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Archive For September 20, 2014

Game Breakdown: Lehigh vs. Yale, 9/20/2014

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Game Breakdown: Lehigh vs. Yale, 9/20/2014
Brianna Yoo/Yale Daily News

The game this weekend versus Yale, the first game in Yale’s season, the first game in the season celebrating the 100th year of the Yale Bowl, is unquestionably a big one for the Mountain Hawks.

That also applies to the Eli, too, thoush.

“We’re excited about the opportunity [to play] against Lehigh,” head coach Tony Reno said. “We want to play great teams in order to be a great team.”

Lehigh fans are hoping that playing doesn’t equate winning.
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Game Preview: Lehigh at Yale, 9/21/2014

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Game Preview: Lehigh at Yale, 9/21/2014
New Haven Register

When you Google “Yale Football”, you get to Rory McIlroy and Caroline Wozniaki.

The reason for that is the golf superstar and the rising women’s tennis star showed up at at Yale a few years ago.  Apparently Yale’s football team had been making a habit of showing up as a team at the New Haven Open and cheering Wozniaki on, so Caroline and her then-boyfriend Rory (wearing a Yale football jersey, at that), showed up at a practice.

Head coach Tony Reno, though, is hoping that’s not the only thing that shows up when you Google “Yale Football” after this season, which is the 100th anniversary of their football home, the Yale Bowl.

The best way for Yale to kick off their 100th Yale Bowl season would be a win over Lehigh.
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LFN Look Back: Lambert Cup Competition Adds Sizzle To Rivalry

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LFN Look Back: Lambert Cup Competition Adds Sizzle To Rivalry
Brown and White, 1957

Everyone had heard of the Lambert Trophy on the campuses of Lehigh and Lafayette.

Awarded to the most outstanding college football team in the East, it was routinely won by some of the legendary big-school programs of the time.  Jock Sutherland‘s Pitt teams and Earl “Red” Blaik‘s Army teams dominated the Lambert Trophy balloting in the first couple of decades of the award.

In 1957 the Lamberts and their board members, including Kermit Roosevelt, son of Teddy Roosevelt,  decided that there ought to be a Lambert Trophy for smaller schools in the

East as well – schools that played against “major colleges”, but didn’t play the majority

of their games against those schools.

It gave an extra jolt of excitement to the Rivalry.
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LFN Look Back: Lambert Cup Competition Adds Sizzle To Rivalry

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LFN Look Back: Lambert Cup Competition Adds Sizzle To Rivalry
Brown and White, 1957

Everyone had heard of the Lambert Trophy on the campuses of Lehigh and Lafayette.

Awarded to the most outstanding college football team in the East, it was routinely won by some of the legendary big-school programs of the time.  Jock Sutherland‘s Pitt teams and Earl “Red” Blaik‘s Army teams dominated the Lambert Trophy balloting in the first couple of decades of the award.

In 1957 the Lamberts and their board members, including Kermit Roosevelt, son of Teddy Roosevelt,  decided that there ought to be a Lambert Trophy for smaller schools in the

East as well – schools that played against “major colleges”, but didn’t play the majority

of their games against those schools.

It gave an extra jolt of excitement to the Rivalry.
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UNH Was An Object "Lesson" in FCS Football For Mountain Hawks

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UNH Was An Object "Lesson" in FCS Football For Mountain Hawks

Have fun writing this game up,” a journalist friend helpfully told me on Saturday when the Mountain Hawks fell behind 4-1.

No, Virginia, it wasn’t a whole lot of fun writing up Lehigh’s drubbing by UNH.

Losses are no fun for any Lehigh football fan, of course.  It’s no more fun to write about a oh-so-close-to-a-win game against James Madison than it is to give up fifty points to your mortal rival.

It was awful hard to grasp at some positives about a game which was pretty much over at halftime.

But I did find some.

The biggest one of all is that this is not the FBS, where a September loss can spell the difference of the plus-one playoffs and a mid-tier bowl.

Even though Lehigh is 0-2, they are not knocked out yet.
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No. 7 UNH Plays Like Championship Contenders, Buries Lehigh, 45-27

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No. 7 UNH Plays Like Championship Contenders, Buries Lehigh, 45-27
UNH Athletics

It was not a good half of football.

“I’m disappointed with today’s outcome,” head coach Andy Coen said after the game. “We never gave ourselves a chance. UNH really jumped us from the get-go and were very physical. We did not tackle very well. They really controlled every aspect of the game through the half.”

For Lehigh fans, it made for some tough viewing at the place they call the “Dungeon” on a rainy, grey afternoon in Durham, New Hampshire.

New Hampshire scored touchdown drives of 71, 74, 84, and 90 yards in the first half, converting some 2-point conversions for good measure, to coast to a 29-0 lead.  They never looked back.
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Lehigh/UNH Broadcast/Stream Info, And Week 2 Viewing Guide and Fearless Picks

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Lehigh/UNH Broadcast/Stream Info, And Week 2 Viewing Guide and Fearless Picks

So you’re trying to make your afternoon plans, and you’re not a hotel in Durham, New Hampshire, preparing your tailgate.

You’ve heard that the game is going to be on something called the “American Sports Network” – but you’ve scrolled through your cable guide, checked the internet, or flicked through all the stations. Nothing called the “American Sports Network” shows up.

That’s because the “American Sports Network” only produces the games.  The broadcasts end up on a maze of local affiliates across the country.

So the question remains: At 3:30, how do I watch the game?  Of course.  That’s why you’re here.
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Game Breakdown: Lehigh at New Hampshire, 9/13/2013

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Game Breakdown: Lehigh at New Hampshire, 9/13/2013

“These next ten games shape what we are, and this next one is absolutely huge,” New Hampshire head coach Sean McDonnell said in the CAA teleconference before their home opener against Lehigh this weekend.  “We got to win this battle.  We got to get ready for this really good Lehigh team.”

It’s hard enough preparing for a week of football, but hearing that cannot make head coach Andy Coen or any of the players in the Lehigh football program very happy.  They’re not going to be sneaking up on anybody.

In addition to the revenge factor, Lehigh will be playing at 3:30 PM in the afternoon under the lights at Cowell Stadium.  It’s the first time lights have made their appearance at Cowell stadium, making it, sorta, the first Wildcat “night game”.

And as you can see, UNH players had some “lightness” about it today.

UNH couldn’t be more motivated for the game, their home opener, this weekend.  Which makes my breakdown all the more important.
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Game Preview: Lehigh at New Hampshire, 9/13/2013

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Game Preview: Lehigh at New Hampshire, 9/13/2013
WMUR 9 New Hampshire

“In their last meeting…”

You’ve probably heard a lot of that this week in regards to this big matchup against the No 7 team in the country.

It ended up being Lehigh’s signature win last year, their 34-27 victory that only looked better when the Wildcats turned their season around and made a deep run in the FCS playoffs.

It also will be an impediment to any hope of sneaking up to Durham, New Hampshire and surprising New Hampshire coach Sean McDonnell with their dynamic offense and good athletes.

That’s because the Wildcats had a bye week last week, and McDonnell spent his weekend off scouting the Mountain Hawks.

“I was really impressed with their quarterback,, mentioning sophomore QB Nick Shafnisky, sophomore RB Brandon Yosha, and seemingly everyone else on the Lehigh offense by name in the CAA teleconference this week.   “He did a hell of a job doing the things he does well.  They did a lot of different things out of multiple sets, and they had a good mix against a good JMU team.”

It was very obvious McDonnell had not forgotten last year’s loss at Lehigh at all.
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LFN Look Back: Lehigh’s Youngest Head Football Coach Scores Big Rivalry Win In Undefeated Season

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LFN Look Back: Lehigh’s Youngest Head Football Coach Scores Big Rivalry Win In Undefeated Season
Bill Leckonby, The Hill School

“72 aspirants greeted Lehigh’s new football coach, Bill Leckonby, on the first day of the six-week spring training session,” a Lehigh Alumni Bulletin inauspicously announced in the spring of 1945.

It was reflection as to how low the Brown and White football team had sunk that the announcement didn’t come with more fanfare.

After all, Lehigh was in the middle of a nine-year stretch where they had only been able to muster one tie in the span of eleven contests with their bitter Rivals.

Six times they were shut out.  Only once did they score more than 7 points against the Leopards.

It probably didn’t register that hiring of the former St. Lawrence University star, and former pro football player for the AAFL’s Brooklyn Dodgers, only a few years removed from military service in World War II, would forever change the direction of Lehigh athletics.

Few probably realized at the time that the inauspicious announcement would lead not only to one of the greatest Lehigh head football coaching careers of all time, but also would raise the Brown and White to a level of Eastern football supremacy among its peer colleges, as well as a spokesman for a different level of football, separate from the largest football schools like Alabama or Penn State.
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