#36 Colgate FCS Football 2013 Preview

George Hammond

Colgate Raiders

Overall Rank: #36
#1 Patriot

Colgate Team Page#36 Colgate FCS Football 2013 PreviewBuy Colgate Football Tickets

A 1-3 start in 2012 didn’t bode well for the Raiders, but they then reeled off seven consecutive victories en route to a Patriot League title and an 8-4 finish overall to make the playoffs for the first time since 2008. However, Colgate was bounced in the first round against Wagner, 31-20, when the Raiders committed five turnovers. With senior quarterback Gavin McCarney returning, optimism again runs high in Hamilton, N.Y.

2012 Record: (8-4, 5-0)
2012 Postseason: First-round loss to Wagner, 31-20
Coach: Dick Biddle (133-65 at Colgate, 133-65 Overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Dan Hunt
Co-Defensive Coordinators: Ryan Knowles and Paul Shaffner

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Gavin McCarney, QB, 1,406 yards
Passing: Gavin McCarney, QB, 2,372 yards
Receiving: Dan Cason, WR, 512 yards
Tackles: Kris Kent, LB, 83 tackles
Sacks: Kris Kent, LB, 4.0
Interceptions: Mike Armiento, CB, 4

Other Key Returnees:  FB Ed Pavalko, DE Bobby Stup, LB Eddy Sihavong, DL Andrew Nairin, KL Austin Dier, DT Mike Watts, DE Anto Almasian, CB Wendell Lewis, RB Demetrius Russell, RB Matthew Shimshock, RB John Wilkins, RB James Travellin, OL Brendan Walsh, OL Andrew Scarmardo, OL Zac Sawin, OL Scott Haraczy, TE C.J. Stempeck., TE Kevin O’Connell.

Key Losses: WR Chris Looney, TB Jordan McCord, LB Patrick Friel, DL Chris Homer, OL Ryan Risch, OL Craig Capodiferro, OL Brian Crockett, P Evan Goldszak.

Start with All-Patriot League quarterback Gavin McCarney. As co-defensive coordinator Ryan Knowles said: “Gavin is the guy with the resume.” McCarney totaled more than 3,700 yards of offense in 2012. The receiving corps should be well-stocked, too, with the return of three-year starter C.J. Stempeck at tight end and Dan Cason and Ryne Morrison at wideout.

When you lose three first-team all-league selections there has to be concern. Gone on the offensive front are Ryan Risch, Craig Capodiferro and Brian Crockett. The Raiders, who were among the top teams nationally in just about every offensive category last year, need to find suitable replacements. But veteran head coach Dick Biddle still might be more concerned with finding a running back to complement McCarney with the graduation of tailback Jordan McCord.

The Bottom Line:
Regardless of the voids, Colgate doesn’t rebuild, it reloads and 2013 should be no different as Biddle is 78-24 against Patriot League opponents. The schedule is difficult, though. Colgate opens at Air Force and then faces two Colonial Athletic Association foes in Albany and New Hampshire. Traditional rival Cornell is back on the slate after a one-year absence and the Raiders have a difficult game with Stony Brook.  Still, with McCarney back, Colgate figures to be the one to beat in the Patriot League.

Projected Postseason: FCS Playoffs

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 284.50 (5th in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 201.92 (66, 5)
Total Offense: 486.42 (4, 1)
Scoring Offense: 39.42 (3, 1)
Rushing Defense: 203.67 (103, 7)
Pass Defense: 211.08 (55, 2)
Total Defense: 414.75 (91, 5)
Scoring Defense: 31.67 (94, 7)
Turnover Margin: 0.00 (60, 5)
Sacks: 2.25 (40, 3)
Sacks Allowed: 1.42 (25, 2)


See All College Sports Madness Top 44 FCS Football Previews