Saturday, September 13, 2014

Lehigh/UNH Broadcast/Stream Info, And Week 2 Viewing Guide and Fearless Picks

So you're trying to make your afternoon plans, and you're not a hotel in Durham, New Hampshire, preparing your tailgate.

You've heard that the game is going to be on something called the "American Sports Network" - but you've scrolled through your cable guide, checked the internet, or flicked through all the stations. Nothing called the "American Sports Network" shows up.

That's because the "American Sports Network" only produces the games.  The broadcasts end up on a maze of local affiliates across the country.

So the question remains: At 3:30, how do I watch the game?  Of course.  That's why you're here.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Game Breakdown: Lehigh at New Hampshire, 9/13/2013

"These next ten games shape what we are, and this next one is absolutely huge," New Hampshire head coach Sean McDonnell said in the CAA teleconference before their home opener against Lehigh this weekend.  "We got to win this battle.  We got to get ready for this really good Lehigh team."

It's hard enough preparing for a week of football, but hearing that cannot make head coach Andy Coen or any of the players in the Lehigh football program very happy.  They're not going to be sneaking up on anybody.

In addition to the revenge factor, Lehigh will be playing at 3:30 PM in the afternoon under the lights at Cowell Stadium.  It's the first time lights have made their appearance at Cowell stadium, making it, sorta, the first Wildcat "night game".

And as you can see, UNH players had some "lightness" about it today.

UNH couldn't be more motivated for the game, their home opener, this weekend.  Which makes my breakdown all the more important.

Game Preview: Lehigh at New Hampshire, 9/13/2013

WMUR 9 New Hampshire
"In their last meeting..."

You've probably heard a lot of that this week in regards to this big matchup against the No 7 team in the country.

It ended up being Lehigh's signature win last year, their 34-27 victory that only looked better when the Wildcats turned their season around and made a deep run in the FCS playoffs.

It also will be an impediment to any hope of sneaking up to Durham, New Hampshire and surprising New Hampshire coach Sean McDonnell with their dynamic offense and good athletes.

That's because the Wildcats had a bye week last week, and McDonnell spent his weekend off scouting the Mountain Hawks.

"I was really impressed with their quarterback,, mentioning sophomore QB Nick Shafnisky, sophomore RB Brandon Yosha, and seemingly everyone else on the Lehigh offense by name in the CAA teleconference this week.   "He did a hell of a job doing the things he does well.  They did a lot of different things out of multiple sets, and they had a good mix against a good JMU team."

It was very obvious McDonnell had not forgotten last year's loss at Lehigh at all.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

LFN Look Back: Lehigh's Youngest Head Football Coach Scores Big Rivalry Win In Undefeated Season

Bill Leckonby, The Hill School
"72 aspirants greeted Lehigh's new football coach, Bill Leckonby, on the first day of the six-week spring training session," a Lehigh Alumni Bulletin inauspicously announced in the spring of 1945.

It was reflection as to how low the Brown and White football team had sunk that the announcement didn't come with more fanfare.

After all, Lehigh was in the middle of a nine-year stretch where they had only been able to muster one tie in the span of eleven contests with their bitter Rivals.

Six times they were shut out.  Only once did they score more than 7 points against the Leopards.

It probably didn't register that hiring of the former St. Lawrence University star, and former pro football player for the AAFL's Brooklyn Dodgers, only a few years removed from military service in World War II, would forever change the direction of Lehigh athletics.

Few probably realized at the time that the inauspicious announcement would lead not only to one of the greatest Lehigh head football coaching careers of all time, but also would raise the Brown and White to a level of Eastern football supremacy among its peer colleges, as well as a spokesman for a different level of football, separate from the largest football schools like Alabama or Penn State.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Having "Faith" After The Tough Loss to JMU

It's no secret I don't take losses well.

Despite the fact that I picked JMU to win, and logically, I saw the task of beating JMU as a tough one for these young Mountain Hawks, starting over a dozen new names, emotionally I can't separate the logical and emotional sides of my brain very well.  When the Lehigh offense was driving down the field with about a minute to play, I saw the win at the end of tunnel of light.

It would have made my day, given me a rush of adrenaline that would have carried me through the day, and perhaps a good chunk of the week.

But it didn't happen.  The adrenal rush never happened.  I drove home, the loss not sitting well with the Chinese food we ate, nor the breakfast I ate.  The food didn't taste good.  The tiredness took over.

Something funny happened, though, on the way to next week.

A spark of "faith" that after one game, things might be OK.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Lehigh Fights Hard, But Bolt Of Lightning and James Madison Power Surge Leads to Defeat, 31-28

It could be that a bolt of lightning, which hit ground supposedly eight miles from Murray Goodman stadium, helped short out a possible Lehigh victory.

Going into halftime, all the electricity was on Lehigh's side.

Sophomore CB Brandon Leaks unleashed a powerful hit on scrambling JMU QB Vad Lee, stopping him a yard short of the end-zone pylon and giving Lehigh a 21-10 lead going into halftime.

Momentum was all Lehigh in an incredible first half for the Mountain Hawks.-

Before that lightning came down, that is.

The strike - if there actually was a strike, because I didn't see or hear it - caused a half-hour delay at halftime, despite nothing but blue skies with some clouds at Murray Goodman stadium.

But the lightning gave James Madison, gathering under a tree right before the second half began, the power surge they needed to earn the victory.
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