Saturday, September 19, 2015
Everyone's favorite radio call will be available here from Matt Kerr and Tom Fallon in the box. Matt Markus will be reporting the pregame and sideline:
Dartmouth/Georgetown, Delaware/Villanova, Columbia/Fordham and Yale/Colgate are also available to watch on Campus Insiders. but you're way too busy watching the Penn/Lehigh game, right?
Princeton at Lafayette live stream via Campus Insiders, 6:00 PM start:
Holy Cross faces off against Towson and there is a live stream here:
If you want to watch a fantastic chance at an FCS vs. FBS upset, Wofford is taking on Idaho today streaming on ESPN3 at 5:00 PM:
There's also Maine at Tulane at 8:00 PM:
Montana also plays at Liberty in a battle of ranked teams on ESPN3 at 7:00 PM:
Oh yeah, there's also that other game in play tonight: Rutgers at Penn State on the Big 10 Network with an 8:00 PM start.
Friday, September 18, 2015
A lot has been made this week of Lehigh facing off against an Ivy team playing in their first game. It's a fairly unique feature of FCS and the Patriot League, where Ivy League schools are frequently a part of the out-of-conference menu and the Ivy League teams, who choose to start their football season in mid-September, need some out-of-conference teams to begin the season.
It does certainly pose a challenge in certain respects. A team playing in their first game is freshest, less injured, and can surprise a team like it can in no other way the rest of the season - there is no game film really to study. On the other hand, teams playing in their first game are generally also sloppy, and need time to adapt to the speed of football. It is a double-edged sword.
In his Lehigh head coaching career, Andy Coen has been 5-4 in such games. Generally, oddly enough, they tend to be a good barometer for the rest of their seasons.
In seven of the nine games, and every game since 2008, a win in this game has equaled a winning season for Lehigh. A loss has equaled a losing season.
Last season, Lehigh lost a frustrating, heartbreaking game to Yale, 54-43, and finished 3-8 on the year.
Thursday, September 17, 2015
Such is the case with the Penn game this weekend.
On paper, it's been twelve years since Lehigh has faced off against Penn. The head coach in that game in 2003, Al Bagnoli, retired just last season, only to "unretire" at Columbia in an effort to turn around the moribund Lion program desperate to distance themselves from the Pete Mangurian
On the surface, it would seem like much has changed - that little would remain from the remnants of that 2003 game in terms of links between the two schools.
But you'd be wrong.
When you look at this upcoming Lehigh and Penn game, you'll see a lot of faces - old and new - that show that this rivalry - with a little r - is rekindling itself at exactly the right time.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
The Rivalry takes a look at the early days of the Lehigh/Lafayette football rivalry, and how Lafayette College and Lehigh University were founded, how their athletic departments were created, and (of course) how the football Rivalry got to be as emotionally and fiercely contested as it is.
There's lots of new information from newly-available archives regarding Asa Packer, Ario Pardee, the founding of both schools, and the origins of athletics at both schools.
This year is Lehigh's sequincentennial, 150 years since Lehigh was founded.
But it wasn't originally supposed to be so. Originally, Lehigh was supposed to be opened in 1866.
Why 1865, then?
Because Lehigh wanted to rush their inaugural university year to compete with Lafayette for students. Lafayette, thanks to the largesse of Ario Pardee, was developing engineering as a discipline, and Lehigh's trustees, including Asa Packer, wanted to make sure that they were able to get the best students.
That's just one of the many stories you'll discover in The Rivalry. Available now!
(Hoping to also have this available at your local bookstore soon!)
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Buy Me On Amazon (Kindle or Paperback)
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
It's not often that I promote a team that lost to an FBS squad, never mind promoting a team to No. 1 after such a loss. But that's exactly what I did after Jacksonville State came a couple of bold plays away from upsetting Auburn, a team who legitimately is seen as one that could be in the FBS College Football Playoff at the end of the regular season.
It was very compelling TV, even I find myself second-guessing head coach John Graas' decision to take a knee and play for overtime instead of taking a shot to win. It didn't make sense from my perspective to play for OT in that spot, but... it still was impressive, even in defeat. The Gamecocks barely eked out Coastal Carolina for the new No. 1 spot to me.
Monday, September 14, 2015
At home, watching the game streamed live to my big TV screen, I won't lie - I was furious.
After thinking about it a day, though, maybe I should be thanking him.
For coach Withers may not have meant it in this way, but the key to a successful season for Lehigh in 2015 may have been that onsides kick - what it meant, what it showed, and how this football team can take that moment going forward.
Sunday, September 13, 2015
After James Madison took their opening drive and drove 72 yards in 8 plays to go up 7-0, Lehigh responded with a perfectly-executed pass from junior QB Nick Shafnisky to freshman RB Dominic Bragalone over the middle, where the speedy running back from South Williamsport, PA showed a burst of speed, outracing the entire James Madison secondary to tie the game at seven.
They absorbed the Dukes' first wave of offense, and showed a sign that they might be able to get into a shootout with James Madison.
But in short order, the Dukes offense, pelting the Lehigh defense in waves, proved to be overwhelming.
Buoyed by 334 yards passing by QB Vad Lee, 286 yards rushing by a bevy of backs and a big special teams play converted into a touchdown, the Dukes scored 31 unanswered points in about a 14 minute span in the second quarter to overwhelm the Mountain Hawks.