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After the weatherman promised a mostly sunny day on November 10th, the day of the Patriot League championship game at Murray Goodman stadium, there was instead a gray haze that persisted throughout the football game.
Like the weather, the game was also a story of the unexpected.
Few thought the Colgate offense would be held to just 35 points, after creaming Lafayette for 65 points the previous week. Many also were surprised that Lehigh could only manage 90 rushing yards against the No. 7-ranked rushing defense in the Patriot League.
The grey weather didn’t affect the outcome. It didn’t affect the passing game, the running game, or the kicking game.
But on a damp, strange, overcast day in November, the magic ran out for Lehigh. The undefeated Mountain Hawks fell in a war on Saturday, 35-23, busting up a season that almost seemed predestined to be Lehigh’s from the outset.
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We break down the Colgate game – and we give our fearless prediction, below the flip.
Not much more needs to be said about the importance of this game. Essentially, it’s for all the marbles. It’s why both teams practiced in March and April, why they sacrificed their time and energy all fall, why they, essentially, do this.
It’s worth, though, looking at some detail as to how Colgate won these games.
In all four games, Colgate scored a touchdown on their first possession. No punts, no turnovers, no field goals. Touchdowns.
In three of the four games, Colgate scored a touchdown on their second possession. Bucknell forced a punt in their game against the Raiders, but Colgate has mostly scored touchdowns there, too.
My point is that a big part of Colgate’s success has been early success. If football is a game of momentum, the Raiders have been successful in large part by getting out of the gate early, and then just continuing to roll forward. In fact, last week against Lafayette, the Raiders scored eight times in their first eight possessions – seven TDs, and one FG, and that only happened because it was at the end of the half.
Let’s look a little closer at this offense, too.