Nov. 1, 2012
THE OPENING KICK-OFF
MATCH-UP: Lafayette (5-3, 2-1) travels to face the hottest team in the Patriot League in Colgate (5-3, 3-0) on Saturday in Hamilton, N.Y. The Leopards are coming off a disappointing loss at home to Georgetown, the squad's first conference loss of the season.
The Raiders have won four straight, beating Yale, Holy Cross, Georgetown and Bucknell. Not so coincidentally, Colgate has averaged 50.5 points per game during that span.
A WIN OVER COLGATE...would make Lafayette 6-3 and keep the Leopards in the Patriot League title hunt at 3-1. It would also hand Lafayette two straight victories over Colgate for the first time since 1994-95. Additionally, it would give Lafayette wins over two teams (Holy Cross-2nd and Colgate-3rd) picked ahead of the Leopards in the Patriot League Preseason Poll.
ON SANDY'S SCHEDULE: The Leopards were taken out of their routine to begin game week as Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the Lehigh Valley. The Leopards did not have classes the entire game week as the College Hill campus was part of the regional power outages. As of Thursday morning, power had not yet been restored to campus.
CLOSE...BUT STILL TWO L's: Two of Lafayette's three losses (Georgetown and Robert Morris) have come by just a field goal.
TURNOVER TALES: Turnovers have told the story for Lafayette in 2012. The Leopards are +6 on the season (+15 in five wins and -9 in three losses), a year after going -14 for the 2011 campaign. In Lafayette's last outing vs. Georgetown, the Leopards were -5 after handing it over seven times (3 INT, four fumbles) while forcing just two turnovers. Lafayette went from third to 22nd in the nation in turnover margin (+0.75 per game) following the Georgetown game.
Colgate is the hottest team in the Patriot League, having won four straight and five of its last six games. Perhaps most impressive are the numbers that Colgate has put up in those four wins, averaging 50.5 points per game in victories over Yale, Holy Cross, Georgetown and Bucknell.
The Colgate offense is churning out big numbers, averaging 39.0 points per game while racking up 480 yards of total offense per outing. The Raiders lead the Patriot League in both categories.
Colgate derives the bulk of its offense from the running game at 269 yards every time out. Senior tailback Jordan McCord is the league's top runner by a wide margin, averaging 145.6 yards per game. QB Gavin McCarney averages 90.2 yards per game on 6.6 yards per carry while running the option.
Not surprisingly, because of the run game, Colgate leads the Patriot League in time of possession at 32:29.
McCarney is not just a running quarterback, as the junior has completed 108-of-176 for 1,637 yards, 12 touchdowns and four interceptions. The team averages 211 yards per game in the air. Senior WR Chris Looney is McCarney's favorite target, collecting 30 balls for 570 yards and five touchdowns.
The Colgate defense has surrendered 30.6 points and 395 yards per game. Senior LB Patrick Friel leads the team in tackles (79), tackles for loss (6.5) and sacks (4.5).
Dick Biddle (Duke '71) is in his 17th season as the head coach at Colgate. He holds a 130-64 record at the school.