Colgate Draws Wagner to Open NCAA Division I Football Championship

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Colgate quarterback Gavin McCarney is a Walter Payton Award candidate.
PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG
Colgate quarterback Gavin McCarney is a Walter Payton Award candidate.
PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG

Nov. 18, 2012

Patriot League NCAA First Round PreviewGet Acrobat Reader
NCAA Division I Football Championship Bracket

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Patriot League champion Colgate heads to the NCAA Division I Football Championship for the first time since 2008 and will open at Wagner, the champion of the Northeast Conference, in a first-round game on Saturday at Noon.

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The teams will meet for the first time when they face off at Hameline Field. The contest will be streamed online on ESPN3.

The No. 24-ranked Raiders earned the Patriot League's automatic bid to the field by finishing with a perfect 5-0 mark in the conference to go with an 8-3 record overall. Colgate claimed the League title with a 35-24 win at Lehigh on Nov. 10, and enters the postseason on a seven-game winning streak. That run is only topped by Wagner (8-3), which has won eight in a row since an 0-3 start.

While the teams have never met, they do have a group of common opponents from the 2012 season. Each team played Holy Cross, Georgetown, Albany and Sacred Heart, with each going 3-1 against that quartet. Colgate lost at Albany 40-23 in the Sept. 1 season opener, beat Sacred Heart 35-14 on Sept. 15, defeated Holy Cross 51-35 on Oct. 13, and beat Georgetown 57-36 on Oct. 20. Wagner lost at Georgetown 13-10 on Sept. 8, won at Sacred Heart 12-3 on Oct. 6, blanked Albany 30-0 on Nov. 3, and then edged Holy Cross 31-30 on Nov. 10.

Colgate is making its ninth NCAA playoff appearance and first since 2008. The Raiders are 4-8 all-time in the FCS playoffs, including a runner-up finish in 2003. Colgate is 3-6 in its appearances as a Patriot League member in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2005 and 2008, with all of the victories coming on its trip to the title game in 2003.

It is the first time a Patriot League team will play an opponent from the Northeast Conference in the postseason. The Patriot League won the season series between the schools 5-3, with Colgate and Wagner each going 1-1 against the opposition's conference.

Patriot League teams are 2-2 all-time against Wagner, with Georgetown winning games over the Seahawks in each of the last two seasons. The Hoyas also fell to Wagner in 2010 along with Holy Cross' loss on Nov. 10.

Patriot League teams are 7-12 in first-round contests in the playoffs, though this will be just the second time that a League team plays in the round since the field expanded to 20 teams in 2010. Lehigh defeated Northern Iowa 14-7 that year to win a first-round game. The Mountain Hawks also defeated Towson 40-38 in the second round last year to give the Patriot League representative a victory in consecutive postseasons.

Saturday's winner travels to No. 2-seed Eastern Washington for a Dec. 1 second-round matchup. That game kicks off from Cheney, Wash., at 3:05 p.m. Pacific time (6:05 Eastern) and also is being carried online by ESPN3.

Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PatriotLeagueFB
*Colgate heads to Wagner in a first-round game of the NCAA Division I Football Championship Saturday at Noon on ESPN3.
*Colgate is in the postseason for the first time since 2008 and ninth overall.
*The Raiders are 4-8 all-time in the FCS playoffs, with a 3-6 record in their appearances as a Patriot League member.
*Colgate is on a seven-game win streak, while Wagner has an FCS-best eight-game winning run.
* It is the first time a Patriot League team faces an NEC opponent in the playoffs.
*The Raiders are trying to give the Patriot League a win in three consecutive postseasons for the first time since a run of four straight years from 2000-03.
*Colgate is second in FCS in total offense, third in scoring and fifth in rushing.
*The Raiders cracked both FCS polls this week for the first time this season.
*Colgate is No. 24 in The Sports Network and No. 25 in the FCS Coaches Poll.
*Colgate junior quarterback Gavin McCarney was named Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year and a Walter Payton Award candidate.
*McCarney leads the nation in scoring and is second in points responsible for, third in passing efficiency, seventh in total offense and 11th in rushing.
*Colgate's Dick Biddle was named Patriot League Coach of the Year and one of the League's two candidates for the Eddie Robinson Award.
*Colgate's Chris Looney was named Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
*Georgetown's Robert McCabe was named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year and is a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award.
*Fordham's Joe Moorhead joins Biddle as an Eddie Robinson Award finalist.

Patriot League NCAA Notebook

COLGATE BACK IN POSTSEASON FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 2008
Colgate is making its ninth NCAA playoff appearance and first since 2008. The Raiders are 4-8 all-time in the FCS playoffs, including a runner-up finish in 2003. Colgate is 3-6 in its appearances as a Patriot League member in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2005 and 2008, with all of the victories coming on its trip to the title game in 2003.

A FIRST MEETING, BUT PLENTY IN "COMMON"
Colgate and Wagner are meeting for the first time on the gridiron, but the teams can scout plenty of familiar opponents on game tape this week. Each team played Holy Cross, Georgetown, Albany and Sacred Heart, with each going 3-1 against that quartet. Colgate lost at Albany 40-23 in the Sept. 1 season opener, beat Sacred Heart 35-14 on Sept. 15, defeated Holy Cross 51-35 on Oct. 13, and beat Georgetown 57-36 on Oct. 20. Wagner lost at Georgetown 13-10 on Sept. 8, won at Sacred Heart 12-3 on Oct. 6, blanked Albany 30-0 on Nov. 3, and then edged Holy Cross 31-30 on Nov. 10.

PATRIOT LEAGUE vs. NORTHEAST CONFERENCE
It is the first time a Patriot League team will play an opponent from the Northeast Conference in the postseason. The Patriot League won the season series between the schools 5-3, with Colgate and Wagner each going 1-1 against the opposition's conference. Patriot League teams are 10-3 against NEC opponents over the last two years, with a 2-1 mark vs. Wagner.

CAN COLGATE MAKE IT THREE IN A ROW?
Colgate is trying to give the Patriot League a victory in the NCAA Division I Football Championship for the third consecutive season. Lehigh defeated Northern Iowa 14-7 in a 2010 first-round game, and the Mountain Hawks also beat Towson 40-38 in the second round last year to give the Patriot League representative a victory in consecutive postseasons. Patriot League teams are 7-12 in first-round contests in the playoffs, though this will be just the second time that a League team plays in the round since the field expanded to 20 teams in 2010.

THREE RAIDERS EARN PATRIOT LEAGUE MAJOR AWARDS
Colgate had three representatives earn Patriot League major awards on Tuesday. Junior quarterback Gavin McCarney claimed the Offensive Player of the Year honor, Dick Biddle won his fifth Coach of the Year award and Chris Looney was named Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Also winning individual honors were Georgetown senior linebacker Robert McCabe as the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year and Lafayette freshman wide receiver/return specialist Jamel Smith as the Rookie of the Year. The All-Patriot League selections were balanced throughout the seven teams, with Lehigh and Fordham each receiving 11 spots on the All-Patriot League Team and seven on the first-team. Colgate followed with eight overall selections and six on the first team, while Holy Cross also had eight selections, Bucknell and Lafayette had seven and Georgetown totaled six. For the full listing of major awards and All-Patriot League honors, go to page six of the release.

FOUR PATRIOT LEAGUERS UP FOR FCS HONORS
The Patriot League has four candidates for top individual honors in the Football Championship Subdivision. Colgate junior quarterback Gavin McCarney is up for the Walter Payton Award as the Most Outstanding Player in the nation, Georgetown senior Robert McCabe is a candidate for the Buck Buchanan Award as the Top Defensive Player in the FCS, and Colgate's Dick Biddle and Fordham's Joe Moorhead are both contenders for the Eddie Robinson Award as the FCS Coach of the Year. A panel of voters is selecting the winners this week, with the announcement made at the FCS Awards Banquet on Dec. 17.

COLGATE, LEHIGH BOTH RANKED IN FCS POLLS
For the first time since 2009, two Patriot League teams are ranked in each of the FCS polls. Colgate came in at No. 24 in The Sports Network ranking and No. 25 in the FCS Coaches Poll on Monday, joining Lehigh which finished the regular season at No. 10 in the FCS Coaches Poll and No. 13 in The Sports Network. Lehigh, at 10-1 on the season, was the highest-ranked team in each poll that did not make the FCS playoffs.

PATRIOT LEAGUERS FINISH HIGH IN FCS STATISTICS
Multiple Patriot Leaguers finished at or near the top of FCS statistics this season. Fordham's Patrick Murray is first by a wide margin in field goals made, and second in the nation in punting average. Georgetown's Robert McCabe has 28 more tackles than any player in the country, while Colgate's Gavin McCarney tops the charts in scoring. Fordham's Michael Martin and Georgetown's Jeremy Moore are tied for the FCS lead in fumbles forced and recovered, respectively.

NCAA Division I Football Championship - First Round

No. 24/25 Colgate Raiders (8-3, 5-0) at Wagner Seahawks (8-3, 7-1 NEC)
Hameline Field; Staten Island, N.Y.; Saturday, 12 p.m. (ESPN3)
*Colgate heads to Wagner in a first-round game of the NCAA Division I Football Championship Saturday at Noon on ESPN3.
*The teams are facing off for the first time, though they did share four common opponents in 2012.
*Each team played Holy Cross, Georgetown, Albany and Sacred Heart, with each going 3-1 against that quartet.
*Colgate lost at Albany 40-23 in the Sept. 1 season opener, beat Sacred Heart 35-14 on Sept. 15, defeated Holy Cross 51-35 on Oct. 13, and beat Georgetown 57-36 on Oct. 20.
*Wagner lost at Georgetown 13-10 on Sept. 8, won at Sacred Heart 12-3 on Oct. 6, blanked Albany 30-0 on Nov. 3, and then edged Holy Cross 31-30 on Nov. 10.
*Colgate is in the postseason for the first time since 2008 and ninth overall, while Wagner makes its first playoff trip.
*The Raiders are 4-8 all-time in the FCS playoffs, with a 3-6 record in their appearances as a Patriot League member.
*Colgate won all of its playoff games as a League member in 2003 when it advanced to the national title game.
*The Raiders previously appeared after winning the Patriot League in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2005 and 2008.
*Colgate enters the playoffs on a seven-game win streak, while Wagner has an FCS-best eight-game streak.
* It is the first time a Patriot League team will play an opponent from the Northeast Conference in the postseason.
*The Patriot League won the season series between the schools 5-3, with Colgate and Wagner each going 1-1 against the opposition's conference.
*Patriot League teams are 2-2 all-time against Wagner, with Georgetown winning games over the Seahawks in each of the last two seasons. The Hoyas also fell to Wagner in 2010 along with Holy Cross' loss on Nov. 10.
* Patriot League teams are 7-12 in first-round contests in the playoffs, though this will be just the second time that a League team plays in the round since the field expanded to 20 teams in 2010.
* Lehigh defeated Northern Iowa 14-7 that year to win a first-round game. The Mountain Hawks also defeated Towson 40-38 in the second round last year to give the Patriot League representative a victory in consecutive postseasons.
* Saturday's winner travels to No. 2-seed Eastern Washington for a Dec. 1 second-round matchup.

Colgate The Raiders are back in the postseason for the first time since 2008 when they visit Wagner on Saturday at 12 p.m. on ESPN3...Colgate cracked the top 25 for the first time this season when they came in at No. 24 in The Sports Network rankings and No. 25 in the FCS Coaches Poll entering the postseason...The Raiders received three major awards from the Patriot League on Tuesday as Gavin McCarney was named Offensive Player of the Year, Dick Biddle took home the Coach of the Year award and Chris Looney earned the Scholar-Athlete of the Year honor...McCarney is also a top candidate for the Walter Payton Award as the Most Outstanding Player in the FCS, while Biddle is up for the Eddie Robinson Award as the top coach in the nation... McCarney enters the postseason having completed 146-of-234 passes for 2,253 yards and 15 touchdowns with just six interceptions, and did even more damage on the ground with 174 carries for 1,309 yards and an FCS-best 22 rushing touchdowns, tying with teammate Jordan McCord...McCarney leads the nation in scoring with 12.18 points per game, is second in the FCS in points responsible for, third in passing efficiency, seventh in total offense and 11th in rushing...He was one of six Raiders to earn first-team All-Patriot League honors...McCord made the squad after rushing for 1,627 yards and 22 touchdowns, ranking as the nation's fourth-leading rushing and tying McCarney for the FCS lead in touchdowns...Ed Pavalko earned a spot at fullback/H-Back, while Craig Capodiferro, Ryan Risch and Brian Crockett were all selected on the first-team offensive line...Looney was a second-team wide receiver, while Patrick Friel made the second team at linebacker...Looney also earned a spot on the Academic All-Patriot League Team in addition to his Scholar-Athlete of the Year award...Colgate got off to a 1-3 start, but the Raiders will enter the postseason on a seven-game win streak and have scored 35 points or more in nine consecutive contests...Colgate finished second in the country in both total and scoring offense and fifth in rushing offense...Colgate won its Patriot League games in decisive fashion as it took down Holy Cross (51-35), Georgetown (57-36), Bucknell (47-33) and Lafayette (65-41) before winning at Lehigh (35-24) to secure the League title and an undefeated Patriot League campaign on Nov. 10....Colgate rallied in that contest with three second-half touchdowns after trailing 24-14 at intermission...The Raiders completed an undefeated run against Patriot League opponents with a 41-39 victory at Fordham on Saturday, holding on by denying a two-point conversion attempt with 43 seconds left...It is Colgate's first Patriot League title and first undefeated League campaign since 2008...The Raiders are 4-8 all-time in the postseason, and 3-6 as a Patriot League member...Colgate is trying to win a postseason game for the first time since going to the national title contest in 2003.