Saturday, September 28, 2013
(Photo Credit: Matt Smith/The Express-Times)
It's pretty remarkable how routine it's all getting.
To Lehigh watchers, this come-from-behind 34-27 victory resembled all the others. They'd seen this movie before.
Fall behind early, by double-digits if possible. Regroup. Mount a comeback. Make huge defensive stops. Win.
For the fourth straight game, Lehigh came from behind to win.
For the third time this season, Lehigh overcame a double-digit deficit to win.
It's as if all of Lehigh Nation simply expects the Mountain Hawks to fall behind in the first half, and recover in time to win. You could feel it in the crowd of nearly 9,000 people at Murray Goodman Stadium. Amazingly, down by 16, the game never felt out of reach.
But this particular come-from-behind win was different in one very important respect.
In beating the 7th-ranked New Hampshire Wildcats this weekend, the Mountain Hawks finally got to silence the critics across the country saying they haven't played anyone tough, can't beat anyone tough, and won't beat anyone tough.
They did. They can. And now, they have.
This week's FCS Top 20 Clash at Murray Goodman will by broadcast on Service Electric 2 with Mike Zambelli, Mike Yadush and Al DiCarlo as the announcers. For those not in the Lehigh Valley it will also be streamed for free on the Patriot League Network.
And I'll be listenting to the pregame on ESPN 1230 and 1320 of the Lehigh Valley, too, with Tom Fallon, Matt Kerr and Matt Markus. That will also be live streamed here.
Friday, September 27, 2013
“I think we just need to get better coming out in the second half,” said UNH senior OL Seamus O’Neill in their win over Colgate two weeks ago. “We need to focus on playing the entire game. When we’re up on someone we need to keep our foot on the pedal.”
Sound somewhat familiar?
One of the more interesting subplots going into this weekend's game is how New Hampshire, thus far the ultimate first-half team, does against Lehigh, thus far the ultimate second-half team.
What I truly like about the Wildcats, though, is their game notes, which are extensive and easy to get to. There's also the matter of their video preview as well, which was equally as valuable to me.
Let's break these guys down.
Thursday, September 26, 2013
This weekend, it's homecoming at Lehigh.
The pre-football festivities for homecoming start at in the middle of Friday, with a campus rally, followed by a dinner and a movie presentation.
The movie happens to be Monsters University, the hit Disney/Pixar movie from this summer where the heroes Mike and Sully flash back to their days at old Monster U., and we find out how they made it through their college years.
It so happens that there is an associated website with the release of the movie that is still up - complete with references to the Monsters U. athletic program and homecoming
"The MU faithful were put to the test last year, losing the conference championship with a "Hail Scary" pass from Fear Tech. But MU is back this year with an excellent new recruitment class -- including three top-tier high school standouts: Bart Gates (quarterback), Uriah Pemberslime (fullback), and Harry Phiegel (wide receiver). The entire university community is buzzing with the prospect of Gates throwing to Phiegel for four years of touchdowns. "
In this entirely coincidental, fictionalized summary of the Monsters University football team is everything you need to know about this weekend's game.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Below the flip, enjoy this week's "LFN Players of the Week" for the Princeton game.
Below the flip are links and quotes about this from Michael LoRe and Keith Groller's articles.
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
In those great pieces, it was possible to come up with a timeline, which I attempted to do to some degree, to detail the shifting sands around the CAA, Big East, America East, NEC, and Patriot League.
One important element to this timeline, it now can be told, involved New Hampshire and the Patriot League.
Somewhere after April, 2012, when the CAA was on their way to losing Old Dominion to Conference USA and VCU and George Mason to the Atlantic 10, members of the Patriot League got on the phone to certain CAA schools to remind them that there was an open invitation to a certain academically-focused conference with headquarters in the Lehigh Valley should the need arise.
One of those schools was William and Mary. The other was New Hampshire.
And both schools took the invitation very seriously.
Monday, September 23, 2013
But first, by all means, enjoy this awesome shot of the Gardner-Webb/Wofford game this past week, played in a driving rainstorm.
The Runnin' Bulldogs did some of their best wet runnin' this past weekend, a drenched 3-0 win at Gibbs Stadium in Spartanburg, South Carolina, with RB Juanne Blount of Gardner-Webb helping them control the clock for 37 minutes. They did what it takes to win, in crazy weather conditions.
Sunday, September 22, 2013
The problem with having a "Sunday Word" for so long is that you keep wanting to reuse an old one to describe a particular game.
"Fun", which Sautrday's 29-28 win was? Sorry, already done. How about "Raiders", which epitomizes the Lehigh ethos at the moment, "Just Win, baby?" Sorry, that's one's done, too.
Making things even more challenging was Lehigh's eventful, to say the least, week leading up to this game. Player suspensions. Critical injuries. Slow starts. Potshots.
In a game where this Lehigh football team could have fallen flat on its face - and appeared to be doing so after a tough first half - the Mountain Hawks took a knee, went back into the locker room, circled the "wagons" (today's "Sunday Word"), and came out and won the game.
Last week, Lehigh beat Monmouth 28-25, partially thanks to a crazy blocked punt that landed behind the line of scrimmage and was caught in mid-air by senior FB Zach Hayden, which he advanced for 37 yards and set up the winning score.
After that game, I asked head coach Andy Coen whether Lehigh fans might be able to expect this type of cardiac win every week.
"Probably," he said. "I think they'll all be close. Some of them I hope will be close."
On a warm Saturday evening in late September, Lehigh pulled the exact same rabbit out the hat that the pulled in the first two games of the year, falling behind 22-3 at halftime before rallying to score 26 points in the second half to beat a tough Princeton team.