Saturday, October 10, 2015
Patriot League Digital Network
What I like to do in times like this is to mute the PLDN broadcast, and to listen to simulcast of what's local in the Lehigh Valley on AM 1230 and AM 1320 (which you can put on your actual radio, if you like that sort of thing). Today Matt Kerr, Matt Markus and Steve Lomangino are on the call:
As bad luck may have it, the whole Patriot League slate up against one another on the Patriot League network. There is a chance to catch the end of the Lafayette/Georgetown game after the Lehigh game. If so, you will be able to find that here:
For the East Coast, and specifically Penn State and Notre Dame fans, there's a boatload of great FBS games on this afternoon. ABC/ESPN is carrying Indiana/Penn State (played just down the road from Bucknell) and at 3:30 Navy takes on Notre Dame. I think I might check in on Navy to see if they can upset the Fighting Irish... after the Lehigh game, of course.
If you're not close to a TV, you may be able to watch them here.
In a not-so-good TV game at 8:00 PM tonight, Michigan State takes on hapless Rutgers on the Big 10 Network.
In the FCS world, there's not nearly as many good matchups as last week, at least from 3:30PM onwards. Two decent matchups, stick out: Illinois State vs. Youngstown State and Southeastern Louisiana at McNeese State. Both are available on ESPN3:
Friday, October 09, 2015
The rivalry between Lehigh and Bucknell could not be more strange.
The Mountain Hawks hold a 44-31-3 advantage in the series and have played each other on-and-off for the last 127 years. But Lehigh, relatively speaking, has dominated since the NCAA established Divisions in 1978.
Since both Bucknell and Lehigh were reclassified as Division I in 1978 and started competing in Division I-AA together, Lehigh holds a 27-9-1 advantage.
But any good Lehigh fan will point out, though, the last two years have see two of those nine losses.
And both weren't just losses - they were butt-whoopings I don't need to go over again, a humbling 48-10 loss to Bucknell in 2013 and a bad 45-24 loss last season. Then again, Bucknell is 16-5 in their last 21 games, so it's not like they only has success against Lehigh.
One more interesting fact is that this weekend's Lehigh/Bucknell game is occurring when both Lehigh and Bucknell are on "pacing break" this weekend.
Thursday, October 08, 2015
Almost immediately, the mood of the Lehigh folks covering the game picked up.
Without Nitti, it would mean little-used QB Trey Lauletta would be the starter in his place. That, along with the injury to the regular starting RB C.J. Williams, what seemed originally like a close matchup between two close teams felt like a very good shot at a win for the winless Mountain Hawks and might actually get Lehigh's season pointed in the right direction.
It didn't work out that way.
After jumping out to a 7-0 lead, Bucknell would ride a record-setting performance by WR Will Carter, who would get 3 big-play touchdowns during a stretch of 31 straight Bison points to power through to a 45-24 win over Lehigh and effectively ending any dreams of competing for the Patriot League title.
For the last two seasons, the quest for Lehigh's Patriot League title hopes have gone through a game versus Bucknell. This year is no different. The road to any sort of Patriot League title hopes for the Mountain Hawks start this weekend in Lewisburg.
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
This week was a huge one in the Missouri Valley conference, as two battles between ranked teams took place.
While North Dakota State beating South Dakota State might not have been surprising, the relative ease of which the Bison dispatched the Jackrabbits was, a 28-7 game that really wasn't all that close.
And Illinois State, in a true "show-me" game, at least to me, really did show that they are as advertised, beating Northern Iowa 21-13. While controversial RB Marshaun Coprich did play for the Redbirds, his 143 yards and 2 touchdowns were instrumental in their key conference win.
These two wins cleared a logjam in my Top 10 and established two clear frontrunners in the Missouri Valley race.
Monday, October 05, 2015
His treatment in the movie, I feel, is what prevents Rudy from being a mostly-loved movie from a near-universally loved movie.
Some people will never forgive the moviemakers, for the convenience of drama, for changing the reality of his coaching career.
Yet despite this fact, actor Chelcie Ross manages to deliver one of the iconic halftime locker-room speeches in cinema. You're not really supposed to like him, as the movie goes, but somehow he manages this great line:
"No one, and I mean no one, comes into our house and pushes us around."
It's great because it is a universal football concept. Bowl-eligibility, conference games, even in playing out a 3-8 season, it doesn't matter. Nobody wants to play the game of football and get pushed around, ever, but to be pushed around at home? Somewhere, you have to draw a line.
This weekend, Yale pushed us around. At home. There's no hiding it. They weren't always pretty doing it - the Bulldogs made a fair number of mistakes in the form of penalties and turnovers. But ultimately, they won the game because they pushed us around.
Sunday, October 04, 2015
People want games in Murray Goodman Stadium that are sunny and 70 degrees, with perhaps just a hint of wind. Instead, despite the fact that a threatened hurricane never arrived, temperatures dipped into the 50s to go with some cold, gusty winds, which caused not a few people to get runny noses.
Homecoming is supposed to be a happy time, but the dark, overcast skies didn't make the game feel like a warm, welcoming place. Though the Marching 97 tried their best, as did the Alumni band, the dreariness hung over the stadium like an unwelcome guest.
Home fans always want a win on homecoming, hopefully with exciting, crisp, vibrant execution from the guys in the brown jerseys, but again, that too would end up being the opposite of what Lehigh fans were hoping for on this afternoon.
Yale would turn over the ball three times, be penalized 11 times for 94 yards, and be limited to 200 yards passing on the afternoon. But they would also enjoy over 200 yards rushing from RB Deshawn Salter, playing in his first career start filling in for injured RB Candler Rich, and that, coupled with plenty of mistakes on the Lehigh side, would amount to a comfortable 27-12 win for the Buldogs.