OK. So maybe you have a 40-page paper on 8th-century Eskimo poetry due in 48 hours, which you have to write in Sanskrit, but that is no excuse to avoid Andy Kerr Stadium on Saturday, November 22 at 1 p.m. At that time, Colgate and Holy Cross will be duking it out on the field to win both the Patriot League and the conference’s berth to the Division I-FCS NCAA Tournament. Both teams are undefeated in the Patriot League and have shown their offensive prowess on the field throughout the season. It should be a highly entertaining game, and here are 13 reasons why you need to come on down to Kerr this Saturday.
1. Because it’s the Patriot League Championship Game. Duh. Colgate hasn’t played in a game of this magnitude at Andy Kerr Stadium since 2003, when the Raiders were making a run through the NCAA Tournament. Since then, Colgate has not played a NCAA Tournament or Patriot League-clinching home game at Kerr, so this game has become one of the most important sporting events on campus in this decade.
2. Offensive Explosion. My grandfather fell asleep during a previous Colgate football game this season, but if he was coming to this game, I can guarantee you that he’d be wide awake the whole time. Expect to see a ton of points Saturday. The Raiders average 30.1 points per game this season, the most since that magical 2003 run. Pretty impressive right? Well, Holy Cross has put up a maniacal 35.1 points a contest, and they have not scored fewer than 24 points in a game this season. It’ll be a Wild West shootout in the cold Northeast.
3. A Flair for the Dramatic. The 2003 NFC Champion Carolina Panthers were known as the Cardiac Cats for their propensity to play exciting games, and these two teams are the collegiate versions of that esteemed NFL squad. The Raiders have come back from six deficits this season (four of which were double digits), and the Myrtle Beach Miracle in which Ryan Meyers threw a game-winning TD pass to Adrien Schriefer after a botched FG try is one play for the ages. Meanwhile, Holy Cross is coming off a 27-26 win over Lafayette in which QB Dominic Randolph threw a 37-yard TD pass with six seconds left. They have also played some close games with regional rivals such as Harvard and Yale. I’d be shocked if this game does not come down to the last drive.
4. This May be Your Only Chance to See Colgate Head Coach Dick Biddle Smile. Don’t bank on that though.
5. A Clash of Two Different Styles. Colgate runs an old-school zone running scheme that works like a well-oiled machine, while Holy Cross runs a new-school spread offense that has spread(for lack of a better word) like wildfire throughout the college and NFL ranks this decade. The Raiders have three deadly weapons in senior Jordan Scott, sophomore quarterback Greg Sullivan and first-year running back Nate Eachus that can run the ball, and it won’t be a shock to see them do just that 50 times on Saturday. Meanwhile, Holy Cross QB Dominic Randolph throws an average of 49.3 times per game, which is more on average than Texas Tech QB Graham Harrell. Furthermore, TEN Crusaders have at least 20 receptions this season. That’s absurd!
6. Because it’s a Lot More Fun to Tailgate and Walk the 100 Yards to Go to the Football Game Instead of Tailgating and Going Back to Case to Study. Self-explanatory. Or maybe not.
7. Hoo-Doo. For this one, I’m going to hand it over to one of my predecessors, a Colgate Maroon (before it merged with the Colgate News) writer from 1935.
“It was in 1908 that the wraith-like specter of the Hoodoo first slipped out of its resting place in the cement structure of Archbold Stadium and joined 11 Colgate men on the football field to help in bringing the first of a string of victories over the Orange to the Maroon fighters. Rumor has it that the Hoodoo was born of a Maroon varsity ‘C’ sweater which lies embedded in the cement of the stadium, placed there by a Colgate student one night while the stadium was under construction.” And the Hoodoo wielded his power in that 1908 game, the first Colgate-Syracuse battle in the new stadium, with results that are now historic (Colgate won 6-0). The jinx of the abstruse Hoodoo was among the first of psychological tactics to be used in collegiate football. The entire purpose behind the fabled Hoodoo chant, begun in the 1920’s, was to ‘psyche out’ the Orange eleven along with every Syracuse fan in Archbold Stadium… As the crowd’s chants of ‘Hoo-Doo – Hoo-Doo…’ began, every person in the stadium knew the Colgate Hoodoo was alive, invisible, hovering over the stadium ready to discombobulate the enemy.”
8. Because if You Get to the game Early Enough, You’re Going to get a T-Shirt That Celebrates the Game and Hoo-Doo. It’ll be nice to add the 25th free Colgate T-Shirt to your collection, right?
9. Patriot League Anomaly. Technically, the Patriot League does not host a Football Championship Game, unlike the Big 12, SEC and ACC. However, it is great luck that Holy Cross and Colgate have sped away from the rest of the Patriot League and just so happen to be playing a winner-take-all game to end the regular season. I doubt we’ll see something like this again for a long time, and in fact, it’s been 11 years since Colgate was playing another team (Bucknell) for the Patriot League title on the last day of the regular season in a winner-take-all contest.
10. The Sullivan Keeper. One of the best-run plays in college football today has to be the Sullivan Keeper, in which quarterback Greg Sullivan fakes a handoff to a running back in the backfield, only to pull the ball away at the last second and run for an automatic first down. It’s really fun to watch 11 defenders run at the running back only to turn around and see Sullivan scamper towards the end zone.
11. What Else are You Going to Do? Who really wants to do work three days before Thanksgiving Break starts? Who really wants to stay in their dorm and do nothing? Who really wants to pre-game in the early afternoon before a party at night? Actually, ignore the last question. Just go to the game.
12. The Seniors’ Last Stand. This particular group of seniors playing on the football team is a close-knit group of guys that has given it their all this season. Since Colgate will most likely have to stay on the road during the NCAA Tournament should they make it, it’s your last chance to see Jordan Scott, the greatest running back in school history, and the magnificent O-Line, which is graduating four seniors in May.
13. Because We’re Going to Win. Colgate 38, Holy Cross 31. Book it. See you at the game!