CENTER VALLEY, Pa.- The calendar has turned to October, which means falling leaves, Halloween and a lot more Patriot League football action.
Starting on Saturday, there will be at least two Patriot League contests on each of the remaining seven weeks of the season. The last five weeks will all feature three Patriot League games.
Bucknell is at Holy Cross and Georgetown goes to Fordham on Saturday. The Crusaders will try to start 1-0 in the Patriot League after an 0-4 overall start, while the Bison aim to even their Patriot League mark at 1-1. The Georgetown/Fordham game will not count towards the standings with the Rams ineligible for the League title.
The non-League action is all in the Lehigh Valley, with No. 10/11 Lehigh hosting Columbia in the afternoon on Service Electric 2 Sports and Lafayette welcoming Princeton in the evening on RCN-4, RCN-8 and WBPH-60.
Lehigh extended its lengthy regular-season and Patriot League winning streaks with a 34-31 thriller over Fordham on Saturday. The Mountain Hawks kicked the game-winning field goal as time expired to hold off the Rams. Colgate won 47-24 at Yale behind six touchdowns (4 rush/2 pass) from Gavin McCarney, while Lafayette, Bucknell, Georgetown and Holy Cross fell in non-League games last week.
Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PatriotLeagueFB *There are 19 Patriot League games remaining in 2012, with two this week. *Holy Cross tries to open League play with a win for the seventh time in the last eight seasons. *Bucknell tries to avoid its first 0-2 start in League action since 2007. *Lehigh maintains the FCS' longest regular-season win streak at 14. *The Mountain Hawks are one of 11 remaining undefeated teams in the FCS. *With a win on Saturday, Lehigh would become the first Patriot League team to complete a perfect non-League slate since Colgate in 2009. *Lafayette (4.75), Bucknell (7.25) and Lehigh (7.8) have the three closest average final scoring margins in their games in the FCS. *Colgate's Gavin McCarney was named FCS Performer of the Week and Quarterback of the Week by College Football Performance Awards. *McCarney is fourth in the FCS in points responsible for and 15th in scoring. *The Patriot League is tied 6-6 in its season series with the Ivy League. *There are four games remaining between the leagues over the next two weeks. *Lafayette plays two of those four contests (Princeton (10/6), at Yale (10/13). *Fordham's Carlton Koonce (6th) and Colgate's Jordan McCord (7th) are in the top 10 in the nation in rushing yardage per game. *Georgetown linebacker Robert McCabe leads the FCS in tackles (13.6 per game). *Lehigh's Ryan Spadola is one of six players in Patriot League history with 200 receptions and 3,000 yards in his career. *Four Patriot Leaguers were named Campbell Trophy semifinalists last week.
Patriot League Players of the Week (Sept. 28-29) Offensive Player of the Week: GAVIN McCARNEY, COLGATE Jr., QB, Jefferson Twp, N.J.; 17-22, 275 yds, 2 TD/85 rush yards, 4 TD Defensive Player of the Week: TIM NEWTON, LEHIGH So., DL, Longwood, Fla.; 6 TT, 2 sacks vs. Fordham Special Teams Player of the Week: JAKE PEERY, LEHIGH Sr., PK, Baltimore, Md.; 2-2 FG (GW 22-yd as time expired) Rookie of the Week: KALIF RAYMOND, HOLY CROSS Fr., WR/RS, Lawrenceville, Ga.; 191 all-purpose yards
Patriot League Notebook PATRIOT LEAGUE PLAY HIGHLIGHTS REMAINDER OF 2012 SCHEDULE Starting this week and continuing through the end of the season, Patriot League action will begin to dominate the schedule for fall Saturdays. The two Patriot League games this week pit Bucknell at Holy Cross and Georgetown at Fordham, while next week No. 10/11 Lehigh will visit Georgetown and Holy Cross goes to Colgate. After that, the final five weeks of the regular season all feature three Patriot League games. Only two League contests have been played to date, and Lafayette's 20-14 win at Bucknell on Sept. 22 was the only one to count towards the standings. Lehigh beat Fordham 34-31 on Saturday, but once again League games involving the Rams do not count towards the standings for either team with Fordham ineligible for the League title due to its awarding of athletic merit aid beginning with the class entering in the fall of 2010.
STREAKS, POLL NUMBERS CONTINUE TO RISE FOR LEHIGH Lehigh added to its FCS-best regular-season win streak with its last-second 34-31 win over Fordham on Saturday, and for the first time the Mountain Hawks also padded their run against Patriot League competition. Lehigh's regular-season win streak improved to 14 games, while it is also now up to 15 straight wins against Patriot League competition, a stretch that started with a win at Fordham in 2009. The winning continues to boost Lehigh in the national polls, as the Mountain Hawks moved up to No. 10 in the FCS Coaches Poll and jumped four places to No. 11 in The Sports Network top 25 on Monday. Lehigh's run of 23 consecutive weeks in the rankings is the eighth-longest streak in the nation after Montana fell out of the top 25 for the first time since 1998 on Monday. Lehigh is one of 11 remaining undefeated teams in the FCS. Active FCS Regular-Season Win Streaks (Next opponent) 1. Lehigh, 14 games (Columbia, 10/6) 2. Harvard, 12 games (Cornell, 10/6) 3. Old Dominion, 9 games (Villanova, 10/13) 4. Alabama A & M, 6 games (at Miss. Valley State, 10/6) 5. Three teams, 5 games Longest Patriot League Win Streak 1. Holy Cross, 19 games (Oct. 15, 1988-Nov. 7, 1992) 2. Lehigh, 16 games (Nov. 13, 1999 - Sept. 7, 2002) 3. Lehigh, 15 games (Nov. 14, 2009 - present) Colgate, 15 games (Oct. 5, 2002 - Oct. 23, 2004) 5. Lehigh, 10 games (Nov. 22, 1997 - Oct. 22, 1999)
FORDHAM'S KOONCE, COLGATE'S McCORD RUNNING WILD With names like Dominic Randolph, John Skelton and Chris Lum departed from previous seasons, the Patriot League no longer has a group of quarterbacks listed among the top statistical performers in the FCS. But for at least two teams, there is a top player in the rushing category. Fordham's Carlton Koonce stands sixth in the nation with 142.6 rushing yards per game, while Colgate's Jordan McCord is one spot behind with 136.6 rushing yards per contest. Each player went over 100 yards on Saturday, the fourth such effort of the year for Koonce and the fifth in as many games for McCord.
QUARTERBACKS BEGINNING TO SHINE, TOO Of course, there is still time for some of the Patriot League signal-callers to make a name for themselves. And if Saturday was any indication, that's exactly what is beginning to happen. Lehigh's Michael Colvin and Fordham's Ryan Higgins dueled in a shootout in Bethlehem, while Colgate's Gavin McCarney accounted for six touchdowns in a win over Yale. Colvin is up to sixth in the country with 308.8 yards of total offense per game and 17th with 256.4 passing yards per contest, while McCarney stands fourth in points responsible for (18.00) and 15th in scoring (9.6) in the FCS.
LEHIGH'S SPADOLA NOTCHES 200th CAREER RECEPTION Lehigh senior wide receiver Ryan Spadola hauled in his 200th career reception on Saturday against Fordham, becoming the sixth player in Patriot League history to reach the mark. He stands fifth in League history with 3,200 career receiving yards.
EMPTYING OUT THE NOTEBOOK Losses in four of five games on Saturday dropped the Patriot League's non-conference record to 15-13 (.536)...That makes the Patriot League one of six FCS conferences with a winning non-League mark...Lafayette, Bucknell and Lehigh have the closest final scoring margins in the FCS this season...The Leopards have played the tighest games with their four contests decided by an average of 4.75 points, the Bison are next at a 7.25 average margin in their four games while the Mountain Hawks have won five games by an average of 7.8 points...The Patriot League is tied 6-6 in its season series with the Ivy League, with a pair of games on each of the next two weekends...Lafayette will have the biggest say in the series, hosting Princeton on Saturday and visiting Yale next week...Georgetown linebacker Robert McCabe continues to lead the FCS in tackles (13.6 per game)...Colgate's Chris Looney, Bucknell's Samuel Oyekoya, Fordham's Patrick Murray and Holy Cross' Tom Mannix were all namedsemifinalists for the Campbell Trophy and NFF National Scholar-Athlete candidates last week.
This Week in the Patriot League Bucknell Bison (1-3, 0-1) at Holy Cross Crusaders (0-4, 0-0): Saturday, 1 p.m. Fitton Field; Worcester, Mass. *Two teams looking to get on track meet in Worcester on Saturday when Bucknell visits Holy Cross. *The Bison have dropped three straight since an opening win, while the Crusaders have lost four in a row to start the year. *Holy Cross has won six of the last seven against the Bison, and the past three in Worcester. *The Crusaders posted a 16-13 win at Bucknell last season, and defeated the Bison 34-9 at Fitton Field in 2010. *The Crusaders are 10-3 at home against the Bison in League history, and 12-3 all-time. *Holy Cross is trying to win its Patriot League opener for the seventh time in the last eight years. *The Bison have not started 0-2 in League action since 2007. *Holy Cross leads the all-time series 18-10, with a 16-10 edge in Patriot League games.
Georgetown Hoyas (3-2, 0-0) at Fordham Rams (3-2): Saturday, 1 p.m. Jack Coffey Field; Bronx, N.Y. *Georgetown opens a season-ending stretch of six straight Patriot League games on Saturday at Fordham. *It is a Patriot League game, but will not count towards the standings with Fordham ineligible for the 2012 League title. *The Hoyas beat the Rams 30-13 in Washington last season for their first win over Fordham since 2005. *The Rams have won 11 straight home games against Georgetown dating back to 1976, including 6-0 in Patriot League play. *Fordham has lost its last seven games against Patriot League opponents. *The Hoyas are trying to open League play with a win for the third year in a row. *The game pits Fordham's Carlton Koonce, the No. 6 rusher in the FCS, against Georgetown' Robert McCabe, the top tackler in the nation. *Fordham leads the all-time series 31-22-3, including 9-2 in Patriot League action.
Princeton Tigers (1-2, 1-0 Ivy) at Lafayette Leopards (3-1, 1-0): Saturday, 6 p.m. Fisher Stadium; Easton, Pa.; TV: LSN - RCN-4, RCN-8, WBPH-60 *Lafayette tries to start another winning streak when it hosts Princeton on Saturday evening. *The Leopards have lost their last five games against the Tigers, including a 36-33 double overtime defeat at Princeton when the teams last met in 2010. *Lafayette defeated the Tigers in Easton in both 2000 and 2003, but is just 4-37-3 all-time versus Princeton. *The Leopards can give the Patriot League a three-game sweep of the Tigers in 2012, as Lehigh (17-14, Sept. 15) and Georgetown (21-20, Sept. 21) defeated Princeton earlier in the year. *It is the second of three Ivy League opponents for Lafayette, which beat Penn 28-21 on Sept. 15 and visits Yale on Oct. 13. *Patriot League teams are 32-36 all-time against the Tigers, with seven wins in the last eight meetings.
Columbia Lions (1-2, 0-1 Ivy) at No. 10/11 Lehigh Mountain Hawks (5-0, 0-0): Saturday, 12:30 p.m. Goodman Stadium; Bethlehem, Pa.; TV: Service Electric 2 Sports *No. 10/11 Lehigh tries to extend the nation's longest regular-season winning streak to 15 when it hosts Columbia Saturday. *Lehigh aims to become the first Patriot League team since Colgate in 2009 to go undefeated in non-League play. *The last time Lehigh was perfect in non-League action was 2001, when it went undefeated in the regular season. *Lehigh is 10-5-1 all-time against Columbia, with the teams playing for the first time since Lehigh won 63-13 in 1999. *Lehigh is 7-0-1 in the last eight meetings with the Lions dating back to 1987. *Patriot League teams are 46-19-2 all-time against Columbia, including Fordham's 20-13 win on Sept. 22.
Team Notebooks BucknellBucknell held the nation's second-leading passer more than 130 yards below his average, but the Bison could not get enough offense and fell to Cornell 15-10 on Saturday at Christy-Mathewson Memorial Stadium...The Bison fell to 1-3 with another great defensive effort...They have not allowed more than 20 points in any game this season, but have now dropped the last two games by a combined 11 points...The Bison went up 7-0, but fell behind 9-7 by halftime and 15-7 in the fourth quarter...After getting back within 15-10 with 5:14 to play, the Bision had a 1st-and-10 at the Cornell 15 with a minute left...They not get any further, as Brandon Wesley's pass for Victor Walker fell incomplete on 4th-and-9 and the Big Red ran out the clock for the victory...Wesley completed 19-of-29 passes for 135 yards, with Walker hauling in eight receptions for 57 yards...The Bison limited Cornell quarterback Jeff Mathews, who came in averaging 414.5 yards per game through the air, to 278 yards passing without a touchdown...Evan Byers led the defense with 12 tackles and 1.5 sacks, while Ryan Morgan had eight stops and an interception...Bucknell is fifth in the FCS in rushing defense (72.75) and sacks per game (3.5).
ColgateThe Raiders went into their bye in impressive fashion, as Gavin McCarney accounted for six touchdowns and Jordan McCord went over 100 yards rushing for the fifth consecutive game in a 47-24 win at Yale on Saturday...McCarney completed 17-of-22 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns without an interception, and ran for 85 yards and four touchdowns...McCord carried 24 times for 138 yards and a score as Colgate totaled 544 yards of total offense...McCarney scored all five of the Raiders' touchdowns as Colgate took a 35-17 lead into the break...He had a touchdown run and 79-yard pass to Chris Looney to answer a pair of Yale scores in the first quarter, then notched a 13-yard touchdown run, 31-yard touchdown pass to CJ Stempeck and an eight-yard scoring rush for the 35-17 halftime lead...The Raiders put the game away in the fourth quarter as McCarney ran in from 14 yards out for his fourth touchdown run of the day and McCord capped the 47-24 win with an eight-yard scoring rush...Looney caught four passes for 138 yards and a touchdown for the Raiders...Patrick Friel led the defense with 10 tackles, while Kris Kent had six tackles and a sack and Andrew Nairin recorded a pair of sacks...Colgate is in the top 20 nationally in multiple categories, including rushing offense (17th) and passing defense (9th)...McCord is seventh in the FCS with 136.60 rushing yards per game...The Raiders return to action at home against Holy Cross on Oct. 13, and have all Patriot League games remaining.
FordhamFordham showed it will be reckoned with in the Patriot League this season, taking No. 11/15 Lehigh to the limit before the Mountain Hawks won 34-31 on a last-second field goal on Saturday at Goodman Stadium...The Rams have still never won at Goodman Stadium despite giving Lehigh all it could handle...Fordham jumped out with a 14-0 lead, as Ryan Higgins had a three-yard touchdown run and Brian Wetzel threw a 19-yard reverse touchdown pass to Nick Talbert for the advantage midway through the first quarter...Lehigh scored the next 24 points, but the Rams responded before the half with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Higgins to Carlton Koonce to trim the gap...Lehigh went back up 31-21, but the Rams tied the score early in the fourth quarter on a 13-yard touchdown pass from Higgins to Greg Wilson...Fordham advanced into Lehigh territory with a chance to take the lead, but was forced to punt after reaching the 39...Lehigh later used good field position to set up the game-winning field goal and defeat Fordham for the fifth straight time...Higgins completed 28-of-41 passes for a season-high 373 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions and also ran for the score...Koonce had his third-straight 100-yard effort with 105 yards on 30 carries while also catching four balls for 14 yards and the score....Wetzel caught seven balls for 112 yards, Tolbert hauled in seven for 107 and the touchdown and Wilson notched five receptions for 99 yards and the score...Wetzel and Tolbert were the first Fordham teammates since 2009 to both go over 100 yards receiving in the same game...The Rams racked up 460 yards of total offense...Koonce stands sixth nationally with 142.60 rushing yards per game.
GeorgetownGeorgetown concluded its non-League slate with a 3-2 record as Brown pulled away in the second half for a 37-10 win on Saturday at Multi-Purpose Field...Georgetown tied the score briefly in the second quarter, but Brown took a 20-10 lead by halftime and went on to the 37-10 victory....Georgetown totaled just 159 yards in the game and only 12 on the ground...Nick Alfieri had 13 tackles with a forced and recovered fumble....Robert McCabe also added 13 tackles, and continues to lead the nation with 13.6 tackles per game...The Hoyas begin a finishing stretch of six straight games against Patriot League opponents when they visit Fordham next week.
Holy CrossNo. 24 Harvard scored six consecutive touchdowns in the first half to blow the game open early and deal Holy Cross a 52-3 loss on Friday evening...The Crusaders fall to 0-4, their longest season-opening losing skid since 2004...Harvard scored 42 consecutive points in the first half to build a 49-3 lead by halftime...Harvard held a 520-191 advantage in total offense...Ryan Laughlin threw for 105 yards for Holy Cross, and also led the team with 29 yards on the ground...Tom Mannix paced the defense with 11 tackles...Holy Cross opens Patriot League play Saturday at home against Bucknell.
LafayetteLafayette rallied from a 28-7 halftime deficit to tie the score, but Robert Morris came back with a 33-yard field goal with 19 seconds to go for a 31-28 win over the Leopards on Saturday at Joe Walton Stadium...Lafayette was dealt its first loss of the season, falling to 3-1 on the year in its third road contest...The lone bright spot in the first half was a 25-yard touchdown run by Ross Scheuerman, but the Leopards picked it up after intermission...It started with a pair of touchdown passes from Andrew Shoop to Mark Ross, the first for 12 yards in the third quarter and the second a three-yard connection to cut the deficit to 28-21 on the first play of the fourth quarter...After forcing a punt, the Leopards went 74 yards in nine plays to tie the score at 28-28 on Shoop's 10-yard touchdown pass to Rodney Gould with 8:57 to play in the game...Lafayette was forced to punt on its next two possessions, and Robert Morris drove 67 yards in 2:10 to kick the game-winning field goal with 19 seconds to play...Lafayette had one final chance from the Robert Morris 46, but Shoop was sacked as the Leopards went down for the first time this year...Shoop completed 25-of-38 passes for 268 yards and three touchdowns, but also threw a pair of interceptions...Ross had a huge night with 13 receptions for 151 yards and the two touchdowns, tying for the eighth-most receptions in a game in Patriot League history and matching the Lafayette school record...Scheuerman had 75 yards and the score on the ground and 161 all-purpose yards, and Kasheem Hill led the Lafayette defense with seven tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and a sack...Every Lafayette game this season has been decided by seven points or less, with the Leopards winning the previous three by 3, 7 and 6 before Saturday's three-point defeat.
Lehigh Jake Peery hit a 22-yard field goal on the final play of the game to lift Lehigh to a 34-31 win over Fordham, extending the Mountain Hawks' FCS-best regular-season winning streak to 14 games on Saturday at Goodman Stadium...The Mountain Hawks moved up to No. 10 in the FCS Coaches Poll and No. 11 in The Sports Network top 25 on Monday...Lehigh improved to 5-0 for the season, winning for the third straight game by three points or less..The win also gave Lehigh a 15-game streak against Patriot League opponents, four shy of the League record... The game did not count towards the Patriot League standings for either team with the Rams ineligible for the Patriot League title this season...After falling behind 14-0 early, Lehigh heated up with the next 24 points...Keith Sherman had a 16-yard touchdown run and Mike Colvin had a three-yard rush to tie the score at 14-14 in the first quarter, and a Peery field goal followed by Colvin's five-yard strike to Lee Kurfis gave Lehigh the 24-14 lead...A Zach Barket touchdown run in the third quarter put the Mountain Hawks ahead 31-21, but Fordham came back to tie the score early in the fourth quarter...A 21-yard punt return by Marcus Dormevil set Lehigh up at the Fordham 39 with 1:39 to play, and Colvin had a 14-yard completion to Ryan Spadola and 13-yard pass to Josh Parris to set up Peery for the game-winning kick... Lehigh racked up 515 yards of total offense in the game, with Colvin accounting for 402 of that total...The senior quarterback completed 24-of-40 passes for a career-high 341 yards and the touchdown and ran for 61 yards and a score...Spadola caught eight passes for 85 yards, going over 200 receptions in his career in the process...Billy Boyko led the Lehigh defense with 12 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss, while Tim Newton had two of the team's four sacks... Lehigh has won every Patriot League game since beating Fordham late in the 2009 season...The Mountain Hawks will have only Patriot League action left beginning with an Oct. 13 trip to Georgetown.