Culbreath was not much of a factor against the Lions in 2008
The game notes and two-deeps have been released and there are some changes and notable points.
-Still no Owen Fraser on the list… perhaps he will be a game time decision.
-WR Mark Muston is not on the two deep at all. Kurt Williams and Nico Gutierrez are the starting WR’s, the backups are Ian Cummins and Paul Havas.
-CB Kalasi Huggins is also not on the two-deep.
-DT Chris Groth is now listed as a backup at DT, the starters at tackle are Ben Popeck and Matt Stotler.
Princeton’s team seems a lot better than the last place squad I picked them to be in the preseason. The Tiger offense in particular has been pretty effective and the fact that Jordan Culbreath is back and actually contributing to the team is a big deal in the club house and on the field.
But I think the real improvement comes from QB Tommy Wornham, who was just confused on the field at this time last year. He’s getting into a groove, and he no longer needs to run because he can’t figure out just when and how to pass. And he has great weapons to throw to, namely Trey Peacock who destroyed the Lions in 2008 the last time these teams hooked up in New York City.
Another major shot in the arm has been the hurry-up offense Princeton has put into place this year under new offensive coordinator James Perry. At first, I thought the hurry up was just being used to cover up a patchwork offensive line… and it still does… but it’s also becoming a great weapon, especially in the hotter weather where opposing defenses tend to get winded faster. A cooler day on Saturday is in the forecast, and that might help Columbia do better than Princeton’s first two opponents. And getting a better chance to analyze the Princeton film should also help.
Still, Princeton’s hurry-up is much quicker than the no-huddle offense Fordham used against the Lions in week one. Substitutions will be much harder to come by, especially for the Columbia defensive line which is shuttling 8-9 players in and out of every game so far.
Defensively, the Tigers are giving up a lot of points, but not so much yardage. The loss of LB Steven Cody, the best all-around player on the whole Princeton squad, is not helping. The Tigers do have decent size on defense, not unlike Towson which was big but not fast and seemed a little brittle for some reason.
Princeton’s special teams are solid.
Another question is how much the Tigers will be motivated by last year’s devastating 38-0 loss to the Lions. I do expect Princeton to be hyped up for the game, but that excitement will be tempered quite a bit if Columbia can grab an early lead and contain Culbreath.
Again, the forecast for Saturday is for a beautiful, sunny 65 degree day. So a decent crowd should be there to help the Lions gee extra motivated too.
In other news, a shocker out of UC Berkeley.
The school is de-funding rugby, making it a club sport.
Berkeley has the best rugby program in the nation!
This is crazy.
I'm sure the members of the Old Blue Rugby Club born here at Columbia will have a lot to say about this.
But the coach of Berkeley Rugby, Jack Clark, will be joining my show, Varney & Company , on FOX Business tomorrow at 10am Eastern time.