With a victory the Bison would... • improve to 19-15 in Patriot League openers • move to 45-46-5 all-time on Homecoming • improve to 4-2 against Holy Cross in their past six games • defeat the Crusaders for the second-straight season • top Holy Cross at home for the first time since 2009, halting a four-game losing skid • snap a 10-game losing slide that dates back to 2018
Bucknell at a Glance • The Bison are 0-4 (0-0 PL) following their 56-23 loss to No. 23/RV Princeton on Sept. 28 in their second-straight game against a ranked opponent. Bucknell wrapped up the 2018 campaign with a 1-10 (1-5 PL) record. The Bison, who took seventh in the Patriot League a year ago, were chosen to finish in the same spot in the 2019 preseason poll. • Bucknell is in its first campaign under head coach Dave Cecchini, who spent the previous six seasons at Valparaiso. • The Bison returned a total of 52 letterwinners in 2019, a group that includes two fifth years, 19 seniors, 21 juniors and 10 sophomores. Fifth-year P Alex Pechin is a four-time letterwinner while six seniors—TE Marcus Ademilola, WR Justin Bethea, QB John Chiarolanzio, LB Sam Chitty, LB Jon Fox and DL John Hunt—are three-time letterwinners. Inside the Princeton Box Score • No. 23 Princeton, the defending Ivy League champion, stormed past Bucknell, 56-23. • QB Kevin Davidson had a banner day for the Tigers (2-0), completing 29 of 37 passes for 381 yards and an Ivy League-record seven touchdowns. His favorite target was WR Andrew Griffin, who caught nine passes for 200 yards and a school-record four touchdowns. • For the Bison, QB Logan Bitikofer set a new career high with 268 yards on 28-for-42 passing; he threw two touchdown passes and ran for one more over the course of the contest. WRs Dominic Lyles (108) and Connor Holmes (88) each exceeded 80 receiving yards on eight catches, helping Bucknell nearly reach 400 yards of total offense. • The Bison got off to a strong start, holding the high-powered Tigers to just 79 yards of total offense and a single touchdown in the first quarter. They jumped out to a 7-0 lead at that frame's 6:57 mark on a nine-yard touchdown catch by WR John McGuire, the first of his collegiate career. • Bucknell and Princeton were tied a 14-14 at the second quarter's 6:38 mark. The Tigers ultimately went into halftime with a 28-14 lead. • Princeton scored six of the game's final seven touchdowns; the Bison also had one field goal during that span, a career-long 38-yard boot by K Ethan Torres. • Holmes became the first member of the class of 2023 to score an offensive touchdown with his 15-yard touchdown catch at the fourth quarter's 5:44 mark. • The Tigers held advantages in first downs (30-23) and total offense (595-398). • Bucknell's 398 yards of total offense was its highest number of the 2019 campaign; it came on 127 rushing and 271 passing yards. • LB Rick Mottram made a game-high 11 tackles. LB Gerrit Van Itallie was next with a career-best 10; he also teamed with DL Roger Mellado for a critical stop on a 4th and 1 that led to McGuire's score.
Holy Cross at a Glance • The Crusaders are 1-3 (0-0 PL). Two of their three losses were to FBS programs (Navy and Syracuse); their victory came over New Hampshire on Sept. 7. A year ago, Holy Cross went 5-6 (4-2 Patriot League). The Crusaders closed out the season on a four-game winning streak to tie for second in the Patriot League standings with Georgetown. • Holy Cross was picked to place second behind Colgate in the 2019 Patriot League preseason poll. RB Domenic Cozier and OLs Brett Boddy and Brian Foley represented the Crusaders on the Preseason All-Patriot League Team. Boddy and Foley made the 2018 All-Patriot League First Team while Cozier was voted to the Second Team. • Second-year head coach Bob Chesney has many ties to Pennsylvania. A native of Kulpmont, he attended Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School. He then graduated in 2000 from Dickinson College (Carlisle), where he was a two-time Second Team All-Centennial Conference defensive back. He also held coaching positions at King's College (Wilkes-Barre) and Delaware Valley College (Doylestown). His father, also named Bob, was the head football coach at Mount Carmel Area High School and Shamokin Area High School.
The Bucknell/Holy Cross Series • The Crusaders and Bison first met on Oct. 31, 1925; they have squared off annually since 1986, the year the Patriot League was founded as the Colonial League. Between 1925 and 1986, Bucknell and Holy Cross met only once: in 1953. • The Crusaders lead the series, 22-13, and hold a 9-7 edge in Lewisburg. • The Bison have won three of the past five games. They took the 2014 (31-24 OT), 2016 (21-20) and 2018 (19-16) meetings, all of which occurred at Fitton Field. • Holy Cross has won the past four contests at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium. • Bucknell last downed the Crusaders at home on Nov. 21, 2009. Holy Cross, which had already clinched the Patriot League title and was ranked No. 13 in the country, never led in that contest. The Bison racked up 321 rushing yards, including 189 by QB C.J. Hopson, en route to their 23-17 victory. This is the fourth-straight year Bucknell will play Holy Cross in its Patriot League opener. • In 2017, the Bison and Crusaders faced off in September (9/9) for the first time. They again met in September a year ago (9/28). Previously, the earliest date they had played was Oct. 6 (2012). They have squared off 20 times in November and 13 times in October. The Last Meeting with the Crusaders Bucknell 19 – Holy Cross 16 (Sept. 29, 2018 – Worcester, Mass.) • Bucknell withstood a furious Holy Cross comeback to win its Patriot League opener, 19-16. It was the Bison's third-straight victory over the Crusaders at Fitton Field. • The Bison built a 19-7 lead on a 36-yard touchdown rush by RB Jared Cooper and a 22-yard touchdown throw by QB Logan Bitikofer to WR Alan Butler. • While Holy Cross drew within a field goal at the fourth quarter's 6:57 mark, Bucknell drained 6:13 off the clock by marching from its 18 to the Crusader 26 in 13 plays. • Following a missed 43-yard field goal attempt, Holy Cross got the ball back with 36 seconds remaining in regulation. After QB Geoff Wade had three passes fall incomplete, the Crusaders went for it on 4th and 10. S Joe Lauro came up with his second pass breakup of the sequence to seal the victory. • Cooper led the Bison with 75 yards on 24 carries. All but 19 of his yards came during the Bison's second-half surge, which saw them post 205 of their season-best 280 yards of total offense. • Bitikofer completed 19 of 29 passes for a career-high 193 yards while WR Brandon Sanders totaled a career-best 97 yards on six catches. • K Ethan Torres kicked the first two field goals of his career during the first half. • CB Bryan Marine registered 75 yards on five punt returns, bolstered by his clutch 67-yard run which set up Torres's second field goal. • Lauro and LB Sam Chitty paced Bucknell's defense with 11 tackles (seven solo) apiece. In total, the Bison registered 12 tackles for a loss of 50 yards, with DL Grayson Cherubino and LB Simeon Page leading the way with three apiece. • For their efforts against the Crusaders, Cooper captured his second Patriot League Rookie of the Week award while Lauro was named the Bison Athlete of the Week.
Patriot League Openers • Bucknell holds an 18-15 record in Patriot League openers. • In 2018, the Bison topped the Crusaders, 19-16, in their first Patriot League game on Sept. 29 at Fitton Field. • Bucknell has met Holy Cross in its Patriot League opener five times: 2018 (19-16), 2017 (0-20), 2016 (21-20), 1996 (38-7) and 1992 (12-27). • The Bison's game against the Crusaders are one of two on the first Saturday of 2019 Patriot League action. The other is between Lehigh and Colgate in Hamilton, N.Y., a game set to begin one hour earlier at 1 p.m. Bucknell on Homecoming • The Bison are 44-46-5 all-time on Homecoming. • Bucknell is set to face Holy Cross on Homecoming for the fourth time. The previous games were in 1993 (W, 33-23), 1997 (W, 18-6) and 2011 (L, 13-16). • The Bison have won three of their past six Homecoming games, taking the 2016 (42-17 over Lafayette), 2014 (27-24 OT over Lafayette) and 2013 (48-10 over then No. 15 Lehigh) renditions. • Bucknell dropped a tight 29-27 decision to Lafayette in its 2018 Homecoming game. The Leopards scored 22 of the second half's 35 points to emerge victorious. • Against Lafayette, QB Logan Bitikofer threw for a season-best 267 yards and three touchdowns. He became the first Bison to throw three touchdown passes since QB R.J. Nitti tossed four in a 35-24 victory at Lafayette on Oct. 31, 2015. • TE/FB Andrew Owers became the first Bison to catch multiple touchdown passes since September 2016. CB Sterling Deary accounted Bucknell's other touchdown, returning his first career interception 41 yards to the house.
Inside the Bucknell Depth Chart • Bucknell's 11 projected starters on offense have made a combined 89 starts, with OL P.J. Barr (23) and TE Alex Twiford (20) accounting for nearly 49 percent of them. • Bucknell's 11 projected starters on defense have made a combined 113 starts; the group remains unchanged from week one. • On offense, two seniors, five juniors, three sophomores and one freshman are expected to start. On defense, two seniors, seven juniors and two sophomores are projected to start. • Two fifth years, eight seniors, 20 juniors, 10 sophomores and nine freshmen appear on this week's two deep. • Thirteen Bison have at least 10 career starts: Barr (23), DL Roger Mellado (21), Twiford (20), WR Justin Bethea (17), LB Simeon Page (16), S Brandon Benson (15), LB Sam Chitty (15), QB John Chiarolanzio (12), OL Justis Peppers (11), DL Nnamdi Unachukwu (11), DL Grayson Cherubino (10), OL Erik Lukner (10) and OL Chuck Sanders (10) Of that group, seven are juniors, five are seniors and one (Cherubino) is a sophomore. • Cherubino became the first member of the class of 2022 to reach the double digits in career starts with his start against Princeton. RB Jared Cooper, who has not started in 2019 to date, could do the same against Holy Cross. • Barr (23), Mellado (21) and Twiford (14) boast starting streaks in the double digits; all three are members of the junior class. • P Alex Pechin, who was granted a fifth year of eligibility due to a season-ending injury suffered as a sophomore, has a team-best 39 games under his belt. • Two juniors, Barr and Mellado, have appeared in all 26 of the Bison's games since they arrived in Lewisburg. • The following 10 players have made their first career start this year: OL Alex Bolinger, CB Eric Butler, CB Micah Dennis, WR Connor Holmes, DL John Hunt, WR Dominic Lyles, OL Jacob Russ, OL Noah Sansalone, OL Zack Tarburton and WR Steven Walier. Holmes became the second member of the class of 2023 to earn a start against Princeton, joining Tarburton.
Bison in the NCAA FCS Top 10 • P Alex Pechin: 1st in punting average (49.7), 1st in career punting average (44.3) • CB Gavin Pringle: t-3rd in interception return touchdowns (1)
School Record Holders on the 2019 Roster • LB Simeon Page: Single Game Sacks (4.0, 11/18/17), Rookie Season Sacks (9.0, 2017) • P Alex Pechin: Career Punting Average (44.3), Season Punting Average (45.1, 2017)
Milestone Watch • S Brandon Benson: Needs 10 tackles to reach 150 in his career • S Brandon Benson: Needs 25 solo tackles to reach 100 in his career • LB Sam Chitty: Needs 11 tackles to reach 100 in his career • LB Simeon Page: Needs two sacks to crack Bucknell's career top 10 with 16.5 • P Alex Pechin: Needs one punt inside the 20 to reach 100 in his career Bison Award Winners • The Bison returned an All-American in P Alex Pechin. In 2018, Pechin captured six All-America awards, most notably becoming the first Bison specialist to make an AFCA or AP squad. In 2017, he was honored on the STATS Third Team. • Pechin was one of seven punters to make the initial watch list for the 2020 Reese's Senior Bowl; of that group, he was the only one from the FCS ranks. • In addition, Pechin was named to the watch list for the FCS Punter of the Year Award and was tabbed as a 2019 Preseason First Team All-American by STATS and Phil Steele. • Bucknell returned two All-Patriot League players in Pechin (1st in '18, '17 & '15) and LB Simeon Page (1st in '18, 2nd in '17). Both were voted to the 2019 Preseason All-Patriot League Team. • The Bison graduated All-Patriot League honorees WR Alan Butler (2nd in '18), OL Pat Finn (2nd in '18) and CB Bryan Marine (1st in '16, 2nd in '18) following the 2018 season. • At the conclusion of the 2018-19 school year, Pechin became the third football player to be recognized as the Patriot League Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Earlier that year, he became the Patriot League's fifth repeat Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year. • LB Rick Mottram captured CoSIDA Academic All-District II honors in 2018. At least one Bison has received this distinction 16 of the 19 seasons since 2000. Head Coach Dave Cecchini • Dave Cecchini, the 27th head coach in program history, is in his first season at the helm. He was announced as Bucknell's head coach on Feb. 6, 2019. • Most recently the head coach at Valparaiso, Cecchini has a long track record of building explosive offenses at elite academic institutions. Previously the offensive coordinator at Lehigh, The Citadel and Harvard, his offenses have shattered school records at his every stop, propelling his teams to a combined seven conference championships. • An All-American wide receiver at Lehigh during his playing days in the early 1990s, Cecchini spent 13 of his previous 24 seasons as a coach at his alma mater.
Inside the 2019 Schedule • This is the 134th season of football at Bucknell. The Bison played their first game in 1883 and have played continuously since 1887. • Bucknell's 2019 opponents went a combined 65-59 (.524) a year ago, with its five non-conference foes going an impressive 37-20 (.650). Colgate (10-2) and Princeton (10-0) reached the 10-win threshold, each winning a league title. In addition, three other teams posted a winning record while three finished a single game below .500. • Temple took part in the Walk-On's Independence Bowl while Colgate and Towson made the NCAA Division I Football Championship. At various points in the 2018 campaign, Colgate, Princeton, Towson and Villanova appeared in the FCS's top 10. • Eight of the Bison's 11 opponents from 2018 remained on their 2019 schedule, with Princeton, Temple and Towson taking the place of Monmouth, Penn and William & Mary. • Temple was Bucknell's first FBS foe since 2015, when the Bison put up a strong fight in a 21-14 loss at Army West Point. • The Bison entered the season with a 178-253-120 (.417) record against their 2019 opponents, including winning marks against Fordham (18-16), Georgetown (18-12-1) and Temple (20-16-8). They are also .500 against Sacred Heart (2-2) and Towson (8-8).
"Second-year head coach Bob Chesney has many ties to Pennsylvania. A native of Kulpmont, he attended Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School. He then graduated in 2000 from Dickinson College (Carlisle), where he was a two-time Second Team All-Centennial Conference defensive back. He also held coaching positions at King's College (Wilkes-Barre) and Delaware Valley College (Doylestown). His father, also named Bob, was the head football coach at Mount Carmel Area High School and Shamokin Area High School."
Wait, Bob Chesney was only "second team" All Conference at Division III, Dickinson? His Dad was a football coach? hahahahahaha
That is beyond bad.
"There are countless coaches with no playing experience that go onto become great coaches, aka Bill Belichick."
Well, he's a second generation, "player's coach" with a negative offensive acumen. He needs to get another "Scott James" type on offense and get out of the way.
Last Edit: Oct 1, 2019 12:32:01 GMT -5 by 4crusader3
Bucknell is averaging over 220 yards/game in passing. If junior Logan Bitikofer has only passed for oter 100 yards once, one could wonder who else has been throwing those passes? In the first 3 games, Bucknell was not primarily a running team. But, in addition to Bitikofer, They did have 2 other players at QB prior to Princeton. Senior John Chiarolanzio completed 28 of 69 passes, and sophomore Tarrin Earle hit on 15 of 32 attempts.
Bitikofer did throw 48 passes against Princeton, completing 28 (with 2 TDs and 2 interceptions). He compiled 228 yards and is probably now the full time QB.