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#Rivalry155: Five Things to Watch, Keys To the Game, Fearless Prediction: Lafayette at Lehigh, 11/23/2019

Below, we're going to do a quick once-over of Lehigh's game notes and possible injuries, then we'll dive right into 5 things to look for with Sacred Heart, my Keys to the game, and the cherry on top will be my Fearless Prediction.

You can read my College Sports Journal preview of #155, complete with TV and streaming information, here.

Keith Groller of The Morning Call headlined his piece "Lehigh’s defense has been its best in years, but it hasn’t translated into a winning season". 

Additionally, Paul Reinhard of The Morning Call headline his preview "Lafayette football has more than just bragging rights on the line vs. Lehigh".


Game Notes There is some good news and some bad news in the game notes.

Last week, RB Rashawn Allen exploded back into the running back mix with his first 100 yard rushing game of the season, and explosive freshman RB Zaythan Hill will join him to hopefully be a great 1-2 punch for the Lehigh running game.  Last week, Lehigh was r…

#Rivalry155: Pregame Q&A With Head Coach Tom Gilmore

LFN: So it must be interesting being back here coaching in The Rivalry. 
Tom Gilmore: It is. I mean, you know, when you step back and you think this is the most played game in college football, that's pretty neat. And it's such a big rivalry. It's been around so long. The proximity is schools, the proximity of our alumni bases, it just makes this a special thing. And regardless of how the rest of the season goes, good or bad, or you always have that big game left at the end of a regular season, that's really special. No one else in our league has it. A lot of the Ivy League doesn't.  Only Harvard/Yale or Ohio State/Michigan, Cal/Stanford is anything like this. We have something really special here.  Adding to that is title implications.  Both teams have to hope that Holy Cross loses to Georgetown. But at the same time, if that does happen, if we win the game, we tie for the championship and if Lafayette wins the game, they win the championship. Having those implicat…

#Rivalry155: Pregame Q&A With S Sam McCloskey

LFN: Did you have a pretty busy class schedule this year?

S Sam McCloskey:  I got here late today as well. Tuesday through Thursday is pretty busy. Monday and Friday, actually, I'll have class.

LFN: What are you studying now?  And how has that been integrating with football?

SMC: An MBA type of technical entrepreneurship. There's definitely a lot to it, a lot of hours.  So at times it's actually been tough, you know, kind of balancing football practice and whatnot. But it's completely different than undergrad programs, really hands on. I like it a lot.  We get to work on our own venture. So I'm trying to work on that and we'll see where that goes.

LFN: Do you have anything lined up for the future?

SMC:  Probably end up in construction or real estate, something like that. That's where my interest has been, you know, throughout college. So that's cool.

LFN: How do you manage the Rivalry distractions?  What do you tell the younger players?

SMC: I think the tradit…

#Rivalry155: The Last Five Meetings

One of the nice things about having done this for long is that at my fingertips I can summon up the definitive account of the last five meetings of The Rivalry through my game recaps of the time.  Here's a quick summary of the last five times Lehigh faced off against Lafayette in the most important game of the season.  And heck - it's Throwback Thursday somewhere, right?


#Rivalry155: Pregame Q&A With DE Juwan Morrow

LFN: So your in your fifth year, you're and environmental science major. How's that? How's it been going along here for you? How has that worked out with integrating with football?

DE Juwan Morrow:  There are a lot of labs. It's a lot of field trips and class time, going out and doing certain experiments, using certain tools, you know. So it's definitely a challenge to be able to incorporate that with football. But the professors in that department are accommodating and football is very understanding. And it's a blessing to be able to have people work so hard together to make things work for me. 

LFN: Do you have any plans after graduation or do you know what your plans might be?

JM: So hopefully that paired with my environmental policy masters degree, that makes me more marketable to be able to work somewhere in Philly.

LFN: This season has been one of a great defensive turnaround. 

JM: We took on a backbone role for the defense. I think it started with the players…

What Is The Rivalry, Anyway?

There is something about Eastern Pennsylvania that keeps drawing people back.

I see it all the time - from expats who move across the country, but still watch the Eagles on Sundays.  Once you've been to the Lehigh Valley, warts and all, it seems like some sort of gravitational pull yanks you back to the area.  You can live in the Yucatan, but a part of your heart remains in the Valley.

It's a strange thing, too, because the Lehigh Valley has never been a paradise on earth.  Even from the times of the English and German Moravians setting the area in the 1600s, it's been a place of contrasts - the well-to-do living and working next to manual laborers.  The prosperity of Bethlehem and Easton ebbed and flowed, but what always was true was that both were cities that were a big mix of different types of hard-working people.

Lehigh University reflected Bethlehem, a town built on iron and steel, a town that wanted to pretend that you could go from the foundry to the boardroom but…

Five Things to Watch, Keys To the Game, Fearless Prediction: Lehigh at Sacred Heart, 11/16/2019

You can read College Sports Journal's preview of the game here, and my mostly-football-free "Tailgate Report" here.

Below, we're going to do a quick once-over of Lehigh's game notes and possible injuries, then we'll dive right into 5 things to look for with Sacred Heart, my Keys to the game, and the cherry on top will be my Fearless Prediction.

Keith Groller of The Morning Call headlined his piece "Lehigh football tries to regroup at Sacred Heart with season slipping away".  Part of the article talked about the frustration of last week's 20-10 loss to Bucknell.

“We didn’t handle our business, but all you can do is learn from it and plan to fix it for the future,” senior WR Dev Bibbens said. “We need to win this game and get things turned around against a quality opponent. There’s always a lot to play for. Any time you have an opportunity to play a game on a Saturday, that’s a lot. We don’t take that opportunity lightly. We’re going to fight.&qu…

Lehigh at Sacred Heart Tailgate Report, 11/16/2019: Phony Mustaches, Seniors, Buttery Drinks, And More

Welcome back to the Lehigh Tailgate Report, a free public service from your pals over at Lehigh Football Nation.

The idea of the Lehigh Tailgate Report is to provide a fun report on what to expect at the game, or not at the game, for this week's upcoming game.

If you're planning to go to the game, great! It's at Campus Field this Saturday in Fairfiled, CT at noon.

If you can't make it to the game, it's is available to watch or listen in a variety of ways.

The local radio broadcast, which starts an hour before kickoff and sets the table for the day's game, can be caught on your AM dial on Fox Sports Radio AM 1230 or 1320. Matt Kerr, Jim Guzzo, and Matt Markus are on the call this Saturday.

Through internet radio, the pregame, game, and postgame can be streamed through TuneIn or just simply going to the LVFoxSports.com webpage. Full disclosure: When I'm at home, this is my preferred method to catch the game action. Streaming the audio is #LFNApproved.

If…

Five Things to Watch, Keys To the Game, Fearless Prediction: Lehigh at Bucknell, 11/9/2019

We're going to try something different this week.  No, don't worry, we'll still break down this week's game and everything, but we're just going to make it it quicker and a lot easier to read.

You can read College Sports Journal's preview of the game here, and my mostly-football-free "Tailgate Report" here.

Below, we're going to do a quick once-over of Lehigh's game notes and possible injuries, then we'll dive right into 5 things to look for with Bucknell, my Keys to the game, and the cherry on top will be my Fearless Prediction.

I called this game a "Family Reunion", thanks to all the coaching links between Tom Gilmore, Dave Cecchini and the makeup of both coaching staffs, and in Keith Groller's preview of the game in The Morning Call, he and Gilmore went into even more detail.

“It has been a long relationship,” Gilmore said of Cecchini. “I coached Dave’s younger brother, J.T., at Dartmouth in the mid-1990s. I coached at Da…

Lehigh At Bucknell Tailgate Report, 11/9/2019: Dog Warmth, Cheesy Goodness, And More

Welcome back to the Lehigh Tailgate Report, a free public service from your pals over at Lehigh Football Nation.

The idea of the Lehigh Tailgate Report is to provide a fun report on what to expect at the game, or not at the game, for this week's upcoming game.

If you're planning to go to the game, great! It's at Christy Matthewson Stadium this Saturday in Lewisburg, PA at 1:00PM.

If you can't make it to the game, it's is available to watch or listen in a variety of ways.

The local radio broadcast, which starts an hour before kickoff and sets the table for the day's game, can be caught on your AM dial on Fox Sports Radio AM 1230 or 1320. Matt Kerr, Mike Yadush, and Steve Lomangino are on the call this Saturday.

Through internet radio, the pregame, game, and postgame can be streamed through TuneIn or just simply going to the LVFoxSports.com webpage. Full disclosure: When I'm at home, this is my preferred method to catch the game action. Streaming the aud…

Holy Cross at Lehigh Tailgate Report 11/2/2019: Saluting Service, Smashing Pumpkins References, Clams, And More

Welcome back to the Lehigh Tailgate Report, a free public service from your pals over at Lehigh Football Nation.

The idea of the Lehigh Tailgate Report is to provide a fun report on what to expect at the game, or not at the game, for this week's upcoming game.

If you're planning to go to the game, great! It's at Murray Goodman Stadium this Saturday at 12:30PM.

If you can't make it to the game, it's is available to watch or listen in a variety of ways.

The local radio broadcast, which starts an hour before kickoff and sets the table for the day's game, can be caught on your AM dial on Fox Sports Radio AM 1230 or 1320. Matt Kerr, Mike Yadush, Tom Fallon and Matt Markus are on the call this Saturday.  (I also am hearing that there is going to be a pair of special guests, quite possibly, during the pregame, whom I can't wait to hear from.)

Through internet radio, the pregame, game, and postgame can be streamed through TuneIn or just simply going to the LVFox…

Georgetown at Lehigh Game Breakdown and Fearless Prediction, 10/26/2019

We break down the Georgetown game - and we give our fearless prediction below the flip.

You can read College Sports Journal's preview of the game here, and my mostly-football-free "Tailgate Report" here.

I forgot in my "Tailgate Report" to do a look at Lehigh's game notes, so I'll do it here.

To most fans, seeing QB Addison Shoup on top of the depth chart at quarterback was probably the biggest eye-opener as QB Tyler Monaco was the starter last week, and was in the game until the last couple of plays in overtime. 

As of the time of this writing, although some people have assured that Monaco is well enough to go, the truth is he didn't practice the entirety of this week, so I would more characterize more as a "gametime decision" as to whether it is Monaco or Shoup under center.  It seems fair to say that Monaco will start and play if he's able.

CB Marquis Wilson has struggled to get back to 100% from his injuries at corner, so freshman

Georgetown at Lehigh Tailgate Report 10/26/2019: A Really Good Video Board, Really Bad DJing, Perfect Meatballs, And More

Welcome back to the Lehigh Tailgate Report, a free public service from your pals over at Lehigh Football Nation.

The idea of the Lehigh Tailgate Report is to provide a fun report on what to expect at the game, or not at the game, for this week's upcoming game.

If you're planning to go to the game, great! It's at Murray Goodman Stadium this Saturday at 12:30PM.

If you can't make it to the game, the game is available to watch or listen in a variety of ways.

The local radio broadcast, which starts an hour before kickoff and sets the table for the day's game, can be caught on your AM dial on Fox Sports Radio AM 1230 or 1320. Matt Kerr, Lance Haynes, Tom Fallon and Matt Markus are on the call this Saturday.

Through internet radio, the pregame, game, and postgame can be streamed through TuneIn or just simply going to the LVFoxSports.com webpage. Full disclosure: When I'm at home, this is my preferred method to catch the game action. Streaming the audio is #LFNAp…

Lehigh at Fordham Game Post Mortem, 10/22/2019

What a win!

Really, it still feels pretty darned good a few days later - a 30-27 overtime win over Fordham that was a tremendous matchup between two very evenly-matched teams.  It was a win that resulted in a bunch of Patriot League Players of the Week awards (WR Dev Bibbens, RB Zaythan Hill, and LB Keith Woetzel), and only Bucknell super-punter Alex Pechin prevented a clean sweep of the awards.

Additionally, for his great statistical performance, Woetzel won national honors with STATS as defensive player of the week.  His 15 tackle, 13 solo stop, 4 sack performance was the first national award for a Lehigh player since RB Dom Bragalone earned one of those honors in 2017.  Woetzel is also the first Lehigh defensive player to win a major national award since STATS took over the award from the Sports Network.

Here are three additional takeaways from the game.


Lehigh at Fordham Game Breakdown and Fearless Prediction, 10/19/2019

One thing has remained remarkably consistent for the last six years - Fordham has had Lehigh's number.

It hasn't mattered that Fordham has had Joe Moorhead, Andrew Breiner, or Joe Conlin, or whether Lehigh was gunning for a Patriot League title, or not - during that time, Fordham has done only one thing consistently, and that's beat Lehigh.

Granted, during many of those years, Fordham has some all-time teams, with UConn transfer QB Michael Nebrich, current Arizona Cardinal RB Chase Edmonds, and a cast of terrific Patriot League players too numerous to mention.  But then again, during Lehigh's last Patriot League title year of 2017, fourth-string RB D'Angelo Palladinoran for almost 300 yards on the Mountain Hawk defense for a 45-35 win, something the Lehigh seniors remember all too painfully well.

In a year of lowlights, last year's 43-14 loss to Fordham for head coach Joe Conlin's first win as Fordham head coach really stood out to me as a particularly bad…

Lehigh at Fordham Tailgate Report 10/19/2019: A Sloppy And Rushed Trip to the Bronx, Delicious Pizza, And More

Welcome back to the Lehigh Tailgate Report, a free public service from your pals over at Lehigh Football Nation.

The idea of the Lehigh Tailgate Report is to provide a fun report on what to expect at the game, or not at the game, for this week's upcoming game.

If you're planning to go to the game, great! It's at Jack Coffey Field in the Bronx, NY. Kickoff is at 1PM. 

If you can't make it to the game, the game is available to watch or listen in a variety of ways.

Lehigh's local radio broadcast, which starts an hour before kickoff and sets the table for the day's game, can be caught on your AM dial on Fox Sports Radio AM 1230 or 1320. (In the Lehigh Valley, you can also catch the game on 94.7 FM).  Matt Kerr, Jim Guzzo and Matt Markus are on the call this Saturday.

Through internet radio, the pregame, game, and postgame can be streamed through TuneIn or just simply going to the LVFoxSports.com webpage. Full disclosure: When I'm at home, this is my preferre…

Lehigh Mid-Season Report: The Surprising Resurgence Of the Lehigh Defense

Every head football coach hates to use the word "rebuild" when it comes to their football team, but going into the 2019 Mountain Hawk football season, it was hard to avoid it.

From the preseason conference call where Lehigh was picked to finish 5th in the league - a reflection on last season's 3-8 record and the 5-6 record that preceded it - the word "rebuild" seemed to hang over this team.

“Over 40% of our team are first-year players,” Lehigh head Tom Gilmore said on that call.  “And we’re excited to see what some of these freshman can do to enhance our roster and push the upperclassmen to be the best version of themselves on the field.”

To a fan base that had grown accustomed to the way freshly retired head coach Andy Coen handled preseasons, already there was a sense that under coach Gilmore, things were different.

But there was also the sense that perhaps it would take a bit of time to get things to where the Mountain Hawks would be every year competing fo…

Lehigh at Colgate Game Breakdown and Fearless Prediction, 10/5/2019

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 30-24-2 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.

Last year, Colgate cruised to a 48-6 victory, one of the more lopsided in the rivalry's recent history.  This year's edition is unlikely to be a similar outcome.

Lehigh at Colgate Tailgate Report 10/5/2019: Mountain Hawk Trip to Hogwarts, Flaming Drinks, And More

Welcome back to the Lehigh Tailgate Report, a free public service from your pals over at Lehigh Football Nation.

The idea of the Lehigh Tailgate Report is to provide a fun report on what to expect at the game, or not at the game, for this week's upcoming game.

If you're planning to go to the game, great! It's at Andy Kerr Stadium in Hamilton, NY.  Kickoff is at 1PM.

If you can't make it to the game, the game is available to watch or listen in a variety of ways.

Lehigh's local radio broadcast, which starts an hour before kickoff and sets the table for the day's game, can be caught on your AM dial on Fox Sports Radio AM 1230 or 1320. Matt Kerr, Matt Markus and Steve Lomangino are on the call this Saturday.

Through internet radio, the pregame, game, and postgame can be streamed through TuneIn or just simply going to the LVFoxSports.com webpage. Full disclosure: When I'm at home, this is my preferred method to catch the game action. Streaming the audio is #LFN…

Merrimack at Lehigh Game Breakdown and Fearless Prediction, 9/28/2019

It's what we do every week: copiously go over the opposing game notes and analyze the upcoming game matchup.  I'm starting to call these the "football nerd" previews because it feels like the audience for these detailed team breakdowns are other football nerds like myself. 

For Lehigh fans, there is no greater need for a "football nerd"-level breakdown of an opponent than Merrimack.  Few opponents have been as big as an unknown to Mountain Hawk fans as the school that formed right after World War II in North Andover, Massachusetts.  Helping that sense of mystery is that the Merrimack Athletics' website offers no football game notes, and when you click on the link called "Weekly Two-Deep", you get a two-deep from 2018.

Merrimack, until recently a member of the Northeast-10 conference in Division II, announced they are going to join the NEC as a full Division I member in time for the 2023-2024 season.

“The College’s 2011 strategic plan, the Age…

Merrimack at Lehigh Tailgate Report 9/28/2019: Beating Cancer, Eating BBQ To Support Your Linemen, And More

Welcome back to the Lehigh Tailgate Report, a free public service from your pals over at Lehigh Football Nation.

The idea of the Lehigh Tailgate Report is to provide a fun report on what to expect at the game, or not at the game, for this week's upcoming game.

If you're planning to go to the game, great! It's at Murray Goodman Stadium this Saturday at 12:30PM.

If you can't make it to the game, the game is available to watch or listen in a variety of ways.

 The local radio broadcast, which starts an hour before kickoff and sets the table for the day's game, can be caught on your AM dial on Fox Sports Radio AM 1230 or 1320. Matt Kerr, Jim Guzzo, Tom Fallon and Matt Markus are on the call this Saturday.

Through internet radio, the pregame, game, and postgame can be streamed through TuneIn or just simply going to the LVFoxSports.com webpage. Full disclosure: When I'm at home, this is my preferred method to catch the game action. Streaming the audio is #LFNAppr…

Lehigh at UC Davis Game Post Mortem, 9/14/2019

This weekend, late into the wee hours on the East Coast, Lehigh faced a huge challenge in playing No. 4 ranked UC Davis in their home opener this weekend.

The Aggies, looking every bit the No. 4 team in the nation, executed on offense at a very high level as they beat the Mountain Hawks 41-14.

We've all had a few days to catch up on our rest, get back on East Coast time, and think about where Lehigh is after their adventure out West.  So, where are we?

Lehigh at UC Davis Game Breakdown and Fearless Prediction 9/14/2019

It's what we do every week: copiously go over the opposing game notes and analyze the upcoming game matchup.  One thing that has been undoubtedly very cool about this rare West Coast game for the Mountain Hawks is how great the Aggies have been in terms of getting out game notes, cool content celebrating the 1977 Division II semifinal, and even local press (I see you, Davis Enterprise).

We live in a world where local press is dying, along with it the written word about previewing what are interesting, fun sporting matchups.  This week has been refreshingly fun, and easy to break down, thanks to all the content celebrating the first meeting, and previewing the upcoming meeting.  It's great to see two football communities from across the country come together for a week of good-spirited competition.

A special shout-out has to go to The Davis Enterprise again for the incredible pictures of not only the Division II semifinal game but also the eerie, foggy atmosphere of the mornin…

Lehigh at UC Davis Tailgate Report 9/14/2019: Hip Hop Rivalries, Vegans At the Gates!, And More

Welcome back to the Lehigh Tailgate Report, a free public service from your pals over at Lehigh Football Nation.

The idea of the Lehigh Tailgate Report is to provide a fun report on what to expect at the game, or not at the game, for this week's upcoming game.

If you're planning to go to this game, it means one of three things: 1) you live in California, 2) you have way more disposable income than me, or most likely, 3) both.  Nonetheless, below I'll have some information on where the stadium is and where to tailgate.

If you can't make it to the game, it is available to watch or listen in a variety of ways.  Note that the kickoff of this game is at 10:00 PM EDT, or 7:00 PDT, so it's one of the latest kickoffs in all of Division I football. 

The local radio broadcast, which starts an hour before kickoff and sets the table for the game, can be caught on your AM dial on Fox Sports Radio AM 1230 or 1320. Matt Kerr, Matt Markus, and Steve Lomangino are on the call th…

Lehigh At Villanova Game Post Mortem 9/10/2019

This weekend, Lehigh had a tough evening on the Main Line as the Mountain Hawks fell to Villanova 38-10.  After jumping to a 3-0 lead, Villanova would go on 17-0 and 21-0 runs in between a Lehigh touchdown to make the evening a happy one for most of the 8,000 fans in attendance.

Unlike last week, this wasn't one that got away - this was a more comprehensive loss.  Here's five thoughts I had after looking over the game last week.

Lehigh At Villanova Tailgate 9/7/2019: Chicken Sandwiches, Terrible Parking, And More

Welcome back to the Lehigh Tailgate Report, a free public service from your pals over at Lehigh Football Nation.

The idea of the Lehigh Tailgate Report is to provide a fun report on what to expect at the game, or not at the game, for this week's upcoming game.

If you're planning to go to the game, great! It's at Villanova Stadium this Saturday evening at 6:00PM. If you've got questions on how to get there, scroll below.

If you can't make it to the game, it is available to watch or listen in a variety of ways.

The local radio broadcast, which starts an hour before kickoff and sets the table for the game, can be caught on your AM dial on Fox Sports Radio AM 1230 or 1320. Matt Kerr, Matt Markus, and Steve Lomangino are on the call this Saturday.

Through internet radio, the pregame, game, and postgame can be streamed through TuneIn or just simply going to the LVFoxSports.com webpage.

This Saturday, the Lehigh/Villanova live video game stream is available through FL…

St. Francis (PA) at Lehigh Game Post Mortem 8/31/2019

(Photo Credit: Hannah Hally Photography)

I thought I'd do something a little bit different this year and post five thoughts I had on last week's game.  This weekend, Lehigh lost to St. Francis 14-13 at Murray Goodman Stadium, and no matter how you slice it it was a winnable game that was lost.

Yet it wasn't all bitter aftertaste - there was a lot to like despite the disappointing outcome.

St. Francis (PA) at Lehigh Game Breakdown and Fearless Prediction 8/31/2019

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 most of this research (and a very, very long offseason of obsessing over this game).  The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat, too, had lots of good preseason content on the Red Flash I used to research.

Let's not wait any longer, and let's get right to this thing!

St. Francis (PA) at Lehigh Tailgate 8/31/2019: Video Board, Dog Day, Tacos, And More

Welcome back to the Lehigh Tailgate Report, a free public service from your pals over at Lehigh Football Nation.  The idea of the Lehigh Tailgate Report is to provide a fun report on what to expect at the game, or not at the game, for this week's upcoming game.

If you're planning to go to the game, great!  It's at Murray Goodman Stadium this Saturday at 12:30PM.

If you can't make it to the game, the game is available to watch or listen in a variety of ways.

The local radio broadcast, which starts an hour before kickoff and sets the table for the day's game, can be caught on your AM dial on Fox Sports Radio AM 1230 or 1320.  Matt Kerr, Lance Haynes, Tom Fallon and Matt Markus are on the call this Saturday.

Through internet radio, the pregame, game, and postgame can be streamed through TuneIn or just simply going to the LVFoxSports.com webpage.  Full disclosure: When I'm at home, this is my preferred method to catch the game action.  Streaming the audio is #LFNA…