My rants and insight into Colgate athletics and Patriot League sports

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Prognosticating the Patriot: Week 10

Lehigh regained control of their own destiny last weekend, with an impressive win on the road behind a new quarterback. The Mountain Hawks win, the first Patriot League win for an away team at Andy Kerr since Lehigh also did it in 2001, sets up a potential 141st Lehigh/Lafayette season finale for all the marbles again.

First things first though: there's still some football left to play, and there is a chance that some other teams haven't gotten that memo yet.

Colgate at Lafayette

It's been a long time since the Leopards have beaten the Raiders. So long in fact, that the Colgate freshman on the team were 8 years old. Yes, Dick Biddle has never lost to Lafayette.

That should hardly be a consolation to the Raiders though, as a few long time 'never haves' have happened. Lehigh puts up the most points ever at Andy Kerr. Colgate loses to a mid-major for the first time. Colgate loses to Dartmouth under Biddle for the first time. So putting the streak aside, what is actually on tap this Saturday?

For starters, Lafayette comes into the league without a loss but with the bulk of the league schedule still ahead of them. They've been winning on the virtue of their defense while their offense has not really been able to dominate an opponent. Colgate on the other hand has shown it can play solid defense most of the time and for an offense that started out anemic, has found some great weapons and has really started to snowball in recent weeks. However, the Raiders have their own problem that gives them an 5-3 record: turnovers.

There is a lot riding on this game for both teams, so the focus should be there. The key match up will likely be the Colgate defense stopping the Lafayette offense. If Colgate can hold the Leopards down like some other teams have been able to, the Raider offense should be able to score more than some previous opponents. If Lafayette can finally find some consistent ways to score, this game might just be the one to break the streak.

Call it Homer's doing, but I don't see Colgate's defense coming out flat two weeks in a row. This team is different and has bounced back from being down not once but twice. The Colgate offensive machine is hitting on all cylinders when it isn't turning the ball over. If those can be limited, I think the Colgate defense will come back from its vacation last week and keep the Raiders in the hunt for a league title.

Predicted outcome: Colgate 18 Lafayette 14

Georgetown at Lehigh

Georgetown had the week of to think about how in the world it is going to go into Goodman and take down the rolling mountain Hawks. It is a Herculean task to imagine, but no matter how much Lehigh should beat the Hoyas, the game is played for a reason.

Lehigh will have even more of a bounce to their step as they are now back in the driver's seat of their own destiny, plus they will have the fresh memories of the Holy Cross defeat to keep them focused on the task at hand. If I'm a Hoya fan (and we all know I am this week!), I don't like our chances.

With Threatt at quarterback now, the Lehigh offense looks like it may have that final dimension to push them over the edge of very good, to possibly great. A solid performance by all areas of their game will produce a solid victory for the Mountain Hawks. It will take more than one funny bounce to give this game to the Hoyas.

Predicted outcome: Lehigh 45 Georgetown 18

Bucknell at Fordham

In what is at first glance the least likely game to matter this weekend, upon further inspection there is a lot to take note of when the Bison meet the Rams in the Bronx. Fordham broke the winless streak taking down Holy Cross last weekend, and if there is to be any excitement this offseason about the future of Fordham football, they will need to start a streak of another kind: winning. If Fordham can win the next 2 out of 3 games, the bitter tastes of the early season losses will be tempered perhaps enough to allow head coach Ed Foley to keep some of the hounds at bay.

For Bucknell, it has been a different story: Injuries. This battered group will be looking for their second win of the year and their first Patriot League win. The reasons to watch this one for Bison fans will be to see what kind of individual performances might happen. There are some good players on this team. Perhaps they will find a way to put it all together in the end?

When it comes down to it, I like the Rams at home in this one. They might have the same 1-7 record as Bucknell, but they won last weekend. They're home. They are probably healthier. I'm thinking they're 2-7 on Sunday.

Predicted outcome: Fordham 20 Bucknell 10

Holy Cross idle

Last week's record: 1-2. Season record: 26-19.


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