Sunday, October 19, 2008

Gift Wrapped

Penn's Britton Ertman had a huge day (Credit: Penn Athletics)

Penn 15 Columbia 10

Why Penn Won

They showed up and were in a receiving mood for Columbia's many turnovers and other miscues. The Quakers also made enough defensive adjustments in the second half to seal a win.

Why Columbia Lost

The Lions were in a giving mood. Turning the ball over four times and also giving up a safety on a high punt snap. Columbia gave Penn each and every one of their 15 points. The miscues negated a tremendous performance by the defense, who played their best game of the season.

Key Turning Points

1) After the Lions got a quick first down into Penn territory on the first possession of the game, Shane Kelly hung a pass up that Britton Ertman picked off and returned to the Columbia 30. It was to be the beginning of a long day for Kelly and a big day for Ertman.

2) Late in the first quarter with the score tied at 3-3, Penn fumbled the snap and it was recovered from Lion nose tackle Owen Fraser. But after getting one first down and then moving as close as the Quaker 36, Columbia was forced to punt. The Lions were unable to capitalize on the one Penn turnover of the game, while the Quakers would eventually score off of three of the four Columbia giveaways.

3) With the score still tied at 3-3, Columbia opened te second quarter with two straight fumbles deep in their own end on their first two possessions. The result was 10 points for Penn and 13-3 lead.

The leader on defense yesterday was Alex Gross, who made an incredible 17 tackles and most of them were hard hits. He kept it going the entire game, and even made the final first-down-saving tackle that gave the Lions one last chance in the fourth quarter.

Lou Miller had his best game to date, with 10 tackles, 1.5 sacks and 2.5 overall tackles for a loss.

The Columbia defense held Penn to just 83 net yards rushing. I can't remember the last time the Lions held an opponent to under 100 yards on the ground. The Quakers had just 10 first downs.

Ray Rangel had a tremendous first half, rushing for more than 70 yards and beating Penn up the middle time after time. The Quakers adjusted nicely to stop him in the second half, but he still came up big as he took huge hit after huge hit and never fumbled.

Jon Rocholl had a strong game. Hitting his one field goal attempt, nailing his kickoffs, and getting a rare touchback on the free kick after safety. It was the best game yet for the Lions kick coverage team against a Penn team that had the best kick returners they'd faced yet.


At Sun Oct 19, 09:53:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Defense gets "A" grade for its performance against Penn. Offense gets a "D" for losing the game on turnovers that negated some fine blocking by the line and decent running inside by Ray Rangel. Jon Rocholl made some terrific kicks. Where do we go from here? A. Defense: Despite its strong performance against Penn, there is room for improvement, including developing a better pass rush, preparing the defensive backs for the Brown-Cornell passing attack and improving our special teams coverage. Statement of Fact: Linebacker, Alex Gross, is a terrific football player. B. Offense: The offense continues to suffer from the lack of an identity. Are we a passing team like Brown, or a short yardage running team like Princeton? At times, we move the ball well as we did in the second quarter against Penn, but more often than not we struggle to make first downs and of course, lack the speed at running back to make big plays. In fact, our best runner is the quarterback, Shane Kelly, who has made some big running gains this season, but is not being used very effectively. Kelly at 225 pounds is a very talented full speed straight ahead or outside passer/runner yet we have him running mostly running laterally from the option where he is clearly uncomfortable. Columbia needs to do with Kelly and his athletic back-up M.A. Olawale, what Princeton did with Terrell in past seasons, namely run the ball often on quarterback draws and roll-outs---no options. Next we need to have the running backs run to the outside to open up the defense for our passing game. Rangel and Davis are good inside runners, but lack breakaway speed. We need to find someone who can turn the corner for big gains. How important is this? Well, we've lost all five games this season by a few points. If we had scored on a breakaway run in each of the five games, we might have prevailed in all five games.

At Mon Oct 20, 03:49:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At Mon Oct 20, 06:27:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At Mon Oct 20, 07:31:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I predicted the Lions by 3 and they came up short. This was definately a game that we had the talent to win- a first in recent years. I also thought the game plan was good on defense and offense. The difference was execution.

Defense is our most improved yet and definately merits an A for the week. While they defense played well overall, they were particularly stingy inside the 20. Forcing fieldgoals was huge. We're playing better up front and thats helping our linebacking!

Special Teams was better in several phases of the game, notably Rocholls free kick. But then there's the reason for the free kick. That exchange has been tough all year - you can't give up points on special teams. C.

Offense is a similar mixed bag, You gotta love Ray Rangel's rushing. Gameplan was good, we identified we were stronger up the middle with direct runs and counters and took advantage of that fact. We put up a gross of about 180 on the ground that ain't all bad. Kelly also made some throws and orchestrated a nice drive for our score. Unfortunately, he also left at least 2 touchdowns on the field. One underthrow cost us the ball. Still though he's learning the system, he's got the physical tools and I look for him to improve as the year goes on. Using Olawale for some sets would add athleticism to the O and give Kelly a chance to make adjustments on the side.

We're still a play away, Beat Dartmouth!!


At Mon Oct 20, 07:50:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also believe they did not have a "scoring drive" of more than 13 yards.

Philadelphia Inquirer quotes AK as assuring NW in the last 2 min that we could punt to Penn - the defense would hold and give us the ball back - which they did.

Large and supportive Columbia crowd. May have been larger than Penn's.

At Mon Oct 20, 03:14:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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