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QUICK RECAP: Lehigh Hits Rock Bottom In Dismal 65-47 Loss to Penn

Villanova, 38.

Monmouth, 46.

Yale, 56.

Now Penn, 65.

Lehigh's defense has given up 203 points in 4 games, and has given up more than 200 yards rushing to four straight teams.

This week's Ivy League player of the week will undoubtedly be Penn RB Karekin Brooks, who ran for 268 net yards, and scored 3 touchdowns, two on the ground, and one through, of all things, a pass.  It will be the second straight week that an offensive opponent will become a first-time Ivy League Offensive player of the week, the honor last week going to Yale QB Kurt Rawlings.

The Mountain Hawks' opponents have scored in all 16 quarters this year, and they've allowed at least 13 points in every quarter.

The defense hasn't forced a turnover all season, while the offense turned over the ball four different times today, and after each turnover, the defense would yield a score each time, including a brutal one to start the game when Lehigh desperately needed to jump out to a quick start.

For the second straight week, missed extra points have made it just a tiny bit harder to come back, something Lehigh has found itself doing almost the entire season.

And anyone who witnessed this debacle would have also been treated to all sorts of things, like a Penn running back executing a jump pass for a touchdown; a certain interception bouncing out of the hands of the defender and into the hands of a Penn receiver and a Lehigh 2-point conversion resulting in an interception return by Penn going the other direction.

Someone happier than me right now might bring up junior QB Brad Mayes' 400 yards passing, senior WR Gatlin Casey's 3 touchdowns, and junior RB Dominick Bragalone's strong offensive days today, and indeed, the numbers were impressive.  But Lehigh fans reading this should not be fooled by the pretty numbers - Lehigh never was ahead in this game, and in a tiring refrain, killed themselves multiple times with untimely turnovers and couldn't reverse momentum when the offense turned the ball over.

And it could have easily been worse.  Yes, Virginia, in a game where Lehigh gave up 65 points, it could have indeed been worse, with a Penn TD overturned by a penalty near the end of this game, making the officials the only thing stopping Penn from putting up 70 on Lehigh this afternoon.

If you're looking for a positive for this 0-4 game, here it is: Lehigh may have hit rock bottom.  I mean, how could it get worse than this?

Tune in later for more thoughts, at least the ones I can deliver and still keep this blog PG.


Allen said…
and the worst thing is the coach doesn't seem to have a clue how to turn it around.
Anonymous said…
Chuck, is it time to get honest? Lets not go Sean Spicer on us again this week, no amount of weeding and positive spin is going to cut it.

I couldn't even listen to the radio call of this game, because it was clear from their tone that they knew clearly knew in advance when Penn got the ball- they were either going to score or hit a really big play, and the only way Penn would avoid this was to have a holding penalty or fumble. I am so glad I am not at Goodman this year, because I would have left at halftime today.

This is a really bad, absolutely TERRIBLE Lehigh defensive team and coaching staff, actually the worst defensive coaching staff in nodern history. Horrible, likely the worst in FCS in 2017, and certainly the worst LU defensive team of the last 50 years, about the time I've been following the team as a kid. Lets not worry about making the players feel bad...they are sick about it. Everyone knows now that LU has ignored defensive recruiting in the last several years, and ignored quality coaching recruting. Giving up an average of 50 points a game against mostly average to poor teams is nothing to ignore, and no amount of weed pulling can whitewash this reality. God help us when we face Holy Cross and Gate.
Anonymous said…
9-2 last year? To this? I am not giving up on A Coen just yet but as I recall many staff coaches left for better jobs/pay and the lack of good Coaching for the team is evident. I think I saw at least 50 missed tackles over three weeks...pathetic and demoralizing

The offense has some stars in Casey Pellitier and Bragalone...terrific NFL eligible players. Brad Mayes is 75 per cent there as a QB but the kid has to learn not to force the ball into traffic or make bad decisions. The catches of G Casey would light up any pro Scout. Pelitier also great. Bragalone was a little small(?) otherwise the kid is playing for a Big Ten team imo.

So the problem is lack of recruiting on Defense Was this done on purpose?? I am not sure But Lehigh's biggest selling point have been the gaudy offensive stats. However, all you need is a couple of very good D players to be respectable. That said our ex LB C Caslow is sorely missed this year

Time for Joe Sterret to step in and help solve the problem e.g. More incentive to come to Lehigh for coaching/students This means reworking the budget and paying the staff more (??) Maybe we need to target the transfer market like convincing talented student athletes at Pitt PSU Delaware or other major programs who are bench warmers to come here I think Joe Flacco left Pitt or PSU for DE for that reason

Thank you

I welcome all comments
russs said…
Bragalone was evidently offered a walk on opportunity at PSU. Flacco came from Pitt. Saw him in his first (home?) game at UDEL (daughter was a frosh, parent's weekend game). They got smoked by Albany, Flacco made out OK in th end, obviously. Defense has actually been a problem for a few years. I believe last years team was 400+ ave in D. Probably high 4's, would be interested to know, Chuck, if you have that info. Wasting an opportunity with the tremendous O players we have at QB, WR and running back. Unsure why they don't use the TE more often.
Anonymous said…
So now someone is worried about the TE getting into the offense? LOL... Yeah, that's the real problem, the freaking Tight End...

Here is the quote from Coen in today's Morning Call, for those who haven't seen it, stuff that is approaching Trumpism/Spicerism. Very strange.

Coen made changes after the Yale game and went with more physical practices.
"That helped us this week, that made us better this week."'

RIGHT Andy. Exactly. So who exactly picked this current Defensive Coordinator? Someone previously with that powerhouse Franklin and Marshall on his Resume? Did that choice make you better Andy?

HG said…
I am afraid that the football program is heading nowhere. Ever since the Yankee Stadium debacle, it has been clear that physicality - particularly on the defensive side - is a serious issue. We can compete with our Patriot League brethren and other similar teams but stepping out of this little world is a real problem (e.g. winning the Patriot League last year and then getting demolished at New Hampshire).

Particularly troublesome are recent losses to Ivy League schools. We did fairly well against these folks when we did not have athletic scholarships. Now that we have had scholarships for a few years, would one not expect a serious step up in performance? The coaching staff/athletic department may not have the mindset to compete in the "scholarship era". A change may be necessary.

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