Lehigh's trip to New Hampshire wasn't the most pleasant for sophomore CB Bryan Andrews, head coach Andy Coen and the rest of the Mountain Hawks. In the end, though, Lehigh fans are hoping that the game against New Hampshire and the game a few weeks ago versus Villanova will serve as valuable experience as to what is required to win the Patriot League - and to compete on a national level.
At 2-2, Lehigh is about where the rosiest of fans hoped they might be, and the bye week this week comes at the perfect time to allow Lehigh's bumps and injuries to heal before another test on October 9th vs. Fordham. But before we head to the bye week, let's take a final step back and look at the wrapup of the New Hampshire game. (more)
Official Release: Mountain Hawks fall 31-10 at No. 16/18 UNH
“We knew we were playing a very good football team here, one that’s traditionally top teams in FCS football,” said coach Coen. “When you play a team like that you have to take advantage of the opportunities presented to you. They presented a lot of opportunities to us. The defense created turnovers. We had a big kick return on a great individual effort. Offensively, we just weren’t able to take advantage of any of those opportunities with the exception of one. You’re not going to beat many teams when you do those things.”
“I’m not happy with how our football team played today,” Coen explained. “The defense created some good things and made some disruptive plays but on third downs we were not very good at all and that allowed a very good football team to stay on the field.”
Morning Call: Orlando's pair of TD catches help UNH whip Lehigh, 31-10
Brown & White: Different Wildcats, Same Results
"New Hampshire presented us with a lot of opportunities and offensively we weren't able to take advantage of any them, except maybe one," Coen said. "You're not going to beat many teams doing the things we did today, especially when you're playing a team with 63 scholarships and you have none. I'm not very happy with our football team."
The key drive was an 80-yard, 12-play beauty that made it 24-10 just before halftime.
"That was big for them to go up two scores before halftime," Coen said. "It was kind of frenetic out there for both teams, but we definitely should not have been down 24-10. I really got after our guys at halftime."
"I'm as angry right now as I've probably been in five years," Coen said. "It has nothing to do with effort, but we just have to execute better, especially in games like this."
"Offensively, we just made too many mistakes, which you can't do against a team that's that good," said senior OL Will Rackley.
"We plan on grinding this upcoming bye week to fix all of our mistakes and to grow as a team. Fordham is a formidable opponent," senior OL Ricky Clerge said. "We just have to play hard-nose Lehigh football, which we plan to do."
"We'll definitely be ready for Fordham," Rackley said. "We just need to clean up our mistakes."
New Hampshire WR Joey Orlando caught a career-high 10 passes for 81 yards and two touchdowns and was an offensive catalyst for the University of New Hampshire in a 31-10 rout of Lehigh Saturday afternoon that delighted the majority in a Parents Day crowd of 8,144 at Cowell Stadium.
Orlando's father, Bo Orlando, an ex-NFL player and member of the Liberty coaching staff, watched his son more than double his 2010 pass-catching total.
Orlando said his performance against Lehigh rivaled his breakout effort last season against Ball State when he caught four passes for 70 yards, including a first career touchdown.
"This one is special, though," he said. "I spend a lot of time over at Lehigh and know some of the guys and the coaches."
Morning Call: Lehigh Limps into Bye Week Trying to Fix Things
"We could have been in this thing until the fourth quarter if we had made some plays," Coen said. "It's nothing with the effort. I love these kids. Until I'm not here anymore, I am going to continue to be their biggest advocate. We've just got to execute better, especially in these types of games."
Colvin looked good in the second half of the 35-22 win over Princeton, but completed just 10 of 28 passes for 68 yards against UNH and was intercepted three times.
"Michael's performance wasn't very good, but I can't say it was just him," Coen said. "We'll have to look at the film and evaluate things. The bottom line is you're never a good offensive team until your quarterback is a productive player."
"It was just our own mistakes that hurt us," said sophomore CB Bryan Andrews, who had an interception to go along with his fumble recovery. "The bye week will be good for us because we can look at the film and correct our mistakes and get everybody healthy."
Foster's Daily Democrat: UNH and Fox Get Redemption
Seacoast Online: UNH Football Rebounds from Loss, Rolls Past Lehigh
"I am very pleased with the way we bounced back from a tough loss last week," UNH head coach Sean McDonnell said. "We said this week we had to improve in two areas. We had to stop their running game. We did that this week. The second thing was we had to run the football and get our running game going and to protect our quarterback and we did all those things."
UNH converted 12 of 20 third downs, leading to a 2-to-1 edge in possession.
"Any time you can convert on third down that kind of punches the defense in the face and knocks them down a bit," said QB R.J. Toman [who would be a College Sporting News' FCS National All-Star].
"Our offensive line did a really good job and that allowed me and Terrance to find space and have a chance to make some plays," Orlando said.
"I felt very hurt by that [Rhode Island] game," WR Terrance Fox said. "Everybody as a whole felt we didn't play as well as we should have and we gave Rhode Island a lot of opportunities. But as much as that hurt, we just have to put that in the past and move forward. The next game is the most important.
"Whatever happened at Rhode Island, we just have to learn from our mistakes and let it go and go on to the next week. I think we did that today."
Concord Monitor: Second-Half Shutdown
Foster's Daily Democrat: UNH's Precision Was Key Factor
"We knew we were playing a team that is traditionally one of the best in the (Football Championship Subdivision) and when you play a team like that we knew we'd have to take advantage of the opportunities presented us. And (UNH) presented a lot," Coen said.
"I kept looking up and (Lehigh had) 10 points, 10 points and I looked up in the fourth quarter and it was still 10 points," McDonnell said. "I told the guys we should pitch the shutout the rest of the way and finish this and they bought into it and did it."
"Any time you can convert third downs it's a punch to the defense in the face," Toman said. "Knocks the wind out of them a little bit."
"I let the offense down (with the fumble), so you know it's a team thing, and it was a great ball (from Toman) and I think I had somebody push me from behind, somebody pushed me through it," said Fox, who is listed at 5-foot-8, 166 pounds. "I'm not the biggest guy, and Coach Mac probably didn't like me lowering the shoulder too much, but I just felt the pylon."
"I thought we did well throughout the front. DT Lance (Mailloux) played well, DE (Brian) McNally was McNally as always, running around and just crushing guys," DT Steve Young said. "And I think we did a good job knocking back and identifying where the ball was. And as the defensive line progresses, then the linebackers can run and it just turned out well for us."