Archive For The “Stephen Camasta” Category
Going into last weekend, most people thought that Holy Cross might pose a problem for the Mountain Hawks defensively.
The Crusader defense had shut out two opponents, contributing to wins over Lafayette two weeks ago, 42-0, and a CAA team, Albany, 37-0.
How would Lehigh’s offensive line do against Holy Cross’ defensive front?
Once the dust had settled on Saturday, the answer was: “just fine, thanks for asking.”
The Mountain Hawks did an awful lot of things right on offense last week, jumping out to a 41-10 halftime lead, carving out 543 offensive yards and executing 83 offensive plays. But the foundation for that offensive explosion came from a vastly improved performance on the offensive line.
You don’t have to have attended more than twenty-five years of Lehigh football games to know it’s a completely different world out there for your friendly neighborhood sports fan.
When Lehigh’s Murray Goodman Stadium was opened in 1988, there were only about a dozen channels on the small, eighteen inch black and white TV we had in our dorm room. Only two channels might have had “major college football” games on at the same time a Lehigh football game was being played live over the mountain. (Notre Dame, the only school who had all their games televised, almost always played their games at 3:30 PM.)
Nowadays there’s way more entertainment options on a typical college weekend than ever, and it’s very logical to think that the increased amount of competition might not just keep students away from attending football games, but local fans as well.
It’s not an issue confined to Lehigh – in 2014, home attendance at all FBS games dropped to their lowest levels in fourteen years. As student options have increased across the country, home attendance has decreased.
It’s a question worth asking at a school like Lehigh – how to get fans to the games, and keep them coming back?
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|Senior OL Matt Ford|
We live in a world where we can judge the work of an offensive line by the overall output of the offense.
Gone are the days when you can look at a starters’ height and weight and judge whether they will be a great Patriot League player, or not. And at Lehigh, especially, the bar is particularly high for offensive linemen, with OL Will Rackley making the NFL, and players like OL Ned Daryoush, OL Keith Schauder and countless other all-Patriot League offensive linemen to provide the protection and push to keep drives alive and allow the skill players to make things happen.
Yet last year’s statistics, overall show again that, as a unit, this team too needs to improve.
Chip Kelly‘s Oregon teams averaged 82 offensive plays per game, which allowed the Ducks to become a perennial Pac-12 powerhouse while he was there. By this admittedly high standard, Lehigh’s 70 offensive plays a game falls short.
Some statistics that show signs that Lehigh’s offensive line did a good job in 2014 – like 4th down conversions (24th in the nation) and rushing offense (58th). But one thing’s for certain – this unit, with four returning starters, will need to make one more leap to the next level if Lehigh is to compete for Patriot League championships once again.