The Colgate Raiders kicked off the 150th anniversary season of college football with the opening game of 2019.
All eyes are on the defending Patriot League champs as they welcomed the Villanova Wildcats to Andy Kerr Stadium.
Over four thousand fans gathered in Hamilton to support the Raiders on opening day!
After a scoreless first quarter, the Wildcats jumped on the board in the second frame. The expectations for Colgate's defense were high, but it was Villanova's defense that was on display, capitalizing on two Colgate turnovers, a fumble and a pick six.
Nova's quarterback Danny Smith completed a 27 point quarter with a 45 yard pass to Changa Hodge and a 15 yarder to Andrew Perez. The Cats piled up 444 yards against the Raiders.
Smith threw for three touchdowns and ran for another for a total of 34 points. To put that in perspective, Colgate gave up just six points in their first seven games last season.
Colgate made some halftime adjustments. Grant Breneman connected with Nick Draught for a 10 yard score for their first points of the season, followed by a Breneman quarterback keeper on 4th and one.
It wasn't enough as Colgate falls to Villanova 34-14.
"They were physical out there," said Raiders quarterback Grant Breneman. " Especially with our wideouts, it took them a little time to settle in. It took me time to settle in too, get a rhythm with them. We found it just a little bit too late. It was our fault. Offense left the defense on the field way too long so they got a couple stops in the third quarter but ran out of gas. Kind of when we needed to make the last charge. We just got a keep on getting better and getting better as a team."
"I think our team tried to hold it's own," added Raiders defensive back Abu Daramy-Swaray. "I have no doubt in my mind that every guy gave every little effort they could. I mean Nova got the best of us. They're also a very good team so I got to give it to them."
"It certainly didn't look like offensively we were really moving them off the ball," said head coach Dan Hunt. "They were coming at us with a lot of pressure. Putting a lot of pressure on our line, putting pressure playing man coverage. At times we handled that, at times we didn't. I think that's an area we need to be concerned with. And defensively they were able to run the ball on us which we're not used to seeing around here. But again we got a lot of guys particularly on defense they haven't been on the field yet and they got their feet wet. They say the biggest improvements happen in game one and game two and I hope that's true."
The Raiders will have to regroup quickly because they make a trip to Air Force next Saturday.