If you've listened to the Lehigh pregame press conference (reg'n and $$ required), you would have seen coach Lembo and two receivers who caught the biggest passes last week, junior TE Pete Morelli and senior WR Kevin Zeblium. But it seemed like all they were asked about was Sedale. It's also reflected in the press roundup this week.
Sedale is a sophomore. He's being asked to run one of the most complicated offenses in I-AA, and it simply takes time to take it all in. He's clearly a football talent; he seems like a good leader and seems like a great QB - in practice. Bucknell will be his first test as a starter. He is unproven, and entering the long shadow of Mark Borda. This will not be easy for Sedale.
I think it's fair to say that he'll be running a slimmed-down offense this week. He'll be learning on the fly. He will make some mistakes. He has a lot of potential, but I don't care who you are - if you've spent only a year studying the Lehigh offense, it's not going to be the same.
Here's a deal. If Threatt wins Patriot League Offensive player of the Week next week, with at least 300 yards passing and four scores, I will be more than happy to christen Sedale with the nickname "The Total Package" Threatt. But personally, my expectations are lower. I'd be happy with progress in running the offense, a minimal amount of mistakes, and - of course - a "W".
I'm starting a new feature in the blog: "What You Didn't Read". It's that nugget of information that you won't get in the press reports, but something that I feel is significant to next week's game.
Coach Lembo: "[Bucknell QB] Dante Ross is probably one of the two best athletes in our conference, and he's done some significant damage as a kickoff and punt returner... He's the key. You can see this guy is getting better and better every week, and they are doing more and more with him. The slot option is already a challenge, and when you've got a guy with 4.4 speed [running it], it poses a bigger challenge."
Allentown Morning Call:
Threatt Era About To Commence
Threatt Cramming For First Start at QB
Brown & White:
Hawks Bring New Threatt to Bucknell
Bucknell's Lachman Still Looking For Answers
"In terms of Sedale, he's a real fiery player," said Borda, who underwent successful surgery Monday and expects to be out of action for eight weeks. "He can motivate people. He's more than capable. He has been a great personality on our football team, [and] his enthusiasm is contagious."
"In that overtime period, he rallied the team," said [Mark] Borda, whose precision and poise made Lehigh the nation's 24th-rated passing offense and No. 30 in passing efficiency. "He gained a lot of players' confidence in doing that."
"I had to step up," Threatt said. "They needed me. We got the job done."
Threatt will look to Borda for guidance as he tries to guide the Hawks into the playoffs. “Mark and I are good friends,” Threatt said. “He’s always helped me with my game. I will definitely need him even more now that I’m in the position I’m in.”
"We've dealt with our share [of injuries] over the last five years," Lembo said. "The 2004 season was the first time in my head coaching career that we made it through the whole season without a quarterback injury. So, while I hate to see it happen, it's something I'm very used to and we don't approach any day any differently. If we lost a starting linebacker, a corner or a guard, we'd keep moving forward the next day and we'll do the same thing with a new quarterback."
"We won't expect him to run the offense the way Mark did," Lembo said. "We'll try to put a game plan together that we feel he can manage. His knowledge right now is not where it will be down the road because he's a very bright kid, but he certainly put in a lot of time during the summer. He really made an exponential jump from the end of spring ball to the end of the preseason camp. Although he obviously lacks game experience, he has confidence, a strong arm and excellent athleticism.
"All three of our backups were quality, committed guys with ability, but we felt like Sedale had made significant progress on his own and during preseason camp. I'd like to think the vast majority of our team would agree with that."
“There is no added pressure because of who my father is,” Threatt said. “I’m walking my own path. I want to succeed for myself and the people that have supported me throughout my life.”
“The key to winning this weekend is staying focused,” Threatt said. “We just need to play a one-week season every weekend.”
"I'm going to take it a snap at a time, a game at a time," Threatt said. "There's going to be more time in the film room, more studying. We're going to do what we have to do to be where we want to be in the future."
Lembo said to win this weekend the team will need to play “sound defense, protect the football on offense and have strong special teams play.” Lembo also praised the play of sophomore DB Julian Ahye: “Despite his modest size, Julian is a good cover corner due to his speed, athleticism and instincts.”
Senior LB Jim Lachman missed a tackle during Bucknell’s 53-7 debacle at Penn two weeks ago at Franklin Field. The result of that play was a touchdown run by Quakers backup tailback Kyle Ambrogi. But he doesn’t plan on losing any sleep over it.
That’s because the 21-year-old will be too busy trying to figure out how he could have prevented Ambrogi, his close friend since junior high school, from committing suicide less than two days later. Almost two weeks later, there still are more questions than answers.
"I came back (to Bucknell) hesitantly that Monday," Lachman recalled. "I had to get some work done. I got back at 9 a.m. By 11 o’clock, my phone started ringing. I thought it was a joke."
Lachman and his childhood friends haven’t laughed much the last two weeks. They continue to search for answers as they find solace in sharing many of the stories that made Ambrogi a good friend. ... and the last guy to be fighting a losing battle with depression.
"He always was the most positive guy," Lachman said. "He’s one of the most unique people I’ve ever met. He never seemed to get down. He had everything going for him."
Lachman debated about playing the following week in Bucknell’s 38-10 loss to Villanova, but followed Ambrogi’s Penn teammates, including Kyle’s younger brother, Greg, in honoring their late friend by playing the one game Kyle loved more than any other.
Lachman didn’t play the best game of his career. He made four tackles. But he’d trade all of his 33 tackles this season and those from every season he’s put on the helmet and shoulder pads to make the one that mattered most. He wishes he could have been there to stop Ambrogi from taking his life and leaving those around him with just memories of a great friend.