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#Rivalry155: Five Things to Watch, Keys To the Game, Fearless Prediction: Lafayette at Lehigh, 11/23/2019

Below, we're going to do a quick once-over of Lehigh's game notes and possible injuries, then we'll dive right into 5 things to look for with Sacred Heart, my Keys to the game, and the cherry on top will be my Fearless Prediction.

You can read my College Sports Journal preview of #155, complete with TV and streaming information, here.

Keith Groller of The Morning Call headlined his piece "Lehigh’s defense has been its best in years, but it hasn’t translated into a winning season". 

Additionally, Paul Reinhard of The Morning Call headline his preview "Lafayette football has more than just bragging rights on the line vs. Lehigh".


Game Notes There is some good news and some bad news in the game notes.

Last week, RB Rashawn Allen exploded back into the running back mix with his first 100 yard rushing game of the season, and explosive freshman RB Zaythan Hill will join him to hopefully be a great 1-2 punch for the Lehigh running game.  Last week, Lehigh was r…

#Rivalry155: Pregame Q&A With Head Coach Tom Gilmore

LFN: So it must be interesting being back here coaching in The Rivalry. 
Tom Gilmore: It is. I mean, you know, when you step back and you think this is the most played game in college football, that's pretty neat. And it's such a big rivalry. It's been around so long. The proximity is schools, the proximity of our alumni bases, it just makes this a special thing. And regardless of how the rest of the season goes, good or bad, or you always have that big game left at the end of a regular season, that's really special. No one else in our league has it. A lot of the Ivy League doesn't.  Only Harvard/Yale or Ohio State/Michigan, Cal/Stanford is anything like this. We have something really special here.  Adding to that is title implications.  Both teams have to hope that Holy Cross loses to Georgetown. But at the same time, if that does happen, if we win the game, we tie for the championship and if Lafayette wins the game, they win the championship. Having those implicat…

#Rivalry155: Pregame Q&A With S Sam McCloskey

LFN: Did you have a pretty busy class schedule this year?

S Sam McCloskey:  I got here late today as well. Tuesday through Thursday is pretty busy. Monday and Friday, actually, I'll have class.

LFN: What are you studying now?  And how has that been integrating with football?

SMC: An MBA type of technical entrepreneurship. There's definitely a lot to it, a lot of hours.  So at times it's actually been tough, you know, kind of balancing football practice and whatnot. But it's completely different than undergrad programs, really hands on. I like it a lot.  We get to work on our own venture. So I'm trying to work on that and we'll see where that goes.

LFN: Do you have anything lined up for the future?

SMC:  Probably end up in construction or real estate, something like that. That's where my interest has been, you know, throughout college. So that's cool.

LFN: How do you manage the Rivalry distractions?  What do you tell the younger players?

SMC: I think the tradit…

#Rivalry155: The Last Five Meetings

One of the nice things about having done this for long is that at my fingertips I can summon up the definitive account of the last five meetings of The Rivalry through my game recaps of the time.  Here's a quick summary of the last five times Lehigh faced off against Lafayette in the most important game of the season.  And heck - it's Throwback Thursday somewhere, right?


#Rivalry155: Pregame Q&A With DE Juwan Morrow

LFN: So your in your fifth year, you're and environmental science major. How's that? How's it been going along here for you? How has that worked out with integrating with football?

DE Juwan Morrow:  There are a lot of labs. It's a lot of field trips and class time, going out and doing certain experiments, using certain tools, you know. So it's definitely a challenge to be able to incorporate that with football. But the professors in that department are accommodating and football is very understanding. And it's a blessing to be able to have people work so hard together to make things work for me. 

LFN: Do you have any plans after graduation or do you know what your plans might be?

JM: So hopefully that paired with my environmental policy masters degree, that makes me more marketable to be able to work somewhere in Philly.

LFN: This season has been one of a great defensive turnaround. 

JM: We took on a backbone role for the defense. I think it started with the players…

What Is The Rivalry, Anyway?

There is something about Eastern Pennsylvania that keeps drawing people back.

I see it all the time - from expats who move across the country, but still watch the Eagles on Sundays.  Once you've been to the Lehigh Valley, warts and all, it seems like some sort of gravitational pull yanks you back to the area.  You can live in the Yucatan, but a part of your heart remains in the Valley.

It's a strange thing, too, because the Lehigh Valley has never been a paradise on earth.  Even from the times of the English and German Moravians setting the area in the 1600s, it's been a place of contrasts - the well-to-do living and working next to manual laborers.  The prosperity of Bethlehem and Easton ebbed and flowed, but what always was true was that both were cities that were a big mix of different types of hard-working people.

Lehigh University reflected Bethlehem, a town built on iron and steel, a town that wanted to pretend that you could go from the foundry to the boardroom but…