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Showing posts from September 20, 2009

Lehigh 14, Princeton 17, Final

"Excruciating" has to be a strong candidate for "Sunday's Word" after watching this game - a game that was winnable.

Want proof? Just look at the box score. Princeton only gained 163 yards of total offense. Sounds great - until you realize that sophomore QB Tommy Wornham got 68 of those yards on one play, a fake to junior RB Jordan Culbreath which instead was a designed run in which he went into the end zone untouched.

Lehigh got 224 yards passing - great in comparison to Princeton's total of 47 yards, right? Unless you factor in interceptions - one returned by junior LB Stephen Cody for a 77 yard pick six. The other was grabbed by senior DB Wilson Cates in Lehigh territory might have been harmless - but Princeton converted one of their two third-down conversions on the afternoon (and for good measure their only fourth-down conversion) which resulted in a 31 yard field goal by senior PK Ben Bologna.

You look at the box score, and it defies belief. Prince…

Friday Water Cooler: 10 Years Today

(Graphic courtesy WKYC)

Ten years ago today, I was late to a football game.

It was a picture-perfect night for football. While I wasn't a blogger about Lehigh football at that time, I still was a crazy Lehigh fan, and despite the fact I lived in Connecticut I had somehow convinced my friend Matt to go to the first night game at Palmer Stadium in Princeton with me. He was coming back from the Yankee game earlier that day, and I drove down to meet him in central New Jersey to pick him up to head to Princeton.

That day the Yankee game fatefully ran later than usual, and we got to Princeton after dark. So we found ourselves wandering around the Princeton campus, after listening to the first quarter on the radio.

It's then when we met Kim and a friend of hers. Kim wasn't a Princeton alumna, nor had she ever seen a college football game before that day. She had been volunteering for the Red Cross and was helping recovery efforts from Hurricane Floyd that had passed through ea…

Game Preview: Princeton at Lehigh

Before last year's Princeton game, I said that contest would be a " litmus test to see if Lehigh fans deserve to be excited about this football team."

A year later, nothing has changed, except maybe the urgency. The Mountain Hawks need to avoid an 0-3 start in the worst way possible.

It might be too early to call this a must-win game - after all, the schedule has been brutal (with a visit to the No. 2 ranked team in the nation, Villanova), and key players have been out with injury. There's historic precedence: "that school in Easton" dropped five tough games in the middle of 2007, yet roared into league play and took the Patriot League title, so it certainly is possible to recover from an 0-3 start.

But it feels like this team needs a win - any win will do - to open up this four-game homestand and to send the fans home happy. Something to show for the hard work the team has put in.

The big win - and the "big things" that DL Brian Jackson alluded to…

Threats From The Ivy League?

It's unusual that scheduling enters into my thinking during the course of a regular season, but with Fordham's decision to offer scholarships there seems to be something afoot that needs to be discussed.

This week, there have been no less than three matters of Patriot League scheduling that have come up in papers around the Northeast. All three point towards a possible shift towards individual Patriot League teams scheduling more non-Ivy League teams in the future.

The first comes from the Hampton Roads Daily Press, where colunmist David Teel talks about the fact that William & Mary seems to be abandoning local rivalries in favor of FBS games and others. Teel has his own feelings about Patriot League competition that he doesn't bother to hide:

Hampton Roads is home to four Division I college football programs [William & Mary, Old Dominion, Norfolk State, Hampton] hailing from two conferences [the CAA and MEAC]. Which logic says would create natural, interleague, reg…

FCS East Wrapup: The Cross Passes Their First Test

(Photo courtesy the Worcester Telegram-Gazette)

It was the FCS Game of the Week last week - and unless you were prepared to pay Stretch Internet to watch the game or lived in the Worcester area, you couldn't watch the game - but Holy Cross' 27-20 victory over Harvard was not only the only matchup between nationally-ranked teams, it was one of the best games of the weekend. (Don't take my word for it: just click on Crusader Vision on the Holy Cross football website and see for yourself the report filed by NESN.)

There was more going on that just the Holy Cross/Harvard game, but the Crusader's big win was the Patriot League's best win of the year in a year where the League desperately needed one.

Despite the best efforts of Harvard's student newspaper to paint this game as a "David vs. Goliath" story, Holy Cross' 27-20 win in this game was anything but. "This was a marquee game in the early part of our season," head coach (and former Lehigh…

Saints Almost Half A Century, Eagles Not Nearly Enough

(Photo courtesy WWL)

I'm becoming convinced: every sports reporter ought to spend at least one game a year in the cheap seats. That was the conclusion this fan came to at the Saints/Eagles game this weekend.

***

It had been more than a decade since I had been to a pro football game in person. There was a time when I traveled hither an yon to see the Saints play, making frequent trips to the Meadowlands, New England, and even Pittsburgh to see "my" Saints play. I even traveled down to New Orleans to enjoy gumbo, po' boys, and to watch my Saints led by (ech) QB Jim "Chris" Everett to beat the Giants one year. (I think it was a few weeks after Jim Rome basically invented the link between entertainment and sports by goading Everett to deck him. Deadspin has him to thank.)

While I've never lived in New Orleans, my time overseas as a young man gave me an opportunity to latch on to a different NFL team than the team closest to the place in America that I grew…

Sunday's Word: Quarter

Hard to believe, isn't it? College football is a twelve weekend season, and we've just gotten through the third weekend of the year. That means the season is - you guessed it - a "quarter" of the way through.

So what have we discovered in the Patriot League so far, with 25% of the season finished?

We've discovered that 3-0 Holy Cross is still the team to beat so far - they beat nationally-ranked Harvard (No. 25) 27-20 in a thriller at Fitton field this weekend. But 3-0 Colgate has definitely also established themselves as a heavyweight contender with wins over Monmouth in Week 1, Stony Brook in Week 2, and surviving an early struggle to put away Dartmouth 34-15.

When you look at the rest of the league, however, the glass doesn't seem half full - it's more like three-"quarter"s empty.

0-3 Georgetown's struggles on offense are becoming the stuff of legend. The poor Hoyas haven't scored a single offensive touchdown in three games - think ab…