Sept. 17, 2013
Patriot League Football Release - Week 4
CENTER VALLEY, Pa.
- Most of the Patriot League football teams will spend Saturday welcoming the Ivy League to the 2013 season as the conferences begin their 15-game series with six matchups this weekend.
Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PatriotLeagueFB
*All seven Patriot League teams are in action on Saturday, with six facing Ivy League opponents.
*Three games will be shown on Patriot League Network.
*Lehigh visits Princeton in a nationally-televised contest on NBC Sports Network.
*Fordham joined Lehigh in the FCS top 25 polls on Monday.
*The Rams earned the No. 21 ranking in both major polls, cracking the top 25 for the first time since 2007.
*Fordham earned the Patriot League's first win against an FBS opponent since 2003 with its 30-29 victory at Temple.
*It was the first-ever victory for the Patriot League against a team from a BCS automatic-qualification conference.
*The Rams have started 3-0 for the first time since 1988, when they were still a Division III member.
*Lehigh has won 10 consecutive non-League regular-season games, and 10 in a row decided by seven points or less.
*The Mountain Hawks' win at Monmouth was their 15th straight regular-season road win dating back to 2010.
*Lehigh's Lee Kurfis became the first Patriot Leaguer with consecutive 200-yard receiving games.
*He leads the nation in total receiving yards despite playing one fewer game than the majority of players.
*Kurfis is one of three Patriot League wide receivers in the top 20 nationally in receptions and receiving yards per game.
*Five Patriot League quarterbacks are in the FCS top 20 in at least one statistical category.
Patriot League Notebook
FORDHAM JOINS LEHIGH IN FCS TOP 25 POLLS
After beating a top-10 and FBS o pponent in the last two weeks, Fordham saw its hard work rewarded Monday when the Rams came in at No. 21 in both The Sports Network and FCS Coaches Poll national rankings. Fordham cracked the polls for the first time since 2007, when the Rams won the Patriot League and advanced to the FCS playoffs. The Patriot League has two teams in both rankings for the first time since Lehigh and Colgate were ranked at the end of the 2012 regular season. The Mountain Hawks held steady in the rankings, inching up to No. 18 in the FCS Coaches Poll and staying at No. 22 in The Sports Network. Lehigh was ranked in the FCS top 25 polls for the 35th consecutive week, the sixth-longest streak in the nation.
A WIN TO REMEMBER FOR RAMS, PATRIOT LEAGUE
Fordham made school and Patriot League history with a 30-29 victory at Temple on Saturday, and the game is sure to be remembered for multiple reasons. The Rams earned their first-ever win over an FBS opponent, and first over a team that now
resides at that level since beating Rutgers in 1954. It was the first FBS win for a Patriot League team since Colgate beat Buffalo in 2003, and was also the first-ever for a Patriot League squad against a team from a BCS automatic-qualifying conference.Fordham opens the year at 3-0 for the first time since 1988, the last season for the Rams before moving up from Division III to FCS. The victory lived on throughout the weekend, as Fordham's game-winning touchdown was part of ESPN SportsCenter's Top 10 plays and among the best college football plays of the weekend on ESPN.com.
TIME TO FACE OFF WITH THE IVY LEAGUE
If the calendar is turning to fall, it must be time for the Patriot League to begin its annual series with the Ivy League. There are 15 matchups between the conferences this year, with nearly half coming on Saturday when six inter-league contests take place. Patriot League teams will host just four of the 15 contests, including a pair this weekend. The conferences split last year's season series 8-8, while the Patriot League held a 9-7 advantage in 2011.
FOOTBALL RETURNS TO PATRIOT LEAGUE NETWORK
After a weekend with no football contests on Patriot League Network, there will be three games available through the free streaming service on Saturday. Two kick off at 1 p.m. when Colgate hosts Yale and Fordham welcomes Columbia, while the Patriot League Network coverage wraps up under the lights when Holy Cross faces off with Monmouth.
PATRIOT LEAGUE FOOTBALL GOING NATIONAL
Lehigh visits Princeton on Saturday at 6 p.m. in a game that will be shown on NBC Sports Network, kicking off a stretch where Patriot League teams will play a nationally-televised contest four times in the next five weeks. The Mountain Hawks are part of three of those games as they also visit Fordham on Oct. 5 at Noon on CBS Sports Network and travel to Columbia on Oct. 12 at Noon on NBC Sports Network. The nationally-televised run concludes with Colgate at Holy Cross on Oct. 19 at Noon on CBS Sports Network, the 24-hour cable home of CBS Sports and place for Patriot League football, basketball and lacrosse.
LEHIGH WINS IN THE FINAL MINUTES AGAIN
Another photo finish, another Lehigh win. It's becoming a weekly occurence for the Mountain Hawks, who beat Monmouth 28-25 on the road Saturday after opening the year with a 51-44 win at home in double overtime against Central Connecticut on Sept. 7. Lehigh has now won 10 consecutive non-League regular-season games, and also 10 straight contests decided by seven points or less. Both streaks date back to a 48-41 overtime loss against New Hampshire in 2011. Lehigh has won its last 15 regular-season road games, going all the way back to a loss at UNH in 2010.
KURFIS SETS PATRIOT LEAGUE RECORD WITH ANOTHER BIG GAME
Lehigh senior wide receiver Lee Kurfis is replacing one of the best wide receivers in Patriot League and school history in Ryan Spadola, but he's showing that he's just as capable as the former All-American turned NFL player. Kurfis became the first player in Patriot League or school history to put up back-to-back 200-yard receiving games when he totaled 10 catches for 211 yards and two touchdowns on Saturday against Monmouth. He has 17 catches for 433 yards and four scores this season to lead the FCS in receiving yards per game and total receiving yards, even though he has played one fewer game than the majority of players nationwide. Kurfis joined Spadola (2011), Fordham's Javarus Dudley (2003) and Towson's Jamal White (1999) as the only receivers in League history with multiple 200-yard games in the same season.
MORE BIG PERFORMANCES FROM THE QBs
For the second straight Saturday, the Patriot League had a handful of standout performances from the quarterback position. Fordham's Mike Nebrich has played very well in each of the Rams' first three games, earning his second Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week award after completing 23-of-36 passes for 320 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday's upset at Temple. Lehigh's Brandon Bialkowski has amassed 741 yards and seven touchdown passes in his first two starts after going 24-of-39 for 375 yards and three touchdowns against Monmouth. Holy Cross' Ryan Laughlin accounted for four touchdowns in his team's win over Central Connecticut, while Isaiah Kempf had the most passing yards for a Georgetown quarterback since 1998 when he threw for 398 against Marist. The Patriot League has five different quarterbacks among the top 20 in the FCS in at least one statistical category, with Bialkowski in the top five in both passing yards and total offense per game.
CURSE OF THE PRESEASON AWARDS?
When Colgate quarterback Gavin McCarney missed Saturday's game at New Hampshire, it continued an unwanted trend for the Patriot League Preseason Offensive Player of the Year honorees. McCarney's absence marked the fourth straight season that the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year has missed at least one contest during the year. It started in 2010 when Colgate quarterback Greg Sullivan missed a key game at Lehigh, and continued the next year when Colgate running back Nate Eachus missed five games in an injury-plagued senior season. Lehigh wide receiver Ryan Spadola missed a pair of games last year. The "curse" extended to the other side of the ball on Saturday, too, as Georgetown senior linebacker Dustin Wharton, the Patriot League Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, was sidelined along with McCarney.
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.
Patriot League Football Weekly Awards (Sept. 14)
Offensive Player of the Week
MIKE NEBRICH, FORDHAM Jr., QB, 6-1, 205; Burke, Va./Lake Braddock Secondary
Nebrich made big plays throughout the final drive of Fordham's historic 30-29 win at Temple on Saturday, capped by a 29-yard touchdown pass to Sam Ajala with four seconds left to send the Rams to their first-ever win over an FBS opponent. He also ran for two fourth-down conversions on the final drive, narrowly picking up both a 4th-and-2 and 4th-and-6 to keep the Rams alive. Nebrich completed 23-of-36 passes for a career-high 320 yards and two touchdowns in the game, and also ran for 29 yards. He completed 4-of-7 passes on Fordham's game-winning drive to go with the key rushing plays. Nebrich stands seventh in the country with 313.0 yards of total offense per game, and has led the 3-0 Rams to their best start since 1988. The victory over Temple was the first for a Patriot League team over an FBS foe since 2003, and first-ever for a League squad over an opponent from a BCS automatic-qualifying conference. Nebrich is named Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this season.
Defensive Player of the Week
STEPHEN HODGE, FORDHAM Jr., LB, 6-0, 202; Medford, N.J./Shawnee
Hodge had an outstanding effort in a big Fordham win for the second week in a row as he made a team-high 11 tackles with a sack, forced fumble and pass breakup in the 30-29 victory at Temple on Saturday. The 11 tackles marked a career high, with nine coming as solo stops. Hodge leads the Patriot League with 29 tackles this season, and is tied for second with two sacks. He is named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week for the first time.
Special Teams Player of the Week
MICHAEL MARANDO, FORDHAM Jr., PK, 5-7, 157; Brooklyn, N.Y./Xaverian
Marando played a key role in Fordham's 30-29 upset at Temple by making all three of his field goal attempts and each of his three extra points in the victory. Marando made kicks of 44 and a career-high 47 yards in the first half as Fordham took a 13-7 lead at the break, and hit a 24-yard field goal to put the Rams ahead 23-21 in the fourth quarter. Marando also came through under pressure with the game-winning extra point with four seconds left, coming after a lengthy delay that included a Temple timeout and a review of Fordham's touchdown. Marando stands 13th in the nation with 10.0 points per game. He is named Patriot League Special Teams Player of the Week for the first time.
Rookie of the Week
KYLE YOUNG, HOLY CROSS Fr., LB, 6-0, 200; Roxbury, N.J./Roxbury
Young totaled a team-high 10 tackles in Holy Cross' 52-21 win over Central Connecticut on Saturday. He made five solo stops in his first start at outside linebacker and was a key part of a Holy Cross defense that allowed only 346 total yards in the game. Young is named Patriot League Rookie of the Week for the first time.
LEE KURFIS, LEHIGH Sr., WR, 6-2, 190; West Chester, Pa./Bayard Rustin
Kurfis became the first player in Patriot League history with consecutive 200-yard receiving games when he tallied 10 catches for 211 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-25 win at Monmouth on Saturday.
TYLER WARD, LEHIGH Sr., DB, 6-0, 180; Charlottesville, Va./West Albemarle
Ward had 11 tackles and his first career interception in Lehigh's 28-25 win at Monmouth on Saturday.
TYLER ZEOLI, HOLY CROSS Sr., LB, 6-1, 212; King of Prussia, Pa./Upper Merion Area
Zeoli recorded seven tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble which the Crusaders returned for a touchdown to go up 38-21 on their way to a 52-21 win over Central Connecticut on Saturday.
This Week in the Patriot League
Georgetown Hoyas (1-2, 0-0 PL) at Brown Bears (0-0, 0-0 Ivy)
Brown Stadium; Providence, R.I. - Saturday, 12:30 p.m.
*Georgetown goes for its first-ever win over Brown when it visits the Bears on Saturday afternoon.
*Brown holds a 3-0 lead in the all-time series, including a 37-10 win at Georgetown last year.
*The Bears also posted wins of 34-3 and 34-21 in 2005 and 2006, respectively.
*Patriot League teams are 22-21 all-time against the Bears.
Columbia Lions (0-0, 0-0 Ivy) at No. 21/21 Fordham Rams (3-0)
Jack Coffey Field; Bronx, N.Y. - Saturday, 1 p.m.
Free Website Streaming: Patriot League Network
*No. 21/21 Fordham tries to continue its best start since 1988 when it hosts intra-city rival Columbia Saturday on PLN.
*The teams will again play for the Liberty Cup, a trophy which honors the victims from both schools from Sept. 11, 2001.
*Fordham has won the past three meetings, with each of the games being decided by seven points.
*Fordham has a 7-4 lead in the series since the Liberty Cup began in 2002, though Columbia is up 12-9 all-time.
*Patriot League teams are 47-19-2 all-time against Columbia, which also hosts Lehigh on Oct. 12.
Yale Bulldogs (0-0, 0-0 Ivy) at Colgate Raiders (0-3, 0-0 PL)
Andy Kerr Stadium; Hamilton, N.Y. - Saturday, 1 p.m.
Free Website Streaming: Patriot League Network
*Colgate aims to stop its longest season-opening losing streak since 1996 when it hosts Yale on Saturday.
*The Raiders have lost four games in a row since last year after winning seven straight to finish the 2012 regular season.
*The winning streak began with a 47-24 triumph at Yale on Sept. 29 in the schools' first meeting since 2004.
*Yale holds a 25-11-3 lead in the all-time series, though Colgate has won four of six meetings since 1990.
*Patriot League teams have a 16-35 all-time record against Yale, with Fordham visiting the Bulldogs on Oct. 19.
Bucknell Bison (1-0, 0-0 PL) at Cornell Big Red (0-0, 0-0 Ivy)
Schoellkopf Field; Ithaca, N.Y. - Saturday, 3 p.m.
*Bucknell returns from its bye to take on Cornell for the 12th straight season.
*Cornell leads the all-time series 41-11, with wins in each of the last six meetings.
*Cornell has claimed the last six meetings in Ithaca, with Bucknell's last road win at the Big Red coming in 1995.
*Patriot League teams are an even 34-34-1 against the Big Red, who also host Colgate on Oct. 5.
No. 18/22 Lehigh Mountain Hawks (2-0, 0-0 PL) at Princeton Tigers (0-0, 0-0 Ivy)
Princeton Stadium; Princeton, N.J. - Saturday, 6 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Network
*No. 18/22 Lehigh makes a national television appearance when it visits Princeton Saturday on NBC Sports Network.
*The Mountain Hawks have defeated Princeton in three straight meetings, and they are playing for the eighth straight year.
*Lehigh won last year's meeting 17-14 at home, and posted a 34-22 win at Princeton in 2011.
*Lehigh has won 11 of the past 14 meetings dating to 1996, though Princeton leads the all-time series 39-15-2.
*Patriot League teams are 32-37 against Princeton, who will visit Georgetown next week and host Lafayette on Oct. 12.
Lafayette Leopards (0-2, 0-0 PL) at Penn Quakers (0-0, 0-0 Ivy)
Franklin Field; Philadelphia, Pa. - Saturday, 6 p.m.
TV: Lafayette Sports Network (RCN-4, RCN-8, WBPH-60)
*Lafayette shoots for its first win of the season, and third straight over Penn, when it visits the Quakers on Saturday.
*The Leopards posted a 37-12 win at Penn in 2011 before beating the Quakers 28-21 at home last season.
*Lafayette has won five of the last six meetings, though Penn holds a 62-23-4 edge in the all-time series.
*Lafayette needs a win to avoid starting 0-3 for the first time since 2010.
*Patriot League teams are 19-40 all-time against Penn.
Monmouth Hawks (0-3) at Holy Cross Crusaders (1-2, 0-0 PL)
Fitton Field; Worcester, Mass. - Saturday, 6 p.m.
Free Website Streaming:Patriot League Network
*Holy Cross plays a night game at Fitton Field for the third year in a row when it hosts Monmouth on Saturday.
*The Crusaders are looking for their first win under the lights at home after falling the past two years.
*Holy Cross and Monmouth face off for the first time on the gridiron.
*Patriot League teams are 9-4 against Monmouth after Lehigh's 28-25 win on the road last week.
Bucknell The Bison had their bye on Saturday, and in the process moved up even higher on the FCS defensive statistical rankings...With their 27-14 win over Marist on Sept. 7, the Bison rank first in the nation in rushing defense (39.0), second in total defense (255.0) and 10th in scoring (14.0)...Bucknell also boasts top five marks in passing efficiency, turnover margin, time of possession and
sacks from the convincing win...Quarterback Brandon Wesley is second in the nation in passing efficiency, defensive lineman Sean Sellers is second in sacks and linebacker Evan Byers stands seventh in the FCS in tackles per game...Bucknell will now play 10 consecutive weeks to finish the season, beginning with Saturday's tilt at Cornell.
Colgate Playing without All-America quarterback Gavin McCarney, the Raiders fell behind early and could not recover in a 53-23 loss at No. 9/12 New Hampshire on Saturday...McCarney missed the game with an injury...The Raiders fell behind 26-6 at the end of the first quarter and 40-6 by halftime...Dylan Finelli ran for 54 yards and two touchdowns as McCarney's replacement at quarterback, and
also threw for a score...Demetrius Russell picked up 144 yards on the ground as the Raiders ran for 232, though they were outgained 551-278 for the game...Colgate starts 0-3 for the first time since 1996, the first season for 18th-year Head Coach Dick Biddle...That season produced an 0-4 start, which Colgate tries to avoid when it hosts Yale on Saturday...The Raiders will head into their bye week following the matchup with the Bulldogs.
Fordham Fordham made school and Patriot League history with a 30-29 victory at Temple on Saturday...Fordham earned its first-ever win over an FBS opponent, and first over a team that now resides at that level since beating Rutgers in 1954...It was the first FBS win for a Patriot League team since Colgate beat Buffalo in 2003...The victory was also the first-ever for a Patriot League
squad against a team from a BCS automatic-qualifying conference...Fordham opens the year at 3-0 for the first time since 1988, the last season for the Rams before moving up from Division III to FCS...Due to the early success, the Rams entered the FCS polls on Monday when they came in at No. 21 in The Sports Network ranking and the FCS Coaches Poll...Fordham pulled off the dramatic win on a 29-yard touchdown pass from Michael Nebrich to Sam Ajala with four seconds left...After a lengthy delay for a replay review and timeout, Michael Marando added the extra point to provide the winning margin...Nebrich picked up a pair of game-saving first downs on the final drive, both times needing a measurement and review of the spot for Fordham to keep possession on fourth-down plays...DeAndre Slate clinched the win with his third sack of the game on Temple's final play...Nebrich completed 23-of-36 passes for 320 yards and two touchdowns, and also ran for 29 yards...He earned his second Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week award on Monday, and stands seventh in the nation with 313.0 yards of total offense per game...Carlton Koonce carried 27 times for 168 yards and a touchdown and caught four passes for 126 yards...He went over 2,000 career rushing yards in the game, and now stands seventh in school history with a total of 2,162...Ajala notched seven receptions for 134 yards and a score while Tebucky Jones pulled in seven catches for 109 yards...The Rams had a pair of 100-yard receivers for the first time since last September's matchup with Lehigh...Fordham held a 520-385 edge in total offense, including 320-140 through the air...Stephen Hodge led the defense with 11 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble, while Slate had six tackles to go with his three sacks...The Rams did not commit a turnover for the second time in three games this year, and rank third in the nation with a turnover margin of +2.3 per game...Fordham improved to 5-0 against Temple, with the previous matchups played from 1950-53...The Rams return home on Saturday to face Columbia in the annual Liberty Cup game.
Georgetown The Hoyas fell behind by 28 points midway through the third quarter and could not recover in a 43-23 loss to Marist on Saturday...Georgetown played without its top two tacklers, Patriot League Preseason Defensive Player of the Year Dustin Wharton and Nick Alfieri...Isaiah Kempf completed 35-of-52 passes for 398 yards and two touchdowns...He had the most passing yards for a Georgetown quarterback since 1998...Zack Wilke hauled in a career-high 10 catches for
108 yards and a touchdown, while Jake DeCicco totaled seven catches for 118 yards and a score...Kempf is 10th in the nation with 24.7 completions per game, while Wilke stands in the top 15 with 7.0 receptions per contest...Georgetown was trying to start 2-1 for a fourth-straight season, but now has to travel to Brown on Saturday to try and even its record.
Holy Cross Holy Cross used an outstanding rushing attack and big second half for an easy 52-21 win over Central Connecticut on Saturday...The Crusaders put up 419 yards on the ground, their most in a single game since Oct. 29, 1983 against Columbia...Holy Cross' 28 rushing first downs were the most in Patriot League history, topping the previous mark of 23 set on four different occasions...The
Crusaders carried the ball 72 times, just three away from the League record...Reggie Woods carried 24 times for a career-high 153 yards to lead the way...Holy Cross led 28-21 late in the third quarter before breaking the game open with the final 24 points of the contest...After a field goal made it 31-21 with a under a minute left in the third quarter, Roman San Doval had an 11-yard fumble return for a touchdown to give the Crusaders two scores in 14 seconds...
Holy Cross tacked on two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter for the final margin...The Crusaders held a 522-346 edge in total offense and 419-162 on the ground...Ryan Laughlin threw for 103 yards and three scores and also ran for 64 and a score...Mike Fess had two touchdown receptions, while Gabe Guild, Elad Covaliu and Brendan Flaherty also scored on offense...Freshman linebacker Kyle Young led the defense with 10 tackles...Holy Cross posted its highest point total since the 2009 season, and won a non-League road game for the first time since that year...The Crusaders return home to try and even their record when they welcome Monmouth in a night game at Fitton Field on Saturday.
Lafayette William & Mary scored the game's first 27 points in the first half on its way to a 34-6 win at Lafayette on Saturday...The Tribe had two straight interception returns for touchdowns to build the lead to 21-0 early in the second quarter...Lafayette's scoring consisted of two field goals by Ryan Gralish...Zach Zweizig completed 31-of-47 passes for 239 yards, and stands in the top 20 in FCS in
passing yards, completions and total offense per game...Lafayette starts the year at 0-2 for the third time in the past four seasons, and seeks to avoid its first 0-3 start since 2010 when it visits Penn on Saturday...The Leopards then head into their bye week before opening Patriot League play at home against Bucknell on Oct. 5.
Lehigh The Mountain Hawks won another close game as they held off Monmouth 28-25 on the road Saturday...Lehigh won its 10th straight non-League regular-season contest, and also won for the 10th time in a row in a game decided by seven points or less...The Mountain Hawks won their 15th straight regular-season road game, a streak that dates all the way back to the 2010 season...Lehigh
scored the winning points on a 40-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Bialkowski to Lee Kurfis with 10:02 to play...The drive was kept alive when Zach Hayden picked up a blocked punt and returned it 37 yards to midfield...Sacks by Isaiah Campbell and Colton Caslow helped stop Monmouth's final two possessions as Lehigh held on for the win...Kurfis had 10 receptions for 211 yards and two touchdowns...He is up to 17 catches for 433 yards and four scores in only two games this season...He leads the FCS in receiving yards per game and total receiving yards, even though he has played one fewer game than the majority of players nationwide...Kurfis became the first Patriot League wideout to go over 200 receiving yards in consecutive games....He joins former teammate Ryan Spadola (2011), Fordham's Javarus Dudley (2003) and Towson's Jamal White (1999) as the only receivers with multiple 200-yard games in the same season...Bialkowski completed 24-of-39 passes for 375 yards and three touchdowns in his second start, and stands third in the country with 370.5 passing yards per game...He has thrown for 741 yards and seven touchdowns in Lehigh's first two games..Keith Sherman added 107 yards on the ground as Lehigh held a 590-517 edge in total offense...The 590 yards were the most since Lehigh put up 598 at Fordham in 2011...Tyler Ward led the defense with 11 tackles and an interception...Lehigh starts 2-0 for the second season in a row...The Mountain Hawks were ranked for the 35th straight week when they came in at No. 18 in the FCS Coaches Poll and No. 22 in The Sports Network ranking on Monday...Lehigh makes the first of three national television appearances in the next four weeks when it plays at Princeton Saturday in a game shown on NBC Sports Network.