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Showing posts from November 14, 2004

Crushed

Crushed
A year ago at this time, we were waiting for the I-AA playoff committee to give us a hand and put us in the playoffs since they couldn't get the job done. Now it's a year later, and after a crushing loss to Lafayette 24-10 (a game where missed snaps and turnovers were huge), we're back in the same boat. We need a hand to get in the field of 16 this year, and I honestly don't know if we will get a shot or not.

I can choose to take this space to mourn, or to talk about our playoff shot.

I'm going to mourn later. There's lots of time to mourn. I'm going post the contenders right here, with reasons to take them, or dump them.

Contender #1: Lehigh
Take them because: All their wins have been against Division I schools. Quality wins versus Yale on the road, Fordham and last year's I-AA Championship runner-up Colgate at home. Only losses to then-ranked Villanova and archrival Lafayette. Won eight straight before losing last game of the year. 5 wins agai…

November Surprise; Press go-round; Predictions of Other Games

November Surprise
There will be no in-game commentary for the game tomorrow, since I'm going to be in the press box for the Lehigh/Lafayette game. I'm going to be covering the game for http://www.I-AA.org, and there are rules concerning the dissemenation of the game directly from the press box.

As a public service, however, I'll list the places where you can catch the 140th meeting:
TV:
WFMZ channel 69 Allentown
Fox Sports Net Pittsburgh (DirecTV 627, DISH Network 448)
Radio:
ESPN Radio 1230 and 1320,
On the Web:
http://www.lehighsports.com ($$ required).

Press go-round
Here's the big list of press around the web regarding Lehigh/Lafayette. You'll please forgive me if I don't cut-and-paste these - there are just too many:
Allentown Morning Call:
Lehigh's Stability Has Been Its Strength
For Lehigh, Results Trump Expectations
Easton Express-Times:
Hawks Looking to Settle Matters For Themselves
Lembo - Proven Winner
Veteran Players Make Issue of Loss in '02
Brown &a…

Lehigh/Lafayette Preview - the 140th Meeting

Lehigh/Lafayette Preview
Just in case you weren't already juiced up for this game, here's my preview of the 140th meeting for all to read and enjoy.

Lehigh Injury Report
TE Steve Burant (OUT)
OL John Reese (OUT)
FS Kaloma Cardwell (OUT)
OLB Jon Guynes (OUT)
DT Royce Morgan (OUT)
LB Randy Rovesti (Doubtful)
OL Rob Sandie (Questionable)
WR Gerran Walker (Questionable)
DE Tom Alfsen (Questionable)
CB Neal Boozer-Gallman (Questionable)
OLB Jason Murray (Questionable)

I seriously doubt we need to worry about any of the "Questionable" Mountain Hawks not playing in this huge game this weekend. Of note, however, is Randy Rovesti being upgraded to "Doubtful" (he had been out the past three weeks). Perhaps he will see some time - it will be interesting to see.

Scouting Lafayette
The Leopards, predicted by everybody to finish no higher than fifth in the Patriot this year, are now in the position of playing for a share of the Patriot League Championship and an I-AA play…

"The Biggest Game in I-AA Saturday"

Matt Dougherty's column
I haven't finished my Lehigh/Lafayette 140th Meeting preview yet, but national I-AA columnist Matt Dougherty of the Sports Network has a pretty lengthy preview of the game:

Matt Dougherty: Week 12: Agony and Ecstasy

In it is the following quote, to be re-broadcast loud and clear through the media, blogosphere, and internet:

"I’ll be traveling to this game for many reasons. It’s a close drive on a busy Saturday. It’s a rivalry. The winner gets the automatic berth to the playoffs. And It’s the biggest game in I-AA Saturday."

Emphasis added!

Tune in later today for my (in the spirit of Fox News) "fair and balanced" preview of Lehigh/Lafayette.

Lehigh/Lafayette - Through the Years

"The Game", The Rivalry, The Blue-Collar Brawl
This weekend Lafayette will host Lehigh at Fisher Field, unfolding yet another fascinating chapter in this storied rivalry. For both Lehigh and Lafayette fans, this is a huge game as it is every year, made even more huge with the tantalizing possibility that there will be an I-AA playoff bid on the line as well. Win the game, and you're in the playoffs. Lose, and you will be sweating on Sunday.

Today I'm going to spend the time to recount the history of this storied rivalry - how this game became the most-played rivalry in college football, and how the "blue-collar brawl" defines Lehigh fans.

Harvard/Yale: The "Other" Game
To the uninformed, the dull, and the most of the national college football media circuit, many folks think that Harvard/Yale is to be considered "The Game". Ha! Lehigh/Lafayette has more on the line (especially this year), is more historic, and has a longer and richer histor…

Press; Game balls: Rankings

Press
From the annals of the online press comes today's press roundup. It must be said: when Fordham was ranked in the I-AA Top 25 last year, all the major New York papers (like the New York Times and Daily News) were falling over themselves to write about their "beloved" Rams and couldn't get over the upsides of Kevin Eakin and Kirwin Watson. But now that the team is in the middle of the pack in the Patriot... not even one crummy writeup of the game. That's New York fans for you - don't let the bandwagon run you over on the way out of town.

Easton Express-Times:
Lehigh Defense Preserves Victory
Allentown Morning Call:
Lehigh a 'Low Maintenance' Team
Brown & White:
Hawks One Victory From Title

Choice Quotes:
"A big Fordham bomb early in the fourth quarter covered 44 yards and left the Rams three yards away from tying the game, maybe a play or two away from causing chaos in the fidgety Goodman Stadium stands... It was about then that the Mountain …

1994; Weekend Pick Recap

1994
If I were the Lehigh coach, I would pull out a tape of the 1994 Lehigh/Lafayette game and show it to the players. It is the nightmare situation that all Mountain Hawks must guard against.

That year, Lafayette's Erik Marsh ran roughshod over Lehigh for 214 yards in a 54-20 manhandling that wasn't even close. Marsh ran left, right, through the tackles, around the outside - everywhere. It's the ugliest Lehigh/Lafayette game I ever saw - what I saw of it. Lehigh was down 28-7 and half, and midway through the 3rd quarter me and my friends all left, unable to withstand any more. That year in Easton, the Leopards celebrated their last Patriot League title for a long time to come.

Fast forward to 2004. Joe McCourt, as of last week, broke Erik Marsh's all-purpose yards mark last week against Holy Cross. A Leopard team with a very similar style of smashmouth running is on the field in Easton, even if they run the ball more with QB Brad Maurer than the 1994 Lafayette team. It…