Sunday, October 10, 2010

In Good Hands

Columbia 42 Lafayette 28

Why Columbia Won

Sophomore QB Sean Brackett wouldn't let them lose. Brackett kept the offense moving at key moments with his arm and his feet all afternoon. Every time the Lions seemed to be in trouble, Brackett and/or a big kick return by Craig Hamilton put them back in control.

Why Lafayette Lost

The Leopards didn't take care of the football. The offense moved the ball extremely well, but a terrible INT/pick 6 and some lost fumbles sealed Lafayette's fate. The defense was also pourous at times, but the turnovers stymied an offense that was otherwise matching the Lion offense step for step.

Turning Points

-With Lafayette leading 10-7 early in the second quarter and in what looked like another scoring drive, Leopard QB Ryan O'Neil threw a pass right to Columbia LB Alex Gross. Gross picked it off and rumbled 69 yards for a TD. Lafayette would get the lead back again, but the big play from Gross kept the Lions from getting too far behind.

-On the opening drive of the second half, Columbia faced a 4th and 1 at the Leopard 32. After failing on a 4th down conversion with a bad pass in the first half, the Lions just used a simple running play to FB Nathan Lenz this time, and Lenz gained three yards to keep the drive alive. On the very next play, Brackett executed a beautiful double fake handoff and completed a 29 yard TD pass to a wide open TE Andrew Kennedy. Columbia never had less than a two score lead after that.

Columbia Positives

-Brackett keeps getting better and better. He never even came close to throwing an interception, giving him just one this season in 80 total attempts. His scrambling ability, even when everyone in the stadium knows he's going to run, is also better than ever.

-The Lion offensive line is starting to dominate, as opposed to just wearing down opponents over time. Columbia finally scored in the first quarter of a game this season, because the O-line came out right to shine right away.

-If Columbia thought losing Austin Knowlin meant losing a decent kickoff returner, that was very wrong. Hamilton now seems like he could break one every single time he touches the ball.

Columbia Negatives

-The defense put in its worst performance of the season, looking particularly vulnerable to fakes and screen passes. Whatever the Leopards figured out about the Lion D that the previous three opponents did not needs to be fixed in time for Penn next week.

-Still too many penalties, and this time it wasn't the refs' fault.

Columbia MVP

Sean Brackett's 105 yards rushing and three TD passes should only promote his legend across the Ivies even more. Remember, folks, this is just a sophomore who will only get better if he stays healthy.


At Sun Oct 10, 10:52:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know why Gerst saw so little action?

At Sun Oct 10, 11:15:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't know why Gerst didn't get any action. Maybe he didn't match up well with Lafayettes' defensive scheme? He looked fine the couple of times he carried the ball. On another point: In a game of tremendous positives, the only negative was the anemic attendance, only 2900. C'mon! The weather was unbelievable, Brackett had just won Ivy league player of the week, and the team had just had sucessive victories over Princeton for the FIRST time in 120 years. What gives?

At Sun Oct 10, 11:53:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our offense was terrific. Our defense was just fair. Our pass defense made some mistakes in coverage that need to be corrected before the Penn game. We did not put enough pressure on the quarterback. Our linebackers need to blitz more. However, there were some outstanding plays including Gross's TD/Pick, Martin's fumble return, and the hits by Josh Smith, Nick Mistretta and others. Eddy was flawless again on PAT's. Hamilton was superb on kickoff returns. Our kickoff and punt coverage was outstanding. David Chao came through with the key catch on Lafayette's onside kick. The offensive line play was also outstanding. Our running game showed flashes of greatness, but we missed Gerst. Zack Kouroumna made some great plays. Sean Brackett made numerous great plays. We defeated Lafayette by 14 points and would have won by 22 points if we weren't fooled by the flea flicker with about three minutes to go. Lafayette also received a boost from the return of its best running back. Penn bested a weaker Lafayette team by only 5 points. The Penn-Columbia Game is the top game in the Ivy League next week.

At Sun Oct 10, 12:18:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saw him riding a bike on the sideline during the game..Thats usually a leg issue..Maybe protecting him for Penn..Going to need him...

At Sun Oct 10, 02:11:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have plenty of good players, but without Brackett and Gross I don't think we'd have too much to holler about. A pair like that doesn't show up on Morningside all that often. Let's count our blessings.

At Sun Oct 10, 04:51:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If anyone wanted to know what is so great about Ivy League football all they had to do was read the newspaper article re: Alex Gross, listen to the halftime interview with former captain Drew Quinn, and watch the young men in Saturday's game "sell out" on every play to obtain a win. Seeing Ross Morand give all he had, to catch a Lafayette runner from behind at the five yd line with the game already decided, just epitomized what heart is being displayed on every play by the Lions this year. Thanks players for all your hard work.

At Sun Oct 10, 05:03:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great summary of the game. I am sure the Ivy powers will find a QB for someone else to share the Ivy player of the week award. Good running by Ivery as well

At Sun Oct 10, 06:53:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Lafayette website states that we "scratched out" the victory. At first that bothered me, because we had actually blown them out when we sat our starters and allowed their first unit to get a cheap score. But on reflection, I think that was probably fair comment. Our defense was not getting penetration and was giving the Lafayette QB too much time. I was happy to see Fraser play but noticed that his snaps were very limited. Groth also seemed to be sitting a lot. We need those two to act as space eaters and take up double teams so that our LBs can make tackles at the line of scrimmage and not 5 yards downfield. We also had some completely blown coverages, and Gross was beaten badly by a RB with no help from the safety on one of the TDs. I'm sure that Bags will be looking closely at yesterday's game tapes. We'll need to fix some of our schemes. Murphy at 205 is a situational DE on third down and perhaps should be playing LB. Our two sophomore DEs have not been getting to the QB. And we don't seem to be playing defense with the same intensity that we saw in the first two wins. Lest I sound too pessimistic, it was still a great win against a team which had everything on the line, with a long and proud tradiition of winning football. It is just going to take more to win the Penngame, which, by the way, we are capable of doing if we perform in all three phases.

At Sun Oct 10, 09:07:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As porous as the defense was, I am less concerned because this year he Lions are finding a way to win, and that's a key issue. If they have that mindset it is possible that --in a close game-- they will be able to adjust and tighten up on defense. What's impressive thus far is that, when the have to make the big plays to preserve the lead, they are doing it. Let's see if this continues

At Sun Oct 10, 09:17:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the anemic attendance, I watched the game on the ESPN game plan and the stands looked very empty on what appeared to be a beautiful day. For those of us that have a son on the team, live far from NYC, have other children in college at similar prices, it costs us over $1,000 per weekend to attend a game with hotel and airfare. We have been twice so far with a 3rd game scheduled at home and one away game, but it is difficult to pay six figures annually for college and then another significant sum to attend the games. We try, but finances are not there.

At Sun Oct 10, 09:23:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

Attendance will be huge at Homecoming on the 23rd. If the Lions beat Penn next week, it will be more than huge.

At Tue Oct 12, 12:18:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A couple things about defense.

1) Playing Fraser was a mistake. He was obviously not in game shape or just doesn't have what we were seeing his first year. Maybe the injury is still bothering him too? That was a disruption at the start. It was a little better with him and Groth in, but, Groth was probably the bigger factor in that case. The coaches need to realize Fraser is human and not just going to explode just because he is on the field. That shouldn’t be playing him until he proves he can contribute.

2) The DL for the most part did ok, but, until Lafayette fizzled in the 2nd half, they for the most part dominated the line. Groth was in for a short time and that seemed to help with penetration, but, the 2 starters seemed to have issues until the mid 3rd quarter. The ends were also getting shut down way too much and it showed. I hope this is not an indication of what to expect against big OLs. I don’t think other teams will fizzle in the 2nd half like Lafayette did.

3) Obvious coverage issue and the safeties let receivers get behind them. I’m sure that will be worked on this week.


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