Day of the Living Dead
Columbia's first half was a horror show
Yale 31 Columbia 28
Why Yale Won
The Elis were extremely aggressive and poised right from the coin flip, forcing Columbia mistakes and turning them into quick scores. Eli QB Patrick Witt was extremely accurate early on, and the Yale defense dominated the line of scrimmage. It was 24-0 Bulldogs before the Lions showed any signs of life.
Why Columbia Lost
Columbia looked like Halloween zombies for most of the first half, allowing big runs, big kick returns, and wide open completions for scores. When the Lions finally started to rally late in the third quarter, it actually wasn't too late to turn it around, but a final drive to tie the game or win it fell flat still inside Columbia territory.
Key Turning Points
-Alex Thomas' easy 42-yard TD run to start the scoring exposed just how out of it the Lions were at the opening gun.
-With the score 24-7 and Columbia looking like it would at least stop the bleeding by halftime, the Lions fumbled a punt and gave the Elis a chance to score one more TD before the break. They did, and it was 31-7 at the half.
-Freshman LB Zach Olinger was a revelation with a game-high 10 tackles, including a sack and two other tackles for a loss. They were not light tackles either; he hits hard.
-Alex Gross had another strong game. He posted nine tackles, a sack and an interception.
-Adam Mehrer finally grabbed an interception, a beauty of a diving grab off a deflection, and recovered a fumble as well.
-Luke Eddy broke Larry Walsh's '84 27-year-old record for consecutive PAT's and now is 23-23 on the season. They're calling him "Eddy Money."
-I thought the Columbia running backs, Zack Kourouma and Leon Ivery, ran very hard. Both Kourouma and Ivery had plays where they refused to go down and got lots of bonus yards out of it.
-The Lions did some things they had not done all season, most notably turn the ball over more times than an opponent, and had trouble covering kicks.
-Sean Brackett had a good second half and finished with four TD passes to put him at 16 for the year. But he also threw two INT's when he had just one for the entire season coming into this game. He also failed to reach a 50% completion rate.
Andrew Kennedy had a monster game, grabbing three TD passes and making sure the Lions at least had a chance in the fourth quarter. The senior TE edges out the frosh Olinger for the MVP nod. Kennedy now had seven TD receptions for the season and 456 receiving yards.