Nov. 5, 2013
THE OPENING KICK
MATCH-UP: The Leopards have won two in a row for the first time this season and come into Saturday afternoon's Family Weekend matchup in sole possession of first place in the Patriot League standings (3-5, 3-0). Colgate (3-6, 2-1) sits in second place and is coming off a 28-7 home loss to a Bucknell team that has won three straight.
CONTROLLING THEIR DESTINY: At 3-0 in Patriot League play for the first time since 2009, Lafayette holds a tenuous spot atop the conference rankings, ahead of Colgate (2-1), Bucknell (2-2) and Lehigh (1-1). Following Saturday's action, the Leopards have only the Lehigh game remaining in contests that determine the Patriot League title. Lehigh hosts Holy Cross this week and travels to Colgate in the final week of the regular season.
A WIN OVER COLGATE...
• would put Lafayette at 4-0 in Patriot League play for the first time since 2009
• guarantee at least a share of the Patriot League championship for the first time since 2006
• hand Lafayette three straight wins for the first time in 2013
RECENT MEETINGS: Lafayette and Colgate have split the last four meetings. In 2012, the conference champion Raiders churned out a league-record 755 yards of total offense (531 yards rushing) in a 65-41 decision. In 2011, Darius Safford's 100-yard pick-six sealed a 37-24 overtime victory at Fisher Stadium.
WEEKLY WINNERS: Freshman QB Drew Reed and sophomore CB Matt Smalley have been named Patriot League Rookie and Special Teams Player of the Week, respectively.
It's the second straight weekly honor for Reed who completed 18-of-24 for 275 yards and four touchdowns.
Smalley had a school-record 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to cap Lafayette's 45-27 win at Georgetown. He had three returns for 117 yards in the game and is averaging 32.9 yards per kickoff return.
ROSS ATOP THE LISTS: Against Holy Cross (Oct. 26), senior WR Mark Ross made eight catches for 151 yards and a career-best three touchdowns to surpass John Weyrauch '04 (162 - 2,406 yards) as Lafayette's career receiving leader. Ross currently has 172 receptions for 2,456 and 25 touchdowns, all school records.
He also shares the record for catches in a game (13 in 2012 at Robert Morris) while ranking second for catches in a season (75 in 2012) and fourth and fifth for receiving TD's in a season (10 in 2012 and nine in 2011).
PICK THREE: Lafayette intercpeted three passes at Georgetown, the defense's highest output of the season. Damarcus Ingram came back after missing a month of the season to snatch his first career pick. Safeties Draeland James and Jared Roberts picked off their second passes this season.
40-40 CLUB: Lafayette has scored 40 or more points in two straight games, beating Holy Cross 41-23 (Oct. 26) and Georgetown 45-27 (Nov. 2). It's the first time since Nov. 11 & 18, 2006 (45-14 vs. Georgetown, 49-27 vs. Lehigh).
HOLD ON TO IT: The last time Lafayette had back-to-back games without a turnover was Nov. 8 and 15 (against Bucknell and Holy Cross). In that same season, Lafayette also had a streak of four straight games without turnovers - Harvard, Columbia, Liberty and Fordham.
REED AT QB: In only two and a half games this season, freshman Drew Reed has completed 82.4 percent (56-of-68) of his passes for 793 yards and 11 touchdowns with just one interception. Reed's play has coincided with a pair of Patriot League wins at Georgetown and Holy Cross.
• Named Patriot League Rookie of the Week (11/4) in the second start of his career, completing 18-of-24 for 275 yards and four touchdowns.
• It was his second straight game without an interception. Reed threw passes to nine different receivers and had touchdown tosses to four different targets.
At Holy Cross
• Named Patriot League Offensive Player and Rookie of the Week (10/28), the first time that a freshman has won the offensive honor and the lone occurrence of a student-athlete winning both awards concurrently.
• He completed 21-of-22 for 283 yards and five touchdowns. He also garnered the College Football Performance Awards FCS National Performer of the Week.
• Reed connected on his final 20 passes, tying a Patriot League record for consecutive completions in a game set earlier this season by Fordham's Mike Nebrich.
• It was the first time since Nov. 7, 2009 that a Lafayette QB threw for 5+ touchdowns when Rob Curley tossed a Patriot League record seven.
• Reed's passing efficiency rating of 278.5 was the second-best single-game mark in the FCS this season.
• Reed's first significant action of the season came at Harvard (10/19) where he completed 17-of-22 (77%) for 235 yards and two touchdowns with an interception.
ABOUT COLGATE: Colgate comes into the game with a 3-6 overall mark and a 2-1 record in Patriot League play. In terms of common opponents, the Raiders have wins over Holy Cross (28-24 on 10/19) and Georgetown (34-14 on 10/26) and a loss to Bucknell (28-7 on Nov. 2.)
• The Raiders return 13 starters, (6 on offense, 7 on defense) from an 8-4, 5-0 squad that captured the 2012 Patriot League title.
• Senior QB Gavin McCarney has thrown for nearly 1,400 yards with 10 TD passes this season. He is also the team's leading rusher with 526 yards to go along with three TD's. In 2013, McCarney became just the third FCS quarterback to throw for more than 5,000 yards and rush for at least 2,500 yards in a career.
• Sophomore TB Demetrius Russell (118-464, 4 TDs) is the top rushing threat outside of McCarney.
• Senior Dan Cason (34 rec., 496 yards 2 TDs) was one of seven Colgate receivers averaging more than 12 yards per catch, but suffered a season-ending knee injury last week against Bucknell.
• Colgate leads the Patriot League in rushing offense (196.1 ypg) but is sixth in passing offense (176.9 ypg).
• Junior DB Mike Armiento leads the team with 74 tackles. Armiento was named PL Defensive POW after recording 11 tackles with two interceptions (one returned 85 yds for a score) vs. Cornell. He ranks second in all of the FCS with five interceptions on the season.
• Dick Biddle (Duke '71) is in his 18th season as head coach and has won the Patriot League crown seven times. He is Colgate's all-time winningest coach with 136 career victories.