Patriot League Week 1 Preview: Colgate’s Title Defense Commences

The 2019 Patriot League football season kicks off Saturday afternoon when Villanova heads to the beautiful Chenango Valley to take on defending Patriot League Champion Colgate. This is the second time in the last 3 seasons that Colgate has opened up a week early. The Raiders made the pilgrimage to California in 2017 to take on Cal Poly.

All seven league members will be in action next weekend.

Villanova (0-0) at #16 Colgate (0-0) 12 P.M. Andy Kerr Stadium Hamilton, NY

TV: CBS Sports Network

The Pick: Colgate seeks their 4th straight win over an opponent from the CAA when the Raiders kickoff the 2019 campaign against Villanova. The Wildcat have dominated opponents (losses, ’87 Holy Cross, ’89 Holy Cross, ’06 Lehigh and ’13 Fordham) from the Patriot League to the tune of 32-4 since the conference’s inception in 1986. Villanova has won 8 in a row against Patriot League foes since their loss to Fordham in 2013.

Villanova has failed to notch winning records in each of Mark Ferrante’s first two seasons despite performing well in September against out of conference opponents. The Wildcats will be turning to Campbell transfer Daniel Smith to lead the offense in 2019 (25 ppg in ’18). The unit has bogged down against better opponent in recent years. The Wildcats were picked 9th in the preseason CAA Poll and failed to land a player on the All-CAA Team.

Despite not having a star laden 2-deep, Villanova is still loaded with talent. LB Drew Wiley and DB Jaquan Amos lead a very sound defense. The Wildcats chances will ultimately come down to Smith’s ability to move the offense against Colgate’s still stout “D”. The turnover battle and special teams will be huge in a game like this. The Raiders have a decided advantage in special teams.

Colgate 24 Villanova 20

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