Patriot League Football Release - Week 2

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Andrew Shoop and Lafayette open the season on Saturday at William & Mary.
Andrew Shoop and Lafayette open the season on Saturday at William & Mary.

Sept. 4, 2012

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CENTER VALLEY, Pa. -- Patriot League teams will have to prove they can win on the road Saturday, as five of the six games will be played away from the friendly confines of home.

No. 14/16 Lehigh kicks things off with a trip to Central Connecticut State at 12 p.m., while Georgetown will be the lone home squad when it welcomes Wagner at 1 p.m.

The mid-afternoon kickoff features a tough matchup, as Colgate makes a trip west to take on South Dakota at 3 p.m.

In the evening, Bucknell and Lafayette will become the final two Patriot League teams to kick off their season. The Bison visit Marist at 6 p.m., while the Leopards are at William & Mary at 7 p.m. in a game that will be shown through the Lafayette Sports Network and also picked up on ESPN3. Also, Fordham heads down I-95 to face off with Villanova at 6 p.m.

Patriot League teams had a 3-2 record on the first weekend of the season, with Lehigh, Georgetown and Fordham each notching victories. The Mountain Hawks won their 10th consecutive regular-season game by beating Monmouth 27-17, the Hoyas opened the season with a win for the third straight year by beating Davidson 35-14 and the Rams gave Head Coach Joe Moorhead a debut victory with a 55-0 thumping of Lock Haven on Thursday.

Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PatriotLeagueFB
*Six Patriot League teams play on Saturday, with five going on the road.
*Lafayette and Bucknell each open their season on the road in the evening.
*Lehigh and Fordham are each trying to start 2-0 for the first time since 2003.
*Georgetown goes for its third consecutive 2-0 start to the season.
*Colgate tries to avoid its first 0-2 start since 2002 when it goes to South Dakota.
*The Lafayette/William & Mary and Colgate/South Dakota games are first-time meetings.
*Georgetown leads the nation in rushing defense (-18 ypg) after the first week.
*Three Patriot League running backs rank in the top 15 in the nation following the first weekend of games.
*Three wideouts are in the top 10 nationally in receptions per game, and three are also in the top 20 in receiving yards per contest.
*Lehigh senior Ryan Spadola is now in the Patriot League career top 10 in both receptions and receiving yards.
*He is 35 receptions and 563 yards from second place in League history.
*Fordham's Patrick Murray set a Patriot League record with a 52-yard field goal on Thursday against Lock Haven.
*Fordham's 55-0 win was the third-largest margin of victory in League history.
*Georgetown's Nick Campanella led all FCS players with four total touchdowns on the opening weekend.
*Georgetown's Robert McCabe was third nationally with 17 tackles Saturday, and stands seventh among all active players with 265 career stops.

Patriot League Players of the Week (Aug. 30-Sept. 1)

Offensive Player of the Week: NICK CAMPANELLA, GEORGETOWN
Jr., RB, Roselle, Ill.; 12 carries, 127 yards, 3 TD; rec TD

Defensive Player of the Week: ROBERT McCABE, GEORGETOWN
Sr., LB, Newtown Square, Pa.; 17 TT, 3 TFL

Special Teams Player of the Week: PATRICK MURRAY, FORDHAM
Sr., P/K, Mahwah, N.J.; 2-2 FG (PL record 52-yd FG); 7-7 XP

Rookie of the Week: DEREK KNOTT, LEHIGH
WR/KR, Orlando, Fla.; 2 rec., 15 yds, TD

Patriot League Notebook

After winning their season openers over the weekend, Fordham, Lehigh and Georgetown try to get to 2-0 on Saturday. For the Rams and Mountain Hawks, it's a mark that they have not hit since 2003. The Hoyas are more accustomed with the fast start: Georgetown has opened with a 2-0 record in each of the last two seasons. The Hoyas last started 2-0 in three consecutive seasons from 1978-80, when they were a Division III program.

Lehigh's 27-17 win over Monmouth was not enough to keep the Mountain Hawks from falling in one national ranking. Lehigh dropped from No. 11 to No. 14 in Monday's FCS Coaches Poll, while remaining at No. 16 in The Sports Network top 25.

Fordham's 55-0 thumping of Lock Haven will be remembered as the first-ever victory for Head Coach Joe Moorhead, who became the first Ram head coach to win his debut since Dave Rice in 1975. But it will go down in the history books for other reasons, too. It was the 750th all-time win for Fordham, which becomes the 15th Division I school all-time and fifth at the FCS level to hit the mark. Fordham is the first FCS school that plays outside of the Ivy League to reach 750 wins. The victory margin is tied for the third-greatest in Patriot League history, and matches the widest margin in any contest since Lehigh beat Georgetown 69-0 in 2002. And for individual records, senior kicker/punter Patrick Murray set both a Fordham and Patriot League record with a 52-yard field goal in the third quarter.

Dominant season-opening performances by Georgetown and Fordham put both schools among the leaders in the FCS in multiple categories after the first week. Fordham is in the top 10 nationally in six of the eight major categories on offense and defense, including total and scoring offense and all four defensive rankings (total, scoring, rushing, passing). The Rams were one of six teams to post a shutout on Saturday. Georgetown leads the way in rushing defense after stonewalling Davidson to -18 rushing yards on Saturday, 23 fewer than any other FCS team. Junior running back Nick Campanella also leads the nation in scoring after becoming the only FCS player to total four touchdowns over the weekend.

A host of Patriot League players are among the FCS leaders after one week. Fordham's Carlton Koonce, Colgate's Jordan McCord and Georgetown's Nick Campanella rank 11th, 12th and 13th, respectively, in rushing yardage. Holy Cross' Mike Fess, Lehigh's Ryan Spadola and Fordham's Nick Talbert are in the top 10 in receptions, with Colgate's Daniel Cason second in receiving yardage and Spadola and Talbert in the top 20. Georgetown's Robert McCabe is in the top 10 in both tackles and tackles for loss, while four different quarterbacks (Kevin Watson, Holy Cross; Gavin McCarney, Colgate; Michael Colvin, Lehigh; Ryan Higgins, Fordham) are in the top 20 of at least one major statistical category.

Lehigh senior wide receiver Ryan Spadola, a candidate for the Walter Payton Award, got his season off to a good start on Saturday by hauling in nine receptions for 111 yards in a 27-17 win over Monmouth. Spadola is ninth in Patriot League history in receptions (184) and eighth in yards (2,871), and is just 35 receptions and 563 yards from second place in League history in both categories. He leads all active FCS players in receiving yards, and is third in receptions.

Two Patriot League seniors have been selected as nominees for the 2012 All State AFCA Good Works Team, with both Colgate's Chris Looney and Fordham's Brendan Melanophy named for the honor that recognizes a select group of college football players committed to making a difference in their communities.

Once again, Patriot League football will be among the leaders nationally in television coverage. Patriot League teams have a combined 23 games scheduled for television broadcasts, with at least one game on TV each week during the season. Lafayette, Lehigh, Holy Cross and Colgate have regional coverage in addition to the League's four nationally-televised games, including three on CBS Sports Network. For the full Patriot League television schedule, see page five of the weekly release or visit

This Week in the Patriot League

No. 14/16 Lehigh Mountain Hawks (1-0, 0-0) at CCSU Blue Devils (0-1, 0-0 NEC): Saturday, 12 p.m.
Arute Field; New Britain, Conn.
*No. 14/16 Lehigh goes for its 11th straight regular-season win when it visits Central Connecticut State on Saturday.
*Lehigh is trying to open the season with two wins for the first time since 2003.
*The teams are meeting for the third time, with Lehigh winning at home in 2001 and CCSU returning the favor in 2009.
*It is the first time a Patriot League school plays at CCSU. The Blue Devils won at Colgate in 2005 for a 2-1 mark vs. the PL.
*Lehigh plays its second consecutive game against an NEC opponent after a season-opening win vs. Monmouth.

Wagner Seahawks (0-1) at Georgetown Hoyas (1-0, 0-0): Saturday, 1 p.m.
Multi-Sport Field; Washington, D.C.
*Georgetown tries to get to 2-0 for the third year in a row when it hosts Wagner on Saturday.
*The teams have played the past two years, with the road team winning each time (Wagner 2010, Georgetown 2011)
*Georgetown also won at Wagner in 2001 and holds a 2-1 lead in the all-time series.
*Wagner nearly upset an FBS opponent last week, giving up a fourth-quarter touchdown in a 7-3 defeat at Florida Atlantic.
*The Hoyas are attempting to win their home opener for the third straight season.

Colgate Raiders (0-1, 0-0) at South Dakota Coyotes (0-1, 0-0 MVFC): Saturday, 3 p.m.
DakotaDome; Vermillion, S.D.
*Colgate tries to avoid its first 0-2 start since 2002 when it visits South Dakota on Saturday.
*The Raiders are the first Patriot League team to face a team from the state of South Dakota, making it the 24th state the Patriot League has faced off against.
*It will be the farthest west a Patriot League team has played since Holy Cross visited San Diego in 2003.
*South Dakota opened its season with a 35-24 loss at No. 10 Montana on Saturday.

Fordham Rams (1-0) at Villanova Wildcats (0-1, 0-0 CAA): Saturday, 6 p.m.
Villanova Stadium; Villanova, Pa.
*Fordham aims for its first 2-0 start since 2003 when it visits Villanova on Saturday afternoon.
*The teams are meeting for the first time since 2002 when Villanova scored a 24-10 win in a quarterfinal playoff game.
*Villanova leads the all-time series 19-3-4, and Fordham has not beaten the Wildcats since 1920.
*Villanova has 12 straights wins vs. Fordham, including seven in the Rams' Patriot League era.
*The Wildcats have an all-time record of 22-3 against Patriot League opponents.

Bucknell Bison (0-0, 0-0) at Marist Red Foxes (1-0, 0-0 Pioneer): Saturday, 6 p.m.
Tenney Stadium; Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
*Bucknell opens its 2012 season at Marist on Saturday, playing the Red Foxes for the eighth year in a row.
*The Bison hold a 6-1 lead in the all-time series, including a 28-14 victory at home last season.
*The games have been close in recent years, with Marist winning 14-3 at home in 2010 after Bucknell had won by one and four points in the previous two meetings.
*Patriot League teams are 22-4 all-time against the Red Foxes.
*The Bison are trying to open the year with a win for the second straight season.

Lafayette Leopards (0-0, 0-0) at William & Mary Tribe (0-1, 0-0 CAA): Saturday, 7 p.m.
Zable Stadium; Williamsburg, Va. (Lafayette Sports Network, ESPN3)
*Lafayette kicks off its 2012 season at William & Mary in the first-ever meeting between the schools.
*Patriot League teams are 4-14 against the Tribe, but the last matchup came in 1996 when Bucknell fell to William & Mary.
*William & Mary nearly pulled an FBS upset last week, leading in the fourth quarter before falling 7-6 at Maryland.
*It is the second straight year Lafayette opens with a first-time opponent. Last year, the Leopards fell 42-6 at eventual FCS national champion North Dakota State.
*Lafayette is trying to win its season opener for the first time since 2009. The Leopards opened with a win in eight straight seasons from 2002-09.

Team Notebooks

Bucknell The Bison will begin their third season under Head Coach Joe Susan on Saturday when they visit Marist...Bucknell does not open its home schedule until Sept. 22 when Lafayette comes to town for a game shown on CBS Sports Network...The Bison went 6-5 overall last season for their first winning record since 2006... Though the team suffered key losses on the offensive and defensive lines, the Bison bring back four All-Patriot League performers from last season...Senior running back Tyler Smith and junior fullback Travis Friend each had strong seasons in the backfield, with Smith rushing for 795 yards and eight touchdowns...Senior linebacker Beau Traber leads the defense after making 63 tackles last year, with all three also named to the preseason All-Patriot League Team...Senior Ryan Gutowski also earned All-Patriot League distinction at punter last season after averaging 36.7 yards per kick.

Colgate The Raiders fell 40-23 in their season opener at Albany on Saturday...The loss was the first in a season opener for Colgate since 2009, and also the first in three tries against the Great Danes...Colgate got off to a fast start, with an Andrew Burgess field goal in the first quarter and a 20-yard touchdown pass from Jimmy DeCicco to Kevin O'Connell for a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter...But the Great Danes scored the final 16 points of the period to take a halftime lead, and added to it with the first touchdown of the third period...Jordan McCord ran for a 15-yard touchdown to trim Colgate's deficit to 23-17 late in the third quarter, but Albany scored the next 10 points to build its lead and Colgate never got within single digits again...McCord ran for 136 yards and the score, while Gavin McCarney completed 16-of-33 passes for 257 yards with a touchdown and an interception...Daniel Cason was his top target with seven receptions for 144 yards..It was the second-highest receiving total for an FCS player on the opening weekend...Jonathan Mputu led the defense with 10 tackles, while Patrick Friel recorded eight tackles and a sack...Colgate has not started the season 0-2 since 2002, a fate it will try to avoid on Saturday at South Dakota...The Raiders begin their home schedule on Sept. 15 when Sacred Heart comes to town...It will be the only non-League home game for the Raiders, who play four of five away from Hamilton in September to complete their non-League slate.

Fordham It was a historic victory for Fordham on Thursday, as a 55-0 thumping of Lock Haven gave the school its 750th all-time win and the first for Head Coach Joe Moorhead... The Rams tied for the third-largest margin of victory in Patriot League history, and their 55 points were the most since Lafayette put up 56 against Colgate in 2009...Fordham recorded its first shutout since 2008 and snapped a nine-game losing streak that carried over from last season....The Rams led 21-0 in the first quarter, 28-0 at halftime and 41-0 at the end of three before tacking on two fourth-quarter scores...Ryan Higgins completed 16-of-23 passes for 229 yards and a touchdown, while Michael Nebrich threw for 36 yards and a score and ran for 58 and three touchdowns...Carlton Koonce led the way on the ground with 146 yards, while Nick Talbert had eight receptions for 105 yards...Patrick Murray had a big night that included a school and Patriot League record 52-yard field goal...Fordham had a 530-126 edge in total offense...The Rams come out of the game in the top 10 in the FCS in total and scoring offense, as well as in every major defensive category (rushing, passing, total, scoring)...The Rams win their season opener for the first time since 2008, though they claimed a victory in their first game at Jack Coffey Field for the third straight season...Fordham becomes just the 15th school overall and fifth in the FCS to hit the 750-win mark.

Georgetown Nick Campanella ran for three scores and caught another to lead Georgetown to a convincing 35-14 win at Davidson in the season opener for both teams on Saturday...After falling behind 7-0 early, Georgetown took over...A 48-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Aiken to Kevin Macari tied the score, and Campanella scored on a 53-yard run, two-yard run and nine-yard reception for a 28-7 lead in the third quarter...The junior running back capped the scoring in the fourth with a 45-yard touchdown run...Georgetown opens with a win over Davidson for the third straight year, marking the first time since 1997-99 that the Hoyas have started with a victory in three consecutive seasons...Campanella carried 12 times for 127 yards and the three touchdowns and also had the receiving score...His four touchdowns were more than any other FCS player on the opening weekend...Aiken threw for 128 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for 109 yards...The Hoya defense was especially outstanding, limiting Davidson to -18 rushing yards as Georgetown held a 408-208 edge in total offense...It was the top mark for an FCS team against the run by a whopping 23 yards over the closest competitor over the weekend...Robert McCabe had a big game with 17 tackles and three tackles for loss, while Alec May had two of the team's five sacks...The Hoyas host Wagner Saturday, trying to go to 2-0 for the third year in a row.

Holy Cross No. 12/14 New Hampshire was too much for Holy Cross as the Wildcats pulled away for a 38-17 win over the Crusaders under the lights at Fitton Field on Thursday...Holy Cross fell in its Thursday night home opener for the second year in a row after dropping a matchup with Massachusetts in 2011...The Crusaders and Wildcats played in front of a crowd of 12,291...After New Hampshire scored the only touchdown of the first quarter, Holy Cross had a brief lead as Kevin Watson scored on a four-yard run for a 7-6 advantage with 11:59 to play in the second quarter...New Hampshire re-claimed the lead less than two minutes later, and pushed the advantage to 19-10 at the half...New Hampshire added a touchdown in the third quarter and two more in the fourth before Holy Cross completed the scoring with a two-yard touchdown run by Matt Bellomo in the closing minutes...Watson completed 33-of-47 passes for 271 yards and ran for the score for the Crusaders, though he was intercepted twice...Mike Fess caught 10 passes for 85 yards, while Roman San Doval led the defense with 13 tackles...Watson comes out of the game third in the FCS in completions, while Fess came in fourth in receptions nationally on the opening weekend...Holy Cross has its bye on Saturday, then stays at home for two more games against Brown (Sept. 15) and Dartmouth (Sept. 22)

Lafayette After a bye on the first week of the year, Lafayette begins its 2012 campaign with its first-ever matchup with William & Mary on Saturday...The Leopards only bring back 10 starters from last year, with six on offense and four on defense... Lafayette has a pair of preseason All-Patriot League selections, with junior Mark Ross (WR) making the team on offense and senior Rick Lyster (DL) on defense...The offense has players back at the skill positions, with Andrew Shoop at quarterback after throwing for 2,024 yards and 15 touchdowns, Patriot League Rookie of the Year Ross Scheuerman returning at running back after a freshman campaign with 499 rushing yards and Mark Ross notching 49 catches for 703 yards and nine touchdowns...Three of the four defensive starters returning are on the line, with Tahir Basil and Jason Marshalek joining Lyster...Lafayette will play its home opener next week when Penn comes to Fisher Stadium...Lafayette plays the first Patriot League game of the year when it visits Bucknell on Sept. 22 on CBS Sports Network.

Lehigh The Mountain Hawks had to come up with big plays down the stretch, but did enough to boost their regular-season winning streak to 10 games by defeating Monmouth 27-17 on Saturday...Despite the win, Lehigh fell from No. 11 to No. 14 in the FCS Coaches Poll on Monday, while remaining at No. 16 in The Sports Network top 25...Lehigh started the season with a win for the third year in a row, beating Monmouth to open the year for the second straight time...Lehigh won its home opener for the first time since 2008...Senior quarterback Michael Colvin got off to a great start in the first half as he ran for a five-yard touchdown, threw a 19-yard score to Derek Knott and tossed a 25-yard scoring strike to Lee Kurfis just before the break to give Lehigh a 21-7 halftime lead...The Mountain Hawks would have to hold on after intermission, with Monmouth scoring 10 points in the third quarter and threatening for the go-ahead score in the fourth...Billy Boyko forced a fumble on a 4th-and-1 play at the Lehigh 7 with just over seven minutes to play to stop one Monmouth drive, and John Mahoney came up with an interception with 48 seconds left after Monmouth had marched to the Lehigh 35...The Hawks got the ball back one more time, but a final attempt at a desperation play resulted in a fumble that Lehigh's Jerard Gordon returned six yards for a score as time expired...Colvin completed 17-of-32 passes for 221 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions, and also ran for 56 yards and a score...Ryan Spadola started his season in fine fashion with nine receptions for 111 yards, picking up where he left off a year ago...Spadola, a preseason candidate for the Walter Payton Award as the Most Outstanding Player in the FCS, leads all active players in receiving yardage (2,871) and yards per game (95.7) and is third in receptions (184)...Both the reception and receiving yardage marks rank in the Patriot League career top 10...Lehigh will try to go 2-0 in a season for the first time since 2003 when it visits Central Connecticut State on Saturday.