Nov. 21, 2008
Center Valley, Pa. - The Patriot League Football Championship and automatic berth to the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision playoffs will be on the line Saturday, as Holy Cross visits No. 21/22 Colgate in a 1 p.m. start. Both teams are undefeated in Patriot League action, and trying to become the first team to complete a perfect record in League play since 2003. In other action, Lehigh is at Lafayette in the 144th meeting of the most-played rivalry in college football, and Fordham travels to Bucknell.
Patriot League Football Release - 11.17.08
The Crusaders are 7-3 overall and 5-0 in the Patriot League after defeating Lafayette, 27-26, on Saturday, while the Raiders are 8-2 overall and 4-0 in League play. Colgate played one fewer game because its Oct. 4 contest at home against Georgetown was cancelled due to the outbreak of norovirus on the Georgetown campus.
Holy Cross is playing for its first Patriot League title since 1991. The Crusaders won five crowns from 1986-1991, finishing with a perfect record in each of the championship seasons. The only year they didn't win the title in that stretch was 1988. Holy Cross is trying to win six League contests for the first time in its history. A win would also give the Crusaders their first FCS postseason berth as a Patriot League member, and second overall after making the field in 1983.
Colgate is playing for its first Patriot League title and FCS playoff berth since 2005. The Raiders' five previous titles came in 1997, 1999, 2002, 2003 and 2005, with undefeated campaigns in 1997 and 2002. The Raiders are in search of their eighth all-time trip to the postseason, with five of the previous seven coming as a member of the Patriot League.
The winner of the showdown in Hamilton will be the first undefeated Patriot League champion since Colgate in 2003, and just the second outright champion since that season. The Patriot League has prodcued 14 undefeated champions in its 22 seasons, but only one of the last six finished with a perfect mark. The winner will also earn its sixth Patriot League Championship, which will tie Lafayette for the second-most in League history. Lehigh has the most League titles with eight.
Saturday's game will mark just the second time in League history that undefeated teams meet for the League title and automatic playoff berth on the final weekend of the regular season. And it comes 11 years to the day and in the same location as the only other time that it has happened. On Nov. 22, 1997, 5-0 Colgate defeated 5-0 Bucknell, 48-14, in Hamilton to claim the Patriot League title.
Colgate has won seven games in a row heading into Saturday's contest, tied for the third-longest streak in the country behind only No. 1-ranked James Madison and three-time defending champion Appalachian State. It is the longest win streak for the Raiders since their 15 straight wins in 2003. Holy Cross is just one behind with a six-game winning streak, its longest since 1991.
Colgate came in at No. 21 in the most recent Sports Network top 25, with Holy Cross as the top vote-getter of teams outside of the rankings. Colgate is No. 22 in the FCS Coaches Top 25. Colgate is at No. 8 in the ECAC Football Championship Subdivision top 10, while Holy Cross is No. 9.
Holy Cross senior quarterback Dominic Randolph was named as a finalist for the Walter Payton Award (Most Outstanding Player in FCS) on Thursday. Randolph, who has set the Patriot League record with 80 career touchdown passes, needs just 16 completions to break the Patriot League career record of 820 held by Lafayette's Marko Glavic (2000-03). Randolph is within 390 yards of Glavic's League record for total offense, and 456 from his passing yardage mark. Colgate senior running back Jordan Scott, who has already set the Patriot League record for career rushing yardage, carries, rushing touchdowns, scoring and 100-yard rushing games, has two more marks in his sight if he can return from an injury that has kept him out of all or most of each of the past four games. He needs 25 carries to break the all-time Division I record of 1,215 (Steve Bartalo, Colorado State 1983-86). Scott is also just 28 yards away from becoming the eighth player in FCS history and first Patriot Leaguer to record four 1,000-yard campaigns in his career. Scott had also been a Walter Payton Award candidate before his injury kept him from advancing to the final ballot.
Lafayette senior linebacker Andy Romans was also named a finalist for a major award on Thursday, as the reigning Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year is a contender for the Buck Buchanan Award given to the top defensive player in the country.
For more information each of this weekend's games, including game notes from each of the schools, read the game previews below.
This Week in the Patriot League
Holy Cross (7-3, 5-0) at No. 21/22 Colgate (8-2, 4-0)
Andy Kerr Stadium; Hamilton, N.Y. - Saturday, 1 p.m.
Series Holy Cross, 37-28-5 TV Time Warner Sports
Streak Holy Cross, One Win Last Meeting Holy Cross, 27-20 (11.17.07)
Last Colgate Win 29-28 (11.11.06) Last Five Meetings Colgate, 4-1
Holy Cross Head Coach Tom Gilmore, Penn, 1986
Career Record 30-24 (5th Season) Overall/Holy Cross; 17-12 Patriot League
Colgate Head Coach Dick Biddle, Duke, 1971
Career Record 103-48 (13th Season) Overall/Colgate; 61-16 Patriot League
Holy Cross and Colgate meet in Hamilton with the outright Patriot League Championship and automatic berth to the FCS playoffs on the line...The home team has won the last two meetings in the series, with both games decided in the final minutes...Holy Cross rallied from 20-10 down to defeat Colgate, 27-20, in Worcester in last year's season finale...That outcome kept Colgate from sharing the Patriot League title...In the last meeting in Hamilton, Colgate scored the final 14 points of the game to beat Holy Cross, 29-28, on Nov. 11, 2006...That was the season finale for the Crusaders, and kept them from a share of the Patriot League title...Despite last year's loss, Colgate has won six of the last seven and nine of the last 11 in the series...Holy Cross has not won in Hamilton since 2000...Holy Cross won the first 11 meetings as Patriot League members from 1986-96...That streak is tied for the longest in League history in any series...The Crusaders won 14 games in a row overall against the Raiders from 1983-96...Holy Cross holds a 13-9 advantage in Patriot League contests...The Crusaders are trying to win six League games for the first time.
Holy Cross Notebook Holy Cross improved to 5-0 in the Patriot League and set up the showdown with Colgate for the League title with a 27-26 victory at Lafayette on Saturday...The Crusaders scored the winning touchdown on a 37-yard pass from Dominic Randolph to Rob Koster with six seconds remaining...For the first time since 1991, Holy Cross is 5-0 in the League and has won six consecutive games...That was also the last year that the Crusaders won the Patriot League title, as they finished with a perfect 11-0 mark...Holy Cross beat Lafayette in Easton for the second consecutive time... Randolph completed 28-of-49 passes for 422 yards with three touchdowns in the win...He became the Patriot League career leader with 80 touchdown passes, breaking the mark of 78 held by Lehigh's Phil Stambaugh (1996-99)...Randolph has 805 career completions, just 15 short of the Patriot League record of 820 held by Lafayette's Marko Glavic (2000-03)...Randolph is within 390 yards of Glavic's total offense record, and 456 from his passing yardage mark...Randolph threw for 300 yards for the seventh consecutive time...It extended his League record to 17 career 300-yard games, and tied the single-season mark with seven 300-yard efforts this season...Randolph also tied that mark last year...He set a Patriot League single-season mark with 35 touchdowns responsible for (31 passing/4 rushing) in 2008...He also set a single-season mark with 324 completions...Anthony Campbell's two sacks and three tackles for loss against Lafayette were the highest for a Crusader this season...Holy Cross held a 490-330 edge in total offense.
Holy Cross game notes
Colgate Notebook No. 21/22 Colgate was off last week, and hosts Holy Cross with the Patriot League Championship on the line on Saturday...The Raiders are 4-0 in the League for the first time since 2003, and have also won seven consecutive contests for the first time since claiming their first 15 and making the national title game that season...Colgate will play one fewer game in League play because its Oct. 4 contest against Georgetown was cancelled due to the outbreak of norovirus on Georgetown's campus...This is the sixth time under Head Coach Dick Biddle that Colgate has won eight or more games in a season...The seven-game winning streak is tied for the third-longest in the FCS...Colgate is ranked fourth in the FCS with 272.4 rushing yards per game this season...Senior running back Jordan Scott needs 28 yards to become the first Patriot Leaguer and eighth player in FCS history with four 1,000-yard rushing seasons, and 25 carries to become the all-time Division I leader in that category...The Raiders will be trying to win their first Patriot League title since 2005, and earn their first outright title and undefeated League season since 2003.
Colgate game notes
Lehigh (4-6, 3-2) at Lafayette (7-3, 3-2)
Fisher Stadium; Easton, Pa. - Saturday, 1 p.m.
Series Lafayette, 76-62-5 TV LSN, MASN, WFMZ, FCS
Streak Lafayette, Four Wins Last Meeting Lafayette, 21-17 (11.17.07)
Last Lehigh Win 30-10 (11.22.03) Last Five Meetings Lafayette, 4-1
Lehigh Head Coach Andy Coen, Gettysburg, 1986
Career Record 15-17 (3rd Season) Overall/Lehigh; 10-7 Patriot League
Lafayette Head Coach Frank Tavani, Lebanon Valley, 1976
Career Record 52-49 (9th Season) Overall/Lafayette; 31-25 Patriot League
Lehigh and Lafayette meet in Easton in the 144th meeting of the most-played rivalry in college football...The winner will claim third place in the Patriot League with a 4-2 record, while the loser will fall to fourth with a 3-3 mark...Lehigh is trying to secure a winning record in League play for the 10th time in the last 11 years, while Lafayette goes for its fifth consecutive winning Patriot League record...Lafayette has won the last four and five of the last six meetings in the series, and holds a 76-62-5 advantage in the all-time matchups...The four-game winning steak is the longest for Lafayette in the series since since it claimed nine in a row from 1943-1949...Lafayette's longest series win streak was a 10-game stretch from 1919-1928...The Leopards pulled out a 21-17 victory at Lehigh last season when Rob Curley threw a three-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Roeder with 2:53 remaining in the game...Lafayette earned a share of the League title in 2004, 2005 and 2006 by beating Lehigh in the season finale...The Leopards earned the Patriot League's automatic berth to the FCS playoffs with the victories in 2004 and 2006, and garnered an at-large berth in 2005...Lehigh's last victory in the series was a 30-10 win at home in 2003...The Mountain Hawks' last win in Easton came in 2000...Prior to losing five of the last six, Lehigh posted seven consecutive victories from 1995-2001...That is the longest winning streak in series history for the Mountain Hawks...Lehigh holds a 12-10 advantage in Patriot League contests...The Mountain Hawks need a victory to win five games or more for the 11th consecutive season.
Lehigh Notebook Lehigh defeated Bucknell for the 11th consecutive time, earning a 31-15 victory in Bethlehem on Saturday...It is the longest active winning streak in any Patriot League series, and ties the Patriot League record for the longest winning streak against one school (Holy Cross over Colgate, 1986-1996)...Six of those 11 victories came at Goodman Stadium...Lehigh will finish at .500 or better in the Patriot League for the 10th time in the last 11 seasons...The Mountain Hawks finished their home schedule with a 3-2 record, giving them their 11th consecutive season with at least three wins at home...Matt Cohen had a fumble recovery for a touchdown, interception to set up a score and a half-sack in the game...Cohen leads the Patriot League in sacks (6.0) and tackles for loss (15.5), while tying for the League lead with three interceptions...Jason Leo punted three times for a 55.3 average in the game, including a career-long 75-yard boot...Leo's 43.0 average ranks eighth nationally, and Lehigh is fourth in the nation with a 36.6 net punting average.
Lehigh game notes
Lafayette Notebook Lafayette saw its chance for a Patriot League title end with a heartbreaking, 27-26, loss at home against Holy Cross on Saturday...The Leopards gave up the winning touchdown with just six seconds remaining...It was the fourth consecutive victory for the road team in the series...The Leopards opened up a 20-7 lead in the third quarter, and took a 26-20 lead with 2:45 left before falling...DeAndre' Morrow carried 15 times for 111 yards and two second-half touchdowns...Marc Quilling completed 17-of-24 passes for 184 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions...Shaun Adair had four receptions for 97 yards, including a 44-yard touchdown...Adair moved into third place in Lafayette annals with 2,148 receiving yards...His career totals of 144 catches and 2,148 yards both rank in the FCS top 20 among active players...Tom Kondash had a career-long 79-yard punt, the longest for a Lafayette player since 1996...He punted six times for a 43.8 average, and pinned Holy Cross inside the 20 on four occasions...Lafayette suffered its first loss when wearing black jerseys...Before Saturday's game, Lafayette held a 4-0 record when dressed in black jerseys.
Lafayette game notes
Fordham (5-5, 1-4) at Bucknell (4-6, 1-4)
Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium; Lewisburg, Pa. - Saturday, 1 p.m.
Series Bucknell, 15-8
Streak Bucknell, Two Wins Last Meeting Bucknell, 38-24 (11.17.07)
Last Fordham Win 28-21 (11.5.05) Last Five Meetings Bucknell, 4-1
Fordham Head Coach Tom Masella, Wagner, 1981
Career Record 33-43 (7th Season) Overall/16-17 (3rd Season) at Fordham; 7-10 PL
Bucknell Head Coach Tim Landis, Randolph Macon, 1986
Career Record 80-91-1 (16th Season) Overall/27-39 (6th Season) at Bucknell; 13-23 PL
Fordham and Bucknell conclude their seasons when they meet in Lewisburg on Saturday...The winner will earn fifth place in the final Patriot League standings, with the loser finishing in sixth...Fordham is also trying to finish with its second consecutive winning season, while Bucknell tries to finish with at least five wins for the fourth time in the last six years...Bucknell has won the last two and four of the last five in the series...Bucknell earned a 38-24 victory at Fordham in the regular season finale in 2007 to end the Rams' quest for a perfect Patriot League season...Bucknell won the last matchup in Lewisburg, 13-3, in 2006...Fordham's last win at Bucknell came in 2002...Bucknell has a 15-8 advatnage in the all-time series, and a 13-5 edge in Patriot League matchups.
Fordham Notebook Fordham earned its first Patriot League victory with a 17-0 shutout of Georgetown on Saturday...The Rams also improved to 5-5 overall...The Rams ended a five-game League losing skid that started with a home loss to Bucknell in the 2007 regular season finale...Fordham won its third consecutive game against Georgetown, and has still never lost to the Hoyas at home in Patriot League play...The Rams have won 13 of the last 14 overall against the Hoyas...The Rams became the fourth team in Patriot League history to record two shutouts in a season...Fordham also blanked Columbia, 16-0, to open the 2008 campaign...The Fordham defense held Georgetown to just 99 yards of total offense, the lowest total allowed by the Rams on the NCAA FCS level...Fordham completed its home schedule with a 4-2 record...Xavier Martin carried 40 times for 186 yards in the game...Martin has 1,090 rushing yards on the season...He becomes the sixth Fordham running back to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season, and the first since James Prydatko in 2005...Adam Danko has now connected on nine of his ten field goal attempts on the year, including the past eight straight..John Skelton had 144 passing yards, and now has 6,074 in his career...That total is 39 yards shy of the Fordham record set by Kevin Eakin (2000-03)...Skelton's 19 completions bring his career total to 502, leaving him 16 short of Joe Moorhead's (1992-95) career mark while his two touchdown passes give him 43 for his career, two off of Eakin's career record.
Fordham game notes
Bucknell Notebook Bucknell concluded its road schedule with a 31-15 loss at Lehigh on Saturday...The Bison dropped their fourth consecutive game, all in Patriot League action...Bucknell finishes with a 3-2 record away from Lewisburg...It was the 11th straight loss against Lehigh for the Bison...C.J. Hopson completed 17-of-32 passes for 151 yards and a touchdown and also ran for a team-high 76 yards and a score in his first career start at quarterback...He attempted more passes than any Bucknell quarterback since 2002...Hopson was playing in his second career game...Shaun Pasternak caught nine passes for 97 yards and a touchdown...He broke the Bucknell single-season record with his 11th touchdown reception of the year...Pasternak moved up to third on Bucknell's season receptions list (63) and his 97 yards moved him into second on the Bison single-season yards list (927)...A.J. Kizekai needs 140 kickoff return yards to equal his own single-season Bucknell and Patriot League record in that category...Kizekai is 68 yards shy of equaling his own single-season all-purpose yards mark at Bucknell...He is fourth in the nation with 184 all-purpose yards per game, and 15th with a 26.3 kickoff return average.
Bucknell game notes