Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Honors, Stats, and a Shortcut Lost

Is it nitpicky to complain that Columbia’s Sean Brackett was forced to share http://www.ivyleaguesports.com/sports/fball/2010-11/releases/Football_Weekly_Release_-_Week_4 Ivy League offensive player of the week honors with Penn’s Billy Ragone?

Check the following comparison of their respective stats and YOU decide:

-Brackett threw for five TD’s and no interceptions. Ragone threw for one TD and had two picks.

-Brackett threw for 273 yards, and completed 75% of his passes. Ragone threw for just 132 yards and completed 62% of his passes.

-Brackett had six yards per carry and finished with 48 yards rushing. Ragone had 4.6 yards per carry and 57 overall.

Ragone did run for three TD’s, but some of that was due to the fact that he could not direct much of a vertical passing attack.

So, to put it politely, I’m not sure why Ragone is even considered to be in Brackett’s general league right now.

But I’m biased.

A back story here is that both Columbia and Penn recruited Ragone.

But while Ragone is a very talented runner and a developing passer, Brackett seems ahead of him right now in every phase of the game.

Depending on Penn QB Keiffer Garton’s health, there seems to be a good chance Brackett and Ragone will face off as opposing starters at Penn on October 16th.

But if Brackett had to share the honors with anyone, it should have been Harvard RB Gino Gordon, who carried the Crimson offense on his back with 170 yards rushing and two TD’s.

More Stats

But getting back to stats, they dominate the news today for Columbia fans, and with great reason.

-First off, the Ivy League official stats page mistakenly omits Nick Gerst’s rushing stats. Gerst has 197 net rushing yards and is actually third in the Ivies, but the league did not realize he had played in all three games so far this season and he was left off the stats list. I am told this is being fixed. (Yes, I complained to the league office). Congratulations Nick!

*UPDATE* The error has been fixed. Nick is #3 on the list!

-Gerst is running for seven yards per carry!

Now, look at more of Brackett’s statistics. Some of them are just incredible:

-Brackett is completing 70% of his passes, (70%!), and is averaging 10 yards per attempt. Remember that seven yards per attempt or more is like hitting .300 in baseball; it’s the gold standard.

-Brackett is also the 5th leading rusher in the Ivies with 168 yards and 4.5 yards per carry.

-Brackett has just one INT in 60 attempts.

-For the first time that I can ever remember, Columbia leads the league in rushing yards with 584 overall and 195 per game. The team Columbia plays next, Lafayette, is having a terrible time containing the run. The Leopards are allowing a surprising 199 yards per game on the ground. Harvard rolled up 311 yards rushing against them this Saturday and Princeton defeated the Leopards two games ago with 149 rushing when the same Tigers got just 81 yards on the ground against the Lions.

-Columbia leads the league in turnover ratio with a +3.

-Alex Gross still leads the league in tackles and now his lead has increased to seven tackles over the #2 tacklers, Brad Lainhart and Jordan Haynes.

Also, I neglected to mention on Friday that Gross has been named a semifinalist for the William Campbell Trophy. Congratulations Alex!!!

Harvard’s Hard Case

Someone at Harvard may be getting in trouble now that we know QB Andrew Hatch played a good part of the Brown game after suffering a concussion.

No one is saying the Crimson coaches or training staff KNEW Hatch was concussed in the game, but it does seem like the best efforts to err on the side of caution were not exercised.

I’ll leave any disciplinary action to the Harvard A.D., but now the question is how the Crimson will respond with a third string QB at the helm for at least the immediate future.

Harvard’s next opponent is Cornell at Harvard Stadium, and it looks like the Crimson will be able to Big Red even with the QB shuffle. But tougher opponents await.

The Dream is Over

It appears that weekend construction work on the GW Bridge has been spilling out onto my beloved Harlem River Drive, and I can no longer recommend using that roadway to get to Lions games from Queens and Long Island. Taking the TriBoro to 125th Street and driving crosstown to the West Side Highway is only a little longer of a trip and is still better than anything that takes you to the Cross Bronx Expressway.

And because of some blockages on 10th Avenue, I would also recommend using the West Side Highway for your return trip as well.

But the BEST WAY to the games is still the A train or Metro North commuter rail.


Getting back to stats, visits to this blog were up 18.5% compared to September of last year, AND up 57.6% compared to September of 2008!

Thanks for reading!


At Tue Oct 05, 08:34:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Naming Ragone as a co-winner is just not right. It is just not even almost right. It is flat out wrong, as is leaving Gross off of this week's honor roll. Penn must have an in with whoever makes these decisions. The runner up should be Kennedy. PS, we are leading the Ivies with only 40 points having been yielded on defense.

At Tue Oct 05, 08:29:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although I have no idea how the selections are made, I assume that either the coaches or sports information department "nominate" a certain number of players for the various awards. This week they must have nominated at least Brackett, Kennedy, Murphy, because all three of those players were named as award winners. Sure, Gross is deserving as well, but I'm happy that at least three of our guys received awards. Incidentally, have you noticed that Ryan Murphy is rapidly developing into an outstanding pass rusher for Columbia. He seems to be improving every game. He's very quick off the ball, has good football instincts and is a sure handed tackler. It's tough on the other team's offense to try to stop a Columbia team that has so many good defensive ends. Lou Miller left a nice legacy at DE.

At Tue Oct 05, 08:48:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lafayette is a far better team than one would expect from a squad with an 0-4 record. Columbia certainly cannot look past the Leopards to Penn. I've always hated playing Lafayette as game #4 on the schedule between two Ivy League games.

At Tue Oct 05, 09:02:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sharing the award with Brackett is ridiculous, of course, but the current lack of respect Columbia receives will certainly change if it keeps winning like this past Sat.

At Tue Oct 05, 10:15:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Second Anonymous is about right, as I understand the procedure.

At Wed Oct 06, 12:01:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger cathar said...

It is very exciting to watch a team genuinely coming together, and I can only hope it continues this Saturday. We may really have something this season.

On a related note, does anyone know when Norries's contract is up? Based on what he seems to be accomplishing and how much respect and genuine affection the players seem to have for him, I'd hate like hell for him to scurry off to someplace else.

At Wed Oct 06, 12:19:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know, but seem to remember that he signed a 5 year contract.

At Wed Oct 06, 12:52:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rumor has it that Foehi is on the Ivy Award selection committee....


At Wed Oct 06, 01:13:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Big game Saturday versus Lafayette. Certainly winnable but far from a sure thing. CU has had some success but still needs to prove they can be consistent. Let's close out the non-conference season with a win!

At Wed Oct 06, 01:31:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Billy Campbell is a big fan of Norries and will keep him in the fold.

At Wed Oct 06, 01:35:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Lafayette College paper has an article about this being a must game for the Leopolds. They hope to catch us napping. That's why we need to come out strong and not let them hang around.

At Wed Oct 06, 02:19:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not too worried about Columbia becoming complacent this year. The players know from last year that only two or three plays over the course of a season can make the difference between a winning record and a losing one. And if they don't remember, Wilson certainly will remind them.
By the way, Surace made an important observation after the Princeton game -- that CU's defense stays with its assignments extraordinarily well. Remember all the near sacks, screens and draws that turned into big gains over the years because containment broke down? That doesn't seem to be happening now. The defense hasn't given up many big plays this season because the ends and corners are staying home and the D overall isn't over-pursuing. Still, they are gang tackling. Nice change!

At Wed Oct 06, 02:21:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hard to believe Lafayette could be that bad when they beat us only last year, and there must be a lot of players who are still on that team.

At Wed Oct 06, 02:51:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I notice that the Leopards lost their first 3 games by a total of only 12 points, while being being more soundly by Harvard.

I still think that we will take them, we have a decent record against them at home, while on the road ... another story. But this year the Lions will vanquish the spotted cats! I say let's go 3-0 vs our feline foes!


At Wed Oct 06, 03:26:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last year we outplayed an excellent Lafayette team at Easton but were victimized by some very poor calls on a last minute long drive by Lafayette. NW will have our guys remembering how we let that one slip away.

At Wed Oct 06, 04:06:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lafayette already posted its game notes on their website. The Leopards have a dangerous freshman kickoff returner and a highly regarded wide receiver. Their quarterback missed some early in the season due to a leg injury. Expect Lafayette to throw the ball often on Saturday to numerous different wide receivers and backs. Columbia will need to disrupt Lafayette's passing game with pressure on the quarterback and tight coverage of the receivers. Special teams play will be important against Lafayette as the Lions cannot allow Lafayette's freshman kickoff receiver to make any big returns.

At Wed Oct 06, 04:37:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last year the Columbia team was on a high coming into the Lafayette game in Easton, Pa. Then the Lions suffered a season ending injury to its best player, Alex Gross, as well as a variety of other unexpected problems during the game, including numerous questionable pass interference calls on the Lion defensive backs. Does anyone doubt that the Lion coaches and players remember what happened in Easton and will be ready for Lafayette?

At Wed Oct 06, 04:53:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That last drive in the Lafayette game last year was highway robbery. The referees basically gave the game to Lafayette on three atrocious calls. I expect us to be ready. One aspect of last Saturday's game which needs to be mentioned was our tackling and our kick coverage; both were excellent. We were really hitting all day. If we hit and cover the same way on aturday we should win going away.

At Thu Oct 07, 04:46:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have commented in the past about the hack job performed on CU by the refs last year in the LaFayette game so I won't beat that horse. . . well, maybe a little. The calls were atrocious and determined the outcome of the game. Okay. Nuff said on that.

My reason for contributing today was to extend praise to Alex Gross for his recent nomination as a Semi Finalist for the Campbell Award. A nice pat on the back for a kid of skillz, determination and attitude, but more important, of intelligence and hard work academically. Much to be proud of Mr. and Mrs. Gross.

The Neckman


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