Sept. 5, 2012
What: Bucknell Bison (0-0, 0-0 PL) at Marist Red Foxes (1-0, 0-0 PFL)
Where: Tenney Stadium at Leonidoff Field, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
When: Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012, 6 p.m.
TV: Time Warner Cable Sports in Hudson Valley (Channels 413 and 461)
Internet Video: GoRedFoxes.com
Radio: Eagle 107 (107.3 WEGH)
Internet Radio: SportsJuice.com
Probable Starters - Offense
QB 14 Brandon Wesley (Jr., 6-2, 190) - 10th on career yards, attempts, completions lists
RB 32 Tyler Smith (Sr., 5-9, 195) - Preseason All-Patriot League selection
FB 33 Travis Friend (Jr., 6-2, 235) - Preseason All-Patriot League selection
WR 5 Victor Walker (Jr., 6-1, 197) - Needs 84 rec. yards for 1,000 in career
WR 80 Josh Brake (So., 6-3, 200) - Averaged 15.8 yards per reception in 2011
LT 72 Lonnie Rawles (So., 6-4, 285) - Only returning starter on OL
LG 69 Troy Steinhilber (Sr., 6-4, 295) - Expected to make first career start
C 77 Brandon Noblett (So., 6-2, 285) - Expected to make first career start
RG 76 Clayton Hoffmaster (Fr., 6-4, 295) - Only freshman listed first on depth chart
RT 79 Nevin Hagman (So., 6-3, 285) - Only career game action vs. Marist in 2011
TE 82 Nick Gatto (Sr., 6-2, 230) - 22 catches for 173 yards in career
Probable Starters - Defense
DE 40 Sean Sellers (Jr., 6-0, 235) - Started 7 games in 2011
DT 78 Devin Gordon-Hamm (Sr., 6-1, 270) - Expected to make first career start, 15 career games played
NG 90 Tracey Smith (Jr., 6-1, 255) - 11 consecutive starts
DE 9 Samuel Oyekoya (Sr., 6-3, 235) - 8 career sacks is most among current Bison
Mike LB 27 Evan Byers (So., 6-0, 215) - Led Bison freshman in tackles in 2011 (34)
Sam LB 12 Beau Traber (Sr., 5-11, 220) - Preseason All-Patriot League selection
SS 37 Lee Marvel (So., 6-0, 205) - 24 tackles in 2011, season-high 6 at Cornell
CB 4 Donald Quarles (Sr., 5-7, 175) - 27 career games played, expected to make 1st start since 2010
FS 20 Ryan Morgan (Jr., 5-11, 190) - 4th on team in tackles (51) in 2011
Whip DB 26 Matthew Steinbeck (So., 6-0, 205) - Started once (vs. Harvard) in 2011
CB 21 Joseph Francis (Sr., 5-11, 205) - Team captain along with Tyler Smith and Beau Traber
With a Victory over Marist, Bucknell Would ...
• ... win its season opener for the fifth time in the last seven years.
• ... improve to 87-39-1 all-time in season openers.
• ... defeat the Red Foxes for the seventh time in eight all-time meetings.
• ... win for the third time in its last four road games.
• ... win a road season opener for the first time since 2007 and the second time since 1998.
• ... win back-to-back season openers for the first time since winning three straight from 2006 to 2008.
• ... improve to 3-1 in Poughkeepsie vs. the Red Foxes.
• ... improve to 3-1 in its last four games.
• ... win its road opener for the first time since 2008.
About the Game
Thanks to a bye in week one of the season, Bucknell will be entering Saturday’s contest at Marist lifting the lid on its campaign, while Marist is already 1-0 after a 35-10 victory at Bryant this past weekend. The Bison, who are beginning their 127th season, have had tremendous success in season openers as they own an 86-39-1 all-time mark in their first game of the year. They are 4-2 in season openers since 2006. The Red Foxes will be aiming for their first 2-0 start to a campaign since 2002. This will be the first time since 2005 Bucknell has opened its season against an opponent other than Duquesne. The Dukes have been the Bison’s season-opening opponent in eight of the last 10 years. A fireworks show will be performed at Tenney Stadium at Leonidoff Field following Saturday’s contest, which will also be broadcast on Time Warner Cable Sports in the Hudson Valley.
Bucknell vs. Marist Series Notes
• Bucknell leads 6-1.
• Bucknell owns a 2-1 advantage in Poughkeepsie.
• Bucknell won the first three meetings by an average score of 38-11. The last four matchups have been decided by a total of 30 points.
• Marist has never scored 20 points vs. Bucknell.
• Along with Cornell, Marist is one of two non-league teams that have been on Bucknell’s schedule every year since 2005.
Last Time vs. Marist
Bucknell 28, Marist 14 (Sept. 10, 2011 - Lewisburg, Pa.)
• Bucknell won its second straight game to start the season 2-0 for the first time since 2008.
• The 28 points Bucknell scored were the most in a victory since the 2008 season opener vs. Duquesne that the Bison won by a 48-42 margin.
• Jeremiah Young was used on 16 of 26 offensive plays (15 rush, 1 reception) in the final 21:42 of play.
• Bucknell’s average drive start was its own 43-yard line, while Marist’s average drive start was its own 26-yard line. That difference was especially noteworthy in the second half when the Bison’s average start was the Marist 49 and the Red Foxes’ average start was their own 20-yard line.
• Bucknell’s 14-point margin of victory was its largest since the 2007 season finale.
Seniors Joseph Francis, Tyler Smith and Beau Traber were voted team captains in the preseason by their teammates. A defensive back, Francis has played in 33 games since arriving at Bucknell and enters his final campaign with 87 career tackles. A First Team All-Patriot League selection at running back a year ago, Smith led the conference in rushing (795 yards) and will graduate among the program’s top all-purpose runners as he currently ranks seventh with 3,399 yards. Traber was a starter at linebacker for the first time in 2011 and piled up 63 tackles and 11.5 tackles for loss to rank third on the team in both categories.
Bucknell is 86-39-1 in season-opening contests. The Bison are 4-2 in their last six season openers.
Bucknell is 44-77-4 (.368) all-time in its first road game of the year. The last time the Bison won a road opener was 2008 when they defeated Robert Morris 17-14 in the second game of the season.
Bucknell opens its 127th season of football Saturday against Marist. Only Princeton (143), Yale (140), Harvard (138), Penn (136), Dartmouth (131), Lafayette (131), Lehigh (129) and Richmond (129) have played longer among current FCS teams. Bucknell ranks 21st among all FCS programs with 571 all-time victories.
Five in a Row
Saturday’s game at Marist marks Bucknell’s fourth consecutive road game, dating back to last season. The Bison will extend that to five straight road games Sept. 15 at Delaware. The last time Bucknell played five in a row on the road was during the 2003 season when they faced Delaware State, Cornell, Columbia, Fordham and Penn in succession.
11 Months Between Home Games
Thanks to five straight games on the road over two seasons, Bucknell will go exactly 11 months in between home contests at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium. The Bison last played at home Oct. 22, 2011 vs. Holy Cross and their first home appearance in 2012 is Sept. 22 vs. Lafayette.
Bucknell enters the 2012 campaign with no bye weeks since it was idle in week one. The last time the Bison entered a season having to play 11 consecutive games was 2001. They finished that year with a 6-4 record after having the Sept. 15 Cornell game canceled due to the Sept. 11 tragedy.
Preseason All-Patriot League
Junior FB Travis Friend along with senior RB Tyler Smith and senior LB Beau Traber were Bucknell’s three representatives on the Preseason All-Patriot League Team. The inaugural team was announced at the league’s media day in July and featured 28 players. A two-time Second Team All-Patriot League selection, Friend has been used mainly as a blocker and receiver during his first two years as a Bison. He has caught 34 passes for 167 yards and a touchdown in his career, including 16 for 100 yards last season. A First Team All-Patriot League selection in 2011, Smith enters his senior campaign just 298 rushing yards shy of 10th place on Bucknell’s all-time list, while Traber enters his final season with 80 career tackles in 27 games.
Bucknell’s 11 2012 opponents posted a combined 67-54 (.553) record in 2011. Six opponents, including four of the five non-league foes, finished the season with records of at least .500. Eight of those teams played in week one this year and registered a combined 5-3 (.625) mark.
Bucknell has plenty of familiar names on the depth chart on defense and at the majority of the offensive skill positions. However, the Bison lost four of their five starters on the offensive line to graduation and the only returner is a sophomore (Lonnie Rawles). Bucknell’s anticipated starting unit on the offensive line will feature one freshman, three sophomores and a senior.
* entering season
Quite the Improvement
Bucknell in 2011 equaled the best one-year turnaround in program history (+5) when it finished the campaign 6-5 one year after going 1-10. The same win improvement was also accomplished by the 1891, 1949, 1954 and 2006 teams. The Bison were tied for third in the nation last year for win improvement.
FCS Most-Improved Teams (2010 to 2011)
1. Towson: +7.5 games (2010: 1-10; 2011: 9-3)
2. Sam Houston State: +6 games (2010: 6-5; 2011: 14-1)
3. Bucknell: +5 games (2010: 1-10; 2011: 6-5)
Portland State: +5 games (2010: 2-9; 2011: 7-4)
Success in Close Games
Bucknell has had success in close games in recent years. In fact, the Bison have posted a 12-6 record in games decided by seven points or less since 2006.
Bucknell is 15-14 in night games (6 p.m. or later starts) since 2000. The Bison and Red Foxes have met three times at night in the series history with Bucknell owning a 2-1 advantage in those contests. Bucknell was 4-1 at night last year and is scheduled for just two night games this year (at Marist, vs. Cornell).
Recent Night Game Results (15-14)
Sept. 2, 2000: L, Richmond 10, Bucknell 7
Sept. 8, 2001: L, Kent State 38, Bucknell 17
Sept. 22, 2001: W, Bucknell 23, Columbia, 21 (OT)
Sept. 21, 2002: W, Bucknell 14, Cornell 3
Aug. 30, 2003: W, Bucknell 28, Duquesne 21
Sept. 27, 2003: L, Columbia 19, Bucknell 16
Sept. 2, 2004: L, Villanova 20, Bucknell 14
Sept. 18, 2004: W, Bucknell 15, Cornell 9
Sept. 25, 2004: W, Bucknell 42, Columbia 13
Sept. 3, 2005: L, Georgetown 19, Bucknell 16 (OT)
Sept. 10, 2005: L, Stony Brook 21, Bucknell 18
Sept. 2, 2006: W, Bucknell 31, Duquesne 28
Sept. 9, 2006: L, Lafayette 31, Bucknell 0
Sept. 16, 2006: W, Bucknell 20, Cornell 5
Sept. 1, 2007: W, Bucknell 28, Duquesne 19
Sept. 8, 2007: L, Stony Brook 48, Bucknell 20
Sept. 15, 2007: L, Cornell 38, Bucknell 14
Sept. 29, 2007: W, Bucknell 38, Marist 7
Sept. 6, 2008: W, Bucknell 48, Duquesne 42
Sept. 20, 2008: L, Cornell 38, Bucknell 14
Sept. 5, 2009: L, Duquesne 24, Bucknell 19
Sept. 12, 2009: W, Robert Morris 26, Bucknell 23
Sept. 4, 2010: L, Duquesne 17, Bucknell 13
Sept. 11, 2010: L, Marist 14, Bucknell 3
Sept. 3, 2011: W, Bucknell 27, Duquesne 26
Sept. 10, 2011: W, Bucknell 28, Marist 14
Sept. 17, 2011: L, Cornell 24, Bucknell 13
Sept. 24, 2011: W, Bucknell 34, Princeton 9
Oct. 29, 2011: W, Bucknell 39, Lafayette 13
Can the Turnovers Continue in 2012?
Bucknell finished the 2011 campaign +2.45 in turnover margin to lead the nation. The Bison forced 39 turnovers and committed just 12. Bucknell tied for first in the country in interceptions (22) and were second in fumbles recovered (17).
Rushing Defense Ranked Third in Nation
Bucknell’s rushing defense yielded just over 78 yards per game in 2011, ranking third in the country. Only three of the Bison’s 11 opponents reached 100 yards rushing, and two (Georgetown, Holy Cross) were held to negative yards.
Patriot League Preseason Poll
1. Lehigh - 60 (11 first-place votes)
2. Holy Cross - 46 (1)
3. Colgate - 36
4. Georgetown - 33 (2)
5. Lafayette - 32
6. Bucknell - 15
Returning All-PL Players
Bucknell had a record 12 players honored by the Patriot League in end-of-season awards in 2011. Four of those players return to the team in 2012, including First Team All-Patriot League selections Ryan Gutowski and Tyler Smith. Also among returning players honored by the Patriot League were second-team choices Travis Friend and Beau Traber.
• Victor Walker is 84 receiving yards shy of 1,000 for his career.
• Joseph Francis is 13 tackles shy of 100 for his career.
• Tyler Smith needs nine receiving yards to reach 500 for his career.
Once again, Bucknell football games can be heard locally on Eagle 107 (WEGH 107.3 FM). Doug Birdsong will handle the play-by-play duties, while Kevin Herr, an employee of Sunbury Broadcasting, will serve as color analyst for a fifth consecutive year. The radio broadcasts are also available free of charge via www.SportsJuice.com.
Live video broadcasts of all of Bucknell’s home games that are not on national television will air on Bison Vision. Fans can sign up for Bison Vision by clicking on the Bison Vision logo on the front page of www.BucknellBison.com. Monthly subscriptions are $9.95, while yearly subscriptions are $79.95.
Bucknell will conclude its string of five consecutive road games with a 3:30 p.m. contest at Delaware. It will be the first meeting between the two schools since 1985. The Blue Hens lead the all-time series 22-11 and have captured 10 of the last 11 meetings. Delaware captured the 2003 national title and is 82-46 (.641) overall since 2002.
The Last Meeting
September 10, 2011
Bucknell Football Improves to 2-0 with 28-14 Victory Over Marist
Jeremiah Young rushed a career high 25 times for 70 yards and he scored a fourth-quarter touchdown that sealed the Bucknell victory as the Bison football team improved to 2-0 with a 28-14 win over Marist Saturday evening at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium. Bucknell is 2-0 for the first time since 2008 and just the second time in the last eight years.