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Press Roundup: Harvard 28, Lehigh 14

(Photo courtesy Kevin Mingora, The Morning Call)

Unsurprisingly, the press this week was not kind to the Mountain Hawks in the write-ups of their 28-14 loss to Harvard. The Morning Call has a photo gallery up from the game, of which this picture to my left featuring freshman QB Michael Colvin is a part. (There have been others this year from the Morning Call as well, but today was the first day I felt enterprising enough to post them.)

Look soon for my photos to be posted to the Lehigh Football Nation Facebook page as well. If fans would like me to post them to Webshots as well I will do so, though I have been too bummed to post any so far this year. They're currently on my computer at home, waiting for me to get some time to upload them.

Lehigh Athletics: Mountain Hawks Drop 28-14 Decision to Harvard


"Obviously we're not happy to be 0-4," Mountain Hawks head coach Andy Coen said afterwards. "I thought sophomore QB Chris Lum did some nice things out there today, but he made his fair share of mistakes, too. We'll go back and watch the tape to determine where we go from here (with the quarterback position)."

The Mountain Hawks took an early first quarter lead when Lum connected with junior TE Alex Wojdowski on a one yard touchdown pass. It was the first time this season that Lehigh was able to score a touchdown on its first possession and only the second time this season the Mountain Hawks have scored in the first quarter. Lehigh drove 83 yards on its opening drive which included a 55 yard run by backup freshman QB Michael Colvin out of the wildcat formation. "Mike's been doing a great job for us all season whenever he gets an opportunity. He's a very good athlete and showed that once again today," Coen said.
Morning Call: More Gloom at Goodman as Harvard Dumps Lehigh

''Chris competed as I knew he would and he made some mistakes like I knew he would,'' said Lehigh coach Andy Coen. ''I was disappointed in the interceptions, but I'm not going to kill the kid because he came out and competed. He's going to make mistakes and you're going to have to live with them, but some of them hurt.''

''It was not the day I envisioned,'' Lum said. ''But I gave it my best. I'm looking forward to doing better next week.''

''It gets tough when you're throwing the ball as much as we did, but that kind of took on a life of its own when you get down 21-7 in the fourth quarter,'' Coen said. ''We were winging it around as much as possible trying to get a big play.''

...

''I thought the defense played very well today,'' Coen said. ''They kept a very explosive offense on their heels and got some big stops. We left them on the field probably too long, but I was proud of how they played.''

''I thought we did a good job and played solid, but there were mistakes we need to clean up,'' senior LB Al Pierce said. ''We have to make more plays on defense and take better advantage of the opportunities when they're given to us.''

Express-Times: Andy Coen Not Fazed by Winless Start

When a member of the media asked Lehigh University football coach Andy Coen how he feels to be 0-4 after the Mountain Hawks' 28-14 loss to Harvard on Saturday, Coen was quick to point out the obvious.

"How do you think?" he asked back. "I’m very disappointed being 0-4. I told the kids at the end of the game we can act like an 0-4 team or act like a team who wants to compete for the Patriot League."

"It hurts. It hurts everybody involved with us," Coen said of the winless start. "Certainly not anything I envisioned at this point and time. I’m not the first football coach in the history of the world who’s been 0-4. I have to work hard to right this ship and that’s what im gonna do. I can’t blame these kids on their effort, at all."
Morning Call: Winless Mountain Hawks Have 'A Lot of Work to Do'

''After the game, I told the kids we can act like an 0-4 team or we can act like a team that wants to compete in the Patriot League. We've got a lot of work to do to do that. But I know these guys. They're going to hurt tonight as they have the last couple of weeks, but they'll come back and be ready to go.''

'Coaches coach, that's what we do,'' [Coen] said. ''I'm not the first football coach in the history of the world to be 0-4. I've got to work hard to right the ship and that's what I'm going to do.''

He was asked about how he'll go about changing the direction of this season.

''The way I coach is to challenge the kids to do the right thing and get better,'' he said. ''I certainly praise them when they do something right and critique them when they have done something wrong. That never changes. It's harder to accentuate positives when you're an 0-4 team. At the end of the day, the defense has gotten better and is playing well enough, even with injuries, to keep us in every game.

''Offensively, it hasn't happened. When we can get everything going, we can be pretty good. That was my expectation for this year. I've seen flashes of things, but nothing consistent.''

...

Coen said Lum, who threw four interceptions and was sacked four times, went through a learning process.

But Coen didn't rule out a return to original starter junior QB J.B. Clark, saying that he would again go back and examine the film.

Coen again noted that Clark has handled his demotion with class.

''You want your children to grow up and be like that guy,'' Coen said. ''I have more respect for him now than I ever have and I've always held him in high regard. He was the first guy telling me coming off the field to keep my head up. That's the type of person he is. And there are a lot of those kids in our program who are like that.''

Groller's Corner: Struggling to Find Positives for Lehigh

At the moment, it's real hard to find positives in this 0-4 start. Based on what happened today, you can't say that Chris Lum is the answer at quarterback, although he showed some nice flashes.

Lum wouldn't use excuses, but it's not easy breaking into the starting lineup against a good team like Harvard and his four interceptions -- a combination of bad throws and bad decisions -- were not all that surprising.

...

Overall, there was not a lot to smile about, and there really hasn't been much all season. The crowds are down -- just 5,457 today -- and those who are showing up are increasingly voicing their displeasure.

Georgetown, a team that is 0-5 and averaging just 7.4 poings per game, comes to Bethlehem at just the right time. Lehigh has defeated the Hoyas eight straight times and none of those games have been competitive.

In some years, a game with Georgetown offers potential for a letdown.

That will not be the case this year. It better not be.

Lehigh has a chance to taste success and must seize it on Saturday with a blowout win and then build momentum against Yale and Bucknell before the trip to Colgate on Halloween.

As bad as it's been, it's not too late for this team to turn it around.

From all accounts, the kids haven't quit. They maintain a good attitude. They just need a reward at some point. It should come against Georgetown.

But if you've followed this team at all, you know it won't be easy.
Harvard Crimson: Defense First in Crimson Victory

“I think it really starts with our defensive staff—[it] has really done a great job of getting some young kids ready to play, that we hadn’t thought we’d be playing so soon, especially at the defensive end position,” Murphy said. “You also factor in that we have a lot of veteran linebackers but not many have been front-line players. I think they’ve done a good job.”

The defense notched four interceptions Saturday, with junior FS Collin Zych picking a pair of passes, senior SS Ryan Barnes snatching one of his own, and senior LB Jon Takamura returning an interception for 60 yards and a touchdown.

“[Defensive coordinator Scott] Larkee had us well-prepared this week,” Takamura said. “So I just saw the fullback flare out for a screen, and I just read it, got under it, got lucky. The quarterback threw the ball, and I just surrounded the ball and ended up in the endzone.”
Harvard Crimson:
Ho Takes Hold of His Opportunity

Harvard’s regular starting running back, junior RB Gino Gordon, was sidelined with an injury. Though Crimson coach Tim Murphy would not go into specifics, Gordon was dressed to play.

“He should be fine,” Murphy said of Gordon. “I mean, we could have used him today, but like I said, we’ve got the luxury of depth so we could rest him.”

Also, according to Murphy, Harvard’s second-string back, freshman RB Treavor Scales, returned home to Georgia to attend to a death in the family.

That left the Crimson’s offense with its number three, senior RB Cheng Ho. Ho, who missed most of last year due to injury, was Harvard’s starter two years ago, and on Saturday he returned to form. He rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown, and caught a 13-yard touchdown reception.

“We didn’t have our number one, we didn’t have our number two, and Cheng’s a guy we’ve always been able to count on,” Murphy said.

Coach Murphy came up to me after the Brown game [last Friday night] and said ‘Hang in there, your time will come,’ and I really listened,” Ho said. “I knew the team needed me today...And I know this: There’s one shot and this might be my only shot, and I just knew I had to take advantage of it.”

...

By the time Ho left the field with leg cramps late in the third quarter, he had led Harvard to such a commanding advantage that, while he could have returned, it was unnecessary to push him much further and his action was limited for the rest of the game. But even in an abbreviated showing, his line was impressive—132 rushing yards and a score on 21 carries along with a 13-yard touchdown reception.

“We certainly rode him today—not just his productivity but his emotion,” Harvard coach Tim Murphy said. “He gave us a lot of juice on offense, a lot of leadership.”

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