Meet Lehigh’s FCS Tag Team Champs


An addendum to today’s earlier post on the Louisiana Tech tandem of Carlos Henderson and Trent Taylor: Courtesy Chuck Burton of the great Lehigh Football Nation, CFB Huddle would be remiss if it made no mention of Lehigh’s own stellar wide-receiving tag team of Troy Pelletier and Gatlin Casey.

The Mountain Hawks’ Brown and Gold Express (trademark pending) rank No. 1 and 2 in the Football Championship Subdivision with 838 and 799 yards. Pelletier and Casey have combined for a remarkable 17 touchdowns, with Pelletier’s 10 trailing only South Dakota State’s Jake Weineke, and Casey tied for No. 7 nationally.

Lehigh has routinely featured one of the more impressive passing offenses in the FCS in recent years. Quarterback Chris Lum threw for 28 touchdowns (to go along with three rushing scores) and tallied 4,378 yards in 2011, en route to finishing as a Walter Payton Award finalist. Lum and wide receiver Ryan Spadola ranked as the nation’s most potent quarterback-receiver tandem that season.

Where this year’s Mountain Hawk offense deviates is in Nick Shafnisky and Brad Mayes having two All-America caliber wide receivers to target. Pelletier functions as the possession man, with Casey giving Lehigh a home-run threat.

Lehigh’s riding the strength of the nation’s No. 4-ranked passing to a five-game winning streak, which includes a 45-31 of defending Patriot League champion Colgate on Oct. 8. The Brown and Gold Express went wild that day, combining for five of the Mountain Hawks’ six touchdowns — three Gatlin receptions, one Pelletier catch, and a Gatlin kickoff return.

Lehigh now has the inside track to set up a possible, de facto Patriot League title tilt with Fordham on Oct. 29.

Should the Mountain Hawks beat Holy Cross at home this week, and Fordham handle Georgetown, the two will be the League’s only unbeatens when they meet Week 9 in Bethlehem.