Week 2: Patriot League Preview

This week is highlighted by three Patriot League – Colonial Athletic Association matchups. These are the first such games against the CAA since Colgate took down New Hampshire and James Madison in last year’s FCS Playoffs. The other game to really keep an eye on is Bucknell – Duquesne. The Bison make the 3 hour bus ride to Pittsburgh for an intriguing matchup against defending NEC Champ Duquesne. #21 Colgate has the week off before venturing to the Yale next week.

Elizabeth City State @ Fordham – 10 Sept, 1 P.M. (Patriot League Network)

After being ambushed by FBS Navy in Annapolis last weekend, Fordham will try to get their season jump started in their home opener against Division 2 Elizabeth City State. One key to the Rams regaining their swagger will be getting Chase Edmonds going. The third year RB was held to 70 yards on 18 carries by the Navy defense. The Vikings don’t figure to present nearly the resistance Navy did. This will be Elizabeth City State’s second straight FCS opponent. They lost a hard fought 20-12 battle to Norfolk State on Sunday. The game was originally scheduled for Saturday but Hurricane Hermine caused it to be pushed back a day.

This unusual matchup came about when Columbia decided to discontinue the Liberty Cup because their administration felt it was no longer possible to compete with the now scholarship Rams.

Lehigh @ #20 Villanova – 10 Sept, 6 P.M. (Nova Nation All Access)                                           

The Mountain Hawks and Wildcats will be looking to avoid a 0-2 start on what figures to be a hot day in suburban Philadelphia. Villanova returns home to the Main Line after dropping their opener to Pitt 28-6. One major key for the Mountain Hawks will be getting the offense going early and often. A similar performance against a talented Wildcat defense will almost certainly lead to a long night for Lehigh. Containing ultra-talented Wildcat DE Tonah Kpassagnona (6’7 290 DL) and getting the ball in the hands of Troy Pelletier (2 receptions 21 yards against Monmouth) will key to Lehigh’s success Saturday evening.

Andy Coen is the only active Patriot League coach to notch a win (31-28 ’06) against Andy Talley. The legendary Villanova coach will be retiring at the conclusion of the season.

Georgetown @ Marist 10 Sept, 10 6 P.M. (Red Fox Network)

Georgetown will look to build off their opening season victory over Davidson when they head to the Empire State to face Marist. If the Hoya’s want to start 2-0 for the first time since 2012 senior QB Tim Barnes will need to post another strong game (26-35 215 yards 4 TD 1 INT last week). Marist lost to Patriot League member Bucknell 26-10 to open the 2016 campaign. The Red Foxes will need to limit mistakes (8 penalties, 4 turnovers in opener) if they want to avoid back to back losses.

Georgetown and Marist were once conference mates in the now defunct MAAC. Georgetown left the conference following the 1999 season to join the Patriot League.

Delaware @ Lafayette – 10 Sept, 6 P.M. (Patriot League Network)

Lafayette hosts Delaware for the first time since 1971 in a compelling contest featuring two teams seeking to assert themselves early in the season. The Leopards will need their rushing attack to help our quarterback Drew Reed (31-42 316 yards 3 TD’s last week). The Lafayette ground game managed a meager 22 yards against Central Connecticut State. That type of performance won’t work get it against a Blue Hen team that’s coming off a 56-14 trouncing of instate rival Delaware State. The Blue Hens should enter the game supremely confident.

Delaware began their 2003 national title defense by downing the Lafayette 28-14 on 11/27/04. This would be the first of three straight playoff appearances for the Leopards.

Bucknell @ Duquesne – 10 Sept, 6 P.M. (NEC Front Row)

For the second straight week to begin the 2016 season the Bison hit the road. This time they invade Rooney Field to face the usually dangerous Duquesne Dukes. In order for Bucknell to take down the defending NEC Champs, R.J. Nitti will need to be more efficient passing the ball than he was in the season opener (11/26, 42% againt Marist). Coming off a career 145 yards, Joey DeFloria should be able to find some holes in a Duke defense that surrendered 394 rushing yards to Youngstown State. The Dukes fell 45-10 to the Penguins last Thursday.

Duquesne got their first win in eight visits to Lewisburg last year when they defeated Bucknell 26-7.

Holy Cross @ New Hampshire (

The University of New Hampshire will showcase their newly renovated Wildcat Stadium under the lights against the Crusaders. Holy Cross has to like their chances to dampen the spirits in the Wildcats new digs if they can pick up where they left off last weekend when they defeated Morgan State 51-24. The 51 point are the most points posted by the Crusader since 10/12/13 when they equaled the total against Bucknell (51-27). Conversely, New Hampshire was blanked by Mountain West Conference favorite San Diego State 31-0. UNH was picked 5th in the preseason CAA Poll. They will be seeking their 13th straight (1-AA/FCS record) playoff this season.

Despite being separated by 100 mile, these two fine New England institutions have “only” met 14 times on the gridiron. New Hampshire is currently riding a three game winning streak in the series that dates back to 1984.



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