No seriously, have you recovered from the game yet? I sure haven't. I still can't get over the fact that we were so close to the win. It's so hard to describe - there's so much potential in this 2005 squad - there were lots of positives coming out of this game - yet the loss still hurts.
It feels like Lehigh has moved beyond moral victories. We lost to the eventual I-AA champions by 1 point in 2004, and we lost to one of the toughest teams in I-AA by 1 point last weekend. The players may be able to hold their heads high, but I think we, as fans, get frustrated. It was so close. We feel like Lehigh is not very far from the James Madison's and Delaware's of the world - the very best teams in all of I-AA. Not long ago Lehigh was a team that looked to be respectable against teams the Atlantic 10. In 2005, we are starting to expect victories. It's a natural progression from the success Lehigh and the rest of the Patriot League has had in I-AA.
It doesn't matter that the starting punter, our top reciever, and both cornerbacks fell during the game. It doesn't matter that our starting QB survived a helmet-to-helmet hit on the final drive of the game. Lehigh is expected to pull these games out. There's lots of time to pull these games out, and I'm excited to see what the rest of the season will bring.
It's a bye week this week. This week I'll be scouting Lafayette for I-AA.org, but the rest of you might consider renting out "Rudy" and studying exactly how similar Eric Rath and Sean Astin look. Don't worry, Rath's nickname is still "TNT", but it may help ease the pain of the Delaware loss.
Some quick links:
Allentown Morning Call:
Lehigh Not Ashamed of Loss at Delaware
Brown & White:
Hawks Collapse in 4th to Delaware
"We live in a critical world, but I'm not afraid of losing games," he said. "We play the best schedule we can play. You go out there and let it fly. I'm proud of how hard our kids played. They were incredibly resilient through a lot of highs and lows. And, I give credit to Delaware for coming back like they did. This was a great college football game.Game balls will go to:
"This one should hurt a little bit, but we'll recover," Lembo said.
"I had a blast," senior linebacker Anthony Graziani said after making a team-high 14 tackles. "I've never played in an atmosphere like this before. The crowd, the noise, the intensity, on and off the field, was great. It would have been better if the outcome turned out differently, of course, but I think the whole team enjoyed the opportunity to come down here and experience this.
"We weren't able to make enough big plays and stop them," Graziani said. "In the first half, we were making tackles. But in the fourth quarter, we missed some key tackles and missed some of our gap assignments and they had some big gains."
“Players got tired, and when you’re playing a top team like Delaware, that can’t happen,” sophomore offensive lineman Jimmy Kehs said. “We weren’t able to make some of the plays that we had made in the first three quarters.”
“We have played as hard as we can for two weeks now, so it’s nice to have a bye so we can work on some technical things,” Kehs said.
Offense: (tie) Senior QB Mark Borda and senior RB Eric "TNT" Rath. Without even looking at the stat sheet, that last OT drive told me all I needed to know about their competitive fire and ability to get the job done. Borda went 32 for 52, 272 yards and 2 TDs. Rath also scored 2 TDs on 120 all-purpose yards.
Defense: (tie) Senior LB Anthony "Graz" Graziani, and senior DT Royce Morgan. "Graz" recorded 14 tackles and helped dominate the Hens in the first 3 quarters. Morgan recorded 6 tackles, including 3 tackles for loss and a big Riccio sack. Both throttled Riccio all game.
Special Teams: Senior WR Gregg Petrosky had 60 yards in returns, and did a great job stepping in once Walker got hurt.
The Delaware loss didn't really hurt Lehigh in the rankings that matter. We are #16 in the Sports Network Poll (down only 2 spots) and #15 in the Any Given Saturday poll (down only 3 spots). By the time we finish playing VMI (and, of course, I'm hoping for the "W"), we could be where we started this past week - or better.
Tune in tomorrow when I reveal my Top 25 ballot, and I prove to the world how bad I suck at picking I-AA games.