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Letter to Fans from Elon Coach


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I pulled this up from the Elon message board.  I guess it was from the local newspaper.  Pretty cool that he does this.  Maybe he felt obliged after what conference mate Appy State accomplished in their game...........

Elon coach sends message to fans

September 3, 2007 7:10 PM

A letter to Elon Univerity fans and alumni from coach Pete Lembo written Sunday following Saturday's narrow defeat against the first Division I-A opponent in Phoenix history.

USF 28, Elon 13 - 9/1/07

September 02, 2007

Dear Alumni and Friends,

We played with great effort but lost a winnable game versus the University of South Florida in front of a crowd of over 33,000 at Raymond James Stadium last night. Turnovers in the red zone, untimely penalties and some other first game miscues prevented us from building an early lead and inhibited a late comeback.

Our defense played extremely well in the first half as we limited the Bulls to 166 total yards and just 44 on the ground. However, we could not take advantage of good field position throughout the first 30 miuntes of play. In addition to the two turnovers deep in USF territory, kicker Andrew Wilcox missed a first quarter field goal from 45 yards out. A likely US! F turnover was also negated when one of our defensive lineman was flagged for an off sides penalty.

We trailed just 7-3 at the half, but struggled to maintain the intensity early in the third quarter. Our first drive of the second half resulted in a quick three and out and the Bulls responded with a 68 yard scoring drive to increase their lead to 14-3. However, we countered with our longest drive of the night - 16 plays and 60 yards - but had to settle for a field goal to cut the lead to 14-6.

USF extended their lead to 28-6 in the fourth quarter before we responded with our first touchdown of the season - a Scott Riddle pass to Terrell Hudgins over USF's All-Big East cornerback. With the score 28-13, we recovered an onsides kick and took possessio! n on our own 43 with 3:22 remaining. However, our 8-play drive ended w ith just under two minutes remaining and our fate was sealed.

It is important that our young team understands that there are no moral victories in Saturday's effort. We competed well with a legitimate I-A program, but did not sustain the focus necessary to pull off the upset. Our players must learn how to win games like these - regardless of the opponent's hype and the hostile environment. As I shared with our team today, it begins with better preparation during the practice week and an attitude where we expect to win every single game.

After reviewing the video closely this morning, there are many positives we will take away from our contest against the Bulls. Our defensive line held up well against USF's 300 pounders. When DT's Eric Ludwig and Rob! ert McGruder exited the game with injuries, David Hunt and Joey Hall were able to step in and get the job done. Our sophomore DB's - Nolan Ward, Cameron McGlenn, Karlos Sullivan and Walker White - all played consistently against the run and the pass. All four gained valuable experience last year as true freshmen.

On offense, quarterback Scott Riddle was very poised and composed running our complicated offense for the first time. Despite the opponent and the environment, the true freshman was very comfortable on the field and when communicating with the coaching staff on the sideline. In his college debut last night, Scott broke the Elon record for completions (33) which was set by Wes Pope last year (30 against Wofford). We protected Scott well in the first half, although we had some breakdowns later in the game. While we had very few total yards rushing, our r! un game improved as the game went on.

Special teams play turned out to be a bit of a mixed bag against USF. It was clear that we were overmatched physically at times - particularly on kick off return and in field goal protection. The missed and blocked field goals really hurt our momentum. Our punt return and block schemes were effective against USF and we did a solid job covering kick offs. We had a couple breakdowns in punt protection that need to be cleaned up this week. Punter Brandon Lane averaged almost 41 yards per punt and our net punting was over 36 yards per attempt.

One of the concerns with playing I-A games is the possibility of injuries against these physical opponents with 85 full scholarships. For example, at Lehigh in 2003, we lost of starting quarterback for the remainder of the season in a tough game! at Connecticut. At this point, it appears that we made it out of Tampa without any major injuries. It is possible that a couple starters may miss our next game, but they should be back in the lineup by the time we play Liberty on September 22nd.

Our coaching staff has already begun preparations today for West Virginia Wesleyan, our next opponent. The Bobcats are a Division II program located in Buckhannon, WVA. WVWC defeated Kentucky Wesleyan 30-23 yesterday in their 2007 opener. I will send a pre game report on our upcoming game against the Bobcats this Thursday.

Thanks for your ongoing interest and support of the football program.

Sincerely,

Pete Lembo

Head Football Coach

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winnable game my ass -- there was no way we would lose to that tea,

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when you are a d-1aa program you have to do things like that to get the town involved.

we played llike crap, ran a toned down offense, made a lot of mistakes and still was never in any doubt of losing that game

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we were playing as if it were a scrimmage where needed to look at some things imo

had we just run the ball over and over-- we would have destroyed them score wise

that just wasn't something on our agenda imo

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we were playing as if it were a scrimmage where needed to look at some things imo

had we just run the ball over and over-- we would have destroyed them score wise

that just wasn't something on our agenda imo

We could have easily rotated our backs and play "3 yards and a cloud of dust" football

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don't get me wrong-- that a coach would go into that much detail in a letter to his fan support is pretty amazing. I would hope CJL would just stick to getting his work done and not creating this type of thing-- since that is what reporters and writers are supposed to do for us. His job is to coach.

Now for Elon--- sure-- why not-- new coach trying to drum up interest in his team--- whatever it takes. A little letter written on the plane or the bus--- couldn't hurt.

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Complicated offense? Hell, all Elon did was take one or three steps back and throw it short. That also explains why their O-line did well protecting Riddle - when they were still in the game, he got rid of the ball so fast that it was impossible to sack him.

I understand the point of the letter, but they obviously used the game plan as extra protection for Riddle. If they'd asked him to drop deep all night, Selvie and Buie would have absolutely teed off on the guy.

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winnable game my ass -- there was no way we would lose to that team,

Believe #5 ranked Michigan thought the same exact thing.

On any given game day.................

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Guys, please stop calling the teams 1-A and 1-AA.

They are FBS and FCS.  

GET IT RIGHT, OR I WILL POUND YOU!

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