Archive For The “Jimmy Mitchell” Category
One aspect of the Lehigh game at Fordham that doesn’t get a lot of attention is that
the last time the Mountain Hawks went to the Bronx and came away with a win was in 2011.
Even before RB Chase Edmonds then broke a Patriot League single-game rushing record against Lehigh in their 59-42 win in 2015 – a record he later broke against Lafayette – Lehigh lost a 52-34 shootout in the Bronx in 2013 as well. In the last two games in the Bronx against Fordham, Lehigh has allowed a 50-burger, as they say, two straight games.
“Fordham racked up 630 yards of offense on the Mountain Hawk defense and cracked 50 points on Lehigh’s D, the first time that happened since 2007,” I wrote about that 2013 game. “It wasn’t only Fordham’s third-ever win against the Mountain Hawks – it was also Lehigh’s first regular season road loss since 2010, when Lehigh traveled to New Hampshire and lost 31-10.”
That was only marginally as painful as the 2015 game, which also happened to be the debut of junior QB Brad Mayes after QB Nick Shafnisky came out of the game after a late hit during a 2 point conversion.
Mayes very nearly rallied the Mountain Hawks to make it a one-score game, but a missed FG try ended the dream, cemented be a 75 yard touchdown run by – who else? – Chase Edmonds.
“We’re looking for positives,” Steve Degler of Lehigh Sports Central said several times.
And coach Andy Coen did mention a few positive things, like the play of junior RB Dominick Bragalone, and the improved play of Lehigh’s defense.
But he also mentioned how important it was to “educate his players” about the rivalry Lehigh has with Colgate as well – how playing up in Hamilton is never easy and this game is a rivalry game.
“Next to the Lafayette rivalry, I look to Colgate next,” Andy said. “We have to educate our young players that this rivalry is a very, very tough one, and I know Colgate view themselves as the toughest guys going, and we need to prove they are tougher than they are.”
The media in the run-up to the Wagner game has been more upbeat than one might think considering the Mountain Hawks’ 0-4 start.
That’s not to say that head coach Andy Coen is at all happy with how things have started, but his answers to this week’s media questions were not what some fans may have expected.
“I’m disappointed, I’m not going to lie,” he told Keith Groller of The Morning Call. “But again, this is a funny game. It’s never easy. It’s hard to win a game. It really is. At times last year we made it look really, really easy. Right now, we’re making it look really hard.”
On Lehigh Sports Central this week, he said he felt like Lehigh was more competitive against Penn than they were against Yale.
“We just continue to make mistakes,” Coen said. “We got the ball first, and turned the ball away.. we’ve got to get away from all of that stuff, and start playing better football.”
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I know it’s not the most mature of responses, but I weeded yesterday.
Our garden, so clean and so perfect back in May, was in mid-September form when I went out there Sunday after Lehigh’s loss to Yale. In this case, mid-September form means the grass and weeds were as high as my thighs, and it was time for me to rip them out.
I’m well aware that I love Lehigh football too much; that it overly affects my mood, sometimes lingering for days or even weeks after particularly bad losses. That love allows me to summon a passion for the game that sets me apart from others, I think, but the flipside of that love is a frustration that can sometimes only be vented by pulling up grasses and wild growth from a garden that has been growing there unchecked for months.
Yeah; I was frustrated with the loss. But in the garden, I don’t sit there and assign blame to anybody. I don’t grumble about kids, players, attendance numbers, coaches, the weather, the athletic department, or the scoreboard. I just weed, clearing out the junk in the garden that prevents the last plants to generate tomatoes, peppers, leafy greens and everything else I ask it to provide me and my family. And overall, I think it helps.
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Stop me if you’ve read this before.
“Lehigh gives up a couple of early touchdowns. The Mountain Hawks rally, but mistakes doom them – they turn over the ball on offense, give up some big plays on defense, and special teams miscues make it harder to come back, and they get blown away in the second half.”
It describes the Villanova game, it describes the Monmouth game, and now, unfortunately, it also now describes the Yale game this weekend.
On Saturday, the Mountain Hawks gave up a couple of early touchdowns. Undeterred, Lehigh would get a couple stops and take advantage of good special teams play, and rally to make it a one point game. Then, a pass interference call would resurrect a Yale touchdown drive, then a Yale sack and fumble recovery would set up another Yale score at the end of the half for a 28-13 edge at halftime.
At the beginning of the second half, Lehigh would score a quick-strike touchdown, but would give up a touchdown in response, getting outscored 28-14 in the second half en route to the defeat.
It’s the script that Lehigh has found themselves following the last three weeks, and until Lehigh deviates from that script, the Mountain Hawks will find themselves winless.
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Spotlight On: DE Tyler Cavenas and NG Jimmy Mitchell
This past year, the NCAA mandated that two-a-day practices would no longer be allowed, which naturally has changed the way Lehigh has been camping this August. “A single day may include a single, three-hour, on-field practice session and a walk-through. During walk-throughs, protective equipment such as helmets and pads can’t be worn, and contact is prohibited,” the NCAA said.
“The guys like the new procedure, the new process we have in place here,” head coach Andy Coen said. “The guys are more fresh not having the two-a-days. [Sunday] was the first day we went full pads and had live tackling and the kids were fired up about that. We didn’t do a lot, just enough to get our feet wet.”
With no contact during the two-hour walkthrough session, pads and contact are a more rare occurrence. To senior DE Tyler Cavenas, though, what did that mean?
“I [still] feel like we can push ourselves,” he told LehighSports.com. “It’s weird, we have these walkthroughs now, but I think when we do go out, we’ll be more intense out here and we’ll be getting after it more. We’re only going to be out here one practice a day, so we’ll have to give it all we have.”
Knowing Tyler, he does.
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Many will look at the spring game final results and stats and see that the offense “won” this Saturday’s Brown/White game, 48-34.
They’ll see a stat sheet they might expect from a Mountain Hawk team: 121 yards passing from junior QB Brad Mayes, touchdown receptions from senior WR Troy Pelletier and senior WR Gatlin Casey, as well as a touchdown run by junior RB Dominick Bragalone.
But that doesn’t tell the full story of the game, played on a wet Saturday morning under mostly overcast skies.
In the early portion of the scrimmage, the Brown defense racked up sacks, tipped passes and shut out the White offense for nearly an hour before Mayes would finally find Casey in the end zone.
If there was any question how the new four-man defensive front might work out for the Mountain Hawks, they were answered today with a solid performance early.
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Last season, a disappointed LB Colton Caslow talked about the Lehigh defense after a top 26-21 loss to nationally-ranked Villanova.
Thought I’d put together this multimedia “presentation” of all the seniors that will be playing in #Rivalry152 tomorrow. All the content here, pictures, videos, etc. are mostly courtesy of LehighSports.com, The Morning Call, Lehigh Valley Live, and The Brown and White.
If nothing else it will go you something to do while waiting for tomorrow’s game.
Saturday’s game is a personal landmark for head coach Andy Coen: it marks the first time he’s coached a Lehigh team at Penn since he was hired there from Al Bagnoli‘s staff back in December of 2005.
He’ll be facing off against another former Bagnoli assistant coach, Ray Priore, who was a defensive coordinator at Penn when Andy was an offensive coordinator there.
Franklin Field, then, becomes one of the big #NarrativeStreet storylines going into Saturday, and for Lehigh, not a good reason.
Since 1895, when the enormous field was built in downtown Philadelphia, Lehigh has won exactly four times at the iconic venue, and the overall Brown and White record there is 4-28. Along the way, among the many losses by Lehigh there, came one recent one in particular that snapped a long Lehigh regular-season winning streak.
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