A lot has been made this week of Lehigh facing off against an Ivy team playing in their first game. It's a fairly unique feature of FCS and the Patriot League, where Ivy League schools are frequently a part of the out-of-conference menu and the Ivy League teams, who choose to start their football season in mid-September, need some out-of-conference teams to begin the season.
It does certainly pose a challenge in certain respects. A team playing in their first game is freshest, less injured, and can surprise a team like it can in no other way the rest of the season - there is no game film really to study. On the other hand, teams playing in their first game are generally also sloppy, and need time to adapt to the speed of football. It is a double-edged sword.
In his Lehigh head coaching career, Andy Coen has been 5-4 in such games. Generally, oddly enough, they tend to be a good barometer for the rest of their seasons.
In seven of the nine games, and every game since 2008, a win in this game has equaled a winning season for Lehigh. A loss has equaled a losing season.
Last season, Lehigh lost a frustrating, heartbreaking game to Yale, 54-43, and finished 3-8 on the year.
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