Sept. 3, 2013
Patriot League Football Release: Week 2
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - The 2013 Patriot League football season got underway last week, but it really picks up on Saturday when all seven teams play and each will be at home. Bucknell, Lafayette and Lehigh each have their season openers, while Colgate, Georgetown and Holy Cross each make their home debuts.
Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PatriotLeagueFB
*All seven Patriot League teams play at home on Saturday.
*Five of the seven contests are available on Patriot League Network.
*Holy Cross and Fordham each face top 10 opponents from the Colonial Athletic Association.
*Colgate's Dick Biddle coaches his 200th game at the school at home against Albany.
*Bucknell, Lafayette and Lehigh each open their 2013 season on Saturday.
*The Mountain Hawks are ranked in the FCS polls for the 33rd consecutive time.
*Lehigh has won eight consecutive non-League regular-season games.
*The Mountain Hawks are trying to win a fourth-straight season opener, while Bucknell goes for its third in a row.
*Lafayette is trying to win its season opener for the second straight year and 10th in the last 12 seasons.
*Colgate goes for a fifth-straight win in a home opener, while Georgetown aims for its fourth in a row.
*Fordham won its home opener for the fourth year in a row Thursday, and opened with a win for the second straight year.
*Fordham quarterback Michael Nebrich was third in the country in passing efficiency on the opening weekend.
*Nebrich was one of four first-time winners of Patriot League weekly awards on Monday.
*Georgetown linebacker Dustin Wharton won his first Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week award.
Patriot League Notebook
ALL SEVEN PATRIOT LEAGUE TEAMS AT HOME ON SATURDAY
The 2013 Patriot League football season got underway last week, but it really picks up on Saturday when all seven teams play and each will be at home. Bucknell, Lafayette and Lehigh each have their season openers, while Colgate, Georgetown and Holy Cross each make their home debuts. Only Fordham has already played a home game this season. With all of the home action, Patriot League Network will be the place to go with five of the seven contests available with free online streaming. Only Lafayette and Georgetown will not be on the network Saturday, but each of those games will be available through the school websites as well.
TOP OPPONENTS HIGHLIGHT WEEKEND SLATE
Towson produced one of the headlines of the opening weekend with its victory at FBS Connecticut, and now the Tigers are up to No. 5/6 in the country as they travel to Holy Cross on Saturday. It will be the first matchup against a top-five opponent for a Patriot League team since Lehigh took on eventual FCS champion North Dakota State in the 2011 quarterfinals. It's not the only big game on the schedule, either, as Fordham has a major test against No. 8/11 Villanova. The Wildcats and Tigers are the top two teams in the Colonial Athletic Association preseason poll. Colgate also plays a CAA team when it hosts Albany, while a pair of opponents from both the Northeast Conference and Pioneer Football League round out the schedule.
BIDDLE COACHES 200th GAME AT COLGATE
Colgate Head Coach Dick Biddle already has nearly all of the Patriot League coaching records, and he'll set another milestone for longevity when he coaches his 200th game at the school on Saturday against Albany. Biddle has an outstanding .668 winning percentage at the school with a record of 133-66. Saturday's matchup brings Biddle against Albany Head Coach Bob Ford, who is 264-181-1 in his 44th season at the school. Ford announced before the year that this will be his final season.
Two Patriot League quarterbacks had solid debuts to the 2013 season in their return to the field after missing most of last year with an injury. Michael Nebrich led Fordham to a 51-26 win over Rhode Island by totaling 298 yards of offense and five touchdowns, while Isaiah Kempf threw for 198 yards and a score in Georgetown's loss at Wagner. Nebrich played only three games in 2012, while Kempf was injured early in the last year's season opener.
McCARNEY, KOONCE OPEN SEASON ON WALTER PAYTON AWARD WATCH
Colgate senior quarterback Gavin McCarney and Fordham senior running back Carlton Koonce had solid starts to their season as Walter Payton Award candidates. McCarney had 178 total yards and a touchdown in Colgate's loss to Air Force, while Koonce ran for 90 yards in Fordham's win over Rhode Island. McCarney was the fifth-place finisher for the award last year.
LEHIGH OPENS IN FCS TOP 25 POLLS
With a rash of upsets by FCS teams over FBS foes, idle Lehigh fell slightly in the polls on Monday when the Mountain Hawks came in at No. 19 in the FCS Coaches Poll and No. 23 in The Sports Network top 25. The Mountain Hawks are ranked in the polls for the 33rd consecutive time, the sixth-longest active streak in the nation.
SIX-TEAM RACE FOR PATRIOT LEAGUE TITLE
For the fourth, and final, season, just six teams will vie for the Patriot League championship. Fordham remains ineligible for the title because it began awarding athletic merit aid with the freshman class that entered in the fall of 2010. The Rams' contests are still considered League games, but will not count in the standings for either teams.
PATRIOT LEAGUE FOOTBALL RETURNS TO CBS SPORTS NETWORK
The four programs which have combined to win the last six Patriot League football titles will each be shown on national television in 2013 as CBS Sports Network broadcasts the Lehigh at Fordham contest on Oct. 5 at Noon EST and the Colgate at Holy Cross matchup on Oct. 19 at Noon EST. CBS Sports Network (CBSSN) is the 24-hour cable home of CBS Sports.
Three Patriot League seniors made the Sports Network preseason All-America Team, with Colgate's Gavin McCarney as the second-team quarterback while Fordham running back Carlton Koonce and Bucknell fullback Travis Friend made the third team. Patriot League representatives on the Preseason FCS All-America Team from Beyond Sports Network included McCarney, Colgate junior fullback Ed Pavalko and Lafayette senior wide receiver Mark Ross on the second team with Koonce, Fordham junior wide receiver Brian Wetzel and tight end Dan Light and Bucknell junior defensive back Matthew Steinbeck on third team. McCarney and Steinbeck were also named to the third team preseason FCS squad by College Sports Madness while earning first-team selections from USA College Football along with Pavalko, Koonce and Ross.
TRIO NAMED AS CANDIDATES FOR AFCA GOOD WORKS TEAM
Allstate Insurance Company and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) announced a list of 150 nominees for the 2013 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®, which included three representatives from the Patriot League. Seniors Gary Acquah (Holy Cross) and Brad Bormann (Lafayette) and junior Josh Brake (Bucknell) were among the nominees for the prestigious award which recognizes a select group of college football players who have made a commitment to enriching the lives of others while contributing to the good of their communities.
PATRIOT LEAGUERS COME FROM ALL OVER THE COUNTRY
This year's Patriot League football student-athletes come from 34 different states, as well as the Virgin Islands and four other countries. There are a League-high 125 student-athletes from Pennsylvania, with 116 from New Jersey. New York (63), Florida (53) and Ohio (32) round out the top five states for Patriot League players.
FOUR FORMER PATRIOT LEAGUERS MAKE NFL ROSTERS
For the fourth straight year, a Patriot League rookie hooked on to an NFL roster as former Lehigh wide receiver Ryan Spadola made the New York Jets. Also returning to NFL active rosters are offensive lineman Will Rackley (Lehigh/Jacksonville Jaguars), linebacker Blake Costanzo (Lafayette/Chicago Bears) and defensive back Isa Abdul Quddus (Fordham/New Orleans Saints).
Patriot League Football Weekly Awards (Aug. 29-31)
Offensive Player of the Week
MICHAEL NEBRICH, FORDHAM Jr., QB, 6-1, 198; Burke, Va./Lake Braddock Secondary
Nebrich had an outstanding start to his junior season by completing 17-of-25 passes for 267 yards and four touchdowns and also rushing for 31 yards and a score in a 51-26 win over Rhode Island on Thursday. Nebrich hit big plays throughout the evening, tossing touchdown strikes of 29, 4, 49 and 64 yards while running for a 32-yard touchdown. He led a Fordham offense that posted its highest point total in a home opener against an FCS team. Nebrich returned to action after missing all but three games of the 2012 season with an injury. He is named Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week for the first time.
Defensive Player of the Week
DUSTIN WHARTON, GEORGETOWN Sr., LB, 6-0, 215; LaVale, Md./Allegany
Wharton filled the stat sheet in Georgetown's 28-21 loss to Wagner on Saturday with 12 tackles, a sack and an interception for the Hoyas. The Patriot League Preseason Defensive Player of the Year recorded the first interception of his career and his 11th double-digit tackles game. The 12 tackles were one off Wharton's career high. He is named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week for the first time.
Special Teams Player of the Week
KYLE TOULOUSE, HOLY CROSS Sr., WR, 6-0, 189; Arlington, Va./Yorktown
Toulouse had a 77-yard punt return for a touchdown to put the Crusaders up 6-0 in the first quarter against Bryant on Saturday, though Holy Cross would go on to fall 17-16. Toulouse had two punt returns for 88 yards and also brought back two kickoff returns for 44 yards to record a team-high 132 all-purpose yards in the game. He led the FCS in punt return average on the opening weekend, and paced the Patriot League in all-purpose yardage. Toulouse was named National FCS Punt Returner of the Week by College Football Performance Awards (CFPA). He is named Patriot League Special Teams Player of the Week for the first time.
Rookie of the Week
GABE GUILD, HOLY CROSS Fr., RB, 5-11, 190; Overland Park, Kan./Shawnee Mission South
Guild led the Crusaders with seven receptions for 98 yards in the loss at Bryant, and also chipped in 12 rushing yards to finish second on the team with 110 all-purpose yards in the game. Guild tied two other players for the most receptions in the Patriot League over the weekend, which also ranked 20th nationally. He wins his first Patriot League Rookie of the Week award.
STEVEN ELDER, HOLY CROSS Jr., QB, 6-4, 200; San Antonio, Texas/Alamo Heights
Elder completed 23-of-41 passes for 309 yards and a touchdown in the Crusaders' 17-16 loss at Bryant.
JQ BOWERS, FORDHAM So., DB, 5-9, 186; Sylvania, Ohio/Southview
Bowers had a 61-yard interception return for a touchdown which gave Fordham a 31-12 third-quarter lead on its way to a 51-26 win over Rhode Island on Thursday.
MATT BHAYA, HOLY CROSS So., DB, 6-0, 187; Haddonfield, N.J./Haddonfield Memorial
Bhaya totaled seven tackles, three pass breakups and his first career interception in Holy Cross' 17-16 loss at Bryant.
This Week in the Patriot League
CCSU Blue Devils (0-1, 0-0 NEC) at No. 19/23 Lehigh Mountain Hawks (0-0, 0-0 PL)
Goodman Stadium; Bethlehem, Pa. - Saturday, 12:30 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network, SE2 Sports
*No. 19/23 Lehigh opens its season at home against Central Connecticut on Saturday afternoon.
*The Mountain Hawks are 2-1 all-time against CCSU, including a 35-14 win on the road last season.
*The lone loss came in the 2009 season opener at Goodman Stadium, the last time Lehigh dropped its first contest.
*Lehigh has won eight consecutive non-League regular-season games.
*Patriot League teams are 2-2 all-time against CCSU.
No. 5/6 Towson Tigers (1-0, 0-0 CAA) at Holy Cross Crusaders (0-1, 0-0 PL)
Fitton Field; Worcester, Mass. - Saturday, 1 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network
*Holy Cross takes on one of the top teams in the nation when it hosts No. 5/6 Towson on Saturday afternoon.
*The Tigers were one of the big winners on the opening weekend when they beat FBS member Connecticut.
*Holy Cross leads the all-time series 4-3, all played when Towson was a Patriot League member from 1997-03.
*Patriot League teams are 11-5 in non-League contests against the Tigers, with Lehigh beating Towson in the 2011 playoffs.
*That Lehigh victory was the last time a Patriot League team took down a ranked opponent.
No. 8/11 Villanova Wildcats (0-1, 0-0 CAA) at Fordham Rams (1-0)
Jack Coffey Field; Bronx, N.Y. - Saturday, 6 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network
*Fordham tries to notch another win against a CAA opponent when it hosts No. 8/11 Villanova Saturday.
*The Rams are taking on the Wildcats for the second year in a row after a 28-13 loss on the road last season.
*Villanova leads the all-time series 20-3-4, and has won all 13 matchups between the schools since 1920.
*Patriot League teams are 3-23 all-time against the Wildcats, with the last victory coming by Lehigh in 2006.
Albany Great Danes (0-1, 0-0 CAA) at Colgate Raiders (0-1, 0-0 PL)
Andy Kerr Stadium; Hamilton, N.Y. - Saturday, 6 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network, Time Warner Sports
*Head Coach Dick Biddle coaches his 200th game at Colgate when the Raiders host Albany on Saturday.
*Colgate leads the all-time series 2-1, but Albany picked up a 40-23 victory at home against the Raiders last year.
*Colgate won the other two matchups in Hamilton in 2007 and 2011, coming by two and three points, respectively.
*The Raiders have won their home opener in each of the last four seasons.
*Patriot League teams are 6-5 all-time against Albany, which is playing its first season as a CAA member.
Sacred Heart Pioneers (1-0, 0-0 NEC) at Lafayette Leopards (0-0, 0-0 PL)
Fisher Stadium; Easton, Pa. - Saturday, 6 p.m.
Coverage: Lafayette Sports Network (RCN-4, RCN-8, WBPH-60)
*Lafayette opens its 2013 season at home against Sacred Heart on Saturday.
*The Leopards won the only previous meeting when they pulled off a 25-14 victory at Sacred Heart in 2006.
*Lafayette is trying to win its season opener for the second straight year and 10th in the last 12 seasons.
*Patriot League teams are 4-1 all-time against Sacred Heart.
Davidson Wildcats (0-0, 0-0 Pioneer) at Georgetown Hoyas (0-1, 0-0 PL)
Multi-Sport Field; Washington, D.C. - Saturday, 6 p.m.
*Georgetown opens its home slate when it welcomes Davidson on Saturday.
*The Hoyas beat the Wildcats 35-14 last season and have a 7-3 advantage in the all-time series.
*Georgetown has won seven of the past eight meetings between the schools, with wins in each of the last three seasons.
*The Hoyas have opened their home schedule with a win in each of the last three seasons.
*Patriot League teams are 7-1 in non-League games against Davidson, a League member from 1987-88.
Marist Red Foxes (0-1, 0-0 Pioneer) at Bucknell Bison (0-0, 0-0 PL)
Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium; Lewisburg, Pa. - Saturday, 6 p.m.
Coverage: Patriot League Network
*Bucknell opens its 2013 season at home against Marist on Saturday.
*The Bison started the 2012 campaign with a 19-17 win at Marist, and are 7-1 all-time against the Red Foxes.
*Bucknell is trying to begin the year with a win for the third straight season.
*Patriot League teams are 23-4 all-time against Marist, and the Bison are 4-0 against the Red Foxes in Lewisburg.
Bucknell The Bison were off on the opening weekend, and kick-off their 2013 campaign on Saturday at home against Marist on Patriot League Network... Bucknell endured a winless Patriot League season in 2012 and is picked to finish in last place again this year, but the Bison have some solid contributors back... The Bison had four losses by seven points or less last year, and held seven of their 11 opponents to 21 points or less...Bucknell also finished the season strong with two wins in the final three games, including a 27-24 triumph over Fordham that made the Bison one of only three Patriot League teams to beat the Rams last season... Bucknell brings back experience at quarterback, wide receiver and offensive line as well as four preseason All-Patriot League selections on defense... Senior Brandon Wesley is a three-year starter at quarterback and former Patriot League Rookie of the Year (2010)...Travis Friend is a preseason All-Patriot League selection at fullback, while four starters return on the offensive line... Four All-Patriot Leaguers are back on defense with linemen Sean Sellers and Tracey Smith, linebacker Evan Byers and defensive back Matthew Steinbeck all returning...The Bison hit their bye early as they are off on Sept. 14, and open Patriot League play at Lafayette on Oct. 5.
Colgate The Raiders took on an FBS opponent in their season opener, and hung tight most of the way before falling 38-13 to Air Force on Saturday... Colgate had a 7-0 lead after the first quarter, but Air Force scored the next 38 points to roll to the win...The Raiders were within 21-7 until late in the third quarter before Air Force pulled away...The Raiders gave up 409 yards on the ground and
were outgained 481-300 overall...Colgate was playing an FBS team for the first time since visiting Syracuse in 2011...Gavin McCarney opened his season at 14-of-27 for 143 yards and a touchdown while also rushing for 35 yards...He moved into the top 10 in Patriot League history in touchdowns responsible for...John Wilkins ran for 90 yards and a touchdown in his debut as Colgate's starting running back....Kris Kent led the Colgate defense with 10 tackles...Colgate plays its home opener on Saturday when it welcomes in-state rival Albany...The game will be shown on Patriot League Network and Time Warner Sports...It will be 18th-year Head Coach Dick Biddle's 200th game at the school.
Fordham Fordham gave its fans in the stands, and those watching the first football broadcast on Patriot League Network, plenty to cheer about by building an early lead and hitting on big plays throughout the night for a 51-26 win over Rhode Island on Thursday evening at Jack Coffey Field...Junior quarterback Michael Nebrich led the way by completing 17-of-25 passes for 267 yards and four touchdowns, and also rushing for 31 yards and a score...The Rams went up 24-3 less than five minutes into the second quarter, and held at least a 12-point lead the rest of the way...Five of Fordham's seven touchdowns were 25 yards or longer, including a 61-yard interception return by JQ Bowers when Rhode Island was trying to make it a one-score game in the third quarter...Fordham had touchdowns of 29, 32, 4, 61, 49, 64 and 16 yards...Fordham scored 50 points in a season opener for the second year in a row (55-0 over Lock Haven in 2012)...It was the first time Fordham had 50 in an opener against an FCS opponent....Sam Ajala and Brian Wetzel each had a pair of touchdown receptions, and combined for 11 receptions for 202 yards...Payton Award candidate Carlton Koonce ran for 90 yards on only 14 carries...Freshman running back Kendall Pearcey had his first collegiate touchdown in the fourth quarter...Austin Hancock had 10 tackles while Jake Dixon had nine tackles and an interception to lead the defense...Fordham won its home opener for the fourth year in a row, and beat Rhode Island at home for the third straight time...The Rams stay at home for a bigger test from a CAA opponent on Saturday when they host No. 8/11 Villanova, in a game shown on Patriot League Network.
Georgetown The Hoyas held a 21-7 halftime lead at NEC preseason favorite Wagner, but could not close the deal after intermission as the Seahawks rallied for a 28-21 win...Wagner scored the game-winning touchdown with less than three minutes to play....The Seahawks had tied the score on an interception return for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter...Patriot League Preseason Defensive Player of the Year Dustin Wharton had 12 tackles, a sack and an interception for the
Hoyas..Nick Alfieri had a team-high 14 tackles for Georgetown...Isaiah Kempf was 23-of-41 for 198 yards and a touchdown and ran for a score for Georgetown...Kempf missed the 2012 season with an injury....Georgetown had 250 yards of total offense in the first half, but only 33 after intermission...Georgetown will try again for its first win of the year when it plays its home opener against Davidson on Saturday evening.
Holy Cross The Crusaders suffered a heartbreaking defeat to open the 2013 season as Bryant hit a field goal in the final minute to rally for a 17-16 victory on Saturday... Bryant won the game on a 30-yard field goal by Tom Alberti with 38 seconds to play...The Bulldogs had kept the drive alive by converting a 4th-and-2 from the Holy Cross 31...Holy Cross drove for a chance to win, but John Macomber's 43-yard field goal attempt sailed wide as time expired...The Crusaders opened the
scoring with a 77-yard punt return touchdown by Kyle Toulouse in the first quarter...Toulouse had a 44.0 average on two punt returns, the highest mark for an FCS player on the opening weekend...It was the first punt return for a touchdown by a Crusader since 2010...Holy Cross scored 10 third-quarter points to grab a 16-14 lead....Holy Cross lost its 2013 opener in the final minute after suffering five such losses in 2012....The Crusaders dropped their season opener for the third year in a row...Bryant held a 487-306 edge in total yardage, and 164-(-3) on the ground...Steven Elder threw for 309 yards and a touchdown for Holy Cross, but also had three interceptions....Elder was among the top 20 in FCS in passing yardage and total offense for the weekend...It was his second career 300-yard effort...Gabe Guild and Nate Stanley combined for 13 receptions for 173 yards...Matt Bhaya led the defense with seven tackles, three pass breakups and his first career interception...Holy Cross plays its home opener on Saturday on Patriot League Network when it welcomes No. 5/6 Towson.
Lafayette The Leopards open the season with consecutive home games when they take on Sacred Heart on Saturday and William & Mary on Sept. 14...Both contests will be carried on Lafayette Sports Network, as the Leopards will have all 11 games televised by the network..Lafayette is trying to turn the page from a four-game losing streak that finished last season and left it with a 5-6 record for a third-straight losing season...Zach Zweizig gained valuable experience at
quarterback down the stretch last year, and has some outstanding weapons to work with in running back Ross Scheuerman and wide receiver Mark Ross, both preseason All-Patriot League selections...Preseason All-League pick Luke Chiarolanzio leads a solid returning offensive line that also includes Brad Bormann and Pat Crosby...Jared Roberts returns as a preseason All-Patriot League pick at defensive back, while Mike Boles made the squad at linebacker...Boles, defensive back Shane Black and linebacker Colton Kirkpatrick were the team's top three tacklers last season, while lineman Shane Dorner led the way with 5.5 sacks...Lafayette begins its League slate on Oct. 5 at home against Bucknell.
Lehigh The Mountain Hawks begin their season on Saturday when Central Connecticut comes to Goodman Stadium...The game will be shown on Service Electric 2 Sports and Patriot League Network...After a 10-1 season and finish in the FCS top 20, Lehigh began the 2013 campaign at No. 17 in the FCS Coaches Poll and No. 22 in The Sports Network top 25...The Mountain Hawks inched down to No. 19/23 on Monday...Despite the rankings, Lehigh has a lot to replace with eight All-Patriot Leaguers gone from last year's team...Top returnees on offense include running back Keith Sherman, wide receivers Lee Kurfis and Sergio Fernandez-Soto and preseason All-Patriot League pick Ned Daryoush on the offensive line...Linebacker Nigel Muhammad is a preseason All-League selection on a defense which also features lineman Tim Newton, linebackers John Mahoney and Isaiah Campbell and defensive backs Rickie Hill, Tyler Ward and Courtney Jarvis...Lehigh opens its Patriot League slate on Oct. 5 at Fordham.