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Around The Horn, 9/25/2007

Through the "magic" of the internet, my wonderful "Around The Horn" that I had been working on for (let's just say) far too long got eaten alive by a the dreaded "Microsoft Internet Explorer Has Encountered An Error And Has To Close". After cursing Bill Gates one more time and resolving never to use 1) the underpowered laptop in our family's care, 2) Internet Explorer and 3) any software written by Microsoft (good luck with that one), I decided to try to give this one more go.

Like my experiences with posting this "Around The Horn, this week was a bit frustrating for the Patriot League with a 1-3 week including a loss to Princeton by Lafayette (putting them at an incredible 4-37-3 lifetime against the Tigers) and a loss by Fordham to non-scholarship Dayton of the Pioneer Football League. Both games could have gone either way.

Unfortunately junior WR Nick Johnson couldn't be nominated Patriot League Player of the week this week, despite his career-best receiving performance, for reasons that will soon become obvious.

  • Holy Cross put in a simply awesome performance in a 55-0 rout of the Hoyas. After looking at the statistics, it's not a surprise who the Player of the Week would be: junior QB Dominic Randolph, with a 22-for-33 day, 302 yards passing, and 3 TDs. Overall, they racked up 614 offensive yards and totally dominated the Hoyas on the few drives they did have. This team is playing with a lot of confidence: coach Tom Gilmore said of his offense, “They believe they can do this to anyone. When we’re on, we’re on.” With Yale coming in next week, they'll have an opportunity to show how "on" they can be.
  • Speaking of Yale, the Elis also did great in a 51-13 bulldozing of Cornell. Hard to expand on what Cornell head coach Jim Knowles said about the Bulldogs: We got physically dominated in all aspects of the game - offense, defense, special teams. They were a much more physical ballclub. Yale does what they do. They just come right at you." Behind that physical pounding, junior RB Mike McLeod also had another great day: 31 carries for 151 yards and 3 TDs. This game up in Worcester this weekend should be one whale of a game.
  • From the Georgetown side, those stats were awfully grim. 2 first downs. 2! Less than 20 minutes of possession time. And they have to turn around, head home to face Cornell and answer some serious questions, like: will they win a game this year?
  • Richmond's star RB Tim Hightower ran all over Bucknell in a 45-14 romp. The fact that the Spiders won the game wasn't all that unexpected, but Hightower showcased himself to be a phenomenal back with an incredible 295 yards rushing and 4 TDs, each one over 30 yards. "We couldn't tackle him," said Bucknell coach Tim Landis. "Those long runs against Northeastern [in a 49-14 win] broke Northeastern's back. Coming in, we knew we couldn't allow that to happen. It seems like when he runs that zone play and when he bounces outside and your corners over-commit, you're in trouble." Bucknell should have an easier time this week, when they play Marist of the MAAC in the final leg of their "Theater of Pain" tour - the fifth straight road game for this 0-4 squad.
  • Lafayette was beaten by the "ghosts" of Princeton in a 20-14 defeat in Easton. No, really, how else to describe it? An ankle sprain to junior RB Maurice White in the first drive of the game - and a holding call to negate an early TD? A slew of injuries, notable to senior DB Marcel Quarterman, slowing down the Leopard's impressive defense? A questionable block-in-the-back call on 4th down with 4 minutes to go, helping stymie a Leopard drive? That's not to take anything away from Princeton, who looked night-and-day different than when they played Lehigh, playing with lots of confidence in execution and playcalling. Interestingly, they called option plays to devastating effect against the Leopards with their speedy senior QB Bill Foran. Still, Lafayette heads into the bye week at a good time, and as of now look like those injuries by White, Quarterman & others will have a chance to heal.
  • Dayton upset Fordham 31-24, making the Rams the official enigma of the Patriot League. Down 24-3, the Rams stormed back with three 4th-quarter TDs set up by Flyer turnovers, but they let wideout Nick Ruhe slip past the defense and score the game-winner with 5:44 left. Turnovers were the name of this game: three early ones by Fordham allowed Dayton to jump to a 21-0 lead, while turnovers also got Fordham back into the game. After Dayton jumped ahead, a fumbled punt and an interception by sophomore QB John Skelton iced it for the Flyers. If they turn over the ball like that against Colgate next week who is fresh off a week of rest, they won't stand a chance.
  • Lehigh's next opponent, Harvard, beat Brown 24-17 in the first-ever night game at 105 year-old Harvard Stadium. More than 18,000 showed up for the historic game, which was a happy one for the home team due to three interceptions by their secondary in the 4th quarter, including two by senior CB Stephen Williams. Paired with senior CB Andrew Berry, a preseason all-American, Lehigh this week might be facing the best secondary in the nation.

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