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Around The Horn, 10/9/2007

I've said enough words about Lehigh's performance in the Fordham game, and I won't be re-hashing it any more here on the blog. This will include no honors for "Players of the Week".

The only thing I will say is what coach Coen said on the "Andy Coen Report" this Monday: "The next two weeks will define who we are as a football team."

If you want to read the writeups about the game, the links are below:

Morning Call: Win Over Lehigh proves Rams For Real
Morning Call: Lehigh Looking For Answers
Express-Times: Hawks Suffer Rare Loss To Rams

  • I was in the press conference at the Fordham game, and Ram head coach Tom Masella did have high praise for his sophomore QB John Skelton, the big Texan who made very few errors last weekend. "John is a terrific football player. He's turning into a pretty darn good quarterback. As a sophomore, you think you can rattle him, but he's hard to rattle. Whether we're down by 20 or the game's on the line, he just has that composure out there, and each week he's getting better and better as he understands our offense. He's also starting to become the leader of our offense at a very young age. He's the guy." If the rest of the league hopes that Skelton's going to get easily forced into rookie mistakes, they're in for a surprise as Fordham will definitely be be seen as a dangerous team the rest of the way - especially, with a game versus 0-6 Georgetown this week, they could be 3-0 in Patriot League play before visiting Easton in two weeks.
  • As for "that school in Easton", they impressed the Columbia faithful in a 29-0 victory over the Lions in Easton. Jake, my buddy over at the Columbia Blog "Roar Lions Roar" (and is also Columbia's color radio broadcaster), called Lafayette the "Easton Assassins" as they "wore down the Columbia lines more and more over time" after finally "giving in" on defense. (Sound familiar?) Impressive for Lafayette was not only their impressive lines and the shutout on defense (to a Columbia team that lit up Princeton for 31 points the preceding week), but also had impressive depth, as junior RB Anthony D'Urso went out early with an ankle sprain but sophomore RB DeAndre Morrow stepped right in and delivered 94 yards rushing and his first career TD. Oh yeah, the Leopard defense is now #1 in the nation in scoring defense (only allowing 8.8 points per game) and #3 in rushing defense (yielding 63.2 yards per game). Overall, plenty for Mountain Hawk fans to be frightened about - but the Leopards will face their sternest test on the road this year at 2-2 Harvard.
  • Lafayette head coach Frank Tavani heard some terrible news out of South Carolina, though, before the game: his son's football-playing career, senior FS Dan Tavani out of Wofford, is over with a MCL tear in the Terriers' 28-7 win over The Citadel. It's not only terrible news for the Tavani family, but also for Wofford who had seen the senior play a huge role in starting the year 4-1 and got many accolades across the country after beating Appalachian State 42-31. In that game, Tavani could have been the best player on the field that game, which really is saying something. The should-be All-American will be sorely missed on the football field.
  • Holy Cross' offense got back on track in a big way as they outlasted Brown in a shootout, 48-37. Junior QB Dominic Randolph was back in form after losing to Yale the week before, this time going 29 for 37 with 404 yards passing and being responsible for six TDs. Head coach Tom Gilmore said: “I thought we did a great job offensively most of the game. All of our skill players played very, very well.” But interestingly, Holy Cross' offense scored in bunches, but the Crusader "D" also gave up scoring in bunches, too. After Holy Cross went up 31-10 at halftime, Brown went on a furious 24-3 run in the second half to knot the game at 34. Coach Gilmore said: "We’re making a lot of mistakes on the defensive side of the ball — not getting in the right spots on coverages, not making tackles. We have to play more disciplined.” With the Crusaders coming to town two weeks from today, this is worthy of noting before Holy Cross' game against 1-3 Dartmouth this weekend.
  • You could call the battle between Colgate and Bucknell - which Colgate narrowly pulled out by a 28-24 score - as a battle between Colgate's junior RB Jordan Scott and Bucknell's sophomore RB A.J. Kizekai, as these two players were responsible for six of the seven touchdowns in the game. Kizekai got a TD run, a TD pass, and a kickoff return for a TD, while Scott "did it the old fashioned way" with three rushing TDs, including the game-winner with under a minute left. Scott piled up an amazing 270 yards rushing on 41 carries - can he keep up this workload through the rest of the year? "They had a good mix run-pass," Bucknell coach Tim Landis said about Colgate's final drive. "They had that slant pass to senior WR Erik Burke. They kind of hurt us with that all day." Bucknell has a week off this week, while Colgate will be looking to avenge coach Dick Biddle's first-ever loss to local rival Cornell last year in what I call the "White-Out". The matchup between the 2-2 Big Red and the 3-2 Raiders ought to be a good one.
  • It just gets worse and worse for Georgetown, and their visit to Franklin Field was anything but fun in a 42-13 drubbing by Penn. The Hoyas started the day with sophomore QB Robert Lane to try to get some offense going, but it was disastrous 1st quarter that saw Georgetown with 12 offensive yards, 0 first downs, and down 28-0 on the scoreboard. After going into halftime down 35-0, senior QB Matt Bassuener returned to engineer a couple scoring drives to give the Hoyas some more respectable numbers. Penn's defensive front is a great one, but to see an option team only gain 97 yards on 41 carries - or 2.37 yards per carry - is pretty incredible. The Hoyas hope to turn it around against Fordham this week (which would make a lot of Lehigh fans very, very happy if they do).
  • You want to hear a confident team? Just listen to senior FB Joe Fuccillo talk about his first TD run in Yale's 50-10 smackdown of Dartmouth: "Actually, it was pretty funny, It was a call from junior RB Mike McLeod. Mike and senior QB Matt Polhemus talked it over and said, `Joe, do you want to get this one?'" When touchdowns come so easy they're giving them away to teammates, you know this team is brimming with confidence. After setting an Ivy League record with their second-consecutive 50 point effort against an Ivy opponent, Yale head coach Jack Sidlecki credited his lines. "I really like the way we're playing, how physical we are on both sides of the ball, the enthusiasm level we have. We've got to bring it every week like that because that's the team we are. We're going to be a very physical, up-front team on both sides. We've played three great football games in a row in terms of setting the tone physically." "Only" up 22-3 at half, Sidlecki talked about "reasserting our superiority" by taking the ball out of the locker room and scoring a TD on the Big Green to make it 29-3. In a nutshell, that's the confident, physical, and intimidating team we're up against this week.

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