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Archive For The “Season Preview” Category

Get Ready For The Season With The Ultimate 2017 Lehigh Season Preview!

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Get Ready For The Season With The Ultimate 2017 Lehigh Season Preview!

You’re a Lehigh fan.  You have the tailgate chair, the BBQ Apron, and the cornhole set that’s of questionable legality.

You’ve been stocking up on beer and beverages, ready to try new LFN “Drinks of the week” and trying new meatball recipes, awaiting the beginning of the season.

Mentally and physically, you’re ready for the upcoming tailgating season.  But are you up-to-date on your fandom?  Are you in the know, or do you know how to get there?

Never fear, Lehigh fan, LFN’s here with everything you need to know.  Every Twitter follow, every preseason preview, and profiles of every out-of-conference opponent.  You may have been busy learning how to prepare pulled pork this offseason, but below the flip is everything you need to get up to speed.
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LFN Season Preview: Veteran Offense Should Deliver Even More Excitement In 2016

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LFN Season Preview: Veteran Offense Should Deliver Even More Excitement In 2016

The 2016 Mountain Hawks will be leaning on their offense to carry them in the early going on the season.

That’s because they return eight starters from last year’s squad, which was one of the more prolific offenses in all of FCS.

Looking over the stat sheet from 2015, there’s plenty of athletes carrying over that makes Lehigh Nation drool.  The return of a sophomore that was a 1,000 yard rusher as a freshman.  The return of an experienced quarterback that has started games each of the last three years.  The return of a deep threat receivers that invokes fear in opposing defensive coordinators.

There’s not a lot of drama on the offensive side of the 2016 Lehigh football depth chart.  But there’s a lot that has Lehigh Nation extremely excited about the potential for this year.
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LFN Season Preview: Searching For Lehigh Defensive Identity

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LFN Season Preview: Searching For Lehigh Defensive Identity

There is one real adage when it comes to defensive football: if you sit around and wait for something bad to happen, it probably will.

This season, the Lehigh Mountain Hawk defense knows it can’t afford to hang back and let bad things happen.

The 2015 Lehigh defense was a unit that saw flashes of strong play – just not enough of them.

And in 2016, this unit knows that the statistics from last year indicate a unit that needs to get better.

Most of all the identity of this defense needs to be formed.

In most places, we know the athletes.  We know they have flashes of great play.  The question that needs to be answered: what will its identity be?
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LFN’s Season Preview: Healthy Shaf Key To Keeping the Points Coming

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LFN’s Season Preview: Healthy Shaf Key To Keeping the Points Coming
Lehigh QB Nick Shafnisky (Morning Call)

Junior QB Nick Shafnisky spent Patriot League media day telling the gathered media about haters drinking the haterade.

Well, he didn’t exactly say it like that.  But he did talk about proving the haters wrong.

“I love having people either be there for me or count me out,” he said.  “Personally, I love it all.  I love haters.  I was just saying to my dad – the more people are talking bad about you, the more people you have to prove wrong.  I love proving people wrong, and making my coaches from high school proud.”

Now finally healthy, Shafnisky finally has the chance to prove a lot of people wrong – those that doubted his ability to recover from a Rivalry game he’d rather forget, those that thought he might not get over the injury that severely limited him last season, those that picked Lehigh to finish fifth, sixth, or even seventh in the Patriot League.

Despite an infections optimism that carried all the way through the preseason, you could see the chip forming on Shafnisky’s shoulder that day, as well as junior LB Colton Caslow‘s.

How Shaf and Caslow perform with that chip on their shoulder is going to play a big part in the 2015 season.

“We want to show that the 3-8 team you guys saw last year is not what Lehigh’s about, and it’s not what Lehigh football is about,” Shaf said.  “When they announced that we were picked fifth, Colton and I just looked at each other, and said, ‘We’ll see.’  Everyone has a different chip on their shoulder to prove everyone wrong.”
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Lehigh Football Season Hinges On Contributions from Underclassmen

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Lehigh Football Season Hinges On Contributions from Underclassmen

It doesn’t take an Engineer to see that much is expected of Lehigh football’s underclassmen this season.

As Lehigh football fans start looking at the season opener, a mere 5 days away, they’re looking at their theoretic depth charts and see some recurring themes:

Freshman.  Freshman.  Sophomore.  Freshman.  Sophomore.

Football is the ultimate team game, where experience counts in terms of knowing what it takes to win Division I football games.  Yet up and down Lehigh’s roster, it’s very evident: to win in 2015, head coach Andy Coen will be relying on his underclassmen in a big way – underclassmen who will be a big part of this season.

“Thery’re going to get their opportunities early,” coach Coen told me during Patriot League Media day earlier this month.  “I think we have 54-56 guys that are going to be freshman, sophomore-level eligibility.  And there are going to be some kids from that freshman class that are going to play – that’s without a doubt.”
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2013 Mountain Hawk Season Preview: The Defense And Special Teams

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2013 Mountain Hawk Season Preview: The Defense And Special Teams

Last season, Lehigh’s defense was expected to help carry an offense a little as a new offense learns the ropes.

This time around, though, it’s a completely different situation.

Eight starters depart last year’s starting squad, including key members of both the defensive line and defensive backfield rotation.  Oh yeah, and LB Billy Boyko, an undrafted free agent signee by the Raiders in the offseason, graduates as well.

It’s not like the cupboard is bare by any means.  But, man, eight starters?

While the expectation is that Lehigh’s offense will proceed just fine, the defense just has so many departing seniors that it’s worth asking the question: what’s the expectation for 2013?
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