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Sunday's Word: Greenery

This weekend, taking a look out at the "greenery" outside my window in Bucks county has been great. After a win, everything smells better, tastes better, and feels better. A perfect day today involved walking in the "greenery" around my house with my family, much more at ease. It almost doesn't matter how it was done. Just the win, getting off the schneid, feels good.

Lehigh fans are, to put it mildly, a demanding lot. Sometimes it seems like no win is impressive enough, and every mistake is magnified. I can only imagine the "greenery" on this Lehigh team: like our super duo of freshmen tailbacks in freshman RB Kwesi Kankam and freshman RB Jaren Walker. Here they are, in their first-ever college level win, and rather than that being the story of the game, Lehigh fans are talking about how it should have been more, how we let Princeton back into the game, how it was an "ugly" game. "Welcome to Division I football, Jaren, with your first-ever carries and first-ever touchdown. So, tell us how your offense couldn't convert on those short fields in the first half?"

I really thought Princeton would come out and lay the hammer on this team filled with "greenery". Look at our starting offense for Saturday. Three seniors only. Look at our starting defense. Five seniors. That's eight of twenty-two spots taken up by underclassmen: including two starting spots taken by freshmen and three by sophomores. This team is very, very green.

And to their credit, they played like upperclassmen for the most part. Kankam did fumble late in the game, but the outcome really wasn't in doubt at that point (32-14) and he had also converted a huge 3rd-and-15 screen pass where a Princeton player had him but he barreled forward to convert the play, helping the offense finish the game. Walker, in his first collegiate rushing action, converted huge 4th downs like a senior and made no big mistakes, and put in that touchdown to get the score to 32-14.

This Princeton team is a good team that got of the gate on the wrong foot. They spotted us 23 points on turnovers, but it's important to remember that this Tiger defense is very, very solid, especially at linebacker. I would have been astonished if our offense, loaded with "greenery", had been able to move the ball at will against this defense, even if senior QB Sedale Threatt was at 100% (and it seemed like he had bruised ribs and may very well not be fully healthy).

With Sedale leading our team, we as fans have a tendency to ask him to make him the superstar of the team. And Sedale seems to want to be that superstar. But I understand that Sedale cannot be a superstar if the "greenery" around him does not improve every single week. Green football teams make mistakes and learn from them every week; they take a few more hits; and most importantly, they get stronger and tougher and tougher to beat.

That we beat such a fundamentally sound defense like Princeton with "greenery" needs to be something to celebrate. That senior CB Brannan Thomas had an incredible game while creating three turnovers needs to be something to emphasize. That doesn't mean we say that everything was perfect last week - hardly. There's a lot of work that the "greenery" needs to do to become a championship team yet - that's very clear from watching the game last week. But this green team needs to be cut some slack. They're no going to come out of the gates looking like a team that will shut out UMass. This is very much a work-in-progress.

Comments

Dan said…
I love that FCS map you've made at the bottom. I've been trying to find a list of FCS teams in Florida, and Google, ncaasports.com, wikipedia, nothing could help me!
Is there anyway to expand it to beyond that box though?
-From a JMU fan who was impressed by your stadium in 2004
Anonymous said…
Chuck,

Off topic a bit. Can u post if possible JV sched? Thanks

RichH

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