Saturday, October 03, 2015

Not At Homecoming? Really? Watch the game here:

If you're not able to catch the Yale game in person - really?  You can't? -  you can stream the game here from the Patriot League Digital Network.  It's a 12:30 start and will be the same broadcast that's available over the air on SE2 in the Lehigh Valley, with Mike Zambelli and Mike Yadush on the call.

Patriot League Digital Network

If you're in the car and you have a phone, don't tear through your data plan - listen to Matt Kerr and Tom Fallon on the call, with Matt Markus reporting the pregame and sideline.  It's a simulcast of what's local in the Lehigh Valley on AM 1230 and AM 1320:

http://www.espnlv.com/

Last night saw three games of interest to Lehigh fans: Princeton remained undefeated by outlasting Columbia in a Nor'Easter, 10-5, Colgate nearly blew a 14 point lead but held on to beat Cornell 28-21, and Georgetown got trounced by Harvard 45-0.

Played at the same time today as Lehigh/Yale is Albany/Holy Cross (1:00 PM), which is available on Campus Insiders:

http://campusinsiders.com/network/patriot_league/live

Also Bucknell plays a tough game at VMI, which is available on ESPN3:

http://espn.go.com/watchespn/index/_/id/2659320/NCAAF-Bucknell-vs-VMI

Lafayette faces off against Fordham with a 6:00PM start, definitely a double-scouting opportunity to catch after Lehigh beats Yale:

http://campusinsiders.com/network/patriot_league/live/54d1bd72e4b039c817f1e97a

*****

Other games that might be of interest to Lehigh fans that aren't happening simultaneously with Lehigh's homecoming:

ESPN3 has a multitude of great games this afternoon and evening that have lots to do with the world of  FCS:

http://espn.go.com/watchespn/#type/upcoming/

There's two FBS upset possibilities:

Liberty at Georgia State (3:30 PM)
Eastern Kentucky at Kentucky (7:30 PM)

Some great Missouri Valley matchups, including the matchup of the week:

Indiana State at Missouri State (3:00 PM)
Youngstown State at South Dakota (3:00 PM)
Southern Illinois at Western Illinois (4:00 PM)
North Dakota State at South Dakota State (7:30 PM)

And a bunch of other matchups involving Top 25 teams:

Sam Houston State vs. Stephen F. Austin (4:00 PM)
Wofford at Mercer (6:00 PM)
South Carolina State vs. Furman (7:00 PM)

On broadcast TV, Penn State will destroy Army at the same time Lehigh is beating Yale (noon), but there's a chance to catch William and Mary face off against Delaware on the NBC Sports Network at 7:00 PM.

Friday, October 02, 2015

Game Breakdown, Yale at Lehigh, 10/3/2015

We break down the Yale game - and we give our fearless prediction, below the flip.

All week everyone's been tracking the progress of a potential superstorm, hurricane Joaquin.  While the main concern, of course, is the safety of everyone in the hurricane's path, people are also wondering whether the storm will be affecting the game this weekend in the form of wind or rains.

It turns out, if the tracking goes the way the majority models are indicating, that Lehigh's 12:30 game at Murray Goodman might not only escape the rain, but there might not be any showers to speak of.

In the latest hour by hour at Weather.com, the forecast actually only has modest showers in the morning, ending by 11:00 AM (just in time for tailgating), and remaining partly cloudy all the way until 4:00 PM on Saturday, an absolute perfect window for the football game and Goodman stadium homecoming activities.

In short, it's increasingly looking like the storm will either move very slowly through the Caribbean,  or take a sharp right turn and head so far out to sea that the worst of the winds of the storm will miss the Lehigh Valley completely.  Though the situation is still serious along the Eastern shore, at Murray Goodman it is actually, against all earlier odds, looking like good weather.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Game Preview, Yale at Lehigh, 10/3/2015

“The past is the past and we aren’t concerned with it. We have learned from our mistakes, and we are ready to move on.”

That was freshman RB Micco Brisker, who told this to The Brown and White this week in regards to last week's game versus Princeton.

It's a good attitude to have going into this weekend's game versus Yale.

It would be easy to complain about injuries, or the officials, or unlucky bounces of the football last week.  But to this team's credit, that wasn't what the discussion points were about in the weekday media sessions.  It was about owning those mistakes, and moving on.

“We need to cut out mental mistakes like penalties and missed assignments on the field, as well as win the turnover margin by forcing more turnovers defensively and preventing them from happening offensively,” said junior LB Colton Caslow this week.

This weekend Lehigh will be looking to move on, actually, from two different games, one from last weekend, where it felt like the Mountain Hawks' own mistakes cost them the game, and a game a year ago, in which Lehigh lost two 21 point leads and lost a marathon of a game, 54-43, to the same opponents they face at homecoming this year, Yale.

Homecoming is always a big weekend for Lehigh football, but a win for Lehigh this weekend would likely mean a lot more than just making the alumni happy.  It would mean "moving on" to league play with the slate finally cleaned - officially, this time.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

My FCS Top 25 Vote, Week 4: 9/28/2015

If you'd like, you can check out my FCS Top 25 vote below.

I don't ordinarily do do two things with my poll that I actually did this week:

1. I usually don't demote a team completely out of the Top 25 if they're a Top 5 team and they lose.

2. I usually don't demote a team from the No. 1 slot if they win their game.

But that's exactly what I did, after I looked at my poll with a fresh new set of eyes after some of the more interesting outcomes from the weekend.

I'd been meaning to demote Villanova for some time, not only due to their sort-of lackluster performance over the beginning of the season, but for their seemingly lackluster play going back to last season when Sam Houston upset them in the FCS Round of 8 last season.  I was looking for a dominant performance against the worst team on their schedule, Penn, and instead the Quakers upset the Wildcats 24-13.

You could argue that they were getting things done with defense.  You could have said that with the loss of their Walter Payton Award-nominated quaterback, QB John Robertson, they'd suffer.  But the team that lost this past Thursday, simply, wasn't a Top 25 team in my opinion.  The confluence of all these factors had me dip them out of the Top 25 entirely.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Princeton Weekend Shows Work Needs To Be Done To Be Contenders

I always enjoy making the trip to catch a Princeton game when I can.

Aside from the sentimental attachment that I have to the place, there's a lot to recommend it as a destination for anyone.

After Lehigh's 52-26 loss to Princeton, however, the Mountain Hawk people I saw after the game couldn't wait to get out of there and regroup.

Everything about this early, challenging schedule for the Mountain Hawks seems to have been designed to determine how close Lehigh is at becoming contenders once again.  It's a challenging, strong out-of-conference schedule that doesn't need an FBS team on it to make it a stern test for this group of players.

If anything in particular was learned about this weekend's game, it's that this Mountain Hawk team still needs work in order to win their Patriot League games and possibly win a Patriot League championship.  Spectacular individual plays, like junior CB Brandon Leaks upending Princeton RB Dre Nelson, are great, and like any other Lehigh fan I love to see them.  But the stuff needed to win football games are greater than individual plays, unfortunately.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Frustrated Lehigh Can't Overcome Mistakes, Trickery, Fall to Princeton 52-26

Head coach Andy Coen stood outside the locker room, obviously agitated at the result of the game.  Outside, beautiful fireworks were exploding over Princeton Stadium on a beautiful night.

In front of the locker room, the fire was coming from Lehigh head coach, verbalizing what all the players, and fans, saw on the evening.

"The turnovers, the penalties, the blocked extra point, losing momentum there, that was all stuff we had control over," Coen said, seemingly wanting to get back onto the field right then and there, with the fireworks going off, and play the game all over again.  "They had no control over that.  It was our problem jumping offsides, it was our problem dropping balls, our problem not being focused enough.  And if you are not focused enough, then someone else will play."

It was so frustrating because the Mountain Hawks had some real pretty looking numbers on the stat sheet.  They outgained Princeton 561 yards to 497.  Junior QB Nick Shafnisky had 348 yards passing, many of them to sophomore WR Troy Pelletier, who broke a school record for completions in a game with 15.  Freshman RB Dom Bragalone played an outstanding game, becoming the second freshman running back in as many weeks to rush for over 100 yards in a game.

Yet Lehigh didn't win in the only statistic that really matters - points.  Last week, Lehigh doubled up Penn.  This week, Princeton would double up Lehigh, 52-26.
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