Saturday, November 06, 2010

Columbia Lions at Harvard Crimson

November 6, 2010

Kickoff Time: 12 noon

Location: Harvard Stadium

Directions to Harvard Stadium

Gametime Weather Forecast: Cloudy and 49 degrees

Listen to the game live on SideLionPass or watch it live on Harvard’s game day central ($9.95 charge)

The Spread: Harvard is favored by 11 points

Columbia Game Notes

Harvard Game Notes


Harvard’s Head Coach Tim Murphy has only lost to Columbia four times since he took over the Crimson in 1994. Simply put, Harvard has dominated this series during his tenure.

But it wasn’t pretty even during the woefully mediocre Joe Restic’s years as well. The Lions played the Crimson in the season opener every year from 1976-1999 and Columbia started its seasons 0-1 in 20 out of those 24 years, most of them during the Restic era.

In recent years, Harvard has played the Lions almost flawlessly. The Crimson have won six straight over the Lions by an average score of 37-10.

But the elephant in the room is that since 2000, most Ivy titles have come down to a battle between Harvard and Penn… and since 2000, the Harvard-Penn game has always been the week AFTER the Harvard-Columbia game.

The incredible discipline Harvard teams have exhibited as they avoid looking ahead to Penn and ignoring the Lions may be Coach Murphy’s greatest achievement.

In other words, Columbia just can’t bank on a distracted Crimson team.

Keys to the Game

Lull the Crimson to Sleep

That's what Lehigh did a few weeks backs when the Mountain Hawks beat Harvard at Harvard. (But that was a game where the Crimson had to start the 3rd string QB)

A sustained and successful running attack is a great way to defeat a team that likes to beat YOU with a sustained and successful running attack. That will be a tall order against the Crimson defense, but not impossible. Surely, Harvard will not be as tough against the run as Penn was. (No it isn’t… and don’t call me “Shirley”).

Columbia needs to get the run going by using lots of weapons. That’s Nick Gerst to the outside, Leon Ivery to the inside, and Sean Brackett all over the place.

Freeze the Crimson Defensive Line

This could be the week to attack with screen passes. Gerst and Zack Kourouma are good options to throw to on screens. I’d try screens early in hopes of getting the D-line and linebackers to back off a bit and then rip into them with he running game.

Let Brackett be Brackett (2nd Appeal)

Brackett needs to attack the edges of the field and not get chained into the pocket play after play. A sustained attack along those lines would at least wear out the Crimson defenders by the latter stages in the game.

Shore up the Middle on Defense

Harvard running back Gino Gordon will come right at the Lions until they stop him. So, they’ll have to stop him.

Come out Ready to Play and Avoid the Snowball

Last week at Yale, the Lions were out of it early and just let the Elis steamroll to a 31-7 lead before they woke up. Eliminating just ONE Yale TD during that snowballing period would have changed the game. Harvard may come out looking strong, but as long as Columbia can avoid a three score deficit they’ll still have a chance.


1) This Saturday is a very important date in college football, and Ivy football history.

Can you guess why?

2) If you watch this weekend's games on YES or VERSUS, keep an eye out for the new PSA promoting Ivy football directed by my friend Erick Greenberg Anjou. Better yet, order his full-length documentary on Ivy football, 8: Ivy League Football and America, now!


At Sat Nov 06, 08:24:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And David put his hand in the bag and took out a stone and slung it. And it struck the Philistine on the head and he fell to the ground. Amen"


At Sat Nov 06, 08:55:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger DOC said...

"The tower! The tower!
Rapunzel! Rapunzel!"


At Sat Nov 06, 11:58:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let Brackett be Brackett and if Gerst touches the ball 20 times Columbia has a shot to win

At Sat Nov 06, 11:51:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Same old story early. The wholes that Columbia opens early Gerst potentially goes to the house with the 4.35 speed....Unbeleiveable...

At Sun Nov 07, 02:05:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, a predictable loss at Harvard. We're just not ready this year and unless we improve a notch we will not be ready next year either. Slow grinding death and turnovers.

If we do not win our last two, Wilson and coaching staff need to answer to AD for a disappointing season.

If we do not compete for Ivy Champs next year (like at least a 5-2 Ivy record), then it may be time for a change at the top.

At Sun Nov 07, 07:46:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Questions: Is Gerst injured, having been used "sparingly" vs. Harvard? Garrett?

At Sun Nov 07, 12:36:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Gerst kid is a mystery.. We have seen the best teams in the IVY and as yet we have not seen a tailback that hits the whole faster or has more speed than Nick Gerst....And the kid stands on the sideline.... May be there is something we all dont know...

At Mon Nov 08, 06:04:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know I'll be pooh-poohed and told
bad calls even themselves out but I don't believe it. When CU fumbles a punt and an opponent falls on it, it's the opponent's ball. But when the opponent fumbles a punt and CU recovers it, it's still the opponent's ball? I don't care if it's "bad form" in the Ivies--cheating by the officials is bad form too--but our coach should have a fit on the field and forfeit the damned game if that's what it comes too--it's obvious we'll lose it anyway with that type of officiating. And AD Murphy should be in whatever office hires and oversees the officials on Monday morning with video and a demand for an explanation, a reversal of the call or declaring the game void PLUS banning the official of course, OR SOMETHING! But no, just another deliberate screwing of Columbia on a game-turning play, another loss, another lost season and why bother fielding a team anymore?


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