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Archive For The “Know Your 2015 Opponents” Category

Know Your 2015 Opponents: Holy Cross

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Know Your 2015 Opponents: Holy Cross

Perhaps it should be called the curse of QB Dominic Randolph.

With Dom as the leader on offense, in 2009 Holy Cross won their first Patriot League football championship in the FCS Playoff era.

From there they proceeded to give Villanova all they could handle in a 38-28 thriller.  The Wildcats would go on and win the FCS National Championship, beating Montana 23-21, and had the purpliest or Purple fans wondering about how and when the Crusaders were going to take the next step.

Unfortunately for Holy Cross fans, they’ve been waiting ever since.

Sure, injuries have played a part in Holy Cross’ struggles over the seasons.  They also, certainly, have had more than their fail share of agonizing, close losses over the last four years.  And even the rest of the league hasn’t paid Tom Gilmore’s team much mind, either, ranking them sixth out of seven Patriot League teams in the preseason poll.

Yet this team doesn’t seem like they should be picked sixth.  Not with the skill guys they have coming back, and the guys coming back from injury.

Maybe they were simply picked sixth because of the “curse” of Dominic Raldolph.  If they were, it’s a mistake.
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Know Your 2015 Opponents: Georgetown

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Know Your 2015 Opponents: Georgetown

No teams can beat Georgetown in one area: timezones.

While head coach Rob Sgarlata might prefer you focus on how many games where Georgetown had a chance going into the 4th quarter, or how they have a sneaky good defense, the truth is nobody can touch Georgetown when it comes to getting players all over the world.

Take senior DB Ettian Scott, whose hometown is listed as Okinawa, Japan.  Or senior RB Jo’el Kimpala, who hails from the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Or sophomore WR Luke Morris, who comes from Honolulu, Hawai’i.

If Georgetown’s policy of not offering football scholarships might be seen as a hindrance in some circles, it’s clearly not much of a setback when it comes to getting players that hail from, well, all over the world.

In Year 2 of the Sgarlata era, the Hoyas are hoping to make the jump from 3-8 squad to an over .500 team, and challenging for the Patriot League title.  Impossible?  Some might think so.  At media day, the Hoyas were picked 7th out of 7 teams.

Yet senior LB Matthew Satchell said at Patriot League Media day that this Georgetown team would be a “down and dirty fighting team,” showing that this squad may be a tougher out than people imagine, especially with their tough defense.

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Know Your 2015 Opponents: Fordham

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Know Your 2015 Opponents: Fordham

The past two years have been ones of Ram nightmares for Lehigh fans.

Even though it seemed like QB Michael Nebrich was never 100% healthy as a Fordham Ram, he always seemed like he was plenty nimble enough to step up in the pocket and drop forty or fifty points on Lehigh’s defense.

But now, it’s a new year.  Nebrich has graduated, as well as an eye-popping thirty-two other Fordham football seniors, many of whom had key responsibilities on both offense and defense.

Head coach Joe Moorhead knows his 2015 Fordham Rams will look different.  But exactly how different?

And will the Rams be able to simply reload and win a second straight title and qualify for a third straight FCS playoff appearance?

If the preseason polls are any indication, Fordham was picked to win it all for the second consecutive year.
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Know Your 2015 Opponents: Bucknell

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Know Your 2015 Opponents: Bucknell

These ain’t your mothers’ Bison anymore.

For years football games against Bucknell didn’t register on the radar screens of all Lehigh fans, thanks to a fifteen-game winning streak against the Bison.

They do now, though.

After that long winning streak, it may, perhaps, have been forgivable for Mountain Hawk fans to think Bucknell’s homecoming win at Christy Mathewson Stadium two years ago might have been a bit of a fluke.

Any thoughts of a fluke were put to bed after last year’s double-digit spanking at the hands of the Bison, though.

At a school known around the league as a hoops-first, football-somewhere-down-the-priority-list type of place, Bucknell was a hair away from being in the drivers’ seat for the Patriot League championship, taking eventual league champs Fordham to overtime before falling in extra time.

Head coach Joe Susan‘s goal this year is to have Bucknell take their new culture of winning and take it to the final, logical step: winning the Patriot League and going to their first-ever FCS playoff appearance.
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Know Your 2015 Opponents: Yale, Princeton, and the Ivies

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Know Your 2015 Opponents: Yale, Princeton, and the Ivies

Lehigh’s relationship with the schools of the Ivy League go all the way back to the 1880s.

Yes, really.

1887 was the year that Princeton, one of the first institutions of higher learning that sponsored o football program, first squared off against Lehigh, throttling them 80-0.

And it would be 1890 when Yale, another one of the early football powers, first hosted Lehigh, with the Eli ending up as 26-0 winners.

These traditional Ivy League football opponents appear on Lehigh’s football schedule for 2015 and will be a critical litmus test for this your Mountain Hawk football team after Lehigh hosts Penn.

These games, too, will not simply be speed bumps in the schedule, either.  There’s a lot more emotion in these games for Lehigh than meets the eye.

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Know Your 2015 Opponents: Penn

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Know Your 2015 Opponents: Penn

Lehigh’s relationship with the schools of the Ivy League go all the way back to the 1880s.

Yes, really.

In 1885, Lehigh’s fledgling football team opened the season with the University of Pennsylvania, who throttled the Brown and White 54-0.

1887 was the year that Princeton first squared off against Lehigh, throttling them 80-0

And it would be 1890 when Yale first hosted Lehigh, 26-0 winners.

These three traditional Ivy League football opponents appear on Lehigh’s football schedule for 2015 and will be a critical litmus test for this your Mountain Hawk football team.

But one opponent stands out more because of the fact that Lehigh hasn’t played them in more than a decade.

We’re going to be talking today about Penn, a rival (with a little r) that hasn’t faced off against Lehigh in over a decade.

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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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Know Your 2015 Opponents: Central Connecticut State (and the NEC)

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Know Your 2015 Opponents: Central Connecticut State (and the NEC)
CCSU Athletics

The Pete Rossomando era couldn’t have started much better for Central Connecticut State fans in 2014.

Not many outsiders gave the Blue Devils much of a chance when they made the trip to Johnny Unitas stadium to take on the No. 7 team in the nation, Towson.

Sure, they had RB Rob Holloman, an all-purpose everything back that would almost certainly be invited to an NFL camp (he was), but certainly that wasn’t enough to run with the Tigers, right?

Behind a career game by QB Nick SanGiacomo, a transfer from Tulane, CCSU did indeed run with the Tigers, upsetting Towson 31-27 and seemingly announcing that the Blue Devils were going to be in stiff competition for the NEC title and a bid to the FCS playoffs.

Unfortunately, that’s not how things turned out for the Blue Devils.
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