CENTER VALLEY, Pa.- Patriot League play is in full swing, and a rematch of the decisive game of the 2011 season is on tap Saturday when No. 10 Lehigh visits Georgetown.
The Mountain Hawks, owners of an FCS-best 15-game regular-season win streak and a 15-game streak against Patriot League foes, will head to face a Georgetown team they defeated 34-12 with the League title on the line in Bethlehem on Nov. 12, 2011. Lehigh is a perfect 11-0 against the Hoyas in Patriot League games, but Georgetown has recorded its first-ever League wins against both Holy Cross and Colgate at home in the last two seasons.
The Crusaders and Raiders have been annual contenders for the League crown, and will each hope to take a big step forward to being there again when they meet in Hamilton on Saturday. Holy Cross opened League play with a 13-6 win over Bucknell on Saturday, while the Raiders are playing their League opener after last week's bye.
Lafayette, Bucknell and Fordham will each go on the road in non-League acton. The Leopards play at Yale at Noon on RCN-4, RCN-8 and WBPH-60, Bucknell is at No. 21/22 Harvard at 3:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network and Fordham visits FBS No. 20/21 Cincinnati at 7 p.m. on ESPN3.
Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PatriotLeagueFB *Lehigh has 15-game regular-season and Patriot League winning streaks. *The Mountain Hawks try to open 1-0 in League play for the fifth year in a row. *Georgetown is trying to defeat Lehigh for the first time in Patriot League play. *The Hoyas also look for their third consecutive 1-0 League start. *Holy Cross tries to go 2-0 in the League for the seventh time in eight seasons. *Colgate aims for a League-opening win for the fourth time in five years. *Lehigh became the first Patriot League team since Colgate in 2009 to complete a perfect non-League campaign. *It is the first time the Mountain Hawks have done it since 2001. *Lehigh is one of eight undefeated FCS teams, and is No. 10 in both national polls. *The Patriot and Ivy League are tied 7-7 in the season series. *Bucknell is at Harvard and Lafayette visits Yale in the last games between the leagues this season on Saturday. *Fordham heads to Cincinnati at 7 p.m. on ESPN3. *The Rams are looking for the first Patriot League win over an FBS foe since 2003. *Fordham's Patrick Murray was named a National Player of the Week by both The Sports Network and College Football Performance Awards. *Georgetown's Robert McCabe leads the nation in tackles and tackles for loss. *McCabe was named a candidate for the Buck Buchanan Award last week. *Lehigh's Ryan Spadola is now in the top 10 in Patriot League history in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. *Colgate's Jordan McCord and Fordham's Carlton Koonce are fifth and sixth, respectively, in rushing in the FCS.
Patriot League Players of the Week (Oct. 6) Offensive Player of the Week: MIKE COLVIN, LEHIGH Sr., QB, Morristown, N.J.; 29-38, 296 yds, 4 TD/38 rush, 1 TD Defensive Player of the Week: MICHAEL MARTIN, FORDHAM Sr., LB, Arlington, Texas; 18 TT, 0.5 TFL, 1 FR Special Teams Player of the Week: PATRICK MURRAY, FORDHAM Sr., P/K, Mahwah, N.J.; 3-3 FG (30, 44, 43), 47.8 punt avg. Rookie of the Week: NOAH ROBB, LEHIGH Fr., LB, Orefield, Pa.; 2 TT, 1 QBH
Patriot League Notebook LEHIGH BOOSTS REGULAR-SEASON WIN STREAK TO 15 TO MATCH PATRIOT LEAGUE MARK Lehigh completed its first perfect non-League campaign since 2001 with a 35-14 win at Columbia on Saturday, extending its FCS-best regular-season win streak to 15 games. Now, the Mountain Hawks will put a pair of 15-game streaks on the line as they begin a stretch of five Patriot League games to finish the season. Lehigh's 15-game win streak against Patriot League teams, which dates back to 2009, is tied for the third-longest in League history and is only four off the all-time record set by Holy Cross from 1988-92. Active FCS Regular-Season Win Streaks (Next opponent) 1. Lehigh, 15 games (at Georgetown, 10/13) 2. Harvard, 12 games (Bucknell, 10/13) 3. Old Dominion, 9 games (Villanova, 10/13) 4. Alabama A & M, 7 games (at Miss. Valley State, 10/6) 5. Five teams, 6 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)
MOUNTAIN HAWKS AMONG THE FINAL UNDEFEATED SQUADS IN FCS Lehigh is one of eight remaining undefeated teams in the nation, and one of four that has already raced to a 6-0 start in 2012. It finished a perfect 5-0 in non-League games, becoming the first Patriot League team since Colgate in 2009 to pull off that feat. The Mountain Hawks are now a top 10 team in both major national rankings, bumping up to No. 10 in The Sports Network top 25 to match their position in the FCS Coaches Poll. Lehigh's run of 24 consecutive weeks in the rankings is the seventh-longest streak in the nation after Northern Iowa fell out of the top 25 on Monday.
CAN THE HOYAS DO IT AGAIN? Georgetown has never defeated Lehigh in Patriot League play, going 0-11 in its matchups with the Mountain Hawks. But the Hoyas can call on some recent history for motivation on Saturday. Georgetown had lost its first nine Patriot League matchups with Holy Cross before defeating the Crusaders in 2010, and had dropped its first eight League contests against Colgate before a 40-17 win last year. Both of those games, like Saturday's matchup with Lehigh, were played at Multi-Sport Field.
GEORGETOWN'S McCABE RATES AS TOP TACKLER IN THE FCS After recording 15 tackles and three tackles for loss on Saturday at Fordham, Georgetown's Robert McCabe continues to lead the nation with 83 tackles for the year. McCabe is 10 tackles ahead of his closest competitor. He also now leads the FCS with 10.5 tackles for loss on the season, and is third with 1.75 tackles for loss per game. McCabe has 331 career tackles, just 18 from the Georgetown record and 39 away from becoming the first player this century to crack the Patriot League career top 10. The nation has taken notice, as McCabe was named a candidate for the Buck Buchanan Award as the top defensive player in the FCS last week.
MORE STATISTICAL LEADERS McCabe is not the only Patriot Leaguer who has a high standing in the FCS statistics. Fordham senior punter/kicker Patrick Murray leads the nation with 12 field goals made, and is third with a 46.22 punting average. Colgate's Jordan McCord is fifth with 136.6 rushing yards per game, while Fordham's Carlton Koonce is just one spot behind with 135.3 yards per contest. Among the quarterbacks, Lehigh's Mike Colvin is in the top 15 in total offense (313.0) and passing yardage (263.0) per game, while Colgate's Gavin McCarney has the same lofty status in points responsible for (18.0) and scoring (9.6) per contest.
THIS AND THAT Fordham's Patrick Murray was named both The Sports Network Special Teams Player of the Week and College Football Performance Awards National Placekicker of the Week for his outing in the Rams' 38-31 win over Georgetown on Saturday...Murray was 3-for-3 on field goal attempts and had a 47.8 punting average...The Patriot League and Ivy League are tied 7-7 in their season series, which concludes on Saturday with Lafayette at Yale and Bucknell visiting No. 21/22 Harvard...Fordham will try to become the first Patriot League team since 2003 to beat an FBS opponent when it visits No. 20/21 Cincinnati on Saturday...Fordham, Holy Cross, Lafayette and Lehigh have all scored on more than 90 percent of their red zone trips, putting them among the top 15 teams in the FCS...Lehigh's Ryan Spadola is second among all active players with 209 receptions and 3,236 receiving yards in his career...The marks are sixth and fifth, respectively, in Patriot League history, but Spadola is just 10 receptions and 198 yards away from second in League history...He entered the top 10 in receiving touchdowns with his 21st career score on Saturday against Columbia.
This Week in the Patriot League
No. 10/10 Lehigh Mountain Hawks (6-0, 0-0) at Georgetown Hoyas (3-3, 0-0): Saturday, 1 p.m. Multi-Purpose Field; Washington, D.C. *Lehigh visits Georgetown on Saturday in the first Patriot League game that will count towards the standings for both teams. *Each squad has already played Fordham, with the Mountain Hawks edging the Rams 34-31 on Sept. 29 and the Hoyas falling in a close one 38-31 on the road last week. *Lehigh is a perfect 11-0 against Georgetown in Patriot League play, and 12-5 all-time. *With the League title on the line, the Mountain Hawks beat the Hoyas 34-12 last season in Bethlehem on Nov. 12. *Each of Lehigh's 11 Patriot League wins over Georgetown has come by 17 points or more, with 10 by 20 points or more. *The Hoyas earned their first-ever League wins versus Colgate (2011) and Holy Cross (2010) in the last two years. *Georgetown last defeated Lehigh in 1925. *Lehigh is trying to extend its FCS-best 15-game regular-season win streak, and its 15-game Patriot League win streak. *Lehigh aims to go 1-0 in the Patriot League for a fifth straight year, while Georgetown tries to do it for a third straight year.
Holy Cross Crusaders (1-4, 1-0) at Colgate Raiders (2-3, 0-0): Saturday, 1 p.m. Andy Kerr Stadium; Hamilton, N.Y. *Holy Cross and Colgate meet in a key Patriot League contest on Saturday afternoon at Andy Kerr Stadium. *The Crusaders are trying to go 2-0 in League action for the seventh time in the last eight years, and second in a row. *The Raiders aim to win their Patriot League opener for the fourth time in the past five seasons. *Holy Cross has won the last three meetings between the schools, with a 37-7 victory at home last season. *The Crusaders also posted a 31-24 win the last time the teams met at Andy Kerr Stadium in 2010. *Colgate's last win came in 2008, when the Raiders posted a 28-27 victory at home with the Patriot League title on the line. *Holy Cross leads the all-time series 40-29-5, with a 16-10 lead in Patriot League games.
Lafayette Leopards (3-2, 1-0) at Yale Bulldogs (1-3, 1-1 Ivy): Saturday, 12 p.m. Yale Bowl; New Haven, Conn.; TV: LSN - RCN-4, RCN-8, WBPH-60 *Lafayette and Yale match up in New Haven with the season series between the Patriot and Ivy League at stake. *The leagues are tied 7-7 this year with two games on Saturday. *Lafayette beat Penn and lost to Princeton in Ivy League matchups, while Yale won at Georgetown but lost to Colgate. *Yale leads the all-time series 7-2, but Lafayette has won the last two meetings. *The Leopards beat Yale 28-19 in Easton last year, and 31-14 at the Yale Bowl in 2009. *Patriot League teams are 15-35 all-time against Yale including the split of this year's contests.
Bucknell Bison (1-4, 0-2) at No. 21/22 Harvard Crimson (4-0, 2-0 Ivy): Saturday, 3:30 p.m. Harvard Stadium; Cambridge, Mass.; TV: CBS Sports Network *Bucknell continues a daunting three-game road trip with a visit to No. 21/22 Harvard on Saturday. *The game will be shown on CBS Sports Network, the second game on CBSSN for the Bison this season. *Harvard has an FCS-best 13-game win streak, and has four wins by an average of 27.5 points this season. *Harvard defeated Holy Cross 52-3 on Sept. 28, while Bucknell fell to Cornell 15-10 the next day in previous matchups with the opposing conference this season. *The Patriot League and Ivy League are tied 7-7 in the season series entering Saturday's games. *Harvard is 5-3-1 all-time against Bucknell, with a 42-3 win over the Bison last year in the first meeting since 1997. *Patriot League teams are 28-36 all-time against the Crimson.
Fordham Rams (4-2) at No. 20/21 (FBS) Cincinnati Bearcats (4-0, 1-0 BIG EAST): Saturday, 7 p.m. Nippert Stadium; Cincinnati, Ohio; TV: ESPN3 *Fordham plays its third FBS opponent in two years when it visits No. 20/21 Cincinnati on Saturday at 7 p.m. on ESPN3. *The Rams fell to FBS foes Connecticut (35-3) and Army (55-0) last season. *Fordham is facing Cincinnati for the first time, and is the first Patriot League team to play the Bearcats. *The last Patriot League win over an FBS opponent came in 2003 when Colgate posted a 38-15 win at Buffalo in a year where the Raiders made the national title game.
Team Notebooks BucknellThe Bison were dealt a big blow in the Patriot League race as they fell to 0-2 in League action with a 13-6 loss at Holy Cross on Saturday...Bucknell lost its fourth straight game overall, with the last three all coming within a touchdown...The Bison were behind 13-0 early in the fourth quarter before mounting a late charge to try and get back in the game...Interceptions by Evan Byers and Matthew Steinbeck led to field goals which cut the gap to 13-6, and the Bison advanced into Holy Cross territory with a chance to tie in the final minutes...However, an interception at the 13 yard line with 1:47 to play sealed the outcome...Bucknell picked up just 10 first downs in the game...The Bison are being led by their defense this season, as the unit ranks third in the nation with 65.6 rushing yards allowed per game and 14th with 16.8 points allowed per contest..Bucknell is on national television for the second time this season on Saturday when it plays at Harvard at 3:30 p.m. in a game shown on CBS Sports Network.
ColgateThe Raiders had a bye on Saturday, and enter a six-game concluding stretch of all Patriot League games when they host Holy Cross this weekend...Colgate, which has played just one home game this year, will have three of its next four contests at Andy Kerr Stadium...The Raiders entered the bye with momentum after a 47-24 win at Yale on Sept. 29...Gavin McCarney completed 17-of-22 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns without an interception, and ran for 85 yards and four touchdowns in the game...He was named the National Performer of the Week by College Football Performance Awards and a player of the week by College Sports Journal for his efforts...McCarney is in the top 15 nationally in both points responsible for and scoring per game...Jordan McCord carried 24 times for 138 yards in the win over Yale, and now leads the Patriot League while standing fifth in the nation with 136.6 rushing yards per game...The Raiders are 13th in the nation with 225.80 rushing yards per game, and rank fourth in the country in passing offense at 143.2 yards per contest.
FordhamThe Rams played their fourth consecutive game decided by a touchdown or less on Saturday, and for the third time in that span they came out on the winning end with a 38-31 triumph over Georgetown at Jack Coffey Field...Fordham held the advantage for most of the game, but could not shake the Hoyas until the final minute...The Rams went up 10-7 on a 19-yard touchdown from Ryan Higgins to Greg Wilson in the first quarter, and used field goals of 43 and 44 yards out by Patrick Murray for a 16-10 advantage at the break...A 44-yard touchdown run by Carlton Koonce gave Fordham a 23-10 lead early in the third quarter, but Georgetown came back with the next two scores to take the lead...Fordham went up 31-24 on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Higgins to Blake Wayne late in the third quarter, then answered a Hoya score with Koonce's one-yard touchdown run with 9:00 to go for the 38-31 lead...Georgetown had a first-and-goal at the Fordham 2 on its next possession, but the Rams stuffed four consecutive running plays for a goal line stand...The Hoyas had one more chance with less than a minute to play before a Brendan Melanophy interception sealed the win for the Rams...Higgins completed 29-of-38 passes for 305 yards and two touchdowns without an interception for his second straight 300-yard passing game...Koonce just missed his fifth 100-yard game of the year with 99 rushing yards and two touchdowns, while Brian Wetzel had eight receptions for 123 yards...Murray was 3-for-3 on field goal attempts and also punted eight times for a 47.8 average...He leads the nation with 12 field goals, and is third with a 46.2 punting average this season...Michael Martin led the defense with a career-high 18 tackles and a fumble recovery. The Rams had four sacks, seven tackles for loss and three forced turnovers in the game...Fordham has its bye after playing at Cincinnati on Saturday.
GeorgetownThe Hoyas could not get the final equalizer late in the fourth quarter and fell to Fordham 38-31 on Saturday...Georgetown fell to 3-3, with a 2-2 mark in games decided by a touchdown or less...The Hoyas were down 23-10 in the third quarter, but stormed back to take a 24-23 lead on a two-yard touchdown pass from Stephen Skon to Kevin Macari and a five-yard strike from Skon to Nick Campanella...After Fordham went back in front 31-24, Campanella tied the score with a seven-yard run in the first minute of the fourth quarter...The Rams took a 38-31 lead with nine minutes to go, but Georgetown marched down the field for a first-and-goal at the 2...The Hoyas were stuffed on four straight plays, and an interception on the final possession sealed the 38-31 loss... Georgetown ran for 196 yards and two touchdowns...Skon completed 18-of-34 passes for 216 yards and two touchdowns...Robert McCabe recorded 15 tackles and three tackles for loss in the game...He leads the FCS in both overall tackles (83) and tackles for loss (10.5)...Dustin Wharton had 11 tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss, and the Hoyas had 15 tackles for loss in the game...Georgetown has its five Patriot League games that count towards the standings remaining, beginning by hosting Lehigh on Saturday.
Holy CrossHoly Cross made its first win of the season an important one, as the Crusaders scored the first 13 points and held on in the fourth quarter for a 13-6 win over Bucknell on Saturday at Fitton Field...Holy Cross improves to 1-4 overall, and opens Patriot League play with a win for the seventh time in the last eight years...It also beats Bucknell for the seventh time in eight seasons...Holy Cross led 3-0 at the half, then added to it with an 11-play, 65-yard opening drive that ended in Matt Bellomo's one-yard touchdown run for a 10-0 lead...Holy Cross added a field goal to the lead later in the period, but Bucknell got back into it in the fourth quarter as a pair of interceptions set up field goals to trim the gap to 13-6...The Bison advanced into Holy Cross territory with a chance to tie in the final minutes, but an interception by Logan Silver at the 13 yard line with 1:47 left sealed the Patriot League win for the Crusaders...It was a defensive struggle, as the Crusaders held a 242-191 edge in total yardage...Steven Elder completed 19-of-35 passes for 205 yards in his first career start, while Mike Fess hauled in six receptions for 60 yards..John Macomber made both of his field goal attempts and also averaged 37.4 yards on eight punts, dropping five of those inside the 20...Scotty O'Donoghue led the defense with six tackles and had a blocked punt to set up Holy Cross' third-quarter field goal...The Crusaders play their next two League games on the road, going to Colgate on Saturday and Lafayette on Oct. 20.
LafayetteLafayette held Princeton scoreless until late in the first half, but the Tigers poured it on from there for a 35-14 win over the Leopards on Saturday at Fisher Stadium...The Leopards fell to 3-2 on the season, and have dropped two in a row after a 3-0 start...Princeton led 8-0 at the half on a touchdown in the final minute of the second quarter, and built its lead to 28-0 in the third period...Lafayette got on the board with a 65-yard touchdown run by Ross Scheuerman just seconds into the fourth quarter, and also scored the final touchdown of the game on a 29-yard pass from Zach Zweizig to Mark Ross...Scheuerman carried 11 times for 125 yards and the score, caught five passes for 38 yards and finished with 194 all-purpose yards in the game...Ross caught five balls for 103 yards and the score..Mike Boles led the Lafayette defense with 12 tackles, while Jared Roberts had 10 tackles and three pass breakups and Colton Kirkpatrick registered 10 tackles and 1.5 sacks...The Leopards will complete their slate against the Ivy League next week with a visit to Yale, then get back into Patriot League play on Oct. 20 at home against Holy Cross.
Lehigh Lehigh continued to roll by taking an early lead and pulling away in the second half for a 35-14 win over Columbia on Saturday at Goodman Stadium...The Mountain Hawks improve to 6-0 for the season, and extend the nation's longest regular-season winning streak to 15 games...Lehigh has won its last nine games at Goodman Stadium...The Mountain Hawks also finish a perfect 5-0 in non-League action, becoming the first Patriot League team since Colgate in 2009 to go undefeated in non-League play...Lehigh last accomplished the feat in 2001, when it went undefeated in the regular season...Lehigh jumped out to a 14-0 lead less than nine minutes into the game, with Mike Colvin throwing a 17-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Spadola and a 12-yard strike to Jamel Haggins for the early advantage...Columbia got on the board with an interception return for a touchdown in the second quarter, but Colvin ran in from five yards out in the last minute of the half to give Lehigh a 21-7 lead at the break...The Mountain Hawks added to the advantage in the third quarter when Colvin threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Haggins for a 28-7 lead...Columbia would get the touchdown back late in the period, but Lehigh capped the 35-14 win with Colvin's 24-yard touchdown pass to Sergio Fernandez-Soto with 4:25 to play in the game...Colvin was outstanding for the second straight week, completing 29-of-38 passes for 296 yards and four touchdowns while also rushing for 38 yards and the score...He is in the top 15 nationally in both total offense (313.0) and passing yardage (263.0) per game...Fernandez-Soto had career highs of eight receptions and 120 yards with the score, while Haggins hauled in five receptions for 84 yards and the pair of touchdowns...Lehigh held a 415-245 advantage in total offense, and beat Columbia in the first meeting between the schools since 1999...The Mountain Hawks have their five Patriot League games that count towards the standings remaining, beginning at Georgetown on Saturday.