Friday, October 23, 2015

Game Breakdown, Lehigh at Fordham, 10/24/2015

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

Fans, coaches and players alike are keenly aware of the importance of this weekend's game.

“If you look at our win against Bucknell and our win against Penn, which are our two best wins of the year, those were our two best weeks of practice,” senior TE Chris Ruhl told The Brown and White this week. “It was our most intense week of practice. It was our most focused week of practice, so head coach Andy Coen has been pushing for us to set the standard with that.”

Also in this week's game notes for Lehigh, which I forgot about for yesterday, sees a big return on the two-deep as well in junior LB Colton Caslow.

"We've still got a lot of work to do and we're still working hard on getting better every single time we step on the field," senior LB Noah Robb said this week. "We've made a lot of progress, even from two weeks ago. We're getting there."

Lehigh fans hope they "get there" this Saturday.

"It's really crazy, honestly," Robb continued. "To think I only have a couple months left, of football, I don't know what I'm going to do with myself when it's over... Off the field, Lehigh is a great place to go. I've had opportunities to network.  I've received a great education and couldn't ask for a better place to spend the best four years of my life. But I don't want to leave Lehigh without a [championship] ring."

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Game Preview Lehigh at Fordham, 10/24/2015

The enormity of the challenge of Lehigh's 2015 football schedule was evident to everyone looking at the schedule.

"October 10th, at Bucknell.  October 24th, at Fordham".

In August, every Lehigh fan wants to be an optimist.  They want to believe that this is the year that they win a Patriot League champions.  They look at the entirety of the schedule, and say, "Yeah.  We could win that one."

But even the biggest optimists looked at this two-game stretch, at Bucknell, and at Fordham, and had to pause, and perhaps exhale.   "Number Two and Number One in the league last year," they think.  "On the road.  And Fordham, a Top 15 team for the last two years, who has gone to the FCS playoffs for two straight years, with a returning Jerry Rice award-winner in RB Chase Edmonds."

Lehigh defied their preseason expectations by beating Bucknell 21-10 two weeks ago, setting up an extremely meaningful game in the Bronx this coming weekend for this young Mountain Hawk team.
The optimists from the summer are still here.  They already saw one tough road win against the Bison.  Though it's going to be a huge challenge, they also see the potential for another.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

My FCS Top 25 Vote, Week 7, 10/19/2015

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

Last week, I said people around the country are starting to understand that James Madison is a pretty damn good FCS football team.

Apparently, someone at College Football Gameday was also paying attention to the Dukes as well.

At 7-0, James Madison University was chosen as the site for ESPN's pregame show College Football Gameday, to highlight their game versus another Top 25 school, Richmond.

It's not the first time College Football Gameday has elected to cover an FCS school.  The nationwide program has already made a couple stops in Fargo, North Dakota to cover the North Dakota State Bison, and last year the hot rumor was that Gameday was going to cover Lehigh vs. Lafayette's 150th celebration at Yankee Stadium, but ultimately decided to go with Harvard vs. Yale, as "The Game" was for an Ivy League championship and "The Rivalry" ended up being for pride.

Harrisonburg, Virginia I'm sure will be a great host for Gameday.  It's also worth mentioning Dukes fans, and possibly their athletics reps, will be doing a great job showcasing Bridgeforth Stadium and their "FBS-ready" program.  Already some have taken to the papers to talk a little about an FBS move.

And why not?  I don't blame them.  As much as I like the Dukes in FCS, I can very much see their team end up in the FBS eventually, ideally as a travel partner/rival to Old Dominion in Conference USA.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

LFN's Midseason Report Card

Not that long ago, Lehigh football players had to take those dreaded 4 O'Clock exams, an essential, dreaded part of the Lehigh experience.

Today, though the 2015 Lehigh Mountain Hawks are getting areport card of a different sort.

Past the halfway point of the season, it's time to take a step back and see where the Mountain Hawks are, and where they need to go to get back to the top of the Patriot League.

The season, as befitting a young team, has been inconsistent.  At times, Lehigh has looked like a team that could possibly win the Patriot League title.  At other times, though, they haven't.

Fortunately for all Lehigh fans, the Mountain Hawks last game, a gritty 21-10 win over Bucknell, was the equivalent of acing the mid-term exam.  That win, which brought Lehigh back to a 3-3 record, was huge.  But tougher challenges await in the last five weeks of the season.

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