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Showing posts from September 7, 2008

Lehigh 14, Villanova 33, Final

My wife, son and I came back from Villanova later in the evening after watching the 33-14 defeat to the Wildcats. The question I have now - which is the same question I had right after the game - was, what does this show us? After looking again at the stat sheets and reflecting on the game, I'm still having a hard time.

Was Lehigh blown out of the building? Not really. The Lehigh defense, as expected, did a pretty good job, especially in the first half. Senior LB Tim Diamond was a force of nature, with an interception and a strip of Villanova RB Aaron Ball which Diamond reovered and rumbled to the 1 yard line, which set up Lehigh's first touchdown. Junior LB Matt Cohen also came up big with a 4th down stop in the first half and several key stops.

But two other phases of the game -- offense and special teams -- struggled mightily against the #21 team in the nation.

Sophomore QB J.B. Clark's statline was not pretty: 20 for 44 passing, 200 yards, 1 touchdown, 4 intercepti…

Press Links for Lehigh/Villanova

It's Friday, and that means... it's time to gather around the water cooler and talk football.

Unsurprisingly, around here the big talk concerns the only sold-out football game in the Philadelphia area tomorrow: the Villanova/Lehigh game. The press links are below, including the national pundits' predictions.

There are several options for getting the broadcast of this game. It won't be on broadcast TV, but if you're already a subscriber to the Lehigh Sports broadcast package you can get audio of the game, courtesy of AM 1230/AM 1320 in the Lehigh Valley with Kody Fedorcha ('00) and Matt Kerr.

Another option is to subscribe to the video feed through the Villanova website through NovaNation ($9.95 for a monthly pass) or CSTV XXL.

Here are the links.

David Coulson, The Sports Network: Top 25 Predictions

After a respectable performance by the Villanova Wildcats in their season opening setback to West Virginia a couple of weeks ago, Andy Talley's troops have had a …

Preview of Lehigh vs. Villanova

(Photo Credit: Villanova Athletics)

Let's face it: there is one team from the big, bad full-scholarship Colonial Athletic Association (or CAA) on our schedule this year - what many around the Lehigh program would like to call our "play-up" game.

And this, Virginia, is it.

In the CAA coaches teleconference, coach Talley said that Lehigh has "a star next to Villanova on their schedule", and he's absolutely right. Rightly or wrongly, the games against the CAA are seen as battles against the FCS elite, the games that are the biggest tests for Patriot League teams in general.

They are challenges. Top to bottom, the CAA houses some of the best teams in all of FCS and have created national champions like Delaware in 2003 and James Madison in 2004. Delaware and UMass were two of Appalachian State's victims in 2006 and 2007 in the FCS championship game, and last year two CAA teams were in the semifinals. The CAA has proven themselves to be an elite conference.

Th…

LFN Readers "Game Ball" and Around the Horn

Yes, senior RB Matt McGowan, Lehigh Football Nation readers did indeed make you #1 this week. Overwhelmingly, the Hazleton Area running back was voted by Lehigh fans as the Player of the Week of the Drake game.

Every week, you, the LFN reader, gets to vote on the Player of the game, and I issue my own game balls to deserving Lehigh players (and if nobody deserves one, nobody gets one). It's important stuff: your votes help determine the LFN Hawks of the Year - and they count more than my vote on a day-to-day basis.

This week, game balls go to:

Readers' Choice: Senior RB Matt McGowan (39 rushes, 173 yards, only 1 rush for negative yards)

Offense: Sophomore QB J.B. Clark (9-12 passing, 146 yards, 2 TDs, 0 turnovers)

Defense: Senior DL Brian Jackson (7 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 QB hurry)

Special Teams: Junior LB Troy Taylor (2 special teams tackles, 1/2 sack, bone-crushing hit on defense)

Congratulations to all the winners!

Around the Horn, 9/10/2008
Every week I also go "Aroun…

Press Links, Stunt Men And... Sledgehammers

(Photo courtesy of The Morning Call)

I actually remember a day when Lehigh coverage on the internet was simply one or two articles that you couldn't read without a subscription to the newspaper. Now, print is not even enough to contain all of it: Lehigh coverage has gone into audio and even video.

Start with the official Lehigh recap of the game on Lehighsports.com, which includes video of the postgame. It's worth it simply to see the sledgehammer, which now will be featuring Villanova on it, the postgame analysis by TV announcers Mike Zambelli and Mike Yadush ('93) and to see junior OL Ben Harden stealing valuable camera time from coach Coen.

Senior RB Matt McGowan: "It felt great. I finally came back and I'm back to full strength, and I finally got a chance to show everybody what I could do. It felt great to finally get a win here in the opener."

Then there's the iTunes podcast of the Lehigh post-game press conference...

Intrepid Reporter: Sekou, what do…

Sunday's Word: Soggy

It was very, very hard to come up with a Sunday word this week. Ultimately I settled on "soggy" because that more than anything else was the theme coming out of Murray Goodman this week.

It was fun to see sophomore QB J.B. Clark get his debut, to see senior DL Brian Jackson spearhead a dominating defensive effort, to see senior WR Sekou Yansane break a big one on the second offensive series of the game.

But soon afterwards, Hanna and her "soggy" sisters - rain, wind, and clouds - dominate the headlines of the game.

After jumping to a two score lead, the headline became the weather. Turnovers became the norm in a rain where it was near impossible to keep the ball dry. Content with the win, Lehigh got ultra-conservative and ran the ball to senior RB Matt McGowan for about 60% of the total plays of the game. It was a defensive, physical game, with bodies flying, footballs springing loose and hopes that kids wouldn't get hurt. (Near the end of the game, sophomore…