Saturday, November 23, 2013
We break down the Lafayette game, the 149th meeting between Lehigh and Lafayette - and we give our fearless prediction, below the flip.
Some key things you'll need to know before the Game of the Year:
* The Lehigh Football Partnership will be opening at 9:00 AM for tailgating at the Rust Pavillion with former football players and families, and at 10:00 AM there will be a "special guest".
* Out of town and want to watch Rivalry 149 with friendly Lehigh fans? Click here and find a telecast party across the country. There's even one in London!
* The game will be on the following TV/Radio and streaming places:
Patriot League Network (Lehigh Broadcast: Free)
ESPN3 (Lafayette Broadcast: Free if ISP provides it)
WMFZ 69 in the Lehigh Valley
Lafayette Sports Network (WBPH-60 in the Lehigh Valley Area and other networks across the country)
Fox College Sports Pacific (Live; Lehigh Broadcast; Available Nationally On Many Cable Systems)
Radio: AM 1230/1320 with Matt Kerr, Marty Horn, and Tom Fallon, Stream Here
I'd list other games that are being broadcast this day but - let's get real - there's only one game this weekend, right???
Thursday, November 21, 2013
If there's one word we've heard a lot in the media, and from both schools this week, it's "marbles".
"We're playing for all the marbles," head coach Andy Coen said in the Lehigh Football Report this week, echoing what seems to be anyone following the game in the Lehigh Valley.
It is true that the winner of the game this weekend will be Patriot League champions, with a 4-1 conference record.
It is also true that the winner will, beyond a shadow of a doubt, head to the FCS playoffs this weekend. (While Lehigh could sneak in the field with a loss, it seems real unlikely.)
But more than that, the winner of this yearly Rivalry battle will indeed win something more than just a Patriot League Championship trophy to keep in Bethlehem or Easton another year.
It really does feel like an old-fashioned game of marbles, where the winner really does take everything they were looking to achieve that season, and the loser comes away with none of the goals they set out to achieve and instead the have to wait until next season.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Twenty-five years ago, I went to my first Lehigh/Lafayette game and almost saw a record held by Sean Payton fall.
As a part of Eastern Illinois' high-powered passing offense, Payton owned a I-AA record for most passing yards in a half.
Lehigh QB Jim Harris came - incredibly - one yard short of the record of passing yards in a single half, 372 yards.
And while the potent battle of great Engineer and Leopard offenses (or, perhaps, the struggle of two subpar Engineer and Leopard defenses) would end up in a 52-45 win for Lafayette in Easton, it served as my first-ever view of The Rivalry as an undergrad.
You could say it's the reason why I'm doing this today.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
It was that year that the trial of the former Lafayette professor that burned Pardee Hall for the second time went forward, whose vandalism and (what would be called today) terrorism earned him six years in the slammer, after an Easton trial that rocked the community.
It was that summer when the main fighting in the Spanish-American War occurred (with the founder of the Lehigh football team, Richard Harding Davis, as war correspondent), and General Charles Augustus Wilkoff, Lafayette alumnus and resident of Easton, was killed leading his men preparing for an attack on San Juan Hill.
If any souls attending Lafayette were hoping to get an inkling of inspiration from their football team, though, they'd be even more disappointed.
After the not-too-distant glory years of mythical national championships, upsetting Penn in 1896 and being considered a football power in the East, the Leopards fell upon hard times in 1898, losing eight straight in that dreary fall. As Wilkoff was laid to rest on a rainy day in October, and the plans for yet another renovation of Pardee Hall were drawn up, Lafayette had to find out a way to beat Lehigh on Thanksgiving Day.
Monday, November 18, 2013
There will be an entire week to get ready for the 149th meeting between Lehigh and a certain school from Easton.
But it's worth taking a tiny peek back at this weekend's game - just a tiny one - to see how far this team has come.
This Lehigh team has gone through a multitude of challenges this season, on the field and off.
And it's a true "achievement", no matter what happens this Saturday, that this team is in a position to win the Patriot League the final weekend of the year.
Sunday, November 17, 2013
They remembered the chaos on the field last year at Murray Goodman Stadium, when Colgate beat Lehigh and celebrated on their field, Lehigh's field, after their championship win.
They remembered the team photos. The hats. The championship trophy. The championship picture. In their house.
And they remembered that they didn't want to see that again this season.
For the second straight week, senior RB Keith Sherman ran over a Patriot League opponent. For the second time in two must-win games, Lehigh won a game they had to have to keep their Patriot League title and playoff hopes alive.
But up in Hamilton, it wasn't a time of whooping and hollering after the game.
It was a line and a postgame handshake - in other words, business. And Lehigh, in their most complete defensive performance of the season, got their business done in very impressive fashion.