Patriot League: Week 10 Preview

This week features nothing but Patriot League games for the first time all season. The marquee match-up on the docket this Saturday is Georgetown at Lehigh. The Mountain Hawks are the league’s only 2-0 team after their OT win over Fordham. The Hoyas only conference setback is an overtime loss to the Rams a couple of weeks ago. In other action, defending champion Colgate makes the 4 hour trip on 1-90 to take on Holy Cross. The Raiders are currently riding a 7 game winning streak over the Crusaders. The third game this weekend, Bucknell at Lafayette, could end up deciding who avoids last place in the final league standings. Fordham is on a much needed bye after their crushing loss to Lehigh last week.

Colgate (1-7, 0-2) at Holy Cross (3-4, 1-0) 1 P.M. Fitton Field; Worcester, MA

Live Streaming: Patriot League Network

The Need to Know: Defending Patriot League Champion Colgate will try to make it two wins in a row when they venture to Mount Saint James to battle Holy Cross. The Raiders conquered long-time rival Cornell last week 21-20 for their first win of the season.  Gate’s ground attack (174 yards) gained traction for the first time this season in the win over the Big Red. Colgate will need another strong performance from the running back duo of Alex Mathews and Malik Twyman if they’re going to defeat Holy Cross this weekend. Quarterback Grant Breneman’s willingness to run against Cornell (14 attempts) really helped to open up the running lanes. If Breneman can be effective running and passing against the Crusader’s “D”, Colgate has a real chance to pull the upset on the road. The Raider defense has the personnel to keep Holy Cross’s so-so “O” (17 ppg) well in check.

Holy Cross will try to bounce back from last week’s 31-21 loss to their biggest Ivy League rival, Harvard. The Crusaders fell behind 24-7 at half and despite a solid performance during the final 30 minutes, could never get close enough to seriously threaten. After two straight strong performances, Connor Degenhardt (16-38 206 yards 1 TD 1 INT) struggled against a solid Crimson defense. Outside of Domenic Cozier’s 66 yard touchdown run on the third play from scrimmage, the ground game (82 yards) never got much traction either. Both should find more room to operate against a Colgate defense (394 ypg allowed) that continues to struggle. The Crusader defense has the discipline to contain Colgate’s read-option offense. Breneman will need to be at his best if the Raider offense is going to finally break out.

Holy Cross is the better team and they’re at home. Colgate scored a nice win last week but the reality is they really didn’t play well against a bottom tier Cornell team. Holy Cross will win as long as Degenhardt protects the ball and the defense doesn’t allow Colgate to put together lengthy scoring drives.

Prediction: Holy Cross 27 Colgate 17

Georgetown (5-2, 1-1) at Lehigh (3-3, 2-0) 12:30 P.M. Goodman Stadium; Bethlehem, PA

Live Streaming: Patriot League Network

The Need to Know: Lehigh will try to be the first team in league play to reach 3-0 when they host Georgetown Saturday afternoon. The Mountain Hawks will also be trying to exact revenge on the Hoyas for last year’s 22-16 overtime loss in D.C. The loss ended Lehigh’s 17 game winning streak over Georgetown. The Mountain Hawks will need to regroup emotionally for another big game after last week’s thrilling 30-27 OT win over Fordham. They’ll also likely have to adapt on offense as starting quarterback Tyler Monaco (203 ypg 5 TD 5 INT) is expected to miss the game with a leg injury. If Monaco can’t go junior Addison Shoup will take the reins. The Georgia native has performed well in crucial situations when called upon this season. The Lehigh defense can certainly make Shoup’s life a little easier by bouncing back from last week’s shaky performance against Fordham (330 rushing yards allowed).

Georgetown pushed their record to 5-2 with an ugly 14-10 win over winless Lafayette last week. The Hoyas managed just 264 yards of offense against a Leopard “D” that entered the game giving up well over 400 per game. Gunther Johnson (128 ypg 7 TD 1 INT) and company will need to generate at least a little more “O” this week if the Hoyas are going to secure a winning record before October comes to an end.  Given the Hoyas offensive limitations Coach Sgarlata will lean heavily on his excellent defense (12 ppg allowed). LB Xavier Reddick (22 solo tackles, 5 TFL), DT Khristian Tate (3 sacks) and the rest of the Hoya “D” have the talent to make things really tough on a Lehigh offense that will likely be without their starting QB.

This has all the makings of a low scoring slugfest. Whoever can generate points inside the red zone and limit their mistakes will come out on top. Lehigh has a few more playmakers on offense and a sound kicking game which will prove to be the difference.

Prediction: Lehigh 16 Georgetown 13

Bucknell (1-6, 1-1) at Lafayette (0-7 0-1) 3:30 P.M. Fisher Stadium; Easton, PA

Live Streaming: Patriot League Network

The Need to Know: Who finishes in the Patriot League cellar could very well be determined when Bucknell and Lafayette battle it out on College Hill Saturday evening. The Leopard’s losing streak has now reached double-digits (10) following last week’s tough 14-10 setback to Georgetown. Lafayette outplayed the Hoyas in many regards but failed to execute on both sides of the ball in a few crucial situations that likely would have changed the outcome. Sadly for Coach Garrett’s team that has been an all too familiar theme this season. The offense has really lost its way the last two weeks after showing some real promise earlier in the year. Keegan Shoemaker (227 ypg 8 TD 9 INT) must find his September magic before it’s too late. Conversely, Lafayette’s defense (30 ppg) has played well since the calendar turned to October. If they maintain their current level of play the Bison will have a tough time scoring.

Bucknell heads to Eastern Pennsylvania on the heels of a really disappointing effort against nationally ranked Towson. The Tigers were clearly the better team going in but that doesn’t excuse Bucknell’s no-show type performance in the 56-7 loss. The Bucknell defense surrendered 560 total yards including 328 on the ground! Thankfully for Dave Cecchini’s team, Lafayette does not possess anywhere near the firepower on offense that Towson has. It will be up to Logan Bitikofer (143 ypg 5 TD 3 INT) and the rest of the Bison “O” (15 ppg) to grind out enough points to win. The lack of a consistent rushing attack (72 ypg) continues to be a major issue for the Bucknell offense. Chad Freshnock’s (35 ypg) and Jared Cooper’s (31 ypg) talent far outweighs their current production.

This would appear to be Lafayette’s last best chance to avoid a winless 2019 campaign. Likewise, this very well could be the Bison’s last chance this season to emerge victorious. This game feels like a coin-flip on paper. With that in mind, Lafayette feels like the more desperate team and they’re at home.

Prediction: Lafayette 24 Bucknell 20

Written by 

Related posts