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FCS East Wrapup: Can Anyone Stop the CAA?

(Photo courtesy the Foster's Daily Democrat)

Lehigh wasn't the only victim of a nationally-ranked CAA team this past weekend. The world of FBS continued to be terrorized against teams from the conference that is ostensibly the one that the Patriot League is supposed to be competing against in the world of FCS. Not only that, the CAA's only losses so far have come against either each other or FBS schools. It's worth a closer look.

  • New Hampshire made it five straight FBS wins in a row after they held on to defeat the defending MAC champions, Ball State, 23-16. David Letterman's alma mater dug themselves in a deep 23-9 hole early in the 3rd quarter after UNH junior FS Hugo Souza forced a fumble at the Ball State 7 yard line, which junior RB Sean Jellison gratefully put into the end zone on the offense's next play to take the two-touchdown lead. The Wildcats' defense was dominant all evening, only holding the Cardinals to 58 total yards after three quarters (no, do not adjust your eyes), and stuffing the Cardinal offense at the end of the game as they were sitting on the UNH 20 yard line. (You wonder if Pitt, who is currently scheduled to play the Wildcats in 2010, might just want to pay them their guarantee money and forego the inevitable loss.)
  • James Madison ended up falling to FBS Maryland, but not before making all of the leadership in the ACC panic in their 38-35 defeat to the Terps. The Dukes, you see, had the Terps on the ropes: gaining 400 yards on Maryland, and holding a lead of 35-28 after junior QB Drew Dudzik rumbled for a 70 yard touchdown on an option play. And even with the score tied at 35 with 3 minutes to go in Terp territory, an extremely late flag called for holding at the end of a 30 yard run meant head coach Mickey Matthews needed to be restrained on the sidelines. When the Dukes missed a 41 yard FG in overtime, Matthews would angrily have his sixth attempt at an FBS upset go for naught - but it was a scare that Maryland fans won't soon forget.
  • As endings go, it's hard to top the Richmond/Delaware game this past weekend. With Richmond's "Desperation Unit" coming on the field to block a chip-shot FG that would give Delaware a victory over the No. 1-ranked Spiders, team Desperation did the unthinkable: they blocked the kick to allow Richmond to escape Newark with a 16-15 victory. On the "Desperation team" is one of the Spiders' offensive stars, junior WR Kevin Grayson, who ended up being the Spider to block the kick. "I don't know what feeling went through my body when that ball hit my hand, but I can tell you I was the happiest person in America," Grayson said in the post-game press conference.
  • Back on planet Earth, Colgate showed they're definitely a Patriot League title contender with their second win over a "scholarship school" in the past two weeks, this one a 23-13 win over Stony Brook. Senior SS Uzi Idah is rapidly making Colgate fans say, "Wayne who?" in their secondary, with 9 tackles, 2 sacks, and a "pass defended" that was actually a fierce hit on WR Stephan Towns that prevented a touchdown. Meanwhile, junior QB Greg Sullivan gathered Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week honors with an impressive 113 rushing yards and 148 passing yards. Clearly, Colgate is establishing themselves as a Patriot League force to be reckoned with. "We’re 2-0 and I don’t think a lot of people thought we were going to be," head coach Dick Biddle correctly noted in the post-game press conference. "An all-league cornerback decides not to come out and you lose the Patriot League Rookie of the Year and then his back-up gets hurt and you lose the starting offensive lineman, I think kids have stepped up and I think we’re playing pretty well.” Colgate will face off against Dartmouth this weekend.
  • It was raining at Holy Cross' Fitton field on Saturday, but that hardly stopped the Crusaders as they cruised to a 52-21 victory over another "scholarship school", Sacred Heart. The the Pioneers never really got to a point where they were a threat to win the game - they trailed 21-0 after the first quarter, senior QB Dominic Randolph showed another side to his game: running the ball, to the tune of 74 yards (and 2 rushing TDs) to go with his 274 passing yards. The scary part? After Randolph's 4 TD effort, head coach Tom Gilmore in the post-game press conference was lamenting - wait for it - ... not enough points. “We left some points on the field again,” he said. “And we’re going to have to get more consistent, but offensively we made some good adjustments to what they (Sacred Heart) were doing." Holy Cross faces Harvard this weekend in what will be a battle of nationally-ranked teams.
  • Few teams score 0 points on offense in the second half and win football games, but that's exactly what Bucknell did in their 26-23 win over "scholarship school" Robert Morris last Saturday. Two interceptions returned for "Pick Six"-es - one by senior LB Brigham Farrand and another by Patriot League defensive player of the week senior LB Greg Jones - plus a second half safety led to the Bison victory. Bucknell recorded five interceptions - one shy of their all-time single game mark. The Bison face next a rebuilding Cornell team - one that can't be happy to see the Bison get their defensive groove on.
  • Finally, "that school in Easton" saw senior QB Rob Curley explode out of the gates in their opener in DC as they took out Georgetown 28-3. An effecient 20-of-34 with 259 yards and 3 TDs had to be just what the doctor ordered, while on defense the Leopards were as impenetrable as ever, with senior LB Mark Leggerio holding the Hoyas to 19 yards rushing. Worrisome for the Leopards, however, was sophomore PK Davis Rodriguez missing 3 FGs on the evening - but more worrisome had to be the Hoya offense, who hasn't scored a touchdown in two games. Georgetown sophomore DL Andrew Schaetzke, however, has been a terror on the Hoya 'D' Line - he's 9th nationally in tackles for loss with 4 1/2, all coming against the Leopards. Lafayette welcomes Liberty to Fisher Field this weekend, while Georgetown travels up to Yale in the Eli's season opener.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Interesting, Patriot League teams, can beat scholarship teams, Imagine that!

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