Skip to main content

Colgate At Lehigh Narrative Street: Despite Challenging Week, Mountain Hawks Should Be Sky-High for Saturday

There's no question that this weekend's Colgate and Lehigh game is an enormous game for both sides.  There's also a bit of a quarterback "controversy" on the Lehigh side as to who will come out for the first series, award-winning sophomore QB Brad Mayes or award-winning senior QB Nick Shafnisky.

One thing that has gone a bit unnoticed is the impact of Hurricane Matthew on the game this weekend.

Not so much the impact of the southerly weatherly system on the weather at Murray Goodman, which is still on target for a mostly cloudy, 65 degree day, with a small chance of showers in the late afternoon, but the impact on the Lehigh and Colgate players, many of whom call Florida their home.

Added to the already-challenging coaching twists centering around 4 O'Clock exams, something that head coach Andy Coen reminded me of last week, is the concern that the fourteen Lehigh football players from Florida, including Mayes, senior LB Colton Caslow, junior WR Gatlin Casey and a bunch of others, have for their families back at home.

Overall, seventeen Lehigh football players (14 from Florida, 3 from Georgia) and sixteen Colgate football players (15 from Florida, 1 from North Carolina) have family and possessions potentially impacted by Hurricane Matthew.

You can't blame some of those athletes being a bit distracted if they have a bit more on their minds than just football.



With evacuations being ordered for some folks in the way of the storm, Andy has said some players have been concerned for their families.  Additionally, Lehigh sports information director Steve Lomangino said that the athletic department can "help out as needed" for some situations as well.

In the past Lehigh football games have had collection tables at Lehigh football games to solicit donations for hurricane relief, though it might be too early to set something like that up for this weekend's game.

Players all on a knee as trainers attended to Quentin Jones
Also looming over the proceedings was a scary hit involving junior CB Quentin Jones, whom coach Coen described as "one of the best, if not the best, defender we had."
Senior linebacker Colton Caslow was the closest Mountain Hawk to the scene. He immediately waved for trainers after seeing Jones face down in the grass and hardly moving. 
"His neck kind of went the wrong way," Caslow said. 
A hush fell across the Yale Bowl as the medical staff from both teams tended to Jones.
The Mountain Hawks had been enjoying a big day on the way to a 63-35 win, but this stopped them all in their tracks. 
"It was scary, man," head coach Andy Coen said.
After that scary hit, when they did come back on the field, Caslow got back up on the horse in a big way, stuffing a Yale running play on a tackle for loss.  But after that, both sides sort-of let up a bit, doing what was necessary and finishing out the game.

There was some good news this week in regards to Quentin's situation.
"We believe that Quentin is going to have a full recovery," Coen said. "That's pretty much where we're at. It's very positive."
And although it will be without a teammate, Lehigh plans on taking the field with Jones in its heart and mind.
"It always (stinks) when you have a guy go down, but it adds that extra sense of why we play the sport," Caslow said. "Who are we going to play for? Obviously we have a reason now. We can play for 'Q.'"
Is the injury, 4 o'clock exams, and possible hurricane impacts going to affect the emotion levels of the Mountain Hawks going into this weekend?

"As we're getting into league play, I think the kids are going to be sky-high," Coen told me.  "If anything, we need to caution against getting too intense.  The best teams are kind-of level, and then they spike when they need to.  The kids are great.  I think we're pushing the right buttons for these guys, and they're loving it.  They are really, really excited about it."

"We're just executing at a higher level right now and have eliminated the mistakes we were making," Casey told Keith Groller of The Morning Call. "Both Nick and Brad are great quarterbacks who can both put the ball on the money and both can run. They're both great leaders who can take control of the huddle. We have faith in either one."

"We're coming in with a three-game win streak and everyone's feeling confident and the energy is through the roof," Caslow added. "With Colgate coming in, it's like a championship game in Week 1 of the league. We're hoping to bring the heat and get after them.  They're a good offense, and they know how to execute their gameplan really well.  They make very few mistakes, and we just need to hang in there and get on top early."

In addition to the players and print media, there were four great videos by Campus Insiders that are also worth your time featuring Andy Coen and Colgate head football coach Dan Hunt (and a whole lot of fun highlights, too, that are worth reliving).

Campus Insiders: Lehigh's dual QBs and talented wideouts provide stiff test for Colgate
Campus Insiders: Lehigh coach Andy Coen breaks down Colgate QB Jake Melville
Campus Insiders: Colgate off to similar start in 2016
Campus Insiders: Colgate, Lehigh coaches preview Saturday's big Patriot League opener

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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…

Remembering Andy Coen's Time As Head Coach As He Steps Down as Lehigh Football Head Coach To Address Health Issue

I read the announcement that head coach Andy Coen was stepping down as head football coach late Friday evening.

It was an announcement that I was expecting, to some degree. 

Those of use who have been following the program closely knew that something was amiss with Andy. 

And yet, the reason for him needing to step down was devastating.

"Life has thrown me a curveball," Coen said in the press release on Friday, December 7th, 2018. "I am in the early stages [of early onset Alzheimer's disease] and it is best for me to eliminate stress and concentrate on my health and well-being.  My wife, Laura, and my children, Molly, Nolan and Finn have supported me throughout my career and are my biggest fans.  This is a very difficult decision for all of us, but it is what is best at this time."

It was the gutting, pit-in-the-stomach diagnosis nobody wanted to be true.  Just like that, a bigger challenge than simply winning football games faces the man who has been heading …