Sunday, September 14, 2008

Scouting the Enemies

Something magic happened here 12 years ago

I caught most of the Fordham-Dayton game on WFUV today and there is a lot to think about concerning the Rams.

Fordham lost 23-20, mostly because of some sloppiness on offense and special teams. On the other hand, after shutting out URI last week, Fordham's defense only gave up 14 points to the Flyer offense that is usually pretty high-powered.

Dayton did a very good job shutting down Ram tailback Xavier Martin at key moments, and that forced John Skelton to do most of the work. Skelton did not have as strong a game as usual, throwing a slew of incomplete passes on third down after third down, (although his overall stats were impressive at 32-for-52, 283 yards, 1 TD and no INT).

Lafayette's defense seemed to be in midseason form in the Leopards 24-6 win over Georgetown. Tailback Maurice White had a more human, yet still impressive 106 yard rushing performance on just 18 carries. His backup, Tyrell Coon, had 96 yards on just 17 carries.

Towson faired the worst of all the future Columbia opponents against perennial FCS power Richmond. The Spiders slammed the Tigers 45-14, although it was 24-21 going into the final quarter. Towson QB Sean Schaefer, who the team is built around, had a tough night with four interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns.

There's a lot to chew on here, some of it good and some of it bad for Columbia's chances against these teams. We'll all dig through it more in the coming days.

Game of the Day (Day 7)

October 12, 1996

Columbia 20 Penn 19 (OT)

Columbia's 3-0 start to the 1996 season hadn't been easy. But week 4 provided the biggest test as backup QB Paris Childress had to start the game in place of an injured Bobby Thomason.

Childress was rusty, throwing three costly interceptions in the first half, one of which Penn ran back for a 98-yard TD. But trailing 10-0 late in the second quarter, the Lions got a pick of their own when sophomore Chris Tillotson ran one back 48 yards back to the Penn 1. Marcellus Wiley took it in from there and it was 10-10 at the half.

Columbia's offense sputtered through most of the second half, until a 44-yard field goal by Matt Linit tied it again at 13-13 midway through the fourth quarter. Linit had a chance to win it in regulation, but his 43-yard attempt with just moments to go was blocked.

Then came a most shocking overtime period. The Quakers scored a quick TD in just two plays, but the Lions blocked the PAT. Then Columbia tried to go for the quick strike of their own despite Childress' inexperience. His first two passes in traffic were incomplete. Then he stunned the Franklin Field crowd with a bullet pass down the middle caught by Dennis Lee at the 2-yard line who took it in from there. Linit nailed the extra point and the Lions had won it.

I'll never forget that game, and the way the Penn players literally rolled around in agony on the Franklin Field turf when the kick went through the uprights.

Columbia visits Franklin Field again this October 18th.


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