Category Archives: Bucknell

Patriot League Commit Tracker, Class of 2022

(Photo Credit: Steve Hockstein/NJ Advance Media)

With this year's early signing period in December, along with traditional signing day in February and additional signing of recruits up until May, it felt like the right time to resurrect the Patriot League Commit Tracker for the class of 2022.

This is intended to be a rolling list, updated as we go, as student-athletes going to any Patriot League school sign National Letters of Intent.

We don't know the whole story yet behind each school's recruiting class.  But this post is intended to put in one place what we know so far.

As I learn more, I will add more names to each list.
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With Early Signing Period Approaching, What Does Each Patriot League Football Program Need?

You may not be aware that this year the NCAA has not one, but two, signing day periods this year.

Coined "Show Your Cards Day" by Arizona director of personnel Matt Dudek, Sports Illustrated calls it this "because programs and recruits now have to make their intentions clear to one another while the programs and the recruits still have time to make other arrangements."

Here at LFN, we agree that "Show Your Cards" day is an accurate way of describing the brave new world of football recruiting.  And, like all NCAA rules, this affects the Patriot League as well as the Big 10, Pac 12 or any other Division I conference.

For Patriot League programs, what cards are likely to be revealed?  What are the recruiting needs of each school going into early signing day?  Here at LFN, we take a stab at predicting what might be revealed this week.
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It All Will Come Down To 14 Days Of Being Locked In

After the Bucknell victory, senior OL Zach Duffy said something that cut through the entire 2017 Lehigh football season.

"We have 14 days to stay locked in and do whatever it takes to win another championship," he said to the team.

And it's true. 

It really doesn't matter what happened Week One, Week Five, or even last week.  When this Mountain Hawk team goes to bed, and wakes up again during the next six days, they are in the Patriot League Championship race.  If they win, and stay locked in for the next fourteen days and win two football games, they will win the Patriot League.

It will require being locked in for fourteen days.
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In Must-Win Game, Lehigh Defense Forces Four Turnovers And Lehigh Offense Makes Bison Pay, Win 42-21

(Photo Credits: Mike Geer/Lehigh Athletics)

"We went right at 'em."

That was head coach Andy Coen talking to Lehigh Sports' Steve Lomangino after the Mountain Hawks' 42-21 win over Bucknell.

With their Patriot League title hopes on the line, and the No. 1 defense in the Patriot League the opposition, it seemed like the Mountain Hawks might enter into the type of defensive struggle that defined last year's game against Bucknell.

But after junior LB Mark Walker forced and and grabbed a Bison fumble and returned it to the Bucknell 9 yard line, junior QB Brad Mayes didn't mess around.
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How Will I Watch Lehigh At Bucknell This Weekend? And Your Media Pack

Not headed to Lewisburg this morning to catch the Lehigh/Bucknell game?

OK.  I do sort-of understand.  It's a noon start, and it's pretty far away.  You're still somewhat in a Halloween-candy coma, and heck, is today fall back, turn-the-clock-back an hour, or is that on Sunday?

So you can't head out.  So how do you catch the game?

Never fear.  LFN's here.

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Lehigh at Bucknell Game Breakdown and Fearless Prediction: Will Homecoming Spell Doom Again For Lehigh?

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

In my preview, I spent a lot of time talking about Lehigh, but let's take a minute to try to get inside the heads of this Bucknell team this weekend.

The Bison, along with every other team in the Patriot League, are still mathematically alive for at least a share of the Patriot League title.  But considering that mathematical window closes the second Colgate beats Georgetown (or, barring that, Lafayette), it's more realistic to say that the Bison are playing for pride, and the future, this Saturday.

Not that that's going to make things any easier this weekend - Fordham, in similar circumstances, beat Lehigh 45-35 last weekend.

And something that has to be remembered is that for every team on the schedule, beating Lehigh is a huge goal.  Along with Colgate, Lehigh's perennial success makes opponents just that much more focused during Lehigh week to take them down, and all the better if the Mountain Hawks are 2-6.

Even worse for Lehigh, this game comes on Bucknell's homecoming, which will add some extra juice to the Bison for this matchup.  In 2013 on homecoming, it was Bucknell that beat Lehigh 45-23 that really started to change expectations for the Bison football program.

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Lehigh At Bucknell Game Preview: Injuries Force Youth Movement During Possible Championship Run

When the 2017 Lehigh Mountain Hawks released their very first positional two deep back in September, it had five freshmen and nine sophomores listed. 

That's a fairly normal type of depth chart for a largely veteran team that was ranked in the FCS Top 25.

Only two freshmen,  OG Jackson Evans and LS Jack Dean, were expected to contribute right away, while sophomore FS Riley O'Neil had already started nearly every single game he'd played since his freshman season - already a veteran.

Entering the ninth game of the season, the depth chart that head coach Andy Coen will present to the officials on Saturday will look very different.

The two defensive captains on opening day, senior DT Jim Mitchell and junior SS Sam McCloskey, won't be anywhere to be found - both injured, out for the year.  Junior CB Donavon Harris - still out with a head injury.  Junior LB Mark Walker - out.  Junior ROV Nick Thevaganayam - out.  Senior TE Drew Paulsen - out.  Senior WR Gatlin Casey - most likely out.

In fact, Lehigh's depth chart will have on it eight freshmen, including four (WR Jorge Portorreal, OL Jackson Evans, C Chris Fournier, and ROV Divine Buckrham) who are starting.  Additionally, five sophomores will be starting, including one, sophomore CB Marquis Wilson, who has only started one other football game.

The 2017 season will be remembered not-so-fondly for the number of terrible, season-ending injuries that have freakishly occurred.  And to close out the regular season, it is the next men up, a huge number of them underclassmen, that will determine the ultimate fate of this football team.
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Lehigh’s Bye Week: Former Teammates of Lehigh Players Shine; Army Surges; Columbia Shines; Bucknell Stuns

I know, I know, it's strange when there's no Lehigh football game result to pick apart.  That doesn't mean that the rest of college football stood still during the Mountain Hawks' bye week.

Lehigh's bye week came during a time when Penn State football, already rabid at the best of times, was at peak foaming-at-the-mouth after Happy Valley hosted ESPN College Gameday on Saturday morning and Michigan on Saturday night.

In case you've been living under a rock, Penn State RB Saquon Barkley has a local connection: he went to Whitehall at the same time a guy called QB Nick Shafnisky was under center.  Now, Barkley is the odds-on favorite to win the Heisman with the Nittany Lions after a 263 yard, 3 TD effort against the Wolverines as Penn State coasted to a 42-13 win.

Completing the return to 1986, Notre Dame also went to 6-1 after their own resounding 49-13 win over USC Saturday night as well, surprising in the ease in the way RB Josh Adams carved through the Trojan defense for 194 yards and 3 touchdowns.  Oh yeah, Josh Adams' high school isn't too far from Barkley's - he came from Central Bucks South in Warrington, the same high school where Lehigh freshman LB Nate Norris played.

Seeing the success of Barkley and Adams on college football's biggest Saturday showcase serve as a fresh reminder that Lehigh's football players frequently come from the same schools that produce some of these massive football talents.
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An LFN Investigation: What’s Wrong with Patriot League football?

This week, Lafayette plays Harvard up in Cambridge, where the 2-4 Leopards are expected to lose to the 2-2 Crimson.  I say expected to lose because with one exception since 2000, that's what's happened every time Lafayette has played Harvard: they have lost 12 out of their last 13 to the Johnnies, and have a lifetime record of 3-19 against them.

The expectation among Patriot League football fans is that football scholarships was supposed to change all of that.  Simply offer conventional football scholarships, add to that a chance to play in the FCS Playoffs, and suddenly football recruits choosing between Harvard and Lehigh for business would start choosing Lehigh.

It hasn't worked out quite that way.

Through five games in 2017, the combined record of the Patriot League is a mind-boggling 8-21 outside of Patriot League contests.   And of those eight wins, only one has come against a team from the Ivy League - Colgate's 21-7 win over Cornell.  Collectively, the Patriot League is 1-7 against the Ancient Eight, with six of those seven losses coming by more than two touchdowns.

This is not what fans of the Patriot League signed up for five years ago when they decided to offer the same sort of scholarships that schools like Delaware, Montana and North Dakota State.  But is the problem scholarships, or is it something else?


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An LFN Investigation: What’s Wrong with Patriot League football?

This week, Lafayette plays Harvard up in Cambridge, where the 2-4 Leopards are expected to lose to the 2-2 Crimson.  I say expected to lose because with one exception since 2000, that's what's happened every time Lafayette has played Harvard: they have lost 12 out of their last 13 to the Johnnies, and have a lifetime record of 3-19 against them.

The expectation among Patriot League football fans is that football scholarships was supposed to change all of that.  Simply offer conventional football scholarships, add to that a chance to play in the FCS Playoffs, and suddenly football recruits choosing between Harvard and Lehigh for business would start choosing Lehigh.

It hasn't worked out quite that way.

Through five games in 2017, the combined record of the Patriot League is a mind-boggling 8-21 outside of Patriot League contests.   And of those eight wins, only one has come against a team from the Ivy League - Colgate's 21-7 win over Cornell.  Collectively, the Patriot League is 1-7 against the Ancient Eight, with six of those seven losses coming by more than two touchdowns.

This is not what fans of the Patriot League signed up for five years ago when they decided to offer the same sort of scholarships that schools like Delaware, Montana and North Dakota State.  But is the problem scholarships, or is it something else?


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