2015 CFB Preview – Bucknell

    Bucknell BisonGo to Team Page BisonGo to Selection Page           The potential is there to not only be better, but to actually win the Patriot League. By

    April 3, 2019

     
       

    The potential is there to not only be better, but to actually win the Patriot League.

    By Rich Cirminiello | @RichCirminiello

    The Bison are trending north, but head coach Joe Susan won’t be satisfied until Bucknell captures its first Patriot League title since 1996.

    16 starters return from the team that won eight games in 2014, its most in 17 years. Also helping the cause is the healthy return of QB R.J. Nitti after suffering a season-ending injury late last year. Nitti, though, must do a better job of maximizing his top playmakers, RB C.J. Williams and WR Will Carter, even though the line loses three key linemen.

    On the other side, the league-best defense will continue to be the Bison’s calling card. Yeah, there are holes, but coordinator Matt Borich has the blueprint and the building blocks in DT Abdullah Anderson and safeties Clayton Sewell and Louis Taglianetti.

    Just how good was the defense?

    The Patriot League’s premier front seven was the reason Bucknell allowed a league-low three yards a carry, while notching a league-high 38 sacks in 2014.

    Matching those numbers, though, won’t be easy the season after all-star NG Demetrius Baldwin-Youngblood and linebackers Evan Byers and Lee Marvel graduated. Even so, expect something big from the Bison.

    Bucknell has built a head of steam under Susan, and now a conference title is on the table.

    As long as the offensive line is able to come up with key reinforcements, the firepower should be there to keep up with anyone in the conference.

    That means the goals this fall are simple—win the Patriot League and represent the conference in the playoffs. Since defending champ Fordham faces wholesale changes, this could be Bucknell’s year, despite having to face the Rams in the Bronx Nov. 7.

    What You Need To Know About The Offense: From the team that won eight games in 2014, the Bison’s most in 17 years, 16 starters return. Plus, QB R.J. Nitti is healthy again after suffering a season-ending injury late last year. Nitti, though, must do a better job of maximizing his top playmakers, RB C.J. Williams and WR Will Carter, in spite of the loss of three bedrock offensive linemen. Williams and Carter each accounted for nine touchdowns last season to provide the attack with balance and big-play potential at the skill positions. And second-leading rusher Matt DelMauro is back in the fold as well. Now, someone other than LT Julie’n Davenport must block more consistently, because another year of yielding 29 sacks will lower this group’s ceiling.

    What You Need To Know About The Defense: While the offense is improving, the D remains the calling card in Lewisburg. Yeah, there are serious holes to fill, but coordinator Matt Borich has the blueprint and the building blocks, namely DT Abdullah Anderson and safeties Clayton Ewell and Louis Taglianetti, for continued success. Ewell had a team-high four picks a year ago, while Taglianetti has been named a captain for 2015. The Patriot League’s premier front seven was the reason Bucknell allowed a league-low three yards a carry, while notching a league-high 38 sacks in 2014. However, even approaching similar results will require a next-man-in mindset, because all-star NG Demetrius Baldwin-Youngblood and linebackers Evan Byers and Lee Marvel have exhausted their eligibility and won’t be easily replaced.

    Head Coach: Joe Susan
    6th year: 24-31
    7th year overall: 34-31
    Schedule
    Sept. 5 Marist
    Sept. 12 Duquesne
    Sept. 19 at Cornell
    Sept. 26 OPEN DATE
    Oct. 3 at VMI
    Oct. 10 Lehigh
    Oct. 17 at Army
    Oct. 24 Georgetown
    Oct. 31 at Lafayette
    Nov. 7 at Fordham
    Nov. 14 Holy Cross
    Nov. 21 at Colgate
    Nov. 28 OPEN DATE
    Ten Best Bucknell
    Players
    1. WR Will Carter
    2. RB C.J. Williams
    3. DB Louis Taglianetti
    4. DE Jimmy King
    5. DB Clayton Ewell
    6. WR Bobby Kaslander
    7. QB R.J. Nitti
    8. DE Doug Whitlock
    9. DB Nick O’Brien
    10. RB Matt DelMauro

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