Friday, April 15, 2011

Crucial Defense

The Maginot Line, 1944

Yesterday I laid out what were the four most crucial and telling drives of the 2010 for the Columbia Lions.

Of course, those were the most crucial and telling OFFENSIVE drives of 2010.

The defense put its imprint on the season during four key opponent drives as well. Two ended well, two did not.

First the good ones:

This drive began for Lafayette early in the 2nd quarter

Lafayett 1-10 at Lafayett32 O'Neil, Ryan pass complete to Bennett, M. for 5 yards to the LAFAYETT37 (Schuster, Neil).

Lafayett 2-5 at Lafayett37 Hayes, Kyle rush for 21 yards to the COL42, 1ST DOWN LAFAYETT (Schuster, Neil).

Lafayett 1-10 at Col42 Elder, Alan rush for 1 yard to the COL41 (Murphy, Ryan;Gross, Alex).

Lafayett 2-9 at Col41 Elder, Alan rush for 3 yards to the COL38 (Gross, Alex).

Lafayett 3-6 at Col38 O'Neil, Ryan pass intercepted by Gross, Alex at the COL31, Gross, Alex return 69 yards to the LAFAYETT0, TOUCHDOWN, clock 10:58.

Drive: 5 plays, 30 yards, TOP 02:33

Eddy, Luke kick attempt good.

Columbia 14, Lafayette 10

This drive began with the Leopards taking over on downs after Sean Brackett was unable to complete a pass to FB Nathan Lenz on a 4th and 1 play, (a pass on 4th and 1? Yes).

Anywho… with Lafayette up 10-7, the Lions were in danger of falling behind by two scores. But after Kyle Hayes busted through the Columbia line for the big 21-yard gainer, Alex Gross started to take over. He tackled Alan Elder on back-to-back plays for very short gains and then intercepted the 3rd down pass and returned it 69 yards for a pick six.

The Lions would fall behind again later in the quarter, but that defensive stop and score put a major exclamation point on the eventual 42-28 win.

This drive began for Cornell with the Big Red leading 17-13 and just 4:42 left in the 4th quarter

Cor 1-10 at Cor06 Mathews, Jeff pass incomplete to Savage, Shane.

Cor 2-10 at Cor06 Houska, Ryan rush for 6 yards to the COR12 (Schuster, Neil;Martin, Josh).

Cor 3-4 at Cor12 Timeout Cornell, clock 04:04.

Cor 3-4 at Cor12 Mathews, Jeff pass complete to Ambrosi, Anthon for 8 yards to the COR20, 1ST DOWN COR (Gross, Alex).

Cor 1-10 at Cor20 Gellatly, Grant rush for 2 yards to the COR22 (Gross, Alex).

Cor 2-8 at Cor22 Mathews, Jeff pass complete to Ondash, Kurt for 6 yards to the COR28 (Maddox, A.J.).

Cor 3-2 at Cor28 Timeout Columbia, clock 02:51.

Cor 3-2 at Cor28 Mathews, Jeff pass incomplete (Stotler, Matt).

Cor 4-2 at Cor28 Alston, Drew punt 41 yards to the COL31, Gutierrez. Nico return 10 yards to the COL41 (Zimmerman, Robe).

There was no more pressure packed sequence for the Columbia defense in all of 2010 than the final Cornell possession of the week 9 game at Wien Stadium. The Lions didn’t just need to stop the Big Red, they needed to stop them FAST to save time for the offense to rally back with a TD.

After an initial 1st down, Gross stepped up again with a big tackle on a run for just two yards. Two plays later, senior Matt Stotler knocked down a 3rd and short pass that could have sealed the game for Cornell.

Now the bad ones:

This was the opening drive in the game for the Quakers in the Columbia-Penn game at Franklin Field

Penn 1-10 at Penn25 Jack, Jeff rush for no gain to the PENN25 (Mistretta, Nick).

Penn 2-10 at Penn25 Bailey, Aaron rush for 10 yards to the PENN35, 1ST DOWN PENN (Gross, Alex).

Penn 1-10 at Penn35 Hamscher, Matt rush for 1 yard to the PENN36 (Martin, Josh).

Penn 2-9 at Penn36 Jack, Jeff rush for 5 yards to the PENN41 (Mistretta, Nick).

Penn 3-4 at Penn41 Ragone, Billy rush for 16 yards to the COL43, 1ST DOWN PENN (Mehrer, Adam).

Penn 1-10 at Col43 Ragone, Billy rush for 4 yards to the COL39 (Mehrer, Adam).

Penn 2-6 at Col39 Jack, Jeff rush for 5 yards to the COL34 (Schuster, Neil).

Penn 3-1 at Col34 DeLuca, Luke rush for 4 yards to the COL30, 1ST DOWN PENN (Mistretta, Nick).

Penn 1-10 at Col30 Ragone, Billy rush for 20 yards to the COL10, 1ST DOWN PENN (Schuster, Neil).

Penn 1-G at Col10 Blackmon, Brad rush for 3 yards to the COL7 (Schuster, Neil).

Penn 2-G at Col07 Ragone, Billy rush for 7 yards to the COL0, TOUCHDOWN, clock 09:13.
Samson, Andrew kick attempt good.

Penn 7, Columbia 0

Yes, this was an ENTIRE drive for 75 yards and TD that didn’t include a single pass attempt. It was a stunning blow to Columbia fans who were not yet aware of the weaknesses in the Lion interior defensive line.

Five of the 10 tackles on this drive were made by Columbia’s safeties, only one was made by a defensive lineman.

After that drive, the Light Blue “cover” was blown. While no team the Lions faced for the rest of the season had the kind of powerful offensive line as Penn, the rest of the Ivy League knew it was a good idea to run right at Columbia as much as possible.

This drive began for Dartmouth with about 7:30 left in the fourth quarter of the Homecoming week 6 game at Wien Stadium

Dart 1-10 at Dart31 Kempe, Connor pass incomplete to Gallagher, John (Gross, Alex).

Dart 2-10 at Dart31 Kempe, Connor pass incomplete to McManus, Tim.

Dart 3-10 at Dart31 Kempe, Connor pass complete to Scott, Tanner for 16 yards to the DART47, 1ST DOWN DART.

Dart 1-10 at Dart47 Schwieger, Nick rush for 12 yards to the COL41, 1ST DOWN DART (Huggins, Kalasi;Mehrer, Adam).

Dart 1-10 at Col41 Kempe, Connor pass incomplete to McManus, Tim (Otis, Calvin).

Dart 2-10 at Col41 QB hurry by Martin, Josh.

Dart 2-10 at Col41 Kempe, Connor pass incomplete to Scott, Tanner.

Dart 3-10 at Col41 Kempe, Connor pass complete to Schwieger, Nick for 9 yards to the
COL32 (Sommers, Shad;Gross, Alex).

Dart 4-1 at Col32 Pierre, Dominic rush for 3 yards to the COL29, 1ST DOWN DART (Gross, Alex).

Dart 1-10 at Col29 Pierre, Dominic rush for 15 yards to the COL14, 1ST DOWN DART (Murphy, Ryan).

Dart 1-10 at Col14 Schwieger, Nick rush for 2 yards to the COL12 (Smith, Josh;Stotler, Matt).

Dart 2-8 at Col12 Kempe, Connor pass complete to Schwieger, Nick for 1 yard to the COL11 (Gross, Alex).

Dart 3-7 at Col11 Kempe, Connor pass complete to Reilly, Michael for 9 yards to the COL2, 1ST DOWN DART (Schuster, Neil).

Dart 1-G at Col02 Schwieger, Nick rush for 1 yard to the COL1 (Williams, Augie;Popeck, Ben).

Dart 2-G at Col01 Schwieger, Nick rush for 1 yard to the COL0, TOUCHDOWN, clock 02:28.
Schmidt, Foley kick attempt good.

Dartmouth 24, Columbia 21

Columbia’s pass defense was mostly quite strong in 2010. But the front line’s inability to get decent pressure on opposing QB’s really cost the Lions in this crucial sequence.

Big Green QB Connor Kempe completed two crucial 3rd down passes for first downs and another one for close to a first down in this 14-play back breaking drive.

New defensive coordinator Chris Woods knows the challenges he faces this fall trying to shore up a defense that will now have to make real improvements without standouts like Alex Gross, Adam Mehrer, and Calvin Otis.


At Fri Apr 15, 08:21:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Bob L said...

Don't like your analogy of the Maginot line as a bulwark of defense. After all, it was a failed defense, as the line was outflanked by the Germans. Hopefully, Columbia's line will be more effective.

At Fri Apr 15, 08:40:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

Don't worry Bob, I know very well the fate of the Maginot line. It was sadly too similar to Columbia's fate in the last two drives mentioned above.

At Fri Apr 15, 10:14:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No doubt that that first Penn drive was a turning point in the season. You felt that the cat was out of the bag, and all the world (at least of Ivy league football ) was watching Columbia simply was defenseless against the run. Penn could have run another ten plays without a pass, and Columbia would have been unable to stop it, even though they knew what was coming. It was utterly devastating and demoralizing. Let's hope 2011 is a new era!

At Fri Apr 15, 05:53:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The last drive in paticular we didn't slow them down until the big guys (Summers, Groth) were in the game. By then it was toom late. Not having the big guys in on goal line stands and tteams running the ball right up the middle aslo hurt. I hope they have learned something from that.

At Fri Apr 15, 07:18:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that the Penn opening drive was not properly anticipated by our former defensive coordinator. It should have been apparetn that the way to beat Penn was by forcing Ragone to pass. He is an average passer, and Penn's receivers were quite ordinary. Why we weren't putting 8 men in the box was beyond me. Also, that game could have been closer if we hadn't commited at least one critical unforced error on offense in the first quarter. No matter how good Penn's OL might have been, the real key to their run game was their monster FB, who just destroyed our LBs because among other things he outweighed them by 30 pounds and was a terrific blocker. Our LBs were really too small to stand up to that sort of pounding.

At Sat Apr 16, 08:28:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just replayed the excellent blog of yesterday's football practice and note the following: (1) Frosh RB Lowry is up to 221 and working with Grant and Chao on the 2's; (2) Grant is returning punts; (3) FB McHugh (230) said to have made nice run; (4) WR Sigmon doing well; (5) Olinger, Miller and Waller mentioned as linebacker trio; (6) Gerst and Garrett are the rb's for the 1's; (7) Garner doing it at TE; (8) Cameron Ross made another reception; (9) Grassa cited for pass break-up.


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