RELATED: Holy Cross Football Preview
Here are game-by-game predictions for the Crusaders, who are No. 4 in HERO Sports’ FCS Preseason Top 25.
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This is a sneaky good opening matchup. Merrimack has been transitioning from D2 to the NEC, where it finished 8-3 overall and 6-1 in the conference standings last fall. If Holy Cross is as good as advertised, though, the Crusaders should win by at least 14 points.
at Boston College
This is one of two winnable FBS games for Holy Cross in 2023. Boston College was just 3-9 last year.
It wouldn’t be a surprise if the Crusaders got two FBS wins. But more than likely, they get one of two, and the game below seems like a higher probability for a victory.
Holy Cross beat Yale 38-14 last year at home. Yale went on to finish 8-2 overall and 6-1 in the Ivy League standings.
Going on the road makes it a more formidable challenge. Not to mention coming off of a physical battle against a Power Five team. But this is the season-opener for Yale, so Holy Cross will be a bit more polished in its execution.
The Crusaders haven’t lost a Patriot League game since 2019. They continue the streak against Colgate, who they beat 35-10 last year.
Holy Cross battled Harvard to a 30-21 road win in 2022. Harvard ended 6-4 overall and 4-3 in the Ivy League. The Crusaders should get a win at home.
Bucknell will be overwhelmed in this one as Holy Cross heads into its bye week.
Holy Cross went 11-0 last regular season, featuring an FBS win over Buffalo and a ranked win over No. 21 Fordham. Yet it still only received a No. 8 seed. A big reason for that was its strength of schedule ranking in the upper-70s. But another critique was that the Crusaders had some close games against inferior opponents.
An example was only beating Lafayette, who finished 4-7 overall, by three points. An FBS win or wins will carry plenty of weight, but dominating its weaker FCS SOS also will be weighted when it comes to playoff seeds.
In a helluva overtime battle last year, Holy Cross won 53-52. Both teams ended up making the postseason, which doesn’t happen often for the Patriot League.
Fordham loses its All-American QB Tim DeMorat, its top 2 WRs, and its top RB. Holy Cross wins again.
Lehigh went 2-9 in 2022, including a 42-14 loss to the Crusaders.
Holy Cross has back-to-back seasons of FBS wins, beating UConn 38-28 in 2021 and Buffalo 37-31 last year on a Hail Mary.
Army finished 6-6 in 2022, but it ranks just No. 102 on ESPN’s 2023 FBS College Football Power Index. Holy Cross has the style of play and linebackers to contain Army’s offensive attack. This is its chance for a signature win for the season, or possibly its second signature/FBS win.
A day before Selection Sunday, Holy Cross can’t afford an emotional letdown. At home and against a struggling Georgetown team that went 2-9 last year with a 47-10 loss to Holy Cross, the Crusaders send one more statement win to the playoff committee that it deserves a high seed.
Regular-Season Record Prediction: 10-1