Two First-Ever Meetings Highlight 2012 Football Schedule
March 6, 2012
EASTON, Pa. - Lafayette's 131st college football season will include first-time matchups with William & Mary and Robert Morris along with meetings against Ivy league foes Yale, Penn and Princeton on the 11-game ledger.
The 2012 season opens Sept. 8 in Williamsburg, Va. at William & Mary, a member of the Colonial Athletic Association. The Tribe is coming off a 5-6 season, finishing 3-5 in the CAA. This game will be the first of a home-and-home series over the next four seasons.
Robert Morris is the other new name on the Lafayette schedule this fall as the Leopards will travel to Moon Township, Pa., just outside of Pittsburgh, on Sept. 29. The trip marks the Leopards' first venture to Western Pennsylvania since taking on Duquesne in 2002. Robert Morris is coached by NFL veteran Joe Walton, the school's first and only head football coach who took over in 1993. Walton spent 16 years coaching in the NFL, working with the New York Giants, Washington Redskins, New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers before taking the position at Robert Morris.
In between the William & Mary and Robert Morris games, Lafayette will challenge more traditional opponents. The Leopards play their home opener on Sept. 15, hosting Penn at 6 p.m. Lafayette has won four out of the last five against the Quakers, a perennial Ivy League contender.
The first game of the Patriot League ledger is Sept. 22 at Bucknell, marking the first major change in the order of Patriot League opponents since 2006. The Bison snapped a nine-game series losing streak to the Leopards in 2011, winning in a snow-covered Fisher Stadium.
After a one-season hiatus, Lafayette and Princeton will meet to open October with the Leopards welcoming the Tigers for the 45th all-time meeting. The game is one of three home night games for Lafayette with a 6 p.m. start.
A week later on Oct. 13, Lafayette travels to Yale for the first road meeting since a 27-21 win in New Haven, Conn. in 2009. The Bulldogs have a new head coach in Tony Reno, a former Yale and Harvard assistant coach.
Lafayette hosts two Patriot League games in a row, greeting Holy Cross on Oct. 20 for a 1 p.m. kick off as part of Homecoming Weekend on College Hill. Patriot League associate member Georgetown comes to Fisher Stadium on Oct. 27 for a 6 p.m. start. November opens with a trip to the chilly coordinates of Hamilton, N.Y. and Colgate. The Leopards travel to Fordham on Nov. 10. While Fordham is considered a Patriot League opponent as an associate member, the game does not count in the conference standings.
The Leopards wind up the regular season with the 148th meeting against Lehigh. The series, which Lafayette leads 76-66-5, is college football's most-played rivalry and the longest continuous rivalry in the nation, having been played in 117 straight seasons beginning in 1896.
In 2011, Lafayette faced the toughest schedule in the nation at the Football Championship Subdivision level, including a season-opening game at eventual national champion North Dakota State. The Leopards finished 4-7 overall and in fifth place in the Patriot League standings.
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