The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

October 27, 2013

Todd Hummel's college football column: Bucknell ruins plan


Daily Item

---- — Those who know me, even tangentially, quickly figure out that planning things isn't my strong suit.

In fact, it's probably the character flaw that drives the more Type-A people in my family the most nuts.

So with a long day at my other job planned for Sunday, believe it or not, I had a plan for this column: Write about a national television audience getting a chance to see Bloomsburg University on Thursday night as the Huskies go for a measure of revenge against a Shippensburg team that beat them twice last season.

However, those plans started falling apart when I got settled in the press box at Redman Stadium and started checking scores just after 2 p.m.

Is that right?

Bucknell leads No. 15 Lehigh, 27-0?

Playing one of the favorites in the Patriot League, a team they hadn't beaten since 1998, that score had to be a misprint. It wasn't.

The Bison rolled the Mountain Hawks, 48-10, and made a huge statement in Patriot League.

Some of the streaks Bucknell broke Saturday besides a 15-year losing streak to Lehigh: It was Bucknell's first win homecoming since 2005; it was the first Bison win over a ranked opponent since a win over No. 13 Holy Cross in the 2009 season finale; and it was Bucknell's first Patriot League win since 2011.

Bison coach Joe Susan was quite adamant that his team hadn't checked out for the season when they were 1-4 and had turned the ball over 15 times in that period.

The fourth-year coach also knew injuries had decimated his offense and the Bison lacked a big-play threat outside.

With quarterback Brandon Wesley, running backs C.J Williams and Matt DelMauro, along with defensive end Sean Sellers, returning for last week's win over Dartmouth, the Bison's depth issues have been solved as have the turnover issues with just one the past two games.

Freshman receiver Will Carter has taken care of the big-play-threat part of the equation. Carter, who didn't play in the first four games, has 21 catches for 390 yards in the last three, including six grabs for 130 yards against Lehigh.

Defense has also played a large role. A week after recording eight sacks against Dartmouth, the Bison intercepted four passes, including two by Matthew Steinback, against Lehigh.

The Bison get a chance to throw an even bigger crimp in the Patriot League race this weekend. Bucknell travels to Colgate, one of two undefeated teams left in the Patriot League. Despite a 3-5 record overall, the Big Red have won nine consecutive conference games.

n

Ursinus receiver Jerry Rahill had 12 catches 148 yards and a touchdown in the Bears' victory over Susquehanna on Saturday.

If that name sounds familiar to Selinsgrove fans, Rahill was the quarterback for Archbishop Wood when the Seals beat the Vikings 28-0 in the PIAA semifinals in 2009. Crusaders coach Steve Briggs' son Cory quarterbacked the Seals in the game.

n Todd Hummel covers college football for The Daily Item. Email comments to sports@dailyitem.com.