Patriot League Football Release - Week 11

Colgate's Gavin McCarney

Nov. 6, 2012

Patriot League Football Release - Week 11 Get Acrobat Reader

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. -- The Patriot League Football title will be decided on national television Saturday when No. 5/8 Lehigh hosts Colgate at 12:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.

The Mountain Hawks and Raiders both enter the game with undefeated marks in League play. Last weekend, the Raiders broke offensive records in a 65-41 win over Lafayette while Lehigh continued to survive as the last undefeated team in the FCS by rallying for a 36-35 victory at Holy Cross.

Lehigh, which leads all Patriot League programs with 10 titles, is playing for its third consecutive crown. Colgate goes for its seventh all-time title and first since 2008.

The Mountain Hawks can also tie a Patriot League record with a win, as a victory would be Lehigh's 19th straight against League opponents to match the mark set by Holy Cross (1988-92).

Colgate will try to claim the Patriot League title outright and complete an undefeated season in League play, while Lehigh would have to also win at Lafayette next week for a solo title.

In other action on Saturday, Bucknell heads to Georgetown and Lafayette is at Fordham in Patriot League play while Holy Cross plays a non-League contest at Wagner.

Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PatriotLeagueFB
*Colgate and Lehigh face off Saturday for the 2012 Patriot League Football title.
*The game will be shown on CBS Sports Network at 12:30 p.m. from Bethlehem.
*Dave Ryan and Todd Christensen will call the action from Lehigh.
*Lehigh goes for its 11th League title, while Colgate plays for its 7th.
*The pair has combined to at least share the League title in 13 of the last 15 years.
*Colgate is playing for an outright title and undefeated Patriot League season.
*Lehigh would still have to win at Lafayette on Saturday to earn the outright title.
*It is the seventh time in the last nine years that teams are facing off with the League title and automatic playoff berth on the line.
*The home team has won five of those six previous contests.
*The Mountain Hawks are also trying to tie a League record with a 19th straight win against a Patriot League opponent.
*Lehigh is the last undefeated team in the FCS, and leads the nation with win streaks of nine games overall and 18 in the regular season.
*Lehigh is up to No. 5 in the FCS Coaches Poll, reaching the top five for the first time this season.
*Colgate is in the top seven in FCS in rushing, scoring and total offense.
*The Raiders are averaging 55.0 points in their four Patriot League games, and have scored 47 or more in five straight contests.
*Lehigh is 5-0 in games decided by four points or less, while Colgate's only contest of that nature was a 32-31 loss to Stony Brook on Sept. 22.
*Lafayette and Fordham are each trying to secure a winning season on Saturday.
*Five Patriot Leaguers lead the nation in a category in FCS statistics.

Patriot League Players of the Week (Nov. 3)
Offensive Player of the Week: GAVIN McCARNEY, COLGATE
Jr., QB, Jefferson Twp, N.J.; 288 rush yards, 3 TD/13-17, 224, 2 TD
Defensive Player of the Week: SAMUEL OYEKOYA, BUCKNELL
Sr., DE, Lanham, Md.; 5 TT, 3 TFL, 2 sacks
Special Teams Player of the Week: PATRICK MURRAY, FORDHAM
Sr., P/K, Mahwah, N.J.; 3-3 FG, 40.7 punt avg.
Rookie of the Week: BRIAN REGAN, BUCKNELL
Fr., RB, Cherry Hill, N.J.; 33.3 KR avg, 40 long

Patriot League Notebook

No. 5/8 Lehigh and Colgate will play for the Patriot League title and automatic FCS playoff berth on Saturday, which is nothing new for either side. The Mountain Hawks have a Patriot League-best 10 titles, including the past two in undefeated seasons. Colgate last won the Patriot League title in 2008, and is tied for second behind Lehigh with six League crowns. The Raiders are trying to complete their first undefeated season since 2008 and win the title outright, while Lehigh would still need a win at Lafayette next week for its third straight outright title. Either Colgate or Lehigh has won at least a share of the Patriot League title in 13 of the last 15 seasons, with the only exceptions in 2007 (Fordham) and 2009 (Holy Cross).

If Lehigh wins the League title on Saturday, the Mountain Hawks would also tie the record for the longest winning streak against Patriot League opponents. The Mountain Hawks have won 18 straight against League foes since 2009, one game behind the record set by Holy Cross from 1988-92. Lehigh has beaten every team except Colgate at least three times during the stretch. The Mountain Hawks, who are the last undefeated team in the country, also hold FCS best winning streaks of nine games overall and 18 in the regular season. Lehigh moved into the top five in the FCS Coaches Poll on Monday, while remaining at No. 8 in The Sports Network top 25 and No. 1 in the ECAC FCS Lambert Meadowlands Poll. Lehigh's run of 28 consecutive weeks in the FCS rankings is the sixth-longest active streak in the nation after Delaware fell out on Monday.

The Patriot League title is always decided in the final weeks of the season, and in recent years there has usually been a matchup like we will see on Saturday where two teams faced off with the automatic playoff berth on the line. It happened just last season when Lehigh won 34-12 at home against Georgetown on Nov. 12. Here is a list of Patriot League games in the last decade where both teams were competing for the FCS playoff berth and at least a share of the League title.
2011: at Lehigh 34, Georgetown 12 (Nov. 12) - Lehigh wins outright League title and playoff berth
2009: at Holy Cross 28, Lafayette 26 (Nov. 14) - Holy Cross claims FCS playoff berth, takes outright title following week
2008: at Colgate 28, Holy Cross 27 (Nov. 22) - Both teams were undefeated heading into season finale
2006: at Lafayette 49, Lehigh 27 (Nov. 18) - Teams share title, Lafayette earns automatic playoff berth
2005: Lafayette 23 at Lehigh 19 (Nov. 19) - Leopards and Colgate share title, both go to postseason
2004: at Lafayette 24, Lehigh 10 (Nov. 20) - Teams share title, Leopards earn automatic berth and Lehigh gets at-large

While Colgate and Lehigh have usually played too early in the season for the Patriot League title to be on the line, there is no shortage of big games between the two. In 1998, Lehigh beat Colgate 41-22 in Bethlehem and went on to win the Patriot League by one game over the Raiders. The next year, Colgate beat Lehigh 28-24 at home and won a tiebreaker for the League's automatic playoff berth with the Mountain Hawks. Lehigh beat Colgate 25-22 in 2001 to beat the Raiders by one game, while Colgate's 17-10 win over the Mountain Hawks in 2003 allowed the Raiders to hold off Lehigh by one game. Colgate has a 27-21-2 lead in the all-time series, though Lehigh holds a 15-11 edge in Patriot League matchups.

Players with a last name starting with "M" are generally enjoying the 2012 Patriot League season, as five lead the FCS in at least one statistical category. Fordham's Patrick Murray tops the chart in both field goals and punting average while teammate Michael Martin leads in forced fumbles, Colgate's Gavin McCarney leads in scoring, Georgetown's Robert McCabe tops in tackles and his classmate Jeremy Moore leads in fumble recoveries. For all of the Patriot Leaguers with high standings in the FCS statistics, go to page nine of the release.

Colgate broke Patriot League records for rushing yardage (531) and total offense (755) in its win over Lafayette on Saturday as part of a day where offense dominated. Gavin McCarney ran for 288 yards and three touchdowns, just three off the Patriot League single-game record of 291, to earn the Patriot League and Sports Network Offensive Player of the Week award. That was just part of the offensive exploits, as Colgate's Jordan McCord (203 rushing yards, 4 TD), Lehigh's Ryan Spadola (8 recpetions, 202 yards, 2 TD) and Bucknell's Tyler Smith (179 rush yards, 3 total TD) all put up outstanding efforts. For a full recap of Saturday's action and the entire individual leaderboard from the weekend, go to page seven of the football release.

This Week in the Patriot League

Colgate Raiders (6-3, 4-0) at No. 5/8 Lehigh Mountain Hawks (9-0, 3-0): Saturday, 12:30 p.m.
Goodman Stadium; Bethlehem, Pa. TV: CBS Sports Network
*The Patriot League title and automatic playoff berth is on the line when Colgate visits No. 5/8 Lehigh on Saturday.
*The game will be nationally televised on CBS Sports Network beginning at 12:30 p.m.
*Lehigh goes for its third consecutive and 11th overall Patriot League title.
*Colgate is in search of its seventh Patriot League crown and first since 2008.
*Colgate is trying to win the title outright, while Lehigh would still need to win next week at Lafayette for an outright title.
*At least one of the two has won an outright or shared Patriot League title in 13 of the last 15 seasons.
*Lehigh is the only undefeated team in the FCS, and leads the nation with nine-game overall and 18-game regular-season win streaks.
*The Mountain Hawks are trying to tie the record for the longest win streak against Patriot League teams, which was set at 19 by Holy Cross from 1988-92.
*Lehigh has not lost to a Patriot League opponent since 2009, beating Colgate twice during that stretch.
*The Mountain Hawks posted a 45-25 win in Hamilton last season after beating Colgate 44-14 at home in 2010.
*The Raiders won three straight matchups from 2007-09 after Lehigh had won three straight from 2004-06.
*Colgate has a 27-21-2 lead in the all-time series, though Lehigh holds a 15-11 edge in Patriot League matchups.

Lafayette Leopards (5-4, 2-2) at Fordham Rams (5-4): Saturday, 1 p.m.
Jack Coffey Field; Bronx, N.Y. TV: LSN - RCN-4, RCN-8, WBPH-60
*Lafayette and Fordham are each trying to clinch a winning record when they meet in the Bronx on Saturday.
*The Leopards go for their first winning mark since 2009, while Fordham has not been over .500 since 2007.
*Lafayette won last year's matchup 45-24 at home, and has won six of the last eight meetings overall.
*Fordham claimed a 14-10 victory when the teams last met at Jack Coffey FIeld in 2010.
*The game will not count towards the Patriot League standings with the Rams ineligible for the League title.
*Lafayette has a 21-8-1 lead in the all-time series, and a 14-7 advantage in Patriot League games.

Bucknell Bison (2-7, 0-4) at Georgetown Hoyas (4-5, 1-2): Saturday, 1 p.m.
Multi-Sport Field; Washington, D.C.
*Bucknell and Georgetown try to improve their position in the Patriot League standings when they meet in Washington.
*Both teams are coming off a win, with the Bison knocking off Fordham 27-24 on Saturday and the Hoyas posting a 20-17 victory at Lafayette in their most recent action on Oct. 27.
*The Bison have won the past four games against the Hoyas, including a 35-18 victory at home last season.
*Bucknell has also won the last four meetings at Multi-Sport Field, with the last two coming by a field goal each.
*The Hoyas need a win to maintain their shot at a second consecutive winning season.
*Bucknell has a 14-9-1 lead in the all-time series, with an 8-3 edge in Patriot League play.

Holy Cross Crusaders (1-8, 1-3) at Wagner Seahawks (6-3, 6-1 NEC): Saturday, 1 p.m.
Hameline Field; Staten Island, N.Y.
*Hard-luck Holy Cross battles surging Wagner on Saturday afternoon in Staten Island.
*The Crusaders are 1-8 overall, but have four losses by three points or less with each decided in the final minutes.
*Wagner has won six straight after an 0-3 start that included a 13-10 loss to Georgetown on Sept. 8.
*Patriot League teams are 2-1 against the Seahawks, with each coming against Georgetown over the last three seasons.
*Holy Cross and Wagner are meeting for the first time.
*The Patriot League is 4-2 against the Northeast Conference this season, and can clinch the season series with a win by Holy Cross on Saturday or by Bucknell over Bryant next week.

Team Notebooks

Bucknell The Bison put an end to a seven-game losing skid by rallying from a 14-point halftime deficit for a 27-24 win over Fordham on Saturday at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium...Tyler Smith keyed the comeback for the Bison, as he accounted for all three touchdowns by rushing 29 times for 179 yards and two scores and catching three passes for 29 yards and a touchdown...Smith had a 76-yard touchdown run in the first half, but Fordham scored a pair of second-quarter touchdowns to lead 21-7 at the break...The Bison closed to 21-17 on Brandon Wesley's 26-yard touchdown pass to Smith in the third quarter, and Smith put the Bison in front with a 14-yard touchdown run that made it 24-21 with 13:07 to play in the game...Bucknell led 27-24 when Fordham took over possession with 2:22 left, but a 13-yard loss on a sack by Samuel Oyekoya put the Rams out of field goal position and Joseph Francis picked off a fourth-down pass to seal the Bucknell win...Smith recorded 208 all-purpose yards and three total touchdowns in the win...Wesley completed 10-of-22 passes for 100 yards and a score and ran for 35 yards...Evan Byers led the defense with 12 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss, while the Bison had four sacks and forced three turnovers in the game...Bucknell improved to 2-3 in games decided by a touchdown or less...Bucknell finishes its season at home against Bryant on Nov. 17.

Colgate Colgate broke numerous school and Patriot League records in its 65-41 win over Lafayette on Saturday at Andy Kerr Stadium, but most importantly the Raiders put themselves in position to win the Patriot League title with another offensive showcase..The Raiders set Patriot League records for rushing offense (531), shattering the old mark of 484, and total offense (755), breaking the mark of 736 that had held since 1987...Colgate also tied a Patriot League record, set twice before, with seven rushing touchdowns...Gavin McCarney and Jordan McCord were at it again to lead the Raider attack...McCarney had the second-best rushing day in Patriot League history with 19 carries for 288 yards and three touchdowns, and also completed 13-of-17 passes for 224 yards and two scores to break the school record with 512 yards of total offense, which is also second in League history...McCord carried 27 times for 203 yards and four scores to make it the first time in school and Patriot League history that two rushers went over 200 yards in the same game...Both players shot even higher in the FCS statistics after the game...McCarney continues to lead the nation in scoring, is second in points responsible for, third in passing efficiency and ninth in total offense...McCord stands fourth in the FCS in rushing and seventh in all-purpose yardage per game... It was the fourth straight game and fifth time this season that both McCarney and McCord went over 100 yards on the ground...McCarney broke the school season record for rushing yardage by a quarterback with 1,010, and it was his school-record 12th straight game throwing a touchdown pass...The Raiders tied a school record with nine touchdowns rushing and passing, just one off the Patriot League mark set in Lehigh's 69-0 win over Georgetown in 2001...The 65-point total was also second in League history to that contest... Colgate improved to 14-3 against Lafayette under Head Coach Dick Biddle, who was coaching his 100th Patriot League game...He improved to 76-24 in Patriot League contests...Colgate was playing its Senior Day, and has a trip to Fordham to conclude the regular-season after Saturday's Patriot League title matchup at No. 5/8 Lehigh.

Fordham The Rams let a 21-7 halftime lead slip away as Bucknell scored 20 straight points and held on for a 27-24 win over Fordham on Saturday at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium...It was a rare close loss for Fordham, which fell to 4-2 on the season in games decided by seven points or less... Fordham got on the board first with a pair of field goals by Patrick Murray, who set the school and Patriot League single-season record with his first conversion...The Rams took control in the second quarter, with Carlton Koonce running in from 14 and 15 yards out as Fordham built a 21-7 lead at the half...The second half was a different story, as Bucknell scored a pair of touchdowns and added two field goals to take a 27-21 lead with nine minutes to play in the contest...Fordham got to within 27-24 on Murray's field goal with 6:10 to go, and got the ball back at its own 19 with 2:22 left with a chance to tie or win...The Rams got as far as the Bucknell 36, but a sack knocked them out of field goal range and a fourth-down interception sealed the defeat...Koonce had 116 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Fordham offense, and also caught seven passes for 56 yards...He is eighth in the nation in rushing yardage per game and ninth in all-purpose yards per contest...Ryan Higgins completed 23-of-40 passes for 267 yards, but threw a pair of interceptions...Murray made all three of his field-goal attempts, giving him a school and Patriot League record 21 for the season...He broke the old mark of 18 set by Matt Fordyce in 2002...Murray leads the nation in both field goals per game (2.33) and punting average (46.0) for the season...Michael Martin led the defense with 12 tackles and a forced fumble, his FCS-best fifth on the season...The Rams finish their 2012 campaign at home, playing Lafayette on Saturday and welcoming Colgate on Nov. 17.

Georgetown The Hoyas will go for their second straight winning season as they end the year by hosting Bucknell on Saturday and Holy Cross on Nov. 17...It would also be a second straight winning Patriot League mark as Georgetown got to 4-5 overall and 1-2 in the League with a 20-17 win at Lafayette in its most recent action on Oct. 27...Seniors Robert McCabe and Jeremy Moore have led the defense all season...McCabe leads the nation with 132 tackles, 17 more than any other player... He has 380 career tackles, good for seventh in League history...Moore leads the nation with four fumble recoveries and is third with five interceptions...The Hoyas are third in the FCS with 25 turnovers gained.

Holy Cross A season of heartbreaking losses added another chapter on Saturday as Holy Cross fell 36-35 to No. 6/8 Lehigh in the home finale at Fitton Field...The Crusaders fell to 0-4 in games decided by four points or less, with all of the losses coming at home as they gave up the winning score in the final minutes...Steven Elder threw touchdown passes to Gerald Mistretta and Mike Fess in the first half to give the Crusaders an early lead, but Holy Cross was down 23-14 by the third quarter...It responded with the next three touchdowns, with Ryan Laughlin tossing strikes to Mistretta and Fess and Reggie Woods running for a score as Holy Cross built a 35-23 lead heading to the fourth quarter...Lehigh went in front 36-35 on a touchdown with two minutes to play, and John Macomber missed a 43-yard field goal attempt that would have won it fin the final seconds... The Crusaders outgained the Mountain Hawks 527-494 in the game...Laughlin completed 17-of-27 passes for 203 yards and two touchdowns, while Elder completed 12-of-17 for 133 yards and two scores...Fess had 10 receptions for 90 yards and two touchdowns, while Mistretta had eight receptions for 104 yards and two scores...Woods ran for 139 yards and a touchdown...The Crusaders finish League play at Georgetown on Nov. 17.

Lafayette The Leopards posted an outstanding offensive day, but they couldn't keep up with Colgate's record-setting attack in a 65-41 loss to the Raiders on Saturday...After falling behind 21-0, Lafayette scored touchdowns on its last three possessions of the first half to get within 37-20 at the break...Colgate went up 51-26, but Lafayette fought back with consecutive touchdowns to get as close as 51-41 with 13:02 to play...The Leopards forced Colgate into a third-down play with a chance to get the ball back, but the Raiders scored a long touchdown and forced two Lafayette turnovers down the stretch to pull away for the win... Lafayette rushed for 284 yards and gained 542 yards overall, but it was not enough as Colgate set Patriot League records for rushing and total offense...The teams combined for 815 rushing yards and 1,297 yards of total offense...Zach Zweizig completed 15-of-24 passes for 258 yards and three touchdowns, while both Ross Scheuerman (142 yards, TD) and Vaughn Hebron (119 yards, TD) went over 100 yards on the ground and averaged more than 10 yards per carry...Mark Ross had seven receptions for 106 yards and a score for his fifth 100-yard receiving game in the last six contests...Shane Black led the Leopards with 16 tackles and an interception...Lafayette returns home for the 148th meeting of the Most-Played Rivalry in College Football against Lehigh on Nov. 17.

Lehigh Lehigh continues to live dangerously, but also continues to win as the last undefeated team in the FCS rallied in the fourth quarter for a 36-35 win at Holy Cross on Saturday at Fitton Field...Lehigh extended FCS-best streaks to nine straight wins overall and 18 in a row in the regular season..The victory was also Lehigh's 18th straight against a Patriot League opponent, just one away from the League record set by Holy Cross from 1988-92...The Mountain Hawks inched up one spot to No. 5 in the FCS Coaches Poll on Monday, while remaining at No. 8 in The Sports Network top 25...Lehigh had a pair of Mike Colvin touchdown runs in the first half for a 16-14 lead, and padded it to 23-14 when Colvin threw a 73-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Spadola early in the third quarter...Holy Cross scored the next three touchdowns for a 35-23 advantage, but Lehigh rallied in the fourth quarter...After getting within 35-30 early in the period, Colvin completed 6-of-7 passes for 85 yards on the game-winning drive including a 33-yard scoring strike to Spadola for a 36-35 lead with two minutes to play...Holy Cross missed a field goal in the final seconds as Lehigh improved to 5-0 in games decided by four points or less and posted its third Patriot League win by three points or less...Colvin was 24-of-34 passing for 362 yards and three touchdowns, and also ran for 59 yards and a pair of scores...He is eighth in the country in total offense, 10th in points responsible for and 11th in passing yards per game...Spadola made an impact in his return to the lineup after an illness as he caught eight passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns...He is up to second in League history with 3,438 career receiving yards, and tied for third with 217 receptions...Billy Boyko paced the Lehigh defense with 17 tackles...Lehigh leads the nation in red zone offense, and is in the top 10 in both sacks and sacks allowed per game.