AP Photo
April 22, 2016
AP Photo

(STATS) - Colgate didn't lose a Patriot League game, went 9-5 overall and won two FCS playoff games on the road last season.

Yet the Raiders were outscored by the opposition 401-356.

"Last year, we were a good defense and we were great at times," all-league linebacker Kyle Diener said. "Now we want to be a great defense all the time."

Colgate has used its spring practices in that pursuit. The Raiders will wrap up their drills Saturday with a look toward preseason camp in August and then a possible defense of the league title.

Diener, the team's tackle leader each of the past two seasons, and dominating defensive end Pat Afriyie are the headliners for a defense which returns nine starters and figures to improve significantly.

The unit also will get back two 2014 starters, defensive tackle Victor Steffen and cornerback Adam Bridgeforth, who were injured last season.

With an offense that also returns nine starters, coach Dan Hunt's squad will be favored to win another Patriot League title. But the Raiders must face Fordham and Lehigh - the league's other top returning squads - on the road.

The Raiders will kick off the season with a Sept. 2 visit to Syracuse.

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