Posted: 04/19/2012 | Last updated: April 20, 2012 at 06:04 PM
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh football team will close out its 2012 spring practice segment on Saturday, April 21 with the annual Brown and White Spring Game, held inside Goodman Stadium. The event, which begins at 10 a.m., will feature a modified scoring system pitting the Lehigh offense versus the defense.
Saturday’s game will afford head coach Andy Coen the opportunity to see a large number of Mountain Hawks in live game action as they conclude their spring season. Coen has liked what he’s seen from his team throughout the spring, but knows there’s plenty of work to be done over the summer, heading into the September 1 season-opener vs. Monmouth.
“I’ve seen some improvement from a number of individuals, which is great,” Coen said. “One of our goals was to go as far as we can to get the guys ready to play in the fall. We’ve had a lot of guys get opportunities with some first unit guys out due to injuries, but it’s been a great opportunity for those guys.
Coen continued, “We need to continue to be more cohesive as a football team, which is hard when you have guys playing significant snaps for the first time. The effort has been great though. We’re not ready to play a football game yet, but I don’t have any doubts that when September gets here, we’ll be where we need to be. But we need to continue to improve.”
One of the main areas where Lehigh had a number of younger players get extra reps has been on the offensive line, where rising sophomores Ned Daryoush, Matt Douglas, Cornell Harriott and Kyle Moore have seen extensive action with injuries keeping returning contributors Mike Vuono, Matt Lippincott and A.J. Hood out of action this spring.
“It will be interesting to see our offense with all the young linemen playing against our defense which is pretty multiple,” Coen said. “We’ve given our young offensive linemen a lot to handle but they’ve worked through it. They’ve had a great attitude and have been working very hard at it. I’ve seen a big improvement with that group.”
A lot of eyes will be on the quarterback position as Lehigh looks for a new starter. Senior Mike Colvin has done well in the spring segment, but one of the challenges will be to see how he and the rest of Lehigh’s quarterbacks perform with somewhat limited reps on Saturday.
Defensively, Lehigh’s system remains very similar to that of previous years, with Donnie Roberts and Gerard Wilcher now sharing the defensive coordinator responsibilities.
“I expect the defense to be a little ahead of the offense on Saturday,” Coen said. “I’d like to see the defensive kids come out and put some three-and-outs up there. I’d like to see them limit the big plays. That’s one thing the offense at times has been able to create this spring. There should be good competition between the defense and offense on Saturday.”
One of the focal points for the defense has been creating turnovers and Coen would like to see some improvement on that area.
“We’ve been going live every couple of days, but we have to see guys make plays,” Coen said. “We want to see good tackling. We’ve knocked down so many passes. Guys have shown the ability to cover. We need to do better with our opportunities to finish a play, or get an interception. Something we could have done better last year and has been a point of emphasis. I’d like to see the defense finish some plays.”
The Brown and White game will also have a small special teams element with some punting and placekicking within the flow of play.
“We’ll be in the stadium, and we’ll use the play clocks some,” Coen said. “We want to get the quarterbacks a sense of that and try to make it as game-like as we can with officials and those things. We only get so many opportunities to do that. It’s controlled but guys will be on their own a lot to see how they can perform on that stage.
Coen concluded, “Someone always seems to pop up in the spring game and have a big game. I’m looking forward to seeing who that is.”
Saturday’s event gets underway at 10 a.m. from Goodman Stadium and admission is free. For those unable to make it out to the Brown and White Game, Lehigh Athletics is proud to announce that live video coverage will be available on Lehighsports.com through Lehigh’s GameCentral portal powered by Stretch Internet. The team of veteran Matt Kerr and former Lehigh linebacker Mike Yadush ‘93 will handle the commentary. This marks the seventh consecutive year in which the Brown and White game will be broadcast live on Lehighsports.com and the third straight year it will feature video coverage.