Friday, September 06, 2013
It's that time of the week where I share with you your weekly Lehigh fan viewing guide for Week 2 of the college football season. Why go to website after website when all the information you need is right here?
Being a new Lehigh quarterback or wide receiver is no easy task.
Your athletic director, Joe Sterrett, is a former star quarterback for Lehigh. Think he's invested in the program?
Your receivers coach, Dave Cecchini, was a star member of head coach Hank Small's "Air Lehigh" teams of the early 1990s. Now he works every day with members of the offense.
Your recently graduated receiver, WR Ryan Spadola, will be lining up for the NFL's New York Jets on Sunday.
Every day each Lehigh quarterback and receiver sees Lehigh Hall of Famers all over the place - something that might be intimidating to some.
But not senior QB Brandon Bialkowski and senior WR Lee Kurfis. They clearly embrace challenge of stepping into those shoes.
When I asked Brandon what we should expect this Saturday in his first ever start, he responded simply. "Expect Air Lehigh to be back," he said.
To aid on our analysis of the visiting Blue Devils, I have to huge assist to James Madison, and Matt Straub of the New Britain Herald.
Straub's preseason piece on CCSU head coach Jeff McInerney shows a lot of what he wants to accomplish this season.
And James Madison, by playing CCSU last weekend, meant that I have game notes available to go on - namely, last week's notes. CCSU's lack of a preview by Friday makes it hard to get a sense of the team this week through the Lehigh game notes, but the notes for the Blue Devils' game last week is very much available. (And necessary.)
Thursday, September 05, 2013
This time around, though, it's a completely different situation.
Eight starters depart last year's starting squad, including key members of both the defensive line and defensive backfield rotation. Oh yeah, and LB Billy Boyko, an undrafted free agent signee by the Raiders in the offseason, graduates as well.
It's not like the cupboard is bare by any means. But, man, eight starters?
While the expectation is that Lehigh's offense will proceed just fine, the defense just has so many departing seniors that it's worth asking the question: what's the expectation for 2013?
You gotta give credit to head coach Jeff McInerney and the Central Connecticut State Blue Devils - they won't back down from anybody.
A week after taking on nationally-ranked James Madison in their home opener last weekend, CCSU turns their bus to Bethlehem to visit Murray Goodman Stadium.
The Blue Devils, who struggled to a 2-8 season last year, are hoping that the old football adage is true that you improve the most from Game 1 to Game 2.
That's how they hope to break up a three-game losing streak dating from last season.
Wednesday, September 04, 2013
That's what Lehigh fans have been able to say to themselves each offseason for the last five years.
Some first-team all-Patriot League offensive weapon. Some top Patriot League defensive leader. Something... measurable. "We lose a lot, but at least we have him."
When Lehigh saw record-breaking QB Chris Lum lost to graduation, the Nation turned to QB Michael Colvin and WR Ryan Spadola to keep the offensive machine humming.
During the past three season, Mountain Hawk fans have grown accustomed to head coach Andy Coen and offensive coordinator Dave Cecchini's abilities to mold new players and plug them in, not missing a beat.
But they've never had to replace this much. Last season's top rushers are gone. The receiver who's noe made the 53 man roster of the Jets. The linchpin of the offense - the quarterback - gone.
As we finally enter the 2013 Mountain Hawk football season, the biggest question to answer is: can Lehigh reload on offense?
Tuesday, September 03, 2013
Monday, September 02, 2013
Lehigh football players probably don't need to be reminded of the date, but it was November 10th, 2012, where Lehigh's season ended last season.
It was the only blemish on Lehigh's otherwise-stellar 10-1 season, but the 35-24 loss to Colgate cost Lehigh dear.
One loss. One loss that lost the Patriot League championship. One loss. One loss that lost them the autobid, and ultimately, a playoff spot. One loss. The difference between achieving all their goals of the season, and facing an offseason of what-could-and-should-have-beens.
Lehigh's schedule has a fair number of interesting matchups this season, as every season. Some are challenges. Some are Ivies. Some are the regular array of Patriot League schools. Some are genuine rivals.
But for the Mountain Hawks, there is only one game that's circled in red with the mission of revenge. November 16th, 2013. Colgate.
Sunday, September 01, 2013
The Tigers nabbed the first FBS scalp of the 2013 season on Thursday, dominating UConn 33-18 so physically that it recalled James Madison's 2010 bruising 21-16 victory over Virginia Tech.
Sill jacked after the UConn victory, he mentioned his next opponents - Holy Cross, Towson's next trip after the trip to Rentschler field. And inadvertently, he mentioned what he thought of last season's Crusader squad.
"No matter how awesome the win, there's already a mentality of 'This was not the Super Bowl,'" Ambrose said to the Baltimore Sun. "It doesn't matter if we play Holy Cross or the Pittsburgh Steelers. These guys will be ready because we need this game to get where we want to be."
That might be exactly what the perception is of the Crusaders outside the halls of the Patriot League - a 2-9 team, the perceived polar opposite of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Yet Holy Cross was one of Lehigh's toughest outs last season in Fitton field. When they played Lehigh, they didn't resemble a 2-9 team at all.
In 2013, will Lehigh face off against the Steelers, or a team that looks like a 2-9 team?