2018 College Football Team Previews: Colgate Raiders

Colgate Raiders
Location: Hamilton, NY
Coach: Dan Hunt (26-21)
Stadium: And Kerr Stadium (Capacity: 10,221)

CSJ Projections:
1st: Patriot
5th: New York
38th: FCS
157th: Division I

2017 In A Sentence: The Raiders dominated every team on their Patriot League conference schedule – except Lehigh, who eked out a narrow victory in Hamilton. It was enough to earn a co-Patriot League championship with Lehigh, but not enough to snatch the FCS Playoff auto-bid from the Mountain Hawks.

Biggest Shoes to Fill: Though the Raiders have tons of underclassmen returning, DE Pat Afriye graduates from Colgate 2nd on their all-time leaders in sacks (26 1/2) and was a frequent target of double-teams all season. He was a big presence on the Raiders defensive line.

Key Player: DE Nick Wheeler had a breakout year on the other side of Afriye, notching 15 1/2 tackles for loss and making life miserable for Colgate’s opponents, keeping Raider opponents out of the end zone for the final 15 quarters of last season. The only question is the effectiveness of Wheeler without Afriye getting attention on the other side of Colgate’s defensive line. If he’s the same disruptive force he was last season, watch out.

Fearless Prediction: Head coach Dan Hunt has arranged for his Raiders to have a tough out-of-conference schedule, as usual, but the game really circled on the calendar is November 10th at Lehigh at Murray Goodman Stadium. It seems destined that that game will determine the Patriot League Champions, and the Raiders should be entering that game with an enormous chip on their shoulder after losing a game against Lehigh last year they should have won.

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