Below the flip, see the press roundup of Lehigh's victory over Monmouth - and a peek at what's been happening with Lehigh's next opponent, New Hampshire. (more)
Morning Call: Lehigh Lives Up To Billing, Opens Season With Rout
It's hard to say whether Lehigh, ranked as high as No. 13 in one national poll, lived up its vast preseason billing in a 49-24 season-opening win over the host Hawks, but the defending Patriot League champs looked pretty darn good, especially on offense.
Even third-string junior RB Marcus Dormevil, a walk-on, scored his first career touchdown to cap the scoring.
"That was the feel-good story of the day as far as I am concerned," Lehigh coach Andy Coen said.
"As a head coach you love games like this because we did a lot of good things and scored a lot of points, but there was certainly a whole lot to work on," Coen said. "We've got a lot of room to grow."
"We got a big interception in the red zone from junior FS Billy O'Brien, some real physical play from senior SS Jon Littlejohn and junior CB Bryan Andrews is as good a corner as anyone who graduated. Junior CB Gabe Johnson played well, too."Morning Call: Lum, Lehigh Offense off to Flying Start
In the aftermath of the most points scored (49) and most yards gained (529) by an Andy Coen-coached Lehigh football team on Saturday, Coen himself said that this could be the best offense he's had in his five full seasons and one game in charge.
"Our skill is the best, without a doubt," Coen said following Lehigh's impressive 49-24 season-opening win at Monmouth. "Senior QB Chris Lum is a big part of that. He can be on a par with some of the other [great] quarterbacks we've had, which is saying a lot."
"I have more experience and I know what to expect and what to do," Lum said. "I know this offense and studied their defense well. I think I'm progressing well."
"Chris just keeps getting better and better," Coen said. "After he threw the interception the next time he led us on a touchdown drive. I went over and told him 'That's where you are a really good quarterback . … you learn from your mistakes. You put them behind you and move forward.' A lot of guys can't do that, but Chris is tough enough mentally that he can."Groller's Corner: Five Takeaways from Lehigh vs. Monmouth
I have to say that Lehigh's win was impressive, especially offensively.
And I've said it many times before, that's what the Lehigh fans want. They want to see the ball in the air and they want quarterbacks to throw the ball accurately and receivers to make fantastic catches.
Lehigh did all of that, and more, on Saturday.
This team has a nice demeanor about it. They are very level-headed. They didn't get rattled when Monmouth came out and marched down the field for a game-opening score. They didn't panic when they hit some bad patches after building a 21-7 lead. There's a quiet sense of leadership within this team. They are very business-like. They will not do a lot of whooping it up. They know what they have to do and they go out and do it.
Express-Times: Lehigh Opens with Convincing Win over Monmouth
"Our offense is designed that you can’t scheme your defense to just one player," said junior WR Ryan Spadola, who is from nearby Howell, N.J., and was recruited by Monmouth. "If you try to stop the pass, the run is going to open up. I thought they’d give me more double (team) looks, but they didn’t and it worked out for us."
Brown & White: Football Team Starts Strong with Win over Monmouth
“We saw a lot of really good things on the offensive side of the ball, we were able to generate some big plays,” Head Coach Andy Coen said. “I thought we had the capability to be explosive on offense and we certainly showed that today.”
Daily Record: Hawks Squander Early Monmentum, Fall to Lehigh
“I think we just made little mistakes,” said Monmouth junior CB Elijah Phillips of Lehigh’s game-tying drive. “We practiced hard all week,” Phillips said. “We bascially learned their offense in and out and we knew what to look for. But we made little mistakes and they happened to capitalize on them.”
On third-and 10-from the Lehigh 26, senior quarterback Chris Lum of Lehigh (1-0) connected with junior wideout Ryan Spadola for 26 yards to the Monmouth 38-yard line.
“Kind of down the seam to the left hash,” Monmouth coach Kevin Callahan said of the completion. “That kind of got them out of a hole. That seemed to give them some momentum back.”
Callahan said his team suffered “across the board” problems. “I think it started with some breakdowns in the secondary that allowed some big pass plays,” Callahan said.
“We’re playing a good team and some things don’t always go the way you want it to,” said Monmouth DT James Lawson. “They schemed very well. It made it kind of hard for us to get to them.”Newsroom New Jersey: Lehigh Uses Big Offensive Plays to beat Monmouth
“I think today there were a couple things that happened,” Callahan said. ”First of all, we played a very good team. They executed very well and were right on in everything they did. As a team we didn’t play the way we needed to play. It was across the board. It started with some breakdowns in the secondary that allowed some big pass plays. It was an uphill battle from there.”*****
Foster's Daily Democrat: Rough Opener for Wildcats
Seacoast Online: UNH opens with 58-22 loss to Toledo
"It was a very tough, physical football team," coach Sean McDonnell said during Monday's CAA conference call. "We got introduced to a really fast-paced team. They're a very explosive team offensively. We got worn down and we were outplayed by a better football team."
UNH turned the ball over three times in their own territory, including twice inside the 30. "It was disappointing," McDonnell said.
"We fumbled three times when we were running with the football. We've got to secure it better. We gave them too many opportunities against our defense and a young secondary."
"We missed a lot of tackles," McDonnell said. "We've got to have better eyes and see what we're supposed to be seeing."
The Wildcats did not get a takeaway and two Toledo quarterbacks combined for five touchdown passes against an inexperienced secondary. The Rockets converted 13 of 19 third-down opportunities and ran 83 offensive plays.
It wasn't all bad against Toledo.QB Kevin Decker completed 21 of 28 passes for 162 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He also ran for a TD and a 2-point conversion. There weren't many other highlights for UNH, the 10th-ranked team in Division I FCS. All told, Toledo totaled 591 yards of offense and posted three scoring plays of 45 yards or more in the contest, the first meeting between the two schools in 62 years.
"I thought Kevin played pretty well for his first time out this year," McDonnell said. "He did a nice job finding the open receiver and he did a nice job scrambling and showing poise under pressure. I thought he ran with a purpose.
"He did OK," McDonnell added, "but he needs to be better for us to be better.".
UNH will try to regroup in time for Saturday's game at Lehigh, the second of three straight road contests to begin the season.
"(Lehigh) has gained so much in one year since we played them," McDonnell said. "We've got a lot of things to work on to get better," McDonnell said, "and they give us a lot of things to prepare for."