Conner Kempe was barely touched all day (CREDIT: Dartmout Sports)
Dartmouth 24 Columbia 21
Why Dartmouth Won
The Big Green controlled the line of scrimmage, and except for a serious bout with fumblitis in 4th quarter, they controlled the game. Dartmouth sacked Sean Brackett four times, gained 401 total yards, and ran 81 plays without using a no-huddle. With the game on the line late in the contest, the Green orchestrated an impressive 69-yard TD drive to win the game.
Why Columbia Lost
The offense went stagnant after the opening TD drive and didn't awake again until a series of Dartmouth miscues gave it new life. The defense never really pressured Big Green QB Conner Kempe and allowed him and his offense to dictate the game. After coming back from the dead to grab a 21-17 4th quarter lead, the Lion defense allowed two 3rd and long conversion and one fourth down conversion on that 69-yard Dartmouth TD drive to win it.
Key Turning Point
-Leading 7-3 in the third, the Lion defense forced a rare three-and-out on Dartmouth's opening possession of the 2nd half. But the Green punt bounced all the way down to the Columbia one. After a three-and-out of their own the Lions punted to the Dartmouth 49 giving the Green a short field. Four minutes and 19 seconds later, it was 10-7 Dartmouth.
-The Lions did win the turnover battle again, losing just one fumble that did not end up hurting them while recovering three Dartmouth fumbles. Columbia's turnover ratio is now +7.
-Alex Gross had 16 tackles, a pass break up and was all over the field once again.
-It wasn't his best performance, but Sean Brackett still went 17-31 for 188 yards, one TD and no INT's. On the season, the 18-year-old sophomore now has 12 TD passes to just ONE interception.
-The Lions inability to control the line of scrimmage is shaping up to be a serious problem. Losing the battle in the trenches at Penn last week was one thing, but getting pushed around by Dartmouth in front of a big crowd of 11,000 people at Homecoming is something else.
-The Columbia offense is not playing consistently. It seems like it can score at will at some points, and at other times can't move forward at all.
-Alex Gross kept the Lions in the game and continues to lead the Ivies in total tackles.