Patriot League Football Release - Week 12

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Colgate's Jordan McCord goes for his 11th 100-yard rushing game of the season on Saturday.
Colgate's Jordan McCord goes for his 11th 100-yard rushing game of the season on Saturday.

Nov. 13, 2012

Patriot League Football Release - Week 12 Get Acrobat Reader

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - While Colgate has already secured the Patriot League title and automatic FCS playoff berth, there is still plenty to play for Saturday as winning records, rivalries and possibly an at-large playoff bid are at stake.

The final regular-season weekend will be highlighted by No. 12/14 Lehigh visiting Lafayette in the 148th edition of the Most-Played Rivalry in College Football. The game will be shown on RCN-4, RCN-8, WBPH-60, MASN2, WFMZ-TV and Fox College Sports Atlantic beginning at 1 p.m.

Lehigh has a four-game winning streak over the Leopards, but the Mountain Hawks will have more than numbers on their mind. After losing to Colgate Saturday, Lehigh needs a win to finish 10-1 and solidify its hopes for an at-large berth into the postseason. For its part, Lafayette aims to end its skid against its rival and finish with a winning record for the first time since 2009.

Colgate goes for its eighth season of eight wins or more under Head Coach Dick Biddle, and first since 2009, when it plays at Fordham. The Rams can put together the top turnaround season in the nation with a win.

Georgetown has a chance at a second straight winning season when it hosts Holy Cross. Bucknell closes out its year at home against Bryant. All four of Saturday's games will kick off at 1 p.m.

Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PatriotLeagueFB
*No. 12/14 Lehigh and Lafayette meet for the 148th time in their rivalry.
*The Mountain Hawks hope to solidify their FCS at-large playoff hopes with a win to finish 10-1 for the season.
*Lehigh is one of only four FCS teams with a chance to finish with 10 wins.
*Lehigh has won four straight against its rival, and aims for the longest win streak in the series since taking seven in a row from 1995-01.
*Colgate goes for its eighth season of eight wins or more under Dick Biddle.
*It has won six straight games and scored at least 30 points in eight consecutive contests.
*Fordham has a chance for a six-game turnaround from last season that would be the largest in the FCS.
*Lafayette and Georgetown are each playing for winning seasons on Saturday.
*The Leopards have not finished over .500 since 2009.
*The Hoyas go for consecutive winning seasons for the first time since 1998-99.
*Colgate junior quarterback Gavin McCarney was named a Walter Payton Award candidate on Tuesday.
*McCarney leads the nation in scoring and is second in points responsible for, fourth in passing efficiency and seventh in total offense.
*Georgetown's Robert McCabe leads the nation in tackles and is a candidate for the Buck Buchanan Award as the top defensive player in the country.
*Fordham's Patrick Murray leads the FCS in both field goals and punting average.
*McCarney, McCabe and Murray each won Patriot League weekly awards on Monday.

Patriot League Players of the Week (Nov. 10)
Offensive Player of the Week: GAVIN McCARNEY, COLGATE
Jr., QB, Jefferson Twp, N.J.; 121 rush, 3 TD/13-21, 180 yds.
Defensive Player of the Week: ROBERT McCABE, GEORGETOWN
Sr., LB, Newtown Squre, Pa.; 12 TT, 2 sacks
Special Teams Player of the Week: PATRICK MURRAY, FORDHAM
Sr., P/K, Mahwah, N.J.; 2-2 FG, 48.4 punt avg.
Fr., RB, Dem. Rep. of Congo.; 98 rush, 126 AP yards

Patriot League Notebook

The Patriot League title has been decided, but the majority of teams still have something to play for as the 2012 season wraps up. No one more so than No. 12/14 Lehigh, which needs a win at rival Lafayette to boost its hopes for an FCS at-large playoff berth. The Leopards and Georgetown each go for winning records, while Fordham aims for a six-game turnaround from last year's 1-10 season that would be the top reversal of fortune in the nation. Colgate, which has already won the Patriot League title, hopes to go into the postseason with a seven-game winning streak and record at least eight victories in a season for the first time since 2009 and eighth in Head Coach Dick Biddle's 17 years.

The selections for the NCAA Division I Football Championship will be announced on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. on ESPNU, and the Patriot League could be in position to get a pair of teams in for the first time since 2005. Colgate knows its position, as the Raiders have earned the Patriot League's automatic playoff berth and will likely play on the opening weekend. No. 12/14 Lehigh will have to wait and see, but would greatly ehhance its postseason chances with a win on Saturday at rival Lafayette. The Mountain Hawks are one of only four teams in the country with an opportunity to finish the regular-season with 10 wins. Lehigh hopes to become the first Patriot League team since Lafayette in 2005 to receive an at-large bid. The Patriot League also earned at-large playoff berths in 1998 (Colgate), 1999 (Lehigh) and 2004 (Lehigh).

If Lafayette and Georgetown each win at home on Saturday, it would mark just the third time in Patriot League history where five teams finish the season over .500. No. 12/14 Lehigh, Colgate and Fordham have already clinched the mark. The only previous instances were in 2000 and 2002, with eight teams competing in the conference in the latter season.

Head Coach Joe Moorhead is on track to engineer the biggest turnaround in the country in his first season at Fordham. After four straight losing campaigns, and a 1-10 record in 2011, the Rams have already clinched a winning season at 6-4 heading into Saturday's finale with Colgate. Fordham and Eastern Ilinois are the only two teams in the FCS that can post six-game turnarounds from last season with wins this weekend.

Lehigh won 18 straight games against League teams before Saturday's loss to Colgate, coming one away from the record of 19 set by Holy Cross from 1988-92. Lehigh beat every team except Colgate at least three times during the stretch, as the Mountain Hawks only knocked off the Raiders twice. Lehigh fell to No. 12 in the FCS Coaches Poll and No. 14 in The Sports Network top 25 on Monday, with Colgate coming in just outside each ranking. Lehigh is in the polls for the 29th straight week, the sixth-longest active streak in the nation.

A group of Patriot Leaguers continue to lead the FCS in at least one statistical category heading into the final weekend of the season. Fordham's Patrick Murray tops the charts in both field goals and punting, Colgate's Gavin McCarney is first in scoring and second in points responsible for, Georgetown's Robert McCabe leads the way in tackles by a wide margin and his teammate, Jeremy Moore, is tops in fumble recoveries. Murray has already set a Patriot League single-season record with 23 field goals, and more single-season marks could fall now that Colgate is guaranteed of postseason play. McCarney's 35 touchdowns responsible for are six from the League record, and he is just 18 yards away from the single-season rushing record for a quarterback. Jordan McCord could become the second player in League history with 12 100-yard rushing games in a season, and the first to do it consecutively.

Colgate's Gavin McCarney and Georgetown's Robert McCabe have stood out as dominant players in the Patriot League all season. Next week, voters around the nation will decide how they stack up to the rest of the FCS. McCarney on Tuesday was named a candidate for the Walter Payton Award, presented to the Most Outstanding Player in the Nation. McCabe, who leads the country in tackles, is up for the Buck Buchanan Award as the Top Defensive Player in FCS. Voters from around the country will complete ballots next week, with the winners announced at The Sports Network FCS Awards banquet on Dec. 17 in Philadelphia.

This Week in the Patriot League

No. 12/14 Lehigh Mountain Hawks (9-1, 3-1) at Lafayette Leopards (5-5, 2-2): Saturday, 1 p.m.
Fisher Stadium; Easton, Pa.; TV: RCN-4, RCN-8, WBPH-60, MASN2, WFMZ, FCSA
*There will be plenty on the line in the 148th meeting of the Lehigh-Lafayette rivalry on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Easton.
*The Mountain Hawks hope to improve their chances at an FCS at-large playoff berth with a win to finish 10-1.
*Lehigh is one of only four teams in the country with an opportunity to finish the regular-season with 10 wins.
*The Leopards are aiming to finish with a winning overall and Patriot League mark for the first time since 2009.
*Lehigh has won the past four meetings between the schools after Lafayette won four straight from 2004-07.
*The Mountain Hawks posted a 37-13 win at home last year after winning 20-13 at Lafayette in 2010.
*A Lehigh win would mark the longest streak in the series since the Mountain Hawks won seven straight from 1995-01.
*Lehigh Head Coach Andy Coen is 4-2 against the Leopards, while Lafayette's Frank Tavani is 5-7 vs. the Mountain Hawks.
*Lehigh holds a 16-10 edge in Patriot League games, but Lafayette leads 76-66-5 all-time in the Most Played Rivalry in College Football.
*Lafayette has a 41-28-5 edge in all-time matchups at home.
*The teams first met on Oct. 25, 1884, a 50-0 win for the Leopards in Easton.
*The schools played twice per year from 1884-1901, and three times in 1891. They did not face off in 1896.

Colgate Raiders (7-3, 5-0) at Fordham Rams (6-4): Saturday, 1 p.m.
Jack Coffey Field; Bronx, N.Y.
*Colgate tries to complete a sweep of Patriot League opponents when it visits Fordham on Saturday.
*The game will not count towards the standings, so the Raiders have already finished with a perfect Patriot League record.
*Colgate has a 19-4 lead in the all-time series, and has won the last four and eight of the past nine meetings.
*The Raiders posted a 38-14 win at home last year after beating the Rams 47-12 in the season finale in the Bronx in 2010.
*Colgate has won in its past four trips to Jack Coffey Field, with Fordham's last home victory in 2002.
*Colgate has won six straight games and scored at least 30 points in eight consecutive contests.
*A win would give Fordham a six-game turnaround from last season, which would the largest in the FCS.
*The contest features two of the top running backs in the FCS in Colgate's Jordan McCord and Fordham's Carlton Koonce.
*Both players rank in the top 10 nationally in both rushing and all-purpose yardage.
*Colgate will learn its NCAA playoff destination when the selections are announced on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. on ESPNU.

Holy Cross Crusaders (1-9, 1-3) at Georgetown Hoyas (5-5, 2-2): Saturday, 1 p.m.
Multi-Sport Field; Washington, D.C.
*Georgetown goes for its second straight winning season when it hosts Holy Cross on Saturday.
*The Hoyas were 8-3 last year, and have not had back-to-back winning campaigns since 1998-99.
*Georgetown also tries to post a winning Patriot League mark for the second year in a row after finishing under .500 in its first 10 seasons in the League.
*Georgetown has won defensive struggles against Holy Cross in each of the last two seasons.
*The Hoyas posted a 19-6 win at Holy Cross last year after a 17-7 victory at home in 2010.
*Holy Cross has a 15-9 lead in the series, and had won the first nine Patriot League contests before the last two years.
*Georgetown's Robert McCabe is eight tackles away from 400 for his career, which no Patriot Leaguer has hit since 1997.
*The Crusaders have lost five games by four points or less, while the Hoyas are 4-3 in games decided by a touchdown or less.
*Holy Cross has not finished a season with just one win since 2003.

Bryant Bulldogs (4-6, 4-4 NEC) at Bucknell Bison (2-8, 0-5): Saturday, 1 p.m.
Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium; Lewisburg, Pa.
*Bucknell closes its season against a first-time opponent when it hosts Bryant on Saturday.
*The Bison are just the second Patriot League team to face the Bulldogs after Fordham split contests in 2009 and 2010.
*Patriot League teams are a combined 17-17 in non-League action this year as Bucknell tries to make it a winning regular-season non-League mark for the conference.
*The Patriot League is also 4-3 in its season series with the Northeast Conference.
*Bucknell aims to win its season finale for the fifth time in seven seasons, and fourth in a row when the game is at home.

Team Notebooks
Bucknell The Bison could not get anything going on offense in a 10-3 loss at Georgetown on Saturday...Bucknell ends its Patriot League campaign without a win for the first time since 2005, though the Bison did beat Fordham in a game that did not count towards the standings...The Bison were down 10-0 at the half, and did not get on the board until a field goal with 8:47 to play in the game... The Bison had two more possessions, but punted and turned it over on downs as Georgetown held on for the win...The Bison had just seven first downs and 168 yards of total offense...Evan Byers led the defense with 12 tackles...Bucknell lost to Georgetown for the first time since 2007...The Bison conclude their 2012 campaign by hosting Bryant on Saturday, and will try to win in the season finale for the fifth time in the last seventh years and fourth in a row at home.

Colgate Colgate claimed its seventh Patriot League title, and first since 2008, by rallying in the second half for a 35-24 win at No. 5/8 Lehigh on Saturday... Colgate earns the Patriot League's automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Football Championship, with the brackets unveiled on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. on ESPNU...The Raiders improve to 7-3 overall and complete a perfect Patriot League season with a 5-0 record... Colgate's double-threat rushing attack did not disappoint, with Gavin McCarney rushing 24 times for 121 yards and three touchdowns and Jordan McCord carrying 35 times for 118 yards and two scores...Both players are among national leaders in a number of statistics, including McCarney in first place and McCord in third in the country in scoring...McCarney has 21 rushing touchdowns for the season, while McCord has 19...The Raiders trailed 24-14 at the half, but grinded out long drives throughout the second half as they finished with more than 43 minutes in time of possession...McCarney and McCord each had a touchdown run in the first half, while the junior quarterback came through with a nine-yard touchdown run in the final minute of the third quarter to get the Raiders within 24-21...McCarney then threw a 57-yard pass to Ryne Morrison to set up his third touchdown run of the day that gave Colgate a 28-24 lead with 9:14 to go in the game...The Raiders put the game away with an 11-play, 62-yard drive that took 6:56 off the clock and ended with McCord's eight-yard touchdown run with 1:19 left...Colgate picked up a fourth-and-short in each of their last two scoring possessions... McCarney completed 13-of-21 passes for 180 yards without a touchdown or interception as he once again went over 300 yards of total offense...Mike Yeager paced the defensive effort with five tackles to go with two interceptions...Colgate beat Lehigh for the first time since 2009...The Raiders have scored 30 points or more in eight consecutive games...Colgate will go for its seventh straight win and try to sweep all Patriot League teams when it visits Fordham on Saturday.

Fordham Fordham clinched its first winning season since 2007 by rallying from an early deficit to defeat Lafayette 36-27 on Saturday at Jack Coffey Field...The Rams have engineered an impressive turnaround after going 1-10 last season...The Rams were down 17-7 in the second quarter before striking with an 89-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Higgins to Brian Wetzel and getting back within 20-17 at the half...Fordham took the lead on a five-yard pass from Higgins to Wetzel, and went up 31-20 on a 64-yard interception return for a touchdown by Jordan Chapman...Fordham boosted it to 34-20 in the fourth quarter, and forced Lafayette into a safety on its final drive for the 36-27 final... Carlton Koonce carried 31 times for 189 yards and a touchdown, and stands sixth in the country in rushing and seventh in all-purpose yardage...Higgins completed 10-of-18 passes for 150 yards and two scores and Wetzel caught three balls for 100 yards and the pair of touchdowns...Patrick Murray, the nation's leader in both field goals and punting, made a pair of field goals and also averaged 48.4 yards on five punts, placing three inside the 20...Ian Williams paced the Fordham defense with 14 tackles...Fordham goes for the largest turnaround season in the FCS when it wraps up the 2012 season at home against Colgate on Saturday.

Georgetown The Hoyas can finish the season over .500 with a win on Saturday, which would mark their first consecutive winning campaigns since 1998-99...Georgetown has put itself in that position with two straight wins, including a 10-3 triumph over Bucknell on Saturday... A suffocating defense propelled Georgetown to its first win over the Bison since 2007, and first victory at home against Bucknell since 2003...Georgetown's only scoring came in the first half, with a 20-yard field goal in the first quarter and a 28-yard touchdown pass from Stephen Skon to Kevin Macari for the only touchdown of the game in the second period...Bucknell got to within 10-3 midway through the fourth quarter and had two chances to tie, but the Hoyas forced a punt and turnover on downs before killing the clock for the win...The Hoya defense limited Bucknell to seven first downs, a 2.2 yards per carry average and 168 yards of offense...Robert McCabe, the nation's leading tackler, was at the center of the action again with 12 tackles and two sacks...McCabe has 144 tackles, breaking his own school record set last season and coming in 16 ahead of any other FCS player...He is eight away from becoming the first Patriot Leaguer since 1997 to reach 400 career tackles...Georgetown held a 356-168 edge in total offense....The Hoyas complete their season at home against Holy Cross Saturday.

Holy Cross A heartbreaking season continued for Holy Cross as Wagner scored the game-winning touchdown with 18 seconds left to beat the Crusaders 31-30 on Saturday at Hameline Field...It was the fifth time this season, and third in a row, that Holy Cross has fallen on a score in the final two minutes...Holy Cross was down 14-10 at the half, but scored on a four-yard touchdown pass from Steven Elder to Gerald Mistretta and four-yard touchdown run by Matt Bellomo to take a 24-14 lead...The Crusaders pushed the advantage to 30-17 with two field goals, but Wagner scored with 7:09 left and then got the game-winning points with 18 seconds to play...Wagner's game-winning score was set up by a 66-yard fumble return that stopped a drive where Holy Cross was trying to put the game away...Holy Cross gained 446 yards with 189 on the ground and 257 through the air...Eddie Houghton ran for 92 yards and a score, while Elder completed 16-of-25 passes for 234 yards and a touchdown...Mike Fess caught six passes for 101 yards, while Mistretta had five receptions for 50 yards and the score...Erik Wachter had a big day on defense with 20 tackles, a tackle for loss and a forced and recovered fumble...The Crusaders wrap up the 2012 campaign at Georgetown on Saturday.

Lafayette Lafayette's 36-27 loss at Fordham on Saturday was its third straight defeat, and the Leopards will have one more chance to earn their first winning season since 2009 when they host rival Lehigh Saturday...A 21-yard touchdown pass from Zach Zweizig to Mark Ross and a five-yard run by Ross Scheuerman had Lafayette up 17-7 in the second quarter, and the Leopards led 20-17 at the half...Fordham took control with the next two touchdowns, and led 34-20 before Lafayette got back within a score at 34-27 on an eight-yard touchdown pass from Andrew Shoop to Jamel Smith with 1:25 to play in the game...Lafayette had one last desperation chance in the final seconds, but a holding penalty in the end zone gave the Rams a safety... Ross had 10 receptions for 122 yards and a touchdown while Smith caught nine balls for 60 yards and a score for the Leopards...Mike Duncan added five receptions for 124 yards...Zweizig completed 22-of-35 passes for 285 yards and a score, while Shane Black led the defense with seven tackles and an interception...Lafayette will have a fourth shot at its first winning season since 2009 when it hosts Lehigh on Saturday.

Lehigh The Mountain Hawks will have to hope for a win on Saturday and a potential at-large berth to the posteason after falling to Colgate 35-24 at home over the weekend...Lehigh led 24-14 at the half, but saw the Raiders dominate time of possession while scoring three touchdowns to rally in the second half...The Mountain Hawks had a list of winning streaks come to an end as they suffered their first loss to a Patriot League opponent since 2009...Lehigh had won 18 in a row in the regular season and 18 straight against Patriot League opponents, the second-longest run in League history...Lehigh was also the last undefeated team in the FCS, and falls to 9-1 on the season... Lehigh had all the momentum early, going ahead less than three minutes into the game on a two-yard touchdown run by Zach Barket and padding the lead to 14-0 on Keith Sherman's one-yard touchdown with 13:46 to play in the second quarter...Lehigh boosted its lead to 21-7 on Mike Colvin's four-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Coyle in the second quarter, and went ahead 24-14 at the break when Jake Peery hit a 43-yard field goal as time expired in the first half...But the second half was all Colgate, as the Lehigh offense had four punts and two turnovers and the Raiders went on three long touchdown drives to pull out the 35-24 win... Colvin completed 15-of-29 passes for 242 yards and a touchdown for Lehigh, but also threw two interceptions...Barket had 54 yards and a score on the ground, while Ryan Spadola had seven receptions for 86 yards and 223 all-purpose yards in the game.. Sam Loughery led the Lehigh defense with 14 tackles...Lehigh will try to earn its fifth consecutive win against rival Lafayette on Saturday, and attempt to boost its at-large FCS playoff hopes with a victory that would give them a 10-1 record...Lehigh joins top five teams North Dakota State, Montana State and Old Dominion as the only squads that can finish the regular-season with 10 victories.