CENTER VALLEY, Pa.- For the first time this season, three Patriot League games are on the schedule for Saturday with each holding significant implications as teams jockey for positioning in the standings.
No. 7/9 Lehigh puts its long list of winning streaks on the line when it hosts Bucknell at 12:30 p.m. on Service Electric 2 Sports, while a half-hour later Colgate welcomes Georgetown and Lafayette hosts Holy Cross in a game that can be seen on RCN-4, RCN-8 and WBPH-60. Fordham has a bye Saturday.
The Mountain Hawks and Raiders joined Lafayette at the top of the standings with wins on Saturday. Lehigh had to sweat out its 16th consecutive regular-season win and 16th straight Patriot League victory, as Georgetown missed a field goal in the final seconds and the Mountain Hawks escaped with a 17-14 win. Colgate needed no such drama, getting a combined 367 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns from Gavin McCarney and Jordan McCord in a 51-35 win over Holy Cross.
Lafayette, Colgate and Lehigh are all 1-0 in the Patriot League, followed by Holy Cross at 1-1, Georgetown at 0-1 and Bucknell at 0-2. There will be three Patriot League games on each of the final five weeks of the regular season as the 2012 race plays out.
Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PatriotLeagueFB *Lehigh, Colgate and Lafayette all aim to go 2-0 in the Patriot League. *The Mountain Hawks are trying to get to 2-0 for the fourth year in a row. *Colgate and Lafayette each go for the mark for the first time since 2009. *Lehigh is one of four remaining undefeated teams in the FCS. *The Mountain Hawks' 16-game regular-season win streak leads the nation. *Lehigh's 16-game winning streak against Patriot League teams is second all-time. *Lehigh is up to No. 7/9 in the national polls, and No. 4 in the ECAC FCS rankings. *Lehigh has won its last 14 games against Bucknell, dating back to 1998. *Holy Cross has won its last three trips to Lafayette, and four straight in the series. *The Patriot League finished 8-8 against the Ivy League. *The seven teams are a collective 17-16 in non-League games, with two to go. *Georgetown's Jeremy Moore was named the Sports Network National Defensive Player of the Week for his three-interception game at Lehigh. *Moore leads the nation with five INTs, while Lafayette's Jared Roberts has four. *Georgetown's Robert McCabe leads the nation with 99 tackles, 15 more than any other player in the FCS. *McCabe has 347 career tackles, just two away from the Georgetown record. *Fordham's Patrick Murray hit a Patriot League and school record 55-yard field goal against Cincinnati. *Murray broke his own record with the longest kick in the FCS this season. *Colgate's Jordan McCord and Fordham's Carlton Koonce are fifth and eighth, respectively, in rushing in the FCS. *McCord has 100-yard rushing efforts in all six Colgate games this season.
Patriot League Players of the Week (Oct. 13) Offensive Player of the Week: JORDAN McCORD, COLGATE Sr., RB, Chicago, Ill.; 34 carries, 181 yards, 4 TD Defensive Player of the Week: JEREMY MOORE, GEORGETOWN Sr., DB, New Haven, Conn.; 7 TT, 3 INT (80-yd TD), 1 FR Special Teams Player of the Week: PATRICK MURRAY, FORDHAM Sr., P/K, Mahwah, N.J.; 3-4 FG (38, 46, PL record 55), 47.2 punt avg. Rookie of the Week: CHRIS BROCKMAN, LAFAYETTE Fr., LB, Richmond, Texas; 8 TT, 1 sack, 1 INT
Patriot League Notebook
FAMILIAR NAMES AT TOP OF PATRIOT LEAGUE STANDINGS Lehigh and Colgate joined Lafayette at 1-0 in the Patriot League with wins on Saturday, and each team will be at home this weekend to try and create separation from the pack. Lehigh is trying to get to 2-0 in the Patriot League for the fourth straight season, while Colgate and Lafayette each attempt to do it for the first time since 2009. The trio has combined for 22 Patriot League titles, and at least one of the three has claimed an outright or shared title in 17 of the past 20 seasons.
LEHIGH'S REGULAR-SEASON, PATRIOT LEAGUE WIN STREAKS HIT 16 Lehigh just barely added to its regular-season and Patriot League winning streaks on Saturday, holding off Georgetown 17-14 for its 16th straight victory in both categories. Lehigh's 16-game regular-season win streak remains two ahead of Harvard as the top mark in the nation, while the Mountain Hawks have tied for the second-longest winning run against Patriot League teams. Lehigh's 16-game win streak against Patriot League teams, which dates back to 2009, matches the Mountain Hawks' run from 1999-2002 and is only three off the all-time record set by Holy Cross from 1988-92.
Active FCS Regular-Season Win Streaks (Next opponent) 1. Lehigh, 16 games (Bucknell, 10/20) 2. Harvard, 14 games (at Princeton, 10/20) 3. Cal Poly/Tennesse State, 7 games
Longest Patriot League Win Streak 1. Holy Cross, 19 games (Oct. 15, 1988-Nov. 7, 1992) 2. Lehigh, 16 games (Nov. 14, 2009 - present) Lehigh, 16 games (Nov. 13, 1999 - Sept. 7, 2002)
MOUNTAIN HAWKS CONTINUE TO RISE IN NATIONAL RANKINGS Lehigh moved up again in both major FCS polls on Monday, and the Mountain Hawks now stand at No. 7 in the FCS Coaches Poll and No. 9 in The Sports Network top 25. Lehigh is even receiving three first-place votes in The Sports Network rankings.The Mountain Hawks are at their highest position since finishing No. 5 (Sports Network) and No. 6 (FCS Coaches) after last year's playoffs. Lehigh's run of 25 consecutive weeks in the rankings is the seventh-longest streak in the nation. The Mountain Hawks also debuted at No. 4 in the ECAC FCS Lambert Meadowlands poll on Monday, behind only James Madison, Stony Brook and Old Dominion. Lehigh won the Lambert Cup last season as the top FCS team in the east. Lehigh is one of only four remaining undefeated teams in the FCS along with Harvard, Cal Poly and Tennessee State.
GEORGETOWN DEFENSIVE DUO SETTING RECORDS, LEADING THE NATION Georgetown's Robert McCabe and Jeremy Moore were well-known names to FCS observers coming into the season, with McCabe earning the Patriot League Preseason Defensive Player of the Year honor while Moore garnered multiple preseason All-America awards. But if it's possible, each of the seniors has exceeded those lofty expecations with their play on the field in 2012. McCabe continues to lead the nation with 99 tackles, 15 more than any other player in the FCS. He is averaging 14.14 tackles per game, while no other player in the nation is getting even 13 per contest. McCabe is also in the top five with 11.5 tackles for loss. The Buck Buchanan Award candidate has 347 career tackles, just two from the Georgetown record and 23 away from becoming the first player this century to crack the Patriot League career top 10. Moore put up a big afternoon on Saturday with three interceptions, including one he returned 80 yards for a score, in the loss to Lehigh. It earned him the National Defensive Player of the Week award from The Sports Network and College Sports Journal, and Moore set a Patriot League and Georgetown career record with 318 interception return yards. He leads the nation with five interceptions.
FORDHAM'S MURRAY KICKING HIS WAY TO AMAZING YEAR Fordham senior Patrick Murray was a preseason All-American punter, but it's been his kicking that has generated headlines in 2012. Murray leads all FCS players with 15 field goals, three more than his closest competitior. He has only missed three kicks, and nailed a Patriot League and school record 55-yarder on Saturday against Cincinnati. He broke his own record of 52 set on Aug. 30 vs. Lock Haven, giving him the two longest field goals in FCS this season. He has four field goals of 50 yards or more, while no other kicker in the nation has more than one. Murray is also third in the nation with a 46.33 punting average.
COLGATE'S "Mc-ATTACK" PUTTING UP OUTSTANDING NUMBERS Colgate has always been known for its ground game, and it's no different this year with Gavin McCarney and Jordan McCord leading the way. The senior quarterback and junior running back combined for 367 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns in Saturday's 51-35 win over Holy Cross, with McCord earning the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week award with 181 yards and four TDs. McCord is fifth in the country with 144.0 rushing yards per game, while McCarney ranks in the top six in the nation in both scoring and points responsible for. McCord went over 2,000 career yards last week and is well on his way to a 1,000-yard season, while McCarney has emerged as a great dual threat for the streaking Raiders.
This Week in the Patriot League
Bucknell Bison (1-5, 0-2) at No. 7/9 Lehigh Mountain Hawks (7-0, 1-0): Saturday, 12:30 p.m. Goodman Stadium; Bethlehem, Pa.TV: Service Electric 2 Sports *No. 7/9 Lehigh looks to continue its line of winning streaks and stay unbeaten when it hosts Bucknell on Saturday. *The Mountain Hawks have won 16 straight regular-season games, the top mark in the FCS. *Lehigh has also won 16 in a row against Patriot League teams, tied for the second-longest run in League history. *Lehigh's 14-game winning streak against Bucknell is the longest in any matchup in Patriot League history. *The Mountain Hawks have won 12 of the 14 games by double digits, including the last 10 against the Bison. *Lehigh has scored 30 points or more against Bucknell in the last nine meetings. *The Mountain Hawks won last year's matchup 30-6 in Lewisburg, and beat the Bison 32-10 in Bethlehem in 2010. *Lehigh has won the last seven meetings at Goodman Stadium, with Bucknell's last victory at Lehigh in 1996. *The Mountain Hawks are trying to go 2-0 in the Patriot League for fourth straight season. *Bucknell aims to avoid its first 0-3 start since 2007. *Lehigh has a 43-29-3 lead in the all-time series, and a 19-6-1 advantage in Patriot League games.
Holy Cross Crusaders (1-5, 1-1) at Lafayette Leopards (4-2, 1-0): Saturday, 1 p.m. Fisher Stadium; Easton, Pa.; TV LSN - RCN-4, RCN-8, WBPH-60 *Two teams looking to improve their standing in the Patriot League race meet in Easton when Holy Cross visits Lafayette. *Holy Cross has won the past four meetings overall, and has also claimed the last three matchups in Easton. *The Crusaders posted a 29-24 win at home last season, and defeated Lafayette 37-27 at Fisher Stadium in 2010. *Lafayette's last win over Holy Cross was a 31-21 final on the road in 2007. *The Leopards have not defeated Holy Cross at home since a 56-20 victory in 2004. *Lafayette tries to go 2-0 in the Patriot League for the first time since 2009. *The Crusaders attempt to get to at least a 2-1 mark for the seventh time in the last eight seasons. *A win would give Lafayette its most victories since an 8-3 season in 2009. *Holy Cross hopes to avoid a loss that would clinch the first under .500 overall record since 2004. *Lafayette leads the all-time series 14-12, with every game played in the Patriot League era.
Georgetown Hoyas (3-4, 0-1) at Colgate Raiders (3-3, 1-0): Saturday, 1 p.m. Andy Kerr Stadium; Hamilton, N.Y. *Georgetown and Colgate meet in a key Patriot League matchup for both schools on Saturday at Andy Kerr Stadium. *The Hoyas have never beaten the Raiders in Hamilton, but did notch their first-ever win over Colgate 40-17 last season. *Colgate leads the all-time series 8-1 in all Patriot League matchups, with a 4-0 advantage at home. *The Raiders have won each of the four meetings at Andy Kerr Stadium by at least 17 points. *Colgate tries to get to 2-0 in the Patriot League for the first time since 2009. *Georgetown has not started 0-2 in the Patriot League since that same 2009 season.
BucknellThe Bison continued a grueling road trip with a 35-7 loss at No. 21/22 Harvard on Saturday...In the defeat, Bucknell was led by a great individual effort from linebacker Evan Byers...The sophomore had nine tackles, 2.5 for loss, 1.5 sacks and two interceptions to lead the way...The Bison still sit sixth in the country in both rushing defense (88.5) and sacks per game (3.17)...Bucknell will complete its three-game road trip on Saturday at No. 7/9 Lehigh...It will be strength against strength as the Mountain Hawks have only allowed three sacks on the season.
ColgateColgate won its Patriot League opener for the fourth time in five years, and beat Holy Cross for the first time since 2008, with a 51-35 win at home against the Crusaders on Saturday...It was a "Mc-Attack" once again as quarterback Gavin McCarney and running back Jordan McCord combined for 367 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns... McCarney had 12 carries for 186 yards and two touchdowns while also completing 10-of-13 passes for 166 yards and a score while McCord ran 34 times for 181 yards and four touchdowns in the game, which earned the senior running back his first Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week award...McCarney had a pair of touchdown runs and McCord had one in the first half as Colgate took a 23-20 lead into intermission...The Raiders broke it open in the second half behind three more McCord touchdown runs and McCarney's 14-yard strike to Chris Looney...Colgate scored three consecutive touchdowns after Holy Cross had come back within 30-27... The Raiders ran 56 times for 407 yards in the game, averaging 7.3 yards per carry...Colgate had 31 first downs, with 23 of those coming on the ground...The Raiders racked up 604 yards of total offense in the game behind the strong efforts from McCarney and McCord...Colgate stands ninth in the country with 256.0 rushing yards per game, and is also in the top 20 in total offense (447.3, 15th) and scoring offense (34.7, 18th)...McCord is fifth in the FCS with 144.0 rushing yards per game, while McCarney stands fifth with 18.00 points responsible for per contest...Colgate completes its two-game homestand on Saturday against Georgetown, which has never beaten the Raiders at Andy Kerr Stadium.
FordhamThe Rams played well for a half against a top 25 FBS team, but could not keep up after intermisson and fell at No. 20/21 Cincinnati 49-17 on Saturday...It was only a 14-6 game at the half, due in large part to senior kicker Patrick Murray breaking his own school and Patriot League record with a 55-yard field goal in the final minute of the second quarter...Murray had established the mark of 52 yards on Aug. 30 against Lock Haven... Fordham had a 12-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Higgins to Brian Wetzel in the third period and Murray added his third field goal of the game in the fourth, but Cincinnati pulled away with five second-half touchdowns... Higgins completed 31-of-42 passes for 262 yards and the score, and Wetzel caught nine passes for 121 yards and the touchdown...Higgins has completed 88-of-121 passes for 940 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions in the last three games...Murray went 3-for-4 on field goals, missing from 48 yards out, and also punted four times for a 47.2 average with two inside the 20....He is 15-for-18 on field goals for the season, three more makes than any other FCS player, and stands third in the country with a 46.33 punting average...Michael Martin forced another fumble in the game, and is second in the FCS with four forced fumbles this season...Fordham has its bye on Saturday before returning to action on Oct. 27 at Holy Cross.
GeorgetownThe Hoyas forced seven Lehigh turnovers, but could not cash in enough points from the defensive plays and fell to the Mountain Hawks 17-14 on Saturday...Georgetown has never beaten Lehigh in 12 Patriot League contests...Jeremy Moore led the turnover charge, as he picked off three passes, returning one 80 yards for a touchdown, and had a fumble recovery all in the first half...Moore also recorded seven tackles and was named Sports Network and College Sports Journal National Defensive Player of the Week, as well as the College Football Performance Awards National Defenisve Back of the Week...He has set a school and Patriot League record with 318 career interception return yards, and his five interceptions this season lead the FCS...Moore's 80-yard INT return gave Georgetown a 14-7 second-quarter lead, but a pair of missed field goals kept the score there at halftime...Lehigh tied it on the first drive of the second half, and took a 17-14 lead four minutes into the fourth quarter... Georgetown had one last chance when it got possession at its own 20 with 1:22 to go, but a missed 37-yard field goal in the final seconds kept the game from going to overtime... Robert McCabe, the nation's leading tackler, continued his run of double-digit outings with 16 tackles in the game...He has 99 tackles for the season, 15 more than any player in the FCS...With 347 career tackles, McCabe is two away from the Georgetown record and 23 from becoming the first player this century to crack the Patriot League top 10...Georgetown has two straight Patriot League games on the road, playing at Colgate on Saturday and Lafayette on Oct. 27.
Holy CrossDespite a breakout performance from sophomore quarterback Steven Elder, the Crusaders could not keep up on defense and fell 51-35 at Colgate on Saturday...It was their first loss to the Raiders since 2008...Elder completed 24-of-39 passes for 313 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed for 42 yards and a pair of scores...He kept Holy Cross in the game in the first half, throwing a 63-yard touchdown pass to Gerald Mistretta to tie the score at 7-7 and rushing in for scores that put Holy Cross ahead 14-13 and 20-16...Colgate had a 23-20 lead at the half, and Holy Cross stayed close in the third quarter as Eddie Houghton ran in from one yard out to trim the gap to 30-27 late in the period...Colgate scored the next three touchdowns to put the game out of reach, though Holy Cross did find the endzone again on Elder's 16-yard pass to Mistretta to complete the scoring late in the fourth quarter...Elder set career highs in passing yards, total offense (355) and completions in his second start... Mistretta caught eight passes for 166 yards and the two touchdowns, while Mike Fess hauled in 10 balls for 100 yards...Roman San Doval led the defense with 13 tackles, but Holy Cross allowed 407 rushing yards and six touchdowns on the ground in the game...Holy Cross plays at Lafayette on Saturday, where a loss would give the Crusaders their first under .500 season since 2004.
LafayetteLafayette equaled its win total from the 2011 season with a 20-10 victory at Yale on Saturday...The Leopards improved to 4-2 overall, and finish 3-2 in non-League action with a 2-1 record against the Ivy League.. Lafayette trailed 10-7 at the break, with Andrew Shoop throwing a four-yard touchdown pass to Greg Kessel in the second quarter for the Leopards' first-half points...The Leopards took their first lead of the day in the third quarter when a 12-play, 78-yard drive ended in Shoop's 10-yard touchdown pass to Mark Ross for a 14-10 advantage with 3:58 to play in the period...An interception by Shane Black and a fourth-down stop halted a pair of Yale possessions in Lafayette territory, and the Leopards put the game away when Ross Scheuerman ran in from two yards out with 2:19 left to provide the final margin...Shoop completed 20-of-33 passes for 243 yards and the two touchdowns without an interception, while Ross caught eight passes for 105 yards and the score...It was Ross' third straight 100-yard receiving game, and gave him 359 receiving yards in the past three weeks...Scheuerman ran for 69 yards and a score on the ground...Dion King had a team-high 13 tackles, while Black notched 11 tackles and had two of the team's four interceptions...Lafayette leads the nation with 15 interceptions for the year while Jared Roberts is second in the country with four interceptions on the season, behind only Georgetown's Jeremy Moore...Lafayette beat Yale for the third straight time after the Bulldogs had won the first seven meetings in the series...The Leopards play their next two games at home, welcoming Holy Cross on Saturday and Georgetown on Oct. 27...Lafayette has not beaten the Crusaders at home since 2004.
Lehigh Lehigh remained in the ranks of the FCS unbeatens, overcoming seven turnovers to pull out a 17-14 win at Georgetown on Saturday...The Mountain Hawks are one of four undefeated teams in the nation along with Cal Poly, Tennessee State and Harvard...Lehigh leads the nation with a 16-game regular-season winning streak, and its seven-game overall win streak trails only Harvard in the FCS... The Mountain Hawks have won 16 straight games against Patriot League opponents, tying their stretch from 1999-02 as the second-longest in Patriot League history...Holy Cross set the record of 19 from 1988-92...Lehigh survived a first half where it committed five turnovers, as the Mountain Hawks trailed only 14-7 at the break...They used a short field from one of their forced turnovers to even the game at 7-7 on Zach Barket's one-yard touchdown...Lehigh tied the score on the first possession of the second half, with Keith Sherman running in from one yard out to complete an impressive opening drive... The Mountain Hawks took their first lead of the day with 10:58 left in the game on a 29-yard field goal by Jake Peery for the final scoring...Georgetown got into field goal position on its last possession, but a 37-yard attempt was off the mark in the final seconds... Barket had his first 100-yard game of the year with 28 carries for 123 yards and the touchdown....Mike Colvin completed 19-of-34 passes for 266 yards, though his day was marred by four interceptions...Lee Kurfis had a big day with 11 receptions for 132 yards as Lehigh played without All-American wide receiver Ryan Spadola...Billy Boyko and Sam Loughery led the defense with 12 tackles apiece, while Nigel Muhammad added two sacks...Lehigh remained perfect in its 12 Patriot League matchups with the Hoyas...The Mountain Hawks are in the top 10 nationally in both sacks and sacks allowed, while Colvin is in the top 15 in both passing yardage and total offense per contest...Lehigh improved to No. 7 in the FCS Coaches Poll and No. 9 in The Sports Network top 25 on Monday, and debuted at No. 4 in the ECAC FCS Lambert Meadowlands poll...The Mountain Hawks won the Lambert Cup last season as the top team in the final ECAC poll...Lehigh hosts Bucknell on Saturday before heading into its bye on Oct. 27.