In the history of University of Delaware football the top two Blue Hen opponents are West Chester and Lehigh Universities. UD plays West Chester regularly. It hasn’t been that way with Lehigh. That will change come Saturdy.
The two school will face off at noon on Saturday. Lehigh won the right to play Delaware by defeating Missouri Valley Conference champion Northern Iowa 14-7 in a first-round game last Saturday. The Blue Hens won the right to host the game and a bye last weekend when the became co-champs of the Colonial Athletic League.
Delaware holds a 29-16 edge in the series. The last time they met was the Blue Hens season opener in 2005. Before that they played in another NCAA Division II playoff game in 2000. The two teams played every year but two from 1950 to 1987.
The Blue Hens have spent the last few days looking at film on Lehigh. Defensive back Anthony Walters likes Delaware’s chances. “Upfront I don’t think they’re as strong as other teams we’ve played, ” he said. “In our conference we’ve played some pretty strong teams upfront and team speed — they’re not as fast as other teams we played. They have a receiver with 70 something catches but he’s not a blazer.”
Quarterback Pat Devlin notes Lehigh’s defense moves fast to make plays. “They like to pursue the ball and they do a lot of things that confuse us if we’re not ready for them,” he said. “I think it will be tough for the O-Line, they have a lot of fronts that they show and they shift around a lot so it’s something that we need to be ready for.”
The game is set for noon at the stadium in Newark. The winner of the game moves on to the quarterfinals. The quarterfinals will be held on Dec. 10-11 with the semifinals set for Dec. 17 and Dec. 18. Locations for those games are determined based on who wins.