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Lehigh 34, Liberty 16

Looks like my optimism at the end of the 3rd quarter was well founded.

In the 4th quarter, things really started to click. A Kaloma Cardwell INT for a TD (a lock for a game ball this week) really put the game out of reach. TE Adam Bergen's TD in the corner of the end zone was the icing on the cake. That second half was fun to listen to!

Overall, aside from a few slipups (a muffed extra-point attempt that was returned for 2 points by Liberty, a sloppy play on the onside kick that game Liberty another possession, an INT by Keating and Borda, a fumble by Borda) this was a very impressively executed game on all sides of the ball (200 yards rushing, Borda 20-for-27 passing, 3 receiving TDs, 3 interceptions, holding the vaunted Liberty rushing attack to under 200 yards). The Mountain Hawks have a lot to be happy about going into the bye week.

Making this win even more impressive is how Lehigh responded after falling behind 6-0 - by taking over the game completely. You just get the feeling that this could be a rallying point for the team for the rest of the year.

In the postgame comments, Coach Lembo noted about the physical play of Liberty in the first half - and how Lehigh responded by "racheting up their physical play a notch... especially without Royce Morgan in the lineup." Rath confirmed Liberty's physical play.

Overall, a very satisfying win over a scholarship school in their own house. Tomorrow I can't wait to pour over the stats to pick out the virtual game balls. I think there will be a lot to go around. Kardwell and Alfsen are finding themselves permanent fixtures in tha game-ball category.

(Come on Liberty, down by 18 under a minute, is it really necessary to go for a TD and call 2 timeouts?)

Around the league
Did I say that New Hampshire would beat Willam and Mary in a shootout? I meant to say, W & M will beat UNH in a defensive struggle, 9-7.

Did I say Maine would be worn down from their tough early schedule? I meant to say, Maine would drive for the winning drive in the 4th quarter, miss the extra point, and will hold on to score a massive upset over SEC member Mississippi St., 9-7.

Did you, like me, predict up to 6 members of the 1-AA Top 25 would lose? Of course you did, especially Montana (of course) losing to Sam Houston St. (not over yet, but not looking good for the Grizzlies), James Madison (of course) shutting out Villanova at home, and (of course) Richmond going into McGuirk Stadium in Springfield and dominating UMass.

I of course am joking. I mean, seriously, are we are in bizarro-world? There was also Duquesne's manhandling of Georgetown, Hampton's dismantling of Western Illinois, and Colgate holding off a pesky Dartmouth team by only 2 points at home. And I thought Georgia Southern would win over Wofford, but 58-14?

One thing's for sure: the polls will be a' shifting. If Youngstown St. can beat McNeese, we might see some great movement for Lehigh and Colgate in the polls on Tuesday.

Tomorrow: Game Balls going into the "bye" week


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