Sept. 2, 2008
Center Valley, Pa. - All seven Patriot League teams take the field on Saturday, with each squad except for Colgate playing its season opener. Lehigh, Holy Cross, Fordham and Bucknell open their 2008 campaign at home, with the Crusaders in the marquee matchup of the weekend as they host No. 4 Massachusetts.
Patriot League Football Weekly Release - 9.2.08
2008 Patriot League Season Off and Running
All seven Patriot League teams are in action as the 2008 season fully kicks off on Saturday. Lehigh takes the field first, hosting Drake at 12:30 p.m., while Holy Cross, Bucknell and defending Patriot League champion Fordham will also play their home openers. Holy Cross has the marquee matchup of the weekend as it takes on No. 4 Massachusetts, while Bucknell hosts Duquesne and Fordham faces Rhode Island. Lafayette begins the season at Marist, while Georgetown opens up at Howard. Colgate will try to get in the win column when it visits Coastal Carolina. The Raiders started their season on a tough note on Saturday when they fell at Stony Brook, 42-26.
Three Patriot Leaguers on Major FCS Awards Lists
After receiving honors and acclaim throughout the preseason, Holy Cross senior quarterback Dominic Randolph, Colgate senior running back Jordan Scott and Lafayette senior linebacker Andy Romans have all earned a place among the elite in the Football Championship Subdivision after being named to the watch lists for the two major individual FCS awards presented by The Sports Network.
Randolph, the Patriot League Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, and Scott are among 16 players in contention for the Walter Payton Award, given to the Most Outstanding Player in the FCS. Romans, the League's Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, is on the list of 16 competitors for the Buck Buchanan Award, which honors the Most Outstanding Defensive Player in the nation. The awards will be presented on the eve of the FCS national championship game in Chattanooga, Tennessee on Dec. 18.
Randolph and Scott finished the 2007 season on the ballot for the Walter Payton Award, and placed 12th and 14th, respectively, in the voting. They are two of eight players to return to the list in 2008. Romans makes his first appearance on the Buck Buchanan Award watch list.
Patriot League Notebook
Biddle Gets Another Shot at Milestone
Colgate Head Coach Dick Biddle is still sitting in a tie for the program's career wins record after Saturday's loss at Stony Brook. Biddle's 95 wins place him in a tie for the top spot on Colgate's all-time wins list with Andy Kerr (1929-46). Biddle, the Patriot League career wins and League wins leader, will try once again to earn sole possession of the top spot when the Raiders visit Coastal Carolina Saturday.
Familiar, Unfamiliar Foes
Fordham, Bucknell, Lafayette and Holy Cross will all open the season with the same opponent that they did a year ago. Fordham (vs. Rhode Island), Bucknell (vs. Duquesne) and Lafayette (at Marist) will all look for another win this year, while Holy Cross tries to pay back Massachusetts for a loss to open the 2007 campaign. The other opponents are new to the Patriot League teams. Colgate is the first League team to face Coastal Carolina, while Lehigh (vs. Drake) and Georgetown (at Howard) play their first-ever meeting against teams that last faced a Patriot League squad when they lost to Towson in 2000.
Leopards Look to Extend Winning Streak
A three-game winning streak might not look like anything special, but it gives the Lafayette Leopards one of the longest streaks in the nation as they start the 2008 season. Lafayette's three-game streak is currently tied for the sixth-longest stretch in the country. Lafayette closed the 2007 season with three Patriot League wins, and will put the mark on the line on Saturday at Marist.
Historic Game for Hoyas
When Georgetown visits Howard on Saturday, the game will hold more significance than a typical matchup with a regional rival. Separated by just three miles, the Hoyas and Bison will play in the first Division I football game pitting teams from Washington, D.C. since Georgetown played George Washington in 1950. The DC Challenge Cup on Saturday will mark the first meeting between the schools, and also provide the first matchup for Georgetown against an opponent from one of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).
25 Patriot League Games Featured In Television Packages
Twenty-five contests involving Patriot League squads will be televised in the 2008 season, including 12 of the 21 Patriot League games. Lafayette will have all 11 of its contests televised, while Lehigh will have nine, Colgate will feature seven and Holy Cross will have four. The coverage begins with three televised games on the first full slate of Patriot League football action on Saturday. Holy Cross will host No. 4 Massachusetts on WCTR-TV 3 Central Massachusetts, Lehigh hosts Drake on Service Electric 2 Sports and Lafayette visits Marist in a game broadcast by the Lafayette Sports Network and shown live on RCN-4 and WBPH-60.
It's a Big One in Worcester
Broadcaster Marketing Services will produce a radio call of an FCS game of the week for the second year in a row, and they'll start the season with a showdown in Worcester as Holy Cross hosts No. 5 Massachusetts on Saturday. Frank Santore, who calls the Patriot League men's basketball package on SIRIUS, will have the call at Holy Cross. The game will be broadcast on Saturday evening on WCKY AM 1530 in Cincinnati, which can be heard throughout the eastern half of the United States.
Jordan Scott Record Watch
Colgate running back Jordan Scott set or tied five Patriot League season or career records in 2007, including a season-best 170.45 rushing yards per game. Now, he has a chance to go out as one of the top players in League and NCAA history. Scott is 362 yards away from breaking the all-time Patriot League rushing mark of 4,834 (Lafayette's Erik Marsh, 1991-94), and is within 59 points of becoming the League's all-time leading scorer. He enters the year with 13 consecutive 100-yard rushing games and 24 total 100-yard efforts, both four games away from tying the League marks of Bucknell's Rich Lemon (1993-96). Scott's 1,019 carries are just eight shy of Marsh's Patriot League mark and 196 from a Division I record. Scott has already tied League records with six 200-yard games and three 1,000-yard seasons in his career. Another 1,000-yard campaign would make Scott the first Patriot Leaguer and only the seventh player in FCS history to reach the feat all four of his seasons.
League Boasts Top Passer, Rusher in Nation
The Patriot League is home to the top quarterback and running back in the Football Championship Subdivision. Holy Cross quarterback Dominic Randolph leads all qualified NCAA players with 292 passing yards and 303 yards of total offense per game in his career. Colgate running back Jordan Scott has top marks with 4,473 rushing yards and 135.5 rushing yards per game.
Patriot League Faces Off with Seven FCS Conferences
Every Patriot League team will once again take on a schedule entirely composed of FCS opponents, and the League will square off with seven different conferences. The slate features 18 games against Ivy League opponents and five against teams from the Colonial Athletic Association.
Patriot League Teams, Players Receive Preseason Honors
Fordham and Colgate represent the Patriot League in various top 25 lists released in the preseason. The defending League champion Rams are ranked by three different outlets, while the Raiders receive the No. 20 ranking from Phil Steele's 2008 College Football Preview. Fordham also sits No. 27 in Monday's FCS Coaches poll. Eight Patriot League players received at least one All-America nod heading into the year, including multiple nominations for Holy Cross senior quarterback Dominic Randolph, Colgate senior running back Jordan Scott, Lehigh senior defensive tackle Brian Jackson, Lafayette senior linebacker Andy Romans and Colgate senior offensive tackle Nick Hennessey. For complete details of preseason honors, see the sidebar on page 2 of the Patriot League Football Release.
Major Award Winners Back in 2008
All of the Patriot League's 2007 individual award winners return for the 2008 campaign. Holy Cross quarterback Dominic Randolph is back after placing in the top five nationally in most major categories a year ago and winning the Offensive Player of the Year honor. Lafayette linebacker Andy Romans, the 2007 Defensive Player of the Year, returns after helping the Leopards to the No. 1 national rank in total defense a year ago. Fordham running back Xavier Martin enters his sophomore season after taking Rookie of the Year honors in 2007, while his head coach, Tom Masella, has the reigns for a third year after his 2007 Coach of the Year award.
25 All-League Performers Return in 2008
Randolph, Scott and Romans headline a group of 25 student-athletes that earned 2007 All-League honors and come back to the field in 2008. Nine First-Team All-League performers are part of that group, with Scott, Romans and Lehigh's Brian Jackson returning after earning All-America or ECAC recognition a year ago.
Each Patriot League head coach enters at least his third season at the helm, with Colgate's Dick Biddle the elder statesman of the group in his 13th year in Hamilton. Biddle has already set Patriot League records for overall wins (95), League games coached (73) and League wins (57). He trails only Lafayette's Bill Russo (1986-99) for the longest tenure in League history.
This Week in the Patriot League
Drake (1-0, 0-0 Pioneer) at Lehigh (0-0, 0-0)
Goodman Stadium; Bethlehem, Pa. - Saturday, 12:30 p.m.
Series First Meeting TV Service Electric 2 Sports
Drake Head Coach Chris Creighton, Kenyon, 1991
Career Record 96-24 Overall/1-0 (1st Season) at Drake
Lehigh Head Coach Andy Coen, Gettysburg, 1986
Career Record 11-11 (3rd Season) Overall/Lehigh; 7-5 Patriot League
Lehigh and Drake meet for the first time on the gridiron...The Mountain Hawks are looking to end a two-game losing streak in both season and home openers, and Head Coach Andy Coen goes in search of his first win in those contests ...They had won eight consecutive season and home openers from 1998-05...Drake started its season with a 17-13 win over Upper Iowa on Thursday, in the debut for first-year head coach Chris Creighton...Patriot League teams are 2-0 all-time against Drake, with the last matchup coming when Towson won in 2000.
Lehigh Notebook The Mountain Hawks have eight starters returning on the offensive side of the ball, but will be starting a new quarterback...Sophomore J.B. Clark won the starting assignment at quarterback...Lehigh is coming off its first losing overall and Patriot League season since 1997...They have not recorded consecutive losing Patriot League records since 1988-89...First-Team All-League defensive lineman Brian Jackson and linebacker Tim Diamond return, but the Mountain Hawks have to replace the entire starting secondary...Jackson and Diamond both garnered All-America honors in the preseason.
Georgetown (0-0, 0-0) at Howard (0-0, 0-0 MEAC)
William H. Green Stadium; Washington, D.C. - Saturday, 1 p.m.
Series First Meeting
Georgetown Head Coach Kevin Kelly, Springfield, 1982
Career Record 3-19 (3rd Season) Overall/Georgetown; 1-11 Patriot League
Howard Head Coach Carey Bailey, Tennessee, 1992
Career Record 4-7 (2nd Season) Overall/Howard
Washington, D.C. foes Georgetown and Howard meet for the first time on the football field...The schools are separated by just three miles...The game marks the first matchup of Division I football teams based in the Nation's Captiol since Georgetown faced George Washington in 1950...The contest has been titled the D.C. Challenge Cup...Georgetown also faces an opponent from the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) for the first time in program history...Georgetown is in search of its first victory in a season opener since winning at Bucknell to begin the 2005 campaign....Patriot League teams have a 2-0 record against Howard, with the last victory in 2000 for Towson.
Georgetown Notebook The Hoyas bring back 15 starters from last year's team...Nicholas Umar was selected to wear the Joe Eacobacci No. 35 Memorial Jersey, which is an award in honor of the former defensive standout who was killed in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001...2006 Patriot League Rookie of the Year Charlie Houghton returns at running back...The Hoyas play their first three games on the road, with the home opener on Sept. 27 against Holy Cross...Third-year Head Coach Kevin Kelly is trying for his first victory in a season opener.
No. 4/4 Massachusetts (1-0, 0-0 CAA) at Holy Cross (0-0, 0-0)
Fitton Field; Worcester, Mass. - Saturday, 1 p.m.
Series Tied, 21-21-5 TV WCTR-TV 3 Central Massachusetts
Streak Massachusetts, Six Wins Last Meeting Massachusetts, 40-30 (9.1.07)
Last Holy Cross Win 22-20 (9.14.91) Last Five Meetings Massachusetts, 5-0
Massachusetts Head Coach Don Brown, Norwich, 1977
Career Record 89-40 (12th Season) Overall/37-14 (5th Season) at Massachusetts
Holy Cross Head Coach Tom Gilmore, Penn, 1986
Career Record 23-21 (5th Season) Overall/Holy Cross; 12-12 Patriot League
Holy Cross opens the season with Massachusetts for the second year in a row...The game can be seen on WCTR-TV 3 Central Massachusetts...It is also the FCS Radio Game of the Week, and will be brodcast on Saturday night by WCKY AM 1530 in Cincinnati...The Minutemen won last year's contest, 40-30, in Amherst...Massachusetts was ranked No. 3 in the country in that game, and comes into this contest at No. 4...Holy Cross has dropped the last six meetings against the Minutemen, but the all-time series is still tied, 21-21-5...Patriot League teams are 5-14-1 against the Minutemen, and have dropped the last five meetings since Colgate's victory in 2005...Massachusetts has knocked out the Patriot League representative in each of the last two FCS postseasons...Massachusetts defeated Albany, 28-16, to open the 2008 season on Saturday.
Holy Cross Notebook The Crusaders have eight starters back on the
offensive side of the ball after leading the Patriot League and
placing in the top 15 nationally in passing, total and scoring offense a year ago...Patriot League Preseason Offensive Player of the Year Dominic Randolph returns as the active FCS leader in passing and total offense per game...He was named a Walter Payton Award candidate last week..Holy Cross plays the exact same opponents and order of games as the 2007 season, with only the sites switched...It has won seven games in each of the last two seasons, and the 14-8 mark is the best two-year span since 1991-92...Holy Cross Head Coach Tom Gilmore has a 2-2 record in both season and home openers.
Duquesne (0-0, 0-0 NEC) at Bucknell (0-0, 0-0)
Christy-Mathewson Memorial Stadium; Lewisburg, Pa. - Saturday, 6 p.m.
Series Bucknell, 8-3
Streak Bucknell, Four Wins Last Meeting Bucknell, 28-19 (9.1.07)
Last Duquesne Win 35-14 (9.7.02) Last Five Meetings Bucknell, 4-1
Duquesne Head Coach Jerry Schmitt, Westminster, 1983
Career Record 48-31 (9th Season) Overall/20-10 (4th Season) at Duquesne
Bucknell Head Coach Tim Landis, Randolph Macon, 1986
Career Record 76-85-1 (16th Season) Overall/23-33 (6th Season) Bucknell; 12-19 Patriot League
Bucknell and Duquesne meet in the season opener for the third year in a row...The Bison have won the previous two meetings to start the year, with a 28-19 win at Duquesne a year ago and a 31-28 triumph in overtime at home in 2006...The Bison have a four-game win streak in the series overall, their longest in series history...Patriot League teams have a 10-8 all-time record against Duquesne...It is the first of two games against Northeast Conference opponets for Bucknell, who visits Robert Morris next week...Bucknell is the only Patriot League team to face a Northeast Conference opponent this year.
Bucknell Notebook A.J. Kizekai returns after earning First-Team All-Patriot League status as a kick returner and setting a League and Bucknell mark with 1,113 kick return yards in 2007...The Bison were flagged for only 29 penalties in 2007, while no other FCS team had fewer than 41...Of the five departed offensive starters, four were on the offensive line...First-Team All-Patriot League defensive end Josh Eden is taking the next two years off to serve a Mormon mission...The Bison are 3-2 in season openers under Head Coach Tim Landis, and also 3-2 in home openers.
Rhode Island (1-0, 0-0 CAA) at Fordham (0-0, 0-0)
Jack Coffey Field; Bronx, N.Y. - Saturday, 6 p.m.
Series Fordham, 4-3
Streak Fordham, One Win Last Meeting Fordham, 27-23 (9.1.07)
Last Rhode Island Win 34-20 (9.3.05) Last Five Meetings Fordham, 3-2
Rhode Island Head Coach Darren Rizzi, Rhode Island, 1992
Career Record 16-14 (4th Season) Overall/1-0 (1st Season) at Rhode Island
Fordham Head Coach Tom Masella, Wagner, 1981
Career Record 28-38 (7th Season) Overall/11-12 (3rd Season) at Fordham; 6-6 Patriot League
Fordham opens the season against Rhode Island for the second year in a row and the fourth time in the last five campaigns...Fordham won, 27-23, last season for its first win in the series since 2003...The teams have only played once at Fordham since renewing the series in 2003, with Rhode Island coming away with a 37-36 victory in the 2004 season opener...Patriot League teams are 3-2 against Rhode Island, with Fordham's 2-2 mark as a Patriot League squad against the Rams accounting for four of the contests...Rhode Island posted a 27-24 victory over Monmouth in its season opener...The victory was the first game for first-year head coach Darren Rizzi...Fordham is trying to win its home opener for the first time since beating C.W. Post in 2003, and first time in Head Coach Tom Masella's tenure.
Fordham Notebook The defending Patriot League champion and preseason favorite Rams have 16 starters returning, including eight on the offensive side of the ball...Quarterback John Skelton is back after receiving Second-Team All-Patriot League honors, while running back Xavier Martin was the 2007 Rookie of the Year...The Rams are in search of consecutive Patriot League titles for the first time...Fordham was one of the most improved teams in the country in 2007, going from 3-8 to 8-4 and a trip to the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision playoffs...Fordham Head Coach Tom Masella is 1-1 in season openers, and 0-2 in home openers in his tenure.
Lafayette (0-0, 0-0) at Marist (0-1)
Tenney Stadium at Leonidoff Field; Poughkeepsie, N.Y. - Saturday, 6 p.m.
Series Lafayette, 5-0 TV Lafayette Sports Network (RCN-4 and WBPH-60)
Streak Lafayette, Five Wins Last Meeting Lafayette, 49-10 (9.1.07)
Last Five Meetings Lafayette, 5-0
Lafayette Head Coach Frank Tavani, Lebanon Valley, 1975
Career Record 45-46 (9th Season) Overall/Lafayette; 28-23 Patriot League
Marist Head Coach Jack Parady, Maine, 1983
Career Record 85-78-1 (17th Season) Overall/Marist
Lafayette and Marist face off in the season opener for the second year in a row, and the fifth time in the last six years...The Leopards won last year's matchup, 49-10, and have scored at least 38 points in each of their five all-time meetings with the Red Foxes...Lafayette has won each of the five contests by at least 19 points...Lafayette has won its last six season openers, and carries a three-game winning streak from last season...Patriot League teams are 14-2 all-time against Marist.
Lafayette Notebook Linebacker Andy Romans and fullback Joe Russo will serve as co-captains in 2008...Romans returns as Patriot League Preseason Defensive Player of the Year after leading a Lafayette defense that placed first nationally with 260.9 yards per game allowed last season...Romans is also on the Buck Buchanan Award Watch list...Quarterback Rob Curley had a 3-1 record in starting the final four games of the season, and led the Leopards to a season-ending three-game win streak...Four running backs who started at least one game return on offense...Lafayette faces a five-game road trip from Oct. 11-Nov. 8, with the last three being Patriot League contests...Head Coach Frank Tavani has a 6-2 record in season openers, with six consecutive victories to begin the year.
Colgate (0-1, 0-0) at Coastal Carolina (0-1, 0-0 Big South)
Brooks Stadium; Conway, S.C. - Saturday, 7 p.m.
Series First Meeting
Colgate Head Coach Dick Biddle, Duke, 1971
Career Record 95-47 (13th Season) Overall/Colgate; 57-16 Patriot League
Coastal Carolina Head Coach David Bennett, Presbyterian, 1984
Career Record 102-35 (13th Season) Overall/39-18 (6th Season) at Coastal Carolina
Colgate becomes the first Patriot League team to face off with Coastal Carolina on Saturday...The Raiders are playing an opponent from the Big South Conference for the second consecutive week after losing at Stony Brook, 42-26, on Saturday in their first-ever game against an opponent from that conference...Colgate will also play next week's opponent, Furman, for the first time in school history...Coastal Carolina dropped its season opener at Penn State, 66-10...The Raiders fell to 3-10 in season openers under Head Coach Dick Biddle with last week's loss at Stony Brook, but are 7-5 in the second game of the season in Biddle's tenure...Colgate has won the second game of the year in four of the last five campaigns, and has not started 0-2 since 2002.
Colgate Notebook Colgate Head Coach Dick Biddle remains stuck on 95 career wins, tied for the most in school history with Andy Kerr (1929-46)...Biddle leads in career wins (95), League wins (57), and League games coached (73) in Patriot League history...The Raiders fell behind, 42-12, before falling 42-26 in their season opener at Stony Brook on Saturday...Freshman running back Jordan McCord had 90 yards in his collegiate debut, while junior wide receiver Pat Simonds caught six passes for 134 yards and a touchdown....The Raiders ran for 183 yards on the ground, but gave up 270 rushing yards...Senior running back Jordan Scott missed the game, but was named a Walter Payton Award candidate last week....Scott has an opportunity to break numerous Patriot League records, including the all-time rushing mark...The Raiders have won seven games or more in 10 of Biddle's 12 seasons, including a 7-4 mark in 2007.