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Patriot Play Resumes With Holy Cross

Oct. 16, 2012

 Lafayette vs. Holy Cross
 Date  Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012 at 1 p.m.
 Location  Easton, Pa. | Fisher Stadium | Parking & Tailgating
 Gameday  Gameday Central
 Tickets  Lafayette Athletics Ticket Office
 Game Notes  Lafayette Get Acrobat Reader | Holy Cross Get Acrobat Reader

 LSN | RCN-4 & 8, WBPH-60
 (Gary Laubach, Mike Joseph '88, John Leone)

 Live Streaming
 Live Stats  GameTracker
 Social Media  Twitter & Facebook
 More Coverage  Lafayette Newstand  | Behind the Roar Blog


MATCH-UP: Lafayette (4-2, 1-0) hosts Holy Cross (1-5, 1-1) on Homecoming Weekend on College Hill as both teams get into the meat of Patriot League play. The Leopards have lost the last four to the Crusaders who notched those victories by a combined 18 points, including a five-point win last season in Worcester, Mass.
    The Leopards are coming off their third straight series victory over Yale a week ago when Lafayette shut out the Bulldogs in the second half and won 20-10. The win snapped a two-game slide for the Leopards.
    Holy Cross found itself in a shootout in its second Patriot League game of the season. Colgate, which is probably playing the best football in the conference the past two weeks, ran away to a 51-35 win, a week after putting up 47 against Yale.

A WIN OVER HOLY CROSS...would make Lafayette 5-2 and eclipse the 2011 season win total. It would put Lafayette at 2-0 in the Patriot League for the first time since 2009 and would snap a four-game slide in the series.

IVY ADVANTAGE: Lafayette's 20-10 win at Yale gave Lafayette its first winning record against Ivy League foes since posting a 4-0 record against Penn, Yale, Columbia and Harvard in 2009. This season, Lafayette beat Penn (28-21) and lost to Princeton (35-14).

ROOKIE OF THE WEEK: Freshman LB Chris Brockman had a career-high eight tackles with a sack and an interception in the win at Yale, earning him his first-ever Patriot League Rookie of the Week selection. His interception came with 1:33 left to stop a final drive for the Bulldogs. It was his first career interception, and the tackle total exceeded his previous five games combined.

TURNOVER TALES: Turnovers have told the story for Lafayette in 2012. The Leopards are +9 on the season (+13 in four wins and -4 in two losses), a year after going -14 for the 2011 campaign. In Lafayette's last outing at Yale, the Leopards were +3 after picking off Yale four times and turning it over just once. Lafayette is currently fifth in the nation in turnover margin at +1.5 per game.

INTERCEPTION NUMBERS: Lafayette is first in the nation in passes intercepted with 15 through six games (2.5 per game). Lafayette had eight all of last season. Individually, sophomore safety Jared Roberts is second in the nation at .67 per game (4 INT in six games) followed by two apiece from Colton Kirkpatrick, Kyni Scott, Shane Black and Darius Safford. Both of Black's picks came against Yale. THE

CENTURY MARK: Junior WR Mark Ross has had three straight 100-plus yard receiving games. Ross made eight catches for 105 yards and a touchdown at Yale. He had five catches for 103 yards and a touchdown vs. Princeton (10/6) and the week prior, playing in front of a hometown crowd at Robert Morris, Ross turned in the best receiving game of his career. The Aliquippa, Pa. native caught a school-record 13 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns, tying Mark Layton's 13-catch effort from Nov. 13, 2010 vs. Holy Cross.

A DIFFERENT MARK: Freshman LB Mark Dodd has seen his playing time increase steadily. Dodd has played in the team's last four games. At Yale, Dodd stuffed the Bulldogs' running back on a critical 4th-and-1 situation in the fourth quarter. Versus Princeton, he made 5.5 tackles with a half-sack.

A NEW START: Junior LB Dion King made the most of his first career start Yale. King made 13 tackles including 10 solo stops. He has played in every game this season.

DEFERENTIAL TREATMENT: Lafayette has won the opening coin toss in every game this season and has deferred its choice each time.

ABOUT HOLY CROSS: Holy Cross comes in with a 1-5 record, 1-1 in Patriot League play. The Crusaders are coming off a 51-35 loss at Colgate in Patriot League action. The week prior, Holy Cross beat Bucknell 13-6 at home. Holy Cross also has losses to No. 14 New Hampshire (38-17), Brown (24-21), Dartmouth (13-10) and Harvard (52-3). • Holy Cross finished 6-5 in 2011 and 3-2 in the Patriot League, tied for second in the league standings. Fourteen starters return, eight on offense and six on defense.

• Sophomore Steve Elder has taken over the QB reins the last two games. He has completed 43-of-74 for 518 yards and two touchdowns. He has also rushed 25 times for 59 yards and two scores. Elder, who missed the first four games due to injury, is coming off a 313-yard passing game at Colgate.

• Senior Gerald Mistretta and junior Mike Fess, both All-Patriot League selections in 2011, are the team's top receivers. Fess has 37 catches for 312 yards while Mistretta has 29 grabs for 254 yards and two touchdowns.

• Senior TB Eddie Houghton is the team's first option out of the backfield. Houghton, whose brother Charlie played at Georgetown, has carried 67 times for 247 yards and three TD's.

• Holy Cross ranks last in the league in defense, surrendering 415 yards and 30.7 points per game.

• Tom Gilmore (Penn '86) is in his ninth season at Holy Cross.