Head coach Andy Coen posed with the Yank Townsend trophy, given to the winner of the Lehigh/Yale clash, after the win this weekend.
It was the first time that Lehigh had been allowed to keep the trophy in Bethlehem, since it was the first time that Lehigh had beaten Yale since 2005, the first year that the trophy was offered.
In fact, the good news has kept pouring in for the Mountain Hawks since winning the trophy, as the team recently rejoined the Top Ten in the Sports Network and Coaches' Polls, and senior QB Chris Lum was also formally added to the Walter Payton Award watchlist, which is essentially the equivalent of the Heisman Trophy in FCS football.
Meanwhile, Yale head coach Tom Williams brought some... Febreze... into Yale's team meeting on Monday. To see why, check out the Press Roundup below the flip. (more)
Official Release: Second Half Surge Propels Lehigh Past Yale, 37-7
"I’m very pleased with how our defense played over the course of the game,” explained Lehigh head coach Andy Coen. “The first half was frenetic and marred by penalties and turnovers, but our defense did a great job creating those turnovers and did a nice job controlling Yale’s offense.”
“Offensively, we moved the ball but couldn’t convert some third downs in the first half,” Coen said. “We made some mistakes so I wasn’t happy with that at halftime. There weren’t many adjustments. We just needed to refocus. Our players did a great job with that. We played the second half the way we could have played the entire game.”
“This was a good win over a good Yale team,” Coen said. “It’s particularly important since we’re on the road for our next three games to come out with a win. We were able to build off an emotional win last week. To come out and beat a good Ivy League team was really important as we go into league play next week.”
Morning Call: Lehigh Wins Third Straight, 37-7
Morning Call: Photo Gallery, Lehigh vs. Yale
Express-Times: Lehigh Capitalizes on Turnovers to Beat Yale, 37-7
Express-Times: Lehigh Cruises Past Yale, 37-7
The Lehigh football team won't be back at Goodman Stadium until Nov. 5, but they left their fans with a good performance to remember them by while they're away.
Lehigh, ranked No. 13/14 in the national FCS polls, scored 27 unanswered points in an impressive 37-7 win over Yale on Saturday before 6.072 at Goodman Stadium.
It was Lehigh's third straight win and gives the Mountain Hawks a 4-1 record to start the season for the first time since 2004.
Even though the two teams combined for nine first-half turnovers, Lehigh cruised to a 37-7 victory over Yale University this afternoon at Goodman Stadium.
The Mountain Hawks close out their independent schedule with a 4-1 record, while the Bulldogs drop to 2-1 after their first defeat of the season.
Junior WR Ryan Spadola had a game-high 148 yards on 11 catches, while senior WR Jake Drwal had 112 yards on 10 receptions with three touchdowns.
“If I see him make a play, I want to step up,” Drwal said. “We try to feed off each other and try to get most out of each other.”
In the first half, Spadola led the “competition” with 110 yards on 10 catches, while Drwal had 41 yards and a score on five catches. In the second half, momentum swung Drwal’s way as he rallied for 71 yards on five catches with two TDs, while Spadola had one 38-yard catch.
“They’re a very tough 1-2 punch to handle because he (Drwal) can beat you as easily as Ryan can beat you,” coach Andy Coen said.
Brown & White: Mountain Hawks Beat Yale, 37-7
Brown & White: Photo Gallery: Lehigh vs. Yale
Senior QB Chris Lum continued his streak of 300-yard games and connected for three touchdowns. The Hawks finished the game with a total of 84 yards rushing and 391 yards receiving.
“Lately we’ve given up points on the first drive and we didn’t today and it set the tone for the rest of the game,” said senior LB Colin Newton, who had a fumble recovery and sack. “It gave us a good vibe going into the rest of the game.”
Morning Call: Air Lehigh Still Needs Defense to Keep Foes Grounded
The surprise was that Yale, which had put up 37 points in each of its first two games, both wins, was limited to seven points and just 203 yards of offense by Lehigh's so-called "bend, but don't break" defense.
Finally, it appears, the Mountain Hawks are taking the "bend" out of that moniker.
"We felt we were getting better last week [against Liberty] and this week we really played good defense," Lehigh coach Andy Coen said. "Getting five turnovers was big. The defense created those turnovers. Our secondary hit them hard a few times and they started dropping a few passes. "Junior CB Bryan Andrews was fabulous. Yale had some good receivers and Bryan locked their guys down."
In addition, Yale quarterback Patrick Witt was sacked four times and hurried several other times.
"Harassing Witt was a big part of not allowing them to do what they've done offensively the first couple of weeks," Coen said. "He wasn't very comfortable back there."
"There's no question they're [Bucknell] going to be sky high for us," Coen said. "Joe Susan is a good coach and there's a definite plan in place now. Last year, the personnel didn't match what they wanted to do offensively, but they stuck with it and now you're seeing the fruits of their labor. They have the same quarterback [junior QB Brandon Wesley] but he is a lot better and making better decisions."
"It's going to be a challenge, but our kids know what's at stake," Coen said. "The stakes get higher now that the league schedule is here."
Yale News: Turnovers Doom Bulldogs
New Haven Register: Bulldogs Commit Five Turnovers in Loss to Lehigh
Portal 31 Blog: Yale Looking to Move Forward after First Loss
Yale football coach Tom Williams has been known to utilize props to motivate his team and Tuesday was no different.
In the first practice of the week, Williams had a couple bottles of Febreze he sprayed on his players because "we have the smell of not playing very well on us."
"I used (Pittsburgh Steelers coach) Mike Tomlin’s line after they lost to Baltimore. He said until we get a chance to play some more football games right now, we just stink and we have to get that stink off of us.
The chaos and miscues that ensued on Yale’s opening drive plagued the team for the rest of game. Though they trailed by nine at halftime, the Bulldogs (2–1, 1–0 Ivy) could not overcome their early mistakes and the surging Mountain Hawks offense, suffering their first loss of the season, 37–7.
“We did not come completely ready to play our best game on Saturday,” senior LB Jordan Haynes said.
Junior LB Will McHale’s interception led to a 46-yard field goal attempt by junior PK Philippe Panico, that sailed wide right of the goalpost. Lehigh senior LB Mike Groome picked off senior QB Patrick Witt just five plays after junior DB Kurt Stottlemyer’s interception.
"The two things that stood out to me the most were the turnovers and the dropped passes," Williams said. "I think we counted eight dropped passes and at least two of those would have been potential touchdowns. Another two of them would have been first downs, would have kept the chains moving. It is demoralizing because we are moving the ball and we had opportunities to score points. All of a sudden, we have these drops and we are saying ‘what is going on?’ You talk about making plays, those are plays that we made the first two weeks and then we didn’t make them in this game. As I said to the team, when you have the combination of turnovers and missed opportunities against any team, you are putting yourself in jeopardy of losing. When you are playing a team as good as Lehigh, that is when the score ends up being a 30-point difference."
“[The offensive struggle] was all self-inflicted,” Williams said.
“There were plenty of opportunities that we didn’t capitalize on which decided the outcome,” Witt said.
Allowing just a single sack in two games, the Bulldogs’ offensive linemen struggled to protect their quarterback against a physical and aggressive Lehigh defense. Witt was sacked four times for a loss of 26 yards and fumbled the ball twice.
"We have a bad taste in our mouth and the only way you can get it out is to play and win a game," Williams said. "I wouldn’t say that we have any extra pressure to do that but we are anxious. We could play the game today and be OK but with a week’s preparation, I know we will be hungry to go play a game. It doesn’t matter who it is but it happens to be a conference opponent at home and we will be ready to play."
“Our attitude is completely different going into a conference game,” Witt said. “You will see that in our week of preparation and in our performance this weekend.”
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Bucknell Off to Best Start in Ten Years
Sunbury Daily Item: Bucknell Wins Patriot League Opener
Sunbury Daily Item: Susan's Mindset Permeates Bison
In the end Georgetown never found an answer for junior DL Robert De La Rosa, and the Bucknell offense turned in an efficient offensive performance at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium. De La Rosa had a big day, finishing with three sacks and seven tackles for loss as the Bison held Georgetown to minus-three yards rushing.
On the other side of the ball, junior QB Brandon Wesley threw three TDs and junior RB Tyler Smith ran for 114 yards against the nation's fifth-ranked rush defense and the Bison jumped out quickly and then finished off the Hoyas for a 35-18 win in the Patriot League opener for the Bison.
The win improves Bucknell to 4-1 overall -- for the first time since 2001 -- and 1-0 in the league. It sets up next week's visit from nationally ranked Lehigh, where the winner will emerge atop the PL standings.
"It's a place we haven't been yet," Bucknell coach Joe Susan of his team storming out to a 28-0 lead before letting the Hoyas get within 28-18 in the third quarter. "Sometimes when you do that, when momentum shifts, it's hard to get it back. Fortunately, our defense geared it up."
"We're going to celebrate this for now, but then we have to go to work," said Tyler Smith. "We'll be back at 11 a.m. (Sunday) morning and we'll be ready to work. All eyes are on Lehigh right now."
Make no mistake about it, one of the things that has drastically changed over the last season and five games is the team’s toughness.
Tim Landis’ teams were tough, but a different kind of tough. You have to be tough to annually be one of the nation’s best running teams.
I can’t quite put my finger on it, but things just feel different now. It’s not a nasty, hey we’re going to shove you around the field kind of tough, or even an in your face, intimidate you from the moment you get off the bus kind of tough. This team, like the one a couple of miles down the road at Susquehanna, just oozes mental toughness, which translates into physical toughness on Saturdays.