Saturday, November 06, 2010

Lehigh 34, Holy Cross 17, Final

It seems like this season Lehigh's football seniors were busily trying to tick off everything on their "bucket list" they'd meant to do before they graduated.

Beat Princeton: Check. Have a winning season against the Ivy League: Check. Chest-bump head coach Andy Coen: Check. Come back from a three-score deficit: Check. Douse coach Coen with ice water after a victory: Check.

There was last weekend's win against Colgate, too. Sure, that game also was a check mark, but that meant a lot more than just that. It would erase three years of futility against head coach Dick Biddle and the Raiders, sure. But to beat them for the first time - and in such successful fashion - meant a whole lot more than just the victory.

And it also would allow the seniors to make another more important check mark: Winning Season: Check.

It was a brisk, perfect football Saturday at Fitton Field this Saturday where Lehigh finally beat Holy Cross 34-17. And in the process - and a Lafayette loss to Colgate - the Lehigh seniors crossed off two more very big items off of their bucket list this week.

Beat Holy Cross: Check. Patriot League Championship: Check. (more)

Friday, November 05, 2010

Before the Purple: Week 9 Football Predictions

This will be the quickest blog post ever since I'm on my way to Fitton Field to see the Lehigh/Holy Cross game.

If you're unable to make it up to Worcester to watch the game today live, the game will be broadcast on TV on WFMZ 69 with Steve Degler and Mike Yadush calling the action. If you're not in the Lehigh Valley, there's some otehr special news: the game will also be broadcast live nationally on Fox College Sports Atlantic starting at (I believe) 12:30PM. As others have said, FCS Atlantic couldn't have picked a better game to select in terms of the Patriot League race.

Additionally, over on College Sporting News I wrote an article about "America's Top 20", detailing all the races for the (now) ten autobids to the FCS playoffs and the possible ten at-larges. As of right now, I have Lehigh picked to win the Patriot League - hopefully, this does not change after Saturday.

In that piece are my picks for Saturday's FCS games. Below the flip are my picks for the Patriot League games as well. (more)

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Game Preview: Lehigh at Holy Cross, 11/6/2010

(Photo Credit: Holy Cross Athletics)

For this "Sunday's Word", I chose "Boiling".  It played very well into the Lehigh football theme this year, which was "212 Degrees".

But another football theme, unspoken but still very much on the minds of everyone in the football program, is "revenge".

After the Colgate game, a lot was made of the fact that the seniors had never beaten the Raiders, either in Hamilton or Bethlehem.  Before this year, all three games were close, but all were losses.  On Saturday, it was time to enact that revenge, to give the seniors their only potential taste of victory of the 'Gate - and they did so emphatically, with a dominating 44-14 victory.

"I really enjoyed today, I ain't gonna lie," head coach Andy Coen said, just barely hiding a smile. "Because our seniors hadn't beaten Colgate. It's the best win... until, hopefully, next week. They haven't beaten Holy Cross, either." (more)

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

LFN's Players of the Week, Colgate vs. Lehigh

After this week's big win over Colgate, the LFN Players of the Week awards go to:

Offense: Senior OL Will "Got Your Back" Rackley, senior OL R.J. McNamara, junior OL Jim Liebler, senior OL Ricky Clerge, junior OL Troy McKenna (474 yards of total offense, 0 sacks allowed)
Defense: Junior LB Mike Groome (12 tackles, 1 1/2 tackles for loss) and senior LB Al Pierce (5 tackles, 1 pass breakup, a crushing hit to set up the interception return for TD)
Special Teams: Junior LB Tanner Rivas (Blocked FG attempt, 10 tackles, 1 tackle for loss)
Underclassman: Sophomore QB Michael Colvin (41 yards rushing, 2 TDs)

Congratulations to the winners!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

FCS East Wrapup: Tightening Playoff Races

(Photo Credit: AP/Boston Herald)

The Pat Toomey/Joe Sestak race isn't the only race that's too close to call right now.

In the CAA, NEC and Big South - playoff conferences all - there are a number of races for FCS playoff autobids and (potentially) at-large invites that are also hotly contested.

The CAA, with seven teams in the Top 25 of the GPI, are guaranteed their autobid (of course) and also are guaranteed a couple of at-large bids, with the potential of having even more.  But let's take a closer look which teams could be playoff-bound from the East - and, by extension, could be possible opponents of the Patriot League champion. (more)

Monday, November 01, 2010

Last Look: Colgate vs. Lehigh

(Photo Credit: Kevin Mingora/The Morning Call)

This weekend's game between the Mountain Hawks and Raiders saw The Sports Network's Craig Haley in attendance, adding a national voice to the press voices reporting on Lehigh's 44-14 domination over Colgate:

"When senior CB Jarard "Main Man" Cribbs picked off a Steve Rizzo pass at the Colgate 48-yard line, he saw open field to the Raiders' end zone. He then went the distance to highlight Lehigh's surprisingly easy, 44-14 pasting of Colgate, a win which has put the finishing line in sight of the Patriot League leader - a possible first league title since 2006 and a first berth in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs since 2004."

As Haley put it, a Patriot League title "in view" means a whole lot of happy recaps of the game on the Lehigh side, including a live blog by Ben Watanabe from the Express-Times. (more)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday's Word: Boiling

Back in March, when the thoughts of most Lehigh students involved either spending even more time in the library or the NCAA tournament, this years' Lehigh football players, far away from the fall spotlight, chose the theme of their upcoming season.

The theme was "212 degrees".

"That's the 'boiling' point of water," head coach Andy Coen told Keith Groller of The Morning Call at that time. "The thought is that you want to heat up and when you get to 212 degrees, you boil and you can do some special things. I think they picked up a good theme because we have been close the last couple of years. We have been playing at 210, 211 degrees in a lot of games. This year we need to get to 212."

That quote leaped back into my mind after watching a football game where the frustrations of the college careers of a lot of Lehigh players finally seemed to hit 212 degrees. By any objective measure, Lehigh "boiled" this weekend. (more)
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