Friday, April 17, 2015

Five Questions Going Into Lehigh's Brown-White Game In 2015

RB Cody Haupt in last year's Brown/White game (Morning Call)
Lehigh will hold its annual Brown-White spring football game tomorrow at Murray Goodman Stadium, to be broadcast on the Patriot League Network starting at 10:00 AM and featuring the commentary of Matt Kerr and Mike Yadush.

Below the flip are five things to watch in regards to Saturday's scrimmage and drills.


1. How's the Timo And Brendan Show?  With junior QB Nick Shafnisky's arm on the shelf, the opportunity is there to have sophomore QB Matt Timochenko and sophomore QB Brendan Craven be able to show what they can do if they have to be the ones to be the "next men up" in the offense.

With the exception of one solitary pass attempt during last year's regular season, Timochenko and Craven are unproven commodities at a position were good depth is critical.  This will be their big chance to show their abilities to the Nation.

2. How has the Defensive Front Seven Has Gelled?  I spent a lot of virtual ink writing about how Lehigh struggled last season on defense, but having said that, the unit made a lot of strides as the 2014 season went on.  The Nation will be looking at further strides this part of the defense has made since the final game of the season last year.

The defensive line, anchored by sophomore NG Tyler Cavenas, and the linebackers, led by senior LB Noah Robb, will be able to show how they bring the pressure.

3. Who Will Be Carrying The Rock?  Certainly at running back, with only four guys in camp, the battle for the starting position seems like it will continue into August.  But with the four backs that are here - senior RB D.J. Kee, junior FB Evan Kauffman, junior FB Mackenzie Crawford and sophomore RB Nana Amankwah-Ayeh - there's a golden chance for one or more of them to establish themselves at the top of the depth chart going into next season.

Kauffman has the most practical experience in the offense, followed by Crawford, but it's possible that Kee could be one of those Lehigh players that blossoms into a full-time starter his senior year.  As for LFN fave Amankwah-Ayeh, he's as much in the mix as anybody and should have a chance to shine tomorrow as well.  The big question: who will shine brightest?

4. Who's Snapping?  Normally it might not be worth bringing the binoculars to find out who's snapping the ball in special teams situations, but with the understanding that long snapping and kicking will be a battle in August, it might be worth a look to see who's snapping on these drills tomorrow.

With senior DE/LB Matt Laub on the shelf and snapping being a bit of an issue and a revolving door last year, it may be worth seeing if someone has emerged in this important yet underappreciated role.

5. Can the offensive line and defensive backfield make it through the whole practice?  Though everything's not entirely settled on the offensive line and defensive backfield, injuries have left both units razor-thin in terms of numbers.  How will both units do tomorrow morning in terms of the work they're able to do?

We'll see some likely starters in this area, notably senior OL Matt Ford, senior SS Randall Lawson, and senior CB Olivier Rigaud - and we'll be seeing them a lot, based on the thin depth chart.

LehighSports.Com Spring Prospectus

LFN's Position By Position Previews:
Quarterbacks/Tight Ends
Running Backs/Wide Receivers
Offensive Line
Defensive Line
Linebackers
Defensive Backs/Special Teams

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