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Lehigh 20, Colgate 27, Final

Another disappointment in a season of disappointments. What makes this one even more frustrating is that Lehigh had real chances to make this a game but were unable to pull it out in the end.

You couldn't have scripted a better start for Lehigh: after the defense held the Raiders to a 3-and-out, junior QB J.B. Clark led a drive to the Colgate 7, and freshman K Jake Peery nailed a 35 yard FG to give Lehigh the lead.

Then, a rarity: a fumble by Colgate junior QB Greg Sullivan gave Lehigh excellent field position after a rare fumble, recovered by sophomore DE David Brown, and Clark would find junior WR Craig "Braveheart" Zurn on a nice left end zone fade to give Lehigh a 10-0 lead.

Momentum was squarely on Lehigh's side, but Sullivan and the Colgate offense grabbed it right back. After a questionable late hit call on sophomore LB Colin Newton, Sullivan connected on a deep pass to freshman WR John Schademan to make the score 10-7. After pinning Colgate at their own 7, Sullivan led the Colgate offense to a grinding 93 yard drive ending with a 6 yard curl to future NFLer senior WR Pat Simonds to give Colgate a 14-10 lead. Give Colgate credit: they didn't fold after going down by two scores and simply took care of business to get ahead. “That was a great play there by Simonds,” Coen said after the game.“Those two (Sullivan and Simonds) connecting for three touchdowns was huge.”

On their back foot, Colgate kept pushing on the accelerator. After a Lehigh 3-and-out, Sullivan found Simonds again for a 46 yard TD pass on the right side again, pushing the lead to 21-10 before the end of the half. But Lehigh did a great job fighting back, with a big rush by Clark and a beautiful fade down the lft side to freshman WR James Flynn for a 45 yard TD pass to cut the lead to 21-17. The defense would hold up their end of the bargain and set Lehigh up on the Colgate 29, and a short field ended in a 29 yard Jake Peery FG to cut it to 21-20.

But Lehigh would get no closer.

Sullivan would add another touchdown to Simonds - his third on the day - but they would muff the extra point making it 27-20 and giving Lehigh two chances to tie the game on offense. But on 4th at 13 - and a great pass by Clark to senior WR Jim Potocnie - Colgate senior SS Uzi Idah made a great, game-clinching move to keep him from catching the ball, batting the ball away.

Colgate sophomore RB Jordan McCord did everything but score, grinding out yards all day and converting key 3rd and 4th downs. He got 159 yards rushing, executing coach Biddle's rushing system extremely well. Senior LB Troy Taylor played well for Lehigh in the middle, getting 8 tackles and 3 big tackles for loss.

In the end, though, it was a typical Lehigh game. Lehigh battles hard, falls behind, and can't make that one play to tie or win it late in the game. It's a script that Lehigh fans have been seeing with depressing regularity.

But give Colgate credit. Sullivan and their seniors played a whale of a game. Simonds played like a guy that will be playing on Sundays, and that normally would have been a catch by Potocnie - but Idah made an awesome move, with perfect timing, to knock the ball away. Their team made plays that championship teams make, and their senior-laden team played like, well, a senior-laden team.

Equally as impressive, they didn't give up after falling behind. They played with confidence and executed beautifully to regain the lead. It's something that Lehigh can learn from as they take on an even tougher task this coming week: Holy Cross.


ngineer said…
The 'late hit' was not questionable, but downright stupid. The Colgate runner was clearly out of bounds when Newton hit him. If our runner had been hit, even though it was not a vicious one, it still must be called to keep control of the game. And it certainly gave Colgate new life which resulted in their first TD because our secondary was out to lunch. Another 'winnable' game that we have no clue on how to win. Isn't it nice to be 'competitive'...And the mantra of 'we're just not executing' has worn thin. There is a reason people don't execute: either they're not prepared or they're not focused. It is not talent. Third losing season in a row. Got to go back to 1984-86 for such distinction.
Anonymous said…
Fire Coen now, and give this team something to be motivated about going into the LC game.

If you dont think that would motivate these kids, you should talk to a few of them.

Coaching wins close games, plain and simple, watching the other coach on the sidelines, it is more then obvious that he has surrounded himself with a strong staff that he has empowered to run the game and he can keep his mond on his next move.

You look at our clown and he's got his nose burried in his play sheet and cant get the plays in without rushing his QB and leaving him no time to study coverages.

Many times he has to call a dumb time out becuase he cant get the play in on time.

The late play calling, the shuffling of QB's and having no QB coach, has made our QB's look horrible.

JB, looks at 1 reciever most of the time, hangs on to the ball way to long and makes to many poor throws into coverage.

The tackling and pass coverage (at least on Kennedy's part) was horrible. It hasn't been exposed, becuase we haven't had any good recievers to defend. Why didn't the coaches put a safety over the top of this kid to double cover him?

Many people look at his lose as a moral victory, becuase we made a game of it. I look at it like A Lose is a Lose, is a Lose!

It's been 4 freagin years of the same thing, how long can this guy keep his job?
Anonymous said…
sorry about the typos, I'm to pissed to worry about spelling...
Anonymous said…
I was the one who said we hit the LOW POINT in the Yale fiasco, and I think I was right. We all agree about Coen, but he's not goign to get canned before the end of the season, so lets stop talking about that now. I disagree with most about this game. I thought LU played good, played up to the potential, played hard, and the result was totally deserved. Colgate clearly had the better, stronger athletes on the ground, the receivers, dbs, and even in the trenches. I think Clark is a good, very talented QB lacking coaching. The players did the best they could against a better opponent. The game was entertaining and LU never gave up. With Coen here for a few more weeks, lets be positive. I see the possibility of another win.
Anonymous said…
What's wrong?

Bobby Bowden once said that in a small percentage of games, a team will win no matter what- For Lehigh this means Bucknell and Georgetown. Bobby also says that in some games (Villanova) you will lose no matter what. But he also said that a large number of games fall into a third category- close, winnable games that a good coach learns how to put in the "W" column.

Any Coen cannot handle those close, winnable games. His four year record in close games is incredibly poor. 23 losses and 13 by 10 points or fewer. If he wins those close games, his team's record is not 6-5, 5-5, 5-6 (and whatever is in store for this year's team).

The fact is, as I have been saying since the middle of his second year, Andy Coen is not a very good head coach. I don't think I am being harsh, impatient or unreasonable. He does not seem to manage winnable games well down the stretch; his recruiting is also in question. Are there any upper classmen really contributing on offense? Four years of his recruits and he is depending upon sophomores and freshmen. A previous poster makes a great point about how coaching makes the difference in close games and I cannot agree more.

I cannot imagine a coaching change during the season, but unless he runs the table (which would result in yet another losing season), there has to be a change for next year.

Nothing personal.

Voice of Reason
Anonymous said…
Things I'm getting sick of:

- Following another close loss, Andy Coen says "We have to find a way to win the close ones".

- Cornerback John Kennedy getting beat by a wideout.

- A Lehigh kick coverer not watching the ball and letting the ball come close to hitting him.

- Lehigh DB's not looking back for the passed ball, invariably resulting in pass interference call against LU.

- Lehigh defense has opposition in 3rd and four at mid-field and jumps offside resulting in a first down for other team.

- Lehigh's formerly state of the art stadium embarrassingly shows off a scoreboard with a non-functioning message strip and at least one play clock that doesn't work.

- Lehigh called for illegal participation. (Too many men on the field.)

- The hurry up offense that never snaps the ball quickly because the QB must try to decipher the hand signals furiously flashed by three guys wearing fluorescent vests.

- A head coach who shows no emotion on the sideline.

Anonymous said…
Maybe someone here can answer a question for me:

Why has Lehigh stopped recruiting local talent? Maybe it's me, but I can' recall the last time one of our kids had his name called. Are they there and just buried in the depth chart? At least we got to see Persa (sp?) play against PS on Saturday! Damn I miss Higgins!

See you at Goodman!
Anonymous said…
Clark does not have an arm. Throws floaters. Can't pick up secondary receivers. No upside. Lum may transfer. Where are we going?
Anonymous said…
Despite an urge to say that LU talent is "not up to par" with LC, HC, Colcate, I guarantee that a good coaching staff could take this same exact talent and win 7, 8 or 9 games with it. I still say that game planning, game management, halftime adjustments and teaching, along with a heavy dose of inspiration works wonders. This staff does not have any of the above and just look at the four year record to prove my point.

Get new coaches!

These guys could not win with Lembo's talent; now they are even worse with their own kids.
Anonymous said…
As good as Colgate is (and I think they are a good team), two years in a row now, we lose by 1 and by seven. As good as many teams on the schedule may be, the LU talent and coaching seems good enough to be "in a position" to win, but far too often, the result in the close games is a loss. That smacks of coaching deficiencies to me also.

Fordham, Holy Cross and Lafayette are excellent teams with terrific personnel, but Lehigh can still win these games...however, the coaches need to step up.
Anonymous said…
Lucky to get 4000 saps for HC. If we did not sell early, how many would go to see Lafayette embarrass us.
Anonymous said…
Does anybody know what the current players say about all this?

A few years ago, as I recall, the linemen raised such a stink about their position coach that Joe Sterrett did not hesitate to sack him at season's end.

I also recall four head coaches in other sports that Joe canned after player complaints.

So if the athletes do complain to him, he will listen. Of course, he probably has already made up his mind.....
Anonymous said…
Ahhh......... what do you think the players think about this coaching staff?

I'm pretty sure that when they decided to attend LU, they didn't think they would be experiencing one loosing season after another.

I'm pretty sure they decided to attend becuase of the long lasting tradition of a great football program, combined with the great academcs LU has to offer.

While I dont think this team has the talent of past years, neither does the entire PL. This to goes back to the recruiting effort on behlaf of the current staff.

In addition to the poor recruiting efforts, this staff doesn't seem to put the right player's on the field. Playing to many freshman in front of the upper classman who have put in their time and deserve to be rewarded with playing time.

I could see a few freshaman playing, if they were studs, or playmakers, but I havent seen that.

Again, you ask the question; what they players think? ask a few of those upper classman that have watched their 4 years slip away so quickly without reward.

Coen grasps at a new straw every week, instead of having some consistency and teaching the players "How" to execute, instead he just repeats his "verbal vomit" as another poster so clearly spelled out.
Anonymous said…
Freshmen players are seeing playing time in front of upperclassmen because of injuries. I might add, they are doing a fine job.
Anonymous said…
So why must we play freshmen if some upperclassmen are hurt?

What about the other recruits Andy has brought in during past "recruiting bonanzas"? Are they that poor as a group?

I can understand this approach if it were his first year on the job. But it's not.
Anonymous said…
Man you guys are depressing. No one is talking about other recruits being poor as a group. If you are playing a freshman, he is either a stud or every other qualified player in front of him is hurt and he is your last chance for success.

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