Saturday, October 30, 2010

Bounce Back, or Crash Land?

The ol' Yale Bowl doesn't look so intimidating from here

Columbia Lions vs. Yale Bulldogs

October 30, 2010

Location: Yale Bowl

Kickoff Time: 12 noon

Gametime Weather Forecast: Partly cloudy and 58 degrees. Moderate wind, (always a factor at Yale Bowl)

The Spread: Yale is favored by 2 points

Watch the Game Live on the YES Network! And listen live on SideLion Pass. My halftime guest on the SideLion Pass broadcast will be former Head Coach Ray Tellier! We’ll talk the history of Columbia-Yale, especially his very successful run against the Bulldogs in the mid to late 1990’s. And just wait until you hear what Coach Tellier has to say about current Lion QB Sean Brackett!

Columbia Game Notes

Yale Game Notes


From Merritt and Wilbur Cross Parkways:

Take Exit 57 (Route 34 East) directly to the Yale Fields, or take Exit 59 (Whalley Avenue) and follow Yale Bowl Signs to the Yale Fields.

From I-95:

Take Eastbound Exit 44 or Westbound Exit 45 to Route 10 and follow Yale Bowl signs. Or, take Exit 47 (Downtown) and follow Route 34 to the Yale Fields.

From Downtown New Haven:

Go north on Chapel Street, then turn left on Derby Avenue (Route34) to the fields.
From I-91: Take Exit 1 (Downtown) and follow Route 34 to the Yale Fields.

For MapQuest or your GPS: Yale Bowl's address is 276 Derby Ave. West Haven, CT 06516-1046


Both teams are coming off emotionally deflating losses. The Lions blew a late lead to drop a Homecoming contest against Dartmouth, while the Elis fell to Penn in a big game to determine first place in the Ivies.

Last year’s 23-22 loss to Yale had to be the most disappointing game of 2009 for the Lions. It ruined a brilliant debut for then-freshman QB Sean Brackett. Columbia seemed to have the game wrapped up with a 22-17 lead and a first and goal on the two late in the 4th quarter. But two costly fumbles gave the Elis the win.

The geographic subplots are numerous. Columbia head coach and offensive coordinator come from the UConn program, along with six players and three starters who are from Connecticut. That includes the starting QB Brackett, from Brooklyn, CT.

The Lions haven’t defeated Yale since 2001, a 28-14 win at Wien Stadium highlighted by a 70+-yard TD pass from Jeff McCall to Doug Peck.

Sean Brackett was nine years old that day.

Yale’s eight game winning streak over the Lions is second only to Penn’s 14-game streak over Columbia for the longest opponent streak around the Lions necks.

About half of the last eight losses have not been close. In addition to last year’s close loss, the 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2007 games all could have gone either way.

Lions fans are still especially sore about the 2006 game, where then-Yale Head Coach Jack Siedlecki called a late timeout to secure a tack-on TD and earlier, Mike McLeod did a backflip into the end zone in a hot dog play.

The 2004 game at the Bowl ended with a glaring “no call” from the refs on an incomplete pass to tightly covered TE Wade Fletcher in the end zone, that would have been the tying TD.

The 2007 game was tied, 0-0, at halftime in a driving rainstorm.

In 2008, Lion superstar DE Lou Miller was ejected from the game for making a hit out of bounds. Upon further review, the hit was found not to be especially flagrant, and Miller received no further suspension or penalty.

The two schools have a long history together… and it’s not all bad.

Columbia and Yale became the first two future Ivy teams to play football against one another in 1871. Yale won, 3-0.

And Columbia University was founded by a group of young Yale grads when they formed classes in the back rooms at Trinity Church in Lower Manhattan in 1754.

Keys to the Game

Pressure and Pick off Witt

Just because the Lions couldn’t get enough pressure on Dartmouth’s Conner Kempe, doesn’t mean they can’t mix things up and achieve that against Yale. Switching Alex Gross to middle linebacker this week, may free up more of the outside pass rushers to lock on target.

Witt is improving in this category but he still can be picked off, especially if he’s pressured. Columbia has not INT’s in each game of this current losing streak and grabbing at least one Saturday could turn things around.

Let Sean Run, and then Watch the Offense Run

It’s been pretty obvious: the Lion offense has been stagnant when Brackett has been playing like a regular drop back passer. When he starts running, the rest of the offense starts to click as well. Obviously, you don’t want to risk injury, but when Brackett puts himself out there opposing defenses seem to get clueless going forward.

Brackett has now started 10 games in his career. Columbia is 5-5 in those games, 3-4 Ivy. It’s time for Brackett to be given almost full responsibility for the team’s fortunes… at least on offense.

Brackett almost shocked the Elis last year in his first ever varsity game.

Now it’s time for him to finish what he started.

Let Brackett be Brackett.


At Sat Oct 30, 05:26:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Posting from Hong Kong....

Jake, I have been to two games and watched two others and I could not agree with you more. Let Brackett be Brackett....he can take care of himself as far as punishment is concerned. When he is let loose he creates options for others whether via an option or pass. every sustained drive I have seen this year derives from his putting it all out there and not from conservative drip back play calling.

We will beat Yale if we do as you say on offense.

Chen '82

At Sat Oct 30, 10:20:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger Blue Balls said...

Place looks like my old crash pad.


At Sun Oct 31, 02:46:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

todays' game took a few years off my life

At Sun Oct 31, 03:06:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The first half was the ugliest, sloppiest, and dumbest half of Columbia football I think I've seen since the Penn homecoming several years ago. We could have folded. And yet it was our game to lose at the end. So near and yet so far. I have to give our coaches and players credit for coming back. And yet.......

At Sun Oct 31, 03:20:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gerst carried twice. Injured?
Yale's receivers seemed to alter their routes and/or had effective ones, defeating the Lions' D.

At Sun Oct 31, 03:58:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

jake Bounce back or Crash land , We had Crash Land ,Bounce Back, and Crash Land again.

At Sun Oct 31, 05:40:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll be ok by Thursday...maybe.

At Sun Oct 31, 07:48:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My first trip to the Yale Bowl. What a dump! It belongs in New Haven! Oh wait, it is New Haven! I had my two granddaughters with me. I just finished pulling out 3 splinters from the crying little 2 year old girl's hand that she received from the dilapidated and unpainted seats. We had to pull the other one year old granddaughter away from from the peeling paint (hopefully not lead) on the dilapidated hand railings.
The Yale Board of Trustees should act as responsible fiduciary Trustees and take a miniscule sliver from the billions of their endowment and make the place safe or just knock the place down and start over. Shame on them.

At Sun Oct 31, 07:58:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After reading all about the Lions here this year...this was my first chance to see them live in person.

Game we could have (and should have) won...dug ourselves a (very) deep hole early and could not recover in time...but we had many chances and missed opportunities in the second half.

Was i seeing things or was #10 not trying to break the line of scrimmage on purpose for a run...instead seeming to opt for a pass at all times? Also, the D-line was on him all day...

On D...the three Yale TD passes looked way too easy. They abused our schemes. Spread us out and picked on the middle of the field.

Other random thoughts - great play by #55 on defense. That youngster will be very good one day if he keeps improving. #37 solid as usual. On 0 - great work by #82 as usual. Great diving catch by the WR #2 (i think)...kept one late drive going...way to grab the ball.

Outstanding to see the Athletic Director and staff cheering at the game too..great support system...

Worst play of the game goes to the Referee for charging Cornell with a time out...what an insult. Get your head in the game ref...

At Sun Oct 31, 11:31:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is going on with Gerst. These coaches do not use this kid. On top of that a friend of mine attended the game and said he was sitting near a few coaches from a D1 school who came to see him play. Guess they didn't get to see to much. Hope we dont lose this kid

At Sun Oct 31, 11:59:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

article on Brackett at:

At Sun Oct 31, 06:41:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know why we came out so flat. I also don't know why it took us so long to get untracked. On an unrelated note, the Yale Bowl is just a dump. I understand that the field was redone, but the rest of the place is just awful. During halftime our team had to gather under the stands. And I'll be picking splinters out of my chinos for the next week.

At Sun Oct 31, 07:59:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Columbia's Football Stadium is ten times nicer than the Yale Bowl. Forget the splinters, the biggest problem is the bathrooms. I assume there are some bathrooms within the Bowl, but I couldn't find one. Walking to an outhouse several hundred feet from the Bowl was no fun.

At Sun Oct 31, 08:16:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not exactly a level playing field in Ivy League Football when the Yale quarterback is a transfer from Nebraska, the Harvard quarterback is a 24 year old transfer from L.S.U. and the Penn safety is a transfer from Stanford. I assume there are other transfers at some of the Ivies. That's doesn't seem fair to me. Columbia needs to re-shape its recruiting strategy as it is at a serious disadvantage when it playing schools with Division I transfers.

At Sun Oct 31, 08:38:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great second half effort by th ekids....Turnovers allways kill you...

The yale Bowl?????? Could be an awesome football stadium!!....amazing that they just spent all this money to renovate it......Holy smokes!!!! needs another renovation....

At Sun Oct 31, 09:34:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's not kid ourselves. This wasn't some valiant comeback. We just stank up the place in the first half. Yale began to coast and we caught a few breaks, so much so that we had a chance to steal the game at the end. We have been in three close games and lost all three. Yale has been in three close games and won all three. If we come out flat again next Saturday we'll get blown out. Our punting game stank. Our kick return game stank. We made dumb penalties. We fumbled the ball. We blew coverages. Does Yale have better talent? I don't think so. I'm clueless at this point.

At Sun Oct 31, 11:41:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the last poster. You only get 10 games a year in the Ivies. Failing to show up ready to play is inexcusable. We were just terrible in all facets in the first half. In some ways, the second half just makes it worse as it shows that our talent level is as good as Yale's. No excuses. The talent is there. The preparation and will to win may not be.


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