2015 CFB Preview – Holy Cross

    Holy Cross CrusadersGo to Team Page CrusadersGo to Selection Page           If the Crusaders can just learn to finish, they’ll be

    April 3, 2019

    Holy Cross
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    If the Crusaders can just learn to finish, they’ll be very dangerous this season.

    By Rich Cirminiello | @RichCirminiello

    Holy Cross has had nagging problems closing out opponents under Tom Gilmore, going 4-17 over the last three years in games decided by a touchdown or less.

    The hope around Worcester, though, is that Peter Pujals, the league’s top returning quarterback, can carry the program to new heights with his poise and his run-pass ability.

    Pujals’ protection is a question mark entering 2015, but his supporting cast is not. Jake Wieczorek and Kalif Raymond form one of the Patriot League’s best pass-catching tandems, and RB Gabe Guild will flourish in new coordinator Brian Rock’s run-oriented system. Defensively …

    The Crusaders are excited by the potential of a veteran front seven that’s going to be led this fall by DT Mike Galantini. But it’s time for the potential to match the production.

    Holy Cross bagged only 19 sacks in 11 games a year ago, while allowing 4.3 yards per carry. Can the D carry its weight?

    After three straight losing seasons, 2015 shapes up as a critical campaign for both Gilmore and his Crusaders. Another disappointing fall could signal a shakeup in the offseason.

    Holy Cross is poised for a mini-resurgence that’ll be spearheaded by Pujals and a defense with untapped potential.

    However, having to face Bucknell and Fordham on the road will keep the Crusaders around the .500 mark and on the outskirts of the Patriot League title hunt.

    What You Need To Know About The Offense: The Crusaders have had nagging problems closing out opponents under head coach Tom Gilmore, going 4-17 over the last three years in games decided by a touchdown or less. However, the hope around Worcester is that Peter Pujals, the league’s top returning quarterback, can carry the program to new heights with his poise and his run-pass ability. He earned second-team All-Patriot League in 2014 by accounting for 16 touchdowns and pacing the team on the ground. And while Pujals’ protection is a question mark entering 2015, his supporting cast is not. Jake Wieczorek and Kalif Raymond form one of the Patriot League’s best pass-catching tandems, and RB Gabe Guild will flourish in new coordinator Brian Rock’s run-oriented system.

    What You Need To Know About The Defense: Pujals may be the face of the program, but the defense has the potential to lug a lot more of the weight this season. The Crusaders are particularly excited by the upside of a veteran front seven that’s going to be headlined this fall by DT Mike Galantini and LB John Zakrzewski. But it’s time for the potential to match the production. Holy Cross bagged just 19 sacks in 11 games, while allowing 4.3 yards per carry. Zakrzewski was one of only two Crusaders to make more than 43 stops, a clear sign he wasn’t getting enough support. Lineman Dean Doe and LB Ryan Smith, in particular, will be counted on to raise the bar after combining for eight sacks last fall.

    Head Coach: Tom Gilmore
    12th year: 60-64
    Schedule
    Sept. 5 at Monmouth
    Sept. 12 OPEN DATE
    Sept. 19 at Towson
    Sept. 26 Colgate
    Oct. 3 Albany
    Oct. 10 Brown
    Oct. 17 at Fordham
    Oct. 24 Lafayette
    Oct. 31 Bryant
    Nov. 7 at Lehigh
    Nov. 14 at Bucknell
    Nov. 21 Georgetown
    Nov. 28 OPEN DATE
    Ten Best Holy Cross
    Players
    1. QB Peter Pujals
    2. LB John Zakrzewski
    3. RB Gabe Guild
    4. WR Jake Wieczorek
    5. DE Dean Doe
    6. DB Steven Martinez
    7. OT Hunter Hudgins
    8. LB Nick McBeath
    9. LB Ryan Smith
    10. OG James Murray

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