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New Poll; Garner's Back; Game Balls; My Picks

Lots to cover. First of all, a brand-spankin' new poll on your right. Vote away.

Second of all, the guy who greatly inspired my I-AA diary column on Scott Garner... is back. Best of all, he chastises me for putting Georgia Southern at #8 in the "Top Fans of I-AA" list! (I'm a bit disappointed that he didn't put up a spirited defense of "Gus", Georgia Southern's mascot.)

Game Balls
It was awfully tough to give the game balls out since the win seemed to be a complete team effort in all phases. Nonetheless, your intrepid reporter did manage to suffer through and pick worthy candidates for this honor.

On offense, I'm going to give it to the senior WR Kevin Zebluim. His twisting catch when Lehigh was down 17-14 (which should have been called a TD) was the play of the game, as after Eric "TNT" Rath punched the ball in on the next play, Lehigh went ahead 24-17 and would never reliquish the lead. The next TD drive was all Borda and Zebluim as he would get 29 yards (and this time, the TD). It was tempting to give it to Borda, or "TNT" Rath, or even senior WR Winfred Porter for his 91 yard TD scamper. But Zebluim made the diference when it counted, and he gets my game ball.

On defense, for me it's senior LB Anthony "Graz" Graziani. It was awful tempting to give it to senior DT Royce Morgan (with 7 tackes and 1 1/2 sacks), or junior SS Julian Austin (12 tackles and 1 INT, and he is impressing me every week). But watching the game on TV, "Graz" just had presence throughout the entire game. He was credited with "only" 6 tackles, 1 1/2 sacks, and 2 huge interceptions - one to squash an important Crimson 1st quarter drive, and the other to set up Zebluim's score to make it a 3-score game. But every play Crimson players appeared to be hearing his footsteps. He is clearly the leader out there of a superb team defense, and he gets the not this week as a result.

Special teams I'll give 3 nods, since I can't decide who deserves it more. Game balls for senior WR Gregg Petrosky, senior WR Gerran "G" Walker, and freshman P John Leo. It was very hard to judge this, since both Petrosky and "G" had electrifying returns that simply wore down the Crimson, combining for 153 return yards. But Leo's 3 punts were just as important, making the field position battle an uphill one for Harvard. You could almost give a game ball to the entire special teams unit for their inspired play, but this week, it's this trio that will get the nods. Congratulations!

My Weekend Picks
Finally, a 4-1 in Patriot play and an 11-6 in the Top 25 put me at a decidedly mediocre 15-7 overall. I am kicking myself big-time over two of the Top 25 losses that I didn't have the courage to pick. See below.

Really right: Lehigh 49, Harvard 24. Most were taking Lehigh in a nail-biter, but I got the margin of victory perfect in this clash. My prediction was Lehigh 35, Harvard 10 - a 25 point win. Perfect.

Should have been right: (tie) The Citadel 17, Western Carolina 7; Chattanooga 25, Wofford 13. On both of these freakin' games I said I wanted desperately to take 2 weak SoCon teams to upset 2 overrated SoCon teams. In *both* I didn't have the courage. Had I had some guts, that would have put me at 13-4 and sitting pretty.

Was I ever wrong!: New Hampshire 45, Villanova 17. Now I know 'Nova's a pretty good team. I knew that already. What I didn't know is how dominating UNH has been and how tough they will be to dislodge from the top spot. I hope the I-AA playoff committee likes games up in Durham, NH in little Cowell Stadium in December, because it's awfully hard to see who's going to knock them out.

Tomorrow: Your Lehigh/Holy Cross preview. I will be at the game this weekend doing a I-AA diary as well for I-AA>org, for those who don't know!


Anonymous said…
Can't really complain about the game balls. While this was a very good win, there was still some troubling aspects that the coaches need to tighten. The most troubling is the play of the secondary. Some very poor tackling. Why do players just throw their bodies at the runner. The lack of sticking the shoulder and wrapping up resulted in some good yardage by Crimson runners. Secondly, not playing the ball or at least turning one's head to the ball. Simply running into the receiver with back to the QB will be called interference everytime. I know the secondary has been banged up and some youngsters are getting alot of time, but the season is almost half over and these mistakes need to stop.


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