Archive For The “Sam McCloskey” Category

2018 Week 3 Lehigh Players of the Week and Report Card: Navy

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2018 Week 3 Lehigh Players of the Week and Report Card: Navy

I’ve never done one of these before after Lehigh’s played an FBS opponent. 

That’s because the last FBS opponent Lehigh played was in 2003, when the Mountain Hawks lost to UConn 35-17.

The Lehigh Football Nation blog was in its first year of existence back in 2003, and undoubtedly I wrote about it – but it’s not currently in the archives here at Blogger, because I archived those first two years offline. 

What I can tell you about that UConn game was that Lehigh faced off against a future NFL player in QB Dan Orlovsky and that QB Chad Schwenk got hurt late in that game, which made it his final game in a Mountain Hawks uniform and effectively threw the rest of that season in some turmoil.

Fortunately turmoil doesn’t seem to be a part of the report card today.

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2018 Week 2 Lehigh Players of the Week And Report Card: Villanova

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2018 Week 2 Lehigh Players of the Week And Report Card: Villanova

It’s a lot less fun to go through the “Players of the Week” and report card after a loss, but it’s still got to be done. 

Last week’s somewhat humbling 31-9 defeat comes at a point of the season where it’s more of a learning experience than a death blow to the season, and also came against one of the very best teams in all of FCS.

It wouldn’t surprise me to see Villanova win the CAA this season.

In any event, here we go.
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2018 Week 2 Lehigh Players of the Week And Report Card: Villnanova

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2018 Week 2 Lehigh Players of the Week And Report Card: Villnanova

It’s a lot less fun to go through the “Players of the Week” and report card after a loss, but it’s still got to be done. 

Last week’s somewhat humbling 31-9 defeat comes at a point of the season where it’s more of a learning experience than a death blow to the season, and also came against one of the very best teams in all of FCS.

It wouldn’t surprise me to see Villanova win the CAA this season.

In any event, here we go.
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2018 Week 1 Lehigh Players of the Week and Report Card: St. Francis (PA)

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2018 Week 1 Lehigh Players of the Week and Report Card: St. Francis (PA)

This season, I thought it would be a good idea to do a LFN report card on how the team did last week as well as reviving the old “LFN Players of the Week” to go along with it.  Lehigh’s 21-19 win last week over St. Francis was, most importantly, a victory, but as hardcore Lehigh football fans we want a deeper view and analysis.

So here we go.
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2018 Lehigh Football Spring Preview: The Defense

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2018 Lehigh Football Spring Preview: The Defense

According to the FCS record books for 2017, there are 123 Division I schools listed in the team statistical Rankings. 

Out of 123 teams, Lehigh was ranked 119th in total team defense, allowing 477.7 yards per game.

And the defensive numbers don’t get much better the more you look.

Rushing defense, 117th.  Passing yards allowed, 89th.  Team sacks, 118th.  Red zone defense, 103rd. 

Total sacks in 12 games: 10, or 0.8 per game.  Total interceptions in 12 games: 4, or 0.25 per game.  Total takeaways: 13, or a little over 1 per game.

Though the final defensive numbers from 2017 are unable to be sugar-coated, nobody involved with Lehigh’s defense is running away from the facts this spring.  In fact, they feel they are better than this.

“When you hear so much about your defense not being good,” defensive coordinator Craig Sutyak said this week, “you start to believe it, and I think our kids started to believe it too the last couple of years.  But we’re not going to beat ourselves.  We’re going to have faith in ourselves, faith in the guys next to us, and we’re going to continue to grow as a unit.”

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2018 Lehigh Football Spring Preview: The Defense

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2018 Lehigh Football Spring Preview: The Defense

According to the FCS record books for 2017, there are 123 Division I schools listed in the team statistical Rankings. 

Out of 123 teams, Lehigh was ranked 119th in total team defense, allowing 477.7 yards per game.

And the defensive numbers don’t get much better the more you look.

Rushing defense, 117th.  Passing yards allowed, 89th.  Team sacks, 118th.  Red zone defense, 103rd. 

Total sacks in 12 games: 10, or 0.8 per game.  Total interceptions in 12 games: 4, or 0.25 per game.  Total takeaways: 13, or a little over 1 per game.

Though the final defensive numbers from 2017 are unable to be sugar-coated, nobody involved with Lehigh’s defense is running away from the facts this spring.  In fact, they feel they are better than this.

“When you hear so much about your defense not being good,” defensive coordinator Craig Sutyak said this week, “you start to believe it, and I think our kids started to believe it too the last couple of years.  But we’re not going to beat ourselves.  We’re going to have faith in ourselves, faith in the guys next to us, and we’re going to continue to grow as a unit.”

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Villanova at Lehigh Game Narratives: Excitement High In Bethlehem For Top 25 Matchup

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Villanova at Lehigh Game Narratives: Excitement High In Bethlehem For Top 25 Matchup

It’s different when you’re returning champions.

That much was clear when sifting through all the preseason print pieces and videos covering the Lehigh Mountain Hawks.

Expectations return – you’re no longer the “hunter”, as head coach Andy Coen explained, you’re the “hunted”.

Managing those expectations has been almost as important for this Lehigh football team as the regular conditioning and X and O’s drills of camp.

The common thread with the many print and video pieces and the many interviews is a sense of maturity and a businesslike ethic around this team, especially amongst its leadership.
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Lehigh Position Analysis: Defensive Backs

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Lehigh Position Analysis: Defensive Backs

Spotlight On: S Sam McCloskey

Lehigh Sports issued a release Friday evening that announced Lehigh’s team captains for the 2017 season.

Some of the names, senior OL Zach Duffy and senior OL Brandon Short, were hardly surprises – after all, they were team captains last year.

Another, senior DL Jimmy Mitchell, is a steadying leadership force on the defensive line – again, not much of a surprise.

But the presence of junior S Sam McCloskey as the fourth team captain raised some eyebrows.  It’s unusual to be a junior team captain, though QB Nick Shafnisky and LB Colton Caslow had been team captains as juniors.

As head coach Andy Coen explained, “What’s really impressive is that in our ballots contain only seniors with the ability to write-in people. A lot of our guys obviously had to write in Sam, so that was really interesting to see. Our coaching staff feels he’s ready right now to be a strong captain and his peers obviously feel the same way.”
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QUICK RECAP: Mountain Hawks Defense Sets Tone As Lehigh Beats Colgate, 45-31

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QUICK RECAP: Mountain Hawks Defense Sets Tone As Lehigh Beats Colgate, 45-31

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.

Not so.

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.
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Like A Boa Constrictor, Monmouth Squeezes Life out of Lehigh In 23-21 Win

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Like A Boa Constrictor, Monmouth Squeezes Life out of Lehigh In 23-21 Win

Death by boa constrictor does not come quickly.  It comes when the snake puts light pressure on the circulatory system of its prey, seriously disrupting the blood flow and causing the bloodflow system to go haywire, eventually causing cardiac arrest.

That’s a fairly accurate description of how the game flow went in Lehigh’s asphyxiating opening-day loss to Monmouth, 23-21.

With visions of Lehigh’s potent offense in their heads, most of the 4,828 fans in attendance thought they might see the type of offensive show they enjoyed the last time Lehigh played a football game at Murray Goodman stadium, something like the 49-35 win over their bitter Rivals Lafayette, for example.

Instead they saw the Monmouth boa constrictor slowly wrap itself around the Mountain Hawks and squeeze the life away, possession by possession.

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