Archive For November 25, 2014
In the run-up to the big game at Yankee Stadium I had an opportunity to talk with Lehigh football alum OL Dan Mulholland.
One of the great diehard fans, Mulholland runs the “Kings of Tailgates” at Lehigh home games, partially in tribute to his teammate Roger McFillan, who died unexpectedly at the age of 50. The tailgates in Roger’s honor, run by Dan, his twin brother Bob Mulholland and fellow teammate Gus Gustafson, are a Mountain Hawk gameday fixture right next to the Rust Pavillion, and every home game they “grill the opponent’s mascot.”
It so happened I talked with Mulholland about his best work, his blocking for RB Jack Rizzo‘s record-breaking rushing performance against Lafayette in 1971. Rizzo ran for 313 yards, a Lehigh single-game record that still stands today.
“Yeah, we’ll never see any sort of rushing performance like that ever again in a Rivalry game,” I told him mere days before Lafayette RB Ross Scheuerman would drive his SUV all over the Lehigh defense for 304 rushing yards and 357 all-purpose yards and 3 touchdowns.
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Someday I will look back on the 150th meeting between Lehigh and Lafayette as a joyous occasion, one of those times when I remember chucking a football around the parking lot of the Yankees with my son and his friends.
At some point I’ll think of my time in the open air Yankee press box, two seats down from the New York Times, and smile.
Now is not one of those times.
Lehigh couldn’t get the offense going in the first half, or the entire game, for that matter, but managed to allow Lafayette RB Ross Scheuerman to set a single-game record in rushing for the Leopards, a 60-carry, 313 yard performance.
The result was a dominating, humbling, frustrating, overwhelming 27-7 win by Lehigh’s bitter Rival on Yankee soil.
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There is but one football game in this college football season tomorrow, and it’s in New York City at Yankee Stadium. That means there’s but one football game to break down, and it’s #Rivalrly150, which will be done below the flip.
It’s hard to believe that the season is already coming to an end, and that the game that was years in the making is about to happen tomorrow.
It made for a weird vibe on campus today, where I went to get my tickets and buy my Rivalry scarves for tomorrow. I’m used to the Rivalry being in the air on campus, but campus mostly had serious students there, the football-crazed of whom are probably in Manhattan right now, fresh from watching Lehigh’s president John D. Simon ring the final bell of the New York Stock Exchange, or attending the sold-out Lehigh/Lafayette swim and dive meet, or listening to Lehigh Choral Arts at Carnegie Hall, or attending the gala with Earth, Wind and Fire.
With all the hoopla, it can be forgotten there’s an actual football game tomorrow – essentially a bowl game. Let’s see how Lehigh can come out of the Bronx with a win.
I know it’s been several years in the making. I know we are almost at the eve of the biggest edition of the Lehigh/Lafayette Rivalry yet, the one in Yankee Stadium, the 150th meeting, the one I’ve been waiting for years to arrive.
Yet it’s one play, one play, that I keep thinking about in the run-up to this game.
I keep seeing that bubble screen in the 149th meeting of Lehigh and Lafayette, the one that put the game out of reach, the one that turned Lehigh’s bid for a championship last season become one that fell just short of a championship.
We’re a week away from picking the field, so below the flip, check out what I think the bracket will look like.
What a difference a year makes.
The Mountain Hawks and Raiders both find themselves in a place where they are not accustomed: young squads with losing records, battling for pride, and giving the seniors something to remember.
Colgate and Lehigh has developed into a rivalry with a little r, because of the frequent championship connotations of their meetings over the last decade and a half, and a whole lot of other reasons. In 2014, this rivalry takes on a different shape and form: the form of which team is headed in the right direction into 2015, and for Lehigh headed in the right direction towards Yankee Stadium.
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As I finalize the release of my book, I realize that something I really enjoyed doing, picking the FCS playoff field, I hadn’t done yet this year. With two weeks to go, below the flip, check out what I think the bracket will look like.
We break down the Holy Cross game – and we give our fearless prediction, below the flip.
The 3-6 Crusaders, like 2-6 Lehigh, are a young team who is looking to show that they are ready to move forward and become a force in the Patriot Leaugue title race in the future.
Critically, in their win over Lafayette two weekends ago, they’ve shown that they can indeed hunker down and figure out how to stomp on a team to win a football game.
Holy Cross’ schedule shows a lot of close games, with losses by a field goal to Brown, Albany, Colgate, and Dartmouth this season. It’s awful easy to see this team, in an alternate universe, winning all four of these games and heading towards “senior day” with a 6-2 record.
It’s a different sort of November for Lehigh this time around, but one that’s still very important in regards to building up to the 150th meeting between Lehigh and Lafayette at Yankee Stadium.
The Mountain Hawks are essentially out of the playoff race, but the test this weekend against the Crusaders will be interesting for one very big reason: sophomore QB Pete Pujals.
Pujals and Lafayette sophomore QB Drew Reed are cut from the same cloth, young, mobile quarterbacks that can easily take off with the ball and also kill you with a precision passing game.
It’s the closest thing to a dress rehearsal that Lehigh will have before the 150th.
It was a point when the Lehigh football team could have packed it in, or simply decided that they wanted to just play out the string.
Instead Lehigh went down to Washington, DC and got their second win of the season, as well as their first Patriot League win of the season, with a 27-19 victory over the Hoyas.
It wasn’t always pretty. Just like against Cornell, the mixture of young and veteran Mountain Hawks made some big errors to keep Georgetown in the ball game.
But despite the goofs, for Lehigh there was a lot more good than bad.
For the first time since a few weeks, hope and optimism, for the rest of this year up to the 150th meeting of Lehigh and Lafayette – and beyond – made an appearance.
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