Sept. 24, 2002
Complete Bucknell Game Notes in PDF Format
Bucknell looks for its 14th straight non-conference home victory Saturday when Delaware State visits Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium for game two of a three-game homestand. Last week's 14-3 victory over Cornell helped the Herd avoid its first 0-3 start since 1988. While the Bison offense has stuggled a bit over the first three weeks, the defense has been steady as usual. Bucknell now ranks 14th nationally in total defense, allowing only 240.7 yards per game. Delaware State is attempting to rebound from back-to-back losses to nationally ranked teams. The Hornets fell to No. 10 Northwestern State 34-14 on Sept. 14, and last week they dropped a tough 20-18 decision to 15th-ranked Florida A&M.
The Bucknell-Delaware State Series
The Bison and Hornets have met only once previously, that a 38-28 Bucknell victory in Lewisburg in 1999. Next season, the two teams are scheduled to battle in Dover for the first time.
The Last Bison-Hornets Clash
On Sept. 25, 1999 in Lewisburg, QB Don McDowell passed for a touchdown and ran for two others to lead Bucknell to a 38-28 victory. The Bison trailed 14-6 in the second quarter before rallying with 25 straight points. McDowell scored on runs of 15 and 6 yards and tossed a 15-yard TD pass to TE Mark Wyland. LaMario Bradwell and Jason Marrow also scored on the ground. Marrow's 1-yard dive provided late insurance after the Hornets had closed a 31-14 gap to 31-28. Delaware State outgained Bucknell 495-362, with 351 yards coming through the air. Bucknell rushed for 233 yards, led by Marrow's 85.
Bucknell vs. The MEAC
Bucknell owns a 3-0 record against members of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. The Bison defeated Howard 12-0 in 1983; Delaware State 38-28 in 1999; and Morgan State 37-10 in 1999.
More on the Hornets
Featuring a potentially explosive offense and a veteran defense, Delaware State brings a 2-2 record to Lewisburg, with both losses coming to nationally ranked teams. After season-opening wins over Morris Brown (16-10) and Savannah State (41-9), the Hornets have fallen to No. 10 Northwestern State (34-14) and No. 15 Florida A&M (20-18). Last week, a failed two-point conversion with under seven minutes to play prevented a comeback from a 20-9 deficit. Defensively, DSU is led by CB Deon Rheubottom, who tied the team's freshman record with six interceptions en route to MEAC Rookie of the Year honors in 2001. Rheubottom already has three picks this season. QB Kittrell Barnes is completing 53 percent of his passes and averaging 143.5 aerial yards per game. WR DaShaun Morris is perhaps the team's most dangerous offensive weapon. Morris leads the team with 14 receptions, including two touchdowns, he has returned two kickoffs for TDs, and he averages 12.6 yards per punt return.
Second Season Nearing
The Delaware State contest will Bucknell's last non-league affair of the season. Next week the Bison host Colgate, triggering a run of seven straight Patriot League games. Bucknell is 41-42-1 since joining the Patriot League in 1986 and 25-16 since Tom Gadd took over as head coach in 1995.
Back in the Daylight
After playing their first night game in 16 years last week, Bucknell returns to daytime football this week with a 1 p.m. start against Delaware State. An upgrade in the lighting system at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium has made it possible to play night games there. The last night game in Mathewson Stadium before last week was on Oct. 4, 1986, a 28-7 loss to Towson. Despite a full afternoon of rain, 6,922 fans attended the Cornell game.
A Tribute to Coach Gadd
Bucknell players this season will wear on their helmets orange stickers with the letters "TG" in honor of head coach Tom Gadd, who has taken leave from active coaching for the 2002 season while fighting cancer. Gadd recorded his 48th victory at Bucknell last November against Holy Cross, tying the record for most wins ever by a Bison football coach. Bob Curtis also won 48, but in an 11-year span (1975-85). Gadd's .632 career winning percentage ranks fourth in school history among coaches that have spent three or more years at Bucknell. At halftime of last week's game, a special presentation was be made to Coach Gadd in recognition of his coaching record.
Kotulski Serving as Acting Head Coach
This past July, director of athletics and recreation John Hardt announced that Dave Kotulski, an eight-year veteran of the Bucknell football program, would serve as acting head coach of the Bison for the 2002 season. Kotulski, who notched his first victory as acting head coach last week against Cornell, is responsible for all facets of the program and led the team throughout preseason camp. Tom Gadd, who has been Bucknell's head coach since 1995, is focusing on regaining his health this season. Gadd has been battling cancer since early 2001. Kotulski has been a college football coach since 1978 and Gadd's defensive coordinator at Bucknell since 1995. During his time in Lewisburg Kotulski has molded many outstanding defensive units, including last year's squad that ranked fifth nationally in yards allowed and in the top 20 nationally in four other categories. In fact, in seven seasons under Kotulski, the Bison defense has finished lower than second in the Patriot League in total defense only once. Kotulski has coached four All-Americans, including current senior NG Adam Lord, as well as 29 All-Patriot League defenders. A 1974 graduate of New Mexico State, Kotulski was promoted to associate head coach at Bucknell this past January. He served as defensive coordinator at St. Mary's (Calif.) from 1990-94. From 1978-89 he was a defensive assistant coach at Utah, working under defensive coordinator Tom Gadd during his last three seasons with the Utes.
Now in its 117th season of football, Bucknell boasts an all-time record of 531-480-51 (.524). Charter members of the Patriot League, the Bison have been affiliated with the Division I-AA conference since 1986, and own a 41-42-1 (.494) league mark. Bucknell's 530 all-time victories ranked 14th among all Division I-AA teams entering the season.
A fourth-quarter hero the previous week at St. Mary's, freshman RB Blamah Sarnor earned his first collegiate start against Cornell last Saturday. The Coatesville, Pa., native made the most of the opportunity, rushing for an even 100 yards on 21 carries against the Big Red. His 21-yard touchdown gallop on Bucknell's second possession of the day staked the Bison to a 7-0 lead. He became the first Bison freshman to rush for 100 yards in a game since Rich Lemon - the school's all-time leading rusher - in 1993. Against St. Mary's, Sarnor was inserted into the game in the fourth quarter and rushed 13 times for 42 yards, caught two passes for 43 yards and scored the game-tying touchdown with 36 seconds left in regulation. His 28-yard reception on a screen pass just after a Bucknell holding penalty was a key play in that dramatic 80-yard drive.
Based on his 100-yard rushing performance, RB Blamah Sarnor was named the Patriot League Rookie of the Week this week. Sarnor is the first Bison to garner that honor since RB Jess Brinson in on Oct. 23, 2000.
The following Bucknell players have made their first collegiate starts this season:
Duquesne (9/7): junior TE Dave Gibson, junior OT Rashad Stallworth, sophomore OG Aaron DeGraffenreidt, junior C Andrew Cinamella, sophomore OT Justin Gibson, sophomore ILB David Ulmer, sophomore OLB Mike Shover, junior CB Anthony Lewis, junior SS Will Smith and junior FS Mike Leatherman.
St. Mary's: senior CB Adam Minggia and senior TE Ken Lockard.
Cornell: freshman RB Blamah Sarnor.
Wenrich on Target
Erasing a nighmarish four-interception performance on opening day at Duquesne, senior QB Todd Wenrich turned in the most accurate effort of his career last week against Cornell. Wenrich completed 71.4 percent of his passes (15 of 21) and did not throw an interception. He finished with a season-high 208 passing yards.
Marquardt Enjoys Big Night
Junior WR Albert Marquardt was QB Todd Wenrich's favorite target last week. Marquardt hauled in six receptions for a career-high 135 yards, including a 70-yard catch and run for a TD late in the second quarter that gave the Bison a 14-0 lead. Marquardt's third career 100-yard game earned him the Diviersified Information Services Player of the Game, the Lewisburg Touchdown Club Offensive Player of the Game and the Bull Run Inn Bison Athlete of the Week.