John Coombs intercepts Craig Hormann (CREDIT: Yale Athletics)
Yale 28 Columbia 7
Why Yale Won
It took awhile, but the Elis finally got their offense going in the second half. More importantly, they stayed even in the first half despite seeing their usual weapons neutralized. There was also some clear mental toughness, as a lot of teams coming into a game as 30.5-point underdogs would have imploded after a scoreless first half.
Why Columbia Lost
The football gods will punish if you don't score points and take advantage of the gifts you earn or the ones simply given to you. The Lions squandered several chances in the first half, and those chances simply weren't there in the third and fourth quarter. Injuries played a huge role too, as starters Justin Masorti and Brandon Buckley finished the game on the sidelines.
Key Turning Points
1) A late first half turnover gave Columbia the ball on the Yale 24, but the Lions couldn't get a first down and a field goal attempt by Jon Rocholl sailed wide left.
2) After falling behind 7-0 in the third, Columbia drove the ball back into Yale territory, but gave the ball away on a questionable fumble call. Coach Norries Wilson exploded as the referees overruled a lone colleague who called the Lion player down by contact, but it was to no avail.
Rain or no rain, the Columbia defense played extremely well in the first half before finally running out of gas after the Masorti injury. Phil Mitchell played well at his new nose tackle position. Drew Quinn forced a fumble and grabbed an INT.
Other than the squandered opportunities mentioned above, there were problems again on the offensive line. One Yale player told me that was the real difference in the game. Hormann needs more time and the running backs need better holes, period.
Game MVP: Phil Mitchell