Saturday, October 02, 2010

Faster and Faster

The Bee Gees: Brackett, Gutierrez, & Gerst (CREDIT: Columbia Athletics)

Princeton Tigers at Columbia Lions

October 2, 2010

Location: Robert K. Kraft Field at Wien Stadium on the Baker Athletic Complex, West 218th Street and Broadway, New York, NY.

Kickoff Time: 12:30pm

Gametime Weather Forecast: Sunny and 67 degrees

The Spread: Columbia is favored by 2 ½ points

Columbia Game Notes

Princeton Game Notes

HOW TO GET TO THE GAME (Jake’s NEW preferred methods):

By Subway: Take the Uptown A train to the final stop at 207th Street. Exit from the 211th Street exit and walk up to 218th Street.

By Car: Do whatever you can to avoid the Cross Bronx Expressway. But ALSO avoid the tie ups at Broadway north of Dyckman that are also a result of the subway construction. If you choose the parking garages along 10Th Avenue, I would get under the tracks as soon as you can on 10th and pull into the first garage you see within 10 blocks of the stadium.

By Commuter Rail: Take the Metro North train from Grand Central to the Marble Hill stop and walk back over the Broadway Bridge to the stadium.

More driving, subway, and bus directions and tips here


Columbia whipped Princeton in New Jersey last year, 38-0. But the Lions have never beaten the Tigers two years in a row.

Princeton chalks up much of last year's big loss to the life-threatening injury that kept star RB Jordan Culbreath out of the game and the remainder of the season. But miraculously, Culbreath is back and playing well so far this season.

Columbia believes it was cruising to a great season after that Princeton win, but star LB Alex Gross was lost for the season on the first play of the next game. The Lions would not win again until week 9.

Historically, most of Columbia's most horrific and significant losses have come at the hands of the Tigers. But the Lions have delivered some emotionally scarring losses to Princeton as well. They include the famous 16-13 win to end a 44 game losing streak in 1988 and a Hail Mary TD pass at the buzzer to win in 2003.

The two campuses are just 56 miles apart.

Keys to the Game

Wrap up Wornham

Princeton QB Tommy Wornham has been doing well by avoiding heavy rushes and getting his passes off just in time. Columbia needs to harass him, and more than that, wrap him up with actual sacks, to disrupt his game.

You have to be impressed by the overall numbers the Tigers no-huddle offense is generating. But this is a great challenge for a Lion defense that has given up the fewest overall points in the Ivies so far this season.

Contain Culbreath

Jordan Culbreath is really an admirable kid who should be commended for his courageous fight against a deadly disease and heroic climb to get back into football.

But he can get his yards against someone else.

Every first down Culbreath runs for tomorrow will boost Tiger morale more and more. Columbia can’t allow itself to be emotionally steamrolled like that.

Get Going on Offense

Another slow start on offense against Princeton could be fatal. The Tiger hurry-up keeps them moving the ball and the Lions can’t wait until late in the second quarter to score when Princeton may already have 10 or 17 points on the board.

If that means getting some of the fresher legs in the game earlier, like Nick Gerst, it may have to happen.

The Corners Must Kick

Other keys to game include Columbia CB’s Calvin Otis and Craig Hamilton winning the battle against the Princeton wide outs. Hamilton is undersized at 5”8, and I expect the Tigers to try to beat him on jump balls. Taller safeties like Adam Mehrer at 6”1, will have to help out. And if 5”11 Kalasi Huggins can come back 100% from injury, that would be good too.

Wear out the Linbackers

Princeton has big, strong linebackers. But I doubt they can chase down Sean Brackett, Gerst and Andrew Kennedy all day. The Lions needs to use their speed advantages and reap the benefits over time.

In general, this really looks like a game that will be decided by the linebackers on both sides. For Columbia, Gross and company need to cut off the Princeton running game and direct the traffic as Princeton runs it hurry-up offense. For Princeton, the Tiger LB's will have to keep someone on Brackett the whole game and still provide decent coverage for Lion TE Andrew Kennedy in the passing game.

The team with the better linebackers will win this game.



At Sat Oct 02, 09:19:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like that Jake - the Bee Gees -
Stayin' Alive!


At Sat Oct 02, 09:55:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fyi, Jake, cornerback Kalisi Huggins did play last weekend against Towson. Otis and Hamilton have looked very good in the first two games of the season and there seems to be plenty of depth behind them.

At Sat Oct 02, 11:45:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A win tomorrow puts us in the cat bird seat.


At Sat Oct 02, 06:42:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Josh Martin rushing Wornham will be a factor.

At Sat Oct 02, 08:15:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Gerst kid may be one of the best running backs we have seen at Columbia in a very long time.
Coach Brown is doing a great job with the defense....

At Sun Oct 03, 03:53:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great game. Get some more of these every week!!

At Sun Oct 03, 05:02:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Outstanding effort in all three phases.

At Sun Oct 03, 05:26:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger cathar said...

Great victory! It appears that we have a quarterback. (And for two ore years after this season, thank you Jesus.) Brackett looked poised and calm today. It also appears that we have something we've lacked for quite a few years lately, a bona fide, multi-back rushing attack.

If you want to know what kind of genuine sportsman Norries is, note that he had not only the 2nd string in there in the the 4th quarter but also the third. He had at least two opportunities to score again and clearly chose not to avail himself of them. And he "went" for 4th down with a rush rather than a gimme field goal. He was kind, very kind today, to the Tigers.

I also felt that, for all Princeton's use of a hurry-up offense, they looked tired and even used-up come the fourth quarter. We also contained Culbreath pretty well.

This is a Columbia team whose confidence level will only grow. They're not perfect, but they're pretty darn good and they play together well as a team.

At Sun Oct 03, 07:24:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great all-around effort by the Lions. Sensational performance by Sean Brackett (five passing TD's tied school record) Coming out party for tailback Nick Gerst. Fabulous play by the hardest hitting defense in recent Lion history. Super day for captain/tight end Andrew Kennedy. Five clean PATS for Luke Eddy. 36 yard run by freshman Marcorus Garrett on his first play from scrimmage. TD reception by senior tight end Pope. All this and more. Incidentally, this was a win over a decent Princeton squad with plenty of talent, but not nearly enough to stay with Columbia for four quarters. Bring on Lafayette and Penn.


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