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Mini Patriot League Previews

As promised, here's a mini-breakdown of the Lafayette/Appalachian St. and Colgate/New Hampshire games.

Colgate/New Hampshire:
On Colgate's offense: QB Mike Saraceno and RB Jordan Scott have been the engine that has made this Raider team go. WR DeWayne Long is a great target on the outside, but the key to Colgate's game is not turning the ball over. On offense, when they've held onto the ball, they've won games.

On Colgate's defense: LB Jared Nepa anchors a Raider team with a tough secondary and solid overall defense. With 18 takeaways, Colgate's secondary was the best in the Patriot League in 2005, while the defensive front held most opponents to under 100 yards rushing.

On New Hampshire's offense: QB Ricky Santos and WR David Ball are "cover boys", and there's a reason for that. Santos is a tough customer who can run well, while Ball is one of the more amazing WR's I've seen with lots of acrobatic grabs, even in double-teams. TE Jon Williams shouldn't be ignored either - a real pass-catching threat, as well as RB Lee McCoy out of the backfield. Contrary to their prolific offensive output, this is not a finesse offense, and Santos spreads the ball around well. Disrupting their gameplan is a challenge, but a good solid pass rush could do the trick.

On New Hampshire's defense: New Hampshire plays a base 4-3-4 that has given up a lot of points this year - including 47 to Maine last weekend. Their front seven isn't overly scary, led by LB E. J.DeWitt, while CB Etienne Boulay is probably their best corner.

Maybe you didn't know: Colgate is 1-3 lifetime against New Hampshire, their last win coming in Durham by a 27-23 score in 1986. More recently, they played in men's ice hockey in 2000, with Colgate falling by a 7-3 score.

Fearless Prediction: If Colgate can hold onto the ball, not turn over the ball, and keep Santos-to-Ball in check, they have a shot. However, they just seem like the type of team that doesn't match up very well with the Wildcats. Colgate should keep them under their average, but I don't think it will be enough. UNH 34, Colgate 17.

Lafayette/Appalachian St.:
On Lafayette's offense: With starting QB Brad Maurer presumably out with a separated shoulder, all indications are QB/LS Pat Davis will be the starter. RB Jonathan Hurt came of age at the end of the season to shoulder most of the load offensively, while Davis should spread the ball around a lot with his receiving corps. Is Lafayette's offensive resurgence enough to give the Mountaineers a game?

On Lafayette's defense: LB's Dion Witherspoon, Blake Costanzo and Buck Buchanan nominee Maurice Bennett could be the best trio of linebackers ever to emerge from the Patriot League. They mask a smallish front pretty well, but also bring a pretty formidable pass rush. The secondary is also strong, with CB Torian Johnson nabbing 3 INTs.

On Appalachian State's offense: Mountaineer fans are ga-ga over Payton Award candidate QB Richie Williams' talents running and passing abilities. Running a no-huddle spread-type offense, Williams generaly gets the outside runs while RB Kevin Richardson gets in-between the tackles. Richardson and TE Daniel Bettis are popular passing targets as well, which will test Lafayette's linebacking corps' pass defense.

On Appalachian State's defense: CB Corey Lynch's 5 INTs highlight a pretty strong secondary, while they bring a decent pass rush. Through the middle they are smallish, which could work to Lafayette's advantage.

Maybe You Didn't Know: Lafayette coach Frank Tavani, on his off week, watched his son play at Wofford, where they were playing... Appalachian State, so "GQ" has seen firsthand what he's dealing with.

Fearless Prediction: I'll do it. I think Lafayette will win this game. First of all, Lafayette is playing their best football of the season right now. Second, App St. has not seen a trio of linebackers at the I-AA level better that Lafayette's "fearsome threesome", which should deprive Williams of his regular passing options. Third, if this game stays close as the game goes along, the bigger the pressure gets with losing to "little Lafayette from the little Patriot League". Fourth, I think Appalachian State is underestimating Lafayette, and they will see that the Leopards may have one of the sharpest coaching staffs in all of I-AA. Smell that upset! Lafayette 29, App St. 26.

Tune in tomorrow for the rest of my I-AA playoff predictions.


Anonymous said…
I hope your right Chuck. More importantly than either LC or Colgate winning is BOTH of us winning. We do that & we'll change the way I-AA looks at the PL for good!!!!
Anonymous said…
The patriot league has earned more respect in the past three postseasons than they ever had before. With Lafayette playing well (until the end) against the defending national champs and Lehigh playing very well against the eventual national champs last year. And Colgate getting to the national title game the year before.

The Patriot League is no longer to be laughed at. It must be respected.
Anonymous said…
I am just happy to see this farce of a season come to an end. The two posers got their asses kicked and Im happy for that. Luck can carry a team for so long before they get exposed. Thankfully Lafayette, the worst representative of the patriot league ever and the jokers from Hamilton can pat themselves on the backs for making the patriot league a laughing stock. Thats football!
Anonymous said…
It would be interesting to see how any of these Patriot League teams would fare against a Division Two team like East Stroudsburg. I've never seen a team light it up like these guys do. They are averaging close to 42 pts per game. They are putting up the passing numbers that Pete Lembo can only dream about. Awesome.
Anonymous said…
Wow can you believe the Stroudsburg comment? holy crap. They must have let you out for the weekend.
Anonymous said…
Anonymous said…
"Wow can you believe the Stroudsburg comment? holy crap. They must have let you out for the weekend."

Ass Clown - It's EAST Stroudsburg. ANd they've gone much farther than any Patriot League teams have lately.
Anonymous said…
ass face you play in a sisters of the poor division
Anonymous said…

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