Sept. 10, 2013
THE OPENING KICK
MATCH-UP: As week two rolls around, the Leopards are going to see a significant upgrade in terms of competition. Lafayette welcomes a 1-1 William & Mary squad from the Colonial Athletic Association, arguably the top FCS conference.
The Leopards suffered a harsh fate in week one, losing 26-24 on a last-second field goal after scoring the go-ahead touchdown with two minutes left. The game looked secure after DeOliver Davis intercepted a pass only to have it waived off by a disputed roughing penalty.
William & Mary beat up on Hampton, 31-7, in week two after opening with a seven-point loss to FBS foe West Virginia.
SPECIAL OPENING: Sophomore Matt Smalley has been named the Patriot League Special Teams Player of the Week. Smalley caught the opening kickoff of the 2013 season at the two-yard line and returned it 98 yards for a touchdown on the first kick return of his collegiate career. The lengthy run by the Computer Science major broke the previous school record of 97 yards held by Andrew May in 2000.
Smalley also had a 28-yard return that set up the go-ahead score in the fourth quarter. He averaged 47.0 yards on three returns for the night. Defensively, the starting cornerback also made six tackles and broke up a pass vs. Sacred Heart.
ROSS AMONG BEST AT LAFAYETTE: Senior wide receiver Mark Ross is in the midst of his final season, looking to continue his ascent up Lafayette's career receiving charts. He ranks first in career receiving touchdowns (20), snapping a tie with Phil Ng '89 following a touchdown vs. Sacred Heart in the opener. He is sixth in career receiving yards (1,889) and ninth in career receptions (135).
After snagging 11 balls for 156 yards and a TD in the opener, Ross needs 28 grabs and 518 yards to surpass John Weyrauch '04 (162 catches for 2,406 yards) atop both lists.
FAMILIAR FIVE: Offensive line coach Stan Clayton has to feel fairly confident about his front five in 2013. For the first time in his tenure, Clayton welcomes back all five starters. The group is led by the left side of the line which features junior tackle Luke Chiarolanzio and senior guard Brad Bormann, both of whom enter their third seasons as starters. Bormann, a tri-captain, lines up next to senior Pat Crosby at center who begins his second season as a starter.
On the right side of the line junior Maxim Ngolla, who started six games at guard in 2012, and Zack Mazur, who started all 11 at tackle return. Junior Skyler Lash, a starter in five games at guard and classmate Ben Jeannot are ready to step in. Lash and Jeannot were both called into action in the opener with an injury to Ngolla.
ON THIS DATE: Lafayette is 4-1 in games played on September 14 with the lone loss coming in 1974 against Army.
1974 - Army 14-7 L; 1985 - at New Hampshire 20-7 W; 1991 - Buffalo 42-21 W; 1996 - Millersville 29-17 W; 2002 - Towson 23-7 W
AT IT A WHILE: Since fielding its first college football team in the fall of 1882 (the same year that coward Robert Ford shot Jesse James in the back and that Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture debuted), Lafayette has had a proud, colorful gridiron tradition on the way to a total of 659 victories (659-566-39). Lafayette ranks 38th among all college football teams in all-time wins entering the 2013 season, posting its first win in 1883 (25-0 vs. Rutgers). Lafayette accumulated 100 victories by 1900, 200 by 1915 and 300 by 1934.
ABOUT WILLIAM & MARY
William & Mary enters week three with a 1-1 record, coming off a 31-7 bounceback victory against Hampton. The Tribe narrowly missed an upset of West Virginia in the opening week, as WVU scored a touchdown late in the fourth quarter to seal the win, 24-17.
Fifteen starters, eight on offense and seven on defense, return for William & Mary which was an uncharacteristic 2-9 in 2012 and finished ninth in the Colonial Athletic Association with a 1-7 record. The Tribe defeated Georgia State and Penn and lost six games by single digits.
Senior Michael Graham takes over at quarterback for William & Mary after appearing in six games with three starts last season. Graham has thrown for 313 yards so far in the 2013 campaign with 207 yards coming in the season opener against West Virginia. He has one touchdown pass in each game this season.
Junior wide receiver Tre McBride is one of the premier wide receivers in the CAA. McBride earned All-CAA second-team honors last year after racking up 55 receptions for 897 yards and 10 touchdowns. He has five catches for 127 yards so far this season.
Senior safety Jerome Couplin is one of the team's top returning tacklers. Couplin made a team-high 91 stops in 2012 and has 22 tackles in two games this season, amassing 14 against West Virginia.
Long time head coach Jimmye Laycock (William & Mary '70) is in his 34th season with the Tribe, racking up 216 wins during his tenure. He is only the 13th head coach in FCS history to reach the 200-win plateau.