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Brown/White Game Tomorrow

With the conclusion of the spring season tomorrow, I'm going to be heading up to Bethlehem this weekend to attend the Brown/White scrimmage on what should be a fantastic, sunny, 70 degree day. (Finally!) Starting at 1PM, it's free and open to the public, and gives fans like me a chance to get an idea of what the 2007 Mountain Hawks might look like.

If you can't make it to Goodman, the next best thing is to make your way to lehighsports.com to get the audio broadcast of the game. For those who are not aware of the service, you can get audio and video of Lehigh sporting events and other goodies for $5 a month as part of the College Broadcast Pack. For me, during the football season, it's an invaluable way for me to catch up on games, watch the mid-weekly press conference, and also watch the weekly Lehigh Sports Magazine which frequently has important insights on the coming week from coach Coen.

Due to new NCAA rules, the incoming freshman class will not be honored at halftime as was in years past. You may want to check the lehighsports.com website for any other planned events on the day, or check here at the blog for any last-minute information.

For me, the Brown/White game will be the last chance before preseason camps begin to see what this 2007 Mountain Hawk team is made of. I will able to see who I think might start September 8th versus Villanova, if we're going to be a team which will be defined by offensive power or defensive toughness, and how the key offseason position battles are shaping up. Without any further ado, here's five things I'm looking for tomorrow.

1. How the "O" Line gels. I'm very likely to be looking at the numbers of the "hogs" to see exactly how they are stacking up against our defensive front seven. Big #63, senior T Jimmy Kehs, and #62, 5th year senior C John Reese, are locks on the line, but of the other nine "O" linemen in camp it will be very interesting to see who Coen chooses on the line - a big, beefy line, or a smaller, agile one. Senior OL (and LFN fave) Brendan Caffery may be in the mix, as well as sophomore OL Ben Harden, junior OL Kevin Bayani, and junior OL Patrick Casey. Some other interesting names are here: converted sophomore DL Frank Giacalone, and juniors Chris Tiefenthal, Scott Novack, and Kevin Evanko. I'll be making notes on these guys for sure.

2. Piascik or Watson? Most fans may not be paying attention to the blocking out of the backfield from senior FB John Piascik or junior FB Adam Watson, but I certainly will be. FBs are usually unsung heroes, but in our system they can be surprise weapons as well as fearsome blockers (see Greg "Grandpa" Fay last year). This has been a battle this spring - along with sophomore FB Anthony Fossati - and it will be interesting who will emerge as that "tough guy" that is needed in Coen's offense.

3. The three-headed monster. We pretty much know that senior QB Sedale Threatt will be a threat to take off whenever he has the ball, and junior RBs Matt McGowan and Josh Pastore are going to be in the mix somewhere at running back (with scrappy senior 5'6 scatback Rich Forman backing them up). But which back will be able to shoulder the majority of the running load? (Could it even be Sedale?)

4. The logjam at linebacker. With all the 5th year seniors returning and all that talent at linebacker, who's going to get the starting nod? Senior LBs Travis Stinson and Rusty Campion seems like the best bets, but after that it's awfully hard to pick. Junior LB Tim Diamond, senior LB Rashaun Gasaway, and the sophomore "fab four" linebackers (Tobi Showunmi, Al Pierce, Matt Cohen, Heath Brickner) all have been looking good by all accounts. Who's going to make that two-deep?

5. The World's Fastest Man? Maybe not the world's fastest, but it will be interesting to see who returns kicks back there this year. You wonder if someone like senior WR/DB Brannan Thomas, sophomore WR James Potocnie, or sophomore WR (and Fordham transfer) Jason Figura might return kicks.

Better get those jersey numbers memorized. Spring practice is here!

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