Monday, November 24, 2008

Blown Away

Hopefully Columbia will be celebrating like this in the near future

Brown 41 Columbia 10

Why Brown Won

The Bears controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball all day. QB Michael Dougherty used his time well and surgically shredded the Columbia defense, especially on third down plays. The defense shut down every aspect of the Lion offense except for QB M.A. Olawale's running. Once he went down, Columbia's chances to win were dashed.

Why Columbia Lost

Columbia never pressured one of the best QB's in the league, and that spelled disaster on defense. On offense, the passing game never got on track.

Key Turning Points

-After getting a three-and-out on the game's opening possession, Columbia was snakebitten by a freak turnover on the ensuin Brown punt. The wind hung up the kick and it landed on the back of an unsuspecting A.J. Maddox's leg. Brown recovered in Lion territory and scored a touchdown on the drive.

-With the score tied 7-7, Brown started a drive at their own 4 and got all the way to the Columbia 20 before turning over on downs on a great 4th down stand by the Lions defense. But the Columbia offense went three-and-out and Brown took the short field after a short punt and scored a quick TD to grab the momentum back for good.

In general, this was Columbia's worst performance of the year, especially on defense. It was truly a shame to end the season this way, but with roughly 300 days to go before the 2009 season, getting any real momentum to carry over into next season is hard to do in any case.

I don't have any information on the extent of Olwale's injury, and I wouldn't expect anyone to get anything solid in the way of a prognosis for awhile. I don't think Columbia or anyone in college football is required to make those kinds of updates available in the offseason period.

Of course there is a lot to churn through as I try to get a handle on the season right now. There's no getting around the disappointing nature os a 2-8 year, but I do want to end this post with a positive note: We have rarely had this kind of talent or depth on a Columbia footbal team and never in my lifetime have we had this kind of talent and depth at the same time. You just can't dispute those facts and certainly there are a lot of reasons to be more optimistic for next season.


At Mon Nov 24, 12:03:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger Steve said...

So, where do folks see us going in the near future?

It seems like every year there are comments about good talent or this will be our year...but we just seem to be shooting ourselves in the it turnovers, special teams, etc...and we end the year as somewhat of a disappointment...when will it actually be our year?

Is it the talent? Are we just not able to get the talent to compete and win in this league? I find this hard to believe.

Is it the coaching? For example, always see names on here about folks who readers think should be playing...but they don't make it on the field (for substantial playing time)...are coaches holding the wrong people back, not developing the talent, playing the wrong folks, etc?

Is it the system? As in, where were the captains this year? Is the play calling not-aggressive enough?

We need to start winning...asap!

At Mon Nov 24, 01:13:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hard to blame the Columbia Defense for Brown's 41 points given that both the Columbia Special Teams and the Columbia Offense turned the ball over to Brown three times deep in Columbia territory. The D also made a great four-down stop on the Brownnies in the first half. The difference in this game was that Brown had a couple of great playmakers in Sewell and Farnham. It's difficult to cover two guys that good. On the other hand, we only had one playmaker, Austin Knowlin. In fact, our failure to find another big playmaker the entire season was the primary reason why we ended up at 2-8. To compete for the Ivy League Championship next season we must bring in several impact players at the skills positions.

At Mon Nov 24, 07:20:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve -

This is not the NFL. There is no free-agent market. Building a college program takes time and patience. Making wholesale changes to coaching staffs, offensive schemes and defensive schemes is NOT necessarily helpful.

In the Ivy League you aren't allowed to practice 8 hours a day and watch film the rest of the time.

All too often it looks like some people think that our team should be thinking football first, education second. We are not USC. We do not "reload" every year. We must continue to build from a place that few other teams have ever had to face.

If alumni really want to see the team succeed they can:
1) stop the stupid anonymous sniping
2) come to games
3) make gifts

these things will help recruiting (and eventual success) more than anything else. Right now, that's not happening at Columbia the way it is at other places.

At Mon Nov 24, 08:22:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We did win a couple of Ivy League games this season which will make recruiting a little bit easier than last year. Overall, I believe the returning talent is strong enough to compete for the Ivy League Championship provided that the quarterbacks return healthy and stronger and we bring in a couple of big-time tailbacks, fleet wide receivers, and a kick returner. We also need an outstanding punter to replace John Rochall. On defense, our biggest need are a couple of big pass rushers and a standout defensive back. Steve is right--it's important to set a positive tone now. In my opinion, the message should be that we expect to compete for the Ivy League Title in 2009!

At Mon Nov 24, 08:55:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We improved tremendously on defense this year and will have some outstanding players returning next season. Our offensive line also played well and should be even better next season if all the players return in top physical condition. Having a quality offfensive line should help us to recruit the star running backs and wide receivers we need to win the Ivy League Title next year.

At Mon Nov 24, 10:56:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The defense was ok, but, we need more blitzing.

Offense had a poor day, although, the freshman QB did good considering the situation.

Balance and consistency is a problem. I am not sure the coaches are the problem, but, some of the play calling has me confused.

I have high hopes for next year.

Groth (played more late in the year) and Owens should be a good corner stone to the DL. DE will be the big question. The young corners hopefully will learn not to over cover limiting those costly penalties.

OL should be stronger and the offense should be more mature and make less costly mistakes. Olawale will be the cornerstone, although, the freshman did well at Brown. Play calling seems to be the biggest problem.

At Thu Nov 27, 08:25:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It does take time to turn around a program, look at how young the team is to start with. One more recruiting year as good as the last one and you will see a team capable of competing for the Ivy League title in two years. They will make a run at it next year but still have some experience to gain. No program like this or any other one can turn around without an investment.
I'm with the guy who said be patient, look at the progress, and consider that without execution no game plan or calling of plays can be suspect. Key players at key positions are coming around, they are one RB short of having a balanced offense, and the linemen are also young and developing.
Nobody claimed to be competing for the title this year, next year is still for building and winning some, and the year after is a title run. It's hard not to expect it a year early!


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