Holy Cross Four Down Preview: No. 9 Holy Cross Crusaders (6-0) @ Lafayette Leopards (2-4)

Image courtesy of ESPN

Kick off: Following a not-really-needed but much appreciated bye week, Holy Cross hits the road looking to remain unbeaten and inch one step closer to a fourth straight Patriot League title. Lafayette enters the game at 2-5 and doesn’t seem to pose much of a threat to the run away freight train that is the crusaders right now.

First down: The Leopards have scored six, 14, seven, zero, seven, zero, 24 and two points in six games this season, so needless to say, the Crusaders should have a relatively easy time on defense. With a ferocious pass rush, linebackers that can cover from sideline to sideline and a secondary that feels like its disrespected every time they touch the field, this has all the makings of a Bucknell-like blowout on the way.

Second down: Offensively, it’s hard to imagine the Leopards stopping Matt Sluka, Jalen Coker, Ayir Asante and company in this one. As we continue writing, Sluka is pushing for FCS MVP honors at this point while Coker and Asante are two of the best receivers in the entire country. Add Jordan Fuller and Justin Shorter mix along with Peter Oliver and there are just too many weapons to stop on this offensive unit.

Third down: Special teams might sneaky be the best unit Holy Cross has too. Devin Haskins has become a punt blocking machine and there are guys on the team playing major roles (Asante, Haskins, etc.) that genuinely love playing on special teams and have said as much over and over again. You know you’ve built a strong culture when guys are demanding to be part of the unit because they feel like they can make a big play at any time. Let’s not forget one of the most consistent kickers in the country too with Derek Ng.

Fourth down: If there was any trepidation for Holy Cross fans that maybe, just maybe this team will have a let down, that just isn’t going to happen. This staff has been the model of consistency when it comes to making sure players are locked in on the day-to-day process and nothing else. With a fourth straight Patriot League title and a massive matchup with Fordham looming at Fitton Field this weekend, the idea of a trap game is almost non-existent with this team.

Extra point: When Chesney was asked whether or not there’s a feeling of the “playoff push” coming as the calendar turns to late October, he vehemently denied any look ahead factor. Chesney and his team know what’s at stake each and every week at this point, but there is a remarkable ability to block out all the noise that many college programs simply can’t master.

Final drive: While Holy Cross can’t look ahead yet, we can. The matchup with Fordham next Saturday will most likely determine the Patriot League champion. Chesney and the rest of his staff are treating every game like a playoff game at this point, which is bad news for Lafayette. Expect this one to be over at halftime, that way we can all start turning our attention to what should be an incredible atmosphere at Fitton Field on October 29th.