Patriot League: Week 5 Preview

Last weekend could be classified as a 5 alarm dumpster fire for the Patriot League after going 1-6 in out of conference play. Losing is never good but the way some of the teams in the league lost was especially embarrassing. The Patriot League’s overall record after 4 weeks of play is 7-20. With the non-league games wrapping up over the next couple of weeks the chances to improve upon the dismal record are fleeting.

I’m on the road so this week’s game previews are simple and to the point. I’ll have full game recaps out next week. After such a disappointing start to the football season I think everyone involved needs to step back and re-energize themselves for conference play!

Lafayette (0-4, 0-0) at Holy Cross (2-2, 1-0) – Sept 30th 1 PM Fitton Field Worcester, MA

Live Stream: Patriot League Network

Holy Cross looks to push their league mark to 2-0 with a win over struggling Lafayette. The Crusaders are coming off a painful overtime loss to Dartmouth while Lafayette fought hard but still came up 21 points short against Princeton. Holy Cross was gashed for 300 yards on the ground last week which has to be concern Coach Gilmore moving forward. However, against a Lafayette team that ranks second to last in FCS in rushing yards per game Holy Cross has little to worry about. The most important thing this this week will be avoiding injuries.

Prediction: Holy Cross 37 Lafayette 20

Colgate (1-3, 0-0) at Cornell (0-2) – Sept 30th 1:30 PM Schoellkopf Field Ithaca, NY

Live Streaming: Ivy League Network

For the 99th time (Cornell leads series 49-46-3), Colgate and Cornell will face off on the gridiron this Saturday afternoon in gorgeous Ithaca, NY. Both teams enter this rivalry game treading quite a bit of water. Colgate has lost 3 straight after capturing their season opener against a then ranked Cal Poly team while Cornell has been outscored 100-36 in losses to Delaware and Yale to begin the year. This appears to be a really even game on paper given the serious question marks Colgate and Colgate have on both sides of the ball. Cornell has the advantage at quarterback but outside of that this appears to be a very even matchup. Last year’s game was a classic that went in the Big Red’s favor. Colgate reverses the role in 2017.

Prediction: Colgate 34 Cornell 31

Harvard (1-1) at Georgetown (1-2, 0-0) – Sept 30th 2 PM RFK Stadium Washington D.C.

Live Streaming: Patriot League Network

Georgetown will try to right the ship against Ivy League power Harvard at the venerable RFK Stadium Saturday. The Crimson have dominated Georgetown each of the last 3 years (outscored the Hoyas 110-20). If the Hoyas want to put forth a more competitive performance against Harvard this time around the offense must find some level of competence. It’s too early to tell if Tim Barnes will start at QB after suffering an injury against Columbia last week. If Barnes can’t play, Clay Norris will once again be called upon to lead the Hoyas “O”.

Prediction: Harvard 38 Georgetown 6

Yale (2-0) at Fordham (1-3, 0-0) – Sept 30th 6 PM Jack Coffey Field Bronx, NY

Live Streaming: Patriot League Network

The scoreboard at JCF is likely to get a serious workout when Fordham and Yale meet Saturday evening. These two teams combined for 81 points last year at the Yale Bowl in a 44-37 Rams win. If Fordham wants to replicate last year’s outcome they must do a much better job stopping the run (currently ranky 114th 262 ypg). The Eli enter this game averaging 300 ypg through their first two games. For the third straight week (missed the last 2 games with ankle injury) Chase Edmonds is listed as Fordham’s starting RB. If he’s finally able to play the Rams chances greatly increases. If not, expect the talented Yale defensive front 7 to get after Fordham QB Kevin Anderson enough to limit the amount of damage he inflicts.

Prediction: Yale 52 Fordham 38

Lehigh (0-4, 0-0) at Wagner (1-3) – Sept 30th 6 PM Hameline Field Staten Island, NY

Live Stream: NEC Front Row

For the first time ever, Lehigh and Wagner face-off in football. The two teams would certainly like to enter their inaugural meeting playing better. Wagner’s only win came against D2 Saint Anselm in the season opener while defending Patriot League champion Lehigh is still searching for their first “W”. The Seahawks have struggled on offense (17 ppg) to start the year. That’s good news for a Lehigh team that ranks at the bottom of FCS in nearly every meaningful defensive statistic. Brad Mayes (2nd in FCS in passing ypg) and Mountain Hawk offense likely found their first opponent they can outscore.

Prediction: Lehigh 45 Wagner 27

Monmouth (3-1) at Bucknell (2-2, 0-1) – Sept 30th 6 PM Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium Lewisburg, PA

Live Streaming: Patriot League Network

The second “first ever meeting” this weekend features Bucknell and the Monmouth Hawks doing battle in Central Pennsylvania. The fact that this is the two schools first meeting is quite surprising given how many games Monmouth has played against Patriot League schools (2-0 this year) the last 10-15 years. Both teams enter Saturday evening’s contest riding a solid wave of momentum. Monmouth’s balanced offense (188 ypg rushing, 178 ypg passing) against Bucknell’s usually stout defense will likely determine the outcome of the game. The Bison got their rushing attack going to some extent last week at Sacred Heart which has to make Coach Susan happy heading into the Monmouth game. In addition to putting forth a strong defensive effort, Bucknell will need to control the clock and avoid turnovers to pull off the upset against the surging Hawks.

Prediction: Monmouth 31 Bucknell 20

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