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Patriot League Picks, Week 6 (and Mash-Up)

In a way, we're really spoiled as Lehigh fans, a fact which I was reminded of when researching the Fordham game this weekend. Not only do you, the Lehigh fan, have this blog to keep you informed about Lehigh, but you also have *two* local papers covering Lehigh, the occasional blog comment from Keith Groller and columnist rants at the Express-Times.

Fordham? Their own school paper can't even stay updated on their own team, with the latest story on the Liberty Cup three weeks ago! And the daily newspapers are hopeless: a check of the New York Times showed that after the Liberty Cup, Fordham may as well not even exist as a football school. Same with the New York Post, and the Daily News is simply hopeless on all college football news, while New York Newsday covers the Long Island teams of Hofstra and Stony Brook. Four major newspapers, and not a peep about Lehigh coming to town!

On the bright side, it means that my job is extremely easy in doing the mash-up.

Patriot Predictions
I seem to be making a habit of going 4-1, as I missed Fordham's upset of Colgate last week. Here's my attempt to make things right - and don't forget to see my full array of picks on College Sporting News as well.

Holy Cross over Brown
Although I'm sure the Bears coaches looked at the Yale game film as to how to beat the Crusaders, I'm thinking Holy Cross rebounds in a big way to show that they're a team to be reckoned with in this Patriot League race. It can't hurt that Brown lost a 2 overtime "Governor's Cup" to Rhode Island last week, either.
Purple Eaters of Bear 42, Cuddly Crusader Magnets 14

Penn over Georgetown
If there were ever a time when Georgetown could uphold the honor of the League, why not this weekend against the 0-3 Quakers? I'll tell you why: Georgetown can't score and can't exploit Penn's weaknesses in their passing game. The cold, black season for the Hoyas continues.
Quackers 21, Poor Georgetown 7

Colgate over Bucknell
Going for the "desperate team" here: if Colgate loses, they'll be guaranteed to be already looking towards next season, and frankly I can't comprehend that. This Raider team has a lot of talent - how come all of a sudden have things gone south? It will be close, but I think Colgate finds a way to win it.
Raging Raiders 30, Buckled Bison 27

Lafayette over Columbia
With RB Maurice White injured for the Leopards, you'd think this is a possible upset opportunity for the Lions, who aren't a bad team at all. But the Leopards' running backs are all pretty solid, and if this game is going to be won in the trenches, give me the team that has proven to have the trenches that win.
The Cheetos Leopards 17, Lippy the Lions 14

Press Links
Morning Call: Coen Will Get Lehigh Back In The Running
Express-Times: Pastore Gets The Hard Yards
Brown & White: Hawks Hope For '06 Repeat Against Rams

Press Mash-Up
"I usually feel better about things after I watch the game film on Sunday," coach Andy Coen said. "But this time, I didn't feel better.

"We need to run the ball to be a good offense and I got away from that," Coen said on Wednesday after the team's weekly media luncheon at Starters Pub. "I didn't know we were 0-for-11 on third downs, but I knew we were having trouble sustaining drives.

"So, what happened is that I began to look for a big play. You take a shot and don't get it and it's second-and-long. Then you worry about getting 5 or 6 yards by running it on second down, so you throw again and then you wind up in a third-and-long hole."

*******************

"I was very pleased with what Josh did on Saturday," said Coen, whose team won its third straight game to improve to 3-1. "I'm excited to see him stay healthy and do those things every week."

"Josh was the best guy to do what we needed done against Harvard," Coen said. "He's a little more physical, a little better in pass-protection than the other guys. He just had a lack of opportunities because of the way the game played out and my play-calling. But he'll start against Fordham and Kwesi's going to see a lot of time, too."

"That's why I'm probably hurt as much as I am," Pastore said, "because I play as reckless as I do. It's a brutal sport. I always felt if you worry about being hurt on the field, you will be hurt. I try to lead by example."

"You have such great expectations going into the season and you kind of get set back," RB Josh Pastore said. "Staying positive was the key."

"I felt amazing at the start of the game, but I missed practice for two weeks and you lose some of that conditioning. Game speed is different than practice speed.

"Sometimes you have to put your head down," Pastore said. "When it's third-and-three, that's what you have to do sometimes. I'm not going to say I'm a power back. But if you've got to put your head down, I'm not going to be shy about it."

"But, also, there just wasn't a lot of opportunities to run the ball because we were in third-and-long situations. When it's third-and-eight, you can't run a power play for 5 yards."

Coen's task is to keep his stable of tailbacks happy.

He'll go by who's got the hot hand and who is best in certain situations.

"Jaren Walker may have been disappointed that he didn't get more carries last week, but there just weren't a lot of carries to go around," Coen said. "We've got a good group and they're all going to get their opportunities. We just have to become a more consistent team on offense. I mean I've never been in a game when we didn't convert a third down before."

*******

"It's going to be a real horse race here," he said. "To control your own destiny, you've got to win them all and ever since I was first here as an assistant coach with Kevin [Higgins], our approach has been to treat each league game like a championship game. There's not going to be a lot of margin for error in these games. You're going to see a lot of close ones."

"This is not the same team we beat 45-14 late last season," he said. "Hamilton, New York, is usually a tough place to play and they went up there and beat a good football team. Fordham played a lot of young kids last year and they got some experience and now they're flying around and playing very aggressively."

Fordham coach Tom Masella said the win at Colgate was a reward for his players' hard work.

"We tell them that if they keep working hard the whole game, good things will happen," Masella said. "We haven't beaten Colgate in a while and a win like that tells our kids that we're going in the right direction."

“They are a young team and have some very good skilled players,” defensive coordinatot Donnie Roberts said. “I guess sometimes when you are young, you go out and lay it on the line. We have to find the ways to play physical and fast against them. We need to get control of the game, to be able to play a full 60 minutes.”

“Obviously it feels good to win,” senior CB Brannan Thomas said. “But we approach everything like a one week season. After that game is over it’s over. There is nothing more important than what we have to do this week.”

“You just got to be relentless,” senior OL Brendan Caffrey said. “You can’t build up a big lead and then shoot yourself in the foot. Basically our coach has been stressing the same [thing] every week — you have to go out for the second half as strong as you come in the first.”

“I think we just have to play together and stick to the scheme of our offense,” junior defensive back Quadir Carter said. “If we play tough like we did last week, then we definitely will win this weekend.”

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