LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Bucknell football team will close the home portion of its schedule on Saturday, Nov. 11 at noon by taking on Georgetown.
Before the game, the Bison will recognize their 19 seniors: LS Tom Adams, DL Abdullah Anderson, K John Burdick, QB John Burkly, DE Craig Cassidy, RB Joey DeFloria, DE Trevor Fennimore, S Connor Golden, WR Jack Horan, CB Trey Johnson, CB Colin Jonov, WR Kyle Kinner, TE Jared Morse, QB Matt Muh, LB Mike Pirolli, TE Andrew Podbielski, LB Mark Pyles, LB Ben Richard and OL Chase Watkins.
For Veterans Day, Bucknell will offer free admission and free hot chocolate and cookies at the concession stands to military veterans, active duty servicemen and women and Gold Star Families. The Bison will also wear special decals on their helmets in honor of the 28th Infantry Division. One of the most decorated infantry divisions and the oldest division-sized unit in the United States Army, it traces its lineage to Benjamin Franklin’s battalion, The Pennsylvania Associators (1747-1777). The division was officially established in 1879 and was later re-designated as the 28th Division in 1917 after America’s entry into World War I. Today, it is part of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, Maryland Army National Guard, Ohio Army National Guard and New Jersey Army National Guard.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.bucknell.edu/boxoffice or by calling the Campus Box Office at 570-577-1000.
When: Saturday, November 11 – 12 p.m.
Where: Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium – Lewisburg, Pa.
Internet Video: Patriot League Network
Radio: Eagle 107 (107.3 WEGH)
Internet Radio: BucknellBison.com
Live Stats: BucknellBison.com
Follow on Twitter: @Bucknell_FB
With a victory the Bison would...
• finish .500 (3-3) at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium in 2017
• even their overall record to 5-5, putting them in position to finish above .500 for the third time in the past five seasons with a victory in the season finale at Fordham
• win on Senior Day for the first time since 2013 (a 17-7 victory over Georgetown)
• help head coach Joe Susan tie Bob Odell for sixth in program history in career victories (37)
Inside the Lehigh Box Score
• RB Chad Freshnock rushed for a career-high 174 yards and three touchdowns, but Bucknell was downed by Lehigh, 42-21, in its Homecoming game.
• Freshnock became the first Bison since 2014 to rush for three touchdowns and the first since 2012 to have a run of at least 60 yards.
• Freshnock’s 85-yard touchdown was the fifth-longest from the line of scrimmage in school history. The only four ahead of it in the Bucknell record books occurred in 1938, 1946, 1952 and 1979.
• The Bison’s 342 yards of total offense was their highest total of the season. They previously eclipsed 300 yards against Sacred Heart (318) and at Cornell (306).
• QB Matt Muh completed 22 of 37 passes for 144 yards, matching his career high in completions set on Sept. 9, 2017 against Holy Cross.
• TE Marcus Ademilola led all Bison receivers with 48 yards on a career-best seven catches while RB Omar Garcia was next with a career-high 34, bolstered by a career-long 30-yard reception during Bucknell’s fourth quarter scoring drive.
• LB Mark Pyles led the Bison defense with 10 tackles (seven solo), one sack and his first career interception. S Brandon Benson also had 10 tackles (four solo) while S Drew Newcomb and LB Ben Richard each posted a sack.
• Newcomb’s sack, which went for a loss of eight yards and forced Lehigh to punt from its 28, was the first of his career.
• For Lehigh, RB Dom Bragalone ran for 136 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries while QB Brad Mayes completed 17 of 25 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns. WR Gatlin Casey caught both of Mayes’s touchdown passes; he and WR Troy Pelletier accounted for all but eight of the Mountain Hawks’ receiving yards.
• Lehigh finished with 383 yards of total offense, 116.8 below its 2017 average.
Bucknell at a Glance
• Bucknell is 4-5 (1-3 Patriot League) on the season and currently owns the Patriot League’s second-best overall winning percentage.
• The Bison went 3-2 in non-conference action. This is the sixth time in Joe Susan’s tenure as head coach Bucknell posted a winning record in non-conference play.
• The Bison, who placed fourth in the Patriot League with a 3-3 record a year ago, were picked to take fifth in the 2017 preseason poll.
• Bucknell returned 39 of its 59 letterwinners from 2016. That group includes 15 seniors, 14 juniors and nine sophomores. Six seniors—DL Abdullah Anderson, S Connor Golden, CB Trey Johnson, TE Andrew Podbielski, LB Mark Pyles and LB Ben Richard—are three-time letterwinners.
• Anderson, RB Joey DeFloria, Pyles and Richard are team captains. DeFloria was added to the leadership group in week four.
• Bucknell boasts two Preseason All-Americans: Anderson (STATS, Third Team) and CB Bryan Marine (College Sports Madness, Third Team). In addition, Anderson, Marine and Richard were honored on the Preseason All-Patriot League Team while Anderson was named to the Reese’s Senior Bowl’s 2018 Watch List.
• Bucknell ranks in the FCS’s top 30 in net punting (9th, 39.18) and total defense (18th, 310.3).
• The Bison have excelled at stopping the passing game, allowing an average of just 162.2 passing yards per game. They held eight of their nine opponents under 200 passing yards, including three under 150 in Marist (130), William & Mary (105) and Lafayette (90). Most recently, they limited Lehigh QB Brad Mayes, who entered the game second in the FCS in passing yards per game (341.5), to just 193 yards.
• CB Colin Jonov ranks in the FCS’s top two in both interception return yards (2nd, 159) and interception return touchdowns (t-2nd, 2). Other Bison in the FCS’s top 25 in their respective statistical categories include S Drew Newcomb (interception return touchdowns, t-7th, 1) and P Alex Pechin (punting, 7th, 44.2).
Georgetown at a Glance
• Georgetown is currently 1-8 (0-4) on the season. The Hoyas have been winless since scoring a 16-10 victory at Campbell in their season opener on Sept. 9.
• During its losing streak, Georgetown has been outscored by a 242-112 margin. The Hoyas were held under 10 points three times, including in their Nov. 4 Homecoming game against Lafayette (0-7).
• Georgetown, which finished seventh in the league with a 0-6 record a year ago, was selected to finish tied for sixth with Lafayette in the 2017 preseason poll.
• The Hoyas rank first in the Patriot League, and 22nd in the FCS, in kickoff return average (22.31).
• RB Isaac Ellsworth has returned the lion’s share of kickoffs, totaling 679 yards on 27 returns. His average of 25.1 yards per return is tied for 21st among FCS players; he is one of only 22 averaging more than 25.
• QB Gunther Johnson, a sophomore transfer from the University of Arizona, is a dual threat and has accounted for eight of Georgetown’s 15 touchdowns.
• In six games, Johnson has thrown for 918 yards and four touchdowns and run for 127 yards and four touchdowns. His number of rushing yards ranks second on the team; he is also averaging 153.0 yards through the air per game.
The Bucknell/Georgetown Series
• Bucknell leads the all-time series, 17-11-1, and has won seven of the past 10 meetings. All but two of those games were decided by 10 or fewer points.
• The Bison and Hoyas first met in 1904. They didn’t face off from 1938 to 2000, the year before Georgetown joined the Patriot League as an associate member.
• Bucknell won the 2016 game in Washington, D.C., 21-7. RBs Joey DeFloria (2 TDs, 150 yards) and Chad Freshnock (1 TD, 47 yards) provided all of the offense the Bison needed in a battle of the Patriot League’s top defenses.
• On the strength of his sixth 100-yard game of the 2017 campaign, DeFloria became the 10th Bucknell running back to surpass 1,000 rushing yards in a single season. He finished with 1,070, which ranks eighth in school history.
• S Bret Berg and CB Nick O’Brien had interceptions. LB Ben Richard posted a team-high seven tackles while S Joe Lauro and DE R.J. Sheldon registered sacks.
• The Hoyas won the most recent meeting in Lewisburg, spoiling the Bison’s Homecoming game on Oct. 24, 2015 by pulling out a 17-9 victory.
• QB R.J. Nitti threw for 338 yards, RB C.J. Williams ran for 103 yards and WR Bobby Kaslander posted 100 receiving yards, but Bucknell could only muster one first-quarter touchdown and a second-quarter field goal.
• Just under two minutes into the fourth quarter, Georgetown extended a one-point halftime lead to eight when RB Jo’el Kimpela capped a 14-play, 94-yard drive with an 11-yard touchdown run.
Inside the Bucknell Depth Chart
• Eight seniors, five juniors, four sophomores and five freshmen are expected to start.
• Bucknell’s 11 projected starters on offense have made a combined 120 starts.
• Bucknell’s 11 projected starters on defense have made a combined 190 starts.
• DL Abdullah Anderson missed his first career game at Cornell on Oct. 14, 2017. Before that, he had started every game during his time as a Bison, a streak of 38 in a row. He returned to the lineup at Lafayette and started his 40th game at Colgate.
• CB Trey Johnson is the only senior who has played in all 42 games. He, Anderson (41) and LB Mark Pyles (40) are the only seniors who have played in at least 40.
• LB Ben Richard (31), Pyles (18), CB Bryan Marine (12) and OL Chase Watkins (12) are Bucknell’s leaders in consecutive starts.
• With a start against Georgetown, Pyles will become the third Bison senior to start 30 games.
• TE Andrew Podbielski made 23-straight starts at tight end from Sept. 19, 2015 to Sept. 16, 2017. His streak, which was the third longest on the team at the time, was snapped due to injury against Sacred Heart. After a two-game absence, he returned to the lineup at Cornell.
• Anderson and CB Colin Jonov are the only players on the 2017 roster who have started every game they played in while at Bucknell. Jonov, who missed the 2016 campaign and the Monmouth and Cornell games due to injury, owns 23 career starts.
• There are 14 players on the roster who have started at least 10 games: Anderson (41), Richard (32), Pyles (29), Podbielski (28), Marine (24), Jonov (23), S Connor Golden (20), WR Alan Butler (18), Watkins (18), S Joe Lauro (17), RB Joey DeFloria (16), TE/FB Andrew Owers (15), WR Jack Horan (11) and DE Trevor Fennimore (10). OL Noah Stephenson will become the first sophomore to reach the double digits in starts with one against Georgetown.
• Against Sacred Heart in week four, OL P.J. Barr and TE Alex Twiford became the first freshmen to start for Bucknell. Barr has started every game since then, a string of five in a row, while Twiford started four of those five. Fellow freshmen S Brandon Benson and DE Roger Mellado have started the past four tilts.
• To date, seven Bison have started every game: Butler, Fennimore, Marine, Pyles, Richard, Stephenson and Watkins. Stephenson is that group’s lone underclassmen.
Benson Captures First Patriot League Weekly Award
• S Brandon Benson was honored as the Patriot League Rookie of the Week for the first time in his collegiate career behind his 10-tackle outing against Lehigh.
• Benson tied LB Mark Pyles for the team lead. He also recorded one quarterback hurry and helped the Bison defense hold the high-powered Mountain Hawk offense to 116.8 yards below their 2017 average.
• Benson has reached the double digits in tackles in three of Bucknell’s past five games, including the past two in a row. All but one of his tackles, which ranks fourth on the team, came over that span.
• Other Bison who were honored with Patriot League weekly awards in 2017 include K John Burdick (Oct. 16 and Sept. 25 Special Teams Player of the Week), CB Colin Jonov (Oct. 23 Defensive Player of the Week), LB Simeon Page (Sept. 4 Rookie of the Week) and LB Ben Richard (Sept. 25 Defensive Player of the Week).
Patriot League Leaders
• K John Burdick: Field Goals (9), Field Goals per Game (1.00)
• CB Colin Jonov: Interception Return Touchdowns (2), Interception Return Yards (159)
• P Alex Pechin: Punting (44.2)
• As a team, Bucknell leads the Patriot League in total defense (310.3), pass defense (162.2), pass defense efficiency (112.7) and punting (39.2).
• DL Abdullah Anderson: Needs one blocked field goal to claim sole possession of Bucknell’s career record
• DL Abdullah Anderson: Needs 2.5 sacks to crack Bucknell’s top 10 in career sacks
• K John Burdick: Needs one field goal to become just the 12th Bison kicker to reach the double digits in a single season; needs three to move into Bucknell’s top three in single-season field goals
• RB Joey DeFloria: Needs 271 yards to crack Bucknell’s top 10 in career rushing yards
• RB Joey DeFloria: Needs one 100-yard rushing game to move into a tie for eighth in school history; needs four to become the seventh Bison with at least 10 in his career
• CB Colin Jonov: Needs 20 interception return yards to claim Bucknell’s career record; needs 25 to claim Bucknell’s single-season record
• S Joe Lauro: Needs four solo tackles to reach 100 in his career
• CB Bryan Marine: Needs three interceptions to crack Bucknell’s top 10 in career interceptions; would also become 12th Bison to reach the double digits in this statistical category
• LB Ben Richard: Needs three tackles to reach 250 in his career
Head Coach Joe Susan
• Joe Susan, the 26th head coach in program history, is in his eighth season at the helm and currently ranks third in career games (86) and seventh in career victories (36).
• Susan needs one victory to tie Bob Odell (37) for sixth in program history.
• At the conclusion of the season, Susan will stand in sole possession of fourth place in career seasons, passing legendary coaches Odell and Tom Gadd.
Inside the 2017 Schedule
• Bucknell has the benefit of playing six of its 11 games at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium for the first time since 2010.
• Bucknell’s 2017 opponents went a combined 55-65 (.458) in 2016. Of that group, Colgate (5-5), Fordham (8-3) Lehigh (9-3) and Sacred Heart (6-5) finished at or above .500.
• Bucknell’s five non-conference opponents hail from five different conferences: the Big South Conference (Monmouth), the Colonial Athletic Association (William & Mary), the Ivy League (Cornell), the Northeast Conference (Sacred Heart) and the Pioneer Football League (Marist).
• Bucknell entered the season with a 156-24-10 (.383) record against its 2017 opponents, including winning marks against Marist (11-1) and Georgetown (17-11-1) and an even record with Sacred Heart (1-1).
• Head coach Joe Susan entered 2017 with a 25-33 (.431) record against the Bison’s 2017 foes. Bucknell has not faced Monmouth (first meeting) and William & Mary (fifth meeting) during his tenure as head coach.
How to Follow the Bison
• Every game will be broadcast on Eagle 107 (WEGH 107.3) and BucknellBison.com. As always, Doug Birdsong and Kevin Herr will have the call.
• All six of Bucknell’s home games and its road contests at Lafayette, Colgate and Fordham will air on the Patriot League Network (PatriotLeague.tv).
• Fans can watch the Bison’s games at William & Mary (TribeAthletics.com) and Cornell (Ivy League Network) through the home team’s video platform.
• The Bison are active on Twitter (@Bucknell_FB) and Instagram (Bucknell_FB). Interact with the team using the hashtag #StartTheStampede.
• The Bison close their 2017 campaign at Fordham on Saturday, Nov. 18.