Patriot League Football Release - Week 3

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Michael Martin and Fordham will host Cornell on Saturday.
Michael Martin and Fordham will host Cornell on Saturday.

Sept. 11, 2012

Patriot League Football Release - Week 3 Get Acrobat Reader
Patriot League Football Central

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - For the first time this season, all seven Patriot League teams will take the field on Saturday for the final weekend before the League schedule kicks off.

Six of the seven teams will be at home, with five of those facing opponents from the Ivy League. It starts with No. 13/16 Lehigh hosting Princeton at 12:30 p.m. on Service Electric 2 Sports, followed by four 1 p.m. kickoffs as Holy Cross hosts Brown, Fordham welcomes Cornell, Georgetown plays at home against Yale and Fordham entertains Cornell at Jack Coffey Field. Bucknell will play at No. 13/14 Delaware at 3:30 p.m., and the action concludes with Lafayette hosting Penn at 6 p.m. on the Lafayette Sports Network.

Patriot League teams are a combined 7-4 through the first two weeks of the season, giving the conference the best non-League winning percentage in the nation. Four teams remain undefeated, with Georgetown and Lehigh at 2-0 and Bucknell and Lafayette 1-0 after season-opening wins Saturday.

The Mountain Hawks have won 11 straight regular-season games, the second-longest streak in the country. Lehigh moved up to No. 13 in the FCS Coaches Poll on Monday, while remaining at No. 16 in the Sports Network poll. Lafayette and Georgetown are each receiving votes in the rankings.

Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PatriotLeagueFB
*All seven Patriot League teams play Saturday, with six hosting their opponent.
*Lehigh's 11-game regular-season win streak is second to only Sam Houston State (14) among FCS teams.
*Lehigh has won 21 of its last 24 games overall, and 19 of the past 20 in the regular season.
*Georgetown has won 11 of its last 14 games starting with the 2010 finale.
*Patriot League teams are 222-240-3 all-time against the Ivy League, with a 9-7 series win last year.
*Lehigh is trying to continue its fastest start since opening 3-0 in 2003. *Georgetown aims to get to 3-0 for the first time since 1999.
*Bucknell can go 2-0 for the second year in a row on Saturday, while Lafayette tries to do it for the first time since 2008.
*The Patriot League has a .636 winning percentage against non-conference foes, ahead of the Missouri Valley Football Conference (.600) for the best in FCS.
*Patriot League teams are 3-1 against the Northeast Conference this season, and 8-1 over the last two years.
*Georgetown, Fordham and Lafayette all rank in the top five nationally in a major defensive category.
*Bucknell plays three of its next six games against ranked opponents, starting Saturday at No. 13/14 Delaware.
*Lafayette's win over William & Mary was its first over a CAA opponent since 2005 (Richmond), and first for a Patriot League team over the Tribe since 1991.

Patriot League Players of the Week (Sept. 8)
Offensive Player of the Week: ANDREW SHOOP, LAFAYETTE
Sr., QB, Danville, Pa.; 18-33, 189 yds, 1 TD; 25 rush yds.
Defensive Player of the Week: ROBERT McCABE, GEORGETOWN
Sr., LB, Newtown Square, Pa.; 13 TT, 1 sack
Special Teams Player of the Week: PATRICK MURRAY, FORDHAM
Sr., P/K, Mahwah, N.J.; 2-2 FG (50, 37), 44.0 punt avg
Rookie of the Week: JAMEL SMITH, LAFAYETTE
WR/PR, New Egypt, N.J.; 2 rec., 11 yds; 2 PR, 28 yards

Patriot League Notebook

Two weeks into the season, the Patriot League boasts the best non-League winning percentage in the Football Championship Subdivision. The seven teams are a combined 7-4 in non-League action, good for a .636 winning percentage. That makes the Patriot League one of only four conferences with a winning record out of League, joined by the Missouri Valley Football Conference (12-8, .600), Southern Conference (8-6, .571) and Big Sky (13-12, .520).

Lehigh, Georgetown, Lafayette and Bucknell have combined for six of the League's seven victories, and none of the squads has lost yet in the 2012 season. The No. 13/16 Mountain Hawks are 2-0 for the first time since 2003, and trying to match that year's 3-0 start this week. The Hoyas are 2-0 for the third year in a row, and have a chance to go 3-0 for the first time since 1999 on Saturday against Yale. Bucknell and Lafayette each won their opener on the road on Saturday. The Bison did it for the second year in a row after a 2-0 start last season, while the Leopards won their opener for the first time since 2009 and can go 2-0 for the first time since 2008 with a win at home against Penn on Saturday.

Lehigh continued to roll on Saturday, beating Central Connecticut State 35-14 for its 11th consecutive regular-season win. The streak is three behind No. 2 Sam Houston State, which has not lost in the regular season since 2010 but plays at Baylor on Saturday. The win helped move Lehigh up to No. 13 in the FCS Coaches Poll, while the Mountain Hawks stayed at No. 16 in The Sports Network top 25. Lehigh is the top team in both rankings outside of the "big five" FCS conferences: Big Sky Conference, Colonial Athletic Association, Missouri Valley Football Conference, Southland Conference and Southern Conference.
Active FCS Regular-Season Win Streaks (Next opponent)
1. Sam Houston State, 14 games (at Baylor, 9/15)
2. Lehigh, 11 games (Princeton, 9/15)
3. Stony Brook, 10 games (at Syracuse, 9/15)
4. Harvard, 9 games (San Diego, 9/15)
5. Bethune-Cookman, 8 games (at Miami (Fla.), 9/15)

Lafayette played its first-ever game against William & Mary on Saturday, and it will go down as a good one in the record books. Despite a weather delay of more than an hour in the second quarter, Lafayette went on to a 17-14 victory over the Tribe. It was the first win for the Leopards over a CAA opponent since they beat Richmond in 2005, and Lafayette became the first Patriot League team since 1991 to knock off William & Mary. Lafayette received votes in both FCS polls on Monday.

Patriot League teams hope to carry their solid starts into matchups with their brethren from the Ivy League, with most of the remaining non-League slate coming against the Ancient Eight. Five Patriot League teams take on an Ivy opponent on Saturday, with each of the those squads hosting as the Ivy League opens its season. Patriot League teams combine for 16 of their remaining 24 non-League contests against Ivy League opponents, with 10 of those coming at home. The Patriot League is 222-240-3 all-time against the Ivy League, winning last year's season series 9-7.

A handful of Patriot League teams and individuals rank high in FCS statistics through the first two weeks of the season. On defense, Georgetown ranks third against the run, Fordham is fourth against the pass and Lafayette is fifth in total yardage after holding William & Mary to 197 yards on Saturday. The Leopards are also second in time of possession after holding the ball for 36:58 in the victory. On the individual leaderboard, Colgate's Jordan McCord is fourth in rushing yardage per game (131.0) while Holy Cross' Kevin Watson and Mike Fess are in the top three in completions and receptions, respectively. Georgetown's Robert McCabe is off to a strong start where he is second in the nation with 15.0 tackles per game.

Lehigh senior wide receiver Ryan Spadola moved up slightly in the Patriot League career record book with two catches for 82 yards on Saturday. Spadola is eighth in Patriot League history in receptions (186) and sixth in yards (2,953).

This Week in the Patriot League

Princeton Tigers (0-0, 0-0 Ivy) at No. 13/16 Lehigh Mountain Hawks (2-0, 0-0): Saturday, 12:30 p.m. (Service Electric 2 Sports)
Goodman Stadium; Bethlehem, Pa.
*No. 13/16 Lehigh goes for its 12th straight regular-season win when it hosts Princeton on Saturday.
*Lehigh last started the season with a 3-0 record in 2003.
*Princeton leads the all-time series 39-14-2, but Lehigh has won the past two and 10 of the last 13 meetings.
*Patriot League teams hold a 30-36 all-time record against Princeton, with five wins in the last six meetings with the Tigers.

Yale Bulldogs (0-0, 0-0 Ivy) at Georgetown Hoyas (2-0, 0-0): Saturday, 1 p.m.
Multi-Sport Field; Washington, D.C.
*Georgetown hosts Yale on Saturday as the Hoyas try to move to 3-0 for the first time since 1999.
*The Bulldogs stopped the Hoyas from reaching the 3-0 mark in each of the last two years.
*Yale holds a 5-0 mark in the all-time series, which has been played over the last five years.
*Patriot League teams are 14-34 all-time against Yale, but had a 2-1 record last year with wins by Lehigh and Lafayette.

Brown Bears (0-0, 0-0 Ivy) at Holy Cross Crusaders (0-1, 0-0): Saturday, 1 p.m.
Fitton Field; Worcester, Mass.
*Brown and Holy Cross square off in another rendition of their highly-competitive series on Saturday at Fitton Field.
*The teams are playing for the seventh straight year, and five the past six meetings were decided by seven points or less.
*The home team has won in each of the last four seasons, while Holy Cross has won four of the last six matchups.
*Holy Cross holds a 32-22-3 all-time lead vs. the Bears, while Patriot League teams are 22-19 all-time against Brown.

Cornell Big Red (0-0, 0-0 Ivy) at Fordham Rams (1-1): Saturday, 1 p.m.
Jack Coffey Field; Bronx, N.Y.
*Fordham returns home to take on Cornell in just the second meeting between the schools since 1999.
*Fordham posted a 39-27 victory at Cornell in the most recent matchup in 2009.
*Cornell leads the all-time series 4-3, with four wins from 1993-99. Fordham's other two wins were in 1909 and 1927.
*Patriot League teams are an even 33-33-1 all-time against the Big Red.

Sacred Heart Pioneers (0-1, 0-0 NEC) at Colgate Raiders (0-2, 0-0): Saturday, 1 p.m.
Andy Kerr Stadium; Hamilton, N.Y.
*Colgate and Sacred Heart face off for the first time in the Raiders' home opener on Saturday.
*It is the second straight week that Colgate plays a first-time opponent. The Raiders fell 31-21 at South Dakota Saturday.
*Colgate has not started 0-3 since 1996, when it began 0-4 in Head Coach Dick Biddle's first season.
*Patriot League teams are 3-1 all-time against Sacred Heart. The Patriot League is also 3-1 this season vs. the NEC.

Bucknell Bison (1-0, 0-0) at No. 13/14 Delaware Blue Hens (2-0, 0-0 CAA): Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
Raymond Field at Delaware Stadium; Newark, Del.
*Bucknell visits No. 13/14 Delaware on Saturday in the first matchup between the teams since 1985.
*Delaware has a 22-11 series lead with wins in 10 of the last 11 meetings, though the Bison won in Newark in 1983.
*Bucknell is trying to start the year with a 2-0 record for the second year in a row.
*Patriot League teams are 1-12 all-time against the Blue Hens, who last faced Lehigh in the 2010 postseason.

Penn Quakers (0-0, 0-0 Ivy) at Lafayette Leopards (1-0, 0-0): Saturday, 6 p.m. (Lafayette Sports Network)
Fisher Field at Fisher Stadium; Easton, Pa.
*Lafayette and Penn face off for the seventh straight year when the Quakers pay a visit to Fisher Stadium on Saturday.
*The Leopards defeated Penn 37-12 on the road last year, and have won four of the last five meetings overall.
*Lafayette defeated Penn in the last two meetings in Easton, winning 24-17 in 2008 and 20-17 in overtime in 2009.
*Lafayette is trying to start the year with a 2-0 record for the first time since 2008.
*Patriot League teams are 18-40 all-time against the Quakers.

For a video recap of all of last Saturday's action, watch Patriot League Football Round-Up!

Team Notebooks

Bucknell The Bison opened the season with a win for the second year in a row by taking the lead in the second quarter and holding off Marist by a 19-17 final on Saturday at Tenney Stadium...Bucknell was playing Marist for the eighth year in a row, and improved to 7-1 in those contests...After each team scored a first-quarter touchdown, Bucknell went ahead for good with a field goal and seven-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Wesley to Jake Flaherty in the second quarter...The Bison built their lead to 19-10 with a key four-quarter field goal, and recovered an onsides kick after a late Marist touchdown to seal the win...Wesley was 20-of-27 for 190 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for 29 yards...Jeremiah Young led the way on the ground with 71 yards as Bucknell rushed for 142 in the contest while holding Marist to 57 rushing yards...Victor Walker had six receptions for 81 yards and also had an interception on Marist's final play of the first half...Ryan Morgan led the defense with eight tackles and a fumble recovery that he returned 55 yards to set up Bucknell's first touchdown...Samuel Oyekoya added two sacks...The Bison try to make it two in a row when they visit No. 13/14 Delaware on Saturday.

Colgate The Raiders hung tight on the road with a solid program from the Missouri Valley Football Conference, but South Dakota was too much in a 31-21 final on Saturday at DakotaDome...Colgate had leads of 7-0 and 14-7 in the first half on a touchdown run and pass by McCarney, but South Dakota tied it at the half and went ahead 24-14 in the third quarter...Another McCarney touchdown run cut it to 24-21 in the third quarter, but South Dakota added a fourth-quarter touchdown to seal the win...Both teams took to the ground, with South Dakota holding a 238-237 edge in rushing yardage...Colgate boasted a pair of 100-yard rushers, as Jordan McCord led the way with 125 on 28 carries and McCarney rushed for 108 yards and the two touchdowns on 19 carries...McCord stands fourth in the country with 131.0 yards per game...Patrick Friel led the Colgate defense with 10 tackles... Colgate became the first Patriot League team to face a team from the state of South Dakota... The Raiders fall to 0-2 for the first time since 2002...This week Colgate will try to avoid its first 0-3 start since 1996.

Fordham After a strong first half, Fordham gave up three second-half touchdowns as Villanova rallied past the Rams for a 28-13 win on Saturday at Villanova Stadium...Michael Nebrich scored on a six-yard run in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead, and field goals of 50 and 37 yards from Patrick Murray gave Fordham a 13-7 edge at the half...The second half was a different story...Villanova scored twice in the third quarter to take a 21-13 lead, and added a fourth-quarter touchdown for the 28-13 victory...Nebrich ran for 107 yards and the touchdown to lead the Rams...He became Fordham's first quarterback to go over 100 rushing yards since Blake Wayne in 2010, and just the second in school history...Murray and Michael Martin each enjoyed big games again...Murray punted five times for a 44.0 average and had a 25-yard run on a fake punt that set up Fordham's touchdown to go along with making both of his field-goal attempts...He was named both Patriot League Special Teams Player of the Week and College Football Performance Awards National Placekicker of the Week for the second straight time...Martin led the Fordham defense with 11 tackles, three tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble...Fordham gave up 287 rushing yards to the Wildcats...Villanova beat Fordham for the 13th straight time, as the teams were meeting for the first time since 2002...Fordham will try to get back on track on Saturday at home vs. Cornell.

Georgetown Matt MacZura booted a 35-yard field goal with 1:42 left and the defense held in the final minute to lift Georgetown to a 13-10 win over Wagner on Saturday at Multi-Purpose Field...The Hoyas improve to 2-0 for the third straight year, reaching the mark in three consecutive seasons for the first time since 1978-80...Georgetown has won 11 of its last 14 games dating back to the 2010 season, and defeated Wagner for the second year in a row...Down 7-3 at the half, a 33-yard punt return by Kevin Macari set up Aaron Aiken's 12-yard touchdown run to put Georgetown up 10-7 in the third quarter...After Wagner tied the score with 5:19 left, the Hoyas went on a 10-play, 68-yard drive that ended with MacZura's winning kick...Wagner picked up one first down on its final drive, but the Hoyas stopped the Seahawks from crossing midfield before taking over on downs and sealing the win...Georgetown held a 312-244 edge in total offense, and a 27-16 advantage in first downs...Aiken threw for 146 yards and ran for 17 and the touchdown, while Nick Campanella and Wilburn Logan combined for 97 of the team's 166 rushing yards...MacZura made his first two career field goals after spending the previous two seasons exclusively as Georgetown's punter...Robert McCabe led the defense with 13 tackles and a sack, while Jeremy Moore notched 10 stops. ..McCabe is second in the FCS with 15.0 tackles per game, and his 278 career tackles rank seventh among active players...Georgetown goes for its first 3-0 start since 1999 when it hosts Yale Saturday.

Holy Cross The Crusaders come off of their bye week to host Brown on Saturday...The teams have played a close series in recent years with the last four and five of the past six games decided by seven points or less...The home team has won the past four contests...While Brown will be opening its season, Holy Cross played its opener on Aug. 30 at home against No. 12/14 New Hampshire...The Crusaders led in the second quarter in front of a crowd of 12,291, but saw the Wildcats come away with a 38-17 win...Kevin Watson completed 33-of-47 passes for 271 yards in the game, and stands second nationally in completions and 13th in yards per game early in the season...Mike Fess caught 10 passes for 85 yards, and is third in the FCS in receptions...Holy Cross completes its three-game opening homestand next week against Dartmouth.

Lafayette Lafayette opened its season in impressive fashion by taking the lead for good in the third quarter and holding on to defeat William & Mary 17-14 on Saturday at Zable Stadium..Lafayette defeated a CAA opponent for the first time since 2005 (7-0 vs. Richmond)...The Leopards were the first Patriot League team to face William & Mary since 1996, and became the first to beat the Tribe since 1991 (Lehigh)...The Leopards struck first, with Vaughn Hebron scoring on a 14-yard rush with 1:36 left in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead...After a lengthy weather delay, William & Mary capitalized on a Lafayette turnover to tie the score at 7-7 late in the second quarter...Lafayette went ahead for good in the third quarter, with Andrew Shoop tossing an 18-yard touchdown pass to Mike Duncan for a 14-7 lead with 3:30 left in the period...Lafayette added to the lead in the fourth quarter on a 34-yard field goal by Ethan Swerdlow with 11:50 left, which proved important when the Tribe got within 17-14 on a touchdown with 1:48 to go...With no timeouts left William & Mary had to go for the onsides kick, which the Leopards recovered and then ran out the clock to seal the big road win...Shoop completed 18-of-33 passes for 189 yards and a touchdown, while Hebron led the way on the ground with 66 yards and a score...Duncan had four receptions for 60 yards and the score...Mike Boles had five tackles, a tackle for loss and a forced fumble to lead an outstanding defensive effort that limited William & Mary to just 197 yards of total offense...The Leopards gained 301 yards in the game and had 36:58 in time of possession...The teams were playing for the first time...Lafayette will try to get to 2-0 for the first time since 2008 when it hosts Penn on Saturday.

Lehigh Lehigh improved to 2-0 for the first time since 2003 by jumping out to a 21-0 lead and cruising from there for a 35-14 victory at Central Connecticut State on Saturday at Arute Field...The Mountain scored two touchdowns in the first five minutes, with good field position leading to Zach Barket's one-yard score and a fumble on CCSU's next offensive play allowing Keith Sherman to notch a one-yard TD run with 10:11 still to go in the first quarter...Another Sherman one-yard touchdown made it 21-0 in the second quarter, and Michael Colvin completed the Lehigh scoring in the fourth with a three-yard touchdown run and three-yard pass to Max Anderson.. Colvin completed 19-of-31 passes for 249 yards and a touchdown, though he did also throw two interceptions...Three running backs combined for 132 of the team's 148 rushing yards, led by Barket with 60 on 14 carries...Seven different players caught a pass, with preseason All-American Ryan Spadola hauling in a pair for 82 yards...Nigel Muhammad and Sam Loughery led the defense with 11 tackles apiece, with Muhammad adding a forced fumble and Loughery recording three tackles for loss...Lehigh held a 397-281 edge in total offense, and a 249-87 advantage in passing...The Mountain Hawks limited CCSU to 55 first-half rushing yards to build the lead...Lehigh has won 11 consecutive regular-season games, and defeated an opponent from the Northeast Conference for the second straight week...Lehigh improved to 2-1 in its all-time series with CCSU, and 9-2 all-time versus the NEC...The Mountain Hawks moved up to No. 13 in Monday's FCS Coaches Poll, while remaining at No. 16 in The Sports Network FCS Top 25...The Mountain Hawks try to go 3-0 for the first time since 2003 when they host Princeton on Saturday.