Pards Close Ivy Itinerary
Oct. 13, 2009
Radio: WGPA-AM Sunny 1100
Live TV: Lafayette Sports Network (RCN-4&8, WBPH-60)
Satellite: Horizons 2/Trans. 19, slot A -- 8448 MHz / encoder: Tandberg (4:2:0) uplink freq - 14426.5 (H) downlink freq - 12126.5 (V); symbol rate 6.1113; FEC 3/4 : Prox 30 minute;
National Replay: MASN on DIRECTV 640 and Dish 432 on Oct. 20 at 8 a.m.
Internet: LSN All-Access
THE MATCH-UP: Lafayette (4-1) and Harvard (3-1) square off on Saturday at Harvard Stadium in a battle of one-loss teams, both of which are receiving votes in the Sports Network and FCS Coaches Top 25 polls. The Leopards, who are on fall break for the beginning of the week, beat a game Columbia squad 24-21 on Saturday night at Fisher Stadium. Maurice White punched in the game-winning score with 13 seconds left in the game, one of two touchdowns in the game. Harvard had an easier time of it at Cornell in an Ivy battle of shades of red. The Crimson scored four rushing touchdowns in a 28-10 decision over the Big Red. Senior Gino Gordon had 137 rushing and freshman Treavor Scales added two TD's.
IVY ITINERARY: Lafayette is 3-0 this season vs. Ivy League foes, beating Penn Yale and Columbia. Going back through the years (thanks Paul Reinhard), the best record Lafayette has recorded against Ivy League foes in a single season was a 3-0 in 1982 when Lafayette beat Columbia, Penn and Princeton. The Leopards have played four Ivy League teams in several times, but have never emerged undefeated, something a win over Harvard would accomplish. It will be a tall order, however, as Harvard was the preseason pick to claim the Ancient Eight title. The Crimson have beaten Lafayette in each of the last six seasons and in eight straight.
PATRIOT PATH: Lafayette opened the season with a 28-3 win over Georgetown in Patriot League play, but has taken a five-week hiatus to face four Ivy League squads and Liberty. The Leopards return to Patriot play on Oct. 24 vs. Fordham, the first of five straight Patriot League games to close out the regular season.
SECOND-HALF SHUTOUT: Against Columbia, Lafayette's defense surrendered 21 first-half points, a fact head coach Frank Tavani credited to the crisp play of the Columbia offense rather than poor play by his defense. Regardless of the reason, the Lafayette defense responded in the second half, shutting out the Lions in the final 30 minutes to win their eighth straight game over Columbia.
T.O.P. FOR LC: Time of possession was crucial in the Leopards' win over Columbia. Lafayette held the ball for 20:06 of 30 minutes in the second half. Lafayette's final drive ran off 5:56 and covered 88 yards on 13 plays and left Columbia with just 13 seconds for its final possession of the game. Lafayette is eighth in the nation for time of possession, averaging 33:38 per game.
THE HEAD COACHES: Lafayette head coach Frank Tavani (Lebanon Valley '75) is in his 10th season as the fiery head man with the headsets and his 23rd year overall as a member of the Lafayette coaching staff. He is the 27th head coach in the program's 128-year history. Tavani was the running backs coach at Lafayette for 14 seasons prior to being named head coach in December of 1999. Tavani was the 2004 Patriot League Coach of the Year and was a finalist for the Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year Award in that year. The Lebanon, Pa. native guided Lafayette to three straight Patriot League titles (2004, 2005, 2006) and his career record stands at 56-51. Tavani is 22-8 in Patriot League games over the last five years. Tavani knew a little bit about running the ball in his playing days, becoming 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 freshman on the women's soccer team. Tim Murphy (Springfield '78) is in his 16th season as the head coach at Harvard and holds an 100-53 mark at the school. Murphy's overall record in 131-98-1, which includes five years at Cincinnati and two years at Maine. Murphy has led Harvard to five Ivy League championships (1997, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2008). Murphy was also the defensive line coach at Lafayette in 1981 when Lafayette went 9-2.
Harvard continues to be one of the top teams in the Ivy League, and the Crimson come into the weekend with a 3-1 record. Harvard's only loss occurred in its season opener at No. 23 Holy Cross (27-20). Harvard's wins came over Brown (24-21) and Cornell (28-10) in Ivy play and Lehigh (28-14) in non-conference action.
Harvard was 9-1 last season and claimed its fifth Ancient Eight title under head coach Tim Murphy. Harvard was selected to finish first in the Ivy League preseason poll.
The Crimson's running attack is ranked 19th in the nation with 173.2 yards per game. Harvard uses three backs: senior Cheng Ho, junior Gino Gordon freshman Treavor Scales. Gordon has been the starter in three games, averaging 80.7 ypg while Scales (49.3) and Ho (46.7) have played in three games with Ho starting one.
Junior QB Collier Winters is the team's starter and is the only player to have thrown a pass in 2009. Winters is 64-for-123 for 674 yards with two interceptions and six TDs.
Harvard features a solid front four which has registered eight sacks. In the defensive backfield, Harvard has seven interceptions on the season with FS Collin Zych and LB Jon Takamura and CB Brian Owusu with two apiece.
The defense is allowing just 91 yards per game on the ground, but has surrendered 227 per game in the air.
SIX TIMES SIX FOR EIGHT: Junior WR Mark Layton has six touchdown catches this season, a mark that ties him with four other players (John Weyrauch, Mike Grau, Dave Baird, John Carter) for eighth on Lafayette's single-season touchdown mark. Phil Ng holds the record with 13 in 1988. Layton is in the midst of a breakout season. The Sanford, Fla. native, who made 17 catches for 194 yards all of last season, already has tallied more substantial numbers in 2009. Layton has 31 catches for 401 yards through five games with six touchdowns (the first six of his career). Against Columbia, Layton had four catches for 42 yards. He is averaging six catches and 80 yards per game.
NATIONAL D RANKINGS: Lafayette's defense is seventh in the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 14.8 ppg. Lafayette is also 21st in rushing defense (93.6 ypg), 27th in total defense (286 ypg) and 65th in pass efficiency defense (123.4 ypg).
49 AND 47 IN THE 4-3: In the Leopards' 4-3 defense, the linebackers are going to make the bulk of the tackles. Junior Michael Schmidlein and senior Mark Leggiero are leading the team in tackles with 11.0 and 9.6 tackles per game, respectively. Schmidlein is tied for 12th in the nation (first in the Patriot League) in tackles per game while Leggiero is tied for 32nd nationally (third in the Patriot League).
CAREER CURLEY: Senior QB Rob Curley has completed 64 percent (95-148-5) of his passes this season and is currently ranked second in Lafayette history for single-season and career completion percentage. Curley also moved into seventh place for career touchdowns (25), career passing yards (3,564) and seventh in career completions (293). His 287 passing yards, 23 completions and 39 attempts vs. Columbia were all matched or surpassed career highs.
BENNETT BRINGING IT: Sophomore WR Mitchell Bennett is enjoying a breakout season for the Leopards. Bennett has 16 catches for 191 yards and two touchdowns and is also the Leopards' top blocking wideout. He had a TD catch vs. Columbia.
D-LINE: There is no doubt that the Leopards' defensive line is one of the most talented groups defensive coordinator John Loose has assembled in his 10 years on college hill. Seniors Andrew Poulson (21 tackles, 2 sacks, 2.5 TFL) and Ian Dell (19 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 TFL) return to the starting lineup at tackle and fellow senior Allan Whitesell (13 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 1.5 TFL), who played in 10 games with four starts in 2008, is playing one of the defensive end spots. At the other end is junior Doug Gerowski (13 tackles, 1 sack, 2.0 TFL), who is coming off a career-best five tackles vs. Columbia. Junior Michael Phillips (8 tackles, 1 sack, 2.0 TFL) made the most of his snaps on the defensive line in the season opener at Georgetown. He forced a pair of fumbles and recovered another. As a group in 2009, the defensive line has forced four fumbles.
LEGGIERO'S BACKING IT UP: The Patriot League Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, Mark Leggiero, claimed his first-ever Patriot League weekly honor on Oct. 5. The senior made a game-high 12 tackles, including nine solo stops, in Lafayette's 31-14 win at Yale. The Leopards held Yale to 58 rushing and 214 passing yards, 140 of which came in the fourth quarter after Lafayette had built a 17-point lead. Lafayette is surrendering just 14.8 points per game this season, tops in the Patriot League and seventh in the nation. Leggiero was Lafayette's second straight Defensive Player of the Week winner. Academically, Leggiero is an Engineering major who is a Patriot League Academic Honor Roll selection. This semester, Leggiero is enrolled in three classes: Architectural Design & Theory, Civil Engineering Project Management with lab and Political Sociology. Leggiero maintains a 3.2 GPA and posted a 3.3 in the 2009 spring semester.
A SIX-PACK OF SACK: A key to Lafayette's win at Yale was pressure on the quarterback. The Lafayette defense sacked two different Yale quarterbacks six times, thanks to two apiece from Andrew Poulson and Ian Dell and one each from Doug Gerowski and Nick Oliver. The six-pack was the most sacks for Lafayette since Sept. 11, 2004 in a 17-6 win at Georgetown. (Marvin Snipes 2, Chris Brungo, Blake Costanzo, Tye Murphy, Maurice Bennett).
WHITE BREAKS THE 100-YARD PLATEAU: Senior TB Maurice White churned out 131 yards on 21 carries at Yale, the only time this season that a Lafayette player his rushed for 100+ yards and the fourth time in White's career. Lafayette has four players on its roster who have rushed for 100-plus yards in a game: Tyrell Coon, DeAndre' Morrow, Jerome Rudolph and White. The number is second only to Appalachian State which has six who have broken the century mark. The Leopards are tied with Sacramento State for second in the category with UT Martin close behind with three.
IN THE RED ZONE: Lafayette has both struggled and excelled in the red zone this season. The Leopards' defense is seventh in the country, allowing opponents to score just seventh of the 12 times they have allowed an opponent inside the 20-yard line. By contrast, the Lafayette offense has scored on 15 of 20 red-zone opportunities, ranking 63rd in the nation.
HISTORIC WIN AT THE HISTORIC (OLD) YALE BOWL: Lafayette's win over Yale was the first ever for the Leopard program in eight tries. The two teams first met in 1912, and prior to the win on Oct. 3, last played in 2006.
AND WE GO...TO OVERTIME: Lafayette found success in overtime against Penn (9/26), beating the Quakers with Davis Rodriguez's 28-yard field goal. It was the Leopards' first overtime game since Sept. 8, 2001, when Lafayette lost to former Patriot League member Towson 16-13. Lafayette is now 2-4 all-time in overtime, winning the first overtime affair in 1995 over Fordham (24-21 on 11/11/95) but losing the next four (11/18/95 at Lehigh - 37-30; 10/18/97 at Cornell - 41-34; 10/3/98 at Dartmouth - 13-10; 9/8/01 at Towson - 16-13) before the win vs. Penn.
P.L. PLAUDITS POST PENN: Junior K Davis Rodriguez and junior LB Michael Schmidlein earned Patriot League weekly football honors (9/28) following Lafayette's 20-17 overtime win vs. Penn. Rodriguez nailed the game-winning field goal in overtime and was named Special Teams Player of the Week while his classmate, Schmidlein, made a game- and career-high 16 tackles en route to Defensive Player of the Week laurels. Rodriguez hit 2-of-3 field goals, including the game winner from 28 yards out in overtime. Rodriguez also connected on both of his PATs, as he scored eight points on the evening. He had previously kicked the game winner against Penn in an 8-7 triumph in 2007. Rodriguez earns his first Special Teams Player of the Week award this season and third of his career. Schmidlein made 16 tackles to help Lafayette limit Ivy League favorite Penn to just 17 points in the 20-17 overtime victory, the Leopards' third straight over the Quakers. He also recorded a tackle for loss and pass breakup as the Leopards held Penn to just 2-of-13 on third-down conversions. He earned his first conference Defensive Player of the Week award. Rodriguez and Schmidlein both were Patriot League Academic Honor Roll selections in 2008, earning varsity letters while maintaining a minimum of a 3.2 GPA in the fall semester. The duo also surpassed the 3.0 GPA threshold in the spring semester. A Government and Law major, Rodriguez is currently enrolled in four classes: African Cultural Institutions, Early American Political Thought, Introduction to Psychology (with lab) and Religion, Myth & Fantasy. An Economics and Business major, Schmidlein is taking Economics of Health Care, Intro to Finance, Economics of Sport and Intro to Sociology this fall semester.
TAILBACK BY COMMITTEE: The offensive coaching staff led by coordinator Mickey Fein and under the watchful eye of former tailback and current head coach Frank Tavani is faced with a problem of selecting a tailback from a talented group of four. The quartet includes three seniors in Maurice White, DeAndre' Morrow and Tyrell Coon and sophomore Jerome Rudolph. None of the seniors has been able to maintain his health for an entire season which has opened up opportunities for the other tailbacks and eventually Rudolph as a freshman. White is a powerful runner who was No. 1 on the depth chart in 2007 and 2008 and led the Leopards in rushing last season with 80 carries, 469 yards and 2 TD's. White rushed for 76 yards on 17 carries at Georgetown, the most of the four backs. and his top performance of the season came at Yale when he had 131 yards on 21 carries with one touchdown. White leads the team in carries (68) and yards (321) in 2009. Coon is the biggest of the backs and is a slasher who led the team in carries (108) and ended 2008 with 454 yards and two TD's. Coon had the most carries against Penn, with 15 touches for 40 yards. Morrow is a shifty back with soft hands who had 58 carries for 336 yards and two touchdowns in 2008. He had eight carries for 61 yards at Georgetown to go along with four catches for 60 yards and a touchdown catch. He made a 26-yard grab vs. Penn and is currently third on the team in receiving. Rudolph and Morrow are the speediest members of the group. Rudolph carried for 199 yards on 35 carries and a pair of scores last year. His red and black cleats reached the end zone at Georgetown on a 48-yard scamper around the end. He missed the Yale game with a foot injury, but returned vs. Columbia.
ABOUT THE OFFENSE: Lafayette has used multiple offensive formations in 2009, often choosing to employ three wide receivers and at other times two tailbacks with a pair of wide receivers, with one of the tailbacks in a role as a pass catcher. Lafayette has not completely abandoned the I formation, often going to a power I. The Lafayette offense has been far from predictable, choosing to pass out of the I as often as it does from other formations.
TAKING CARE OF THE BALL: Lafayette led the nation in fewest turnovers per game in 2008, handing it over just 11 times in 11 games, down from 27 in 2007. Lafayette forced 14 turnovers, nine of them interceptions. This season, Lafayette did not commit a turnover in the season opener at Georgetown while forcing three (two fumbles and an interception). Lafayette did turn it over once (interception on a tipped pass) vs. No. 24 Liberty. Against Penn, Lafayette forced one fumble. The Leopards turned it over twice at Yale (a fumble on the opening kickoff and an interception). Lafayette was picked off three times vs. Columbia, but forced and recovered a fumble. The Leopards rank 14th in the nation in turnovers per game in 2009, averaging 1.5 turnovers per game.
UP AND DOWN ON THE GROUND: The Leopard rushing attack pounded out 205 yards on the ground vs. Georgetown, but managed 70 yards vs. No. 24 Liberty. Lafayette had 91 yards vs. Penn's defense, but bounced back with 155 yards at Yale. Lafayette had 118 rushing yards vs. Columbia.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM IN THE PATRIOT LEAGUE: Since 2004, Lafayette is 39-23 and 22-8 in Patriot League play. Lafayette stands as the only Patriot League program to record a winning record in each of the last five regular seasons while also holding a Top 25 national ranking each year.
DEFENSE VS. GEORGETOWN: A combination of a very strong Lafayette defense and a sputtering Georgetown (9/12) offense resulted in the Leopards shutting down the Hoyas' offensive attack. Lafayette allowed just 19 rushing yards and 194 passing yards, 81 of which came in the fourth quarter when the game was out of reach and Lafayette had its younger players in the game.
A NOCTURNAL VENTURE: The Georgetown game (9/12) marked the first home night game in Georgetown history. Making history at night is not a new feat for Leopard football as Lafayette and Washington and Jefferson played in the first indoor night college football game on Oct. 25, 1930. A crowd of 17,000 witnessed the game at the Atlantic City Auditorium. Lafayette played four night games this 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 38 have earned the distinction since 1995. In 2008, Lafayette had 18 student-athletes qualify for the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll for which they must achieve a minimum of a 3.2 GPA and earn a varsity letter. Lafayette has also claimed four of the last eight Patriot League Scholar Athletes of the Year.
LINE 'EM UP: While depth could be an issue on the offensive line moving along in the season, the front five is made up of four players who have had starting experience. Team captain and left tackle Ryan Hart-Predmore is in his second season at left tackle and third as a starter. The team captain earned All-Patriot League Second-Team laurels in 2008. He will be lined up next to left guard Brian Wycinowski who started 11 games as a junior. Another "W" returns to the starting lineup at the center spot in Mike Wojcik. Wojcik started 19 games the last two seasons. The young buck in the group is sophomore Scott Biel at right guard. Biel earned the Offensive Scout Team award in 2008 and played his way into a starting position. Fifth-year senior Joe Moore sat out 2008 with an ACL injury after starting the final four contests of 2007 at right tackle. He is currently out with injury, looking to make his return for the Patriot League slate. Sophomore Anthony Buffolino started in place of Moore vs. Liberty and has started the three games since. The offensive line is under the tutelage of first-year assistant coach Stan Clayton who boasts nearly 15 years of coaching experience at Toledo and Princeton among other institutions. As a player, Clayton was a member of Penn State's 1986 national championship team and went on to play four seasons in the NFL.
PRESEASON POLL: Lafayette was picked third in the Patriot League Preseason Poll of conference head coaches and sports information directors. In 2008, Lafayette was selected to finish fourth and that's where the team ended. This season, Holy Cross is in the top spot followed by Colgate, Lafayette and Lehigh tied for third, Fordham, Bucknell and Georgetown. The last time the preseason pick won the title outright was 2001 (Lehigh).
ALL-PATRIOT LEAGUE RETURNERS: Lafayette placed 10 players on the All-Patriot League first and second teams in 2008, but just three of them return in 2009: senior LB Mark Leggiero, junior PK Davis Rodriguez and senior OL Ryan Hart-Predmore.
THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE: Senior MLB Mark Leggiero is one of the top players in the Patriot League and his play in recent seasons was recognized as he was selected as the Patriot League Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. He finished the 2008 season with 93 tackles, two sacks and an interception on his way to All-Patriot League First-Team honors. As a sophomore in 2007, he was second on the team with 77 tackles and three sacks and was an All-Patriot League Second-Team honoree. In 2006, he was the program's rookie of the year, playing in all 12 games on special teams and as the top backup at linebacker. Not surprisingly, Leggiero led the team in tackles in the 2009 season opener at Georgetown with seven and followed that with a career-high 15 tackles vs. No. 24 Liberty. Leggiero made seven stops vs. Penn, 12 at Yale and seven vs. Columbia.
ABOUT THE KICKER: Junior PK Davis Rodriguez was one of just five underclassmen on any Patriot League squad to earn all-league honors. Rodriguez was 13-of-15 on field goal attempts in 2008 and was 4-of-5 on kicks of 40 to 49 yards, including a career-long kick of 47 yards at Colgate. He also converted 32-of-33 PATs and at one point had made 48 straight PATs. Rodriguez is 77-of-81 for his career (95%) on PATs and 25-of-38 on field-goal tries (66%). With that as his background, Rodriguez struggled at Georgetown, missing kicks of 38, 34 and 32 yards. All had plenty of distance, but were wide. Against Liberty, Rodriguez missed his only attempt from 23 yards in the second quarter. Against Penn, Rodriguez was 2-of-3, including the game-winning 28-yard field goal in overtime, his second vs. the Quakers in his career. Rodriguez added a 31-yard FG on slippery turf at Yale and a 35-yarder vs. Columbia. The St. Petersburg, Fla. native earned Sports Network 2009 Preseason All-America Second-Team honors after an All-Patriot League Second-Team selection in 2008.
ABOUT THE DEFENSE: Anyone who has been around the Lafayette football program in recent seasons knows that the Leopards' defense has been the team's strength under defensive coordinator John Loose who is in his 10th season on College Hill. Lafayette finished eighth in the nation in scoring defense in 2008, allowing 17.5 points per game, including four games where it surrendered fewer than two TD's. The Leopards were 10th in the nation in rushing defense (92.2 ypg), 20th in total defense (300 ypg) and 36th in pass efficiency defense (115.9 ypg). Lafayette boasted the No. 1 ranked defense in the nation in 2007, allowing just 260.1 yards of total offense per game (first in the nation), 84.9 yards on the ground (fourth in the nation), 16.9 points per game (eighth in the nation) and a pass efficiency rating of 108.3 (15th in the nation). Lafayette's defensive production in 2009 follows...
2009 Game By Game Opponent Rushing Yds. Passing Yds. Total Yds. Points at Georgetown 19 194 213 3 No. 24 Liberty 119 242 361 19 Penn 131 159 290 17 at Yale 58 214 272 14 Columbia 141 153 294 21 AVERAGES 93.6 202.2 243.2 13.2CURLEY'S THE GUY: Senior Rob Curley emerged from spring ball as the Leopards' starting quarterback. He was 3-1 as the starter down the stretch in 2007 and 6-2 as a starter in 2008. Curley completed 57 percent of his passes (121-212) for 1,424 yards with nine touchdowns and four interceptions. He started the first eight games of 2008 before injury and eventually a coach's decision put him second on the depth chart. Sophomore Ryan O'Neil is penciled in as the backup with junior Marc Quilling, who missed most of preseason with a back injury, close behind. Quilling has recently been cleared to return to action. Quilling was 45-for-76 for 555 yards with four touchdowns and one interception in 2008. Quilling started the final three games of the season.
WHO'S CATCHING THE THING?: With the graduation of the Leopards' top two receivers from 2008, including a career top-5 pass catcher in Shaun Adair, the Leopards are looking to a young group to pick up the slack. Lafayette has moved to a rotation of five players. Sophomores Mitchell Bennett and Greg Stripe are 1 and 1A on one side of the field while junior Mark Layton is the other starter. Junior Nathan Padia and sophomore Kyle Hayes will also vie for catches.
THE PUNTER: For the second year, the punting work will be done by Tom Kondash. In 2008, the junior punted 57 times for 2,149 yards and 37.7 yards per kick. He landed 22 kicks inside the opponents' 20-yard line with just one touchback and boomed a career-best 79-yard punt vs. Holy Cross. Kondash was far from his best at Georgetown, punting five times for 175 yards (34.8 ypk) with one kick inside the 20. He topped that with four punts for 170 yards (42.5 ypk), including two inside the 20 vs. No. 24 Liberty. Versus Penn, Kondash had seven punts for 283 yards (40.4 ypk) with a long of 52 yards, and at Yale both of his punts landed inside the 20. Kondash punted just once vs. Columbia, a 38-yard kick. Lafayette is 41st in the nation in punting (37.0 ypk).
LAFAYETTE vs. THE PATRIOT LEAGUE: The Leopards have played 345 games all-time against the six fellow members of the Patriot League, and are 177-152-16 (.540) in those contests. Since the Patriot League began play in 1986, Lafayette is 72-53-1 (.573) vs. member schools and has won league titles in 1988, 1992, 1994, 2004, 2005 and 2006. Lafayette vs. the Patriot League:
Bucknell: 48-32-6 Fordham: 19-7-1 Holy Cross: 14-9-0 Colgate: 10-38-4 Georgetown: 10-3-0 Lehigh: 76-63-5I SEE A RED JERSEY AND I WANT TO PAINT IT BLACK: 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 4-2 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 and continued their winning streak by beating the Crusaders 31-21.
200+ RUSHING GAMES: When Maurice White ran for 212 yards in the 2008 season opener vs. Marist, it was the first time in nearly six seasons that a Lafayette ballcarrier eclipsed the 200-yard rushing mark in a single game. For White, it was the first time in his career (high school or college) that he managed the feat and it placed him in some elite company. Since 1990, there have been nine 200-yard 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 WPATRIOT LEAGUE TITLES: Lafayette won three straight Patriot League 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).
IN THE NFL RANKS: Blake Costanzo '06 is currently on the Cleveland Browns' 53-man roster. Costanzo, who now wears No. 54 for the Browns, played the last two seasons with the Buffalo Bills and was the team's special teams MVP in 2008 before being released. In the off-season, his contract was picked up by Cleveland. He is the lone Patriot League representative currently on an active NFL roster. In a matchup between his current and former teams on Oct. 11, Costanzo recovered a punt on special teams that set up the game-winning score and also made two tackles.
HISTORIC FISHER STADIUM: Fisher Stadium has hosted the College's home football games since 1926. The facility underwent a $23 million transformation that gave Lafayette one of the premier FCS football venues in the nation. New spectator seating was built, including chairback seating in select areas, 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 82nd season, Fisher Stadium has been host to 406 Lafayette football games with the Leopards enjoying an overall record of 241-152-13 for a winning percentage of .609. Of the previous 81 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 1926 and 1927 in the first 10 games ever played in the stadium.
LAFAYETTE FOOTBALL IN ITS 128th SEASON: Since fielding its first college football team in the fall of 1882 (the same year that dirty little coward 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 644 victories (644-540-39). Lafayette ranked 33rd among all college football teams in all-time wins entering the 2009 season, posting its first win in 1883 (25-0 vs. Rutgers). Lafayette accumulated 100 victories by 1900, 200 by 1915 and 300 by 1934.
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.
LAFAYETTE SPORTS NETWORK TO TELEVISE ENTIRE SEASON: The Lafayette Sports Network, the national leader in Division I FCS television coverage, will televise all 11 regular-season Lafayette football games for the seventh straight year. Now in its 13th 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 (226,000), New York City (250,000), Philadelphia (382,000) and Washington, D.C. (131,000) will be able to watch all 11 Lafayette games on RCN-8. Nationally, LSN telecasts will be picked up for the ninth 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. Each LSN football telecast will air tape-delay on MASN on the Tuesday following each contest. A complete broadcast schedule follows. Gary Laubach handles all of the Leopards' play-by-play duties for the 13th straight season and is joined by analyst John Leone for the 12th straight year. In his ninth year as a member of the broadcast team is Dan Mowdy, who reports on the Leopards from the sidelines.
RADIO AND TV SCHEDULE
DATE OPPONENT KICKOFF RADIO TV MASN/ MASN AIR DATE AIR DATE 9/12 at Georgetown 6 p.m. WAEB 790 LSN/MASN 9/15 11:30 p.m. 9/19 LIBERTY 6 p.m. WAEB 790 LSN/MASN 9/22 11:30 p.m. 9/26 PENN 6 p.m. none LSN/MASN 9/29 11:30 p.m. 10/3 at Yale 12 p.m. WGPA 1100 LSN/MASN 10/6 8 a.m. 10/10 COLUMBIA 6 p.m. WAEB 790 LSN/MASN 10/13 8 a.m. 10/17 at Harvard 12 p.m. WGPA 1100 LSN/MASN 10/20 8 a.m. 10/24 FORDHAM 1 p.m. WGPA 1100 LSN/MASN 10/27 8 a.m. 10/31 BUCKNELL 1 p.m. WGPA 1100 LSN/MASN 11/3 8 a.m. 11/7 COLGATE 1 p.m. WGPA 1100 LSN/MASN 11/10 8 a.m. 11/14 at Holy Cross 12:30 p.m. WGPA 1100 LSN/MASN 11/17 8 a.m. 11/21 at Lehigh 12:30 p.m. WGPA 1100 LSN/MASN 11/24 8 a.m.LSN RCN-4 & 8, WBPH 60 MASN Mid Atlantic Sports Network (DIRECTV 640, DISH 432)
LAFAYETTE ON THE RADIO: The Lafayette Sports Network entered into an agreement with WAEB-AM 790 and WGPA AM-1100 to broadcast the 2009 Lafayette football season. The deal places Lafayette on the top two rated AM stations in the Lehigh Valley. See a complete broadcast schedule on the following page. Veteran broadcaster Dick Hammer is in his 43rd season as the Leopards' play-by-play man and will be joined in the booth at home by former Leopard greats Mike Joseph '88 and Phil Ng '88 on a rotating basis, and on the road by Lafayette SID Phil LaBella.
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.
INSIDE LAFAYETTE FOOTBALL: Inside Lafayette Football can be seen every Thursday evening at 5:30 p.m. throughout the season as well as 30 minutes prior to kickoff of all Lafayette contests. Laubach will sit down with head coach Frank Tavani, as well as select student-athletes, to discuss the Lafayette football program.
LAFAYETTE SPORTS NETWORK ALL-ACCESS: Each LSN telecast is available live through LSN All-Access, which streams the game worldwide to any high-speed internet connection. In all, more than 60 Lafayette athletic contests, as well as Inside Lafayette Football, are scheduled to be broadcast through Lafayette All-Access this year for a rate of $9.95 per month and $79.95 for the entire year.