I think it would only be pertinent to do a defensive preview of the Colgate Raiders given that Curtis on our team did a fantastic analysis on previewing the Eagle’s offensive attack going into the opening game on Saturday. Plus, not many of us ACC fans are familiar with what Colgate can bring to the table (if anything at all) and I think would be kind of fun to dig into their success (or lack there of) from last season and if there are any players that stand out that could help Colgate cover the -50.5 spread (oof).
As pure anecdotal evidence of the Colgate program, my brother is currently enrolled as a student at Colgate. Football is most certainly not part of the culture there. In fact, the classic student trend is that of which I have heard friends and alumni of UMass and UConn speak of. Show up, tailgate your ass off for two hours and then walk back to the dorm right before kick-off to sleep off the morning alcohol buzz and rally for late night festivities. In other words, the students know that their team is not worth standing and cheering for in the bleachers for three hours and I doubt even Colgate students will have their eyes on this game as they already can foresee the outcome. Nonetheless, things happen in college football that nobody can predict (i.e. Appalachian State vs Michigan) plus it is the first game of the season so I think that is something to be excited about right?....Right? Now am I saying Saturday will showcase an outcome similar to that of Appalachian State, probably not. However, maybe this defense will slow BC down just enough to cover the massive spread. Yet, that is still a very generous ‘maybe’.
Like a lot of the NCAA, the Patriot League had to make the decision to cancel the fall season for football last year due to COVID and announced it would instead have a short spring season. Needless to say, it could not have been more abysmal for the Raiders who only ended up playing 2 of the 4 games scheduled. The first game was against Lafayette in which Colgate ended up losing 24-10. The defense gave up a total of 340 yards with 171 of those coming on the ground. From a coverage perspective, the Raiders gave up on average 11.3 yards per pass which makes their secondary look like swiss cheese and easy for Jurkovec and Flowers to exploit all day long.
However, the real talk of the town was Colgate’s performance in their second game against Fordham. The Raiders had their doors absolutely blown off dropping the game 40-8. Granted a lot of that may have had to do with Colgate’s 7 (yes, 7) turnovers in the game, but defense is supposed to be the one who wins championships according to the old adage right? Unfortunately for Colgate, their defense was not able to hold off the aerial attack of the Rams conceding 274 yards through the air.
In looking at the specific defensive players for the Raiders, there is not really a single player that stands out who I think can obstruct the Eagle’s success offensively. Jurkovec should have a field day against this secondary and offensive line should easily win in the trenches to allow Travis Levy (and the rest of the Running Back core who should get extra reps) to feast on this defense.
My advice is don’t bet on this game, or Colgate actually covering. Just enjoy a throttling in the first half and then carry on with the rest of your Saturday.