The Bison wrapped up their season Nov. 21 with a nerve-racking 14-10 loss to Colgate. The Orange and Blue put up a fight, but ultimately completed their season 4-7 overall and 1-5 in the conference.
“The 2015 Bucknell Football Team is a one-time entity, and the ties that were created by the student athletes on our team will last forever,” head coach Joe Susan said. “We played very good defensively for most of the season. We were good in certain components of our special teams, such as punt, kickoff, and kickoff return. We underachieved offensively, and it is my responsibility to evaluate all that we do to make sure that we improve.”
The Orange and Blue’s defense proved to be solid all game, with a team-high of 10 tackles from both Connor Golden ’18 and Mark Pyles ’18. Ben Schumacher ’17 tallied a pair of tackles for loss. The Bison were forced to battle back from a 14-0 setback at halftime. Quarterback R.J. Nitti ’17 went 21-for-30 for 295 yards and a touchdown to break the Bison single-season passing yards record of 2,477. During the Colgate game, Nitti recorded three passes over 40 yards, including a 47-yard touchdown pass to Will Carter ’17. Carter caught eight passes for a total of 96 yards. Bobby Kaslander ’16 tallied four receptions for 92 yards.
In the first quarter, a punt from Alex Pechin ’19 pinned Colgate to its own one-yard line, restricting them from moving the ball, allowing the Bison to steal possession. However, as the Bison moved the ball inside the 10-yard line, there was an interception on Nitti’s pass.
During the second quarter Nitti’s pass to Andrew Owers ’19 allowed a scoring opportunity for Pechin but he came up short, missing the 30-yard field goal.
Pechin executed a 19-yard field goal at the beginning of the fourth quarter to narrow Colgate’s lead to 14-10. A few pivotal turnovers by the Bison in the fourth quarter proved to be fatal.
“The highlight of the Colgate game was watching the executed trick play that we had planned for the week on offense bring us into the red zone,” Pechin said. “Next season, I hope the team improves in close games and clutch situations. We want to win the Patriot League next year, as always.”
The Bison concluded the game with 338 yards of offense, haunted by three turnovers and five sacks of Nitti.
“We return nine starters on our defense and eight starters on our offense,” Coach Susan said of the 2016 team. “The work toward next season begins now.”