocked kicks last season, swatting away four.
- In total, Bryant returns 20 starters and 45 letterwinners this fall.
A bit about the Chargers
- New Haven finished 6-4 in 2017 and is picked to finish fourth in the NE-10 this year.
- The Chargers return their top rusher (Ryan McCarthy – 65.7 ypg) and top passer (Ajee Patterson – 2,611 yards, 16 TDs) from a year ago.
- Also back is leading tackler, Jordan Francklin (82).
- There will also be a familiar face on the New Haven sideline, former Bryant assistant coach Dave Paganetti. Paganetti spent nearly 10 years on the Bryant sidelines.
Gameday at Beirne Stadium
- Fans can visit the Bryant Football Gameday page for all their gameday information.
- Tailgating opens five (5) hours prior to kickoff and is allowed in Lots A and B adjacent to the Bulldog Strength and Conditioning Center.
- Saturday also marks the first Bryant Athletics Student Tailgate of the season.
- Tickets for Saturday's opener can be purchased by visiting BryantBulldogs.com/Tickets.
- Single-game and season tickets for 2018 are still available.
First-ever Home Night Game
- The Bulldogs will play their first-ever home night game on Sept. 15 against Marist.
- Kickoff is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. at Beirne Stadium.
- The Bulldogs cross the Long Island Sound to face nationally-ranked Stony Brook on Saturday, Sept. 8.
- Kickoff is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. at LaValle Stadium.