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Showing posts from 2018

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.

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 be

#Rivalry154 Game Breakdown and Fearless Prediction: Lehigh vs. Lafayette

All season I have done a statistical breakdown of Lehigh's opponent, position by position.  As a change of pace, I'm going to do something different this week with the "Game Breakdown" and do a head-to-head comparison of both teams - doing a stat breakdown of both teams still, but doing more of a "Tale of the Tape" to compare both squads to see who might reign supreme in this huge football game. Something that sometimes gets lost in The Rivalry is the importance of seniors on both sides.  For so many of these seniors, it's not only their final college football game, it is also their final time wearing a football helmet and a jersey.  I've found that seniors find it in themselves to play the best games of their careers.  So seniors in the starting lineup are of great weight to me.

#Rivalry154 Tailgate Report, And How to Take In The Game

It was a difficult preseason for both Lehigh (2-8, 1-4 PL) and Lafayette (3-7. 2-3 PL), but after a long stretch of games, we're finally in the one-game regular season. The experience called "The Rivalry", the Lehigh Valley event of the fall, is finally upon us, taking place in Easton at 12:30 PM at Fisher Field. If you can't make it to the game, you can catch the contest on TV in the Lehigh Valley via two feeds.  The "good guy" feed is the local broadcast on WFMZ 69, with Steve Degler, Mike Yadush , and Will Lewis on the call.  This is also streamed online via the Patriot League Network . The "bad guy" feed is also locally broadcast on the Lafayette Sports Network on WBPH-60, RCN, and nationally on MASN.  This is also streamed via the Patriot League Network , and Gary Laubach, Mike Joseph, and John Leone are on that call. You can also catch the game on FOX AM 1230 and 1320, with Matt Kerr, Tom Fallon, Matt Markus and Jim Guzzo  

2018 Week 10, Colgate: Game Breakdown and Fearless Prediction

Lehigh and Colgate is always a big game, whether both teams are going in undefeated or, as in this case, an 2-7 team is squaring off against a 8-0 team. In a testimony to how evenly matched both of these teams have been over the years,  no team has won more than 3 straight against the other since the inception of the Patriot League. Colgate and Lehigh have faced off 55 times, and the overall record has been, fittingly, close, with Colgate holding a slender 29-24-2 advantage.  The last tie came in 1980, a 17-17 tie at Taylor Stadium in which Lehigh's John Whitehead and Colgate's Fred Dunlap faced off as head coach.  In a way, that hotly-contested tie sort-of epitomizes the competitiveness of this rivalry today.

2018 Week 10, Colgate: Tailgate Report, and How to Catch the Game

There aren't any Patriot League title considerations at play this weekend at Murray Goodman Stadium, but there's a whole lot to play for in this intense Patriot League rivalry. Lehigh (2-7, 1-3 PL) takes on Colgate (8-0, 5-0 PL) this week in what seems to be annually the grudge match of the Patriot League. If you can't make it to the game, you can catch the contest on TV on Service Electric 2 in the Lehigh Valley, with Steve Degler, Doug Heater and Kristi Fulkerson on the call.  That Service Electric 2 broadcast is also streamed online for free via the Patriot League Network . You can also catch the game on FOX AM 1230 and 1320, with  Matt Kerr, Andy Phillips, and Steve Lomangino on the call, with the most excellent Lehigh pregame show starting at 11:30 AM.  You can get it through your regular radio, listen to the broadcast  streamed through TuneIn , or just simply going to the  webpage and listening that way.

How The End of the 2009 Season Set Up Success For The Mountain Hawks

There aren't any books detailing the 4-7 2009 Lehigh football season, nor is it likely that the exploits of that season will be etched in stone at the base of a statue for head football coach Andy Coen . Yet it's a time and place which I return to often when I think back on Lehigh seasons past, and it's where I find myself today as well. The 2009 season felt like an inflection point for Coen's coaching tenure.  His first three seasons, 6-5, 5-6 and 5-6, boasted one Patriot League co-championship, but had fallen short of the lofty expectations that had been set during the Kevin Higgins and Pete Lembo eras of undefeated seasons, playoff wins, and basically scaring the pants off of Lehigh football opponents up and down the East Coast. And when the Mountain Hawks limped to a 1-5 start, the fifth being an awful 7-0 loss to Yale whose only points resulted from a fake punt, it felt like Andy's time at Lehigh was nearing an end.  Nobody actually said  officially

2018 Week 9, Bucknell: Game Breakdown and Fearless Prediction

We break down the Bucknell game - and we give our fearless prediction, below the flip. Like Lehigh, the Bison are 1-7, but unlike Lehigh, the Bison have played a whole lot of close games. Two weeks ago, Bucknell came a two-point conversion away from tying Lafayette but fell just short in a 29-27 loss to the Leopards, and had the ball with a chance to win the game late in the fourth quarter. They also played William and Mary close to start the season, falling 14-7, and their lone win of the season came against Holy Cross, the same Crusader team that walloped Lehigh last weekend 56-0.  When the Bison played them, two Bucknell touchdowns and two Bucknell field goals were enough to carry the Bison through in a 19-16 win. Like many Lehigh opponents, Bucknell always enjoys extracting their pound of Mountain Hawk flesh if they are able.  The Mountain Hawks have won 17 of their last 19 meetings against the Bison, and they are likely to put their absolute best foot forward with a ch

2018 Week 9, Bucknell: Tailgate Report, And How To Catch the Game

At Murray Goodman Stadium this weekend, two Patriot League teams will be looking for their second win and trying to end the 2018 season on a high note.  Lehigh (1-7, 0-3 PL) takes on Bucknell (1-7, 1-2 PL) this week on "Heroes Day", where all first responders (military, fire, EMT, police) can pick up a game ticket free of charge at the Goodman Stadium Ticket Office. If you can't make it to the game, you can catch the contest on TV on the Stadium Network via these over-the-air networks  or watch the feed of that broadcast online through the Patriot League Network .   Matt Martucci, Ross Tucker and Marisa Pilla are the over-the-air broadcast team. You can also catch the game on FOX AM 1230 and 1320, with Matt Kerr, Tom Fallon, Matt Markus and Mike Yadush on the call, with the most excellent Lehigh pregame show starting at 11:30 AM.  You can get it through your regular radio, listen to the broadcast  streamed through TuneIn , or just simply going to the  LVFoxS

How Lehigh Can (Maybe) Unbreak a Broken Season

There really aren't any other words to use.  The season is currently  broken . Anyone who bravely worked their way to the game last weekend in rainy, windy Worcester, Mass had to have come to the same conclusion. The only thing keeping 2-6 Holy Cross from breaking their previous high-water mark of 59 against the Mountain Hawks was mercy.  In the red zone late in the game, the 2018 Holy Cross Crusaders would settle on their largest-ever margin of victory against Lehigh in program history, taking a knee to win the game 56-0 instead of probably winning the game 63-0. Things... looked... broken . "This is an embarrassment," head coach Andy Coen rightfully said on the radio after the game.  "We didn't do anything right." Every stat sheet passed out to the Lehigh players and coach staff ought to be put into a burn cage and set afire. There should be a parental campus-wide internet filter preventing anyone associated with Lehigh from Googling t

2018 Week 8, Holy Cross: Game Breakdown and Fearless Prediction

We break down the Holy Cross game - and we give our fearless prediction below the flip. Head coach Bob Chesney is in his first year in Worcester and is working to build up his mark on the program, despite a 1-6 record. He came to Holy Cross from Assumption College, where he compiled a 44-16 record and made the nearby school a solid member of the NE-10 conference. Assumption has been a strong D-II school over the last decade, engineering an upset over Fordham in 2010 (though that was before Chesney's time). When Chesney came to Holy Cross, he brought in an almost entirely new staff from the one that Tom Gilmore had assembled.  Only four positional coaches remain, while Chesney brought in a new offensive and defensive coordinator. Holy Cross also had, by far, the toughest schedule of any school in the Patriot League in September, starting with Colgate, who sits undefeated, Dartmouth, who sits undefeated, and Boston College - yes, that Boston College.  Throwing out those

2018 Week 8, Holy Cross: Tailgate Report

This weekend in frigid Worcester, Mass, 1-6 (0-2) Mountain Hawks take on the 1-6 (0-2) Holy Cross Crusaders at 1:00 PM at Fitton Field. Both teams enter Saturday looking to reverse big losing streaks, and looking to learn how to win.  The Crusaders have lost four straight, while the Mountain Hawks have lost six straight. Both teams also will be looking to build some momentum through the end of 2018 to get some momentum into next year and perhaps finish with a .500 or better record in Patriot League play.  While Colgate and Georgetown are undefeated in league play so far, a flourish to end the season would be a helpful springboard into the offseason. If you can't make it to the game, the game is streaming on the Patriot League Network ,with Kevin Shea , Andy Lacombe and Breanna Wilson  doing the call.  This is the local broadcast produced on Charter 3 TV in Worcester (which you can get on your TV if you live in that area). Paired with the Holy Cross coverage you can pair

So This Is What Rock Bottom Feels Like

As a Lehigh football fan I have seen an awful lot. I've seen the football program reach some pretty terrific highs.  I've seen a lot of Patriot League Championships.  Trips to FCS powerhouse programs - and beating them. FCS Playoff wins.  Wins over Lafayette in the last two minutes of the game.  Overtime wins.  Shootout wins.  Wins without an offensive touchdown.  Do I remember WR Brian Klingerman ?  I was in the stands explaining the new overtime rules. Yes, I've seen a lot. I've also seen a lot of lows during the course of my Lehigh football fandom, too.  Yes, I was at Yankee Stadium.  I was also at Murray Goodman when Tom Gilmore's Holy Cross team dropped 59 on the Mountain Hawks.  I was at Lafayette in 1994 to watch Erik Marsh run over Lehigh.  Jonathan Hurt ?  I was there.  I see the ghost of that play every time I set foot in Murray Goodman.  Yes, I've seen a lot. In all of this time being a Lehigh fan, I never saw two things: I never saw

2018 Week 7, Georgetown: Game Breakdown and Fearless Prediction

We break down the Georgetown game - and we give our fearless prediction below the flip. Normally, we don't need to break out the Las Vegas betting lines to motivate Lehigh football players.  But in this very special case, it seems worthy to make an exception. The people who make a living betting on the outcomes of sporting contests have seen Georgetown, yes, Georgetown, set up as 14 point favorites to beat Lehigh.  Don't believe me?  Check it out . You know what else is interesting?  The line started out with Georgetown only 4 point favorites.  Over the course of the last 48 hours, apparently, so much money has come in on Georgetown that it has actually swelled to a 14 point difference. If there was ever a concrete indicator that there are a lot of people that believe Lehigh will fail this weekend, and fail by more than two touchdowns, this is it.

2018 Week 7, Georgetown: Tailgate Report

It's put up or shut up weekend in DC this weekend as the 1-5 (1-0) Mountain Hawks take on the 3-4 (2-0) Georgetown Hoyas at 2:00 PM at Cooper Field in Georgetown, DC. It is a true reversal of the typical Patriot League narratives for both teams.  The Mountain Hawks desperately need a win to avoid a second consecutive losing record and to stay alive in the Patriot League title race.  And the Hoyas need a win to stay in contention for the Patriot League title - a win over Lehigh would not only be their first against the Mountain Hawks since joining the Patriot League, it would also put the Hoyas in a tie atop the Patriot League with a 3-0 league record. If you can't make it to the game, the game is streaming on two different sites - the Patriot League Network , and it will also be streaming via Stadium Live on Facebook, which you can find here .  Jeremy Huber, Emory Hunt, and former Fordham QB Mike Nebrich are doing the call. Of course that solution works even better

Lehigh Is

It would be easy to hate right now.  It would be tempting to write a screed about unhappy I am about how this season is going so far, to make a report card filled with C's and D's.  It would be tempting to write something in all caps on my displeasure about the outcome of the last three games. Because I am not happy.   I am not happy with the energy level brought by the team.  I am not happy with three huge 60+ yard pass plays that resulted in three Fordham touchdowns.  I am not happy with Fordham, who averaged 1.0 yard per carry, routinely get nine-yard plunges for gains.  I am not happy with a single offensive touchdown while the final score is in doubt.  I'm not happy with unconverted 3rd downs.  And I'm not happy, on a 3rd and 27, calling for a toss right to RB Dominick Bragalone . Instead of hashing all that is wrong and needs to be fixed, however, I'm going to share with you what I think Lehigh is, and where Lehigh football fits into that.  I hope

2018 Week 6, Fordham: Game Breakdown and Fearless Prediction

It's time to go full nerd and do a full-blown breakdown of the Fordham Rams. The first point of information about the 0-5 Rams you need to know is that they are young, and rebuilding.  Joe Conlin is their first-year head coach, and you had better believe that he and his team would love nothing better than to get Conlin's first head coaching victory against Lehigh, a team that Fordham has beaten in four of the last five meetings between these two programs. But the 2018 Rams are vastly different than the team that suited up QB Kevin Anderson and current Arizona Cardinal RB Chase Edmonds on their roster.  Anderson, who was a transfer from an FBS school (Marshall), had loads of experience and additionally used a redshirt year at Marshall, and Edmonds, as any reader of this blog would know, stepped in immediately as a freshman on Rose Hill and it was abundantly clear he was a generational talent running the ball. For Fordham, this team is adopting a new philoso

2018 Week 6, Fordham: Tailgate Report

The rubber hits the road this weekend at Murray Goodman Stadium as the Mountain Hawks return home to start Patriot League play, and the stretch of games that will determine the course of the season. Lehigh (1-4, 0-0 PL) takes on Fordham (0-5, 0-1 PL) in what is a do-or-die game for the Rams in many ways.  A loss will put them at 0-6, guaranteeing Fordham first-year head coach Joe Conlin a losing season and will most likely also knock them out of a realistic chance at the Patriot League title. If you can't make it to the game, you can catch the contest on TV in the Lehigh Valley on Service Electric 2, with Steve Degler , Mike Yadush and Kristi Fulkerson on the call.  The same broadcast is also available online via Patriot League TV . You can also catch the game on FOX AM 1230 and 1320, with Matt Kerr, Tom Fallon, Matt Markus and Jim Guzzo on the call, with the most excellent Lehigh pregame show starting at 11:30 AM.  You can get it through your regular radio, listen to t

It's My Fault Lehigh Lost 66-7 This Weekend

One of the great things about being a student of Lehigh history is, no matter how dark your current timeline is, there is probably a time when the school had encountered something even darker. That is where I found myself this weekend, in a deep funk after having spent my time heading to nearby Princeton, New Jersey to watch what I thought could have been a competitive game against the undefeated Tigers. I took a break from Lehigh football after coming home from the game, walking through the fog and drizzle of the Princeton press box, across Lot 21 and getting into my car, the humidity stuck to the windows.  I drove home quietly, stopping only to get food. I tried a few things to try to get my head right.  I watched the NFL.  I weeded.  I fixed an issue with the bumper on my car.  I even made an effort to cleaned the garage (a sure-fire sign that something is wrong  with me - my garage and workbench in particular is the biggest mess of not-put-away tools, nuts and bolts).

2018 Week 5, Princeton: Game Breakdown and Fearless Prediction

It's time to go full nerd and do a full-blown breakdown of the Princeton Tigers. Princeton released their game notes earlier in the week and today added to their preview pack an interview previewing the Lehigh game from head coach Bob Surace . Surace did make an observation about Lehigh that was worth mentioning, after philosophic about the abilities of RB Dominick Bragalone . "You wanted to play them when Penn played them," he said.  "After playing a Top 4 type team in Villanova, and against a Navy team that plays in a bowl game every year, you wanted to play them then, not after a bye.  Those change the outlook of everything you're doing." As Lehigh fans, we do tend to forget that Lehigh has arguably played the most challenging schedule they've had in a decade.  Not that that's any sort of excuse, but the truth is that in order to be considered a top team in FCS, the Mountain Hawks need to be able to compete in games like this against

2018 Week 5, Princeton: Tailgate Report

After a long, long weekend without Lehigh football, the Mountain Hawks this Saturday head to Princeton, New Jersey for a 1:00 PM date to play the Princeton Tigers. If you can't make it to the game, the game is available in two ways. If through your cable service you subscribe to NBC Sports Philadelphia, you can watch the game live on that station.  Additionally, you can stream the game through the NBC Sports Live App. If you don't subscribe to NBC Sports Philadelphia, the game will also be streamed though the pay streaming service ESPN+. ESPN+ requires a monthly subscription of $4.99/month also carries a lot of college football games during the course of the season (including all the Ivy League home games), so it might be worth your while. With a subscription, if you have a Roku box in your home, you can stream ESPN+ directly to your TV from there.  If you have the ESPN App on your phone and Chromecast, you can bring it up on your phone and push the "Cast

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. W

2018 Week 4 Players of the Week and Report Card: Penn

Can you tell that I haven't really wanted to finish this report card for last week's game? Like a teacher a hour before pacing break, I didn't want to go through the film, the grades, and the play-by-play of the Penn game, but eventually, I did, even though it wasn't exactly pretty. The true hope with this report card, more than usual weeks, is that it's seen as a springboard to getting to the season that all folks associated with Lehigh will want.  With nationally-ranked Princeton looming ahead this week, it takes on added importance.

2018 Bye Week TV Viewing Guide for Lehigh Fans

Are you like me - not all that sure of what to do this weekend now that there's no Lehigh football to watch? Fortunately, there's loads of college football game to watch - there are games on Friday and Saturday to enjoy to scout out Lehigh's upcoming opponents - and they don't even impinge on College Football Gameday at Happy Valley, either.

2018 Week 4, Penn: Game Breakdown and Fearless Prediction

(Photo Credit: Philadelphia Inquirer) It's time to go full nerd and do a full-blown breakdown of the Penn Quakers. Penn's  game notes were out in good time, and The Philadelphia Inquirer , thankfully, still does a pretty good job in covering the Quakers in an independent way.  Both were invaluable for my analysis. Unusually, Lehigh faces Penn this time around in a game that is not the Quakers' season opener.  In prior years that made it tricky for the Mountain Hawks to sometimes get a full sense of what head coach Ray Priore might be doing, because there would be no true game film to study, only practice film and, if they're lucky, an accurate two-deep. This year, though, Penn has already had their first game, playing Bucknell in a game which they won 34-17 .  It was a strange contest, basically won in the first five minutes thanks to 17 points donated to the Quakers via two Bison turnovers and a blocked punt.  Both teams would only put up 17 points the r

2018 Week 4, Penn: Weather Report and Getting Your Tailgate Ready (Including Burger and Drink of the Week)

This week, Lehigh makes the short trip down to Franklin Field in Pennsylvania to take on the Quakers of Penn. Kickoff time is at 3:00 PM and if you can't make it to the game, the game is available though a pay service called ESPN+.  This isn't the exact same thing as ESPN the station.  It works basically the way ESPN3 does, except that it requires a monthly subscription of $4.99 per month (though last I heard there was the availability of a free trial subscription available).  ESPN+ also carries a lot of college football games during the course of the season (including all the Ivy League home games), so it might be worth your while.  (Replays of the game I believe are available on ESPN3 for free later.) With a subscription, if you have a Roku box in your home, you can stream ESPN+ directly to your TV from there.  If you have the ESPN App on your phone and Chromecast, you can bring it up on your phone and push the "Cast" button to have it stream directly

2018 Week 3 Lehigh Players of the Week and Report Card: Navy

I've never done one of these before after Lehigh's played an FBS opponent.  That's because the last FBS opponent Lehigh played was in 2003, when the Mountain Hawks lost to UConn 35-17. The Lehigh Football Nation blog was in its first year of existence back in 2003, and undoubtedly I wrote about it - but it's not currently in the archives here at Blogger, because I archived those first two years offline.  What I can tell you about that UConn game was that Lehigh faced off against a future NFL player in QB Dan Orlovsky and that QB Chad Schwenk got hurt late in that game, which made it his final game in a Mountain Hawks uniform and effectively threw the rest of that season in some turmoil. Fortunately turmoil doesn't seem to be a part of the report card today.

2018 Week 3, Navy: Game Breakdown and Fearless Prediction

(Photo Credit: Capital-Gazette) It's time to go full nerd and do a full-blown breakdown of the Navy Midshipmen. I can't tell you how many of these previews I've done where I get game notes late Friday evening, had to play games with Ivy League depth charts to try to divine game plans, and the like.  Some schools Lehigh plays don't have any local media anymore, so finding out more about the starting players and the like is extremely difficult. Not so this week.  For the first time in 15 years, Lehigh plays an FBS team, but not just a regional school, say, from the Midwest - they play Navy, a school with national and international reach.  Game notes were out early and were detailed. The coverage of Navy football isn't just from the local Capital-Gazette - which continues, through tragedy, to be stellar - but from national media, too.  In fact their last two games - against Hawai'i and Memphis - were big-time affairs in the national world of coll

The Day When Pat Pazzetti Sunk The Navy

Even at the time, legendary Lehigh QB Pat Pazzetti had a reputation for doing it all. The Brown and White's dynamic playmaker did a little of everything for the team.  Back in the days when players went both ways and there weren't designated specialists, Pazzetti not only was the quarterback, but he also kicked punts and returned kicks as well. In 1912, after a 35-0 thrashing by national powerhouse Princeton and facing the prospect of playing Navy - who had gone 9-0-1 against Lehigh in their last ten games - things had to be looking bleak for the Brown and White's season, even with a team with some national ambitions. After all, Navy hadn't lost a football game in three years' time.

2018 Week 3, Navy: Weather Report and Getting Your Tailgate Ready (Including Burger and Drink of the Week)

Game on. Like me, you probably heard that Hurricane Florence was barreling down on the North Carolina coastline, and earlier in the week it looked like a historic rain event could have possibly caused Lehigh's first meeting against an FBS opponent in 15 years to be delayed, or even cancelled. Meetings were had, and the situation monitored, but over the last 24 hours it looks like, at least for Annapolis and the Maryland area, it will be spared the worst of the storm. According to the Capital-Gazette , "if the latest forecast holds Hurricane Florence won’t present any problems for Anne Arundel County, but officials warn residents should remain vigilant for any changes in the storm’s track." The shorter version, for Lehigh fans, anyway: Game.   On.

2018 Week 2 Lehigh Players of the Week And Report Card: Villanova

It's a lot less fun to go through the "Players of the Week" and report card after a loss, but it's still got to be done.  Last week's somewhat humbling 31-9 defeat comes at a point of the season where it's more of a learning experience than a death blow to the season, and also came against one of the very best teams in all of FCS. It wouldn't surprise me to see Villanova win the CAA this season. In any event, here we go.

2018 Week 2, Villanova: Game Breakdown and Fearless Prediction

(Photo Credit: Philadelphia Inquirer) It's time to go full nerd and do a full-blown breakdown of the Villanova Wildcats. If there were any lingering doubts about how good No. 12 Villanova is, the Wildcats enter this game on a huge high, upsetting Temple of the AAC 19-17 . This isn't the first time Villanova has faced Lehigh after playing an FBS opponent. In 2016, the Wildcats traveled to Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, facing a Pitt team led by now-Pittsburgh Steeler RB James Conner on the ground.  The Wildcats fought pretty bravely in that game but eventually fell 28-7 to one of the more powerful teams of the ACC that season. In the game against Lehigh the following week, won by Villanova 26-21 , Lehigh was in the game until the very end, jumping to a 14-6 lead at halftime before the Wildcats got over their Pittsburgh hangover. Down 21-20, head coach Andy Talley resorted to dinosaur ball, running almost every play until converting the final touchdown.  The rally, behi

2018 Week 2, Villanova: Weather Report and Getting Your Tailgate Ready (Including Burger and Drink of the Week)

Seeing as that I put the two-deep analysis on the shelf (because there was no change from last week to this week), let's get to the more important things about this weekend - the specific happenings happening around the football game, which includes tailgating, special promotions, and other fun stuff like "Drink of the Week" and "Burger of the Week". Like last week, the weather report this Saturday is ideal for viewing and playing football. As of today the forecast calls for cloudy weather and a high of 72 during gametime, with a 20% chance of some possible showers.  Like last week, there is some precipitation forecast for the night before, which should have Murray Goodman's turf, again, in perfect shape for football.

2018 Week 1 Lehigh Players of the Week and Report Card: St. Francis (PA)

This season, I thought it would be a good idea to do a LFN report card on how the team did last week as well as reviving the old "LFN Players of the Week" to go along with it.  Lehigh's 21-19 win last week over St. Francis was, most importantly, a victory, but as hardcore Lehigh football fans we want a deeper view and analysis. So here we go.

2018 Week 1, St. Francis (PA): Game Breakdown and Fearless Prediction

It's what we do every week: copiously go over the opposing game notes and analyze the upcoming game matchup. Thanks to St. Francis (PA)'s game notes , which is the source of all of this research (and a very, very long offseason of obsessing over this game). Let's not wait any longer, and let's get right to this thing!

Lehigh Football's Short And Very Brief Encounter With St. Francis (PA) In 1922

Lehigh was in a pickle. Catholic (DC) had cancelled their game with Lehigh scheduled for October 7th, 1922, and the football team needed a replacement, fast. Though it's not immediately clear if Charles M. Schwab , then-CEO of Bethlehem Steel, put in a call to the Saint Francis College and Ecclesiastical Seminary in Loretto, PA to fill in on Lehigh's football schedule, it is a distinct possibility.  After all, right hand man (and functioning chief operations officer) Eugene Grace was a Lehigh graduate and athlete, and little happened at Bethlehem Steel or Lehigh University that escaped the notice of both men. St. Francis (PA), which only had 165 students enrolled at the school, had just restarted football for the first time under new head coach John J. "Speedo" Laughran , a former football star at Pitt.

2018 Week 1, St. Francis (PA): Weather Report and Getting Your Tailgate Ready (Including Burger and Drink of the Week)

If it's our first game of the season, it's time for our first weather and tailgate report for the season! All season I do posts on the specific happenings happening around the football game, which includes tailgating, special promotions, and other fun stuff like "Drink of the Week" and "Burger of the Week". This week's weather report is a good one. Despite the current heat in this area, thankfully for football fans this Saturday the forecast currently calls for much cooler temperatures in the low 80s and partly cloudy .  In fact, there are supposed to be passing showers the night before, so the natural grass at Murray Goodman should be in pristine condition, not all dried out.

2018 Week 1: St. Francis (PA): My Notes on the Lehigh Two Deep This Week released the game notes for the first Lehigh football game of the season between Lehigh and St. Francis (PA). Below the flip are my thoughts and analysis about the depth chart for the season opener.

2019 Football Schedule Announces Long-Awaited Rematch of Lehigh and UC Davis

This week for Lehigh football included an interesting announcement about the particulars of the Mountain Hawks' 2019 football schedule. Set aside for a moment the point that it will be the first time since the early 1980s that Lehigh won't have a single Ivy League team on the schedule (something I've been assured is an anomaly, not a trend). What's most interesting is that the Mountain Hawks will be headed to the West Coast to face off against UC Davis, making their first trip to California since 1998, when Lehigh played St. Mary's (CA). In recent years, Lehigh hasn't played a lot of games that require a flight - the last game that did was when the Mountain Hawks traveled to James Madison in 2015.  They also haven't played many games outside of the Eastern time zone - the last time they did that was in 2011, when Lehigh had to travel to North Dakota State in the FCS Playoffs after pulling off a shocker against Towson 40-38 in the first round.  T

Trump's Disinvitation of the Eagles Commits the Cardinal Sin against Philadelphia - Slighting Them

Monday evening, less than 24 hours before they were scheduled to visit the White House, Trump "disinvited" the Super Bowl Champion Eagles from coming. The "reasoning" for disinviting the Eagles - if you can call it that - was included in a statement released by the White House. "They disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly (sic) stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart (sic), in honor of the great men and women of out military and the people of our country," it reads, conveniently ignoring the fact that no Philadelphia Eagles kneeled during the National Anthem during the course of the entire season. I don't think Trump fully comprehends what he has done. Certainly Trump probably thinks he is speaking to his "base" - the people Trump thinks voted for him in 2016, and people who think will continue to vote for him and his preferred candidates in the future. But Trump's bottomless bad faith in "

Pelletier, Duffy In NFL Training Camps

All WR Troy Pelleite r and OL Zach Duffy ever wanted was a shot at the NFL. After the NFL Draft concluded this past Saturday, they learned that they both would be getting a chance. Troy, whose name is plastered all over the Lehigh record books, was invited to minicamp with the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles.   And Zach Duffy, the fiery leader of the Mountain Hawk offensive line, was invited to minicamp with the Indianapolis Colts. Lehigh Nation is thrilled that these two great Mountain Hawk football players will get their shot to play in the NFL.

Troy Pelletier Hasn't Stopped Outworking His Rivals On His Journey To Professional Football

Many Patriot League football fans remember the 153rd meeting between Lehigh and Lafayette, one that ended happily for the Mountain Hawks. They might remember the MVP performance of QB Brad Mayes , or perhaps the halftime speech by OL Zach Duffy that seemed to spur the Mountain Hawks to victory. Or perhaps they might remember the spectacular single play of Mayes rolling right and finding WR Gatlin Casey in the end zone to give the Mountain Hawks a lead they didn't relinquish.  It was an incredible play by Mayes, who returns this upcoming year for his senior season, and Casey, who, having exhausted his eligibility at Lehigh, will be playing one more year at Middle Tennessee State. As great as those individual moments are, though, they are not my biggest takeaway of that game. Too many Lehigh people forget that Lehigh was down 31-21 at half, and that victory was no sure thing.  And they sometimes forget that so much of that victory came from the grinding of WR Troy Pelleti

Five Closing Thoughts On The 2018 Spring Session

(Photo Credits: Lehigh Athletics) Just like that, the 2018 Spring Session comes to a close this week, giving us a taste of what is to come in the late summer and fall. Here are my quick observations about what I saw at Murray Goodman on Saturday.

Improved Defense Shines In 23-21 Win Over Offense in Brown/White Game

The Lehigh coaching staff took a page from Ole Miss' spring game in their annual Brown/White scrimmage at Murray Goodman stadium. The scoring system Ole Miss used was to spot their defense a 23-0 lead, and the scrimmage's goal was to  have the offense drive on the defense just like a regular football game. It is the hope of every Lehigh football fan in every game in the upcoming 2018 season that the offense scores more than 23 points a game.  Last year, the Lehigh offense averaged for than 35 points per contest. But the Brown defense this Saturday was up to the challenge of containing the White offense. Twelve times, the offense lined up with a potential drive to score points, and nine of those times, the defense forced the offense to punt or stuffed a 4th down conversion. It's true that the offense scored three touchdowns, one from rising senior QB Brad Mayes , one from junior QB Tyler Monaco , and one from sophomore QB Addison Shoup.    It is also true that t

2018 Lehigh Football Spring Preview: The Offense

(Photo Credit: Brown and White) Lehigh had one of the best offenses statistically in all of the FCS last year, excelling offensively in pretty much every facet. Look at the statistics page for FCS last year . Rising senior QB Brad Mayes , 4th in passing yardage.  Rising senior RB Dominick Bragalone, 1st in rushing yardage with 1,388. Both Mayes and Brags return next year, and huge things will be expected of them for certain. But the spring is about finding out who's stepping up to the plate to keep the train rolling. There's little doubt that, barring injury, Mayes and Bragalone will be lining up in that first offensive possession vs. St. Francis (PA) at Murray Goodman this September.  But the 2017 offense is so much more than those two guys - the Mountain Hawks will need to replace the best receiving tandem ever to suit up at Lehigh, and will also need to replace the fiery leadership on the offensive line that, at times, seemed to will this team to their Patriot

2018 Lehigh Football Spring Preview: The Defense

According to the FCS record books for 2017, there are 123 Division I schools listed in the team statistical Rankings.  Out of 123 teams, Lehigh was ranked 119th in total team defense, allowing 477.7 yards per game. And the defensive numbers don't get much better the more you look. Rushing defense, 117th.  Passing yards allowed, 89th.  Team sacks, 118th.  Red zone defense, 103rd.  Total sacks in 12 games: 10, or 0.8 per game.  Total interceptions in 12 games: 4, or 0.25 per game.  Total takeaways: 13, or a little over 1 per game. Though the final defensive numbers from 2017 are unable to be sugar-coated, nobody involved with Lehigh's defense is running away from the facts this spring.  In fact, they feel they are better than this. "When you hear so much about your defense not being good," defensive coordinator Craig Sutyak said this week , "you start to believe it, and I think our kids started to believe it too the last couple of years.  But we'r