Category Archives: Dick Biddle

Colgate At Lehigh Game Preview: Emotional Game In November Becomes Emotional Game In October

(Photo Credits: Lehigh Valley Live)

The word cloud around the Lehigh Colgate game the last decade has almost always involved the words "tundra", "cold", and "November".

So when the 2016 schedule was released, and Lehigh fans read "October 8th: Colgate", many were disappointed, even as they still circled the game on their calendar with a maroon Sharpie.

They were probably thinking back to last season, when, in the second weekend in November on a prototypical Lehigh/Colgate chilly afternoon with a chance of snow showers, the Mountain Hawks and Raiders were battling, essentially, for a Patriot League championship, ending up five yards short of a game-tying touchdown.

But now, in what seems like a better move by the minute, the moving up of a critical conference game that has very often determined the eventual winner of the League seems terrific for not only both schools, but the entire Patriot League.

That's because, in a week that doesn't feature many great FCS this week, the rivalry (with a little r) with Colgate will be the most entertaining, emotionally-fought game on the entire FCS slate.  If there is one FCS game that will deliver some of the same emotions that Texas/Oklahoma will in the midwest this weekend, Colgate/Lehigh is that game.

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Game Preview, Lehigh at Colgate, 11/14/2015

A year ago, two Patriot League schools accustomed to competing for championships instead were merely competing for pride.

Colgate and Lehigh used to circle each others' names on the calendar back in February.  That's because more often than not, the outcome of that game had been critical in determining the Patriot League championship, the status of an autobid to the FCS playoffs, or both.

Last season, though, for the first time in a long time, there were no championship or postseason implications on the line.

On Saturday, for both the Mountain Hawks and Raiders, the "good old days" will be back.

In February, with both schools coming off of uncharacteristic under-.500 records, it was not intrinsically obvious that the game on November 10 in Hamilton, New York would once again have a championship on the line.

Yet here we are, with snow somewhere in the forecast, and a game with a 1:00 PM kickoff, with a likely on-field temperature of a brisk 37 degrees,

It's what Lehigh football fans and Colgate fans live for.

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Game Breakdown, Lehigh vs. Colgate, 11/16/2013

“They've won a lot of close games this year, which we have done in the past. They know how to win and they are very well coached. And you couldn't ask for a better scenario, to be able to get all the way through the season and have the last league game be for the championship and a bid to the playoffs. We know what to expect and I'm happy for our players. It's a one-game season for a championship, and that's all you could ask for.  We've got to treat it like it's just another game and they're going to wear different-colored jerseys."

Those were the words of none other than Dick Biddle, approximately 368 days ago, when Colgate traveled down to Lehigh to face off against the Mountain Hawks for a Patriot League championship.

They are also words that could have been torn out of this week's Biddle presser as well, perhaps adding that the Raiders have won four of their last six, and won eight of their last ten Patriot League games.

For Lehigh, it's technically not a Championship game - they need to win this game in order to get to a Championship game, Rivalry 149 down in the friendly confines of Murray Goodman stadium.  But for Colgate, almost all the Championship Week quotes from last year still apply.

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Game Preview, Lehigh at Colgate, 11/16/2013

(Photo Credit: Stephen Flood/The Express-Times)

Not that I'm counting, but it's been 369 days since Lehigh lost everything they worked for in the span of game of football.

You could say that it was just one loss in an otherwise stellar year.  After all 10-1 is 10-1, a season with a whole lot of success.  (Ask Lafayette whether they would trade many of their seasons for a 10-1 campaign, losing to Colgate and missing the FCS playoffs, but beating Lehigh.)

But it was one solitary loss - heck, one half - that was the difference between a Lehigh Patriot League championship, and none.  The difference between a spot in the playoffs, or none.  The difference between the sweet feeling of receiving championship rings, or none.

As it stands now, it's a giant game for both sides.  A Raider win gives Colgate the Patriot League title (sans Fordham) and autobid to the FCS playoffs.  A Mountain Hawk win allows Lehigh to survive, and continue, in their quest for the Patriot League title and autobid.

But Lehigh could have been 7-2 or 2-7 going into this November game in Hamilton, New York, and it still would have been a big game for this particular group of Mountain Hawk seniors.

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Game Preview: New Hampshire at Lehigh, 9/28/2013

(Photo Credit: John Huff/Foster's Daily Democrat)

This weekend, it's homecoming at Lehigh.

The pre-football festivities for homecoming start at in the middle of Friday, with a campus rally, followed by a dinner and a movie presentation.

The movie happens to be Monsters University, the hit Disney/Pixar movie from this summer where the heroes Mike and Sully flash back to their days at old Monster U., and we find out how they made it through their college years.

It so happens that there is an associated website with the release of the movie that is still up - complete with references to the Monsters U. athletic program and homecoming

"The MU faithful were put to the test last year, losing the conference championship with a "Hail Scary" pass from Fear Tech. But MU is back this year with an excellent new recruitment class -- including three top-tier high school standouts: Bart Gates (quarterback), Uriah Pemberslime (fullback), and Harry Phiegel (wide receiver). The entire university community is buzzing with the prospect of Gates throwing to Phiegel for four years of touchdowns. "

In this entirely coincidental, fictionalized summary of the Monsters University football team is everything you need to know about this weekend's game.
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Colgate 35, Lehigh 24, Final


After the weatherman promised a mostly sunny day on November 10th, the day of the Patriot League championship game at Murray Goodman stadium, there was instead a gray haze that persisted throughout the football game.

Like the weather, the game was also a story of the unexpected. 

Few thought the Colgate offense would be held to just 35 points, after creaming Lafayette for 65 points the previous week.  Many also were surprised that Lehigh could only manage 90 rushing yards against the No. 7-ranked rushing defense in the Patriot League.

The grey weather didn't affect the outcome.  It didn't affect the passing game, the running game, or the kicking game. 

But on a damp, strange, overcast day in November, the magic ran out for Lehigh.  The undefeated Mountain Hawks fell in a war on Saturday, 35-23, busting up a season that almost seemed predestined to be Lehigh's from the outset.
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Game Breakdown, Colgate vs. Lehigh, 11/10/2012

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

Not much more needs to be said about the importance of this game.  Essentially, it's for all the marbles.  It's why both teams practiced in March and April, why they sacrificed their time and energy all fall, why they, essentially, do this.

It's worth, though, looking at some detail as to how Colgate won these games.

In all four games, Colgate scored a touchdown on their first possession.  No punts, no turnovers, no field goals.  Touchdowns.

In three of the four games, Colgate scored a touchdown on their second possession.  Bucknell forced a punt in their game against the Raiders, but Colgate has mostly scored touchdowns there, too.

My point is that a big part of Colgate's success has been early success.  If football is a game of momentum, the Raiders have been successful in large part by getting out of the gate early, and then just continuing to roll forward.  In fact, last week against Lafayette, the Raiders scored eight times in their first eight possessions - seven TDs, and one FG, and that only happened because it was at the end of the half.

Let's look a little closer at this offense, too.

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