Oct. 9, 2012
What: Bucknell Bison (1-4, 0-2 PL) at No. 21 Harvard Crimson (4-0, 2-0 Ivy)
Where: Harvard Stadium, Cambridge, Mass.
When: Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012, 3:30 p.m.
TV: CBS Sports Network
Internet Video: GoCrimson.com (available after conclusion of game)
Radio: Eagle 107 (107.3 WEGH)
Internet Radio: SportsJuice.com
Live Statistics: GoCrimson.com
Probable Starters - Offense
QB 14 Brandon Wesley (Jr., 6-2, 190) - Top 10 on career yards, attempts, completions, total offense lists
RB 32 Tyler Smith (Sr., 5-9, 195) - 69 yards rushing last 2 weeks after missing 2 gms w/injury
FB 33 Travis Friend (Jr., 6-2, 235) - Preseason All-Patriot League selection; 2-time All-PL choice
WR 80 Josh Brake (So., 6-3, 200) - Expected to make 2nd start of career
WR 8 Jake Flaherty (Jr., 6-1, 190) - Second on Bison in rec. (21) and yds (207)
LT 72 Lonnie Rawles (So., 6-4, 285) - Only returning starter on OL
LG 69 Troy Steinhilber (Sr., 6-4, 295) - Made 1st career start in season opener vs. Marist
C 77 Brandon Noblett (So., 6-2, 285) - Made 1st career start in season opener vs. Marist
RG 76 Clayton Hoffmaster (Fr., 6-4, 295) - Only freshman to start a game in 2012
RT 79 Nevin Hagman (So., 6-3, 285) - 6 career games played
TE 88 Patrick Kelly (So., 6-3, 230) - Expected to make 2nd start of season (5th of career)
Probable Starters - Defense
DE 40 Sean Sellers (Jr., 6-0, 235) - At least 0.5 sacks in all five games in 2012
DT 78 Devin Gordon-Hamm (Sr., 6-1, 270) - 20 career games played, made 1st career start vs. Marist
NG 90 Tracey Smith (Jr., 6-1, 255) - 16 consecutive starts
DE 9 Samuel Oyekoya (Sr., 6-3, 235) - 12.5 career sacks is most among current Bison
Mike LB 27 Evan Byers (So., 6-0, 215) - Career-high 46 tackles this season
Sam LB 12 Beau Traber (Sr., 5-11, 220) - Preseason All-Patriot League selection
SS 37 Lee Marvel (So., 6-0, 205) - Career-high 3.5 TFL vs. Lafayette
CB 4 Donald Quarles (Sr., 5-7, 175) - 5 pass breakups vs. Lafayette tied for most in FCS in 2012
FS 20 Ryan Morgan (Jr., 5-11, 190) - One of four Bison with more than 100 career tackles
Whip DB 26 Matthew Steinbeck (So., 6-0, 205) - Moved to DB in 2011 after coming to Bucknell as RB
CB 2 Derrick Palmer (Jr., 5-10, 175) - Started last two games after filling reserve role earlier in yr.
In the Herd: Bucknell-Harvard Preview
With a Victory over Harvard, Bucknell Would ...
... snap a four-game losing streak.
... defeat Harvard for the first time since 1997.
... snap a two-game losing streak to Ivy League foes.
... even its 2012 road record at 2-2.
... win a game in Massachusetts for the first time since 2004 (five games).
... even head coach Joe Susan's career record at 19-19.
... defeat a ranked team for the first time since 2009 (No. 13 Holy Cross).
About the Game
Bucknell travels to Cambridge, Mass., to face nationally ranked Harvard for a second consecutive year this Saturday. The Bison lost to the Crimson by a 42-3 score a year ago and they should prove to be a formidable opponent once again for 1-4 Bucknell. Undefeated Harvard is winning by an average of nearly 30 points per game and ranks first nationally in rushing defense. The Crimson are listed in the top 10 nationally in seven different key statiscial categories, including total offense (5th), scoring offense (5th), scoring defense (7th) and sacks (1st). The defense has been the strength all season long for the Bison, who have not allowed an opponent to score more than 20 points. Bucknell is third nationally against the run, 14th in scoring defense and fifth in sacks as the Bison will hope to turn the game into a defensive battle. Evan Byers, who has at least seven tackles in every game this season, has been among the Bucknell defensive standouts this season. He intercepted his second career pass at Holy Cross last Saturday and leads the team with a career-high 46 tackles.
Bucknell vs. Harvard Series Notes
Harvard leads 5-3-1.
Eight of the nine games have taken place at Harvard.
Teams have met just once (in 2011) since 1997.
Neither team has ever won more than two games in a row.
Team have alternated wins over the last five meetings.
Series began in 1955.
Only one of the last six meetings (1997 - Bucknell 24, Harvard 20) has been decided by fewer than two touchdowns.
Last Time vs. Harvard
Harvard 42, Bucknell 3 (Oct. 15, 2011 - Cambridge, Pa.)
Bucknell turned the ball over five times and had just two drives of longer than 10 yards.
Bucknell was held to negative rushing yardage for the first time since 2009 vs. Robert Morris.
Bucknell's 140 yards of total offense was its lowest output since 103 yards vs Penn in 2005.
Harvard's Colton Chapple threw for a program record-tying five touchdowns. He became the first Crimson quarterback to accomplish that feat since 1953, a span of 544 games.
Bucknell didn't pick up its first first down until the final 30 seconds of the first half and it managed just one first down in the first 43 minutes of play.
Bucknell was 0-for-12 on third and fourth downs, while Harvard was 9-for-19 in similar situations.
Inside the Holy Cross Box Score
The game featured 18 punts, four interceptions, one blocked punt and 433 yards of combined total offense.
Bucknell had a chance to tie or win on its final possession for a third straight game, but again came up short.
All six of Bucknell's points came following turnovers.
Evan Byers and Matthew Steinbeck registered fourth-quarter interceptions for Bucknell. It was the second career interception for Byers and the first for Steinbeck.
Bucknell's first 10 drives ended with nine punts and one interception.
Bucknell K Sean Cobelli's 44-yard FG was the longest by a Bison since 2008.
The game's average drive was 4.8 plays and 15.6 yards. Only one of the 29 drives lasted longer than four minutes.
Kickers combined for 13 of the 19 points.
The teams were a combined 12-for-39 on third down.
Holy Cross led 13-0 before Bucknell scored the final six points of the game.
Career Highs Set vs. Holy Cross
Amir Afkhami: pass breakups (1)
Jaylen Amaker: tackles (1)
Evan Byers: long interception return (24 yards)
Sean Cobelli: long field goal (44 yards)
Jake Flaherty: receiving yards (78), all-purpose yards (78)
Daniel Gevirtz: tackles (1)
Dylan McDonnell: tackles (5), tackles for loss (2)
Samuel Oyekoya: tackles (6), tackles for loss (3)
Tracey Smith: pass breakups (2)
Matthew Steinbeck: tackles (8), pass breakups (1), interceptions (1), long interception return (33 yards), all-purpose yards (33)
Charles Thompson: receiving yards (17)
Bucknell's five games this year have been decided by a total of 36 points, or an average of 7.20 points per game. That is the smallest margin of decision in the nation this year. Patriot League teams hold three of the top five spots on the list.
Only one team (Lafayette) has managed to tally 20 points against Bucknell this year and the Bison have yet to put 20 points on the scoreboard themselves. Because of this, Bucknell is first nationally in terms of fewest average points scored during its games.
|Fewest Combined Points Scored (Avg.)
||27.2 (5 gms)
||33.2 (6 gms)
|3. South Dakota State
||34.2 (5 gms)
||35.0 (4 gms)
Cobelli from Deep
Bucknell junior K Sean Cobelli booted a career-long 44-yard field goal in the fourth quarter last Saturday at Holy Cross. It marked the longest field goal by a Bison since Will Carney connected on a 47-yarder at Holy Cross in 2008. The longest field goal in Bucknell history was a 55-yard blast by Lloyd Trimmer in 1925. Cobelli, who is in his first year as the starting placekicker for the Bison, is now 6-for-8 on field goals this season and leads the team in scoring with 22 points.
Bucknell 40-yard FGs (since 2006)
Will Carney - 47 yds (11/1/08 at Holy Cross)
Will Carney - 44 yds (9/13/08 at Robert Morris)
Sean Cobelli - 44 yds (10/6/12 at Holy Cross)
Drew Orth - 43 yds. (10/8/11 vs. Lehigh)
Will Carney - 42 yds (11/18/06 vs. Colgate)
Drew Orth - 41 yds (10/8/11 vs. Lehigh)
Will Carney - 40 yds (9/16/06 vs. Cornell)
Drew Orth - 40 yds (9/17/11 at Cornell)
CBS Sports Network
Saturday's game will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network. Dave Ryan will handle play-by-play duties, while former NFL player Todd Christensen will provide analysis. Evan Washburn will handle sideline reporting duties. This is Bucknell's second national television appearance on CBS Sports Network this season. The Bison were on the network three weeks ago when they hosted Lafayette in their home opener.
Bucknell vs. Ivy League
Bucknell, which is 1-11 in its last 12 games vs. Ivy League teams, is 37-100-3 all-time against Ivy League opponents. The Bison last defeated an Ivy League foe last September when they upended Princeton, 34-9. Bucknell has lost to Harvard (L, 42-3 in 2011) and Cornell (L, 15-10 in 2012) since that victory over the Tigers.
Bucknell's opponents are averaging 16.8 points per game this season. The last time the Bison held opponents to a figure that low over the course of a full season was 2001 (15.7 ppg). Bucknell ranks 14th nationally in scoring defense this year.
Bucknell has limited opponents to 84 points through this season's first five games. It is the fewest points Bison foes have registered in the first five games since 2000 when Richmond, Cornell, Columbia, Duquesne and Georgetown scored 59 points against Bucknell in the first five weeks of the campaign.
Bucknell's stout defense has held four of its first five opponents to under 100 yards rushing. Bison opponents are averaging just 65.6 yards on the ground this season, putting Bucknell third nationally in rushing defense. The Bison also ranked third nationally in rushing defense a year ago, yielding 78.3 yards per game. Seven of Bucknell's last 16 opponents have failed to eclipse 50 yards on the ground and just four have gone over 100 yards.
Harvard is the fourth undefeated team Bucknell has played this year. The Bison opened their season against 1-0 Marist. The following week they played at 2-0 Delaware, then hosted 2-0 Lafayette. Cornell was 1-1 at the time of its game against Bucknell, while Holy Cross was 0-4 entering last week's contest. The cumulative record of Bison opponents entering their games against Bucknell is 10-5, including Harvard.
Nationally Ranked Opponents
Harvard is ranked No. 22 by The Sports Network and No. 21 by the AFCA this week. The Crimson are the second nationally ranked opponent for the Bison in 2012, following Delaware, which was ranked No. 14/13 when Bucknell played it in mid-September. The Bison have knocked off four ranked teams since 2000.
Bucknell's Wins Over Ranked Teams (since 2000)
Bucknell 31, No. 14 Fordham 10 (Oct. 4, 2003)
Bucknell 42, No. 22 Colgate 7 (Nov. 13, 2004)
Bucknell 38, No. 18 Fordham 24 (Nov. 17, 2007)
Bucknell 23, No. 13 Holy Cross 17 (Nov. 21, 2009)
Bucknell and Harvard have two common opponents this year. Both teams have played Cornell and Holy Cross. The Bison lost to the Big Red (L, 15-10) and Crusaders (L, 13-6), while the Crimson beat both teams by a combined 97-16.
Bucknell has been flagged 33 times this year, for an average of 6.6 per game to rank 60th nationally. The Bison averaged just 5.2 penalties per game in 2011, placing them 25th in the nation.
Hard to Score
Bucknell has registered 52 points this season. It marks the fewest points through five games for the Bison since the 1991 squad managed 51 points against its first five foes. That team finished the year 1-9 and reached double figures in points just four times in the 10 games.
Bucknell, against Harvard, will be playing a non-league opponent on the road in back-to-back years for the first time since doing the same thing against Duquesne in 2009 (L, 24-19) and 2010 (L, 17-13). Prior to Duquesne, the Bison had not played the same team on the road in back-to-back years since playing at Penn in 1998 (L, 20-10) and 1999 (W, 23-16).
There have been two Patriot League games in 2012 and Bucknell has played in both of them.
Bucknell has not yet scored a point in the third quarter this year. The Bison have been held scoreless in the third quarter for the last 112 minutes, 17 seconds (since 10/29/11 vs. Lafayette).
Bucknell forced 39 turnovers in 2011. The Bison have forced just six turnovers in 2012.
Four of Bucknell's five games have been decided by a touchdown or less.
Bucknell will be playing on the road for the seventh time in its last nine games.
Sean Sellers has had at least 0.5 TFL in each game this season.
The junior (40) and senior (12) classes have combined to score all 52 of Bucknell's points this season.
Three-Game Road Trip
Bucknell will be playing the middle game of a three-game road trip this Saturday at Harvard. The Bison are in the midst of a stretch where they are playing eight of 10 games (and two bye weeks) on the road over a two-year span. Since the Patriot League era began in 1986, Bucknell has had 12 single-season road trips of at least three games.
Bucknell has held seven of its last nine opponents under 20 points. The only two to reach the 20-point plateau have just barely done so as Colgate scored 21 in a 15-point win last November and Lafayette registered 20 in a six-point win three weeks ago. Bison foes are averaging just 14.9 points per game during the nine-game span.
Samuel Oyekoya is 3.5 sacks shy of 10th place on Bucknell's career list.
Tyler Smith needs 2 receiving yards to reach 500 for his career.
Victor Walker needs 314 yards to move into top 10 on program's career receiving yards list.
Brandon Wesley needs 29 passing yards to become fourth player in program history with 4,000 in a career.
Jeremiah Young is 264 rushing yards shy of 1,000 in his career.
Bucknell will conclude its grueling three-game road trip (Holy Cross, Harvard, Lehigh - 1,688 miles) next Saturday at nationally ranked Lehigh. The Mountain Hawks are 6-0 this year and own the country's longest regular-season winning streak. The Bison are 29-43-3 all-time against Lehigh. The Mountain Hawks have captured the last 14 games in the series.