"We have 14 days to stay locked in and do whatever it takes to win another championship," he said to the team.
And it's true.
It really doesn't matter what happened Week One, Week Five, or even last week. When this Mountain Hawk team goes to bed, and wakes up again during the next six days, they are in the Patriot League Championship race. If they win, and stay locked in for the next fourteen days and win two football games, they will win the Patriot League.
It will require being locked in for fourteen days.
Junior RB Dominick Bragalone said in the post-game interview that "We're all in this together. It's do-or-die at this point. That was our motto going into this week, and it's going to be that the rest of the year."
And watching the Bucknell game, there were signs that this team had indeed started to show signs that things finally, maybe, are coming together in time to win their last two games.
If you take away senior WR Troy Pelletier's "interception" of a hail-Mary pass vs. Wagner, Lehigh hadn't forced more than a single turnover on defense in eight consecutive games this season. But in a sign that things might be starting to work, the Mountain Hawk defense forced four turnovers in Lewisburg, with junior LB Mark Walker forcing a fumble, recovering that same fumble, and nabbing an interception.
Bucknell head coach Joe Susan said after the game. “That’s the frustrating thing. We turn the ball over against a very potent offensive team and we gave them position with the turnover on the kickoff return and the fumble by the quarterback.”
And even more encouraging was seeing how the energy finally seemed to be flowing between all three units - turnovers becoming touchdowns becoming big special teams plays becoming more touchdowns. For the first time all this season, the electricity seemed to be flowing from everywhere.
And when the electricity did flow, I saw flashes of that team everyone saw in the preseason, feeding off of each other - staying "locked in" - and saw that potential in this team to with their last two regular-season games.
The problem has been sustaining that electricity for four quarters and not having short-circuits. The Fordham game showed the opposite side of that coin: several fizzled drives ending in turnovers, allowing big hunks of yards on special teams, the defense giving up the game-clinching touchdown run on 3rd down.
If this game were played back in late September, I'd have guessed that the Mountain Hawks would lose. But whatever it is - the do-or-die attitude, the fact that the team seems to be locking in for this stretch of games - something seems to have clicked with this team. If it indeed is the case, it might be a very fun final two weeks of the season - and beyond.