Lehigh Offense Mic’Ed Up And Jacked Up For The Season

Lehigh's newest online multimedia involves the Lehigh coaching staff on microphone.

This week it was newly-promoted defensive coordinator Joe Bottiglieri, and in the video below you see the coach in various stages of instruction.

The piece of the video that relates to the offense, though, is the highlight of the piece.

Sophomore TE Zach Bucklin, "built like a small Volkswagen", as coach Bott himself mentioned, barreled into Lehigh's defensive coordinator, sending them both to the ground.

In an odd sort of way, Bucklin's tire tracks over Bottiglieri's back signifies what Lehigh's offense hopes to be in the 2014 season as well.

Sure, Lehigh will still have the type of offense that will work fast and spread things out.  Sure, the playbook will still be as think as a phone book.  But to think of this as a finesse team may be a mistake.  They may very well be a team that simply is also going to try to out-run and out-muscle you more often.

And, if necessary, run you over.
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Posted in 2014 Season Preview, Andy Coen, Brandon Yosha, Drew Folmar, Football, Josh Parris, Lehigh, Ned Daryoush, Nick Shafinsky, Offense, Stephen Sansone | Leave a comment

Opening CFB Weekend Thoughts, 8/31/2014

Some quick thoughts about the opening college football weekend.
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Posted in 2014, Bucknell, Colgate, College Football, Gerogetown, Holy Cross, James Madison, Monmouth, Thoughts, Week 0 | Leave a comment

2014 Week 0 Viewing Guide and Fearless Predictions

I'd rather do this than prepare for Colgate
It's a strange feeling this Labor Day weekend, because it's both a full plate of college football yet an empty plate at the same time, since Lehigh is not playing.

But you can enjoy a lot of games, many of them free to stream over the internet, that have an awful lot to do with the Lehigh football season.

Because it's what we do here, we discovered that you, dear Lehigh football fan, can turn on your TV and computer at noon on Saturday, and watch non-stop FCS football action all the way to when you're either hitting the nightlife, or heading to bed, depending who you are.

One of these games even includes former Lehigh head football coach Pete Lembo, as you'll discover below with my broadcast information and two-sentence picks.
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Posted in 2014, Fan Viewing Guide, Fearless Predictions, Football, Lehigh, Week 0 | Leave a comment

LFN Look Back: Rivalry Narrowly Avoids Suspension During The "Great War", 1917-1918

It didn’t initially seem conceivable that war in Europe would affect the daily lives of American boys and men playing college football in Pennsylvania.

Before World War I broke out, or the Great War as it was then called, President Woodrow Wilson pursued a strict policy of neutrality in regards to the trench battles in Belgium and France, echoing popular opinion.

But when World War became inevitable, it naturally affected the campuses of Lafayette and Lehigh in the seasons of 1917 and 1918.

Through the seriousness of war, the Rivalry continued where other college football seasons were halted, complete with much of the same pageantry.

In tough times, the Rivalry provided a much-needed escape though the seriousness of the times.
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Posted in A Rivalry: Stories From The Most-Played College Football Series, Football, Henry Drinker, Lafayette, Lehigh, Rivalry, Tom Keady, World War I | Leave a comment

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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Posted in Bucknell, C.J. Williams, Evan Byers, Football, Joe Susan, Know Your 2014 Opponents, Lee Marvel, Lehigh, R.J. Nitti, Will Carter | Leave a comment

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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Posted in Brandon Hill, Football, K.B. Asante, Kevin Callahan, Know Your 2014 Opponents, Lehigh, Monmouth, Neal Sterling, Pat O'Hara | Leave a comment

In Preseason, Lehigh In Unfamiliar Territory, Especially on Defense

Once upon a time, Lehigh's football team was many preseason pundits' consensus No. 1 in the Patriot League.  It wasn't even a question.

Sure, some of that was due to the fact that Fordham, now for the first time in years an full, card-carrying member of the Patriot League, was ineligible.

But in 2010 and 2011, Lehigh was the undisputed king, with wins over their Rivals, undisputed Patriot League championships, and even playoff victories against Northern Iowa and Towson.

This season, it's a new team with a dynamic offense and a team loaded with talent that is the undisputed champion going into the 2014 season.  With one of the best FCS quaterbacks in the nation, QB Michael Nebrich, and a talented defense backing them up, the Rams now have the targets on their backs.

And if Lehigh hopes to stand a chance to challenge the new kings of the hill, they will have to improve immensely on the defensive side of the ball.
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Posted in Andy Coen, Brandon Leaks, Colton Caslow, Defense, Football, Isaiah Campbell, Lehigh, Matt Laub, Preseason, Preview, Tim Newton | Leave a comment

Don’t Attack The Summer of "Ice Buckets" – Just Do It

It's been called "slacktivism".

It's been called narcissism masked as charity.

But the "ice bucket challenge", which has torn its way in the amazing span of three week from a thing that college athletes and coaches were doing to a world-wide phenomenon, is nothing to cynically wag your finger at.

During the last few weeks, a multitude of Lehigh coaches, players, media members, and even athletic director Joe Sterrett have taken the icy bucket of water over their heads.

In doing so, they have done incredible good in raising awareness about an awful disease that really needs all the help it can get in regards to a cure.

I know this because I didn't just start giving to ALS causes in the last two weeks.
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Posted in Andy Coen, Brett Reed, Brett Snyder, Football, Frank Tavani, Ice Bucket Challenge, Joe Sterrett, Lehigh, Sunday Word | Leave a comment

LFN Look Back: Bonfires and "P-Rades" Lead Up To The Game

For a very long period during the Rivalry, parades and bonfires have played a large part of the festivities, though their timing and purpose have changed over time.

And just like “smokers”, parades bonfires started out as athletic celebrations separate from the Rivalry, but ultimately became intertwined with the traditions of the game.

The tradition of the parade and bonfire dates from the times when cars were still rare, and most of the transportation into South Bethlehem came by the Lehigh Valley Railroad, whose station was only a few blocks from campus.

Bonfires celebrating athletic victories were not unknown in the late 1890s at both Lehigh and Lafayette, as well as parades for successful athletic teams.  They may have been inspired by Harvard, Yale and Princeton, who were starting to celebrate their biggest victories over each others with large bonfires.
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Posted in A Rivalry: Stories From The Most-Played College Football Series, Bonfire, Football, Henry Drown, Lehigh, P-Rades, S.B. Newton, The Rivalry | Leave a comment

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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Posted in Deon Randall, Football, Know Your 2014 Opponents, Lehigh, Morgan Roberts, Tony Reno, Tyler Varga, Yale | Leave a comment