Skip to main content

Lehigh "Hurting" from Suspension, But It Could Be a "Galvanizing Event"

(Photo Credit: Michael Vosburg/The Forum via the Morning Call)

Head coach Andy Coen made no bones about it to Keith Groller of the Morning Call yesterday.

He said the team is "really close, and is still hurting" from the first-ever-of-its-kind suspension of junior WR Ryan Spadola for an offensive tweet.

Spadola, who didn't even get on the plane to Fargo yesterday, is missed by all.

"I think it can be a galvanizing event for our team," Coen said, however,  "I haven't really talked a lot about it with them. I may before kickoff. I just told them we are a family and sometimes issues pop up within a family and you learn from them and grow from them and you get stronger."

For senior WR De'Vaughn Gordon, who will be starting in Spadola's place, he told Michael LoRe of the Express-Times that he would be ready to step up in his place:

"Obviously I was saddened because of the situation and he's a big part of our team, but it's not a one-man team," Gordon said after the team's walkthrough at the Fargodome on Friday. "You never know when a player's going to go down, so you have to practice like you'll be starting on every play. I've always been prepared and ready to step into that role."

"(This incident) brought us together a little more because we're partly playing for him now," Gordon said. "We're not ready for our season to end and we're not ready for his season to end on a note like that. We want to go out and win this so we have Spadola ready for next week."
Senior QB Chris Lum also didn't seem like he was distracted from the fracas, either. "Our whole team backs Ryan," Lum said. "There's no animosity within the group. The whole situation was shocking and kind of a bummer, but we moved on quickly and refocused."

"This place reminds me a lot of the UNI Dome where we played [and beat] Northern Iowa last year," he said. "But I think we're going to have a lot more fans here than we had at UNI. It was super loud at UNI on third downs and it's going to be louder here on every play, so we're really going to have to stay focused."

"We still have something to prove to a lot of people out there on a national level," Lum said. "We deserve to be where we're at and deserve respect on a national level. We're just one of eight remaining teams.

"We've been focused all year. We've had a distraction this week, but Ryan handled it very well and the team has rallied around him. We'll miss Ryan, but De'Vaughn Gordon will definitely step up and a lot of other guys will step up and we'll get a lot of big performances from a lot of players."
Lehigh will be sporting some new high-tops, too, which should help the Mountain Hawks get grip on the hard, cement-like turf of the FargoDome.

The players were all sporting new Nike high-top basketball sneakers for today's walkthrough at the Fargodome in preparation for today's Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinal game at North Dakota State.

"I played on a field like this in middle school when we played on the turf at a local college," senior WR Jake Drwal said. "It's actually pretty grippy, a lot more than I thought it would be. I can cut pretty well in the basketball shoes."

"In youth league we'd play games in the Pontiac Silverdome and it was just like this," Lum said, who is from Lake Orion, Mich. "It's hard, it's quick, but I think we'll be all right. I think everything is going to be quicker. When you fall on the ground it might hurt a little bit more, but it's football."
Tune in at 4PM, either on ESPN Gameplan, ESPN3 online, or on the radio with Matt Kerr and Mike Yadush for the radio play-by-play on ESPN 1230 and 1320 in the Lehigh Valley, or on LehighSports.com.  I think we could be in for another classic.

Also, you can tune into my Facebook page for my live commentary of the game as well, which is "simulcast" as well on my Twitter Feed as well.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Patriot League Commit Tracker, Class of 2022

(Photo Credit: Steve Hockstein/NJ Advance Media)

With this year's early signing period in December, along with traditional signing day in February and additional signing of recruits up until May, it felt like the right time to resurrect the Patriot League Commit Tracker for the class of 2022.

This is intended to be a rolling list, updated as we go, as student-athletes going to any Patriot League school sign National Letters of Intent.

We don't know the whole story yet behind each school's recruiting class.  But this post is intended to put in one place what we know so far.

As I learn more, I will add more names to each list.

Fifteen Guys Who Might be Lehigh's Next Football Coach (and Five More)

If you've been following my Twitter account, you might have caught some "possibilities" as Lehigh's next head football coach like Lou Holtz, Brett Favre and Bo Pelini.  The chance that any of those three guys actually are offered and accept the Lehigh head coaching position are somewhere between zero and zero.  (The full list of my Twitter "possibilities" are all on this thread on the Lehigh Sports Forum.)

However the actual Lehigh head football coaching search is well underway, with real names and real possibilities.

I've come up with a list of fifteen possible names, some which I've heard whispered as candidates, others which might be good fits at Lehigh for a variety of reasons.

UPDATE: I have found five more names of possible head coaches that I am adding to this list below.

Who are the twenty people?  Here they are, in alphabetical order.

How The Ivy League Is Able To Break the NCAA's Scholarship Limits and Still Consider Themselves FCS

By now you've seen the results.  In 2018, the Ivy League has taken the FCS by storm.

Perhaps it was Penn's 30-10 defeat of Lehigh a couple of weeks ago.  Or maybe it was Princeton's 50-9 drubbing of another team that made the FCS Playoffs last year, Monmouth.  Or maybe it was Yale's shockingly dominant 35-14 win over nationally-ranked Maine last weekend.

The Ivy League has gone an astounding 12-4 so far in out-of-conference play, many of those wins coming against the Patriot League.

But it's not just against the Patriot League where the Ivy League has excelled. 

Every Ivy League school has at least one out-of-conference victory, which is remarkable since it is only three games into their football season. 

The four losses - Rhode Island over Harvard, Holy Cross over Yale, Delaware over Cornell, and Cal Poly over Brown - were either close losses that could have gone either way or expected blowouts of teams picked to be at the bottom of the Ivy League.

Why the Ivy Le…