Feline Fracas...Leopards vs. Lions
Oct. 5, 2010
|LAFAYETTE at COLUMBIA|
|Date||Saturday, Oct. 9 at 12:30 p.m. (ET)|
|Location||New York, N.Y. | Kraft Field at Wien Stadium|
|Tickets||Lafayette Athletics Ticket Office|
Lafayette Sports Network (RCN-4, RCN-8, WBPH-60,
|National TV Replay||MASN (DIRECTV 640 & Dish 432) Oct. 10 at 9 a.m. (ET)|
|TV Talent||Gary Laubach, Mike Joseph '88 & John Leone|
|Radio|| WJRH-FM 104.9 (Dick Hammer)
|Online|| Live Webcast: ESPN3.com | LSN All-Access
|More Coverage|| Gameday Central | Lafayette News Stand
MATCH-UP: Lafayette closes out its four-game Ivy league swing with the short trip to New York City to play Columbia (2-1) at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday. The Leopards (0-4) have won eight straight over the Lions, including a three-point squeaker (24-21) in Easton last season.
THE MARK OF SUCCESS: Senior WR Mark Layton is moving up the all-time receiving lists at Lafayette. With six receptions against Harvard, Layton moved past three of Lafayette's top career receivers. Layton's 108 catches have surpassed Craig Roubinek '93 (104 receptions) and Mike Miller '70 and Brandon Stanford '06 who had 107 catches apiece. He needs 12 more grabs to move into seventh place held by Jeremy Burkes '04 with 120 career receptions. In a related note, Layton has 1,272 career receiving yards, needing to rack up 234 additional yards to move into 10th place, a mark also held by Burkes with 1506 yards. Layton reeled in a career-best 11 catches (for 92 yards) against Georgetown, one short of tying John Weyrauch's single-game record set in 2002. The senior made 65 catches in 2009.
SPREADING IT AROUND: Lafayette completed 29 passes vs. Harvard to 11 different players. Mark Layton made six catches for 50 yards while fellow senior Mitch Bennett added five for 42 yards. Freshman FB Greg Kessel made his only catch of the afternoon count, reeling in an 18-yard touchdown pass from sophomore QB Andrew Shoop near the end of the game.
POSITIVES AND NEGATIVES FROM THE HARVARD GAME: For the first time in four games this season, Lafayette did not commit any turnovers. On the flip side, Lafayette did not force any turnovers. Lafayette surrendered a season-low 91 passing yards, but saw Harvard ring up 311 rushing yards. It was the first time since Oct. 18, 2003 at Harvard (321) that a Lafayette defense gave up 300+ rushing yards.
YOUNG LEOPARDS: A quick look at the Leopards' depth chart shows how inexperienced the Leopards' team is. On both sides of the ball, seven players are in their first seasons as full-time starters.
HEAD COACHES: Frank Tavani (Lebanon Valley '75) is in his 11th season as Lafayette head coach and 24th on the Lafayette coaching staff. In his time as the head man, he has transformed Lafayette into a consistent championship contender. Lafayette has spent time in the Top 25 each of the last six seasons and is the only Patriot League program to boast a winning record in every regular season during that span. The Leopards are coming off a 2009 season in which they were 8-3 (two losses to Top 25 opponents), including a 4-0 record vs. Ivy League opponents.
Tavani, who became Lafayette's 27th head coach on Dec. 11, 1999 and is under contract through 2014, led his program to a 26-10 Patriot League record over the last six years. In that span, Lafayette won three consecutive Patriot League championships from 2004 to 2006 and finished a game out of the title hunt in 2009. During that '04-'06 championship run, the Leopards made the first three postseason appearances in school history, laying claim to the Patriot League's automatic NCAA bid in 2004 and 2006, while earning the program's first at-large berth in 2005.
In addition to Patriot League championships and NCAA Playoff appearances, Lafayette has taken care of business close to home, beating its cross-valley rival Lehigh four of the last six times in College Football's Most Played Rivalry. The win in 2007 at Lehigh allowed the Class of 2008 to leave College Hill without ever having lost to its archrival, a feat not achieved since the Class of 1950.
Tavani has been a part of six Patriot League titles, helping guide the Leopards to crowns as an assistant coach in 1988, 1992 and 1994, to go with the last three championships as head coach.
In his playing days, Tavani became the first player in Lebanon Valley College history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. In that senior campaign, he also garnered All-America honors and has since been named to four athletic halls of fame. Tavani signed as a free agent with the Philadelphia Eagles out of college in 1976 before jumping into coaching at Franklin and Marshall.
His son, Daniel, carried on the college football tradition as an all-conference selection at Wofford. Of his other three children, Liam and Meghan both graduated from Lafayette and his youngest, Bridget, is a sophomore on the women's soccer team.
Tavani's career record stands at 60-57 and he is 8-1 against the Lions.
Norries Wilson (Minnesota '89) is in his fifth season at Columbia and holds a 14-29 mark. The Lions are coming off a 4-6 campaign and a fourth-place Ivy League finish. Wilson was the offensive coordinator at Connecticut for four seasons and also spent four seasons in the Patriot League as the offensive line coach and offensive coordinator at Bucknell.
THE SERIES: Lafayette is 28-11-2 all-time versus Columbia. The Leopards have won eight straight over the Lions in a span that began Oct. 6, 2001 with a 31-14 win in Easton. The last Columbia victory came in 2000, a 47-22 decision in New York. The teams first met 121 years ago on Oct. 9, 1889 in a 10-10 tie. Lafayette is 2-0-1 against Columbia on Oct. 9.
ABOUT COLUMBIA: Columbia was 4-6 overall, 3-4 en route to a fourth-place finish in the Ivy League in 2009. Columbia returns 36 letterwinners and 12 starters.
• The Lions are 2-1 to start the 2010 campaign, losing their season opener to Fordham (16-9) before beating Towson (24-10) and Princeton (42-14). Offensively, sophomore QB Sean Brackett is coming off a career game, completing 18-of-24 for 273 yards with five touchdowns. Brackett leads the nation in passing efficiency (189.17) and is averaging 256.0 yards of total offense per game (21st in the nation), including 56 yards per game on the ground.
• Sophomore RB Nick Gerst leads the rushing attack, carrying 28 times for 197 yards and a touchdown. Senior TE Andrew Kennedy is Brackett's favorite target with 12 catches for 118 yards and two scores.
• Senior LB Alex Gross, who was injured on the opening kick-off of last year's meeting, is leading the team in tackles (39). Senior DB Adam Mehrer, who had five interceptions in 2009, has 29 tackles.
CLOSE, BUT NO W: Lafayette's first three losses came by a combined total of 12 points: 28-24 to Georgetown, 19-14 at Penn and 36-33 in double overtime at Princeton. O'NEIL AT QB: Junior Ryan O'Neil is the Leopards' signal caller. He has completed 68 percent (92-for-134) of his passes and has thrown for 891 yards. O'Neil has four touchdowns to three interceptions in essentially three games (he was knocked from the Georgetown game with an injury and held out for all but two fourth-quarter drives at Penn). At Princeton, O'Neil showed no ill effects of his leg injury, completing 24-of-36 for 283 yards. Against Harvard, the junior was 27-of-42 for 210 yards.
HALF WAY THERE: Lafayette has held a halftime lead in three of four games this season: 24-14 vs. Georgetown, 14-6 at Penn and 14-10 at Princeton.
OUT FOR THE SEASON: Sophomore TB Vaughn Hebron is out for the season after sustaining a knee injury in practice on Sept. 30. He joins senior WR Nathan Padia (broken finger) as potential impact players who will miss the remainder of the season. Starting LB Nate Dixon's status is still undetermined after sustaining a potential season-ending knee injury at Penn.
FINISHING WHAT THEY STARTED: Lafayette maintained a double-digit lead in three of its games this season: 21-7 in the second quarter vs. Georgetown, 14-3 in the second quarter at Penn and 21-10 in the third quarter at Princeton.
THE ELDER RUNNING BACK: In the first game that he saw significant playing time, sophomore tailback Alan Elder put together his first 100-yard rushing game. Elder carried 28 times for 103 yards at Princeton, stepping in for the injured Jerome Rudolph.
NICE CATCH, HAYES: Junior WR Kyle Hayes had a breakout game at Princeton, catching five balls for 136 yards. Hayes had a career-long, 78-yard reception from Ryan O'Neil and finished the game with a pair of touchdowns. SPECIAL AWARD: Senior PK Davis Rodriguez converted all four of his field goal attempts en route to Patriot League Special Teams Player of the Week honors (9/27). Each of his field goals came in the second half or overtime at Princeton. After making field goals in regulation to put Lafayette up 24-16 and 27-24, he extended the game to a second overtime by making a 35-yarder to even the score at 30-30. Rodriguez capped his night by making a 26-yard kick on Lafayette's possession in the second overtime. He is the first Lafayette kicker to make four field goals in a game since Jim Hodson on Sept. 8, 1990. Rodriguez also connected on all three extra-point tries. He earns his first Special Teams honor of the season and extends his Patriot League record of career special teams awards to six.
DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'VE GOT 'TIL IT'S GONE: Lafayette's 0-4 start puts into perspective the Leopards' success over the last eight seasons. During that time (2002-2009 inclusive), the Leopards were 21-11 in their first 32 games. The last time Lafayette started a season 0-4 was 1998. The last time they were 0-5 was 1994 when Lafayette started 0-6 and then won five straight to win the Patriot League title.
WINNING NUMBERS: Lafayette football has been a consistent Patriot League contender in recent seasons. The Leopards are 33-20 since 2002 which was a breakthrough year for head coach Frank Tavani's Leopards after he took over the program in 2000 (7-5, 5-2). Since 2000, Lafayette has been at least two games above .500 in six of eight seasons.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Head coach Frank Tavani has said that special teams need to be a focus for the Leopards in 2010. They did not disappoint at Penn. Junior LB Ben Eaton blocked a Penn punt in the end zone and special teams' game captain Kyni Scott recovered it for a touchdown. The last time Lafayette blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown was Oct. 18, 2008 when Andy Romans '09 ran it back 15 yards for a TD in a win at nationally ranked Liberty. At Princeton, Scott was on hand to recover a muffed punt by the Tigers that resulted in the Leopards taking a 21-10 lead.
WITH A NAME LIKE "JET"...: Jethro "Jet" Kollie's name certainly stands out and the Lafayette coaching staff is hoping that the diminutive Kollie's (5-6, 160) play will speak for itself during his career. Kollie saw his first varsity action at Princeton and against Harvard had a breakout game (or almost a breakout game). Kollie ripped off what appeared to be a 94-yard kick return for touchdown before an alleged block in the back penalty away from the ball at the outset of the play negated the score. Kollie did have one first down run from the slot and managed two kick off returns for 38 yards.
500 CLUB: Lafayette put up 500 yards of total offense against Georgetown, something the Leopards did not do all of last season. Junior QB Ryan O'Neil was 33-of-43 for 304 yards while junior tailback Jerome Rudolph churned out 131 yards on the ground. Lafayette finished the night with 509 yards of total offense, the highest output since Nov. 11, 2006 against Georgetown (511), a 45-14 victory.
PROUD OF THE PROGRAM: Since 2004, Lafayette is 44-29 and 26-11 in Patriot League play. Lafayette stands as the only Patriot League program to record a winning record in each of the last six regular seasons while also holding a Top 25 national ranking each year.
PATRIOT SABBATICAL: The Leopards are taking a hiatus from Patriot League play, more like a sabbatical. Lafayette opened the season with part-time Patriot League member Georgetown on Sept. 11 and does not play a Patriot League game that counts in the standings until Oct. 30 at Bucknell.
129th SEASON: Since fielding its first college football team in the fall of 1882 (the same year Robert Ford shot Jesse James and that Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture debuted), Lafayette has had a proud, colorful gridiron tradition on the way to a total of 656 victories (656-550-39). Lafayette ranked 31st among all college football teams in all-time wins entering the 2010 season, posting its first win in 1883 (25-0 vs. Rutgers). Lafayette accumulated 100 victories by 1900, 200 by 1915 and 300 by 1934.
PHILLIPS TAKES IT TO THE HOUSE: Senior NT Mike Phillips had a standout game at Penn. He intercepted the first pass of his career and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown and also recovered a fumble to give the Leopards the ball back for one last offensive drive. He also finished with six solo tackles.
WORRYING ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK: Lafayette has been picked second in the Patriot League Preseason Poll of conference head coaches and sports information directors. The Leopards (36 points) received two first-place votes. This season, Colgate (46 points and six first-place votes) was selected in the top spot followed by Lafayette, Lehigh (35 points and three first-place votes), Holy Cross, Bucknell and Georgetown. In 2009, Lafayette was selected to finish third and ended in a tie for second.
THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE: A constant in John Loose's defenses is stellar linebacker play. Maurice Bennett '06, current NFL player Blake Constanzo '06, Andy Romans '09 and Mark Leggiero '10 have passed the mantle (or shoulder pads in this case) to senior Mike Schmidlein. The senior co-captain led the team and ranked 23rd in the nation in tackles (100) in 2009. The Economics & Business major recorded two sacks, had an interception and also forced a fumble in 2009. In 2010, Schmidlein made 11 tackles at Penn, nine at Princeton and 10 vs. Harvard. When you ask the coaching staff who is next in the long line of stud linebackers, Ben Eaton's name pops up. The 6-0, 220-pound Eaton is a physical specimen, bench pressing 425 pounds while featuring four percent body fat. Eaton had seven tackles at Penn, along with a blocked punt, made six tackles in the opener vs. Georgetown and had nine stops at Princeton.
ALL-PATRIOT LEAGUE RETURNERS: Lafayette placed 15 players on the All-Patriot League first and second teams in 2009, and five of them return in 2010: first-teamer junior WR Mark Layton, senior LB Mike Schmidlein, senior WR Mitch Bennett, senior P Tom Kondash and junior DB Brandon Ellis.
ABOUT THE KICKER: Senior Davis Rodriguez is in his fourth and final season as the Leopards' starting placekicker. He has played in 36 games during his career and is 35-of-52 (67%) in field goals and 109-of-115 (95%) in PATs. He made a season-long 45-yard field goal against Harvard. This season, as he did for part of 2007, Rodriguez is handling kickoff duties. The St. Petersburg, Fla. native was named All-Patriot League Second Team in 2008 while collecting Sports Network All-America Honorable Mention status. Rodriguez has 214 career points, which stands seventh all-time among Patriot League kickers. Rodriguez, who is a Government and Law major, spends much of his free time volunteering with groups including the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Saint Vincent DePaul soup kitchen, at an orphanage in Costa Rica and with Lauren's First and Goal Football Camp which raises funds for pediatric brain tumor research and for impacted families.
3-4 or 4-3 OR ????...WAIT AND SEE: Change is a constant in John Loose's defensive schemes. Loose perennially has adjusted formations to match up with opponents' formations and schemes. That is never more obvious than when Loose installs a new defense to combat the spread option. This season, the Leopards have spent more time in a 3-4 configuration than in previous seasons which have primarily featured a 4-3. Statistically in 2009, Lafayette was 11th in the nation in rushing defense, allowing just 99.6 yards per game. The Leopards were 45th in total defense (331.8) and just 76th in passing defense (127.6). In 2010, Lafayette surrendered 265 yards against Georgetown, 392 against Penn, 363 at Princeton and 402 against Harvard.
THE PUNTER: For the third straight year, the punting work is being done by Tom Kondash. In 2009, the senior punted 40 times for 1439 yards and 36.0 yards per kick. He landed 11 kicks inside the opponents' 20-yard line. His career best is a 79-yard punt vs. Holy Cross (2008). Kondash had three punts for 99 yards vs. Georgetown, seven punts for 259 yards (37.0) at Penn, five punts for 182 yards (36.4) at Princeton and six punts for 223 yards (37.2) vs. Harvard.
CATCHING UP WITH MITCH BENNETT: Senior wide receiver Mitch Bennett is putting his fingers to the keyboard in his Catching Up blog on GoLeopards.com.
PATRIOT LEAGUE TITLES: Lafayette won three titles in 2004, 2005 and 2006. The Leopards begrudgingly shared the title with Lehigh in 2004 and 2006, and with Colgate in 2005. The championships also led to three straight NCAA Playoff appearances, making Lafayette one of six teams in the country to appear in the 16-team field in three straight years. The Leopards have won six PL championships in the 24-year history of the league (1988, 1992, 1994, 2004, 2005, 2006).
THROW ME THE BALL: Lafayette features one of the top receiving corps at the FCS level and one that Frank Tavani calls the best during his head-coaching tenure. The group is lead by seniors Mark Layton and co-captain Mitch Bennett. In 2009, Layton caught 65 passes, the second most in Lafayette single-season history, for 838 yards (seventh in single-season history). He also pulled down 11 touchdowns, tying him for the second-best Lafayette single-season effort. Bennett reeled in 40 passes as a sophomore, catching touchdown passes in four games. He finished with 596 receiving yards. Juniors Greg Stripe and Kyle Hayes, are also go-to receivers.
RUNNING THE BALL: In 2009, it was tailback by committee, but all but one member of that committee graduated. Junior Jerome Rudolph, who made the switch from No. 32 to No. 27 for 2010, is the lone holdover and is at the top of the depth chart. Rudolph battled a leg bruise throughout the preseason, but showed no ill effects in the season opener vs. Georgetown. He had 24 carries for 131 yards and a score. He was the team's third-leading rusher in 2009, racking up 215 yards on the ground with an average of 5.1 yards per carry. Rudolph has missed the last two games after sustaining a concussion. His status for Columbia is questionnable. On his heels was sophomore Vaughn Hebron who forced his way into the discussion during spring ball and in the preseason. A bigger, stronger back, Hebron is the son of the former NFL player of the same name who played for Philadelphia and Denver. Hebron carried five times for 21 yards vs. Georgetown and had his first career touchdown at Princeton on Sept. 25. His season came to a painful end with an ACL tear on Sept. 30. Fellow sophomore, Alan Elder, also has asserted himself, grinding out a 103-yard rushing game at Princeton along with freshman Patrick Mputu who started the Penn game and has 38 carries on the season.
STANDING OUT IN THE CLASSROOM: Under head coach Frank Tavani, Lafayette football players have excelled as student-athletes. Twenty-three have earned CoSIDA Academic All-District selections and 39 have earned the distinction since 1995, including Doug Gerowski in 2009. Lafayette had 20 student-athletes qualify for the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll in 2009 for which they must achieve a minimum of a 3.2 GPA. Lafayette also has laid claim to four Patriot League Scholar Athletes of the Year.
H-BACK/TE/FB: Some new combinations of letters have found their way onto the Lafayette roster. Without an experienced fullback, the Leopards may employ h-backs (not to be confused with the old school half back) to supplement the running game. Junior Kevin Doty was initially slated to fill that role with converted defensive lineman Erin Murray adding depth at that spot. Backing up Doty at tight end is freshman Brandon Hall. The Leopards have not abandoned any one of the positional groupings, instead utilizing each of them in different offensive situations. Freshmen Pat Creahan and Greg Kessel have spent time at fullback with Creahan seeing the bulk of the snaps.
100+ in 2009: With the Leopards' offense focused on the passing game in 2009, Lafayette had just two 100-plus rushing yard games. Maurice White '10 was responsible for both with 21 carries for 131 yards at Yale and 24 carries for 107 yards vs. Fordham. Four games into the 2010 season, Jerome Rudolph has a 131-yard rushing performance and Alan Elder has a 103-yard effort.
200+ RUSHING GAMES: Since 1990, there have been nine 200-yard rushing performances for the Leopards, six of which were the work of Maroon Club Hall of Fame honoree Erik Marsh '95.
DATE RUSHER OPPONENT CARRIES-YARDS W/L
09/09/08 Maurice White at Marist 29-212 W
11/16/02 Joe McCourt Holy Cross 38-203 W
11/19/94 Erik Marsh Lehigh 34-214 W
11/20/93 Erik Marsh at Lehigh 25-249 L
11/06/93 Erik Marsh at Holy Cross 36-221 W
11/21/92 Erik Marsh Lehigh 46-251 W
10/31/92 Erik Marsh at Colgate 41-225 W
11/16/91 Erik Marsh Colgate 20-200 W
10/19/91 John Kahn Columbia 41-224 W
IN THE NFL RANKS: Blake Costanzo '06 is in his fourth season in the NFL. The Ramapo, N.J. native is in his second season with the Cleveland Browns. He had three defensive/special teams fumble recoveries in 2009, tying him for first in the AFC and third in the NFL. He led the team with 14 special teams tackles and was later selected as the special teamer on SI.com's All-Pro team. Costanzo, who wears No. 54 for the Browns, has played in 36 games over the past three seasons. He played his first two seasons with the Buffalo Bills.
IVY ITINERARY: In 2009, for the first time in program history, Lafayette went 4-0 against Ivy League opponents. The previous best record against Ancient Eight foes was 3-0, accomplished most recently in 1982. In 2009, Lafayette beat Yale, Penn, Columbia and Harvard. All four victories extended or snapped significant streaks. The Leopards had won three and eight straight over Penn and Columbia, respectively. Meanwhile, the victory over Yale was the first in program history in eight tries, and the win at Harvard marked the first Lafayette triumph since 1996, snapping an eight-game skid. This season, Lafayette has faced a similar Ivy slate with Princeton replacing Yale on the schedule. The Leopards play the final of four in a row against the Ancient Eight on Saturday at Columbia.
TIME OF POSSESSION: Time of possession was a crucial factor in Lafayette's success in 2009. The Lafayette offense held the ball an average of 33:10 in each game, leaving just 26:50 for opponents. The Leopards finished seventh in the nation, but just second in the Patriot League behind Colgate (35:45). This season, the Leopards have held the ball an average of 33:10 to their opponents 26:50.
Opponent LC T.O.P. Opponent T.O.P. Differential
Georgetown 40:13 19:47 +20:13
at Penn 22:16 37:44 -14:18
at Princeton 37:58 22:02 +15:56
Harvard 32:14 27:46 +4:28
Average 33:10 26:50 +6:20
AND WE GO TO...OVERTIME: Lafayette has played eight overtime games all-time and is 2-5 in those contests. The Leopards were 1-1 in 2009 overtime games, the first extra session games since 2001.
DATE OPPONENT RESULT
11/11/95 Fordham 24-21 W
11/18/95 at Lehigh 37-30 L
10/18/97 at Cornell 41-34 L
10/03/98 at Dartmouth 13-10 L
09/08/01 at Towson 16-13 L
09/26/09 Penn 20-17 W
11/21/09 at Lehigh 27-21 L
09/25/10 at Princeton 36-33 L 2OT
HISTORIC FISHER STADIUM: Fisher Stadium has hosted the College's home football games since 1926. The facility underwent a $35 million transformation that gave Lafayette one of the premier FCS football venues in the nation. New spectator seating was built and additional visitors' seating was added for a maximum capacity of 13,132 fans. A state-of-the-art in-fill synthetic surface, lights, a press box and a 19-by-35 foot video board were installed, and improved restroom and vending areas were also included. The Bourger Varsity Football House includes a locker room, offices and team meeting rooms, as well as sports medicine and strength and conditioning areas. Now in its 84th season, Fisher Stadium has been host to 412 Lafayette football games with the Leopards enjoying an overall record of 245-155-13 for a winning percentage of .612. Of the previous 83 seasons, Lafayette has produced 12 undefeated home seasons with the most recent being the 1992 Patriot League champion Leopards that went a perfect 5-0 - the first undefeated home season for Lafayette at Fisher Stadium since 1970. During the 1991, 1992 and 1993 seasons, Lafayette won 10 straight home games--tying the Fisher Stadium school record for consecutive wins first set in 1926 and 1927 in the first 10 games ever played in the stadium.
LAFAYETTE ON THE RADIO: The Lafayette Sports Network radio broadcasts will be available on WJRH 104.9. Veteran broadcaster Dick Hammer is in his 44th season as the Leopards' play-by-play man and will be joined in the booth at home by Phil Ng '88.
A HISTORY OF NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS: The Lafayette football program has claimed three national championships -- 1896, 1921 and 1926 -- and recorded five undefeated seasons -- 1896 (11-0-1), 1921 (9-0-0), 1926 (9-0-0), 1937 (8-0-0) and 1940 (9-0-0). Of recent note, the Leopards have won six Patriot League championships -- 1988, 1992, 1994, 2004, 2005 and 2006 -- and made their first three appearances in the NCAA FCS Playoffs.
LAFAYETTE'S FOOTBALL INVENTORS: Two primary elements of the game of football -- the helmet and the huddle -- were invented by former members of the Lafayette football program. George "Rose" Barclay from the Class of 1898, one of Lafayette's all-time great running backs, invented the helmet when the "threat of cultivating cauliflower ears" led him to piece three thick leather straps around his head for the 1896 game against Penn. Former Lafayette coach Herb McCracken (1924-35; 59-40-6) devised the first huddle system during the 1924 season after learning the Pennsylvania football team had stolen Lafayette's signals. Lafayette became the first team to huddle before each play and this system was immediately adopted by other teams.
SARTORIAL SCHEMES: The Leopards' perfect mark in black jerseys came to an end in 2008 with a one-point loss to Holy Cross on Nov. 15 and a setback vs. Lehigh (black pants and jerseys). Lafayette is now 4-3 in the black jerseys. They wore black to beat Lehigh in 2004 and again in 2006 to win Patriot League titles. Fordham was also victim to the black jerseys in 2005. The only other time they've paired black jerseys with black pants was in a driving rain storm with standing water on the old Fisher Field grass surface against Columbia in 2005, a 14-7 victory. The Leopards pulled out the black pants against Holy Cross in week 10 in 2007, beating the Crusaders 31-21. Lafayette did not wear its black jerseys or pants in 2009. In 2010, black jerseys made their debut against Harvard in a 35-10 loss. In other combinations, Lafayette donned the maroon pants at Princeton, but stayed with traditional white on white at Penn and maroon jerseys and white pants vs. Georgetown.
CYBER LUNCH: New in 2010, all of Lafayette's media luncheons will be streamed live on GoLeopards.com beginning at 12:30 p.m.
ALL SEASON ON LSN: The Lafayette Sports Network, a national leader in Division I FCS television coverage, will televise all 11 regular-season Lafayette football games for the eighth straight year. Now in its 14th year, LSN has become a staple for Leopard fans both regionally and across the country. LSN's traditional live distribution to more than 10 million homes on RCN-4 and WBPH-60 covering all of Eastern Pennsylvania will be enhanced this season by live coverage on all of RCN's cable systems in major markets along the East coast. RCN subscribers in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. can watch all 11 Lafayette games on RCN-8. Nationally, LSN telecasts will be picked up for the 10th straight year by DIRECTV and DISH Network outlets, available to more than 90 million viewers via the Mid Atlantic Sports Network (MASN). MASN, which is available regionally and nationally on DIRECTV channel 640 and DISH Network channel 432, is the official television home of the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Nationals and Baltimore Ravens and reaches nearly 6 million homes in a seven-state region from Harrisburg, Pa. to Charlotte, N.C. A complete broadcast schedule follows.
LAFAYETTE SPORTS NETWORK ALL-ACCESS: If it doesn't air on ESPN3.com, LSN telecasts will be available live through LSN All-Access, which streams Lafayette contests and other programming worldwide to any high-speed internet connection. In all, more than 75 Lafayette athletic events are scheduled for broadcast through LSN All-Access this year at a rate of $9.95 per month and $79.95 for the entire year. The CBSSports.com ULive package, which includes content from all CBS Interactive collegiate member institutions, is available for $14.95 monthly or $119.95 annually.