HERO Sports welcomes you to "Three-a-Days", where we will preview every single one of the 126 FCS programs, with three teams being released each day from June 17 to July 28. Then, we'll preview all 13 conferences from August 1-4. Today, we present … Holy Cross.
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Holy Cross (6-4 IN 2018)
Patriot League (Holy Cross finished 2nd in 2018)
COACH: Bob Chesney – At School: 2nd year (5-6) Overall: 10th (72-31)
LAST FCS POSTSEASON: 2009 (1st Round)
2018 OFFENSE: 24.4 ppg. (87th in FCS)
2018 DEFENSE: 26.0 ppg. (T43rd in FCS)
KEY GAME: Oct. 26 vs. Colgate: The Raiders are the defending conference champs and a team everyone in the Patriot League has their eye on. The race for the conference title looks to be a tight one, and this game will be a biggie.
SUM IT UP: The Crusaders took a big step forward in 2018. They went 4-2 in the Patriot League and saw their highest finish in the conference standings since 2009. The team brings back seven offensive starters and four defensive starters from that squad. While the losses are significant, the program has absolutely been on a roll in recruiting.
The 2018 class ranked the 50th best in the FCS. This year's class was even better, hauling in the 20th best recruiting class and signing six recruits in the Top 300. There's excitement around this program, something that recruits are obviously noticing.
Even with a number of holes in the starting lineup, Holy Cross plans to be in the conference title mix again. Three players who earned All-Patriot League honors in 2018 are back: OL Brett Boddy, OL Brian Foley and RB Domenic Cozier. Foley was a 2018 HERO Sports Sophomore All-American. Expect a big season for Cozier behind these two stud offensive lineman. He ran for 643 yards and eight touchdowns last year. The Crusaders also bring back Miles Alexander after he ran for 379 yards and three TDs in 2018.
Holy Cross is in search of a new starting quarterback. The top three pass catchers are also gone with tight end Derek Mountain the top returner. He caught 14 passes for 212 yards and four scores a season ago.
While the defense has to replace seven starters, it'll be led by last year's No. 2 and 3 tacklers. Safeties Joe Lang totaled 77 tackles in 2018 and Alex Johnson had 62. Chris Riley is also a playmaker in the defensive backfield and led the team with three interceptions.
OUR TAKE: The Crusaders are going to be challenged in a big way in the nonconference schedule: two FBS games vs. Navy and Syracuse along with facing strong FCS opponents like New Hampshire, Yale and Harvard. This should prepare Holy Cross for the Patriot League, though. The Crusaders lose a lot off of last year's team. But so does the defending champs, Colgate. This team should be right there in the title mix again. And with its recruiting wins recently, watch for Holy Cross to remain a consistent factor for many years.
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COUNTDOWN: The Best Player in FCS Who Wears Each Number, 1-99
TOP RETURNEE: Jr./OL Brian Foley (HERO Sports Sophomore All-American)
THE FOUNDATION: Sr./OL Brett Boddy (All-Conference First Team); Sr./RB Domenic Cozier (AC Second Team, 643 yards rushing and 8 TDs); Sr./TE Derek Mountain (Top returning pass catcher, 14 rec. for 212 yards and 4 TDs); Jr./DB Joe Lang (Top returning tackler, 77 total); Sr./DB Alex Johnson (62 tackles, 7 PBUs)
TOP NEWCOMER: Fr./DL Thomas Kiessling (81st best FCS recruit in 2019)
WERE WE RIGHT?: Last Year's Holy Cross Preview
FCS 2020 NFL PROSPECTS: The List
BEST FCS TRADITIONS: The List
PREVIEWS: The Rest Of The Patriot League
Georgetown | Holy Cross | Lafayette | Lehigh
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