MATCH-UP: Lafayette and Lehigh meet for the 148th time in College Football's Most-Played and longest continuous rivalry (soon to be 116 games). Fisher Stadium plays host to the series which began in 1884. The game is for second place in the Patriot League standings as Colgate, powered by its read-option attack, beat Lafayette and Lehigh in consecutive weeks to claim the conference title.
THE SERIES: College Football's Most-Played Rivalry dates back to 1884 when Lafayette shut out Lehigh 50-0 in Easton. The two teams met twice a year from 1884- 1901 (three times in 1891) and once a year (for the most part) since then, with the exception of 1896 when a player eligibility dispute between the schools cancelled the game. The Leopards lead the series 76-66-5. Home field advantage plays a big role in this rivalry: Lafayette leads 41-28-5 when playing in Easton and Lehigh has a 37-35 edge over the Leopards in Bethlehem. Lehigh is 1-0 at neutral sites. Lehigh has won the last four meetings and Lafayette won the four games prior.
A WIN OVER LEHIGH...would make Lafayette 6-5...hand Lafayette its first win over Lehigh since 2007...award Lafayette its first winning season since 2009...likely would put a serious dent in Lehigh's NCAA playoff hopes.
ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT: Lafayette placed a league-best three players on the Capital One Academic All-District II Team. Juniors Mark Ross, Brad Bormann and Greg Kessel each earned the nod and now will be placed on a national ballot from which the Academic All-America Team will be selected in December.
ON THE MARK: With 10 catches for 122 yards against Fordham, junior WR Mark Ross moved into the top 10 for career receptions and receiving yards at Lafayette, sliding into ninth place with 115 career grabs and 1,615 yards. On the season, Ross has 66 catches for 912 yards, the third best single-season yardage performance in Lafayette history and the second most receptions in a single campaign. In addition, Ross has 17 career touchdown receptions, needing two more to take over the top spot held by Phil Ng '88 with 19.
PASSING: The Lafayette passing attack put up 369 yards in the air at Fordham, the team's highest passing output of the season. Zach Zweizig threw for a career-best 285 yards with a pair of 49-yard passes to Mike Duncan. Andrew Shoop added 84 yards through the air.
THE SERIES MVP: Members of the media will vote on the game's most valuable player on Saturday, marking a tradition that began in 1960. In 2011, Lehigh senior QB Chris Lum won the award. Rob Curley was the last Lafayette player to claim the title (2007) that traditionally goes to a player on the winning team. He engineered the game-winning drive in a 21-17 win, going 15-for-25 for 257 yards with one TD. There have been eight two-time winners: Brad Maurer (2004, 2006), Tom Costello (1988, 1989) and Erik Marsh (1992, 94) from Lafayette and Kim McQuilken (1972, 73), Marty Horn (1983, 85), Ron Jean (1998, 99) and J.B. Clark from Lehigh. In the series, there have been co-MVP's only twice (1976 and 2006).
Lehigh enters the 148th meeting following its only loss of the season, 35-24 at home in a game that decided the Patriot League title. Lehigh has been ranked as high as fifth in the FCS Coaches Poll and eighth in the Sports Network Poll. At 9-1, Lehigh dropped to 12th in the Coaches Poll and 14th in the Sports Network ranking.
The Mountain Hawks return six starters on offense and five on defense a year after winning the Patriot League title with an 11-2 mark and a undefeated clip in conference action.
Senior Michael Colvin has stepped in at the quarterback position with the graduation of the 2011 Offensive Player of the Year Chris Lum. Colvin has completed 202-of-328 (62%) for 2,746 yards with 15 touchdowns to 14 interceptions. Colvin is also the team's second-leading rusher, churning out 397 yards on 95 carries with 10 touchdowns.
Lehigh's first option on the ground is senior Zach Barket who has 511 yards on 134 carries with five touchdowns. Junior Keith Sherman has added seven touchdowns on 187 yards.
Ryan Spadola is one of the top receivers in the Patriot League. The senior, who was an All-American in 2011, has 49 catches for 764 yards and three TD's, despite missing two games. Junior Lee Kurfis has 47 receptions and four TD's.
Senior LB Billy Boyko, a Lehigh Valley product from Northampton, Pa. is the team leader in tackles (97).
Andy Coen (Gettysburg '86) is in his seventh season and holds a 51-30 mark at the school.
Lafayette Athletics, as a partner in the mission of the College, provides an incredibly effective learning experience for student-athletes through competitive NCAA Division I athletics. Lafayette sponsors 23 varsity sports with more than 600 student-athletes.
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