My rants and insight into Colgate athletics and Patriot League sports

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Prognosticating the Patriot: Week 9

Once again life gets in the way of a blog, so here is my 'Prognosticating' piece a day or so late. I hope the wait is worth it!

Getting right down to business, the Patriot League race got a little clearer last weekend, but it is a far from settled contest. Four teams still have shots at winning the league, although two control their destiny outright while two will need some help along the way. One big game this weekend might make the race clearer... or even muddier.

Bucknell at Lafayette

Lafayette comes off a bye week to welcome the Bison to town in hopes of maintaining their standing at the top of the Patriot League. The Leopards boast one of the best defenses in all of I-AA and should have a field day against a hurting Bucknell squad. The Lafayette offense has had some trouble putting points on the board this season, so a chance to work out some kinks against Bucknell should be a welcome experience before facing Colgate next week.

Frankly, it might take a miracle for Bucknell to win this one. Strange things have happened in I-AA this year, but I'm not about to go picking a Bison win in this one.

Predicted outcome: Lafayette 27 Bucknell 7

Lehigh at Colgate

Like many a match up in the past decade, the annual Lehigh/Colgate game could be the deciding contest of this 2005 Patriot League season (no offense meant to Lafayette or Holy Cross). While the winner of this game will still have a few important battles ahead, they will also be that much closer to claiming the Patriot League title.

Lehigh spent last weekend beating up on Bucknell while breaking in a new sophomore quarterback, Sedale Threatt, in place of injured Mark Borda. Threatt performed admirably however this week's mission will be a more difficult one. Threat will be leading the Mountain Hawks into Andy Kerr to face a Colgate squad that has performed a 180 degree turn since their early season losses. The Raiders made a big statement to the league last Saturday dominating Holy Cross in Worcester.

There will be many match ups worth watching in this one. The Lehigh offense is high octane and diverse and will be facing a Colgate defense that is equally worthy of respect. On the other side of the ball, a stuttering Colgate offense has found some serious legs as of late, led by the outstanding play of Mike Saraceno at quarterback and freshman Jordan Scott at the tailback position. It is my opinion that the Lehigh defense, which is always a solid unit, against a surprisingly potent Colgate offense, that will be the biggest story of the day. If the Mountain Hawks can contain Scott and get to Saraceno, or cover the Raider receiving corps like glue, then Lehigh will head back to Bethlehem back in the contention for the league title.

However, one cannot deny that Colgate is on a roll. The game is at home for the Raiders and Lehigh will be looking to a mostly untested sophomore for playoff salvation. I also think the Colgate offense is under appreciated at this point.

I expect this game to be very close, very exciting and somewhat unpredictable. I also expect Colgate to continue to roll after being counted out early in the season. Biddle leads his troops to victory in this one behind solid defense and timely offensive play.

Predicted outcome: Colgate 27 Lehigh 24

Holy Cross at Fordham

Holy Cross will be on the road looking for a rebound from last week's loss in order to stay in the hunt for the Patriot League championship. There will be a lot to play for in this one besides the title hopes. Most importantly it will guarantee a winning season for the Crusaders. That in itself will be a huge hurdle overcome for this program.

The Saders face an 0-7 Fordham team that, if it hasn't hit rock bottom yet, is lingering dangerously close to it. After last week's loss to Georgetown that saw the Rams squander away an 18 point lead, it is going to take more than a trip home to for the first time in a month to get a victory. Could an upset happen? Sure, anything is possible on Any Given Saturday. Holy Cross has Lafayette in two weeks in an important league battle and could be looking ahead to their week off. But after watching the Rams against Colgate and hearing about the Georgetown game, I have to go with Holy Cross in this one. The Crusaders will stay in the playoff hunt for one more week, hoping for Colgate to stumble.

Predicted outcome: Holy Cross 31 Fordham 14

Georgetown is idle

Last week's record: 3-0. Season record: 25-17


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