Oct. 22, 2007
Game Day Quick Facts
The Teams: Holy Cross (5-2, 2-0 PL) vs. Bucknell (2-5, 0-2 PL)
Date: October 27, 2007
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Place: Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium (13,100), Lewisburg, Pa.
Holy Cross Radio: WTAG 580 AM, Worcester; Bob Fouracre, play-by-play; Tom Kelleher, color; www.sportsjuice.com, internet
Bucknell Radio: WEGH 107.3 FM, Sunbury, Pa.; Doug Birdsong, play-by-play; George Burman, color
Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 14-9
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 27, Bucknell 10, November 4, 2006, Worcester, Mass.
The Series With Bucknell
This will be the 24th meeting between the Crusaders and the Bison on the gridiron, with Holy Cross leading the all-time series 14-9. The Crusaders have won the last two contests between the two schools, but before that the Bison had been victorious in eight of the previous 10 meetings. Holy Cross also won on its last visit to Mathewson Stadium (51-33 in 2005), but had lost six consecutive games in Lewisburg prior to that contest. The schools first met on October 31, 1925, with Holy Cross posting a 23-7 win at Fitton Field.
Series Quick Facts
Overall: Holy Cross leads, 14-9
In Lewisburg: Bucknell leads, 6-4
At Mathewson Stadium: Bucknell leads, 6-4
Current Win Streak: Holy Cross, two games
Tom Gilmore vs. Bucknell: 2-1
Tim Landis vs. Holy Cross: 3-3
Randolph Leads Crusader Offense
Junior quarterback Dominic Randolph (Amelia, Ohio) continues to be an excellent leader for the Holy Cross offense this season. In seven games played this year, Randolph has competed 180 of 297 attempts for 2,244 yards and 20 touchdowns with just five interceptions. In last week's victory at Lehigh, he hit on 22 of 32 passes for 375 yards and three scores. In the previous game against Dartmouth, Randolph completed 24 of 35 passes for 298 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for 15 yards and another score. He also had a huge game at Brown, connecting on 29 of 37 attempts for 404 yards and six touchdowns, setting new career highs for passing yards and touchdown passes. Two of his scoring passes against Brown came in the fourth quarter, after Brown had come back to tie the score at 34-34. Previously against Georgetown, Randolph completed 22 of 33 attempts for 302 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing five times for 22 yards and another score. He also had a big day against Harvard, hitting on 29 of 55 passes for 339 yards and four touchdowns, including a game-winning 40-yard scoring pass to senior wide receiver Thomas Harrison (Wilmington, N.C.) with 19 seconds left in the fourth quarter. In the season opener at Massachusetts, Randolph completed 32 of a school-record 62 attempts for 296 yards and two scores without an interception, in addition to rushing for a touchdown. Last season, Randolph earned third team All-Northeast Region honors after completing 184 of 299 attempts for 2,237 yards and 19 touchdowns with only six interceptions, despite missing two games due to injury. Over the course of his collegiate career, he has now hit on 364 of 596 passes for 4,481 yards and 39 scores. Despite playing in just 16 career games, Randolph already ranks fifth all-time at Holy Cross in career touchdown passes, fifth in career completions, sixth in career passing yards and eighth in career pass attempts, with his career completion percentage (.611) is the second-best in school history.
Offense Continues To Put Up Points
Holy Cross is currently enjoying one of the best offensive seasons in school history. Through seven contests, the Crusaders are currently averaging 40.1 points and 481.9 yards per game. Both of those marks would be the second-best in school history, behind only the undefeated 1987 team which averaged 46.5 points and 552.2 yards per game. Holy Cross has also scored over 40 points in three consecutive games, and four times overall this year. The last time the Crusaders scored at least 40 points in three straight contests came during the 1991 season, when they did it in four straight games against Brown (42-28), Lehigh (43-42), Lafayette (48-14) and Bucknell (42-6). The school record for most consecutive 40 points games in nine, set in 1987.
Partain Gets His Kicks
Junior placekicker Matt Partain (Libertyville, Ill.) is enjoying an outstanding season for the Crusaders. Through seven games played, he has hit nine of 10 field goal attempts and connected on all 35 of his extra point tries, to lead the team in scoring with 62 points. In last week's victory at Lehigh, Partain made one field goal and eight extra points, good for the second-most made extra points in school history. The previous week against Dartmouth he scored 11 points (five extra points and two field goals), including a 49-yard field goal on the final play of the first half. That kick set a record for the longest field goal in Holy Cross history, breaking the mark of 48 yards set by Billy Young against Lafayette in 1986. Earlier this season, Partain kicked a 40-yard field goal against Yale, and a 37-yarder at Brown. He also scored 12 points in both the Georgetown and Brown games. Prior to this season, Partain had not attempted any field goals or extra points during his collegiate career, although he did handle kickoff duties for Holy Cross in both 2005 and 2006.
Maher Makes Big Catches
Senior wide receiver Ryan Maher (Boca Raton, Fla.) continues to show why he is one of the top wide outs in the nation. Through seven games played this year, Maher has totaled a team-best 50 receptions for 615 yards and seven touchdowns. During last week's victory at Lehigh, he led the team with nine receptions for a career-best 165 yards and a score. Previously at Brown, Maher caught six passes for 110 yards and a career-high three touchdowns. Earlier this year in the victory over Georgetown, he posted five receptions for 83 yards and a score. Maher also had seven receptions for 71 yards and a score against Dartmouth, nine catches for 75 yards and a touchdown against Harvard, and 11 receptions for 85 yards at Massachusetts. Last year, he led the team and Patriot League in receiving with 69 catches for 797 yards and six touchdowns. Maher also concluded the 2006 campaign ranked ninth in the country in receptions and 32nd in receiving yards. At the end of the 2006 season, he was named to the All-Patriot League first team and the New England Football Writers All-Star team, in addition to being a second team All-Northeast Region selection. Maher has currently caught a pass in 18 consecutive games, while posting three of more receptions in 15 straight contests. Over the course of his collegiate career, he has now totaled 123 catches for 1,550 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Crusaders Show Outstanding Depth At Wide Receiver
In addition to senior Ryan Maher, Holy Cross has shown that it has a number of other weapons in the passing game, as seven different wide receivers already have receptions this season. Senior wide receiver Thomas Harrison currently ranks second on the team in receiving with 39 catches for 551 yards and five touchdowns. Junior wide out Brett McDermott (Mansfield, Mass.) has added 34 receptions for 463 yards and two scores, while junior wide receiver Jon Brock (Acworth, Ga.) has brought in 21 receptions for 279 yards and two touchdowns. In addition, senior wide out Justin Maher (Milford, Conn.) has three receptions for 35 yards and a touchdown, freshman wide out Josh Jenkins (Maywood, Ill.) has caught five passes for 46 yards and sophomore wide receiver Mike Frawley (Glen Mills, Pa.) had two catches for eight yards. Last season, eight different Holy Cross wide receivers caught at least one pass.
The Last Meeting With The Bison - Holy Cross 27, Bucknell 10
Mike Kielt rushed for a career-high 149 yards and two touchdowns, to lead Holy Cross to a 27-10 victory over Bucknell at Fitton Field on November 4, 2006. Dominic Randolph also had a big day, throwing for 277 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The Crusaders opened the scoring at the 8:31-mark of the first quarter, on a four-yard run by Kielt. With just 19 seconds left in the first quarter, Mark Kelliher recovered a fumble at the Bucknell 29-yard line, to put the Crusaders back in position to score. Holy Cross increased its lead to 14-0 on the next play, when Randolph found Brett McDermott in the end zone for a 29-yard touchdown pass. Bucknell scored the only points of the second quarter on a 30-yard Will Carney field goal, as Holy Cross led 14-3 going into the break. Holy Cross continued to dominate play in the second half, and would go up 20-3 on a 17-yard touchdown pass from Randolph to Matt Fanning, which was set up by a 56-yard run from Kielt. Bucknell responded with a score of its own on a 24-yard run by Josh DeStefano to make the score 20-10, but that would be as close as the Bison would get. Kielt finished off the scoring with a five-yard touchdown run, capping an eight-play, 68-yard drive. Ryan Maher finished the game with eight catches for 129 yards, while McDermott added two receptions for 48 yards and a score. Defensively, Dan Adams led Holy Cross with 13 total tackles, including two tackles for loss, while John Markus Pinard added seven tackles. Dorian Petersen had a team-high 14 tackles for Bucknell. With the win, the Crusaders posted their seventh overall victory and their fourth conference win, their best marks in both categories since 2000.
Gough Steps Up In The Secondary
Senior cornerback Casey Gough (Hinsdale, Ill.) is once again among the top defensive backs and kickoff returners in the Patriot League this season. Through seven games played so far this year, he has posted 42 total tackles with five tackles for loss, an interception, a forced fumble and three pass breakups, while returning eight kickoffs for 208 yards. In 11 games during the 2006 season, Gough totaled 54 tackles, eight tackles for loss, three interceptions, seven pass breakups and two forced fumbles. He was also the Crusaders' top kickoff returner, averaging 21.1 yards on 30 returns. Following the conclusion of the 2006 campaign, Gough was named first team All-Patriot League, while earning second team All-Northeast Region honors. He was previously named second team All-Patriot League in 2005, after posting a team-best three interceptions, 45 tackles, three tackles for loss and six pass breakups. Over the course of his Holy Cross career, Gough has now recorded 189 tackles, eight interceptions and 24 pass breakups. He has also totaled 1,578 yards and a touchdown on 62 career kickoff returns, to rank second all-time at Holy Cross in career kickoff return yards and career kickoff return average (25.5 yards per return).
Holy Cross In The Patriot League
Holy Cross is now in its 22nd season of play in the Patriot League, and currently stands 2-0 in the conference with victories over Georgetown (55-0 on Sept. 22) and Lehigh (59-10 on Oct. 20). The Crusaders own an all-time mark of 14-8 in their opening Patriot League contest of the season, with victories in each of the last three years. Holy Cross also stands 8-2 in conference openers over the last nine seasons, with the only losses during that span coming against Lehigh (38-20 in 2003) and Fordham (42-35 in 2004). From 1998 through 2002, the Crusaders won five straight conference openers. Holy Cross owns an all-time record of 62-55 (.530) in Patriot League action, winning five titles (1986, 1987, 1989, 1990 and 1991).
Crusaders Dominate Turnover Battle
In seven games played so far this season, Holy Cross forced its opponents to commit 16 turnovers, while giving the ball away seven times. The Crusaders have recovered 11 fumbles on the year, in addition to posting five interceptions. In the Lehigh game, Holy Cross forced a total of six turnovers (three interceptions and three fumbles), good for its most takeaways in a game since Nov. 2, 2002, when Bucknell turned the ball over to the Crusaders six times. Junior cornerback Kyle Mushaweh (Woodbury, Conn.) and junior strong safety Daryl Brown (Stone Mountain, Ga.) are tied for the team lead in interceptions with two each. Both Mushaweh and Brown have also returned an interception for a touchdown this season. Senior wide receiver Ryan Maher leads the team in fumble recoveries with two, both of which came while playing on the punt coverage team. On the offensive side of the ball, the Crusaders have thrown five interceptions and lost just two fumbles. Holy Cross has not turned the ball over at all in its last three games, and has a current streak of 215 consecutive offensive plays without a turnover.
Gass & Kielt Head Up Ground Game
The Crusader offense has displayed a solid rushing attack in 2007, running for 150.4 yards per game with 14 rushing touchdown. Junior tailback Terrance Gass (Sicklerville, N.J.) currently leads the team in rushing with 379 yards and four touchdowns on 65 carries this season, in addition to catching 13 passes for 148 yards and two scores. Gass' top game so far this season came at Lehigh, when he totaled 117 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns. Some of his other top performances this year have been against Brown (109 yards from scrimmage with two touchdowns), Dartmouth (12 carries for 76 yards and a score), Harvard (88 yards from scrimmage) and UMass (81 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown). Sophomore tailback Mike Kielt (Southbury, Conn.) is also enjoying a strong season with 300 yards and five scores on 57 carries, to go along with 12 receptions for 125 yards. In the Georgetown game, Kielt led the team with 13 carries for 70 yards and two scores, in addition to catching two passes for 29 yards. His other top games in 2007 have been against Dartmouth (92 yards from scrimmage with a touchdown) and Brown (91 yards from scrimmage).
Holy Cross In The NCAA Statistics
Five Crusaders are currently ranked among the NCAA Division I-AA leaders in various statistical categories, through games of Oct. 20. As a team, Holy Cross stands third in total offense, fourth in passing yards and fifth in scoring. The rankings:
Category Rank Player/Team Avg. Total Offense 3 Dominic Randolph 334.1 3 Holy Cross 481.9 Passing Yards 3 Dominic Randolph 320.6 4 Holy Cross 331.4 Completions 4 Dominic Randolph 25.7 Fewest Penalty Yards 5 Holy Cross 36.3 Scoring 5 Holy Cross 40.1 18 Matt Partain 8.9 Points Responsible For 7 Dominic Randolph 19.7 Fewest Penalties 9 Holy Cross 4.9 Receptions 9 Ryan Maher 7.1 31 Thomas Harrison 5.6 Turnover Margin 13 Holy Cross +1.3 Third Down Conversions 15 Holy Cross 44.8 Receiving Yards 20 Ryan Maher 87.9 28 Thomas Harrison 78.7 Pass Efficiency 21 Dominic Randolph 142.9 21 Holy Cross 142.2 Field Goals 25 Matt Partain 1.3 Punt Returns 32 Josh Jenkins 9.6
Offensive Line Continues Strong Play
The Holy Cross offensive line has been a key reason why the Crusaders rank among the top teams in the nation in both total offense and scoring. The line has paved the way for Holy Cross to run for 150.4 yards per game, while also providing pass protection which has allowed the Crusaders to throw for 331.4 yards per contest. In addition, Holy Cross has allowed just 10 sacks in seven games this year, while attempting 308 passes. Junior Chris Smith (Buffalo, N.Y.) is the starting center for Holy Cross, flanked by junior Chris Poole (Scituate, Mass.) and sophomore Aaron Jones (Springfield, Ohio) at the guard spots, and senior Dan Nolan (Pittsfield, Mass.) and junior Mason Olson (Stockton, Calif.) at the tackle positions.
Tradition Of Excellence
The 2007 campaign marks the 112th season of Holy Cross football. The Crusaders enter this week's game with an overall record of 574-460-54, good for a .552 winning percentage. Prior to the start of the 2007 season, Holy Cross' 569 all-time victories ranked as the 15th most among all Division I-AA schools. Holy Cross has had 31 first team All-America selections, sent 69 players on to professional football, won five Lambert Cups, claimed five Patriot League championships, and was named the Division I-AA Team of the Year in 1987. The Crusaders also played in the 1946 Orange Bowl, losing to host Miami on the game's final play.
Head Coach Tom Gilmore
Tom Gilmore is in his fourth season as head coach at the College of the Holy Cross. Gilmore enters this week's game with an overall record of 21-19, including an 18-11 mark since the beginning of the 2005 season. Last year he led Holy Cross to an overall record of 7-4, including a five-game winning streak (the longest by the Crusaders since the 1991 season). In 2005, Gilmore guided Holy Cross to an overall record of 6-5, with tailback Steve Silva earning first team All-America honors. On Oct. 8, 2005, Gilmore led the Crusaders to their first victory over a ranked team since 2000, with a 13-10 win at No. 10 Lehigh. Prior to his time at Holy Cross, Gilmore served as an assistant coach at Lehigh (2000-2003), Dartmouth (1992-1999), Pennsylvania (1986, 1990-1991) and Columbia (1987-1989). An Academic All-American at Pennsylvania, Gilmore graduated in 1986 with a bachelor's degree in computer mathematics. He was the Ivy League Player of the Year as a senior and helped lead the Quakers to four consecutive Ivy League titles.
Crusaders Among League Leaders
Several Holy Cross players are currently ranked at or near the top of the Patriot League standings in a number of statistical categories, through games of Oct. 20. Junior quarterback Dominic Randolph currently leads the league in passing yards (320.6 yards/game), total offense (334.1 yards/game) and in pass efficiency (142.9 rating). Senior wide out Ryan Maher leads in the league in receptions (7.1 catches/game) and receiving yards (87.9 yards/game), while standing third in scoring (6.0 points/game). Senior wide receiver Thomas Harrison ranks third in the conference in both receiving yards (78.7 yards/game) and receptions (5.6 catches/game), while junior wide receiver Brett McDermott is fourth in the conference in receiving yards (66.1 yards/game) and fifth in receptions (4.9 catches/game). In addition, junior placekicker Matt Partain ranks first in extra points (100.0 percent), first in field goals (1.3 made/game) and second in scoring (8.9 points/game), freshman wide out Josh Jenkins (Maywood, Ill.) is third in punt returns (9.6 yards/return) and junior tailback Terrance Gass ranks fourth in rushing (54.1 yards/game) and junior tailback Mike Kielt is fifth in rushing (42.9 yards/game). As a team, Holy Cross leads the league in total offense (481.9 yards/game), scoring offense (40.1 points/game), passing offense (331.4 yards/game), turnover margin (+1.3 turnovers/game) and pass efficiency (142.2 rating), while standing third in total defense (376.6 yards/game), punt returns (10.6 yards/return) and pass efficiency defense (121.2 rating).
Defending The Home Turf
Holy Cross has enjoyed great success at Fitton Field over the years. The Crusaders, who played their first game at Fitton Field in 1903, have posted an all-time home mark of 348-164-27 (.671). Fitton Field is the second-oldest stadium still used for Division I college football, behind only Franklin Field at the University of Pennsylvania (opened in 1895). Holy Cross' best decade at home occurred from 1980-1989, when the Crusaders recorded a 41-12-1 mark. In the current decade, the Crusaders have posted a record of 20-22 at home, with a 3-1 mark so far in 2007. Last year Holy Cross went 3-2 at Fitton Field, to post its first winning record at home since the 2001 team went 3-2.
Defense Shuts Out Georgetown
The Holy Cross defense turned in one of its top performances in recent history in the 55-0 shutout victory over Georgetown on Sept. 22. The shutout was the third by the Crusaders during Tom Gilmore's tenure as head coach, to go along with a 24-0 win at Dartmouth on Oct. 16, 2004, and the 27-0 victory at Marist on Sept. 23, 2006. In addition, Holy Cross held Georgetown to just 65 yards of total offense and only two first downs. The 65 total yards are the fewest by a Crusader opponent since Columbia had only 65 yards on Nov. 1, 1980, while the two first downs are the lowest-ever known total by an opponent. Since the beginning of the 2004 season, the Crusaders have now held their opposition to under 300 yards of total offense nine times. With the victory over Georgetown, Holy Cross became the first Patriot League team to record a shutout this season. Through the first seven contests of the 2007 campaign, the Crusaders are holding their opponents to 24.0 points, 18.7 first downs and 376.6 yards per game.
Crusaders Bring In Preseason Honors
Several Holy Cross players earned preseason accolades heading into the 2007 campaign. Senior Casey Gough was named the No. 3 cornerback in the nation by The Sports Network, and also earned preseason All-America honors from both The Sports Network (second team) and College Sporting News (third team). Junior Dominic Randolph was listed as the No. 13 quarterback in the country by The Sports Network, and also received preseason Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year honors from Street & Smith's 2007 College Football Yearbook. In addition, several players were selected preseason All-Patriot League by Phil Steele's 2007 College Football Preview. Gough was joined on the first team by senior wide receiver Ryan Maher, while Randolph was chosen to the second team along with senior wide receiver Thomas Harrison, junior running back Mike Kielt, senior offensive lineman Dan Nolan, senior defensive lineman Adam Sadowski (Tucson, Ariz.) and junior offensive lineman Chris Smith.
Scouting The Bison
Bucknell stands 2-5 overall and 0-2 in the Patriot League this year, with a 1-3 mark in home games. The Bucknell offense is led by sophomore tailback A.J. Kizekai, who has rushed for 277 yards and a touchdown on 49 carries. Senior fullback Josh DeStefano has added 202 rushing yards on 49 carries, while senior quarterback Terrance Wilson has run for 161 yards and three touchdowns on 21 attempts. Sophomore quarterback Marcello Trigg has completed 46 of 89 passes for 725 yards and five touchdowns on the year. Sophomore strong safety Brigham Farrand leads the Bison with 47 tackles on the year, while junior linebacker Todd Manjuck has added 45 tackles. Tim Landis is now in his fifth season as Bucknell's head coach, and has posted an overall record of 22-30. Landis' career record stands at 75-82-1, including three years at St. Mary's (Calif.) and seven seasons at Davidson.
Crusaders On The Radio
All of Holy Cross' games in 2007 will air on WTAG 580 AM, the true sports leader for the city of Worcester. Holy Cross Hall of Famer Bob Fouracre is in his 38th season calling the play-by-play for Holy Cross football, and his 22nd year covering the Crusaders on the radio. Former Holy Cross standout Tom Kelleher, who earned first team All-New England honors while leading the undefeated 1987 team in rushing, is in his eighth year as the color commentator. All of the Crusaders' games will also be available free of charge over the internet at `www.sportsjuice.com'. In addition, WCHC 88.1 FM, the Holy Cross student station, will carry a number of games this year.
Holy Cross On Television
The Crusaders are scheduled to have five games shown on live television during the 2007 season. Here is a look at Holy Cross' television schedule for the 2007 campaign:
Date Opponent Television Outlet Sept. 15 Harvard WCTR-TV3 Sept. 29 Yale CN8 Oct. 13 Dartmouth WCTR-TV3 Oct. 20 Lehigh Service Electric Nov. 10 Lafayette CSTV / Lafayette Sports Network
The Holy Cross Football Show
Every Tuesday during the season, head coach Tom Gilmore will be joined by Bob Fouracre for the Holy Cross Football Show. The show airs live from 1:00-1:30 p.m. exclusively on the internet, with archives of all the shows available to those who can not listen in live. The show is carried free of charge at `www.sportsjuice.com'.
Live video streaming of all 2007 Holy Cross home football games will be available over the internet through Crusader All-Access.The package, done in association with College Sports Television Online, is available for a $9.95 monthly subscription. For details on how to sign up for Crusader All-Access, click here.
Senior cornerback Casey Gough, senior free safety Obi Green (The Colony, Texas) and junior quarterback Dominic Randolph are serving as Holy Cross' tri-captains this season ... Junior cornerback Kyle Mushaweh recorded the first two interceptions of his collegiate career in the Lehigh game, returning one of them for a touchdown ... The Crusaders posted a 3-1 mark against Ivy League foes this season, and now stand 8-4 against the Ivy League under Tom Gilmore ... Senior tight end Ryan McGuire (Woburn, Mass.) has five catches for 38 yards this season, including a 12-yard touchdown reception in the victory over Georgetown ... Sophomore tailback Nick Cole (Tucson, Ariz.) led the team in rushing against Georgetown with 89 yards on 15 carries ... Holy Cross was picked as the No. 25 team in the nation by Street & Smith's 2007 College Football Yearbook, in addition to being selected as the preseason favorite in the Patriot League. The Crusaders were also ranked 25th in the country by Phil Steele's 2007 College Football Preview, which named Holy Cross and Lehigh co-favorites in the conference. Holy Cross was the only Patriot League team ranked in the Top 25 by either publication ... Holy Cross was picked to finish fourth in the 2007 Patriot League preseason poll of head coaches and sports information directors, behind Lafayette, Lehigh and Colgate ... For the first time since joining the Patriot League in 1986, Holy Cross played all of its non-conference games against opponents from New England (Brown, Dartmouth, Harvard, Massachusetts and Yale) ... Holy Cross' victory over Harvard was its first since 2000, and its first over the Crimson at Fitton Field since 1992 ... The Crusaders won their home opener for the second time in the last three years with the victory over the Crimson, improving their all-time mark in home openers to 76-28-7. In season openers, the Crusaders are 66-37-9 all-time, following the loss at Massachusetts.