Holy Cross Travels To #8 Lehigh For Key Patriot League Contest
Game Day Quick Facts
The Teams: Holy Cross (4-4, 2-1 PL) vs. #8 Lehigh (7-1, 2-0 PL)
Date: November 5, 2011
Time: 12:30 p.m.
Place: Goodman Stadium (16,000), Bethlehem, Pa.
Television: Service Electric Cable; Mike Zambelli, play-by-play; Mike Yadush, color
Live Video Streaming: www.LehighSports.com
Holy Cross Radio: WTAG 580 AM & 94.9 FM, Worcester; Bob Fouracre, play-by-play; Charles Bare, color; Click Here to Listen
Unofficial Live Statistics: www.LehighSports.com
Series Record: Lehigh leads, 13-12-1
Last Meeting: Lehigh 34, Holy Cross 17; November 6, 2010; Worcester, Mass.
The Series With Lehigh
This will be the 27th meeting between the Crusaders and the Mountain Hawks on the gridiron, with Lehigh leading the all-time series 13-12-1. Holy Cross has won four of the last six games between the schools, although the Mountain Hawks did post a 34-17 victory in Worcester last season. For contests played in Bethlehem, Holy Cross holds a 7-5 advantage, including victories during each of its last three trips to Goodman Stadium: 13-10 in 2005, 59-10 in 2007 and 24-20 in 2009. Dating back to 2004, the visiting team has won six of the last seven games in the series. The schools first met on Nov. 8, 1924, in Worcester, with the teams playing to a 3-3 tie.
Series Quick Facts
Overall: Lehigh leads, 13-12-1
In Bethlehem: Holy Cross leads, 7-5
At Goodman Stadium: Holy Cross leads, 6-5
Current Win Streak: Lehigh, 1 game
Tom Gilmore vs. Lehigh: 4-3
Andy Coen vs. Holy Cross: 2-3
Holy Cross In Hunt For League Title
The Crusaders enter this week's contest in third place in the Patriot League with a 2-1 mark in conference games this year. Holy Cross is currently a half a game behind both Lehigh (2-0) and Georgetown (3-1) in the Patriot League standings. If the Crusaders can defeat Lehigh this week, they will still have a chance to win the conference title and earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Playoffs. In addition to Holy Cross, Lehigh and Georgetown, both Bucknell (2-2) and Lafayette (0-2) could earn a share of the Patriot League title by winning their remaining conference games.
Defense Continues Strong Play
The Holy Cross defense has played extremely well during the last few weeks. Over the last three games, the Crusaders have held their opponents to just 16.3 points, 11.7 first downs, 71.7 passing yards and 203.3 total yards per contest. Holy Cross' top game during that span came on Oct. 22, when it limited Bucknell to just 146 yards of total offense, 13 points and eight first downs. At one point during the second half, the Crusaders held the Bison to three-downs-and-out on six consecutive possessions. The 146 total yards were the fewest Holy Cross had allowed since giving up only 65 yards to Georgetown on Sept. 2, 2007, while the eight first downs were the least by a Crusader opponent since Georgetown had only seven first downs on Sept. 5, 2009. In addition, Holy Cross totaled six quarterback sacks during the contest against Bucknell, their most in a single game since posting six sacks against Fordham on Sept. 30, 2006.
Taggart Shines At Quarterback
Senior quarterback Ryan Taggart (Bedford, Texas) is in his second year as the starter for the Crusaders in 2011. In eight games played so far this year, he has connected on 207 of 328 passes for 2,229 yards and 11 touchdowns with six interceptions, in addition to leading the team in rushing with 363 yards and six scores on 94 carries. During the Bucknell game, Taggart completed 32 of 58 attempts for 380 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Previously against Dartmouth, he rushed 23 times for a career-high 176 yards, and completed 29 of 41 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns. Taggart set a new school single-game record for the most rushing yards by a quarterback against the Big Green, breaking the mark set by Jack Lentz against Richmond in 1964 with 173 yards. Earlier in the season at New Hampshire, he completed 40 of 57 passes for a career-high 412 yards and two touchdowns, in addition to rushing for 55 yards and two scores on 12 carries. With that performance, Taggart placed third on the Holy Cross single-game lists for both completions (40) and yards of total offense (467), while ranking ninth for passing yards (412). Some of his other top performances this season have been against Harvard (hitting on 22 of 35 passes for 320 yards and a touchdown, while rushing for 34 yards and a score on nine attempts), Colgate (completing 13 of 16 passes for 223 yards and two touchdowns, in addition to rushing for a score), Brown (connecting on 27 of 43 attempts for 243 yards and a score) and Massachusetts (hitting on 23 of 44 attempts for 246 yards and a touchdown, while rushing for 15 yards and a score on nine carries). Last year, Taggart connected on 185 of 317 passes for 1,899 yards and 14 touchdowns, in addition to ranking second on the team in rushing with 284 yards and five scores on 85 carries. During his career with the Crusaders, he has now completed 394 of 647 passes for 4,131 yards and 25 touchdowns, in addition to rushing for 654 yards and 11 scores on 182 carries.
Crusaders Look To Post Another Winning Season
In 2011, Holy Cross is attempting to finish with a winning record for the seventh year in a row. The Crusaders concluded the 2010 season with an overall mark of 6-5, after going 9-3 in 2009 (marking only the ninth time in the school history the team has won at least nine games). Holy Cross previously went 7-4 in 2006, 2007 and 2008, and its 36-20 mark over the last five seasons is its best in a five-year span since going 39-15-1 from 1989-1993. Holy Cross also posted a winning record in 2005 (6-5), and has an overall mark of 42-25 since the beginning of the 2005 campaign. This marks the first time the Crusaders have posted six straight winning seasons since finishing with a winning mark in seven straight years from 1986-1992.
Balanced Group Of Wide Outs Excel For Holy Cross
The Crusaders have a number of outstanding weapons in the passing game this season, and they all have recorded career games so far this season. Junior wide out Gerald Mistretta (Brooklyn, N.Y.) had six catches for a career-best 136 yards and a touchdown at New Hampshire, then posted a career-high 12 receptions for 103 yards and a score against Dartmouth. Overall in 2011, Mistretta has caught 47 passes for 555 yards and five touchdowns, to lead the team in all three categories. Sophomore wide receiver Mike Fess (Caldwell, N.J.) set career-highs by catching 11 passes for 95 yards and a score at New Hampshire. On the year, Fess ranks second on the team with 41 receptions for 374 yards and two scores. Sophomore wide out Kyle Toulouse (Arlington, Va.) posted a career-high 13 receptions for a career-best 110 yards at New Hampshire, tying for second place on the school single-game list for most catches. Overall this season, Toulouse stands third on the squad with 29 catches for 304 yards and one touchdown. Sophomore wide receiver Nate Stanley (Euclid, Ohio) had career-highs of nine catches and 109 yards at Bucknell, while sophomore wide out Jon Smith (Matawan, N.J.) added a career-high four catches for 43 yards against UMass and three receptions for a career-high 51 yards at Bucknell. Stanley has totaled 18 receptions for 216 yards on the year, while Smith has 16 catches for 185 yards.
The Last Meeting With Lehigh
Lehigh quarterback Chris Lum accounted for 276 yards of total offense and three touchdowns, to lead the Mountain Hawks to a 34-17 victory over Holy Cross at Fitton Field on Nov. 6, 2010. Following the contest, Lum received the Dr. Edward N. Anderson Award as the game's most valuable player. The Mountain Hawks opened the scoring at the 2:10-mark of the first quarter on a 21-yard touchdown pass from Lum to Craig Zurn. Holy Cross came back with a 29-yard field goal by Rob Dornfried midway through the second quarter to make the score 7-3. But on the final play before halftime, Lum tossed a five-yard scoring strike to Alex Wojdowski, and Lehigh led 14-3 heading into the locker room. Lum connected with Jake Drwal for a 30-yard touchdown early in the second half, before Gerald Mistretta scored on a two-yard run to make the score 21-10 heading into the fourth quarter. The Mountain Hawks then put the game away with a 17-yard touchdown run by Zack Barket and a pair of field goals by Tom Randazza. The Crusaders concluded the scoring with a nine-yard scoring strike from Ryan Taggart to Bill Edger. On the defensive side of the ball, the Crusaders were led by Ricky Otis with 14 total tackles and a forced fumble, while C.J. Martin totaled eight tackles with an interception and a tackle for loss. Taggart completed 17 of 31 passes for 178 yards and a touchdown, while Edger finished with six catches for 73 yards and a score.
Trio Of Seniors Lead Linebackers
Senior linebacker C.J. Martin (Plano, Texas), senior linebacker Ricky Otis (Cleves, Ohio) and senior linebacker Jimmy Thomas (Severn, Md.) are once again key parts of the Holy Cross defense in 2011. Otis currently leads the team with 65 tackles so far this season, including one sack and six tackles for loss. He totaled nine solo tackles with one tackle for loss at Brown, after previously recording 10 tackles with two tackles for loss against Massachusetts, nine tackles and a sack at New Hampshire and nine tackles against Colgate. Last season, Otis led the team with 108 total tackles and earned first team All-Patriot League honors, despite missing two games due to injury. He reached double-figures in tackles six times in 2010, including a career-high 17 tackles at Lafayette. Over the course of his Holy Cross career, Otis now has 200 total tackles, eight tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries and five pass breakups. Martin ranks fourth on the team with 47 tackles in seven games this season, including three sacks. He had a season-best 11 tackles against Georgetown, while recording nine tackles and one sack at New Hampshire, eight tackles at Brown and four tackles with two sacks at Bucknell. Martin ranked second on the team with 95 total tackles last year, including 61 solo stops and two tackles for loss. He recorded double-digit tackles four times in 2010, with a high of 18 tackles at Massachusetts. Over the course of his collegiate career, Martin has now recorded 175 tackles, five tackles for loss, two interceptions and three pass breakups. Thomas has totaled 44 tackles, five tackles for loss, an interception and a pass breakup in seven games played this year. He had 10 tackles, one tackle for loss and a 60-yard interception return for a touchdown against Colgate, while finishing with 10 tackles, two tackles for loss and a pass breakup at Brown. Thomas previously recorded 35 tackles with five tackles for loss in 2010, after totaling 67 tackles, nine tackles for loss and four sacks in 2009. Over the course of his Holy Cross career, Thomas now has 148 tackles, 19 tackles for loss and five sacks.
Crusaders In The Patriot League
Now in its 26th season of play in the Patriot League, Holy Cross owns an all-time record of 79-62 (.560) in conference action. The Crusaders won their last conference championship in 2009, clinching the title with a 28-26 victory over Lafayette to earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA playoffs. Holy Cross' six Patriot League championships (all of them outright) have come in 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991 and 2009. The Crusaders are tied for the second-most championships in conference history, behind only Lehigh with nine titles. In 2009, Holy Cross won five Patriot League games for just the fourth time in school history. The Crusaders previously went 5-1 in 2008, while posting 5-0 conference records in 1990 and 1991.
Fenner & Mannix Stand Out In Secondary
Senior cornerback Chandler Fenner (Virginia Beach, Va.) and junior strong safety Tom Mannix (Kenilworth, N.J.) are both enjoying strong seasons in the Holy Cross secondary. In eight games played so far this year, Fenner has recorded 58 tackles, an interception, two forced fumbles and a team-high 11 pass breakups. During the Bucknell game, he recorded eight total tackles, a sack and a pass breakup. Previously at Brown, Fenner tied for the team lead with 10 total tackles, and tied his career high with three pass breakups. Some of his other top games this season have been against New Hampshire (12 tackles and a forced fumble to set up the game-tying touchdown in the fourth quarter), Harvard (seven tackles, one interception, two pass breakups), Dartmouth (six tackles, one forced fumble) and Massachusetts (four tackles, three pass breakups). Last season, Fenner earned first team All-Patriot League honors after finishing with 58 tackles, one quarterback sack, two tackles for loss, four pass breakups, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a blocked punt. Over the course of his Holy Cross career, Fenner has now totaled 148 tackles, one interception, four forced fumbles and 15 pass breakups in 41 games played. Mannix ranks second on the team with 59 total tackles so far this year, to go along with two forced fumbles, an interception, a fumble recovery and seven pass breakups. During the victory over Dartmouth, he led the team with eight total tackles and recorded his first interception of the season. Earlier in the season, Mannix had a career-high 11 tackles, a forced fumble and a pass breakup against Massachusetts, while totaling 10 tackles, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a pass breakup at New Hampshire. During his career with the Crusaders, he has now totaled 110 tackles, two interceptions, three forced fumbles and 13 pass breakups.
Football Legends Ring Of Honor Inducts Second Class
The athletic department at the College of the Holy Cross recognized four former football standouts on Sept. 1, as the second class of the Crusader Football Legends Ring of Honor. George Connor (1942-1943), Bruce Kozerski (1980-1983), Jon Morris (1961-1963) and Joe Wilson (1970-1972) were honored in a ceremony prior to the UMass game, and received permanent recognition at Fitton Field. Only former Crusader football players who have been elected to the Holy Cross Varsity Club Hall of Fame are eligible for this honor, which is an annual event each fall. In 2010, the inaugural class in the Crusader Football Legends Ring of Fame included, Gill Fenerty (Class of 1986), Gordie Lockbaum (Class of 1988), Edmund Murphy (Class of 1943), Bill Osmanski (Class of 1939), Vince Promuto (Class of 1960) and John Provost (Class of 1975).
Holy Cross In The NCAA Statistics
Seven Crusaders are ranked among the NCAA leaders in various statistical categories, through games of Oct. 29. As a team, Holy Cross ranks 11th in the nation in fewest first downs allowed, passing defense and punt return coverage. The rankings:
|Category||Rank||Player / Team||Avg. / Pct.|
|Total Offense||4||Ryan Taggart||324.0|
|Passes Defended||5||Chandler Fenner||1.5|
|Field Goals||7||John Macomber||1.6|
|First Downs Allowed||11||Holy Cross||16.1|
|Passing Defense||11||Holy Cross||165.0|
|Punt Return Coverage||11||Holy Cross||3.8|
|Passing Yards||12||Ryan Taggart||278.6|
|Quarterback Sacks||14||Mike Tucker||1.0|
|Fewest Penalties||16||Holy Cross||5.0|
|First Downs||16||Holy Cross||22.1|
|Total Defense||17||Holy Cross||312.4|
|Scoring Defense||21||Holy Cross||20.1|
|Fewest Penalty Yards||26||Holy Cross||44.5|
|Points Responsible For||29||Ryan Taggart||12.8|
|Pass Efficiency Defense||30||Holy Cross||114.9|
|Receiving Yards||43||Gerald Mistretta||69.4|
Crusaders Among League Leaders
Several Holy Cross players rank at or near the top of the Patriot League standings in a number of statistical categories, through games of Oct. 29. Senior quarterback Ryan Taggart leads the way by ranking second in the league in passing yards (278.6 yards/game) and total offense (324.0 yards/game), while standing fourth in pass efficiency (127.6 rating). Sophomore placekicker John Macomber (Vienna, Va.) currently leads the conference in field goals (1.6 made/game) and ranks fifth in scoring (6.4 points/game), while junior wide receiver Gerald Mistretta stands third in both receptions (5.9 catches/game) and receiving yards (69.4 yards/game). In addition, sophomore cornerback Andrew Zitnik (Warren, Ohio) ranks second in kickoff returns (23.2 yards/return), senior punter Corey Page (Tampa, Fla.) stands third in punting (37.1 yards/punt), sophomore wide receiver Mike Fess is fourth in receptions (5.1 catches/game) and sophomore wide out Kyle Toulouse ranks fifth in receptions (4.8 catches/game). As a team, Holy Cross leads the league in passing defense (165.0 yards/game) and pass efficiency defense (114.9 rating); while standing second in scoring defense (20.1 points/game), total offense (404.8 yards/game), total defense (312.4 yards/game), passing offense (278.6 yards/game) and net punting (35.2 yards/punt); and ranking third in pass efficiency (127.2 rating).
Schneider & Hauser Shine At Tight End
Senior tight end Alex Schneider (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) and junior tight end Josh Hauser (Dallas, Texas) have both been key parts of the Holy Cross passing game in 2011. In eight games played so far this year, Schneider has caught eight passes for 83 yards and a touchdown. In 11 games last season, he ranked fourth on the team with 30 receptions for 217 yards and a score. During the 2010 victory over Fordham, Schneider totaled four catches for 31 yards and a touchdown. An All-Patriot League selection in each of the last two years, Schneider finished the 2009 campaign ranked fourth on the team with 33 receptions for 275 yards, while his six touchdown catches were the second-most on the squad. He ranked second among Patriot League tight ends in both receptions and receiving yards in 2009, and finished the 2009 season with a streak of 10 straight games with at least one catch. Over the course of his Holy Cross career, Schneider has now totaled 71 catches for 575 yards and eight touchdowns. Hauser has made 10 receptions for 169 yards and a touchdown in seven games played this year. He had a career-best three catches for 22 yards against Massachusetts in the season opener, and also caught a 68-yard touchdown pass in the win over Harvard. Over the course of his collegiate career, Hauser has totaled 15 receptions for 212 yards and a touchdown.
Defending The Home Turf
Holy Cross has enjoyed great success at Fitton Field over the years, and has a 3-2 mark at home so far in 2011. The Crusaders, who played their first game at Fitton Field in 1903, have posted an all-time home mark of 366-169-27 (.675). From Oct. 11, 2008-Oct. 9, 2010, Holy Cross had a streak of 13 straight victories at home. The Crusaders had a perfect 6-0 mark at Fitton Field in 2009, and finished the 2010 campaign with a winning record at home for the fifth straight season. Fitton Field is the second-oldest stadium still used for Division I college football, behind only Franklin Field at the University of Pennsylvania (opened in 1895).
Defense Steps Up In The Red Zone
The Holy Cross defense has turned in some of its top performances of the 2011 season once the opposing team reaches the red zone. Overall this year, Crusader opponents have moved the ball inside the 20-yard line 30 times, and have scored only 13 touchdowns. Holy Cross has forced the opposition to attempt 12 field goals (nine of which were made), caused two turnovers (one interception and one fumble) and stopped the other team on fourth down three times. The Crusaders overall percentage of allowing the opposition to score just 73.3 percent of the time once reaching the red zone currently leads the Patriot League.
Taggart Climbs The Career Charts
Even though he is only in his second season as Holy Cross' starting quarterback, senior Ryan Taggart has already placed his name among the school's all-time leaders in a number of statistical categories. Entering this week, he ranks third in career completion percentage (.609); fourth in career pass efficiency rating (123.3); sixth in career completions (394); seventh in career passing touchdowns (25), career passing yards (4,131) and career yards of total offense (4,785); and eighth in career pass attempts (647).
Head Coach Tom Gilmore
A two-time Patriot League Coach of the Year (in 2006 and 2009), Tom Gilmore is in his eighth season as the head football coach at Holy Cross in 2011. In 2009, Gilmore led the Crusaders to an overall record of 9-3, the Patriot League championship and a trip to the NCAA playoffs. Also a finalist for the 2009 Eddie Robinson Award, he currently owns an overall record of 49-37 during his time at Holy Cross, including a 46-29 mark since the beginning of the 2005 campaign. Gilmore has led the Crusaders to winning records in six straight seasons, including 7-4 marks in 2006, 2007 and 2008, along with winning streaks of six games (in 2008) and five games (in 2006 and 2009). Two of Gilmore's players, Dominic Randolph (2007, 2008 and 2009) and Steve Silva (2005), have been named the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year, with Silva also earning first team All-America honors. Gilmore has also led the Crusaders to four victories over ranked opponents, three of which came in 2009. Prior to his time at Holy Cross, Gilmore served as an assistant coach at Lehigh (2000-2003), Dartmouth (1992-1999), Pennsylvania (1986, 1990-1991) and Columbia (1987-1989). An Academic All-American at Pennsylvania, Gilmore graduated in 1986 with a bachelor's degree in computer mathematics. He was the Ivy League Player of the Year as a senior and helped lead the Quakers to four consecutive Ivy League titles.
Holy Cross has three captains during the 2011 football season. Senior offensive tackle Mike McCabe, senior linebacker Ricky Otis and senior quarterback Mark Tolzien (Rolling Meadows, Ill.) were named the team's captains by head coach Tom Gilmore following the conclusion of spring practice. These three players have taken over the leadership role from Anthony DiMichele, Sean Lamkin and Freddie Santana, who served as the Crusaders' captains during the 2010 season.
Tradition Of Excellence
The 2011 campaign marks the 116th season of Holy Cross football. The Crusaders currently own an overall record of 603-476-54, good for a .556 winning percentage. Prior to the start of the 2011 season, Holy Cross' 599 all-time victories ranked as the 16th most among all Division I-AA schools. Holy Cross has had 31 first team All-America selections, sent 69 players on to professional football, won five Lambert Cups, claimed six Patriot League championships, and was named the Division I-AA Team of the Year in 1987. The Crusaders also played in the 1946 Orange Bowl, losing to host Miami on the game's final play.
Crusaders On The Radio
All of Holy Cross' games in 2011 will air on WTAG 580 AM and 94.9 FM in Worcester. Holy Cross Hall of Famer Bob Fouracre is in his 42nd season calling the play-by-play for Holy Cross football, and his 26th year covering the Crusaders on the radio. Former Holy Cross standouts Tom Kelleher and Gordie Lockbaum will serve as color commentators for selected games this season. All of the Crusaders' games will also be available free of charge over the internet by clicking here. In addition, WCHC 88.1 FM, the Holy Cross student station, will carry a number of games this year.
Holy Cross On Television
The Crusaders are scheduled to have five games shown on live television during the 2011 season. Here is a look at Holy Cross' television schedule for the 2011 campaign:
Sept. 1 vs. Massachusetts: CBS Sports Network
Sept. 17 vs. Harvard: Charter TV3
Oct. 15 vs. Dartmouth: Charter TV3
Nov. 5 at Lehigh: Service Electric
Nov. 12 vs. Lafayette: Lafayette Sports Network
The Holy Cross Football Show
Every Tuesday during the season, head coach Tom Gilmore will be joined by Bob Fouracre for the Holy Cross Football Show. The show airs live from 1:00-1:30 p.m. exclusively on the internet, with archives of all the shows available to those who can not listen in live. The show is carried free of charge, and can be heard by clicking here.
Live video streaming of several 2011 Holy Cross regular season home football games will be available over the internet through Crusader Vision. The package, done in association with Stretch Internet, is available for $8.95 per game. For details on how to view games through Crusader Vision, click here.
Scouting The Mountain Hawks
Lehigh enters this week's game ranked eighth in the nation by the Sports Network, with an overall record of 7-1 and a 2-0 mark in the Patriot League. The Mountain Hawks have won their last six games, and are coming off a 45-25 victory at Colgate. Senior quarterback Chris Lum has led the Lehigh offense by completing 221 of 323 passes for 2,816 yards and 30 touchdowns with 12 interceptions so far this year. Junior tailback Zach Barket has rushed for 544 yards and four touchdowns on 103 carries, while junior wide out Ryan Spadola has a team-best 67 catches for 1,157 yards and 10 scores. Defensively, the Mountain Hawks are led by senior linebacker Mike Groome with 65 tackles, four tackles for loss and three interceptions. Andy Coen is in his sixth season as Lehigh's head coach, and owns a career record of 37-28. Prior to taking over as head coach for the Mountain Hawks, Coen spent 10 years as offensive coordinator at both Lehigh and Penn.
During the Oct. 29 game against Georgetown, the Crusaders wore pink shoelaces as part of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month ... Sophomore placekicker John Macomber has connected on 11 out of 12 field goal attempts so far this season. He is on pace to break the school single-season record of 12 field goals made (which has been done five times) and the single-season mark for field goal percentage (currently held by Chris Vella, who made 12 of 14 attempts in 2002) ... Senior offensive tackle Mike McCabe (Watertown, Conn.) was selected as a semifinalist for the 2011 William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame to the top scholar-athlete in the nation ... Senior quarterback Ryan Taggart had a school-record streak of 209 consecutive passes thrown without an interception from Oct. 23, 2010-Oct. 1, 2011 ... Sophomore tailback Reggie Woods (Bowie, Md.) ranks second on the team in rushing with 327 yards on 86 carries through eight games played ... Sophomore linebacker Mike Tucker (Chester Springs, Pa.) recorded four total tackles and three quarterback sacks during the victory over Bucknell. He now leads the team with eight sacks on the season, while totaling 21 tackles ... In the victory over Colgate on Sept. 10, the Holy Cross offense averaged 7.8 yards per play, and did not punt once the entire game ... During the season-opening game against Massachusetts on Sept. 1, a total of 15,942 fans showed up at Fitton Field. That marked the largest home attendance for the Crusaders since Oct. 20, 1990, when a crowd of 17,848 was on hand to watch Holy Cross defeat Lehigh 34-22 ... Holy Cross was picked third in the 2011 Patriot League preseason poll of the conference's head coaches and sports information directors, behind Lehigh and Colgate ... In three of the last four years, the Holy Cross football team has received an NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate Public Recognition Award, for posting multi-year APR scores in the top 10 percent of all football squads in the nation.