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Showing posts from September 3, 2017

QUICK RECAP: A Tough Gut Punch To the Mountain Hawks, A 46-27 Defeat to Monmouth

It pretty much started with RB Pete Guerrerio's 70 yard kickoff to open the game, and continued throughout a bruising, physical football game.

Lehigh would battle back from a 14-0 deficit to take the lead at halftime, but ultimately surrendered the lead as a physical beating took its toll and Monmouth got 4 straight rushing touchdowns, which allowed them to bowl their way to a 46-27 win over the Mountain Hawks.

Mayes would eventually find senior WR Troy Pelletier to break Lehigh's all-time receptions record with 238, but it had to be a bitter milestone to reach as the Mountain Hawks were held to 6 points - a touchdown, and a missed extra point - in the second half.

"Basically, they were a better football team today," a crestfallen Andy Coen said afterwards.  "They want to run the ball, and chew up the clock, and that was very evident here today, that's why they were the better team.  We did a very poor job of 1st downs, we did a very poor job on 3rd down co…

How Will I Watch Lehigh At Monmouth This Afternoon?

Not going to West Long Branch to take in Lehigh facing off against Monmouth?

Never fear: LFN is here.

Kickoff time at Kessler Stadium is 1:00PM.

It is possible to catch the game in a variety of different ways: radio call, video stream, and live stats.

Below, here's how to do it.

Lehigh at Monmouth Game Breakdown and Fearless Prediction: Can Monmouth Beat Lehigh for the 1st Time at Home?

(Photo Credit: Asbury Park Press)

Thanks to Monmouth's game notes and the Asbury Park Press, which is the source of all of this research.

One thing you might want to consider bringing with you to the game on Saturday is clothes to donate.

"At today's football game against Lehigh and tonight's men's soccer game against UMBC members of the Monmouth athletics community will be collecting clothing to be sent to those affected by Hurricane Harvey," Monmouth's game preview says.

It can seem like one is powerless with hurricane destruction in Houston and potential hurricane destruction in Florida, but contributions like this can help make a difference.


Lehigh At Monmouth Game Narratives: Cleaning Things Up For Business Trip To West Long Branch

It was days later, and head coach Andy Coen was still frustrated with last week's loss.

That was the takeaway from the two pieces that came out in the local media this week, one from Lehigh Sports Central, and the other from Keith Groller of The Morning Call.

"Still a lot of frustration there," he told Steve Degler.  "You know there are going to be some mistakes in that first game, but veteran guys, new guys, we made too many mistakes, and gave Villanova too many opportunities.  It was very tough to take."

In last week's post game press conference, and this week's media meeting, the theme was "cleaning up the mistakes".

“We’re really excited and want to put that first ‘W’ in the win column,” junior LB Matt Butler said. “We left a few plays on the field against Villanova; plays we’d like to have back. We had a few mental errors that cost us. We need to clean that up this week.”

Lehigh At Monmouth Game Preview: Revenge for the First Half Shutout

The word "Monmouth" last season became a sort-of shorthand for a humbling experience, a game that should have gone much different than it actually did.

It was usually used in the context of:

"Don't pull another Monmouth."

"Lehigh's been doing pretty great - but they have to be careful not to have another Monmouth."

The memory of last year's loss to the Jersey Hawks stung particularly hard, because it had ramifications that slowed the recognition of Lehigh as a legitimate title contender.  Wile their loss last season wasn't stated as a reason why the Mountain Hawks didn't earn a home game in the FCS Playoffs, it was the one, big blemish on Lehigh's record that may have prevented them from being in consideration for a possible seed (and, by extension, at least one home game).

And yet, last year's Monmouth loss also was important in that the loss in that first game of the year seemed to galvanize the Mountain Hawks, sending a poten…

LFN's FCS Top 25, 9/5/2017

I don't officially vote in any of the FCS Top 25 polls, but I do share who I think deserves to be in the Top 25, and this week, unsurprisingly, I think James Madison was, and still is, the No. 1 team in the nation.

Not exactly going out on a limb, am I?

If you try to pick FCS games, one of the easiest picks of last week was to take the Dukes to upset the Pirates.  Pretty much all the experts across the board thought that James Madison, even with some suspended players, was stacked enough to take over rebuilding East Carolina, and boy, did they ever.

Remember the days when FCS vs. FBS matchups were defined by the FCS teams "wilting" in the fourth quarter?  With upper-echelon FCS teams like James Madison, that myth has been debunked for a while, but it was brutally apparent in this game, when RB Cardon Johnson easily eluded East Carolina tacklers on two 80+ yard touchdown runs.

That didn't surprise me at all this weekend.  And they're still my No. 1 team.

Lehigh Will Need A Bad Memory, And A Great Memory, As They Head to Monmouth Next Weekend

(Photo Credit: Chris Shipley/The Morning Call)

In the post game press conference, junior QB Brad Mayes was asked about how he felt about his performance in the 38-35 loss - a game where he had a stellar statistical game, with over 400 yards passing, 4 touchdowns and 0 interceptions, but the Mountain Hawks as a team came up short.

The Tampa, Florida native definitely had a fresher memory of what he considered mistakes.

"There were some throws out there that I wish I had back," he said.  "I should have thrown for more than whatever I threw.  Whether it's putting the ball on the outside shoulder, not throwing it low, or whatever - there were some throws I left out there today.  I'm going to have to sleep on it, come back next week, and try to make those throws."

Season openers like this, where your team loses, are rarely deal-breakers when it comes to a football season.  Assuming Villanova continues to surge forward and have a good year, it's likely that …

The Missed Opportunity: Lehigh Falls to Villanova, 38-35, In A Winnable Game

(Photo Credit: Kyle Craig/Lehigh Valley Live)

Head coach Andy Coen would hear nothing of moral victories in the post game press conference.

"I thought we had every opportunity to win this football game," Lehigh's frustrated head coach said.

"When you go through this stuff," he said, flipping through the pages of the post-game statistics packet, "you're going to see a lot of mistakes.  You see it with some young guys, guys in their first game, but we had some guys that where it was just out of character."

It was a game where neither side looked like they were in mid-season form, though you could see the quality shine through offensively on both sides at different times.  So the outcome hinged on mistakes, and who made fewer of them - and that team was Villanova.

That shouldn't take away from the offensive fireworks on both sides.

There was the tremendous blocking up front that set up a great rushing day for Villanova RB Matt Gudzak, who ran f…