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Players of the Week and Press Roundup, Bucknell vs. Lehigh, 10/20/2012

(Photo Credit: Kevin Mingora/The Morning Call)

I love the picture of this sack by senior DE Anthony Verderame on Bucknell QB Brandon Wesley - a huge sack during the game.

It's a part of the Morning Call's pictorial of the Bucknell game this past weekend by photographer Kevin Mingora, who covers all of Lehigh's home games.

It may seem hard to believe, but there was a time once when finding photos of games online was an arduous task.  Now, between Mr. Mingora's gallery, the Brown & White gallery, and the Facebook gallery from Lehigh Athletics, there are tons to choose from every week.

It's a pretty good time to be a Lehigh Blogger.  (Oh yeah, and 8-0 is pretty nice, too.)


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

Offense: Senior QB Michael Colvin (20/32 passing, 3 passing TDs, 2 rushing TDs, 2 INT)

Offense: Junior WR Lee Kurfis (8 catches, 129 yards, 2 TDs)

Defense: Junior LB Nigel Muhammad (8 tackles, 1 1/2 tackles for loss including 1/2 sack)

Defense: Senior FS Billy O'Brien (6 tackles, 1 sack)

Special Teams: Junior DE Anthony Verderame (5 tackles, 1big sack, 1 pass break-up, 1 huge block extra point that changed course of the game)

Special Teams: Freshman DB Laquan Lambert (2 blocked punts, 1 returned for a TD)

Underclassman: Sophomore WR Josh Parris (5 catches, 114 yards)

Congratulations to the winners!

Official recap: Mountain Hawks pull away late to defeat Bucknell, 42-19

“We’re thrilled to be 8-0,” explained Lehigh head coach Andy Coen. “We knew Bucknell was going to be a real challenge today, particularly with how they play the run. Special teams were the key of the day. Can’t say enough about how our guys were able to come out and get those blocked kicks.

“Bucknell did a nice job in the third quarter,” Coen said. “We were giving them short fields in the punt exchanges. What I’m most pleased with is there was never any panic. These kids know what they’re capable of. They stayed focused and went back out and executed.”

Browm & White: Hawks extend win streak defeating Bucknell, 42-19
Brown & White Photo Gallery

More than 7,100 fans gathered at Goodman Stadium this weekend to cheer Lehigh on to its 8th win of the season. Fans joined players in by donning their pink attire and accessories as part of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority's "Pink Out" to raise breast cancer awareness.

Lehigh will benefit from a bye next weekend, and the team plans to use the extra time in the weight room and recovering their ill and injured players. They will travel to the College of the Holy Cross Nov. 3, as they look to continue to ride their impressive win streak.

Morning Call: Challenged again, Lehigh responds for big win
Express-Times: Lehigh enters bye week on high note with win over Bucknell
Morning Call Photo Gallery

While the Mountain Hawks knew they would be without their top weapon, senior quarterback Mike Colvin and company were confident in the other offensive playmakers, including junior receiver Lee Kurfis and sophomore wideout Josh Parris.

The duo combined for 243 receiving yards and two touchdowns on 13 receptions as seventh-ranked Lehigh remained unbeaten with a 42-19 Patriot League victory over Bucknell on Saturday afternoon at Goodman Stadium.

“I always felt (confident in them) and just wanted to make sure they knew that,” said Colvin of his other receivers. “I talked to a bunch of them before last week’s game (at Georgetown) and again today and told them that I’m equally as comfortable with them if not more.

“They’re good receivers in terms of blocking and catching the football. They deserve to be out on the field.”

“When I first heard senior WR Ryan Spadola wasn’t going to play it really upset me,” Kurfis said. “He’s one of the hardest workers in this program and is a huge leader for us. At the same time we had to get excited. With Ryan down I’d go to the X receiver, who is kind of our go-to guy in this offense. Josh Parris has done an incredible job fulfilling my role on the other side. As much as it stinks having Ryan out, we have the depth in the receiving corps to be able to step up.”

"It's a testament to the character of the guys on this football team," Colvin said. "What we're trying to do here is real special and it's hard. When it comes push to shove, every single guy — whether it's a freshman or a senior — they answer the bell. It's never going to be easy. We know that. We know mistakes are going to happen. It's just on to the next play."

The passing attack was needed since Lehigh was limited to a net-26 yards on the ground on 29 carries. That's 0.9 yards per attempt and Bucknell also registered two sacks, doubling Lehigh's seasonal total.

"Football's a hard game; it's a hard game to win," Coen said. "But our guys are consistent at an emotional level. We are never too up and never too down. We've re-centered ourselves when we've needed to do it and our guys are never fazed by anything."

Morning Call: Lehigh's Coen and Co. have plenty to talk about on bye week

"There's not a coach in the country that is thrilled after every win," Coen said. "It's our job to be critical. That's kind of how we're built. You win a game and it's like 'phew.' You're relieved more than anything. You lose and it's misery. Fortunately, we haven't had to deal with that lately. You don't want to lose, and fortunately, we have kids who don't want to lose either."

Senior quarterback Mike Colvin, who epitomizes the entire squad with his ability to rise above his mistakes, said the week off comes at an opportune time.

"It's a really a good time for it," he said. "We need it injury-wise and Holy Cross [Lehigh's next opponent] will be a great football game, especially up there. It always is. We get an extra week to prepare for them and I think we're going to take it and run with it."

Lehigh football coach Andy Coen says he plans to use the first three days of this week, his team's bye week, to get a jump start on recruiting.

And when he makes the call to a potential recruit or enters his home, he has one heck of a calling card to present — an unbeaten, nationally ranked football program that owns the nation's longest regular-season winning streak in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision at 17 games.

"We'll be out on the road Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and that's coming at a good time because there's a lot of film out now on the top prospects and it's nice to walk in and tell them that you're 8-0 and whatever-ranked in the country," Coen said Saturday after his team's win over Bucknell.

The Bucknellian: Football comeback falls short at Lehigh

The Mountain Hawks extended their lead to 14-6 in the second quarter when Lehigh quarterback Michael Colvin threw his first touchdown pass of the game. On the Bison’s ensuing possession, Lehigh had its second blocked punt of the game, giving the Mountain Hawks the ball at the Bison 15-yard line. Lehigh was able to capitalize, giving them a 21-6 halftime lead.

“We had an issue on the initial extra point where the kick was low and there was penetration in the middle of our offensive line; the block was a combination of both factors,” head coach Joe Susan said. “The first blocked punt was a breakdown in protection and the angle that we were trying to kick the ball in an attempt to pin our opponent. The next two wound up being timing issues in our operation time which we fixed at half time.”

Despite the turnover plagued first-half, the Bison came out strong after halftime by scoring on consecutive drives to close the deficit to 21-19 thanks to Young’s second and third rushing touchdowns of the game. The second touchdown drive was set up with an interception by safety Matthew Steinbeck ’15.

“On the interceptions, I remembered watching film on [Colvin] during the week and knew what types of throws he made,” Steinbeck said. “The two picks I just read him and knew his tendencies which put me in the right place at the right time.”

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