Looking at Colgate

(I’ll try to keep a tally on the total number of toothpaste puns I hear this week…..)

Following the season-opening loss at Montana, the University of South Dakota football team turns its attention to this Saturday’s home opener against Colgate. Game time is 2 p.m. at the DakotaDome.

Colgate is an interesting opponent in the sense that it’s not like traditional foes for USD — small, private college located in the eastern time zone. Let’s examine some key notes about the Colgate Raiders.

  • Located in Hamilton, N.Y., it has an enrollment of 2,900.
  • Colgate competes in the Patriot League, a traditionally-strong Division I FCS conference. The Patriot League did not offer football scholarships until league presidents voted to approve scholarships starting with the 2013 recruiting class.
  • Head coach Dick Biddle is in his 17th season and boasts a record of 125-62 at Colgate.
  • Raiders were 6-5 last season, 1-4 in the Patriot. They return 15 starters (8 defense, 7 offense), including pre-season league quarterback Gavin McCarney and running back Jordan McCord (named to the FCS Watch List by the College Football Performance Awards).
  • Interesting to note that Colgate typically plays teams in its own neighborhood, in states like New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Washington D.C. In fact, Colgate has not played a game west of the state of Illinois since 1999.
  • When I spoke to coach Biddle on the phone Monday he said twice that South Dakota is a “national title caliber type of program.” He even went on say that USD might eventually move to the FBS ranks. Highly doubtful.

I’ll have more on Saturday’s game later in the week. Stay tuned.

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