Saturday, November 21, 2009

5 Keys to the Game: Brown (ONE DAY MORE)

Here's how the Lions can beat the Bears at Wien Stadium tomorrow.

First, make sure everyone on the team has their magic wands and invisibility cloaks and draw up some plays with 11 visible and 5 invisible players on defense...

Seriously, it may seem like an almost impossible task to defeat Brown. But it can be done if Columbia does the following.

1) Pressure and sack Kyle Newhall-Caballero

The best way to shut down the Brown passing attack is to stop it before the pass is thrown by pressuring Newhall-Caballero and either sacking him or forcing him to scramble. Lou Miller will have a lot to do with achieving that goal as he is not only playing in his final game, but he comes into the contest hoping to hold on to the Ivy sacks lead. Lou will need help from the rest of the line, including junior Josh Smith, who has come on as a pass rusher in recent weeks... and a host of others.

2) Play the field position game

This Brown offense is lethal enough without a short field to work in their favor. Kickoffs and punts need to be spot on and a directional kick or two looking for the favorable roll could work too. Kick coverage will have to be very strong against the dangerous Buddy Farnham.

3) Don't give up on the run

Brown's strong run defense could start the game hot, but the Lions have a strong enough offense line and a lot of different running weapons. It would be a shame to shelve them too soon before getting a chance to see if the Bears run D can really go the distance. I can see Columbia giving Brown all it can handle with conventional runs from Zack Kourouma, option runs by Leon Ivery, speeding QB runs from Sean Brackett, and power QB running from M.A. Olawale. All this behind a sterling offensive line that has not only played well in 2009, it's stayed healthy!

4) The Safety Dance

You better believe the Bears will be testing corners Ross Morand and Jared Morine about as often as Cornell did last week. They'll probably do a bang up job again, but they'll need big games from Andy Shalbrack and Adam Mehr at the safety slots, especially when it comes to defending Bobby Sewall, who bobs and weaves his through the middle of the field on his routes. Obviously, the linebackers will be key tomorrow as well; they'll have to be ready and aggressive when they drop back into pass coverage.

5) No Effort Left Behind

It's the final game ever for 26 seniors, and the last game for another 10 months for everyone else. This is the game where you dive for loose balls, run your butt off, and hit the hardest and don't worry about tomorrow. It's also the game where you try some trick plays, maybe all the trick plays in the book, and throw caution to the wind. Some tough breaks have stopped Columbia from showing all that it can do on the field this year... time for that to stop tomorrow.

And now, a bit of musical inspiration as we contemplate one last battle, one last game, one last challenge. For the class of 2010: One day more!


At Sat Nov 21, 04:22:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The key for us is going to be in the first few posssessions. We cannot have the sort of disastrous start that we had in our two worst games: Harvard and Dartmouth. Our guys cannot be tentative. No bad snaps, no shanked kicks, no breakdowns in coverage, no failure on the part of the DBs to turn around and look for the ball. Brown isn't as good as Lafayette, and we outplayed Lafayette, on the road. Football is more than any other sport a game of emotion and self-confidence.

At Sat Nov 21, 04:46:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger DOC said...

Jake, love the trick play angle. The triple-reverse against Yale comes to mind. ANYTHING to reduce the appearance of a conventional, predictable offense works in our favor against a superior opponent such as Brown. Id like to see us pass more on first down, throw a bomb or two on 2nd or third down and short, and
pitchout option to get our speedy
backs outside the tackles. What do we
have to lose?


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