What Princeton Must Do to Defeat Lehigh

  • October 5, 2018

1) Stop Dominick Bragalone. The FCS leader in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns in 2017 has power, speed and the ability to make people miss. Linebacking corp headed by starters Mark Fossti, Thomas Johnson, Jeremiah Tayler have stuffed or chased down all running threats to this point, part of the reason the Tigers have surrendered only 83.7 yards per game on the ground.

2) Run. Numbers can be skewed this early in the season because it’s still hard to judge the quality of the opposition. And one of Lehigh’s three losses was to FBS Navy, which runs the triple option flexbone. But 275 yards per game surrendered on the ground are not numbers you can win with and the Tigers ran for 360 last week against Columbia. It seems like Lehigh will have to stack the box to have a chance.

3) Take Some Shots. The more successfully Princeton runs, the less help any opposition can provide on Stephen Carlson and Jesper Horsted. And you really need a spy on John Lovett, too, so where does a Lehigh defense with much better stats against the pass than the run, sell out?  Lehigh likes to blitz, may have to do it more than even normal this week. Protection of Lovett in the pocket so far has been excellent. 

4) Be Special. Princeton’s kicking teams, their work almost pristine in the first two games, suffered a 91-yard kickoff return, a punt block, and botched PAT at Columbia. Can’t let these things become a trend. 5) Remember 2016. Lehigh’s 42-28 victory was one of the horror shows of the Surace era, perhaps additional fuel for this; Princeton’s final non-league game of this season.  Seniors, particularly on defense, should have long memories of a long day of 621 yards allowed and, with a few changes, that turned out to be a dominating defense that won an Ivy title, too.  So despite early scores that suggest that this is not one of Andy Coen’s more formidable teams, Lehigh always has challenging offensive weapons and has dominated the recent series, winning five of the last six and 13 of the previous 17.