Patriot League Week 4: Wins, We Need Wins!

The Patriot League’s non-league woes continued in week 3. Holy Cross’s come from behind win against preseason Ancient Eight favorite Yale prevented the dreaded Patriot League “O’fer”. It was the second week in a row the Patriot League could only manage a single out of conference “W”. Things don’t get any easier as the first weekend of fall dawns.

The Picks

With the league’s dreadful performance in non-league contests so far it’s hard to get excited for the remaining games. But the show must go on; for better or worse…..

Central Connecticut State (1-2) at Fordham (0-3) 1 P.M. Jack Coffey Field Bronx, NY

Live Streaming: Patriot League Network

The Pick: Preseason NEC favorite CCSU’s win over a poor D2 program (Lincoln) is the only thing keeping this from being a battle of 0-3 teams. Blue Devil’s quarterback Jacob Dolegala needs do a better job of protecting the ball after a rough outing against Columbia last week.  The Rams offensive line has struggled mightily to start the year. As a result, Fordham’s rushing attack ranks among the worst in FCS.  Fordham has faced a brutal schedule to this point so getting a team at home they beat last season should give them a boost of confidence. These are two teams in desperate need of a win. Last year’s game went to OT. This one might as well.

Fordham 27 Central Connecticut State 24

Lafayette (0-3) at Colgate (2-0, 1-0) 1 P.M. Andy Kerr Stadium Hamilton, NY

Live Streaming: Patriot League Network

The Pick: The lone league battle this week sees preseason favorite Colgate host the winless Leopards. Colgate enters the game following an unexpected week 3 bye. Hurricane Florence’s presence in The Carolinas last week forced the cancellation of the Raiders showdown with Southern Conference power Furman. Lafayette is heads to Central New York fresh off a heartbreaking 24-20 loss to Monmouth. It was the Leopard’s best offensive performance since last year’s season finale against Lehigh. Duplicating that type of production likely won’t happen against Colgate’s top rated “D”. Lafayette will build off of last week’s near miss but the Raiders ultimately wear them down in the second half.

Colgate 37 Lafayette 13

Dartmouth (1-0) at Holy Cross (1-2, 0-1) 1 P.M. Fitton Field Worcester, MA

Live Streaming: Patriot League Network

The Pick: Holy Cross welcomes the Big Green to Worcester on the heels of a thrilling win over defending Ivy League Yale last Saturday. The Crusaders scored 14 unanswered fourth quarter points to force OT. In the extra frame Holy Cross secured Bob Chesney’s first win in purple on Derek NG’s 45 yard FG. Dartmouth meanwhile pounded Patriot League member Georgetown 41-0 in our nation’s capital. Dartmouth’s highly touted defense limited the Hoya’s not so “O” to 3 first downs and 112 total yards. Crusader QB Geoff Wade will need to build off of his breakout performance (286 passing yards, 70 rushing) against Yale. After such an uplifting win, expect Holy Cross to ride the wave of a confidence with their most complete game of the year.

Holy Cross 27 Dartmouth 17

Columbia (1-0) at Georgetown (1-2) 2 P.M. Cooper Field Washington D.C.

Live Streaming: Patriot League Network

The Pick: The Hoya’s offense bottomed out, and that’s saying something, last week in their 41-0 loss to Dartmouth. Georgetown’s offense started to head south against Campbell two weeks ago then proceeded to enter dumpster fire mode against the Big Green. After a strong opener, QB Gunther Johnson has regressed significantly the last two weeks. Johnson will have to find a way to generate points against a Lion team that put up 41 points on a solid Central Connecticut State squad last week. Georgetown will player better this Saturday but that won’t be enough against an Al Bagnoli coached team.

Columbia 21 Georgetown 9

Lehigh (1-2) at Penn (1-0) 3 P.M. Franklin Field Philadelphia, PA

Live Streaming: ESPN+

The Pick: The Mountain Hawks head to the “City of Brotherly Love” licking their wounds following two 20+ point losses against very good competition (Villanova and FBS Navy). The Mountain Hawk’s need QB Brad Mayes and company to find their stride after two straight subpar outings. The return of All-American RB Dominic Bragalone and added depth along the offensive line will help significantly. Penn opened up their season last weekend with a 34-17 win over bumbling Bucknell. The Quakers defense limited the Bison to a mere 35 yards rushing. Early season struggles not withstanding, Lehigh has far more playmakers on offense than Bucknell. These two combined for 112 points (65-47 Penn win) last year in Bethlehem. While this won’t be a defensive struggle, don’t expect to see last year’s basketball game on grass. Mayes has his much needed breakout game of 2018 to lead Lehigh to another non-league win.

Lehigh 34 Penn 24

Bucknell (0-3) at Villanova 6 P.M. Villanova Stadium Villanova, PA

Live Streaming: Nova Nation All-Access

The Pick: Bucknell heads to the Mainline in search of their first win over Villanova since 1944. This is the second straight week the Bison are making the trip to the Philly metro area (lost to Penn 34-17) for a game. Coach Susan made the switch to back-up QB Logan Bitikofer last Saturday against the Quakers and it seemed to energize the passing game, relatively speaking. The Bison offense will need to play far and away their best game of the year to have any chance against a very talented and likely angry Villanova team. The Wildcats enter this one after a shocking 45-35 loss to Towson. The much vaunted ‘Nova defense was torched by Tom Flacco (brother of Joe) for 320 yards and 3 TDs. Look for the Wildcats to come out flying on both sides of the ball and send Bucknell back to Central Pennsylvania 0-4.

Villanova 38 Bucknell 10

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