Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Random Thoughts

There are lots of added details about Columbia's opening game that are worth mentioning even three days later:

1) Sophomore Calvin Otis made some big plays, especially on special teams. For a relatively small guy weight-wise, he packs a wallop. He and fellow corner, freshman Kalasi Huggins, seemed to have the sideline and outside routes covered nicely. Just about every Fordham completion was a short pass.

2) Evan Sanford did a great job a center, starting now in place of the graduated Mike Partain. He helped make room up the middle for some good early runs by Jordan Davis and then the QB keepers for M.A. Olawale later in the game.

3) Alex Gross did leave the game for awhile with what looked like a foot injury, but he came back into the game later. He made a very acrobatic leap to recover a John Skelton fumble early in the game that was a far cry from the stumbling and bumbling you usually see on loose balls. He also plays with great enthusiasm on every down. Obviously, he's not satisfied with just winning the Rookie of the Year award last season.

4) Fordham came into the game allowing well under 100 rushing yards per game. The Lions walked away with almost 150 net yards on the ground. Now they face a team giving up well over 300 RUSHING YARDS per game. This could be fun.

5) Columbia did not get any sacks, but good pressure on Skelton forced the big INT by Drew Quinn and his resulting return for a TD. Phil Mitchell also broke through and got his hand on a pass on a 3rd down play in the second half that forced a Fordham punt. Obviously, the pass rush has to get better, but I also think Mitchell, Conor Joyce, Owen Fraser, and Lou Miller make a heck of a front four and hopefully they'll get more help from Matt Bashaw who was out for the Fordham game. Bashaw has, in the past, been a great 3rd down pass rush specialist who can be a spark plug.

6) Jon Rocholl's heads up and athletic play to snag that bad snap, break a couple of tackles and STILL get off a great punt is still hard to believe. How many times have you seen a kicker get that kind of a result after a snap that flies that far over his head?

7) Kickoff and punt coverage seemed a little shaky at first, but got better. Rocholl nailed his kickoffs nicely and even had one touchback, (remember we kick from the 30 these days). Austin Knowlin had one decent 25-yard return on a kickoff, but generally I know we want more from our own returns.


At Tue Sep 23, 10:54:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought Mike Brune started on left tackle and played the entire game.

At Tue Sep 23, 10:57:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

You are correct... the stat page made the error and I fell for it.

At Wed Sep 24, 12:42:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger DOC said...

Regretfully I was not able to attend the opener. Did they ever have Olawale in the same backfield as Kelly? Surely this might open some nice plays such as a pitchout with a run pass option or a direct snap single wing (like what Miami did to New England this week. )

At Wed Sep 24, 01:03:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are we ever going to hear about the JV game?

At Wed Sep 24, 03:14:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Olawale and Rangel have the speed to go outside. Stoll is a good runner and should be getting the ball more. Rangel 8/49, Olawale
9/46, Davis 15/32. Get the ball in the hands of the guys that can make plays.

Kelly has the arm to get the ball downfield to AK and Joseph. What we didn't use is the short pass in the flat to the RB or screen passes. We tried one screen early but the ball was thrown right into the chest of the Fordham player. That play would of gone for huge yds.

We have enough speed on offensive to give any defense fits. Get the ball to the guys that are producing.

At Wed Sep 24, 06:52:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about some play calling which takes advantage of our offensive strengths and minimizes our weknesses? Why not stretch the field with Knowlin, Joseph, etc.? Why not look to Kennedy for crossing patterns? Why was Fordham able to complete high percentage passes to the sideline with impunity? And why not put MA in the backfield with Kelly? And if we want to pound it out on the ground why do we not use Stoll to block for our tailbacks? I think that Davis is a good, tough runner, but we need to have running plays which develop more quickly, with Kelly over center.


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