Lafayette 2013 FCS Football Playoff Capsule

Lafayette Leopards


A 5-6 team making the playoffs is not a common occurrence. But here we are. Lafayette finished Patriot League play with a 4-1 record and that was enough to win the title and earn the conference’s automatic bid to the FCS playoffs. Their play out of conference was not very impressive, with the only win coming against Fordham who is in the Patriot League, but their games did not count towards the regular season standings. Beating Fordham was a huge win for the Leopards and they followed it up the next week with an equally impressive road win against Lehigh to win the title. At least Lafayette has momentum.

2013 Record: 5-6, 4-1
Coach: Frank Tavani

Big Wins: 11/16 Fordham (27-14) 11/23 at Lehigh (50-28)
Bad Losses: 9/7 Sacred Heart (24-26), 9/21 at Penn (21-27)

For the most part, the Lafayette defense has played quite well this season. That is especially true later in the year when this group actually started winning. The Leopards can effectively blitz from just about everywhere on the field with linemen Steve Mercado and Tyrus White leading the way. The variety of blitz packages often leads to poor decisions by the opposing quarterback and the secondary will take advantage. Matt Smalley, Jared Roberts, DeOliver Davis and Draeland James have all tallied a couple big interceptions this season. The team as a whole has totaled 15 interceptions and the Leopards must win the turnover battle if they have any hope of winning a playoff game.

Unfortunately, the Leopards rarely win the turnover battle. The defense does its part, but the offense has committed too many turnovers throughout the season. The good news is that quarterback Drew Reed has done a much better job keeping the turnovers down since he took over the starting role. In his seven contests, the freshman signal caller has thrown 17 touchdowns and just five interceptions. The pressure will be on Reed and his youth and inexperience will come to light, but since he has taken over the team the turnovers have been far less of an issue. Receivers Mark Ross and Demetrius Dixon are going to have to help out Reed as much as possible and getting consistent play from Ross Scheuerman in the backfield will help open up the offense. Scheuerman eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark and rushed for 14 touchdowns. Just making it to the playoffs is an accomplishment for Coach Frank Tavani and his young team, but do not sleep on Lafayette. They have won two huge games in a row to conclude the year and they could make it three in the first round of the playoffs.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Ross Scheuerman, RB, 1,034 yards
Passing: Drew Reed, QB, 1,681 yards
Receiving: Mark Ross, WR, 1,047 yards
Tackles: Mike Boles, LB, 80
Sacks: Tyrus White, DL, 5.0
Interceptions: Matt Smalley, DB, 4

2013 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 123.0 (100th in nation, 6th in conference)
Passing Offense: 260.3 (23, 3)
Total Offense: 383.3 (56, 4)
Scoring Offense: 26.1 (64, 4)
Rushing Defense: 169.7 (66, 2)
Pass Defense: 206.0 (41, 2)
Total Defense: 375.7 (54, 2)
Scoring Defense: 26.3 (66, 3)
Turnover Margin: -0.6 (96, 4)
Sacks: 2.70 (20, 2)
Sacks Allowed: 2.80 (97, 6)

Recent Playoff Appearances:
2006    First Round    Lost to Massachusetts
2005    First Round    Lost to Appalachian State
2004    First Round    Lost to Delaware

*all team stats through 11/16


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