Friday, December 31, 2010

Best Defense, Part Two

Erv Chambliss is now coaching at Union College

Prior to the 2006 season, you have to go back to 1998 to find a truly stellar Columbia defense.

That squad allowed just 175 points to finish second in the Ivies that category for the year.

The key was run defense.

They gave up just 96 rushing yards per game, 2.7 yards per carry, and only seven rushing TD’s on the entire season.

There were stars on all three lines of the defense.

The defensive line featured 1st Team All Ivy Rashaan Curry, who had 6.5 sacks for 47 yards lost and a total of nine tackles for a loss.

The linebackers were led by 1st Team All Ivy Paul Roland, who had 70 tackles, 13 TFL’s and four sacks.

And the incomparable defensive back Chris Tillotson was also a 1st Team All Ivy member with 60 tackles, four interceptions, three fumble recoveries and a blocked kick.

The other big stars were linebacker Kevin Wright and safety Jason Bivens, both made 2nd Team All Ivy. Avery Mosely and Joe Cook were also big leaders.

The best team effort came in week one when the Lions shut out Harvard in a 24-0 Homecoming win. The 22-10 win over Cornell featured a defense that held the Big Red to just nine rushing yards and forced four turnovers while getting nine sacks.

Columbia also had eight sacks and forced six turnovers in the 24-14 win at Dartmouth that ended a 27-year-long winless streak against the Big Green.

The defensive coordinator that season was Erv Chambliss, who also oversaw the secondary.

Since 1998, the Lions haven’t come close to enjoying the kind of run defense they enjoyed that year.

So why didn’t Columbia do better than its 4-6 record that year?

The loss of starting QB Paris Childress early in the year was a major factor, as was the apparent lack of a realization that then-freshman Johnathan Reese was the kind of back who could anchor the entire offense. The red zone offense that year was especially weak.

But 1998 was an extremely exciting season, thanks mostly to the run-killing defense.


At Fri Dec 31, 07:14:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great road win for mens' basketball last night over a tough Maine team. I like this coach.

At Fri Dec 31, 08:06:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From what I've seen so far, Head Coach Kyle Smith and and Associate Head Coach Carlin Hartman are two outstanding coaches. The improvement in the returning players is just remarkable. Of course, I do not want to get too excited until we win some more games, particulaly the two opening games of the Ivy League season against Cornell. Go Lions!

At Fri Dec 31, 09:54:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger cathar said...

The amazing thing about Lions men's basketball so far is that no one had too many expectations for success this year, given the late date of Kyle Smith's hiring. He seems to be the real deal, able to shuffle his lineup on a game-by-game basis to get the most out of his players.

And Cornell this season is not the Cornell of last season. Apparently, its departed coach was not terribly interested (or able?) to build a winning program, instead "just" won with what he had for two very fine seasons. The big roadblocks to Ivy basketball success are Princeton (as usual) and Harvard (with all that questionable recruiting). Nonetheless, men's basketball is very interesting and exciting again, something you couldn't exactly say about Jones' last few years.

At Sat Jan 01, 02:49:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

cathar is wrong about Cornell's coach. He certainly built a winning program that is likely to continue given the lax admission standards at Cornell's various states schools. Harvard is a different story. The question is whether Harvard's keen current interest in winning basketball games at all costs will continue once Amaker leaves. The amazing thing about Harvard is how it gets away with NCAA recruiting violations and lower academic standards without serious criticism from anyone. If any other school was shopping for basketball players in supermarket chains and remote playgrunds, that school would be bombarded with criticism, and hit with a huge penalty by the NCAA and its Conference, but Harvard merely gets a slap on the wrist from the NCAA, a pat on the torso from its Ivy peers, and an ok to continue shopping.

At Sat Jan 01, 08:01:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have met Steve Donahue as BC's head coach. He is very impressive- was very complimentary of CU's program and said Joe Jones recruiting Frankowski was a big win for us. I've also been to a few BC games and the style of play they employ is markedly different( and more fun to watch) then Al Skinner. He plays everyone on the team including a kid that he had recruited for Cornell that followed him to BC. Look for big things out of BC and CU in years to come.

At Tue Jan 04, 03:04:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger HBShannon said...

Hartford Courant is naming Norries Wilson as a possible candidate for the UConn head coaching job.

At Tue Jan 04, 07:30:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger cathar said...

I doubt very much that Norries currently (currently, that is) has the kind of w/l record which would impress UConn's search committee. At least if it's serious about its intention to remain dominant in the Big East. And I write this as a firm supporter of Coach Wilson as both a person and a coach. Such speculation is thus the height of silliness.

On another topic, I'm often amused by the ingenuity of whoever writes game summaries for Columbia's Athletics Department. In a very tough loss to a resilient Elon team yesterday, Elon's brilliant game plan basically kept our leading scorer and likely best player Noruwa Agho out of the game. He was more or less a total non-factor (although others such as Ampim stepped up admirably).

Instead, the release I read this morning praised Agho's five assists! Well, yes, sure, but....


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