Patriot League Football Release: Week 2

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Sept. 2, 2014

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CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - The first top-10 matchup of the FCS season comes on Saturday as No. 10 Fordham pays a visit to No. 7 Villanova in a game that can be seen on American Sports Network and will also be carried on Patriot League Network. Five other League squads are in action, with three of those games shown on PLN.

Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PatriotLeagueFB
*Six Patriot League teams are in action on Saturday, including No. 10/11 Fordham at No. 7/10 Villanova.
*The Fordham-Villanova game will be on both American Sports Network and Patriot League Network.
*It is the first top 10 matchup of the FCS season as Fordham tries to beat the Wildcats for the second year in a row.
*James Madison-Lehigh, Morgan State-Holy Cross and Lafayette-Sacred Heart will be shown on Patriot League Network.
*Each of the three games will also be available on a regional television network.
*Lehigh is trying to extend a 10-game winning streak against non-League opponents.
*The Mountain Hawks also try to become the third FCS team to open with a win for the fifth straight season.
*Bucknell heads to Marist as the Bison aim to open 2-0 for the first time since 2011.
*Fordham's Chase Edmonds ran for a school freshman record 181 yards in Saturday's win over St. Francis (Pa.).
*Edmonds also led all Division I players with 300 all-purpose yards on the opening weekend.
*He was named The Sports Network FCS Freshman of the Week as well as the Patriot League Rookie of the Week.
*Bucknell defeated VMI 42-38 on Saturday for its fourth-straight season-opening win.
*The Bison are one of four FCS programs who have opened with a win in each of the last four seasons.
*Bucknell's Evan Byers had 23 tackles in the game, the most for a Patriot Leaguer since 2007.

Patriot League Notebook

TOP 10 MATCHUP, FOUR PATRIOT LEAGUE NETWORK GAMES ON WEEKEND SCHEDULE
The first top-10 matchup of the FCS season comes on Saturday as No. 10 Fordham pays a visit to No. 7 Villanova in a game that can be seen on American Sports Network and will also be carried on Patriot League Network. The Rams made their spalsh on the national scene last season with a 27-24 victory at home in the second week against No. 8 Villanova. The contest is one of four on Patriot League Network on Saturday as Lehigh hosts James Madison, Holy Cross welcomes Morgan State and Lafayette goes to Sacred Heart in other games on PLN which also have regional television coverage. Georgetown goes to Dayton and Bucknell is at Marist to fill out the schedule, while Colgate is off for the weekend.

FORDHAM, BUCKNELL OPEN SEASON WITH VICTORIES AT HOME
Fordham picked up where it left off last year while Bucknell showed plenty of offensive firepower as well as each team won at home to open the 2014 football season on Saturday. The Rams led 38-3 at the end of the third quarter on their way to a 52-23 victory over St. Francis (Pa.), while the Bison got a 62-yard punt return from Josh Brake early in the fourth quarter for the winning score in a 42-38 victory over VMI. Holy Cross fell 14-13 at Albany when the Great Danes returned a fumble for a touchdown in the final minute, while Colgate fell at FBS Ball State and Georgetown dropped its opener against Wagner.

For more on last week's games, view Monday's Corvias Patriot League Football weekly awards and Saturday's recap as well as the week one highlight video from Patriot League 360 below.

SEASON-OPENING SUCCESS
Bucknell opened the season with a victory for the fourth consecutive year when it beat VMI. The Bison joined only three other FCS programs who began their year with a win for the fourth straight time on Saturday. Lehigh goes for a fifth-consecutive season-opening win on Saturday against James Madison, as the Mountain Hawks look to join three-time defending FCS champion North Dakota State and Bethune-Cookman as the only teams with that accomplishment this year.

LEHIGH LOOKS TO CONTINUE STREAKS
Lehigh will have at least one winning streak at stake when it plays its home opener against James Madison on Saturday. The Mountain Hawks have won 10 consecutive games against non-League foes as they have swept their five contests outside of the Patriot League in each of the last two seasons. That is the second-longest non-conference winning streak in the country behind North Dakota State, the three-time defending FCS champion who has won 21 straight games against teams outside the Missouri Valley Football Conference and dealt Lehigh its last loss outside the Patriot League in the 2011 FCS quarterfinals. The Mountain Hawks' last regular-season non-League loss came in a 48-41 overtime final against New Hampshire in 2011, and since that game Lehigh has won all 13 of its contests decided by seven points or less.

FORDHAM ROLLS OFF EIGHTH-STRAIGHT HOME WIN
Fordham won its eighth straight game at Jack Coffey Field on Saturday, setting a school record for longest home winning streak since the venue opened in 1970. The Rams went 7-0 last season at home, and are 12-1 at the venue under third-year Head Coach Joe Moorhead. The eight-game home win streak is the fifth-longest active run in the FCS. Fordham inched up two spots to No. 10 in the FCS Coaches Poll on Monday, while remaining at No. 11 in The Sports Network top 25.

EDMONDS WITH A MEMORABLE DEBUT FOR THE RAMS
Fordham's offense entered the season with few questions marks, but a big one was replacing Carlton Koonce at running back. The season is only one game old, but it already looks like the Rams may have found their man in freshman Chase Edmonds. In his first career game, Edmonds broke the school freshman rushing record with 181 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday's win over St. Francis (Pa.). He also had 119 kickoff return yards, and his 300 all-purpose yards were the most for any Division I player on the opening weekend. Edmonds was honored for his effort as The Sports Network FCS Freshman of the Week in addition to his Corvias Patriot League Rookie of the Week award.

BUCKNELL'S BYERS RACKS UP THE TACKLES
Bucknell senior linebacker Evan Byers opened his 2014 season the same way he closed out the 2013 campaign. After recording 19 tackles in last year's season-ending win over VMI, Byers had a career-high 23 stops in Saturday's victory over the Keydets. The mark places him in the top 25 in FCS single-game history (record kept since 2000), and was the highest total for a Bucknell player since at least 2001 and for any Patriot Leaguer since 2007. Byers has double-figure tackle totals in seven of the last eight games.

PATRIOT LEAGUERS AMONG FCS ACTIVE CAREER LEADERS
Byers is one of a handful of Patriot Leaguers near the top of the career leaderboard among active FCS players, as his 286 tackles stand third in the nation among active players. Fordham wide receiver Brian Wetzel is in the top five of three categories, as he is second among all active players in receptions (200) and receiving yards (2,701) and fifth in all-purpose yards (3,843). Wetzel is also sixth with a 10.4 career punt return average. Lafayette running back Ross Scheuerman is third in all-purpose yards (4,478) and ninth in rushing yards (2,313) among active players. Fordham quarterback Mike Nebrich has two top marks, leading all active players in total offense per game (314.9) while standing second in passing efficiency (167.9). Colgate's Mike Armiento, Bucknell's Matthew Steinbeck and Fordham's Ian Williams place in the top three in interceptions.

PATRIOT LEAGUE WITH PLENTY OF COVERAGE ON TELEVISION, PLN
With all institutional television schedules now available, the Patriot League has 26 televised games coming in the 2014 season. That slate includes four games on CBS Sports Network, three on American Sports Network and plenty of regional television coverage for Lafayette, Lehigh, Holy Cross and Colgate. The majority of home games for Patriot League teams will be also shown for free with live streaming on Patriot League Network. PLN, which is in its second season, will showcase home games for Bucknell, Colgate, Fordham, Holy Cross, Lafayette and Lehigh with the exception of contests carried on CBS Sports Network. Patriot League Network is available through Campus Insiders at www.patriotleague.tv

FOLLOW THE NATION THROUGH FCS INSIDER
The FCS Insider website, fcsinsider.com, debuted in the fall of 2013 and includes coverage on all of the teams and conferences throughout the country. A notebook will be produced each week to highlight the top storylines for each conference.

This Week in the Patriot League

James Madison Dukes (0-1, 0-0) at Lehigh Mountain Hawks (0-0, 0-0)
Goodman Stadium; Bethlehem, Pa. - Saturday, 12:30 p.m.
Coverage: SE2 Sports, Patriot League Network
*Lehigh kicks off its 2014 season by hosting James Madison on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
*The contest can be seen on both Patriot League Network and Service Electric 2 Sports.
*The teams are facing off for the first time since James Madison won 14-13 at Lehigh in the 2004 FCS playoffs first round.
*Lehigh won the only other meeting by a 31-14 final in 1980.
*The Mountain Hawks are trying to join only two other FCS programs by winning a fifth-straight season opener.
*Lehigh has won all 10 of its non-League games over the past two seasons.
*Lehigh's 2004 meeting against James Madison was the only matchup for any Patriot League team against the Dukes.

Morgan State Bears (0-1, 0-0 MEAC) at Holy Cross Crusaders (0-1, 0-0)
Fitton Field; Worcester, Mass. - Saturday, 1 p.m.
Coverage: Charter TV3, Patriot League Network
*Two teams coming off tough season-opening losses meet up as Holy Cross hosts Morgan State on Saturday at 1 p.m.
*The game can be seen on both Charter TV3 and Patriot League Network.
*Holy Cross fell 14-13 at Albany on a last-minute touchdown, while the Bears dropped a 31-28 game at Eastern Michigan.
*The teams are meeting for the first time as Holy Cross tries to avoid starting 0-2 for the third year in a row.
*Morgan State Head Coach Lee Hull is a 1988 Holy Cross graduate who played four years at wide receiver for the Crusaders.
*Patriot League teams are 5-2 all-time against Morgan State, with six of the matchups against Towson from 1998-03.

Georgetown Hoyas (0-1, 0-0) at Dayton Flyers (0-0, 0-0 Pioneer)
Welcome Stadium; Dayton, Ohio - Saturday, 1 p.m.
*Georgetown and Dayton meet for the first time when the Hoyas visit Welcome Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
*The Hoyas have won at least one of their first two games in each of the last four seasons.
*Georgetown has defeated a team from the Pioneer Football League in each of those four years as well.
*Patriot League teams are 1-3 all-time against Dayton, with the last matchup coming for Fordham in 2008.

No. 10/11 Fordham Rams (1-0, 0-0) at No. 7/10 Villanova Wildcats (0-1, 0-0 CAA)
Villanova Stadium; Villanova, Pa. - Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
Coverage: American Sports Network, PLN
*No. 10/11 Fordham travels to face No. 7/10 Villanova in one of the top non-League showdowns of the FCS season.
*The 3:30 p.m. contest will be broadcast by American Sports Network, and also shown on Patriot League Network.
*It is a rematch of last year's thrilling game where the Rams held on for a 27-24 win at home against No. 8 Villanova.
*It was Fordham's first win against Villanova since 1920 as the Wildcats lead the all-time series 20-5-3.
*The teams are facing off for the third year in a row as Villanova won 28-13 at home in 2012.
*Patriot League teams are 4-23 all-time against the Wildcats, with the last road victory coming by Lehigh in 2006.

Lafayette Leopards (0-0, 0-0) at Sacred Heart Pioneers (1-0, 0-0 NEC)
Campus Field; Fairfield, Conn. - Saturday, 6 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network, LSN
*Lafayette opens its 2014 season at Sacred Heart in a rematch of a thriller that opened the 2013 campaign.
*The contest will be carried on Patriot League Network through a television broadcast on Lafayette Sports Network.
*Sacred Heart beat the Leopards 26-24 last season by kicking a field goal as time expired for the win in Easton.
*The teams both won titles, with Lafayette claiming the Patriot League and Sacred Heart the Northeast Conference.
*The all-time series is tied 1-1 as Lafayette won 25-14 at Sacred Heart in the 2006 season opener.
*Patriot League teams are 5-3 all-time against Sacred Heart, with Fordham beating the Pioneers in the 2013 postseason.

Bucknell Bison (1-0, 0-0) at Marist Red Foxes (0-1, 0-0 Pioneer)
Tenney Stadium at Leonidoff Field; Poughkeepsie, N.Y. - Saturday, 6 p.m.
*Bucknelll faces off with Marist for the 10th consecutive season when it visits the Red Foxes on Saturday at 6 p.m.
*Bucknell leads the all-time series 8-1, and has won three straight including a 27-14 victory at home last season.
*The Bison won 19-17 at Marist in 2012, though the Red Foxes earned their lone series win 14-3 at home in 2010.
*Bucknell aims for its first 2-0 start to a season since 2011.
*Patriot League teams are 24-5 all-time against Marist.

Team Notebooks

Bucknell The Bison won a thriller on the season's opening weekend, as Josh Brake provided the winning score with a 62-yard punt return touchdown early in the fourth quarter for a 42-38 victory over VMI on Saturday... Brake broke a 35-35 tie when he ran back the punt for a score with 13:08 to play in the game...VMI connected on a field goal with 5:26 left to get within 42-38, but Bucknell sealed the win by picking up four first downs to run out the clock...The Bison never trailed in a back-and-forth game that saw four ties...After Bucknell led 14-0 early, the game was tied at 14-14, 21-21, 28-28 and 35-35...The Bison ran for 235 yards in the game, with C.J. Williams totaling a career-high 164 and two scores on the ground and Matt DelMauro putting up 95 yards and a touchdown as well as a receiving touchdown...Williams notched his fiffth 100-yard rushing game and crossed the 1,000-yard mark for his career in the first game of his sophomore season...R.J. Nitti was 14-of-25 for 230 yards and two scores in the game...Evan Byers led the Bucknell defense with a career-high 23 tackles, the highest total for a Bucknell player since at least 2001 and the top mark for any Patriot Leaguer since 2007...Byers has 42 tackles in his last two games and double-figures in seven of his past eight contests, and ranks third among active FCS players with 286 career tackles...Bucknell won its season opener for the fourth year in a row...It is one of just four FCS programs to begin with a victory in each of the last four years...The Bison try to go 2-0 for the first time since 2011 when they visit Marist on Saturday.

Colgate The Raiders hugh tough against FBS Ball State, but could not pull out a victory in the debut of Head Coach Dan Hunt as the Cardinals won 30-10 at home... James Travellin scored a rushing touchdown to bring Colgate within 13-7 in the second quarter, but Ball State added another touchdown before the half and 10 third-quarter points to pull away...Colgate was outgained 514-227 in the game, including 311-90 on the ground...Jake Melville threw for 137 yards, while John Quazza had six catches for 92 yards...Four Raiders had double-digit tackle totals, led by Chris Morgan with a career-high 14...Colgate will have a bye this week before another challenging road test at Delaware on Sept. 13.

Fordham Fordham built a 38-3 lead and cruised to a 52-23 season-opening win over St. Francis (Pa.) on Saturday at Jack Coffey Field...Chase Edmonds set a Fordham freshman rushing record with 181 yards and also scored twice...He added 119 yards on kickoff returns, and led all Division I players with 300 all-purpose yards on the opening weekend...He was named the Corvias Patriot League Rookie of the Week, and later claimed The Sports Network FCS National Rookie of the Week honor...Mike Nebrich threw for 188 yards and three touchdowns, while Kendall Pearcy scored twice on the ground...Fordham led 10-0 after the first quarter, 24-3 at the half and 38-3 at the end of the third quarter...The Rams held a 427-242 edge in total yardage, and only allowed 36 passing yards...Victor DiFusco led the Fordham defense with 12 tackles, while Marlon Crook had seven stops and 2.5 sacks...Fordham won its eighth straight game at Jack Coffey Field, setting a school record for longest home winning streak since the venue opened in 1970...The Rams won their season opener for the third year in a row, scoring 50 points or more each time...Fordham moved up to No. 10 in the FCS Coaches Poll on Monday, while remaining at No. 11 in The Sports Nework top 25...Fordham aims to go 2-0 for the second straight season when it visits No. 7/10 Villanova on Saturday at 3:30 p.m....The game can be seen on both American Sports Network and Patriot League Network...Fordham defeated No. 8 Villanova 27-24 in the second week of the 2013 season.

Georgetown Wagner spoiled the head coaching debut of Rob Sgarlata by pulling away in the second half for a 21-3 win at Georgetown on Saturday...The Hoyas were down 7-3 at halftime before Wagner scored touchdowns in the third and fourth quarter to win 21-3...Kyle Nolan threw for 185 yards for the Hoyas, while Jake DeCicco caught eight passes for 75 yards...Three players had 10 tackles on the Georgetown defense, while Alec May had nine stops and a pair of sacks...May has totaled nine sacks over his last four games dating back to last season...Georgetown dropped its home opener for the first time since 2009...The Hoyas try to get back on track when they visit Dayton on Saturday...Georgetown has won at least one of its first two games in each of the last four seasons.

Holy Cross Holy Cross suffered a crushing loss as Albany rallied from a 13-0 deficit in the fourth quarter for a 14-13 win at Bob Ford Field on Saturday...The Crusaders appeared to have the game in hand in the final minute, but Albany's Neil Morrison picked up a fumble and returned it 79 yards for the game-winning touchdown with 44 seconds left...Holy Cross took a 13-0 lead at halftime, with a pair of field goals before Peter Pujals threw a one-yard touchdown to Jake Wieczorek with eight seconds left until the half...The Crusaders missed a pair of second-half field goals with the chance to pad the lead...Pujals threw for 323 yards and a touchdown, with Wieczorek catching seven passes for 149 yards and a score...Wieczorek set career highs in receptions and receiving yards, where he placed third among all FCS players on the opening weekend...Luke Ford led the Holy Cross defense with 11 tackles...Holy Cross held a 440-263 edge in total yardage...The Crusaders dropped their season opener for the fourth year in a row, and lost by one point in the opener for the second straight year...Holy Cross has a two-game homestand to get back on track, welcoming Morgan State on Saturday before facing Central Connecticut on Sept. 13.

Lafayette The Leopards were off on the season's opening weekend and will begin their campaign on Saturday at Sacred Heart...It will be a matchup of defending conference champions as the Leopards won the Patriot League in 2013 and the Pioneers captured the Northeast Conference...The Leopards did not win a non-League contest last season, but went 5-1 against Patriot League teams to claim the title...Quarterback Drew Reed was a big part of that success by completing 73% of his passes for 1,887 yards and 17 touchdowns in six starts as a freshman...Running back Ross Scheuerman is a preseason All-American after totaling 1,920 all-purpose yards last year....He made the preseason All-Patriot League squad along with offensive lineman Luke Chiarolanzio and defensive back/return specialist Matt Smalley, who earned a preseason nod at both spots..Smalley and Jared Roberts each earned All-League status in the secondary last year, while Steve Mercado received the recognition on the line...The Leopards play their home opener on Sept. 13 against Robert Morris.

Lehigh The Mountain Hawks were off last weekend before opening their year with two difficult tests when they host James Madison on Saturday and visit No. 6/6 New Hampshire on Sept. 13...Lehigh has won all of its non-League contests in each of the last two seasons for a 10-game streak against foes outside of the Patriot League...The Mountain Hawks have also won 13 straight games decided by seven points or less...Lehigh will have some change, however, with new coordinators on offense and defense and only eight returning starters from last year's 8-3 squad...They will have a new quarterback for the third year in a row as sophomore Nick Shafnisky looks to open the season in the position, and will have a handful of new players at the skill positions...Ned Daryoush is a preseason All-American on the offensive line...Preseason All-Patriot League pick Tim Newton leads the defense on the line...A handful of key players are back in the front seven, but last year's starting secondary all departed...Lehigh has a 39-9 record over the last four seasons...The Mountain Hawks try to join North Dakota State and Bethune-Cookman as the only teams with season-opening wins in each of the last five years.