5 Keys to the Game: Dartmouth
1) Run Until They Stop Us
A: The Big Green has had terrible problems against the run this season.
B: The Lions have the league's top rusher, a dangerous running QB, and their best offensive line in many years.
C: Columbia should and must run the ball often and effectively tomorrow. Any failure to do so puts the Lions in a very tough spot and will boost Dartmouth's confidence exponentially throughout the day.
2) Pressure Conner Kempe
The young sophomore backup-turned-starting QB put up some impressive numbers against Holy Cross last week. But the Lions, especially pass rushers Lou Miller and Matt Bashaw, need to dare him to do that again under much heavier pressure. Columbia needs sacks and pressure-caused turnovers.
3) Contain Nick Schwieger
The Big Green running back can make great cuts and bounce off tacklers. The first guy to Schwieger needs to bring him down. I expect Dartmouth to try to attack the center of the defensive line with Schwieger a little more, especially if the field is as wet as the forecasters are saying it's going to be tomorrow. That means Chris Groth and Bruce Flemming will have to be on their games, with help from MLB Marc Holloway.
4) Keep Looking for Kennedy
With a safety and a linebacker or two always sticking near the line of scrimmage to guard against runs by M.A. Olawale, Lion tight end Andrew Kennedy has been finding it easier to get open. In rainy conditions tomorrow, Kennedy could be an even more deadly weapon.
5) Don't Get Burned on Kick Returns
Big Green kick and punt returning star Shawn Abuhoff is going to break one for a score very soon, but the Lions need to make sure it doesn't happen tomorrow.
As for Columbia's kick returning, the Lions need to get back to what they were doing most of the early part of the season. That includes finding a way to get Austin Knowlin's hands on more punts and seeing Craig Hamilton burn opposing teams that were kicking off away from Knowlin.