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Press Roundup: Lehigh Talks about "Learning Experience" Against Villanova

Rounding up the press on the game, Lehigh members focused on my "Sunday's Word" as it being a "learning experience" - but Keith Groller of the Morning Call also brings up the elephant in the room as well: scholarships.

[Programming note: I'm going to set up the voting for LFN's Player of the Week on the Facebook page. I'll keep the voting open until Thursday since I didn't get it up yesterday.]

First, though, the recaps:

Lehigh Athletics Release:
No. 3 Wildcats prove too much for Lehigh, 38-17


"I thought we made improvements over last week but certainly not enough to
win against the number-three team in the country," Lehigh head coach Andy
Coen said afterwards in the press conference. "But we did clean things up in
certain areas and now we have to keep moving forward. We have our bye week
coming up which will allow some of our banged up guys to get healthy and
we'll go back, watch the tape and continue to improve."

Morning Call:
Hawks better, but not winners

''It obviously wasn't the type of night we wanted to leave here with,'' said
Lehigh coach Andy Coen, whose team lost to Villanova for the third straight
year. ''We knew we were playing a good team and Villanova didn't disappoint us
in that regard.

''I thought our team improved over last week. That was a big goal for us, but you play to win and we didn't win, so we can't feel great about what happened.''

''With any loss, you're going to be down,'' said senior LB Matt Cohen who led the defense with eight tackles. ''We still have everything we want to accomplish ahead of us. It was important that we got better tonight and we did.''

Mountain Hawks focusing on positives after 0-2 start


''We were competitive and got much more physical play,'' coach Andy Coen said.
''Our kids battled. We fought hard in the trenches. We pass-protected pretty
well, giving up just one sack. We had some young guys in there up against a
seasoned defensive line and they held their own. So just the whole energy,
intensity and physical play was really improved.''


Lehigh used freshman QB Michael Colvin out of a Wildcat formation and the Morristown, N.J., product led the team in rushing with 26 yards on six carries.
''He's a talented runner,'' Coen said. ''He was a quarterback in high school, but he ran it a lot. He was a spread-type of quarterback and the whole offense was built around him. He's a good player. We'll probably use more of him. We had to be creative because we knew we'd struggle to run the ball against Villanova.''

''We're glad to have the bye week so we can get people back, and moving on from here, playing the people we're going to play, I think we've got a chance to win every game,'' Coen said. ''I really do.''


Express-Times:
Lehigh University football team loses to Villanova



Villanova (2-0), which upset Temple last week, had little trouble running the ball -- 310 yards on 47 carries -- and saw two players have career days. Quarterback Chris Whitney (11-for-16 for 106 yards, two TDs) racked up 130 yards on the ground and wide receiver Matt Szczur had 103.

"That's why this team is the No. 3 ranked (Football Sub-Division) team in the country," Coen said of Whitney. "They're a much better football team with him in there. Unfortunately, he was able to make some plays."

"We missed a lot of tackles last week but I thought we were better today," said senior LB Matt Cohen, who had a game-high eight tackles. "With any loss, if you're competitive in your nature, you're going to be down. It's going to be crucial in the off week we get healthy and keep pushing forward."

Brown & White:
Lehigh Falls in Defeat to Villanova 38-17


Junior K Tom Randazza expressed his disappointment in the loss and
reiterated the team's season goals.

"Obviously you hate to lose any game," Randazza said. "But we played a
lot better than we did in the first game. Our team goals are to win the league,
beat Lafayette and represent the league well in the playoffs. With the right
mindset and our continued effort, we can accomplish these goals and restore the
team's cohesiveness."

Junior QB J.B. Clark said he remains optimistic after the defeat.

"We now have a week off to recover and get some guys back who were
injured from camp," Clark said. "All we can do is learn from these games and
grow from them."


****

While the recaps make for tough, sobering reading, it's Keith Groller's blog posting that is sure to cause the most debate during the bye week.

Groller's Corner
Difference between scholarship and non-scholarship schools evident again

It was December, 2001 and Furman had just handed Lehigh its first loss of
the season in the second round of what was then the NCAA I-AA playoffs. The
score was 34-17 and there was plenty of talk about how the Paladins were bigger,
stronger and faster that day than the team The Morning Call was still referring
to as the Engineers.

Fast forward nearly eight years to Saturday night at Villanova Stadium and I was thinking that really nothing's changed since that day in Greenville, S.C.

The team playing Lehigh [this weekend] was bigger, faster and stronger. Lehigh battled hard, but simply wasn't as talented across the board as Villanova. And frankly, not many teams the Wildcats will play this year will
match up either.

And it becomes more and more apparent that Lehigh or any Patriot League program will not be able to match up with the Villanovas of the world in the postseason.

The Patriot League continues to get more and more evidence that if it wants to compete in the playoffs and for national titles, it has to make the move to scholarships.

As it is now, no Patriot League team is going to win a national title and one will be lucky to get to the second round.

Comments

ngineer said…
Groller is right. The way we have not been very competitive against the scholarship schools should be a clear signal to the League. IF they really want to say, with a straight face, that we want to be able to compete for a National Championship, then the money has to go where the mouth is. IF not, then accept what we are and create a confederacy with the Ivy so we can have an "IQ Bowl" the with their champ the first week in December. Could be a doubleheader with Army-Navy, the 'other' PL members. Time to do it or get off the pot.
Anonymous said…
i think it would be better if the patriot league teams drop out of the fcs and do what the Ivey league teams do. It would save alot of embarassment and the jerk school presidents could worry about carbonera studies.

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