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Press Roundup, Lehigh vs. Bucknell

(Photo Credit: Liz Rohde/The Daily Item, via the Morning Call)

Senior QB Chris Lum and senior DE Ben Flizack didn't just run away with a 30-6 victory on Saturday - they also ran away with Patriot League Players of the Week awards, too.  For Lum, it was his fourth time being honored by the League, while it was the first time for FLizack.

Lum's command performance (30-for-37, 368 yards passing, 30 yards rushing, 4 TDs, 1 interception) earned him a co-Offensive Player of the Week award from the Sports Network as well, making him the only player to be honored twice by the organization.

Their awards capped off a bunch of happy recaps - and a bit of gnashing of teeth from Lehigh fans and media folks that were stuck on I-80 on their way to Lewisburg - of their fifth win of the season.
Official Release: No. 10 Lehigh Cruises Past Bucknell in Patriot League Opener, 30-6
“The kids had good focus coming out,” said Lehigh head coach Andy Coen. “Defensively, we did a great job all day. The offense did a super job throwing the football. We knew it’d be tough sledding running the ball, so we focused on passing against these guys.” 
“Our strength right now is perimeter skill and quarterback,” said Coen. “A couple blitzes got to us today, but for most part, we did a good job of protecting [Lum]. We’re beating someone 30-3 and clearing the bench for the second week in a row, so it’s never a bad thing.”
Morning Call: Lehigh Impressive in League Start Express-Times: Lehigh Opens Season with Rout of Bucknell Brown & White: Lehigh Tops Bucknell 30-6 in Patriot League Opener
Lehigh easily won its Patriot League opener on Saturday, beating Bucknell 30-6, as the Mountain Hawks’ offense and defense both turned in strong performances. 
The defense outplayed the Bison defenders in an impressive 30-6 victory that opened the No. 10 ranked Mountain Hawks' Patriot League schedule in style. 
"We got a little sick of hearing about how good they are," said senior DE Ben Flizack, who recorded two of his team's season-high 10 sacks. "We're pretty good, too." 
Yet, Flizack said the defense can still play better. 
"Definitely," he said. "We still let them have a couple of big plays and they got field goal right at the end of the first half which shouldn't have happened." 
"We thought we'd match up well with them with our defense because that's a team that likes to establish the run and that's what we do really well," Coen said. "It's tough to drive a long distance against our defensive scheme because at some point, someone's going to come free and set you back. 
"We want to control the run and then get pressure on the quarterback and that's what I was really pleased with today. We sacked [Bucknell sophomore QB Brandon Wesley] 10 times and harassed him other times." 
"We thought we'd be able to get a lot of easy throws which are really [rushes]," Coen said. "I was bothered by the fact that we went for it on a fourth-and-short early in the fourth quarter and didn't get it, but I knew coming in we weren't going to run it a whole lot today." 
"There was a lot we could have done better today, in all three phases," Coen said. "It's still a work-in-progress. We're gradually developing, but we're winning games while we're doing it."
Groller's Corner: Lehigh Wins Opener in Style, 30-6 Morning Call: Lum and Lehigh Not Content with 5-1 Start Express-Times: Lehigh Gives Confident, Complete Performance in Rout of Bucknell
I hit the worst traffic I hit anywhere on some Lehigh football road trips. 
Last year getting to Georgetown was a nightmare and today's trip to Bucknell may have been even worse. 
It should not take three hours to get to Bucknell, but it did today. It took more than an hour to get through about a 5-mile stretch on I-80. What was frustrating was that the five-mile backup led to a construction zone where no construction was going on. Just ridiculous. 
It's one thing to hit traffic where expected, like the Schuylkill Expressway, for example. It's another to get hit with a major delay when you don't expect it. That's what happened today. 
This just in. Lehigh is pretty darn good, especially quarterback Chris Lum. His fourth TD pass of the day went for 39 yards to junior WR Ryan Spadola and this is looking like yet another rout over Bucknell. Lum continues to put up staggering numbers thanks to his pass-catching friends. Lehigh has no running game today, but it doesn't mean a thing. 
"Our confidence keeps growing, but we've got to stay disciplined and keep preparing well every week," Lum said. "We can't get big-headed or anything. We've got to stay focused and keep our goals in mind." 
"I am blessed to have great receivers who happen to be here at the same time I am," Lum said. "They keep making plays and some great catches. Some of the balls I throw aren't on the numbers and into their chests. "Look at what senior WR Jimmy Jefferson did [Saturday at Bucknell]. There was a pass I threw that could have been intercepted. Jimmy comes back to the ball, makes the catch and gets us an extra seven yards. So, it's a unit, everybody working together and contributing." 
Jefferson didn't seem all that surprised that he caught his first touchdown pass of his collegiate career Saturday afternoon in the Mountain Hawks' 30-6 Patriot League thumping of Bucknell University in front of 3,119 fans at Christy Mathewson Memorial Stadium. 
"We're a very confident bunch," said Jefferson, whose nine-yard TD grab put Lehigh up 10-0 in the second quarter, of the Mountain Hawk receivers. "It's always fun to be out there running around and helping the team win. We've been working on that play all week and when we got down to a certain point on the field we knew we could run it for a touchdown and (quarterback) Chris (Lum) threw a great ball. Scoring touchdowns never gets old. 
"It's great to play on an offense with Jake and Ryan. They make you want to play better because they set the bar so high."

Sunbury Daily Item: Showdown Turns (G)Lum for Bison
For the Bucknell University football team to compete in games like Saturday afternoon's Patriot League showdown with No. 10 Lehigh, the Bison are going to have to take advantage of the opportunities that they missed early on at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium. 
"I think we are going to find out when we watch the films, we're going to find that we had the opportunity to make plays," Bison coach Joe Susan said. "For us to be a good football team, we are going to have to make those plays." 
Things started well for Bucknell (4-2 overall, 1-1 PL) as it held the No. 4-ranked offense to 51 yards on the first series and trailed just 3-0 late into the first quarter, but the Bison couldn't take advantage. 
Bucknell punted five times and missed a field goal on its first six possessions of the game. The Bison managed just negative three total yards on the five possessions on which it punted in that stretch. 
"(Not converting on offense) put us in the situation where we couldn't manage the scoreboard," Susan said. "Against a team like Lehigh we're going to have to able to run the ball (to control the clock) and we weren't able to," he said.


Fordham Athletics: Football Falls at Penn, 35-20
Looking to shake things up with the team, Fordham head coach Tom Masella decided to switch starting quarterbacks, inserting junior QB Ryan Higgins, who won three of his four starts last year, as the signal caller at Penn today. And it almost paid off for the Rams as Higgins completed 21 of 38 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns, all career-highs, but it wasn't enough as the Rams fell to the Quakers, 35-20, on Franklin Field. 
Higgins connected with freshman TE Dan Light with a scoring strike to cut the Fordham deficit to eight, 28-20, with 9:49 left. 
The Fordham defense almost forced another three-and-out but on third and one from the Penn 26, RB Jeff Jack picked up 13 yards, the first of three third down conversions for Penn on the drive. RB Greg Schuster capped the drive with a six-yard touchdown rush to make it a 35-20 game with 3:36 remaining.


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