Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Versus Issues

I sat down to watch the Cornell-Yale game on my DVR and it turns out Versus lost the feed from the Yale Bowl after the first half. My heart goes out to the guys working that game. I certainly hope they can get the kinks out in time for this week's broadcast of the Penn-Dartmouth game from New Hampshire.

But this leaves me without much to go on as far as scouting both teams. Cornell's defense was getting great penetration throughout the first two quarters and Yale's "D" looked strong too. Other than that, I'm not sure what happened other than to say that Yale's attempt at a two point conversion failed with no time left in a 14-12 Big Red win.

In other games...

-Penn's walking wounded made a fight of it in Easton Saturday night, finally falling to Lafayette in overtime by a 20-17 score. The Quakers moved the ball not one yard o three tries in the opening OT possession and Andrew Samson missed the ensuing 42-yard field goal try.

More importantly, it looks like Penn is dealing with a myriad of offensive injuries, starting with junior QB Keifer Garton, who sat most of the game in favor of QB/Punter Kyle Olson. Frosh running back Lyle Marsh had a spectacular debut in ace of the banged up starting RB's Michael DiMaggio and Mat Hamscher, but it wasn't enough.

So the question is: Are the Big Green facing the Quakers at just the right time with the Ivy opener for both teams just five days away in Hanover?

-Princeton chalked up an anemic six first downs in their 17-14 win over Lehigh in Bethlehem. QB Tommy Wornham was just 9 of 20 for no TD's, but he avoided throwing any picks and he had a good day running the ball with a 68 yard TD scamper. Two interceptions by Lehigh, including one that was returnedby Steven Cody for a 77-yard pick six, doomed the Mountain Hawks.

The Tigers Jordan Culbreath went down with an injury in the game and his replacements at tailback were not too impressive. If he's out for this Saturday's game against our Lions, the Columbia coaches will have to be ready for what should be a very different Princeton offensive attack.

-Dartmouth hung tough with UNH for the first half, before a 20-14 deficit turned into a 44-14 final score. As always, log on to Bruce Wood's excellent Big Green Alert Blog to get all the info from Big Green Land.

The big issue with the Big Green is apparently stopping the run. This is a big carryover from last year and has to make Columbia feel confident about their matchup in three and a half weeks. On the other hand, Dartmouth's own running attack is showing new signs of life as Nick Schweiger became the first Big Green back to run for 100+ yards since two Dartmouth backs torched the Lions in a 37-28 win in Hanover in 2007.

-Harvard seems like the best team in the Ivies right now with a solid win over Brown Friday night. Ivy Offensive Player of the Week Collier Winters played like a champ all night. But the Crimson defense and running game remain a bit suspect, and there may be some tougher challenges ahead for this team.


At Tue Sep 29, 08:52:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just to fill in, Cornell opened the game with a gadget play that resulted in wideout Brian Walters being 30yds in the open for an 81yd TD pass/run tossed up by wildcat back Steve Liuzza.

The Big Red also picked off three Patrick Witt passes, one of which was run back 20yds into the Yale end zone. That was their 14 pts.

Walters also had 73 punt return yards (to none for Yale) that lengthened the field just enough to keep the Yalies at bay.

It was Cornell's first Ivy road win since Nov-2005 and first in New Haven since 1996. The Big Red offense was exceedingly dismal with only 85yds the rest of the day after the 81yd opening play.

There were 27 total punts between the two teams (might be close to an Ivy record?!?).

Yale looked like the better overall team to me. However, the way things were going, you just knew their pass for the 2pt PAT at the end was going to misfire.

It seemed as if VERSUS should have had a little radio backup for when the main feed blew. That was disappointing. It made for a long second half for Al Trautwig and Roland Williams.

At Tue Sep 29, 07:59:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Appreciate the color--hard to believe Cornell has gone that long w/o an Ivy road win. We might be in similar boat as I bet it's been 3yrs plus since we had an Ivy Road win....

At Tue Sep 29, 08:46:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Point!
Our most recent road win was when we slipped past Brown (22-21) in Providence with a last second FG to close the 2006 season.
Any League road win is highly-prized by any of the Ivies.

At Tue Sep 29, 09:51:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's a huge advantage that we have most of the strength of the league(Penn,Harvard,Yale and Brown)at home this year. But first things first--let's take those feisty Tigers this weekend.

At Wed Sep 30, 02:12:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One hates to make any assumptions, but it sure looks like Princeton will be the toughest of the three League road games.
The Green and the Red are picked at the bottom of the League and, all things considered, show early signs of living down to those predictions.
Go Blue!


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