Columbia-Lafayette: Keys to the Game
The Leopards take the field (CREDIT: Lafayette Athletics)
For the second straight week, Columbia comes in to a tough road game as a heavy underdog. But this is a winnable game, one that offers a tremendous opportunity for the Lions to prove their strength on the field and their maturity as a team.
Key #1: Get Fired Up!
I realize this is a non-league game, played on the road and at night to boot. But every game in a 10-game schedule is precious and a win is a win. An early score, or a bone-crushing tackle, something to prove the Lions are in it to win it would go a long way here.
Key #2: Make them Pass, Make them Punt
Coach Wilson talked this week about how Columbia needs to make opponents punt more, not only because that's what happens when you get a defensive stop, but because you want guys like Austin Knowlin handling the ball as much as possible. Lafayette QB Mike DiPaola is not the best passer on third down, but he has scrambled for a 1st down or two when the Leopards have faced short-yardage situations. Columbia can't let DiPaola squeeze away from sacks like Princeton's Bill Foran did last week.
Key #3: Get Jordan Davis to 100 again
The Lions need to keep working on ball control and take advantage of the fact that the offensive line is performing so much better. Coach Blackshear is performing some miracles right now and with only one senior starter on the O-line, this group will produce victories for some time to come. Jordan Davis must be riding high confidence-wise right now as he has a chance to become only the second Columbia player to rush for 1,000 yards in a season.
Key #4: Don't let Adair beat you
Shaun Adair is DiPaola's favorite target, especially on third down. I'm not sure if Eugene Edwards or JoJo Smith will draw the Adair assignment, but he can't be left open as much as Princeton's Brendan Circle was at times last week.
Temperature at the 6pm kickoff time is expected to be a toasty 81 degrees! I'm not sure how that will affect the game, but it might take a toll on some of the bigger players as we head into the latter stages.