Oct. 16, 2012
What: Bucknell Bison (1-5, 0-2 PL) at No. 7 Lehigh Mountain Hawks (7-0, 1-0 PL)
Where: Goodman Stadium, Bethlehem, Pa.
When: Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012, 12:30 p.m.
TV: Service Electric 2 Sports
Internet Video: LehighSports.com
Radio: Eagle 107 (107.3 WEGH)
Internet Radio: SportsJuice.com
Live Statistics: LehighSports.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) - Second on team in rushing yards (105)
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 3rd start of career
WR 5 Victor Walker (Jr., 6-1, 197) - At least one catch in every game this season
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) - 7 career games played
TE 88 Patrick Kelly (So., 6-3, 230) - Made 2nd start of season (5th of career) vs. Harvard
Probable Starters - Defense
DE 40 Sean Sellers (Jr., 6-0, 235) - Missed Harvard game with knee injury
DT 78 Devin Gordon-Hamm (Sr., 6-1, 270) - 21 career games played, made 1st career start vs. Marist
NG 90 Tracey Smith (Jr., 6-1, 255) - 17 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 55 tackles this season, 11 shy of 100 in career
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 26 Matthew Steinbeck (So., 6-0, 205) - Moved to DB in 2011 after coming to Bucknell as RB
Whip DB 36 Jordan Dudas (So., 6-0, 195) - Expected to make 1st start of 2012 after starting 11 games in 2011
CB 2 Derrick Palmer (Jr., 5-10, 175) - Started last three games after filling reserve role earlier in yr.
In the Herd: Bucknell-Lehigh Preview
With a Victory over Lehigh, Bucknell Would ...
... snap a five-game losing streak and avoid its first six-game streak since 2005.
... defeat Lehigh for the first time since 1997.
... defeat a ranked team for the first time since 2009 (No. 13 Holy Cross).
... win its first Patriot League game of 2012.
About the Game
Bucknell concludes a very long (1,688 miles) three-game road trip with its shortest trip of the year as it drives approximately two hours to the Lehigh Valley to take on the nationally ranked Mountain Hawks Saturday. Lehigh, which owns the longest active regular-season winning streak in all of FCS at 17 games, is 7-0 this season and 1-0 in the Patriot League. While the Mountain Hawks have not lost in 2012, four of their games have been decided by three points or less, including last week's 17-14 win at Georgetown in which Lehigh turned the ball over seven times. Bucknell, which has lost five games in a row since a season-opening victory at Marist, will need to stop the Mountain Hawks early. Lehigh has outscored its opponents 70-21 in the first quarter and 125-63 overall in the first half. Like the Mountain Hawks, the Bison are no strangers to close games, having four contests this year decided by one score or less. Bucknell's defense has been the unquestioned strength of the team as it is yielding less than 20 points per game. However, the Bison offense is averaging just 9.8 points per game. Lehigh's campus will be celebrating Homecoming on Saturday. The game will feature a live television broadcast on Service Electric 2 Sports.
Bucknell vs. Lehigh Series Notes
Lehigh leads 43-29-3.
Lehigh has won 14 straight games, the longest win streak in series history.
Lehigh's average margin of victory during the 14-game winning streak is 35.3-11.6 (494-162).
Lehigh has scored at least 30 points in 11 of the last 14 meetings. The Mountains Hawks have tallied at least 40 points five times during that span.
Bucknell has scored 20 points just once against Lehigh in the last 14 meetings.
Bucknell and Lehigh have met every year since 1950.
Bucknell's last win vs. Lehigh by more than one touchdown (7 points) was 1966 (45-0).
Lehigh (75 games) is Bucknell's second-most common opponent behind Lafayette (90 games).
Last Time vs. Lehigh
Lehigh 30, Bucknell 6 (Oct. 8, 2011 - Lewisburg, Pa.)
Lehigh did not give up a touchdown for the first time since Oct. 10, 2009, while Bucknell failed to score a touchdown for the first time since Sept. 11, 2010 at Marist.
Bucknell and Lehigh combined for 81 yards rushing and 581 yards passing.
Bucknell's Drew Orth kicked two 40-plus yard field goals, including a career-long 43-yarder in the second quarter.
Bucknell's defense entered the game ranked third in the nation against the run and No. 10 Lehigh finished with 43 yards on the ground, the fifth straight Bison opponent to fall short of 100 rushing yards.
Lehigh's defense posted 10 sacks.
Bucknell's Ryan Gutowski booted a career-best 71-yard punt. It was the third-longest punt in program history, and the longest since 1984.
Inside the Harvard Box Score
Harvard QB Colton Chapple had a hand in four (2 rush, 2 pass) of Harvard's five touchdowns. He improved his two-year tally against Bucknell to 24-for-41 passing for 365 yards and seven touchdowns to go along with 21 rushes for 191 yards and a pair of scores.
Bucknell held Harvard below its season averages for points (43) and yards (500) per games.
Bucknell's Evan Byers intercepted two passes, giving him three in the last two games. It marked the first multi-interception game by a Bison since Bryce Robertson last November at Fordham.
Harvard outgained Bucknell 237-21 in the second quarter when the Crimson scored 21 of their 35 points.
Three of Harvard's touchdowns came on plays of longer than 50 yards.
Bucknell held Harvard to two punts and an interception on its first three possessions, but the Crimson then scored touchdowns on four of their next five possessions going into halftime.
Jeremiah Young helped Bucknell avoid its first shutout since 2006 by scoring on a one-yard touchdown run in the final minute. It was his first career touchdown on the road.
Ten of Brandon Wesley's 21 completions went to running backs.
A postgame statistical correction changed a 53-yard Harvard penalty to a 38-yard pass from Brandon Wesley to Josh Brake with a 15-yard penalty added on.
Career Highs Set vs. Harvard
Jaylen Amaker: tackles (3)
Josh Brake: receptions (5)
Evan Byers: tackles for loss (2.5), interceptions (2)
Travis Friend: receiving yards (28)
Patrick Joyce: sacks (1)
Patrick Kelly: receptions (2), receiving yards (14), all-purpose yards (14)
Dylan McDonnell: sacks (0.5)
Charles Thompson: rushing attempts (5), receptions (4), receiving yards (46), long reception (24 yards)
Jeremiah Young: long reception (22 yards)
Byers Stands Out On Defense
Sophomore LB Evan Byers has put together an outstanding second year as a Bison. The Roaring Brook, Pa., native has registered at least seven tackles in each game, including a career-high 12 against Cornell. His 55 tackles lead the Bison and place him sixth in the Patriot League. Byers picked off two passes last week against Havard and now has three in the last two weeks. He ranks tied for 12th nationally in interceptions this season.
Lehigh is the fifth 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. After games against 1-1 Cornell and 0-4 Holy Cross, Bucknell faced 4-0 Harvard last week and now 7-0 Lehigh. The cumulative record of Bison opponents entering their games against Bucknell is 17-5, including Lehigh.
Bucknell this week will be playing on the road for the eighth time in the last 10 games. The Bison have also had two bye weeks during that stretch. In fact, this will be just the fourth game in Pennsylvania for Bucknell in the last calendar year. The Bison will be at home three of the final four weeks of the season.
Time of Possession
Bucknell had 37:58 time of possession last Saturday at Harvard. It marked the fourth-most time of possession for the Bison since 2000. Three of the top four have come during Joe Susan's three years on the sidelines.
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. at Harvard (2012) - 37:58
Lehigh is the second consecutive Bison opponent (following Harvard) that went undefeated in league play in 2011. The Mountain Hawks were 5-0 against Patriot League foes in 2011, while the Crimson were 7-0 against Ivy League opponents.
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 127 minutes, 17 seconds (since 10/29/11 vs. Lafayette).
Bucknell went 165 minutes, 3 seconds without a touchdown until Jeremiah Young scored on a one-yard run in the final minute last week vs. Harvard.
Jeremiah Young became Bucknell's first player with multiple touchdowns this season when he scored in the final minute vs. Harvard.
Bucknell will be playing on the road for the eighth time in its last 10 games.
The junior (41) and senior (18) classes have combined to score all 59 of Bucknell's points this season.
Bucknell's opponents are averaging 16.9 points per game over the last 10 games.
Bucknell has faced a combined 48-0 deficit at the beginning of the last two games (13-0 vs. Holy Cross and 35-0 vs. Harvard).
23 of Bucknell's last 30 points have come in the fourth quarter.
Low-Scoring Games Bucknell is first nationally in terms of fewest average points scored during its games.
|Fewest Combined Points Scored (Avg.)
||29.7 (6 gms)
||33.2 (6 gms)
|3. South Dakota State
||35.3 (6 gms)
||35.8 (5 gms)
||36.8 (5 gms)
20 Completions for Wesley
QB Brandon Wesley completed 21 of 29 passes for 227 yards last Saturday vs. Harvard. It was his third 20-completion performance this year, a new career high.
Games with 20 Completions (Brandon Wesley)
Oct. 2, 2010 vs. Cornell: 25-45, 267 yds., 0 TD, 1 INT
Nov. 6, 2010 vs. Fordham: 23-41, 228 yds., 1 TD, 1 INT
Sept. 17, 2011 at Cornell: 22-35, 267 yds., 0 TD, 1 INT
Sept. 8, 2012 at Marist: 20-27, 190 yds., 2 TD, 1 INT
Sept. 15, 2012 at Delaware: 21-37, 197 yds., 0 TD, 1 INT
Oct. 13, 2012 at Harvard: 21-29, 227 yds., 0 TD, 1 INT
Brandon Wesley's 200-Yard Passing Games by Year
2010: 3 (Dartmouth - 201, Cornell - 267, Fordham - 228)
2011: 3 (Cornell - 267, Georgetown - 200, Lehigh - 208)
2012: 2 (Lafayette - 239, Harvard - 227)
QB Brandon Wesley crossed both the 4,000-yard mark for his career and the 1,000 plateau for this season last Saturday at Harvard. This is his third straight 1,000-yard campaign. The last Bison to pass for 1,000 yards in three straight seasons was Don McDowell from 1997 to 1999. It's a feat that has been accomlished just three times in program history. Jim Given was the first to do it from 1985 to 1987.
Three Straight 1,000-Yard Passing Seasons
Jim Given: 1985 (1,105), 1986 (2,167), 1987 (1,518)
Don McDowell: 1997 (1,177), 1998 (1,443), 1999 (1,362)
Brandon Wesley: 2010 (1,699), 2011 (1,446), 2012 (1,053)
Over the last two years (17 games), Bucknell has given up an average of 81.9 yards rushing per game. However, that number goes down to 64.4 yards per game when not counting the two Harvard games during that stretch. The Crimson have rushed for 426 yards vs. the Bison in two meetings, while Bucknell's other 15 opponents over that span have rushed for 966.
Nationally Ranked Opponents
Lehigh is ranked No. 9 by both The Sports Network and No. 7 by the AFCA. The Mountain Hawks are the third nationally ranked opponent for the Bison in 2012, following No. 13 Delaware and No. 21 Harvard. 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)
Jeremiah Young's one-yard touchdown run in the final minute vs. Harvard helped Bucknell avoid its first shutout since 2006. The Bison have played 70 consecutive games without being shut out. The program record is 72 straight games from 1996 to 2002.
First Halves Produce More Scoring
While there has not been much scoring for either team in Bucknell games this year, the first halves of games are certainly producing more offense. Of the 178 points (119 for opponents, 59 for Bucknell) scored this year, 106 have come in the first half and 72 in the second. The Bison are still looking for their first third-quarter points this season.
Hard to Score
Bucknell has registered 59 points this season. It marks the fewest points through six games for the Bison since the 1975 squad managed just 38 points against its first six foes. That team finished the year 5-4 and reached double figures in points five times in the nine games.
Susan to Tie Edward "Hook" Mylin
In his third year at Bucknell, head coach Joe Susan is starting to move up some career coaching lists. Susan will tie Edward "Hook" Mylin (17-9-3 record from 1934-36) for 18th place on the program's career games coached list on Saturday. It will be Susan's 29th contest on the Bison sideline. Next up after Mylin is George Landis, who coached 30 games from 1986-88.
Evan Byers is 11 tackles shy of 100 in his career.
Ryan Gutowski is 14 punts shy of tying Rich Miller's career record (207) for punts.
Samuel Oyekoya is 3.5 sacks shy of 10th place on Bucknell's career list.
Victor Walker needs 309 yards to move into top 10 on program's career receiving yards list.
Jeremiah Young is 235 rushing yards shy of 1,000 in his career.
Bucknell will play at home next week for the first time since the final weekend in September. The Bison will host Colgate and it will be Homecoming on the Bucknell campus. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. Among the festivities surrounding the game will be the Bucknell Athletics Hall of Fame induction, which will include a halftime introduction of the Class of 2012: Former men's soccer, track and field and tennis coach Craig Reynolds; two-sport stars Dick Roush `51 (baseball, soccer) and Kevin Eiben `01 (baseball, football); women's track and field record-setters Yetunde Daniels Rubinstein `00 and Stephanie Bango `02; and baseball slugger Tyler Prout `00.