Saturday, September 05, 2015
In a strange sort of way, 2014 was buried by a different sort of numeric combination.
The Mountain Hawks would win their first game of the year by the poetic score of 20-14, in the process finally putting the final shovelfuls of earth on top of last year's disappointing season.
It's not so much the win but the way it was won - won with a strong defensive effort that very nearly shut out the Blue Devils in the first half, won with a game-clinching drive that ate up the clock when a stalled drive might have opened the door for more, won with a kicking game that turned in critical points that were the difference between winning and losing.
Last year, Lehigh found ways to lose. Tonight, the young Mountain Hawks found a way to come together and finish the game when it was on the line.
Not a bad way to bury the corpse of last season.
Thursday, September 03, 2015
Thinking of openers and CCSU this week made me think of Lehigh's 2013 season.
That was an epic overtime game, where Lehigh overcame a 20 point 4th quarter deficit to overcome the Blue Devils in double overtime 51-44.
While most probably remember the record-breaking receiving day from WR Lee Kurfis, I dug deeper.
Wednesday, September 02, 2015
All offseason - and I've been as guilty of this as anyone - there's always been question for the Mountain Hawk football team concerning a football game played last November:
"Did you actually watch a tape the 150th Rivalry game in Yankee Stadium last November?
"What was your reaction? Did you toss the DVD out the window, or set it on fire?"
"Do you think about that loss every day, or simply once a week?"
This Friday up at New Britain, Lehigh football players and their fans will finally have something to talk about that doesn't involve that infernal game in the Bronx last November.
Oddly enough, they are facing a team that comes from a similar place. The Central Connecticut State Blue Devils, 3-9 last season and in their second season under head coach Pete Rossamondo, wants to erase the memory of a six-game slide that doomed their 2014 season.
Tuesday, September 01, 2015
The Sun Belt is crazy.
These will not be among the official statements you will be reading today in regards to Coastal Carolina's whirlwind acceptance of their athletic program into the Sun Belt.
The Sun Belt did not make this decision because Coastal Carolina was the most qualified candidate. They were not convinced by an impressive attendance number or a plan of action that stated exactly how the Chanticleers were going to be able to pay for an expensive, permanent upgrade to the costs and expenses of FBS football.
They picked them because they were in the right place, and were willing to go.
And that's precisely why someone at the NCAA needs to put a stop to the the madness that is the current structure for drafting FBS teams.
Monday, August 31, 2015
|Lehigh QB Nick Shafnisky (Morning Call)|
Well, he didn't exactly say it like that. But he did talk about proving the haters wrong.
"I love having people either be there for me or count me out," he said. "Personally, I love it all. I love haters. I was just saying to my dad - the more people are talking bad about you, the more people you have to prove wrong. I love proving people wrong, and making my coaches from high school proud."
Now finally healthy, Shafnisky finally has the chance to prove a lot of people wrong - those that doubted his ability to recover from a Rivalry game he'd rather forget, those that thought he might not get over the injury that severely limited him last season, those that picked Lehigh to finish fifth, sixth, or even seventh in the Patriot League.
Despite an infections optimism that carried all the way through the preseason, you could see the chip forming on Shafnisky's shoulder that day, as well as junior LB Colton Caslow's.
How Shaf and Caslow perform with that chip on their shoulder is going to play a big part in the 2015 season.
"We want to show that the 3-8 team you guys saw last year is not what Lehigh's about, and it's not what Lehigh football is about," Shaf said. "When they announced that we were picked fifth, Colton and I just looked at each other, and said, 'We'll see.' Everyone has a different chip on their shoulder to prove everyone wrong."
Sunday, August 30, 2015
As Lehigh football fans start looking at the season opener, a mere 5 days away, they're looking at their theoretic depth charts and see some recurring themes:
Freshman. Freshman. Sophomore. Freshman. Sophomore.
Football is the ultimate team game, where experience counts in terms of knowing what it takes to win Division I football games. Yet up and down Lehigh's roster, it's very evident: to win in 2015, head coach Andy Coen will be relying on his underclassmen in a big way - underclassmen who will be a big part of this season.
"Thery're going to get their opportunities early," coach Coen told me during Patriot League Media day earlier this month. "I think we have 54-56 guys that are going to be freshman, sophomore-level eligibility. And there are going to be some kids from that freshman class that are going to play - that's without a doubt."