My rants and insight into Colgate athletics and Patriot League sports

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Prognosticating the Patriot: Week 11

The view from the top of the league is... well... crowded! We got Lehigh, we got Colgate and we have Lafayette all claiming a piece of the league pie right now. That number should decrease by at least one before the final two weeks of the season are over. What an exciting race it's been!

For this week, Colgate finally has the 'spotlight' off of them for a change and instead, it is the Leopards of Lafayette that will be the in the 'big' game for the second week in a row. There is still an outside shot for an at-large playoff berth for a few teams, so there should be more than one fired up team taking the field on Saturday and making a case for post-season play.

Bucknell at Colgate

Payback is just one of the things that must be on the minds of the Colgate Raiders after last year's embarrassing 42-7 loss in Lewisburg that effectively ended the Raiders 2004 playoff hopes. After losing to Lehigh, Colgate must now pin their playoff hopes on an 8-3 record and perhaps a Lafayette victory over Lehigh to end the season. Either way, a fifth Patriot League title in ten years is on the line for the Raiders no matter what playoff destiny awaits. There is plenty to play for here.

For the Bison, this 1-8 season probably can't come to a close soon enough. Games were close early in the season, but as the injuries kept piling up the scores were a bit more lopsided. There is still some fight left in this team as the past two weeks were close ones that could have ultimately gone Bucknell's way.

The Bison and their option offense can always present some problems on the right day, no matter how banged up they are. Colgate will need solid defense without breakdowns and ball control offense will be needed to negate the athleticism of Dante Ross when he's on the offensive side of the ball. Bucknell will need more than a few breaks to keep this game competitive. If previous games this year are any indication of what could be in store here, Colgate should put up more than 30 points and hold Bucknell to under three scores.

Predicted outcome: Colgate 41 Bucknell 17

Lafayette at Holy Cross

This is the do or die game of the week in the Patriot League. The Leopards now find themselves needing to win out in order to lay claim to the Patriot League title (or at least a piece of it). Holy Cross needs this win to keep any league title hopes alive, but more importantly to solidify the gains that have been made to the program so far. A win here would firmly cement the Crusaders place in the top part of the league and assure them of a winning season: something that has happened only once since 1992.

The Crusaders hopes lie squarely on the shoulders of senior running back Steve Silva. With last week's loss to Holy Cross, we all were able to witness what can happen without him in the lineup. A Silva lineup is a much more potent weapon for Holy Cross than anything else they've got this year. Holy Cross has also had its fair share of big games so far this year so the experience there could be a factor.

Lafayette found some offensive spark last week on the wings of quarterback Brad Maurer's best passing game ever. Timely turnovers however proved to be costly and fans have been lamenting some of the conservative play calling to end the game. The Leopard defense, one of the most solid units in the nation, will face another stiff test in the senior led Holy Cross offense.

This game ultimately comes down to the ability of Lafayette to score points. Their defense will most likely limit Holy Cross to three touchdowns or less. Can Maurer, Hurt, Stanford and Ort put up more?

This may be a bit of an upset call, but at Fitton, for their senior day, I think Holy Cross can limit the Leopards to 20 points or less. They just need to score more. Silva might not be able to get them all on the ground, but he's also a threat catching and returning. I think he's going to go out with a bang.

Predicted outcome: Holy Cross 21 Lafayette 18

Davidson at Georgetown

The Hoyas took their beatings last week in their trip to Goodman Stadium, but still have a chance to finish this season with a winning record. They have owned Davidson for the past few years and I think have made some improvements this year. I can't see this being the time that the Wildcats win one, especially in D.C.

Predicted outcome: Georgetown 24 Davidson 7

Lehigh at Fordham

Lehigh's in the driver seat now and has one last road trip to make to the Bronx. By all means this game should give Mountain Hawk fans more than a little bit of concern as it has 'stumble' written all over it. Can Lehigh stay focused one more week before the 141st meeting?

Fordham is 2-7 but riding a two game winning streak. They've got a solid running back and an athletic quarterback. The defense is underappreciated but still playing with some heart. On paper, they should be outmatched and outgunned.

Sedale Threatt at quarterback, Eric Rath at tailback and a host of receivers could have a field day if they are hitting on all cylinders. The Lehigh team is full of power and defense. Will that team show up?

I think Fordham will make some Engineers sweat and some Mountain Hawks cringe, but ultimately Lehigh will win this one in the second half. Look for Lehigh to be tied or even down at the break, but come out swinging and put the Rams away with some quick scores.

Predicted outcome: Lehigh 35 Fordham 17

Last week's record: 3-0. Season record 29-19. Bonus notes: Predicted Colgate/Lafayette 18-14 Raiders to actual 18-15 Raider win. Predicted Lehigh/Georgetown 45-18 Lehigh to actual 46-14 Lehigh win. Not too shabby!


  • Excellent job 13. Don't really disagree with anything this week. Lehigh's real concern is injuries and how that effects who can travel. When you're limited to 58, some injuries can effect special teams, and 'doubling up' becomes necessary. However, I firmly believe we'll deal with it and move on the 141st at 8-2. 38-13, Lehigh.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:49 PM  

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