(STATS) - Bolstered by 14 returning starters and one of the more explosive offenses in the FCS, Lehigh will seek a second straight and 12th overall Patriot League title during its 11-game 2017 schedule which was announced Monday.
Coach Andy Coen's team will play six home games at Goodman Stadium, including the Sept. 2 season opener against Villanova as Mark Ferrante makes his debut as the visiting Wildcats' coach.
"It will be an early opportunity to test ourselves against a strong CAA program," Coen said.
Lehigh also will host Ivy League members Yale (Sept. 16) and Penn (Sept. 23) as well Patriot League squads Georgetown (Oct. 14), Holy Cross (Nov. 11) and Lafayette (Nov. 18), which will face the Mountain Hawks for the 153rd time in college football's most-played series.
The road games are against Monmouth (Sept. 9), Wagner (Sept. 30) and Patriot League foes Colgate (Oct. 7), Fordham (Oct. 28) and Bucknell (Nov. 4).
"It is important to challenge our program every year," Coen said.
The Mountain Hawks, who are coming off their first FCS playoff berth since 2011, finished 9-3 and 21st in the STATS FCS Top 25 last season. Among their returnees are two-time 1,000-yard running back Dom Bragalone as well as wide receivers Troy Pelletier and Gatlin Casey, who each went over 1,100 receiving yards last season.
2017 Lehigh Schedule
Sept. 2, Villanova
Sept. 9, at Monmouth
Sept. 16, Yale
Sept. 23, Penn
Sept. 30, at Wagner
Oct. 7, at Colgate*
Oct. 14, Georgetown*
Oct. 28, at Fordham*
Nov. 4, at Bucknell*
Nov. 11, Holy Cross*
Nov. 18, Lafayette*
* - Patriot League game