(24) Colgate (8-3) at Wagner (8-3)
The Sports Network
By Tim McDonnell, FCS Assistant
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 24, 12 p.m. (ET).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Hameline Field (3,300) -- Staten Island, New York. Surface: FieldTurf. Television: ESPN3.com. Announcers: Bob Picozzi, Rene Ingoglia. Home Record: Colgate 4-0; Wagner 4-1. Away Record: Colgate 4-3; Wagner 4-2. Series Record: First meeting. Conference: Colgate - Patriot League; Wagner - Northeast. Nicknames: Colgate Raiders; Wagner Seahawks. Head Coaches: Colgate - Dick Biddle (17th season, 133-64 at Colgate and overall). Wagner - Walt Hameline (32nd season, 212-126-2 at Wagner and overall). Playoff Records: Colgate (4-8); Wagner (0-0). Previous FCS Playoff Appearances: Colgate 8 (1982-83, 97-99, 2003, 05, 08); Wagner 0. Sports Network Ranking: Colgate (24); Wagner (NR).
GAME NOTES: Two teams that surprisingly have a lot in common meet in a contest that will be played at Wagner, which is probably the biggest surprise among all host schools in the opening round of the FCS playoffs.
The Seahawks have had an amazing season, winning eight straight games - the longest current streak in the FCS - after starting with an 0-3 record. Amazingly, the team's average attendance is just 2,216, which ranks 116th in the FCS. Hosting a playoff game is a big deal, so everyone involved in the program has to be thankful just to make the field of 20.
Wagner's road to the playoffs is partly related to a huge victory over last year's Northeast Conference champion Albany on Nov. 3, but also a lot of credit has to go to 31-year coach Walt Hameline's defense. The unit ranks 18th in the FCS in total defense, giving up 314 yards per game and 16th in passing defense at 169 yards per game.
There's no question, Colgate presents a unique challenge with the dangerous duo of quarterback Gavin McCarney and running back Jordan McCord. They have accounted for 44 rushing touchdowns in 11 games and average 119 and 147 yards per game, respectively. Even more impressive? McCord averages 5.2 yards per carry and McCarney averages 7.5 yards per carry.
Wagner is led by running back Dominique Williams (1,162 yards, 11 touchdowns) and quarterback Nick Doscher (1,574 yards, 11 touchdowns, one interception), who have spearheaded an offense which doesn't turn the ball over much.
The teams have four common opponents, which is rare for schools in different conferences. Plus, each team defeated the previous conference champion in Lehigh (Patriot) and Albany (NEC), which essentially opened up the door for their chance in the playoffs.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Colgate 33, Wagner 26.
11/21 12:58:32 ET