Don’t accuse the Patriot League anymore of not challenging themselves in the scheduling department. Four Patriot League schools face off against FBS foes this week, and one Patriot League school hosts and FCS Top 25 team on their home field in what by any definition is a huge challenge week to open the 2021 season.
Georgetown was originally scheduled to play Marist but the Hoyas canceled their season opener against Marist after the school said a coronavirus-related pause during training camp affected preparations and conditioning for this week’s game. The team’s next game is Sept. 11 at Delaware State.
The Colgate game will be memorable for Boston College defensive coordinator Tem Lukabu. He was a four-year letterman and three-year starter at Colgate from 2000-03. During his time at Colgate, he helped the Raiders to back-to-back Patriot League titles and was named the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year in both 2002 and ’03, becoming the first player to claim that honor twice. What it won’t be memorable for is an upset. Boston College 55, Colgate 0.
If one of these Patriot League teams shock the world this weekend, it may very well be the Crusaders, who are coming off back-to-back Patriot League titles and are no strangers to good competition. UConn looked like one of the worst teams in the nation in their 45-0 loss against Fresno State last week but should do better with that humbling experience under their belt and a desperate need to not fall to 0-2. I see the Crusaders making things interesting before the Huskies pull away late. UConn 35, Holy Cross 21.
I’m not entirely sure how this game got scheduled, but the same rule applies here as to the Holy Cross/UConn game: FBS team with humiliating Week 1 loss looks for redemption against FCS school. Except that Nebraska is much, much better than UConn. Nebraska 77, Fordham 0.
Read our full game preview here. It feels like a tall order for Lehigh to deliver the type of statement against Villanova I’m certain they would love to make. But I do think that they deliver a performance that gives the Lehigh faithful a lot more hope in the short term in regards to competing for a Patriot League Championship. It will be closer than many think. Villanova 33, Lehigh 24.
Hard to picture Lafayette’s offense getting a heck of a lot of traction against Air Force’s tough, stout defense. That and QB Haaziq Daniels should have plenty to get past the Leopards. Air Force 44, Lafayette 10.
Sacred Heart has one of the best flat-out RBs in the nation in Julius Chestnut, and that should be enough to beat the Bison at home. Sacred Heart 30, Bucknell 23.
Chuck has been writing about Lehigh football since the dawn of the internet, or perhaps it only seems like it. He’s executive editor of the College Sports Journal and has also written a book, The Rivalry: How Two Schools Started the Most Played College Football Series.
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