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Lehigh Quarterback Lum has taken care of business
The Mountain Hawks senior has guided one of the best offenses in the nation
Chris Lum has a job interview with a company on Friday morning.
With graduation nearing, the Lehigh University senior is getting set to enter the business world and put his degree as a supply chain management major to use.
The key in his profession will be delivering a quality product.
For the past two seasons as Lehigh’s quarterback, Lum has been delivering quality in the form of touchdown passes and victories and is perhaps the biggest reason why the sixth-ranked Mountain Hawks have repeated as Patriot League champions and are returning to the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.
But before the playoffs, there’s this one little game you may have heard of — the Lehigh-Lafayette game — which area sports fans consider to be one of the biggest events on the local sports calendar.
The 147th edition of college football’s most-played rivalry, set for 12:30 p.m. Saturday at sold-out Goodman Stadium, could provide Lum and his offensive pals another grand stage for an offensive showcase.
Lum, a candidate for the Walter Payton Award as the most outstanding FCS player, has a chance to put his name all over the Lehigh football record books against Lafayette.
With nine completions, 106 passing yards and two TD tosses, he could become the school’s single-season leader in all of those categories.
But Lum has said often that he’s not a stats guy. He doesn’t care about his place in Lehigh history. He just wants to win.
“I’ve never had statistical goals,” the Lake Orion, Mich., product said. “As far as my stats this year, I guess I am surprised to be ranked so high in the country, but I am not surprised by how well we’re doing as a team. I always knew we had a really good team.”
The team has taken flight ever since Lum wrested the starting QB job from J.B. Clark, a two-time MVP in the Lehigh-Lafayette Game, in August of 2010.
It was a tough, three-way competition among Lum, Clark and Michael Colvin, and the team could have been polarized after Clark left the team in the aftermath of Lum’s promotion.
However, Lum’s play — he is 19-4 in the last two seasons as a starter — has silenced those who may have doubted he deserved the job.
“Chris didn’t have to win anybody over,” said Mark Wickware, a senior tight end and Lum’s housemate. “People in the program knew we had three really good options at the position entering last season. The best guy won and that has been shown over the last two seasons. Everybody accepted Chris from the get-go and knew what he could bring.”
In 2010, Lum completed 58 percent of his passes for 2,881 yards and 19 touchdowns. In a second-round playoff game at Delaware, he was 35 of 58 for what was then a career-high 362 yards.
He has topped that total six times this season.
About the only preseason goal that has not been met is that his interception total has increased instead of gone down, and that may be a concern against Lafayette’s defense, which regularly changes looks.
Coach Andy Coen believes Lum can handle the schemes Lafayette will thrown at him.
“Chris has done a good job of taking what he sees and adjusting,” Coen said. “That’s the biggest area of improvement for him. You see it during the week in practice. He’s always better on Thursday than he is on Tuesday. As he processes the game plan, he gets a better grasp of everything we want to do.”
Lum is not a vocal guy, but possesses calm leadership.
By Keith Groller, The Morning Call