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Archive For The “Everett Withers” Category

James Madison’s Onsides Kick Up 31 Can Help Lehigh Have A Successful Season

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James Madison’s Onsides Kick Up 31 Can Help Lehigh Have A Successful Season

When James Madison head coach Everett Withers was asked about attempting an onsides kick against Lehigh while up 31 points, he made the simple observation that the opportunity was there for the taking.

At home, watching the game streamed live to my big TV screen, I won’t lie – I was furious.

After thinking about it a day, though, maybe I should be thanking him.

For coach Withers may not have meant it in this way, but the key to a successful season for Lehigh in 2015 may have been that onsides kick – what it meant, what it showed, and how this football team can take that moment going forward.

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Game Breakdown: Lehigh at James Madison, 9/12/2015

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Game Breakdown: Lehigh at James Madison, 9/12/2015

We break down the James Madison game – and we give our fearless prediction, below the flip.

This will be the Dukes’ second game of the season, after last week’s shellacking of non-scholarship Morehead State, 56-7.

They never really took their foot off the gas.

The Dukes racked up a school-record 713 yards against the hapless Eagles, including three position players rushing for over 100 yards.  Morehead State only turned over the ball twice, but the frenetic-pace-of-play Dukes still managed to execute 90 plays on offense and probably could have gotten up to 100 plays had they not relented just a little in the 4th quarter.

It’s not enough for Lehigh to hold James Madison to less than 713 yards in order to have a chance.  They’ll need to do more.

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Game Preview, Lehigh at James Madison, 9/12/2015

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Game Preview, Lehigh at James Madison, 9/12/2015

“We told the kids to go in and watch the tape from a year ago,” head coach Andy Coen said in this week’s preview of the James Madison game from The Morning Call.   “We probably should have won the game. We missed three field goals. That was the difference. We had a great opportunity to beat them.”

There was a lot of frustration in last years’ 3-8 season for the Mountain Hawks, but the 27-24 opening weekend loss was probably the second most frustrating.

Let’s be blunt; Lehigh had James Madison on the ropes.

Whether the Dukes were in the middle of a letdown after their 52-7 loss to Maryland the weekend before, whether their talented team wasn’t ready for Lehigh’s best shot, whether the Mountain Hawks played the games of their lives, it didn’t really matter.  With just about 12 minutes left, Lehigh had the ball at midfield, up by 4 on James Madison and the opportunity of opportunities to put the game away.

Two penalties, a punt and 98 James Madison yards later, the Dukes would take the lead and never give it back.
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Know Your 2015 Opponents: James Madison (And The CAA)

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Know Your 2015 Opponents: James Madison (And The CAA)

In a typical Lehigh football season, there is one early “stretch game” that tests the Mountain Hawks in regards to their potential stature in thw wider FCS world.

There’s little question that Lehigh’s trip to Harrisonburg, Virginia is going to be that test.

Last year, first year head coach Everett Withers guided the Dukes, whose fan base expects FCS playoff appearances and deep playoff runs, probably exceeded expectations, going 9-4 and making the playoffs in his first year as James Madison head coach.

In 2015, the Dukes will be in an unfamiliar place – living up to the expectations.
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Game Preview: James Madison at Lehigh, 9/6/2014

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Game Preview: James Madison at Lehigh, 9/6/2014

(Photo Credit: AP)

What’s in a game?

You’re a typical Lehigh fan.  You know Lehigh is playing James Madison next weekend.  You know that the Dukes have been a pretty good football team over the years.  After reading this fantastic Lehigh blog you found, you learned of that national championship they won with QB Justin Rascati, after that championship run that started with converting that 7th-and-goal against the Mountain Hawks in the playoffs.

But then you read a recap of James Madison’s game last weekend against Maryland, and then you don’t know what to think.

The Terps are a FBS team, playing their very first game as a member of the Big 10 against the Dukes, coasted to a 45-0 lead against James Madison and were never really threatened.  You read about mistakes, penalties, scoring only in garbage time.  You might have caught some of the BTN broadcast, showing a sullen QB Vad Lee angry at himself after his second interception.

What’s in that game?  Does it mean anything, in the grand scheme of things, in regards to Lehigh’s chances this Saturday?
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Game Preview: James Madison at Lehigh, 9/6/2014

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Game Preview: James Madison at Lehigh, 9/6/2014

(Photo Credit: AP)

What’s in a game?

You’re a typical Lehigh fan.  You know Lehigh is playing James Madison next weekend.  You know that the Dukes have been a pretty good football team over the years.  After reading this fantastic Lehigh blog you found, you learned of that national championship they won with QB Justin Rascati, after that championship run that started with converting that 7th-and-goal against the Mountain Hawks in the playoffs.

But then you read a recap of James Madison’s game last weekend against Maryland, and then you don’t know what to think.

The Terps are a FBS team, playing their very first game as a member of the Big 10 against the Dukes, coasted to a 45-0 lead against James Madison and were never really threatened.  You read about mistakes, penalties, scoring only in garbage time.  You might have caught some of the BTN broadcast, showing a sullen QB Vad Lee angry at himself after his second interception.

What’s in that game?  Does it mean anything, in the grand scheme of things, in regards to Lehigh’s chances this Saturday?
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Game Preview: James Madison at Lehigh, 9/6/2014

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Game Preview: James Madison at Lehigh, 9/6/2014

(Photo Credit: AP)

What’s in a game?

You’re a typical Lehigh fan.  You know Lehigh is playing James Madison next weekend.  You know that the Dukes have been a pretty good football team over the years.  After reading this fantastic Lehigh blog you found, you learned of that national championship they won with QB Justin Rascati, after that championship run that started with converting that 7th-and-goal against the Mountain Hawks in the playoffs.

But then you read a recap of James Madison’s game last weekend against Maryland, and then you don’t know what to think.

The Terps are a FBS team, playing their very first game as a member of the Big 10 against the Dukes, coasted to a 45-0 lead against James Madison and were never really threatened.  You read about mistakes, penalties, scoring only in garbage time.  You might have caught some of the BTN broadcast, showing a sullen QB Vad Lee angry at himself after his second interception.

What’s in that game?  Does it mean anything, in the grand scheme of things, in regards to Lehigh’s chances this Saturday?
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Know Your 2014 Opponents: James Madison

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Know Your 2014 Opponents: James Madison

(Photo Credit: Lehigh Athletics)

When the Dukes come to Murray Goodman Stadium this September 6th, it won’t quite be a full decade since James Madison last came to Bethlehem.

But the occasion of that almost-decade-old meeting – the first round of the FCS playoffs in 2004 – is not easily forgotten by either side.

For fans of the Purple and Gold, it was the first step towards a memorable FCS National Championship run – all four wins coming on the road.

For fans of the Brown and White, however, the memory always goes back to those seven downs.
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