Oct. 11, 2011
What: Bucknell Bison (4-2, 1-1 PL) at Harvard Crimson (3-1, 2-0 Ivy)
Where: Harvard Stadium, Cambridge, Mass.
When: Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011, 1 p.m.
Internet Video: GoCrimson.com
Radio: Eagle 107 (107.3 WEGH)
Internet Radio: SportsJuice.com
Live Statistics: GoCrimson.com
In the Herd: Bucknell-Harvard Preview with focus on offensive line:
Probable Starters - Offense
QB 14 Brandon Wesley (So., 6-2, 195) - Should join Bison top-10 lists for completions, yards vs. Harvard
RB 32 Tyler Smith (Jr., 5-9, 195) - 68 rush yards shy of 1,000 for career
FB 33 Travis Friend (So., 6-2, 235) - First Bison freshman named All-PL since 1993
WR 85 Gabe Skwara (Sr., 6-2, 180) - Streak of six straight games with rec. ended vs. Lehigh
WR 11 Victor Walker (So., 6-1, 195) - Leads PL w/26.1 yards per reception in 2011
LT 72 Lonnie Rawles (Fr., 6-4, 280) - First two career starts last two weeks
LG 62 Carson Rohrbaugh (Sr., 6-3, 280) - Started first six games in 2010 & 2011
C 61 Ian Dal Bello (Sr., 6-1, 280) - Moved to C after starting at LG last three years; 39 cons. starts
RG 59 Anthony Carter (Sr., 6-0, 280) - 38 career starts ranks third among current Bison
RT 76 Josh Phillip (Sr., 6-4, 259) - 17 consecutive starts
TE 42 Nick Gatto (Jr., 6-2, 230) - 18 catches for 135 yards last two years
Probable Starters - Defense
DE 9 Samuel Oyekoya (Jr., 6-3, 235) - Four straight starts in place of injured Sean Sellers
DT 24 Robert De La Rosa (Sr., 6-2, 290) - 6.5 TFL vs. G'Town, third-most in FCS history (since 2000)
NG 90 Tracey Smith (So., 6-1, 255) - Season-high four tackles vs. Georgetown
DE 92 Josh Eden (Sr., 6-4, 280) - Listed 7th on Bucknell's career sacks list
Mike LB 12 Beau Traber (Jr., 5-11, 233) - First Oklahoma native on Bison roster since 1994
Sam LB 51 Tim Bolte (Sr., 6-1, 230) - NFF Cambell Trophy semifinalist
SS 36 Jordan Dudas (Fr., 6-0, 195) - Patriot League Rookie of the Week (9/12)
CB 2 Derrick Palmer (So., 5-10, 175) - 21 of 25 tackles this year have come in home games
FS 20 Ryan Morgan (So., 5-11, 180) - 19 of 46 career tackles have come in two games (Colgate, Princeton)
Whip DB 43 Sean Rafferty (Sr., 6-0, 215) - Team co-captain, along with Josh Eden
CB 5 Bryce Robertson (Sr., 5-9, 180) - Most INTs by a Bison since 2003 (Joe Glenn)
With a Victory over Harvard, Bucknell Would ...
... avoid its first losing streak of the season.
... win two straight games over Ivy League opponents for the first time since 2004.
... win a game in the state of Massachusetts for the first time since 2004.
... equal its highest win total of the last four years (2007-10).
... improve to 4-1 against non-league foes.
... win four non-league games in a season for the first time since 2000.
... reach five wins on the earliest date since 2000 (Oct. 14).
About the Game
Bucknell and Harvard will meet Saturday for the first time since 1997. The Crimson are the third, and final, Ivy League team on the 2011 Bison schedule, while Bucknell is the third Patriot League squad Harvard will face. Both the Bison and Crimson are 1-1 this year against the opposition's league. Fans of the ground game will not be excited for Saturday's matchup as Bucknell ranks second in the nation in rushing defense (62.33 yards per game) and Harvard is fourth (70.50 yards per game). Both teams also rank in the top 20 nationally in scoring defense. The Bison, who play four of their final five games on the road, will leave for their longest road trip since 2002 Friday morning, practice at a high school halfway and then continue to their Boston-area hotel. Bucknell is 1-1 on the road this year, while Harvard is 1-0 at its home stadium, where it will now play three in a row.
Bucknell vs. Harvard Series Notes
- Harvard leads 4-3-1.
- Seven of the eight games have taken place at Harvard.
- The last meeting was 1997.
- Neither team has ever won more than two games in a row.
- Series began in 1955.
Last Time vs. Harvard
Bucknell 24, Harvard 20 (Oct. 4, 1997 - Cambridge, Mass.)
- Harvard scored all 20 of its points in the first quarter.
- Bucknell and Harvard combined for 325 rushing yards.
- Chris Peer led the Bison with 75 yards rushing. He scored what proved to be the winning touchdown early in the third quarter.
- Bucknell's Willie Hill recorded a game-high 13 tackles en route to a 133-tackle season.
Inside the Lehigh Box Score
- Bison DE Josh Eden blocked his eighth career extra point in the second quarter, a new FCS record.
- P Ryan Gutowski booted a career-best 71-yard punt in the third quarter. It was the third-longest punt in program history, and the longest since 1984.
- Lehigh's defense posted 10 sacks.
- Bucknell's defense, ranked third in the nation against the run entering the game, held Lehigh to negative yards rushing until late in the third quarter when Chris Lum rushed for 30 yards on a quarterback draw. The Mountain Hawks finished with 43 yards on the ground, the fifth straight Bison opponent to fall short of 100 yards rushing.
- Bucknell and Lehigh combined for 81 yards rushing and 581 yards passing.
- Bucknell intercepted a pass for a sixth consecutive game, its longest streak since 2007.
- K Drew Orth kicked two 40-plus yard field goals, including a career-long 43-yarder in the second quarter. He became the first Bison with two 40-yarders in the same game since Ryan Korn in 2005.
- All four of Lehigh's touchdowns came on passing plays.
- Lehigh's Chris Lum recorded his seventh consecutive 300-yard passing game.
40-Yarders for Orth
Bucknell senior K Drew Orth contributed the only points for the Bison in their loss to No. 10 Lehigh last Saturday. He kicked a career-best 43-yard field goal in the waning seconds of the first half and later connected on a 41-yard field goal late in the fourth period. He became the first Bison with two field goals of at least 40 yards in the same game since Ryan Korn (42, 47) Sept. 3, 2005 against Georgetown. Orth now has three career 40-yarders, all this year, and is the first Bucknell player with that many since Will Carney kicked six 40-yarders in his four-year career (2005-08). Orth is a solid 5-for-6 on field goals since he took over kicking duties three weeks ago. His only miss came on a 41-yard attempt. Orth is second on the team with 24 points this season and is just three points shy of 100 in his career.
Drew Orth Notes
Career-best 43-yard FG vs. Lehigh - last longer FG by a Bison: Nov. 1, 2008 by Will Carney (47)
Three career FGs of 40+ yards - last Bison to have more 40+ yarders in a career: Will Carney (6)
Two 40+ yard FGs vs. Lehigh - last Bison to have two 40+ yarders in a game: Ryan Korn (42, 47) Sept. 3, 2005
Eden Sets Another Blocks Record
Senior DE Josh Eden is piling up blocks like he plays on the hardwood, not the gridiron. He blocked an extra point against Lehigh, giving him eight blocked extra points in his career, a new FCS record.
FCS Career Blocked Extra Points
1. Josh Eden (Bucknell - 2006-pres.) - 8
2. Tim Hauck (Montana - 1987-89) - 7
FCS Career Combined Blocked Kicks
1. Leonard Smith (McNeese State - 1980-82) - 17
2. Trey Woods (Sam Houston State - 1992-95) - 12
Ryan Crawford (Davidson - 1997-00) - 12
Frantz Placide (Wagner - 2007-10) - 12
5. Mark Weivoda (Idaho State - 2000-03) - 11
6. Bryan Cox (Western Illinois - 1987-90) - 10
Josh Eden (Bucknell - 2006-pres.) - 10
Six Straight Games with Interception
Bucknell has had at least one interception in each of the first six games this year. The Bison last had a longer interception streak in 2007 when they had interceptions in the final nine games of the campaign. Bucknell has 11 interceptions overall this season. The Bison rank third in FCS in that category, trailing only Alabama State (15) and Florida A&M (15). The team record for interceptions in a season is 29 by the undefeated 1951 squad. Bucknell this season nearly has more interceptions than passing touchdowns allowed (12).
Interceptions for Robertson
Bucknell senior DB Bryce Robertson has five interceptions this year and is tied for first nationally, averaging 0.83 per game. He had at least one interception in four consecutive games, before being shut out vs. Lehigh, becoming the first Bison to accomplish that since Nate Musselman in 1997. No Bucknell player has had more than five interceptions in a year since Joe Glenn had six in 2003.
Spreading Interceptions Around
Seven different Bison - Tim Bolte, Evan Byers, Jordan Dudas, Josh Eden, Derrick Palmer, Sean Rafferty and Bryce Robertson - have recorded an interception this year. Only three times (2005 - 10, 2007 - 10, 2009 - 8) in the last decade has a Bison team had more players pick off a pass in a season.
Another Sack for Eden
DE Josh Eden recorded his 17th career sack last week vs. Lehigh. He now ranks seventh on the program's all-time list. Eden has 27 tackles, six tackles for loss and four sacks this season. He also has an interception, two pass breakups, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble, two blocked extra points and a safety. Eden enters Saturday's game at Harvard with 170 career tackles, the most among current Bison.
Bucknell vs. Ivy League
Bucknell snapped a nine-game losing streak to Ivy League foes with a win at Princeton last month. The Bison, who will be playing their third Ivy League opponent in a five-week stretch this weekend at Harvard, are 37-98-3 all-time against Ivy League institutions.
20 Points is the Cutoff
In each of Bucknell's last four games the winning team has scored more than 20 points and the losing team has been held under the 20-point plateau. That pattern has been true in seven of the Bison's last eight contests.
Gutowski Enters Record Book
Junior P Ryan Gutowski booted a career-best 71-yard punt in the third quarter of last Saturday's game against Lehigh. It was the third-longest punt in school history, and the longest by a Bison since 1984. Gutowski now has five punts of at least 50 yards this season, four of which have come in the last two games. With 41 punts in six games this year, Gutowski is on pace to break the program record for punts in a season (72).
Bucknell ranks third in the nation in turnover margin at +2.17 per game, behind only Alabama State (+2.83) and Northern Iowa (2.20). The Bison have forced 17 turnovers (11 INT, 6 FUM), while they have committed just four miscues (2 INT, 2 FUM). The Bucknell offense has committed just two turnovers as both fumbles were on punt returns.
Bucknell has already had three games this year with no turnovers. The Bison had just eight error-free contests in the previous 10 years.
Games with No Turnovers (since 2001)
2003: Duquesne (W), at Fordham (W)
2006: at Marist (W), at Georgetown (W)
2007: Georgetown (L), at Fordham (W)
2008: at Georgetown (W)
2010: Penn (L)
2011: Marist (W), at Princeton (W), Lehigh (L)
Bucknell ranks second nationally in rushing defense, while Saturday's opponent Harvard is fourth. The Bison have allowed just one opponent (Duquesne) to rush for more than 100 yards this season. Bucknell's last five opponents in a row have been held under the century mark. The last time the Bison held five opponents under 100 yards rushing in an entire season was 2002.
Bucknell is converting third downs at a 41.9% (26-for-62) clip in its four wins. In their two losses, the Bison are just 5-for-30 (16.7%) on third downs.
Long Road Trip
The Bucknell University and Harvard University campuses are separated by approximately 380 miles. Saturday's game will be Bucknell's longest road trip since it traveled to California to play at St. Mary's in 2002. That Gaels team was coached by future, and now former, Bison head coach Tim Landis.
Not Going to Get a First Down on the Ground
Bucknell is second nationally in rushing defense, yielding 62.33 yards per game on the ground. The Bison are also strong on limiting opponent yards per carry, allowing just 2.21 yards per rushing attempt, good for third nationally, behind only Illinois State (2.12) and Sam Houston State (2.17). Bucknell opponents have registered just 23 first downs on rushing plays, compared to 74 on passing plays. The Bison have 41 first downs rushing and 49 passing, exhibiting their balanced offense.
Bucknell needs just nine points to equal last year's point total of 152. The Bison offense has really clicked in the second and fourth quarters as 106 of their 143 points have come in those two frames this year.
Wesley Nears Top-10 Lists
Sophomore QB Brandon Wesley is just 17 games into his Bison career, but he is about to join three different program top-10 lists. He has completed 257 of 443 passes for 2,805 yards in his career. He needs just one completion, 45 pass attempts and 58 yards to move into the top 10 in school history in those statistical categories. Wesley has accounted for 11 of Bucknell's 17 touchdowns this year, throwing for six and rushing for five others. He has both thrown and rushed for three touchdowns in a game this year.
Walker Stretches the Field
Sophomore WR Victor Walker is averaging a Patriot League-best 26.1 yards per catch this season with 313 yards on 12 receptions. Walker's career average is 24.4 yards per catch with 756 yards on 31 receptions. Walker has six career catches of longer than 40 yards, including three this season.
Time of Possession
Bucknell has dominated the time of possession category this year. The Bison offense is on the field an average of 34:10, which ranks fourth nationally. Bucknell is averaging 34:52 time of possession over its last seven games, dating back to the 2010 season finale at Holy Cross.
Bucknell's Most Time of Possession (since 2000)
1. vs. Duquesne (2000) - 39:26
2. at Georgetown (2010) - 38:44
3. at Princeton (2011) - 38:42
4. vs. Georgetown (2011) - 37:55
2011 Time of Possession Leaders
1. Texas Southern - 38:17
2. Sam Houston State - 36:06
3. Colgate - 35:33
4. Bucknell - 34:10
K Drew Orth is three points shy of 100 for his career.
WR Frank DeNick is 181 receiving yards shy of 1,000 for his career.
RB Tyler Smith enters the Harvard game 68 rushing yards shy of 1,000 for his career.
RB Tyler Smith enters the Harvard game 160 all-purpose yards shy of his second straight 1,000-yard season.
QB Brandon Wesley enters the Harvard game 195 passing yards shy of 3,000 for his career.
Guarantee Above-.500 Non-League Record with Win
With its win over Princeton last month, Bucknell guaranteed at least a .500 record against non-league foes. A win Saturday at Harvard will give the Bison four non-league victories this season, meaning they will finish above .500 against non-league opponents for the first time since 2008.
Bucknell will wrap up its home schedule with a 1 p.m. Homecoming contest against Holy Cross at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium next Saturday, Oct. 22. The Bison are 10-17 all-time against the Crusaders. Nineteen Bison seniors will be recognized on the field during pregame Senior Day ceremonies, while halftime will feature the 2011 Bucknell Athletics Hall of Fame Class, which includes former football player Ken Twiford '62, in addition to Pat Flannery '80 (men's basketball), Chris Simpson '94 (men's basketball), Hugh Donovan '96 (men's lacrosse), Mike Anders '98 (baseball), and Julie Sweitzer Granger '99 (track & field/cross country).