Complete Game Notes in PDF Format
THE MATCH-UP: A pair of 1-0 teams will line up at Fisher Stadium on Saturday when Lafayette welcomes Georgetown for the Patriot League opener. Lafayette used its running game and a dominating defense to register a 28-6 win over Marist on Saturday. Georgetown claimed a 12-7 win over Howard on a game delayed until Sunday because of weather. It was the first meeting between the two schools located three miles apart.
HOME OPENERS: Lafayette is 84-38-3 all-time in home openers and 12-6 in Patriot League home openers.
ON A ROLL: Lafayette will look to stretch the fifth-longest win streak in the FCS ranks to five games with the matchup vs. Georgetown on Saturday. The Leopards closed 2007 with three Patriot League wins over Bucknell, Holy Cross and Lehigh.
FIRST IN THE NATION: After week one of the football season (week two for many FCS teams across the country), the Lafayette defense is ranked first in the NCAA stats in total defense. Junior running back Maurice White is also ranked first in rushing with 212 yards per game after his explosive night at Marist.
PATRIOT LEAGUE OPENERS: Lafayette is 11-7 in Patriot League openers with Patriot League play first beginning in 1990. The Leopards have won their last four Patriot League openers (Georgetown in 2004, Fordham, Bucknell and Georgetown in 2007) , last losing to Towson in 2003, the Tigers' final year in the conference.
ON THE RUN: Junior tailback Maurice White, who missed most of 2007 due to injury, re-established himself as the Leopards' top running back in the season opener. The Cleveland native went through, over and around the Marist defense for a career-high 212 yards. It was his first ever 200+yard rushing game (high school included). The last Lafayette player to rush for 200 yards was Joe McCourt who had 209 yards vs. Bucknell on Nov. 8, 2003.
DEFENSIVELY VS. MARIST: The Lafayette defense didn't disappoint in its first game of 2008. Led by linebackers Andy Romans and Mark Leggiero, Lafayette held Marist to 95 yards of total offense (37 on the ground and 58 in the air). The only score that the defense surrendered came following a blocked punt that placed the Marist offense on the one-yard line. The defense had already survived a a bad snap on a punt that gave the Red Foxes a 1st-and-10 at the Lafayette 18.
STANDING OUT IN THE CLASSROOM: Under head coach Frank Tavani, Lafayette football players have excelled as student-athletes. Twenty-three have earned CoSIDA Academic All-District selections. In 2007, Lafayette had 21 student-athletes qualify for the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll for which they must achieve a minimum of a 3.2 GPA and earn a varsity letter. In the spring semester, 51 members of the team achieved a 3.0 or better GPA, including seven who qualified for the Dean's List. Overall, the team sported a 2.99 GPA, the highest in the program's history since the Academic Resource Center began charting team GPA's in 1992.
IN THE NFL RANKS: Blake Costanzo '05 is currently on the Buffalo Bills' 53- man roster. Costanzo, who now wears No. 54, played three games with the Bills last season and made seven tackles in return coverage assignments. The Franklin Hills, N.J. native was released by the Bills on Aug. 30, 2008, but was re-signed on Sept. 5.
THE HEAD COACHES: Lafayette head coach Frank Tavani (Lebanon Valley '75) is in his ninth season as the fiery head man with the headsets and his 22nd year overall as a member of the Lafayette coaching staff. He is the 27th head coach in the program's 127-year history. Tavani was the running backs coach at Lafayette for 13 seasons prior to being named head coach in December of 1999.
Tavani was the 2004 Patriot League Coach of the Year and was a finalist for the Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year Award in that year.
The native of Lebanon, Pa. guided Lafayette to three straight Patriot League titles (2004, 2005, 2006) and his career record stands at 46-46. Tavani is 18-5 in Patriot League games over the last four years.
Tavani knew a little bit about running the ball in his playing days, becoming the first player in Lebanon Valley College history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. In that senior campaign, he also garnered All-America honors and has since been named to four athletic halls of fame. Tavani signed as a free agent with the Philadelphia Eagles out of college in 1976 before jumping into coaching at Franklin and Marshall. His son, Daniel, was an all-conference selection at Wofford who graduated in 2007.
Kevin Kelly (Springfield '82) is in his third season as the head coach at Georgetown and holds a 4-19 mark with the Hoyas. He came to Georgetown after four years as the special teams coordinator/linebackers coach at Navy, where he helped lead the Midshipmen to three bowl games.
Georgetown comes into the game fresh off a
12-7 win over Howard on Sunday as the game was delayed by the remnants of Hurricane Hanna. With the victory, the Hoyas have already equaled their win total from a year ago when the squad was 1-10 overall and a 1-5 in Patriot League play.
Georgetown, which competes in the Big East in all sports except football, will play Yale, Penn, Richmond and Marist in the non-league ranks in 2008.
The Georgetown rushing attack is led by junior Charlie Houghton. He carried the ball 109 times in 2007 for 458 yards and four touchdowns. The versatile back also finished second on the team in team receptions with 34 catches for 294 yards. In the season opener, Houghton ran seven times for 31 yards and also made one grab.
By design, the Hoyas use a two-quarterback system. Freshman James Brady is more of a pocket passer while sophomore Keerome Lawrence is a scrambler. Brady was 12-for-20 for 131 yards, one touchdown and one interception against Howard. Lawrence was 1-for-6 in the air, but carried 14 times for 38 yards. The same is expected against the Leopards.
ROMANS CAN PLAY A LITTLE BIT: Senior linebacker Andy Romans is the Leopards' most highly-decorated returner. Romans was the 2007 Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year and is the conference's pick to repeat. He has also secured preseason All-America honors from The Sports Network and College Sporting News.
PEOPLE ARE WATCHING: Senior Andy Romans, a senior History major, has been named to the Buck Buchanan Award Watch List. The award is given out to the top defensive player in the nation at the FCS level. The list will be revised several times throughout the season. Currently there are 14 linebackers on the list. Lafayette's Maurice Bennett '06 finished eighth in the voting for the national award in 2005.
ADAIR ASCENDING ALL-TIME LISTS: With his third catch on a rain-soaked night at Marist, WR Shaun Adair moved into a tie for 10th place with Jamal Jordan '93 on the career receptions list. Adair has 99 career catches. Adair also ranks in the top 10 in career receiving yards (1,462). Barring injury, Adair should push his way into Lafayette's top five in career receptions and career receiving yards.
PRESEASON POLL: Lafayette has been picked fourth in the Patriot League Preseason Poll as selected by the conference's head coaches and sports information directors. In 2007, Lafayette was selected to finish first, but ended second. The last time the preseason pick won the title outright was 2001 (Lehigh).
LAFAYETTE vs. THE PATRIOT LEAGUE: The Leopards have played 337 games all-time against the six fellow members of the Patriot League, and are 173-148-16 (.537) in those contests. Since the Patriot League began play in 1986, Lafayette is 68-50-1 (.576) vs. member schools and has won league titles in 1988, 1992, 1994, 2004, 2005 and 2006. Lafayette vs. the Patriot League:
Bucknell: 47-32-6 Fordham: 18-7-1 Holy Cross: 14-8-0
Colgate: 10-37-4 Georgetown: 8-3-0 Lehigh: 76-62-5
ALL-PATRIOT LEAGUE RETURNERS: Lafayette placed 11 players on the All-Patriot League first and second teams in 2007. Six of them return in 2008 season led by 2007 Defensive Player of the Year, Andy Romans, junior LB Mark Leggiero and senior CB Marvin Clecidor. On the offense, there are also three returning All-Patriot League selections led by senior co-captain and fullback Joe Russo, senior TE Michael Conte and senior WR Shaun Adair.
THE SERIES: Lafayette holds an 8-3 overall series record versus Georgetown and is 6-1 in Patriot League play since the Hoyas joined the Patriot League in football in 2001. Lafayette is 3-1 in Easton during Patriot League play, the lone blemish a 17-10 setback on Oct. 4, 2003. The teams first met Oct. 25, 1902, a 23-0 Lafayette victory in Washington, D.C. and played in 1922, 1927 and 1937 before meeting every year since 2001.
ABOUT THE 2007 DEFENSE: Lafayette boasted the No. 1 ranked defense in the nation in 2007. The Leopards, under the direction of defensive coordinator John Loose, allowed just 260.1 yards of total offense per game (first in the nation), 84.9 yards on the ground (fourth in the nation), 16.9 points per game (eighth in the nation) and a pass efficiency rating of 108.3 (15th in the nation). Linebacker Andy Romans ranked 25th in the nation in tackles in 2007 with 10.3 per game.
2007 Game By Game
Opponent Rushing Yds. Passing Yds. Total Yds. Points
Marist -14 100 86 10
at Georgetown 74 131 205 7
at Penn 103 121 224 7
Princeton 166 190 356 20
Columbia -13 193 180 0
at Harvard 116 174 290 27
Fordham 85 323 408 34
Colgate 237 174 306 36
Bucknell 66 90 156 7
at Holy Cross 8 247 255 21
at Lehigh 106 138 244 17
AVERAGES 84.9 175.2 260.1 16.9
THE OVERLOOKED LB: When you are lining up with Andy Romans a couple of steps away, it's easy to be overlooked, even with solid numbers. Despite an All-Patriot League Second-Team selection in 2007, that may be the case for junior Mark Leggiero. Leggiero started all 11 games and finished second on the team in tackles (77) and tackles for loss (6.5), trailing Romans in both categories. Leggiero finished fifth in the Patriot League in total tackles last season. In 2006, he was the program's rookie of the year, playing in all 12 games on special teams and as the top backup at linebacker. Against Marist in 2008, Leggiero made seven tackles (two for loss) and forced a fumble.
THE DEFENSIVE BACKFIELD: Seniors Marvin Clecidor and Nigel Bryant will be looked to as the leaders of the defensive backfield. Clecidor is a returning All-Patriot League Second-Team selection at cornerback. He will be the starter once healthy, but sat out the season opener in favor of Donald Ellis as a precautionary measure after recovering from a preseason knee injury. Clecidor led the team and was second in the Patriot League in passes defended and also finished with two interceptions. Bryant started every game at strong safety and led the team with three interceptions. Juniors Carlos Lowe and Eric McGovern started the season at cornerback and free safety, respectively. Lowe left the game after sustaining a stinger in the second half at Marist.
THE QUARTERBACK: Junior Rob Curley played his way into the starting quarterback role in 2007 season and reinforced that work with a strong spring season and training camp. Curley was the team's starting QB for the final four games of 2007. He completed 62 percent of his passes (77-124), threw seven touchdowns, ran for two scores and was picked off twice. He was named the MVP of the 143rd meeting of Lafayette-Lehigh after leading the game-winning drive. In the 2008 season opener at Marist, Curley completed eight of 11 pass attempts for 112 yards and a 25-yard touchdown strike to Michael Conte. Curley
THE BACKUP QB: Sophomore Marc Qulling is slotted as the backup quarterback. Quilling moved into the role with his strong play during the spring. He played the last series at Marist when the Leopards ran out the clock on a 28-6 victory.
JOE FULLBACK: Senior Joe Russo is easily the most experienced fullback in the Patriot League. The Utica, N.Y. native is in his third season as a starter at the position where his primary responsibilities are as a lead blocker and pass protector. Running the ball has also been a strength as he averaged 4.8 yards per carry (26-126) with a touchdown in 2007 while also catching 12 passes, including two scores. As a sophomore, Russo averaged 5.0 yards per carry (27-134) with five touchdowns in 2006 and also caught 14 passes for 76 yards. This season, Russo is averaging 4.8 yards per carry after pounding out 58 yards on 12 carries at Marist.
BOOM, COON, ZOOM: "Boom-Coon-Zoom" is how QB Rob Curley is describing the Leopards' corps of tailbacks. "Boom" is Maurice White who blasted his way to 212 yards in the season opener. "Coon" is Tyrell Coon, a junior who is second on the depth chart. He started two games in 2007, including the Lehigh game when he carried 29 times for 95 yards. "Zoom" is junior DeAndre' Morrow who ran for 245 yards last season and is also a receiving threat who managed 225 all-purpose yards vs. Columbia.
Lafayette employed six different tailbacks in the starting spot in 2007 with White starting four games, graduated seniors Anthony D'Urso and Brandon Mitchell each starting one, Morrow and Coon two apiece and Matt Ferber one.
ON THE LINE: The Leopards return four linemen who started six or more games in 2007. Junior Ryan Hart-Predmore who played right guard last season is now at left tackle to anchor the offensive line. Brian Wycinowski holds down the left guard spot. Junior Mike Wojcik is snapping the ball to Rob Curley after starting seven games last year. A pair of seniors with starting experience, Leo Plenski and Joe Moore, start at right tackle and guard, respectively.
THE KICKER(S): Sophomore Davis Rodriguez is reprising his role as the team's placekicker. Rodriguez was 8-for-13 in 2007, including a career long of 41 yards. Rodriguez converted 31-of-33 PATs and was the team's leading scorer with 55 points. The St. Petersburg, Fla. native received Patriot League Special Teams Player of the Week honors twice in 2007 and kicked the game-winning field goal at Penn (9/15). At Marist, Rodriguez converted all four PAT's in a driving rainstorm. Junior Chris Cosgrove is handling the kickoff duties as he did for much of 2007.
THE PUNTER: In 2007, Lafayette was ranked 23rd in the nation punting thanks to the legwork of David Yankovich '08. He averaged 34.7 yards per punt and put 16 balls inside the 20. His replacement this season is sophomore Tom Kondash who was an all-state selection at State College (Pa.) High School. Coming into the season, Kondash had not punted in a collegiate game. His first outing was a rough one as he had one punt blocked and was forced to run on another attempt following a bad snap.
ADAIR SET TO MAKE HIS RETURN: Senior Shaun Adair finished seventh in the nation in punt returns last season. He averaged 14.0 yards per punt return and was ranked first in the conference in that statistical category. Against Marist in 2007, Adair ran back a punt 78 yards for his first career punt return for touchdown (and the longest punt return of his career).
Adair also returns kicks for the Leopards, averaging 18.4 yards per return in 2007 down from the previous two seasons when he chugged away for 23.8 yards per kick as a freshman and a 25.5 as a sophomore. For his career, Adair averages 21.8 yards per return. He returned a 90-yard kick for touchdown vs. Georgetown in 2006.
SCORPIO SUCCESS: The Leopards were a perfect 3-0 in the month of November in 2007, continuing their record of closing the season on a strong note. Excluding postseason games, Lafayette holds a 10-2 record in November over the past four seasons with both losses coming to Colgate:
2004: 2-1 2005: 2-1 2006: 3-0 2007: 3-0
100-YARD CLUB IN 2007: Lafayette had three ballcarriers reach 100 yards in a game last season with Matt Ferber topping the century mark vs. Bucknell (26-102), Maurice White vs. Penn (27-107) and Anthony D'Urso vs. Princeton (14-117). By contrast in 2006, Lafayette had five games in which a running back (Jon Hurt) ran for 100 yards or more.
BACK IN BLACK: The Leopards have never lost in black jerseys and save the color for special occasions. They wore black to beat Lehigh in 2004 and again in 2006 to win Patriot League titles. Fordham was also victim to the black jerseys in 2005. The only other time they've paired black jerseys with black pants was in what has been dubbed "the mud bowl" against Columbia in 2005, a 14-7 victory. The Leopards pulled out the black pants against Holy Cross in week 10 in 2007 and continued their winning streak by beating the Crusaders 31-21.
PATRIOT LEAGUE TITLES: Lafayette won three straight Patriot League titles in 2004, 2005 and 2006. Lafayette shared the title with Lehigh in 2004 and 2006, and with Colgate in 2005. The championships also led to three straight NCAA Playoff appearances, making Lafayette one of six teams in the country to appear in the 16-team field in three straight years. The Leopards have won six PL championships in the 23-year history of the league (1988, 1992, 1994, 2004, 2005, 2006).
LIGHT IT UP: Lafayette's season-opening win over Marist in 2007 marked the first home night game in 127 seasons of Lafayette football. The historic game was followed by fireworks. Making history at night is not a new feat for Leopard football as Lafayette and Washington and Jefferson played in the first indoor night college football game on Oct. 25, 1930. A crowd of 17,000 witnessed the game at the Atlantic City Auditorium.
THE CAPTAINS: The Leopards elected senior LB Andy Romans and senior FB Joe Russo as their captains for the 2008 season. Romans is a two-time All-Patriot League selection and the 2007 Defensive Player of the Year. Russo, too, is a twice-honored all-league player and is in his third year as a starter.
ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENTS: Lafayette has won four of the last seven Patriot League Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards. Brad Maurer '07 won the award in 2006, following linebacker Maurice Bennett '05, Stephen Bono '04 and tight end Stewart Kupfer '02. Maurer was also a three-time ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District II selection and was one of 23 Academic All-District selections in Frank Tavani's nine seasons as head coach.
AND WE GO TO...OVERTIME: Lafayette has played five overtime games all-time and is 1-4 in those contests. After winning the first overtime affair in 1995 over Fordham (24-21 on 11/11/95), the Leopards have lost their last four OT games (11/18/95 at Lehigh - 37-30; 10/18/97 at Cornell - 41-34; 10/3/98 at Dartmouth - 13-10; 9/8/01 at Towson - 16-13).
HISTORIC FISHER STADIUM: Fisher Stadium has hosted the College's home football games since 1926. The facility underwent a $23 million transformation that gave Lafayette one of the premier FCS football venues in the nation. New spectator seating was built, including chairback seating in select areas, and additional visitors' seating was added for a maximum capacity of 13,132 fans. A state-of-the-art in-fill synthetic surface, lights, a press box and a 19-by-35 foot video board were installed, and improved restroom and vending areas were also included. The Bourger Varsity Football House includes a locker room, offices and team meeting rooms, as well as sports medicine and strength and conditioning areas. Now in its 81st season, Fisher Stadium has been host to 399 Lafayette football games with the Leopards enjoying an overall record of 237-149-13 for a winning percentage of .609. Of the previous 81 seasons, Lafayette has produced 12 undefeated home seasons with the most recent being the 1992 Patriot League champion Leopards that went a perfect 5-0 - the first undefeated home season for Lafayette at Fisher Stadium since 1970. During the 1991, 1992 and 1993 seasons, Lafayette won 10 straight home games--tying the Fisher Stadium school record for consecutive wins first set 1926 and 1927 in the first 10 games ever played in the stadium.
LAFAYETTE FOOTBALL, 127 YEARS OF TRADITION: Since fielding its first college football team in the fall of 1882, Lafayette has had a proud, colorful gridiron tradition on the way to a total of 633 victories
(633-536-39). Lafayette ranks 33rd among all college football teams in all-time wins entering the 2008 season, posting its first win in 1883 (25-0 vs. Rutgers). Lafayette accumulated 100 victories by 1900, 200 by 1915 and 300 by 1934.
A HISTORY OF NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS: The Lafayette football program has claimed three national championships -- 1896, 1921 and 1926 -- and recorded five undefeated seasons -- 1896 (11-0-1), 1921 (9-0-0), 1926 (9-0-0), 1937 (8-0-0) and 1940 (9-0-0). Of recent note, the Leopards have won six Patriot League championships -- 1988, 1992, 1994, 2004, 2005 and 2006 -- and made their first three postseason appearances in the NCAA FCS Playoffs.
LAFAYETTE'S FOOTBALL INVENTORS: Two primary elements of the game of football -- the helmet and the huddle -- were invented by former members of the Lafayette football program. George "Rose" Barclay from the Class of 1898, one of Lafayette's all-time great running backs, invented the helmet when the "threat of cultivating cauliflower ears" led him to piece three thick leather straps around his head for the 1896 game against Penn. Former Lafayette coach Herb McCracken
(1924-35; 59-40-6) devised the first huddle system during the 1924 season after learning the Pennsylvania football team had stolen Lafayette's signals. Lafayette became the first team to huddle before each play and this system was immediately adopted by other teams.
LAFAYETTE LEADS NATION IN TELEVISED GAMES IN FCS: The Lafayette Sports Network, a national leader in Division I FCS television coverage, will televise all 11 regular-season Lafayette football games live for the sixth straight year on RCN-4 and WBPH-60 in eastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey. Now in its 12th year of existence, LSN has become a staple for Leopard fans in the Lehigh Valley and across the country.
Nationally, Lafayette Sports Network telecasts will be picked up for the ninth straight year by DIRECTV and DISH Network outlets, available to more than 60 million viewers. Fox Sports Net Pittsburgh (DIRECTV Channel 628, DISH Network Channel 428) will carry two of the Leopards' broadcasts in of September - games at Marist on Sept. 6 and vs. Penn on Sept. 27. The games will air at noon on the Monday following the game on the regional sports network which reaches 2.3 million cable and satellite homes in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and Maryland.
The remaining nine games - including the Georgetown contest and all of the games in October and November - will be carried by the Mid Atlantic Sports Network (MASN). MASN will broadcast the Liberty game live on Oct. 18. MASN's second live broadcast will be the 144th meeting of college football's most-played rivalry when Lafayette and Lehigh square off at Fisher Stadium. The Leopards are looking to make it five straight over the Mountain Hawks and will kick off at 1 p.m. The other seven games will be shown on the Tuesday following each game at 8 a.m. See a complete broadcast schedule on the following page.
MASN is available regionally and nationally on DIRECTV channel 626 and DISH Network channel 432. The network is the official television home of the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Nationals and Baltimore Ravens and reaches nearly 6 million homes in a seven-state region, from Harrisburg, Pa. to Charlotte, N.C.
Gary Laubach will handle all of the Leopards' play-by-play duties for the 12th straight season. John Leone has provided color analysis for all but the first year on the air. In his eighth year as a member of the announcing crew is Dan Mowdy, who is fresh off a gymnastics public address announcing stint at the Beijing Olympics. He will report from the Fisher Stadium sidelines. Mowdy will also be joined by RCN's Scott Barr for select telecasts.
INSIDE LAFAYETTE FOOTBALL: LSN-TV premieredInside Lafayette Football on Sept. 4 at 5:30 p.m. and can be seen every Thursday evening at 5:30 p.m. throughout the season as well as 30 minutes prior to kickoff of all Lafayette contests. Laubach will sit down with head coach Frank Tavani, as well as select student-athletes to discuss the Lafayette football program.
LAFAYETTE SPORTS NETWORK ALL-ACCESS: Each LSN telecast will be available live through LSN All-Access, which streams the game worldwide to any high-speed internet connection. In all, more than 60 Lafayette athletic contests, as well as Inside Lafayette Football, are scheduled to be broadcasted through Lafayette All-Access this year for a rate of $6.95 per month and $49.95 for the entire year. The CBS College Sports Online XXL package, which includes content from all CBS College Sports Online member schools, is available for $119.95 annually.
LAFAYETTE ON THE RADIO: The Lafayette Sports Network entered into an agreement with WAEB-AM 790 and WSAN-AM 1470 of Clear Channel Communications and WGPA AM-1100 to broadcast 2008 Lafayette football. The deal places Lafayette on the top two rated AM stations in the Lehigh Valley. See a complete broadcast schedule below.
Veteran broadcaster Dick Hammer is in his 42nd season as the Leopards' play-by-play man and will be joined in the booth at home games by Joe Craig, long-time football analyst and former coach, and by Lafayette SID Phil LaBella on the road.
RADIO AND TV BROADCAST SCHEDULE
DATE OPPONENT KICKOFF RADIO TV
9/6 at Marist 6 p.m. WAEB 790* LSN/FSNP
9/13 GEORGETOWN 6 p.m. WAEB 790* LSN/MASN
9/27 PENN 6 p.m. TBA LSN/FSNP
10/4 HARVARD 1 p.m. WGPA 1100 LSN/MASN
10/11 at Columbia 12:30 p.m. WAEB 790 LSN/MASN
10/18 at Liberty 3:30 p.m. WGPA 1100 LSN/MASN
10/25 at Fordham 1 p.m. WAEB 790 LSN/MASN
11/1 at Colgate 1 p.m. WAEB 790 LSN/MASN
11/8 at Bucknell 1 p.m. WGPA 1100 LSN/MASN
11/15 HOLY CROSS 1 p.m. WGPA 1100 LSN/MASN
11/22 LEHIGH 1 p.m. WGPA/WSAN 1470 LSN/MASN
LSN RCN-4, WBPH 60
FSNP Fox Sports Net Pittsburgh (DIRECTV 628, DISH 428)
MASN Mid Atlantic Sports Network (DIRECTV 626, DISH 432)
* joined in progress at approximately 6:30 p.m.