Monday, October 27, 2008

Elephant in the Room?

Ladies and gentlemen: Your Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week (CREDIT: Columbia Spectator)

As much as I want to keep celebrating Columbia's first win in more than 13 months, it's hard not to ask the big question after the 21-13 win over Dartmouth. That question is: Who does Columbia start at QB this Saturday at Yale?

There's no doubt Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week Millie Olawale's entrance into the game against the Big Green helped grab the momentum back and win the contest for the Lions. But there's also little doubt that Shane Kelly had fine first half running and throwing the ball too.

Of course, it doesn't have to be either or. Kelly and Olawale could split time at QB, and some readers have even written to me about how they'd like to see both Kelly and Olawale in the backfield at the same time, and let the defense try to figure out who's taking the snap, etc.

Having two good QB's at once is a good problem to have. But a bad problem for the Lions this coming weekend is the Yale defense. The Elis are playing stingy this season and consistently so. Considering the way both Columbia's and Yale's defenses are playing this season, 20 points looks like it will be more than enough to win this game. It's getting the 20 points that will be the hard part.

Unsung Heroes

But getting back to celebrating, I want to mention a few unsung heroes from Saturday's win:

Corey Cameron

To a lot of Columbia fans, Cameron is "the other linebacker," often overlooked by folks focusing on team leader Drew Quinn and last year's Ivy League Rookie of the Year Alex Gross. Cameron wasn't even the man expected to start this season at that third linebacker slot. But the senior had another solid game versus Dartmouth and leveled some Green ball carriers with a few huge hits.

Ralph DeBernardo

On almost all of those great runs by Olawale, the senior right tackle DeBernardo was in the thick of it. The whole right side of the Lions much improved offensive line has been more than solid this season.

Mike Stephens

Mike made two very tough catches in the fourth quarter. The first set up a TD. The second gave the Lions a crucial first down deep in their own end late in the fourth quarter.

Andrew Kennedy

Made 2 catches, one for 21 yards even though he was totally covered on the play. The sophomore tight end is having a breakthrough season and figures to play an even bigger role if Olawale gets more reps.

Nathan Lenz

The fullback provided another great safety valve, catching three passes for 17 yards.

Viewing Party

Please try to make the short trip to New Haven to see the Columbia game at Yale this Saturday. But if you can't make it, season ticket holders are invited to the following event:

A special viewing party has been set up for this week’s Columbia football game, televised live on the YES Network, with kickoff at 12:30 pm. Join us at the Village Pourhouse on Amsterdam Avenue and West 109th Street at 12:00 noon and watch the game with other Columbia fans. There will be a full appetizer buffet and unlimited Bud Light and draft beer during the game for only $25 per person. Plus, during the game, we’ll have some fun raffle-type giveaways. Reservations are required-please call Barry Neuberger at 212-854-7031 or e-mail to reserve your seats. Let’s see if we can make it back-to-back wins this week! We look forward to seeing you on Saturday.


At Tue Oct 28, 12:32:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For anyone wanting to get to the Yale game from NYC, there is a Metro North train from Grand Central to New Haven at 10:07am arriving at 11:52am for $28 round trip if purchased at the station and $26.60 if purchased on the website.

At Tue Oct 28, 01:08:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent analysis; if there is one team I would like to beat in the worst way it is Yale. I still am fuming over the stunts at the Bowl two years ago--McLeod somersaulting and Jack not taking a knee.

At Tue Oct 28, 02:35:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hat's off to the seniors for a job well done! Javier Garza needs mentioned for the job he did on the defensive line, as well as Mitchell, Cameron and Quinn. This senior class will be missed.

At Tue Oct 28, 05:52:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's not forget the bookend senior offensive tackles. I expect a great game from them at Yale.

At Tue Oct 28, 08:32:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger cathar said...

I like that Athletics is running that "viewing party." The spirit is rising among alumni. Slowly, but rising nonetheless. Being on TV this Saturday will be a Martha-like "good thing."

And I can only hope it continues into basketball season, where we have (again, and I know that last year was a disappointment, especially in Ivy play) a solid chance at success. We even play some early marquee-level games, including the Holiday Festival come December.

Being a Columbia fan steadily becomes more fun, and I think that, alongside Dianne Murphy's stewardship, Barry Neuburger also plays some role here.

At Wed Oct 29, 08:35:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger DOC said...

I think you have to start Shane Kelly. He was moving the club well for most of last weeks game until his
untimely case of element-induced fumble-itis. Against a ball-hawking defense like Yale we have to protect the ball and limit turnovers because we will not be able to sustain the same long drives as were possible against Dartmouth. M.A. Olewale provided a spark to the Offense immediately- seemed like our plays ran more quickly and crisply. Even our Defense seemed sparked after his single-handed drive to the clinching touchdown. It would be a shame if we did not utilize him more frequently, perhaps, a system not unlike the David Woodley-Don Strock (Woodstrock) platoon of the early 80's Miami Dolphins......???


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