Category Archives: Andrew Breiner

Fordham Shows Lehigh How To Win Football Games By Acting Like A Team

I got to Jack Coffey Field late.

I knew it was going to be close, getting to the Bronx for the 1:00 PM start.  My son was marching in the band for the parade that morning, and nothing was going to keep me from going to that event, completed under a perfect sky and perfect weather shining upon Main Street. 

Earlier in the week I made a calculation on whether I could make it to kickoff by leaving as soon as his marching gig was complete. If I left, right as it ended, and didn't make any stops, and the traffic was just right, it was doable.

So I decided it was a go.  I'd be headed to the Bronx on a gorgeous Saturday that felt a lot more like September than November.
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Lehigh At Fordham Game Breakdown and Fearless Prediction: Will Edmonds and Anderson Play?

We break down the Fordham game - and we give our fearless prediction below the flip.

A key element to this week's game is the status of Fordham QB Kevin Anderson and RB Chase Edmonds.  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that Fordham is a different team with or without one or both of them.

Edmonds was held out in the second half of a blowout loss to Colgate, only eight yards short of the Patriot League all-time rushing record, while Anderson left the Lafayette game with an ankle injury, and hasn't returned since.

Some speculation exists on the Fordham board that Anderson was suspended for the Georgetown game last week.  If it is true that Anderson was suspended, and not hurt, the interesting part of that aspect is that there is historic precedent.

"Eagle-eyed followers of Lehigh Football Nation may have noticed last week that Fordham did not suit up their regular starter, QB Kevin Anderson, versus Georgetown," I wrote in last year's preview of the Fordham game.  "The official story is that the Boca Raton, Florida native sat out the game due to a "violation of team rules".  No further explanation was given, but judging by the game notes, Anderson is still listed at No. 1 on the depth chart, and every public indication is that it was a one-game suspension.  So barring any eleventh-hour revelations, Anderson is almost certain to be the starter this weekend."

If the official story is that Anderson was suspended for a "violation of team rules" - which, by a incredible coincidence, happened in two consecutive years in the exact weekend of the Georgetown game - it means two things.  First, it means that Georgetown is the luckiest team in the Patriot League to miss Kevin Anderson twice.  Second, it means that Kevin Anderson is starting on Saturday.

I don't know if Kevin Anderson and Chase Edmonds will absolutely start on Saturday.  But I'm going to write this preview as if they are, because, frankly, I'm convinced they're starting.  Sometimes, things are exactly how they look.
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Lehigh at Fordham Game Preview: Unmet Expectations – And Hope – Will Clash In The Bronx

This was not how it was supposed to be.

Back in March, looking at the schedule, plenty of Lehigh and Fordham fans looked at the schedule and circled October 28th, 2017 as a must-see game.

WR Troy Pelletier?  RB Chase Edmonds?  Are you kidding me?  It might be a battle of nationally-ranked teams!  There's an outside chance ESPN College Football Gameday might show up in New York City!  Imagine that!

College Football Gameday did indeed come to New York City this season.  But it wasn't for the matchup on October 28th, 2017.

Now that the date is very close to being upon us, a very different College Football Gameday-free matchup awaits.

Sure, WR Troy Pelletier will be suiting up for Lehigh, and even though he didn't suit up versus Georgetown this week, it's anticipated that RB Chase Edmonds will suit up this weekend as well.  The game, without question, will be a showcase for some athletes that might very well find themselves playing on Sundays.  For that reason, this could be a special game in the Bronx.

But instead of a battle of Top 25 teams, it's the 2-5 Mountain Hawks taking on the 2-6 Rams.

And yet - there is some bullishness in the Bronx this weekend as well, for despite the disappointing records.

For Lehigh, at 2-0 in the Patriot League, and Fordham, at 1-2 in league play, a Patriot League Championship and an autobid to the FCS Playoffs still remain as a possibility for both teams.  It's perhaps not the matchup that folks expected back in the preseason - but for both talented offenses, there's still everything to play for.
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Fordham at Lehigh Game Breakdown And Fearless Prediction: Remember getting Chase-d Out of the Bronx?

We break down the Fordham game - and we give our fearless prediction below the flip.

Remember when Fordham RB Chase Edmonds set a Patriot League rushing record against the Mountain Hawks?  I do - it happened just last year, just the sort of Halloween "treat" I'd rather live without.

"Edmonds came out of the locker room like a man on fire, and played like it," I wrote.  "Two 14 yard runs set up Fordham's go-ahead score, and he would rush for 100 yards in the 3rd quarter, ripping off a 60 yard touchdown run to give Fordham a 38-21 lead and capping off three straight touchdowns for the Rams."

Another less-publicized reason for Lehigh losing in the Bronx last season?  Unforced errors.

"Unfortunately, we're still our own worst enemy," head coach Andy Coen said afterwards.  "Whether its penalties or turnovers, you can't beat a good team with those. They're trying to learn that lesson. If you're going to keep turning the ball over more than everybody else, it's hard to win games."

I'm guessing that the Lehigh football players are aware of these two events from last season.

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Fordham At Lehigh Narrative Street: Stats Don’t Win Ballgames, Players Do

Junior WR Troy Pelletier seems to want the game to start now.  Like, yesterday.

When you read and hear the interviews with him at media day this week, he seems to want the game to start right after the interview, to go on the field and get the game over with right now.

Though he knows he and teammate junior WR Gatlin Casey are on top of the total receiving yardage list in FCS, that's not what he wanted to talk about on Wednesday.

"I haven't really put much thought into it," Pelletier told Greg Joyce of Lehigh Valley Live. "I just know good things are going to happen if we prepare the right way. We focus on each day to get better. We're confident if we put ourselves mentally and physically taking care of our body, good things are going to happen."

There was lots of "focusing on getting better, taking it one game at a time" talk from both Pelletier and head coach Andy Coen this week, as you might expect.  But their body language said something else: when will Saturday get here?
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Fordham At Lehigh Game Preview: Better Make Sure The Scoreboard Has Enough Lights

"With the exception of the first five minutes," The Brown and White said, "Lehigh played indifferent football.  At times the Brown and White showed flashes of form, but for the most part they lacked the dash and drive which characterizes the opening minutes of the game.  The aerial attack which gained so much ground last week was poor, and it was not until the latter part of the third quarter that Lehigh completer her first successful forward pass."

This quote, taken from the 1923 student newspaper detailing the first-ever official football meeting between Lehigh and Fordham, won't be something that's repeated in the student newspaer in their recap this weekend.  In fact, the fifteen points scored in that 1923 game, a 9-6 Lehigh win, might very well be outdistanced in the first five minutes of the game this weekend., and it's a guarantee that Fordham and Lehigh will be completing their first passes well before the 3rd quarter.

It would be stunning to see a 9-6 final in this game this weekend in large part because all signs point to a game which will be a full buffet for fans of offense.

If Lehigh and Fordham meet their season averages for total offensive yards, there's a chance that both teams' offenses combined might exceed 1,000 yards, while Fordham averages 32.3 points per game, and Lehigh 40.3.  Even if this game didn't loom enormously in the Patriot League title chase - which, of course it does - this would be a terrific game to watch in terms of offense.
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Know Your 2016 Opponents: Fordham

We continue the series "Know Your 2016 Opponents" a mere 16 days away from the opening of the 2016 football season.

This might be a good time, for your reading pleasure, to remind you that these are modified with some more awesome Lehigh information from the originals over at The College Sports Journal.

It's also a good time to remind you that I already have written a bunch of these:

Bucknell
Georgetown
Holy Cross
Lafayette
Princeton
Yale

To come: Penn, Colgate, Villanova, and, of course Monmouth, the season opener on September 3rd.  And also, this preview of Fordham.  Below the flip.
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The 2016 Patsy Ratings: No. 7 – Fordham

"We missed the news cycle again," a committee member said again.

"Huh?" another said, awakening from a long afternoon nap.

"We missed the recruiting news cycle," the member repeated, a but more irritated this time.  "There's a very small window where people care about football recruiting - the 72 hours after National Letter of Intent Day.  After that, you might as well be writing about the 2002 midterm elections."

"Is that really true?" sleepy guy said.  "Patriot League people tend to have a bit longer attention span than that.  They appreciate - or at least get vocal about - the ratings whenever they come out.  After all, in the old days, there sometimes was months between classes."

"But that's not true anymore," irritated guys said.  "Now, the Patriot League are all announcing their classes on NLI day.  They're a part of the crazy skydiving-recruit announcing, hat-switching player circus that is national signing day."

"Well," sleepy guy said, "they're done now.  For us, this is some sort of record, having them all done this early.  It took a lot of sleepless nights, but they're done now."

"Let's get this done before we miss any more news cycles," irritated guy responded.
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The 2016 Patsy Ratings: No. 7 – Fordham

"We missed the news cycle again," a committee member said again.

"Huh?" another said, awakening from a long afternoon nap.

"We missed the recruiting news cycle," the member repeated, a but more irritated this time.  "There's a very small window where people care about football recruiting - the 72 hours after National Letter of Intent Day.  After that, you might as well be writing about the 2002 midterm elections."

"Is that really true?" sleepy guy said.  "Patriot League people tend to have a bit longer attention span than that.  They appreciate - or at least get vocal about - the ratings whenever they come out.  After all, in the old days, there sometimes was months between classes."

"But that's not true anymore," irritated guys said.  "Now, the Patriot League are all announcing their classes on NLI day.  They're a part of the crazy skydiving-recruit announcing, hat-switching player circus that is national signing day."

"Well," sleepy guy said, "they're done now.  For us, this is some sort of record, having them all done this early.  It took a lot of sleepless nights, but they're done now."

"Let's get this done before we miss any more news cycles," irritated guy responded.
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