Archive For The “Colgate” Category
Sometimes, the lawnmower engine you’ve pull-started five times finally gets up and running after the sixth time you’ve pulled the recoil starter handle – the gas igniting, the smoke billowing, the engine humming.
And other times, after you pull the recoil starter handle, you hear the parts stirring, something in there wanting to fire, but it doesn’t. Something’s amiss – some debris, something out of tune – but the upshot is, ignition doesn’t happen.
This is the place where Lehigh football is right now.
The lawnmower that is Lehigh football has ignited – a little. The engine has had power, and created a whole lot of smoke. But in the end, each time the system has returned to rest, unable to use the power to get the job done and achieve a single victory. Things are out of tune.
It’s not ideal to have to be in a must-ignite moment against, historically, the second-biggest rival on the football schedule, the team against whom so many epic battles have occurred for the Mountain Hawks – many of them which helped determine the Patriot League Championship and FCS Playoff autobid.
And yet, here we are, with the recoil starter handle in hand, hoping that this time, the sixth time, everything is tuned correctly and everything starts firing all at the right time.
It’s recruiting season. Every incoming recruit is a Patriot League all-star, everyone is a first team all-American, everyone is undefeated. It’s all good times, a chance for kids to be admitted to some of the best Universities in the world. In that, it’s a win for everyone.
While we wait for each of the remaining recruits to be announced as a part of their recruiting classes, I thought I’d comb through all of the incoming classes of the Patriot League and tell you what sticks out to me.
This summart isn’t a ratings-based system, than folks like 247Sports have in terms of measuring the number of “starred recruits” (they list Holy Cross as the “winner”), or even a hybrid-based system, like LFN’s yearly Patsy Ratings (last seasons “winner”: Lehigh) or HERO Sports’ list of the top overall FCS recruits (which lists Lafayette as the “winner”). It’s just one guy, looking at the recruit lists, and giving his opinion.
Read more »
Perhaps you’ve heard that the Cubs, managed by a Lafayette grad called Joe Maddon, broke their more than century old championship drought vs. the Cleveland Indians last night.
The Lehigh Mountain Hawks’ championship drought isn’t quite as long as that.
But if the Brown and White hope to raise the trophy at Murray Goodman Stadium this weekend, they’ll need to break a mini-curse of their own.
It refers to the Mountain Hawks’ inability over the last four years to win both Game 10 and Game 11 on the schedule, specifically during the last four years.
There have been years that Lehigh has needed Game 10 to have a chance to win the Patriot League, but haven’t been able to get it done. There have been other years where they’ve needed Game 11 to do so, and missed.
When Games 10 and 11 have title implications, and when Lehigh wins those games, they tend to be Patriot League champs. When they lose one or the other, there tends to be the type of hurt that the Indians got to experience firsthand last night.
The Lehigh seniors almost certainly remember how that feels, on the potential last day of their playing careers at Murray Goodman Stadium.
It honestly felt like a day from another era out there on Saturday – in a good way.
In a world of bitter political debates, supposedly declining college football attendance, alleged tensions between the generations and the ongoing charges increasing collegian apathy, there it was: the official attendance total of the Colgate/Lehigh game of 9,255.
There were a multitude of reasons why people wanted to go see the game. Perhaps it was something good to do with the family on Family Weekend. Maybe it was a concerted effort to get students into the games, and keep them there, with new policies and new promotions. Maybe it was a thumb-your-nose effort at the fans who come for cocktails but don’t go enjoy the game. Maybe it was individuals, all as a unit, wanting to come out and see if this high-flying, record-setting Lehigh football team is for real.
Or maybe it was all of them; I have no idea, but I know it required a whole lot of planning and a huge amount of effort from a whole lot of people, and I’m glad they did.
Because it felt like something special was brewing in Bethlehem – and not just from the team making everyone pay attention to them on Saturday. It was the whole thing – the team, the fans, and the atmosphere. On Saturday, for the first time in a long time, it felt like “it” was back.
Read more »
At times it felt like the playing field was just the personal playground of WR Gatlin Casey, especially when he broke free for a 93 yard kickoff return for a touchdown. But it was more than that.
At other times, it felt like the defense, with freshman FS Riley O’Neil pouncing on a loose ball after a sophomore SS Sam McCloskey forced fumble. was the critical piece to keeping Colgate from winning this game. But it was more than that.
And at other times, it felt like the offense, under the expert signalcalling of senior QB Nick Shafnisky, kept finding big plays, on many occasions to Casey, that kept the game out of reach for the Raiders.
In reality, it was all three phases of the game for Lehigh that finally formed the chemical reaction somewhere in the middle of the first half that erased a 17-7 deficit and transformed the different bits and pieces into an impressive 45-31 victory.
For in the first half, down 14-7, the game looked like it might just get away from the Mountain Hawks.
Read more »
In all the pregame talk about an offensive showcase, we all forgot about how defense might be critical for the winning team in this important Patriot League Lehigh and Colgate clash.
Many saw the previous box scores and just assumed that Colgate’s powerful offense, who put up more than 50 on Yale, would do something similar to the Mountain Hawks defense.
After a 75 yard touchdown run by Colgate QB Jake Melville to start the game, the Lehigh defense forced two enormous turnovers, including a forced fumble by sophomore SS Sam McCloskey that was recovered by freshman FS Riley O’Neil on Colgate’s first drive of the second half.
The play would allow Lehigh to tie it up with a 25 yard FG by sophomore PK Ed Mish, and it would fire off a string of 17 unanswered points that would give Lehigh a 31-17 lead that they would never relinquish.
Read more »
Not going to the #HateTheGate (or, alternatively, #SlamTheGate) game at Murray Goodman, and you need to show your #Project10K support in some other way, either by watching TV or watching the game online?t
Never fear. LFN’s here.
(Photo Credit: The Colgate Maroon News)
It’s a big game in the Patriot League this weekend at Murray Goodman Stadium, and the FCS experts have been weighing in – and to a person, all picking Colgate to win.
An at-large playoff bid is out of the question for Colgate, which is going to have to repeat as Patriot League champion to get back to the postseason. The Raiders are reeling, while Lehigh’s offense (51.3 points per game the last three weeks) is soaring no matter if the quarterback is Nick Shafnisky or Brad Mayes. Shafnisky is due back this week.
There’s no question that this weekend’s Colgate and Lehigh game is an enormous game for both sides. There’s also a bit of a quarterback “controversy” on the Lehigh side as to who will come out for the first series, award-winning sophomore QB Brad Mayes or award-winning senior QB Nick Shafnisky.
One thing that has gone a bit unnoticed is the impact of Hurricane Matthew on the game this weekend.
Not so much the impact of the southerly weatherly system on the weather at Murray Goodman, which is still on target for a mostly cloudy, 65 degree day, with a small chance of showers in the late afternoon, but the impact on the Lehigh and Colgate players, many of whom call Florida their home.
Added to the already-challenging coaching twists centering around 4 O’Clock exams, something that head coach Andy Coen reminded me of last week, is the concern that the fourteen Lehigh football players from Florida, including Mayes, senior LB Colton Caslow, junior WR Gatlin Casey and a bunch of others, have for their families back at home.
Overall, seventeen Lehigh football players (14 from Florida, 3 from Georgia) and sixteen Colgate football players (15 from Florida, 1 from North Carolina) have family and possessions potentially impacted by Hurricane Matthew.
You can’t blame some of those athletes being a bit distracted if they have a bit more on their minds than just football.