Wednesday, October 03, 2007

So How Ya Feelin'?

Time to take our temperature

Three days after Columbia's close loss to Princeton, ae you feeling more encouraged about the rest of the season or starting to get worried?

It appears the offense is really coming together, the offensive line especially. But the defense is clearly not as effective as it was in 2006.

Craig Hormann hasn't missed a snap despite his ACL tear early this year, but injuries seem to taking a much bigger toll than they did last year. Several players on defense are out and many others are playing banged up.

The Lions are still showing no let down as they keep fighting in every game, but they haven't shown any signs of being able to stop the run.

In general, I'm very encouraged about the future... but the present season, one that I think where it's very important that Columbia goes 5-5 or better, is more worrisome.

So I think this weekend's matchup at Lafayette becomes a lot more important than it looked like in preseason. After coming so close but coming up empty at Princeton, the Lions need to prove they're still hungry and never give up.

It would also be a statement game for a Columbia team that has NEVER WON at Lafayette despite playing there about 20 times.

Bits and Pieces

Columbia gave some different looks to the Tigers on Saturday, most notably a two-tight end formation where both Jamal Russell and Troy Evangelist lined up a little bit behind the rest of the O-line and got down in a three-point stance! The formation worked very well when they ran the ball that way, and a little less well when Hormann looked to pass to one of them coming out of that look. But I liked the way it seemed to cross up the defense big time.

Jordan Davis' option pass for a TD to Russell is just the kind of razzle-dazzle the Lions haven't had the O-line or the confidence to try for years. Now that the big guys up front are looking stronger, I expect more experimentation with options, reverses, and end arounds.

About 8,000 people showed up to the game at Princeton, which is not terrible but also not good. They scheduled the game at 3:30 in hopes of grabbing more bodies, but that was the same attendance they had for the Columbia game at PU in 2005.


At Wed Oct 03, 03:36:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Injuries are part of the game. ONe of the Abare brothers is done for the year for Yale. I am sure that there are other problems with injuries. In '96 Wiley played injured or sick for most of the season.

At Wed Oct 03, 04:23:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would have to disagree that Lafayette is a big game. As a matter of fact if we have guys that are questionable injury wise, we should sit them and make sure they are ready for Penn/HC. Penn is biggest game on the schedule right now and knocking them off in front of big Hcoming crowd would be a statement game for the program recruiting and alumni wise especially after that classless behaviour their fans n coaches pulled in Philly last year.

At Wed Oct 03, 05:01:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

I think it's a big game because this team needs to prove it's different from the Lion teams of the past, period.

At Wed Oct 03, 05:16:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake, Lafayette is a winnable game but I don't think we need to choose between Lafayette and Penn. I agree with the poster who recalled the gutless and classless behaviour by the Penn fans and coaches that their boorish conduct was revolting, and as far as I am concerned Penn can't lose enough (except when it plays Yale, in which event I hope they battle to a 0 0 tie after 3 OTs). the coaches will play those guys who are ready to go and will hold out those who aren't.

At Wed Oct 03, 05:28:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have said before I don't know why anyone would set the marker for success in NW's sophomore year at 5-5 or better. We overachieved last year at 5-5, and in my opinion it's never been realistic to expect a 5-5 season this year. I think those who have said anything less than 5-5 is a disappointment aren't giving enough weight to this season's tougher non-conference schedule and the improvement around the league, or to the quality of the defensive players who graduated and the effects of Hormann's injury and his loss of practice time. We are still small and young compared to the teams we are competing with.

I agree 5-5 was a possibility and still is if we knock off Brown, Cornell, Penn and Dartmouth....but that is a tall order. Remember where Shoop left the team. Even a 3-7 season this year accompanied by close games, team development, and good recruiting is success.


At Wed Oct 03, 05:43:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leonidas is on target, but I find it psychologically impossible to disbelieve our players who are convinced we have the talent to beat anybody, and I mean anybody, on our schedule. We have a huge upside because we have so many very young players. Who else is routinely running so many first years into the lineup? And we have a few premier players in our lineup who are among the very best athletes in the league!

At Wed Oct 03, 06:29:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As long as the Lions continue to improve, and to display a skilled tenacity that simply wasn't obvious during most of the Shoop period and several years before, I think this'll be a good season. Especially, but not solely, if we can go 5-5 (or even better!).

I also remain convinced Norries is a very fine, very inspiring head coach. The "human factor" thus always plays its own important role. And will do so even more effectively next year and the year after. These are young Lions, and to witness them beating Penn, with the support of a large, partisan and loudly vociferous crowd, would be a wonderful thing for them. Perhaps "we" owe them this kind of attendance in return for their own considerable onfield efforts.


At Wed Oct 03, 08:17:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not this year, but I strongly believe that the Lions and the Big Green will be fighting for the top spot during the next two years.

At Wed Oct 03, 10:26:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reality guys. This is likely a 3-win season. Remember its a marathon, not a sprint. Every year getting better...building the program. In a couple years, this will be a fball program that competes for Ivy titles. Keep things in perspective. Continue to believe.
Write the checks to build the foundation and be a part of this program's ascent.


At Wed Oct 03, 06:06:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

MS is right!!

At Thu Oct 04, 09:50:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love our staff and our level of enthusiasm. We have some tremendous talent, and on any given saturday we really can beat anybody on our schedule.


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