Saturday, November 10, 2007

Lehigh 38, Bucknell 10, final

This game was just the confidence boost that Lehigh needed to go into next weekend in "The Rivalry".

It felt like a snowball running downhill when junior LB Tim Diamond rumbled for a 58 yard fumble return for a touchdown on the third play from scrimmage. Although there were some hiccups making this game a 14-10 game at halftime, after Lehigh came out after the break they put together the best half of football that Brown & White fans have seen all year. When senior "slash" Sedale Threatt put the ball in the end zone for his second of three touchdowns on the day (with 78 rushing yards), the score was 21-10, and when Diamond and the defense forced the Bison on a 3-and-out, sophomore QB Chris Bokosky would find junior WR Mike Fitzgerald for a big score to make it an insurmountable 28-10 lead.

Just great stats all around: the defense held Bucknell to 8 offensive yards in the second half (no, that's not a typo), freshman RB Jaren Walker had another fine day with 94 yards rushing, the "O" line allowed Lehigh to average 5 yards a carry... all pretty stuff.

It's time to feel good about this win this week, the team has earned it. But after that, it's Rivalry time. The biggest one of all comes up next weekend. And that's all that matters anymore.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Patriot League Picks, Week 11 (and Press Links)

(Photo Credit: Andrew Maier, Brown & White)

The Patriot League autobid has been wrapped up by Fordham, Holy Cross and Colgate are hoping for a share of the title (and maybe even an outside shot at an at-large bid), while Lehigh looks towards next year this weekend in Lewisburg.

With the news that senior QB Sedale Threatt has been battling a rotator cuff injury, it's now official: the era of sophomore QB Chris Bokosky has begun. All the talk of quarterback battles are over, and Mountain Hawk fans will finally have one signal-caller to rally behind this week before "The Rivalry". I've got to believe that the lifting of the uncertainty will help this team focus once again on winning football games, beating "that school in Easton", and springboarding Lehigh fans into an exciting offseason.

And hopefully we'll have heard the end of quotes like this from the Brown & White:

"We don't finish plays, we don't rise up and stop them on third down, we don't get up and make the big catch, or the big tackle," Coen said. "This next game against Bucknell is just another opportunity to step up and come through and do these things we have not been doing in past weeks."


Patriot League Picks
You can find my picks, which were originally posted at the College Sporting News, and you will also be able to find something else there: a mock bracket with my projected picks for the FCS playoffs.

Lafayette over Holy Cross
After a tough loss at Fordham, the Crusaders return home to take on a Lafayette team that is barely keeping things together after getting to their fifth-string runningback last week in a 34-7 win over hapless Bucknell. The Crusaders will be facing probably the best defense they’ve faced this year (led by Leopard defensive tackle Kyle Sprenkle), but Crusader quarterback Dominic Randolph will be ready to lead one of the best offenses in FCS. Something’s got to give – and I think it’s the Crusaders. Holy Cross, who hasn’t learned how to win in November, loses to the team who has.
“We Only Lose In the Playoffs In November” 25, “And We Need To Learn How To Do That” 24

Colgate over Georgetown
You've got to give credit to the Georgetown Athletic Department for trying. By making admission to the game free, they hope to draw more fans to see the Hoya seniors off on "Senior Day". Will it work? I wish I could say yes, but I can't.
Ready Raiders 35, "Give 'Em Hell, Hoyas" 7

Press Links
Morning Call: Threatt's Injury Ends QB Uncertainty
Express-Times: Hawks Want A Strong Finish
Brown & White: Hawks Prepared For Final Road Game

Preview of Lehigh/Bucknell

(Photo Credit: Michael Bavero, Daily Item)

Momentum.

It's an old chestnut in football, how you want your team to get some wins in a row - even at the end of a season when you're out of the championship hunt - to get something established for next year.

And Lehigh and Bucknell, both young teams who have struggled offensively, are looking for it this weekend.

For Lehigh, a week before "The Rivalry" against that school in Easton, the objective is clear: the offense must be more effective, execute better and score more points, because we'll need it next week.

Lehigh, due to injuries all across the board, is starting more freshmen and sophomores across the board as well, giving Lehigh fans an intriguing glimpse at 2008 to see what could be in store. Despite the troubles Lehigh had last week versus Colgate, the underclassmen have been a considerable bright spot, and fans will be looking for improvement from last week from those players who will be the ones to carry the flag in 2008.

If Lehigh is to challenge for a title in 2008, it's going to be due to actions done this Saturday and next. The future of Lehigh football will be on display.

Game Notes & Weather Report
It's not in the game notes, but the big bombshell instead came from the Morning Call: senior QB Sedale Threatt won't be throwing any more passes this year due to a rotator cuff injury suffered in the Holy Cross game. This answers many questions in regards to the coaching decisions in the past two weeks regarding the quarterback situation, where sophomore QB Chris Bokosky will be the passing quarterback. Threatt will still get in there as a rushing threat (where he has been pretty effective) and as a wide receiver (where he caught a pass last week).

Worthy of mention is the third string QB, freshman QB J.B. Clark, who might get time if something happens to Bokosky. Freshman QB Trace Cisneros is another possibility. Just in case we didn't have enough freshmen in the equation already...

Freshman RB Jaren Walker, last week's Blog Player of the Week, starts again at runningback with freshman RB Kwesi Kankam backing him up. Freshman OL William Rackley is also starting at guard. On defense, the linebacking unit could very well get a boost with the return of sophomore LB Heath Brickner who hasn't been available the past few weeks.

All of these underclassmen will be counted on next year, so it will be interesting to see their progress this week - especially Walker.

The worst possible weather will be on the offing this week in "balmy" Lewisburg, with possible snow showers at gametime with a high of around 40. Bundle up if you're going.

A Word on Bucknell
The Bison have not beaten Lehigh since 1997, which, not coincidentally, was the last time Lehigh had a losing record in football. In fact, Lehigh has played Bucknell every year since 1950, and the Mountain Hawks enjoy a 38-29-3 series lead on the Bison.

1950 was a special year for Lehigh, as under head football coach "Bill" Leckonby and runningback Dick Doyne, they were undefeated and "Middle Three" Conference champions. That year they beat Bucknell 27-6 en route to the Engineer's first-ever perfect season at 9-0. The following year, though, Bucknell unleashed their savage attack on Lehigh with runningback Burt Talmadge, and beat Lehigh 47-7 en route to their first-ever perfect season. A rivalry was born.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, these games had Patriot League championship connotations seemingly every year. Although difficult to fathom now with Lehigh being so dominant in the league over the last ten years, the games against Bucknell were more highly regarded that the games against "weak sister" Colgate.

Lehigh has won nine straight against the Bison, and Bucknell head coach Tim Landis has never beaten the Mountain Hawks. In the four games he's played against Lehigh, the average score would be: Lehigh 41, Bucknell 10. To beat Lehigh would be a great accomplishment for Landis and his seniors, and he'll be emptying out the playbook to do so tomorrow.

Offense
Landis runs the spread option offense, which is similar to the type of offense run by Wofford and the classic Georgia Southern teams in their championship years. It is very difficult to prepare for in one week's time, but since we have Bucknell as a league opponent every year, Lehigh should be able to prepare for it will. The spread , it is a predominantly a running set using 2 wideouts, 1 fullback, 2 "slotbacks" that play RB or TE, and the QB as a rushing threat. A lot of different athletes touch the ball in this system, and it requires the running game to be working to function effectively.

Bucknell has had different names looking to be the starting quarterback, but just like last year sophomore QB Marcelo Trigg will be getting the nod. He's the most accomplished of the passers on the team, but he won't confuse anyone with Tom Brady with a 47.1 completion percentage, 890 yards passing, and 6 touchdown passes. He's only 5'11 and is speedy, though he's been contained pretty well by defenses in the rushing game (only 110 yards and 4 TDs). Still, he's a speedster and can't be allowed to get to the open field. If we make him look like Georgia Southern QB Jayson Foster, we'll be in trouble.

The duo of slotbacks also feature two sophomores in sophomore A.J. Kizekai and sophomore RB Rashod Bumpers. Kizekai is 5'9 and Bumpers is 5'8 and are the same mold of small-speedy backs that Trigg is, though Kizekai has shown more promise of the two (363 yards rushing, 2 TDs). Both can also catch the ball out of the backfield, with Kizekai leading the team in receiving (263 yards, 3 TDs). At the fulback, senior FB Corin Erby (pictured) has turned it up in recent weeks with 171 yards and 3 TDs. He's the "giant" in this backfield: 5'9, 207 lbs.

More underclassmen feature for the Bison at wideout with freshman WR Shaun Pasternak and sophomore WR Cale Cadman. Combined for the year they have 380 yards and 2 TDs, but they have an important job in blocking downfield as well - and they're trees, comparatively, at 6'2.

The "O" line is led by senior OL Jonathan Grainger that is smallish, averaging 6'2 and 267 pounds across. Lafayette, who has one of the best defenses in the nation, made mincemeat of this unit last week.

Defense
This year Landis abandoned his base 4-3 defense to install a 3-4 to take advantage of his talent and depth at linebacker. With a rash of injuries, however, this strategy may have backfired in 2007, where the Bison find themselves with a player starting his fourth game and a converted quarterback manning the trenches.

Sophomore DE Josh Eden highlights a pretty good defensive line, with 8 tackles for loss including 3 1/2 sacks. Senior NG Ryan Walsh adds 36 tackles and 5 tackles for loss (including 2 sacks), so this "D" line gets good push on the quarterback.

On the inside, senior LB Ryan Slater leads the defensive front, with junior LB Todd Manjuck emerging as a force inside as well (65 tackles). The linebackers have the luxury of sitting more in pass coverage since the "D" line gets good push on the ball. Overall, a pretty solid front seven.

Where the Bison have been devastated by injuries is the secondary. Sophomore SS Brigham Farrand is their best player, with 61 tackles and 4 pass break-ups. But the tallest member of their secondary is 6'1, which would seem to dictate some mismatches.

Special Teams
Junior K Will Carney is a perfect 24/24 on extra points, but is only 5/9 on FG and hasn't made a single kick over 40 yards. Junior P Phil Azarik is a very solid punter, averaging 41.6 yards per punt and downing 14 inside the 20.

Sophomore RB A.J. Kizekai is a dangerous return man, who has 960 yards returning kicks and 1 touchdown - a very dangerous player. Junior RB Nolan Applegate hasn't had to return many punts, but when he has he's been dangerous with an 11 yard average. It will be important to keep these guys under wraps.

Keys To The Game
1. Hitting. With the small runners on this team, giving them the same punishment we might give Jordan Scott of Mike McLeod will go a long way in ensuring a win. Hard hitting will shut down their running game, and give us opportunities.
2. Running. With possible bad weather, we'll need to count on our "O" line to dominate Bucknell's defensive front in order to get good rushing yardage. Running hard - and intelligently - could be the key to getting the Lehigh offense on track.
3. Tackling. If it's a close, bad-weather game, special teams play will be important. That means tackling well to contain the return men, and wrapping up the runners on defense too. Better tackling will give Lehigh a good chance to win.
4. Working. The theme for Lehigh this year has been "mental errors". One way to overcome mental errors is to work hard and move forward. It will take hard work to make fewer mistakes - and we'll need it to win this game.

Fearless Prediction
You've got to believe Tim Landis and Bucknell have a tape of the Colgate team and are saying to themselves, "We can beat them." Other teams just salivate seeing a team that is hurting itself with multiple errors and is out-of-sync. Whether Lehigh can get back in sync is the key to this game.

If Lehigh goes out and assumes that they will beat Bucknell the same way they did in years past, expecting to show up and get a 41-10 win, that would be a huge mistake. The Bison will be determined to get their seniors a win this weekend at home, and will pull out every stop to do so.
No matter what happened this year in regards to injuries, personalities, or anything, I've got to believe that Lehigh knows the importance of getting things together before "The Rivalry" next weekend to be going in there with some sort of momentum. I don't think it's fair to expect a blowout win, but Lehigh gets the job done going into the biggest game of the year.

Lehigh 28, Bucknell 17

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Players Of The Week, Lehigh/Colgate

The votes are in.

On defense, junior LB Tim Diamond gets the nod with a 13 tackle day, including seven solo tackles. On a day where Lehigh needed to punish Colgate's Jordan Scott, Diamnond left it all out on the field in an admirable performance. On the year, Diamond leads the Mountain hawks in tackles with.

Special teams goes resoundingly to freshman KR John Kennedy. His 4 returns for 121 yards was his best this year, and included a 54 yard return that was one block away from being taken to the house. His development has been a real bright spot.

Finally, the player you voted as "Player of the Week" was freshman RB Jaren Walker (pictured) in his first-ever start in a Mountain Hawk uniform. He showed great promise, running for 69 yards and having 4.3 yards per carry, and is angling to be one of the players Lehigh fans will be looking for production from in the last two games of the year.

Congratulations to the winners. Next up: the Lehigh/Bucknell preview.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Around The Horn, 11/5/2007

I was in the Bronx this weekend to watch the Holy Cross/Fordham game, and the pictures of that should be up soon at the College Sporting News for your viewing pleasure. One of my shots is to your left - is this the prettiest spot in the Bronx, or what?

Before we sum up the goings-on around the horn, I wanted to ask Lehigh alumni (and alums from "that school in Easton") for some personal stories of the most-played football rivalry. It doesn't matter if you're a fan, a player, or just an observer, I'm looking for a list of different stories to list on a special blog posting during "Rivalry Week". "The Rivalry" will be a week of celebration of the Lehigh/Lafayette game, and I very much would like to have a posting detailing what has made it great for you over the years. You can email me at charles.burton@collegesportingnews.com to share your story!

I also wanted to point out that Any Given Saturday, the premier FCS message board in the country, is being sponsored this week by fans of Lehigh and Lafayette. This means that every day a new fact is posted about "The Rivalry" on a special thread on the board. Just in case you weren't pumped up enough already about November 17th.

Let's go around the horn.

  • Georgetown was the last chance for the Patriot League to have a winning out-of-conference record on the season, but the hapless Hoyas ended up instead falling to non-scholarship Marist 37-34 in triple overtime. Both teams had their chances, and sophomore RB Charlie Houghton did everything he could to get the win with 163 yards rushing, 76 yards receiving, and 4 rushing touchdowns of 7, 10, 26, and 2 yards. But a key fumble by Houghton, a key interception by senior QB Matt Bassuener, and two missed FG by senior K Eric Bjonerud in the red zone could have been the difference for the Hoyas in winning or losing. As a result, Georgetown could very well be poised to be the first Hoya team in 110 years to lose 10 games in a season when Colgate comes to Washington, DC this weekend.
  • In a cruel postscript to this Hoya loss, after reading HoyaSaxa it becomes clear that the athletic department needs to have more respect for its football program. On "Senior Day" this weekend for the Hoyas, Georgetown decided instead to schedule their basketball opener on the exact same day at the exact same time, guaranteeing the seniors who gave their ACL and knee catrilage and suffered so much to continue football at Georgetown will have a small student section, no cheerleaders, and no band. It's an absolute disgrace - and people wonder why Georgetown football continues to struggle. This is an indicator of where football rates in that athletic department, and I feel sorry for suffering Hoyas fans on this one.
  • If you're to believe his interview on "CSN Waves" this week, sophomore LB James Crockett thought the Holy Cross/Fordham game was just another game: "every game is a big game". Hey James, the Brooklyn bridge isn't for sale, and I refuse to believe that you didn't prepare just a little harder in your 24-21 win over Holy Cross that gave Fordham their first Patriot League title and postseason appearance since 2002. Senior RB Jonte Coven had a career day running the ball in front of a sellout crowd of 8,300, grinding out 168 yards while scoring on an elusive 61 yard TD run in the first quarter. Crockett, who swept Defensive Player of the Week honors nationally, recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown to put the Rams up 21-7, and got a game-clinching interception with 20 seconds left to give Fordham the win. "The entire week we focused on 'reroutes', because we felt their receivers didn't really get a lot of hands on them in previous games. I just tried to get a good reroute on the guy, and when I turned around to see where the ball was, I was able to make a play on it, step in front of it, and squeeze it out." He meant that, too: he had to fight for that ball, and he had the stronger hands. Congratulations to the Rams, who have gone from a 3-8 season last year to a playoff bid, making their story the best turnaround in FCS this year.
  • The other locker room in the Bronx, predictably, was not nearly as cheery. “The turnover battle was huge,” Holy Cross coach Tom Gilmore said. “We didn’t win that and that is a huge part of the game. Our mistakes were our own doing.” Certainly the two turnovers by Crockett were game-changers, but a fumble by senior WR Ryan Maher as the first half was closing also robbed the Crusaders of desperately-needed momentum. The Crusaders in general seemed tight to this reporter in the first half, as the wind and cold wreaked a little havoc on the timing game of their passes, but eventually junior QB Dominic Randolph did settle down and have another pretty good day (if you take away that interception): 32-53, 309 yards, 3 TDS. Coach Gilmore was surprised that the Rams ran as much as they did with the success that they did, even after they made some adjustments. Despite the setback, coach Gilmore continued to set the bar high for his troops the rest of the way: “If we win the next two games, we deserve a shot at the playoffs. And right now, I would expect to win a first-round game.”
  • 8-0 Yale is in position right now to win their first outright league title since 1980 after they beat Brown in the rain and wind, 17-7. Junior RB Mike McLeod, playing with a broken toe, ran for 185 yards and 1 TD and in the process increased his stranglehold on Yale's record books - and he's only a junior. The win means that Harvard/Yale (or "That OTHER game", as Lehigh and Lafayette fans like to call it) will have title implications. First, though, for the Eli is a revenge match against the team that prevented Yale last year from winning an outright Ivy title: Princeton. "Last year is what has been driving us," said senior FB Joe Fuccillo. And McLeod will be playing: according to head football coach Jack Sidlecki, it's just a "pain tolerance" thing.
  • Switching to the 3-4 was the way Lafayette won last weekend against Bucknell in a 34-7 rout where the defense shut out the Bison offense. You can either choose to believe that (where sophomore LB Samuel Leland got his first start, with 8 tackles, 1 1/2 tackles for loss including 1 sack, and a fumble recovery) or you can believe junior WR Shaun Adair's reasoning: the fact that they pulled out their black jerseys. "We always win in them. It's a motivational thing. You see these jerseys and you want to play really well. Plus, it looks cool; so if you look good, you play good." Lehigh fans might disagree with that sentiment, but the stats don't lie: 4 catches, 77 yards, and one 49 yard TD strike. One wonders if the uni's will make the trip to Worcester, MA this week to see if they can help ruin Holy Cross' push at an at-large playoff bid.
  • We will see a motivated Bucknell team this weekend eager to erase the humiliating defeat last weekend against Lafayette where they only had 156 yards of offense and five turnovers. Like Lehigh last week, they kept things close in the first half after sophomore RB Josh Lee returned a blocked punt for a TD, but soon afterwards the defense gave up a 49 yard TD strike to Adair and a late field goal to go down 17-7 at the break. With five first downs on the game, the Bison are struggling on offense as well. "In order for us to do what we need to do, we have to be able to run the ball," Bison coach Tim Landis said. "When you can't run it, (opponents) know you're going to throw it." Despite the setback, Landis did see some things defensively. I saw progress defensively. "I know you're looking at the scoreboard and thinking, 'What's he on?' But I saw some good things that were encouraging." That may not be good news for Lehigh. That, and the fact that Bucknell will probably be pulling out all the stops to get the seniors the win: and might that include opening up the passing game?

Monday, November 05, 2007

Press Links

The press links detail another frustrating day in Hamilton last weekend, but also points at something important: the results of the next two weeks will be critical "for momentum going into next year," said sophomore LB Matt Cohen. And with the large number of underclassmen contributors in games this year, there is good reason to be excited about the future.

Freshman RB Jaren Walker was a definite bright spot, with some good rushes and some nice power running, especially on the opening drive. Freshman KR John Kennedy was another, a guy who has made an immediate impact on the return game this year. These guys, along with junior LB Tim Diamond, could be the core of something special in 2008.

But it starts by winning the next two games.

Press Links:
Morning Call: Offense Slumbers At Colgate
Morning Call: Loss To Colgate Had Bright Spots
Express-Times: Brush With Colgate Shows Flaws

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Sunday's Word: History

No, I'm not going to say the season is "history". But "history" does apply as today's Word.

Lehigh trades on "history". This football program is not unique in that regard, but Lehigh's football program exists in a unique blend of football excellence, dedication to academics, "The Rivalry", and "history".

In Lehigh's "history" are "Middle Three" championships, Patriot League championships, Lambert Cups, a Division II national championship, and I-AA playoff success. "History" sells the program; it's what gets recruits here, it's what keeps former athletes and students interested in the program, and in "The Rivalry" it's what everyone rallies around.

"History" is omnipresent on Saturdays during football season. At halftime of two games this year, the 1957 Lambert Cup winning team and the 1977 Division II National Championship were honored.

In an added twist on "history" this year, the folks in the Athletic Department at Lehigh have come up with an entertaining series about the "Top 20 Moments at Murray Goodman Stadium". It gives us a taste of lots of great comebacks, dominating performances, and peeks at those teams of "history". (I was at some of those games.)

This week, the chosen Murray Goodman highlight was a game from 1998: Lehigh's 41-22 victory over a Colgate team that beat the Mountain Hawks 61-28 the year before. Then-sophomore FB Brett Snyder ('00) and QB Phil Stambaugh ('00) were all over those highlight reels, as was WR Deron Braswell ('99) in an impressive, entertaining offensive display. Defensively, DB Sam Brinley ('99) was patrolling the backfield, while LB Ian Eason ('00) delivered some huge hits. The game highlighted both offense and defense shining on that particular day in a season where Lehigh would finish the regular season undefeated and travel to Richmond to shock the Spiders of the A-10, 24-23, in a first round playoff game.

It would signal the start of the Kevin Higgins Era. With a young coaching staff featuring names like Tom Gilmore, Andy Coen, Pete Lembo and Dave Cecchini, the "Higgins Era" ushered in three straight Patriot League championships, another playoff win (a complete domination of Western Illinois 37-7), and ended with Higgins leaving for the coaching staff of the Detroit Lions in 2000.

As Lehigh fans, we are constantly being reminded of dominating teams like that 1998 squad, the D-II national champions of 1977 coached by John Whitehead, the 1957 Bill Leckonby-coached team that went 9-1 and won a Lambert Cup -- and then tuning in to actual performances like the futility that was the second half of the Colgate game.

At halftime, we see the '98 team with Brett Snyder willing his way into the end zone through three Colgate defenders. Back in the real-world of 2007, against Colgate we see dropped passes. An inexcusable play where the lead blocker lets the kicker get by him to tackle the return man on what would have been a sure TD. Two burned timeouts on defense within a minute of each other. Bad Interceptions. Mental errors. A botched snap on a field goal robbing Lehigh of points.

And, of course, another loss.

Folks are saying, "What we're seeing is not Lehigh football out there." That's "History" talking.

"History" raises expectations, sometimes to levels that are beyond ridiculous. No program, no matter how great they are, cannot win every title every year, even though fans may think so.

This could very well be the story of the 2007 season when all is said and done. Part of me says, "exactly when did I think it was reasonable to expect a Patriot League championship when we are starting two freshmen at RB?" Look up and down the roster, there are underclassmen galore, including a significant number of freshmen. Maybe this was all a rebuilding year, and I was too stupid to see it. Believe it or not, a win against Bucknell and a win against "that school in Easton" in "The Rivalry", 2007 will be seen as a building block to what hopefully will be a fantastic 2008.

But then I turn around and revisit the potential that senior QB Sedale Threatt had going into this year as last year's Offensive Player of the Year, and say, "How is it possible that he's now relegated to run-only situations and catching the ball?" This was a player that was a game-changer his junior year - not a perfect quarterback, a guy that did need some work to become great - but still a player that other teams actually feared.

What in Sam Hill has happened? I don't even think the rosiest of Lafayette fans would have ever predicted anything like what has happened to us offensively. And it stands in stark contrast to any of the "history" of Lehigh football in the past 20 years.

If you leaf through the Lehigh Media guide, you see "A Look Back at Lehigh Football Through The Years". The "history" reads: "Lehigh had long been recognized for offensive prowess, but in the late 1980s and through the 1990s that reputation became legend. Lehigh regularly led the league in offensive production and ranked among the nation's top offensive teams."

Not every game in Murray Goodman was a win, but in its "history" you could count on entertainment and (generally) lots of scoring in the past.

And around FCS, this offensive "history" is still uncomfortably close by.

In Year Two after Pete Lembo left for Elon University, he has his Phoenix on the brink of a SoCon championship and quite possibly an at-large berth to the FCS playoffs. They average 36.78 points per game, good for No. 13 in the nation.

Tom Gilmore could still lead his 6-3 Holy Cross Crusaders to a playoff berth as well. They average 38.56 points per game, good for No. 9 in the nation.

And had The Citadel's QB Duran Lawson not gotten hurt we might have been saying the same thing about Kevin Higgins (with offensive coordinator Dave Cecchini). They average 35.78 points per game, good enough for No. 14 in the nation.

Everywhere a Lehigh fan turns, "history" is staring him in the face. High-scoring offenses, and possible playoff berths.

But instead of that, Lehigh fans are looking at a team that can't get out of its own way and can barely score more than a touchdown a game: or 21.78 points per game, good for No. 84 in the nation. For those keeping score, that's good for fifth place in the Patriot League, just ahead of Georgetown (15.40, No. 105) and barely ahead of Bucknell (20.33, No. 92).

Fans at some schools could potentially accept this offensive production if it's a rebuilding year, if their team has the best defense in the country, or if a coach is perhaps building a program. But at Lehigh, with our "history", it simply cannot stand. The fact is Lehigh fans will not accept it.
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