Colgate hopes to be spelled with a 'D'

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.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.