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Archive For The “Know Your 2014 Opponents” Category

Know Your 2014 Opponents: Bucknell

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Know Your 2014 Opponents: Bucknell

You might have been forgiven for overlooking them last year.

After all, Lehigh always beat Bucknell.  It was what they did.

The last time the Bison beat the Mountain Hawks anywhere, RB Rich Lemon was their star back, and Monica Lewinsky was still welcome in the Bill Clinton White House.

But for a fifteen year stretch, the Bison couldn’t beat Lehigh with a ten-point head start.

So you might have been forgiven for not making the trip to Lewisburg fully anticipating No. 16.

Except that, on October 26th, 2013, Bucknell changed the narrative.

Bucknell didn’t just beat heavily-favored, nationally-ranked Lehigh in their own house.  They put on the type of beating that left Lehigh fans absolutely stunned, a 48-10 stampeding that will not soon be forgotten by either side.

Bucknell used to be another name on the Patriot League schedule for Lehigh to beat.  Now?  Their name is circled, a critical game in early October that will be a pivotal game for both sides in the Patriot League title race.
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Know Your 2014 Opponents: Monmouth

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Know Your 2014 Opponents: Monmouth

By definition, every team I profile in this “Know Your 2014 Opponents” series is new.  There are new faces, a fresh, new 0-0 record, and a fresh start for the football season.

For Monmouth, though, who visits Lehigh on September 27th, there’s a whole lot more new stuff.

Start with a new football conference.  The Hawks (or Jersey Hawks, as I call them) move to the Big South in football only, where they will be competing against some football powers like Coastal Carolina and Liberty.  Gone is their independent schedule from 2013.

Then head to the helmets and uniforms, where it shows off Monmouth’s status as an up-and-coming athletics program.  Gone are the gothic interlocking “M” and “U”, and in its place a silver helmet, with a classic looking “M”, takes its place.

Perhaps unfortunately for the Mountain Hawks, though, the players who inhabited the old uniforms last season return to inhabit the new ones, meaning Lehigh will face a team with a boatload of experience.
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Know Your 2014 Opponents: Yale

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Know Your 2014 Opponents: Yale

As you meander to Yale’s website, you’re greeted by an intro video when you click on the link to bring you to “Inside Yale Football“.

The video, featuring a pump-up-the-faithful talk by head coach Tony Reno, has a gothic soundtrack, panning over Yale’s 100 year old stadium, and also panning over walk of fame involving players from as far back as 1872.

That’s not going to be Lehigh’s issue, however, when they’re Yale’s opponent in the Eli’s opening-day game, where the Bulldogs will be celebrating their 100th season playing in the Yale Bowl.

Yale saw its first game played there 100 years ago, minus six days, with a team that was one of the college football powerhouses in the entire nation.  This time around, though, they’ll be a team that is picked to finish fifth in the eight-team Ivy League, and is a very young team.
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Know Your 2014 Opponents: New Hampshire

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Know Your 2014 Opponents: New Hampshire

Ever think that, sometimes, it takes all the stars to align for an upset victory?

In Lehigh’s 34-27 win over New Hampshire last season, it felt like that could have been the case.

The Wildcats were a young team with somewhat dampened expectations, coming to Murray Goodman stadium to try to find themselves.  Meanwhile, Lehigh, fresh off one of the most improbable Mountain Hawk wins ever, their 29-28 win over Princeton, had momentum and confidence to spare.

While Lehigh is expected to lose to supposedly “full-scholarship” teams from the CAA, everything seemed to align – the weather, the home game, and a Wildcat team that was still a work-in-progress.

But the stars aligning for Lehigh last year, however, makes for a much steeper challenge in 2014.
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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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