Sunday, September 11, 2005

Good News, Bad News?

6 Days to Kickoff!

So my employer, CNN is sending me down to Atlanta to help out with the flood coverage, which is an honor and I'm happy to relieve the troops, but I'll barely be back in time to catch CU's opener at Fordham. My wife is just THRILLED, that after a week away from her and our great toddler daughter, I'll be rushing right out the door again. But, I'm sort of cashing in my chips as the "full-time working dad who spends the most time with his child." (Okay, there is no such contest for that title, but I think I'd definitely be in the running if there were).

Enough about me, because this was an extremely event-filled weekend for Lions football, especially since we didn't even play.

Saturday was a Columbia advance scout's dream with BOTH of our first two opponents playing each other. Duquesne really surprised me with a 30-13 thrashing of Fordham. The Rams running woes continued, with their leading rusher averaging just 2.8 yards a carry and the team netting just 45 yards rushing on 40 carries. That gives Fordham a GRAND TOTAL of 78 yards rushing in their first two games COMBINED.

But the Ram offense truly screwed up with costly turnovers. Fordham's QB Derric Daniels shook off the injury and started, but his numbers weren't exactly fantastic. He also threw an interception for a TD. The Fordham defense wasn't too bad, but they gave up some big plays and the CU offense will definitely have to test that secondary with some long throws to lead WR Brandon Bowser.

I would say it's generally good news that Fordham seems much weaker this season, but there are two things that bother me about starting the season against an 0-2 Ram team. 1) Fordham will be DESPERATE to beat us, and 2)For as long as I can remember, the Rams have gotten better as the season moved along.

On the other hand, Duquesne's strong play is nothing but trouble for the Lions right now. When this season's schedule was announced, I was sure the Duquesne game was the most winnable contest for Columbia. Now I think that's no longer true at all. Their defense has been good in both their wins, and the offense is opportunistic with flashes of brilliance. Of course the true test for the Dukes comes this weekend at Penn. I'm still pretty sure the Quakers will win, but Duquesne may play them close and gather even more confidence for when they play us on 9/24.

Still no word on who will get the starting QB nod this season for CU. I expect to hear by Monday or Tuesday. Hopefully, the athletics web site will also release the game notes and the two-deep by Tuesday.


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