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Showing posts from October 9, 2011

Lehigh 34, Fordham 12, Final

A warm and windy day in the Bronx could not stop the Lehigh machine from rolling
this weekend.

This potential "letdown" game?  Hardly a letdown for the guys in the brown pants.

And the "game before the bye week" curse that has afflicted Andy Coen-coached teams could not slow the Mountain Hawks down, either.

While - once again - Lehigh had some mistakes that led to Fordham scores, they shouldn't obscure a smothering performance by the No. 8 team in the country, a fairly comprehensive 34-12 victory that shows that the Mountain Hawks have the answers to an awful lot of questions out there on the field.

Friday Water Cooler: Football Attendance

If you look at the small picture, it probably looks like it's going to be a banner year for football attendance across all of the nation.

In FBS, five schools (Michigan, Ohio State, Texas, Penn State, and Alabama) average more than 100,000 fans thronging in their stadiums, and with a bunch of rivalry games yet to go, it looks like there might be more than ten teams that average more than 90,000 fans per game.

And in FCS, too, five teams (Appalachian State, Montana, James Madison, Jackson State, and Georgia Southern) are averaging more than 20,000 fans a game.  That's already up from last year, too, where James Madison and Georgia Southern have rejoined the 20,000 club this year.

Yet these individual attendance wins obscure a larger picture.

For every Michigan or Appalachian State, there is another side of the coin - a college football program that is seeing attendance diminish year to year.  And there are plenty of reasons for this decline.

Game Preview, Lehigh at Fordham, 10/15/2011

(Photo Credit: Brian Kraker/The Ram)

To a lot of people in Patriot League circles, Fordham is a test case.

When it comes to a high-academic football program that also offers "football scholarships", i.e., aid for football players that is not needs-tested, Fordham is the only program that does business in this way.

Scholarships were supposed to - automatically, it seems - make the Rams into an FCS powerhouse.  Free of the yoke of needs-testing, Fordham was supposed to more glory for their football program.  More games against FBS opponents.  Domination over Patriot League opponents.  And - who knows? - perhaps even an invite to the FCS playoffs.

Two years into the experiment, nobody is talking about the FCS playoffs, nor are they talking about dominating the Patriot League.  With arguably the toughest-ever schedule in the history of the Patriot League, an injury-riddled Ram team is searching for an answer for the question of winning football games.

LFN Players of the Week, Lehigh at Bucknell, 10/8/2011

This week's LFN Players of the Week awards go to:

Offense: Senior QB Chris Lum (30/37 passing, 368 yards passing, 30 yards rushing, 4 TDs)

Defense: Senior DE Ben Flizack (6 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 pass-breakup) (tie)

Defense: Senior LB Colin Newton (5 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 pass break-up)

Special Teams: Sophomore P/K Tim Divers (1-1 FGs, 35 yards, 3-4 XP (kick blocked), 6 points scored, 4 punts, 38 yard average)

Underclassman: Freshman RB Jason Suggs (77 kickoff return yards, including a 34 yard return)


And - I forgot last weekend's winners, for Yale vs. Lehigh! They are:

Offense: Junior WR Ryan Spadola (11 catches, 148 yards) (tie)

Offense: Senior WR Jake Drwal (10 catches, 112 yards, 3 TDs)

Defense: Junior LB Sam Loughery (8 tackles, 1 sack, 1 pass break-up)


Special Teams: *None*

Underclassman: Sophomore DB Tyler Ward (6 tackles, 5 solo tackles, 1 pass break-up)

Congratulations to the winners!

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.

My FCS Top 25, 10/10/2011

Below the flip, see my Top 25 for this week.

Sunday Word: Combos

Lest anyone think I'm succumbing my popular "Sunday Word" column to commercialism, I haven't yet gotten any checks to sell out my weekly editorial page yet.  (None that have cleared, anyway.)

But when Lehigh folks think of "Combos", do they think of the crunchy, delicious, oven-baked pretzels with a spicy, cheese pizza-flavored filling made with real cheese?

Or do they think of the other, many, "combos" at the disposal of head coach Andy Coen?  (more)