The Lafayette Leopards will host the Lehigh Mountain Hawks in Easton, PA, on Saturday for the 156th installment of The Rivalry, the nation’s most-played college football matchup.
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The game (12:30 p.m. ET start time) won’t be on TV anywhere, but anyone in the US can watch Lehigh vs Lafayette football live on ESPN+ right here:
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Lehigh vs Lafayette Preview
Each squad fell to the Bucknell Bison their last time out.
The Leopards visited the Bison on March 27, losing 38-13 to drop to 1-1 on the year.
Lafayette went up 6-0 in the tilt’s first two minutes with a 61-yard touchdown connection from quarterback Cole Northrup to wideout Julius Young, then surrendered 38 straight points.
The Leopards were to host Lehigh a week later, but the game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test within the Lafayette program.
Instead, Lehigh hosted the Bison on April 3, falling 6-0 to slip to 0-2 on the year. Bucknell outgained the Mountain Hawks 239-190.
“It’s always tough without the result that you want, but I was really proud with the way our kids played today under extremely difficult circumstances,” Lehigh head coach Tom Gilmore said, according to The Brown and White. “I thought they came out and played really hard (with a) high effort. We made some mistakes that really cost us, but it wasn’t due to a lack of effort.”
Lehigh quarterback Cross Wilkinson connected on 17 of 28 passes for 167 yards without turning the ball over.
Neither side found success on third down: Bucknell went 1-of-14 and the Mountain Hawks went 1-of-10.
“We had some really nice, impressive drives today … we just have to finish them off,” Gilmore said, per The Morning Call. “There were a couple that were really close, but we weren’t able to execute quite well enough to make some plays to extend those drives.”
Lafayette and Lehigh have met 155 times since 1884, squaring off in every calendar year aside from 1896 and 2020. The Leopards lead the all-time series 79-71-5.
“We always have great motivation to compete and play and beat Lehigh no matter what the stakes are within the league,” Lafayette coach John Garrett said, per The Morning Call. “It’s the best rivalry in sports if you’ve ever been a part of it. Everybody gets juiced up, hyped up, more than ever. It’s going to be no different this time.”
In 2019, the Leopards snapped a streak of four consecutive Mountain Hawks victories in The Rivalry, winning 17-16 on a last-minute 28-yard field goal from Jeffrey Kordenbrock, now a senior.
“Obviously with the attendance restrictions imposed due to COVID-19 protocols there will not be many people in the stadium, so you have to bring your own juice as we say,” Gilmore said, per The Morning Call. “You have to make sure you’re up from an internal standpoint because you’re not going to have the external motivation as much. There will not be an overflow crowd, but it’s still Lehigh-Lafayette. I don’t think the guys will have any trouble getting charged up for the game.”