Thursday, June 16, 2011

Broken Arm, Broken Dreams

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Top 100 Moments of 2010

#94: Stephens Goes Down

Unfortunately today’s moment was not only a bad one for the 2010 Lions, it may have been the worst single moment of the season.

Just a few seconds in to the fourth quarter, Fordham’s Patrick Murray boomed a punt 68 yards in the air that Mike Stephens had to backtrack to field just at the Columbia goal line.

That’s where Stephens was slammed by the Rams’ Joseph Sullivan.

It was a horrific collision.

And anyone who saw Stephens writhing in pain knew he was seriously injured.

In fact, he had broken his arm.

Stephens’ season was over.

It’s hard to quantify exactly what losing Stephens, a co-captain and the #1 receiver, meant for the Lions in 2010.

TE Andrew Kennedy did a lot to fill the void. He ended the season with a healthy 50 receptions and nine TD’s.

But for a Columbia team that was already facing its first post-Austin Knowlin year, losing Stephens was just a bit too much to bear.

One positive result was that DB-turned-WR Kurt Williams got a better chance to shine in his first year with the offense. He ended up catching 27 passes for 400 yards and two TD’s.

But losing Stephens, who came into the fall with a super-pumped up frame and an even more pumped-up attitude, was devastating and we’ll never know just how much better 2010 could have been with him.

Luckily, Mike will be back for this fall thanks to the medical redshirt rule.

And since he didn’t suffer a leg injury, I expect his elusiveness and quickness to be better than ever in 2011.


At Thu Jun 16, 07:36:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was at this game...very painful seeing Stephens get hurt....felt horrible for the kid. I admire his dedication to the team to stay on another year to play. But do not have him return punts!!!

He runs good routs and will win most jump balls

I believe our offense will score at least three touchdowns a game. with some field goals and defensive TDs added in, 25 pts per game is not unrealistic (assuming the coaches use their personnel and let these kids make plays)

At Thu Jun 16, 09:01:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is going to play TE for us? We had a stud freshman who quit the team. will we run an H back offense instead of playing with a TE? This is our biggest question mark on offense.

At Thu Jun 16, 10:45:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree that TE is an issue, but there are three players returning at tight end and two big newcomers so there are some possibilities. Only two of our wide receivers weigh 200 pounds or more so it is unlikely that any wr will change position, although I could see Paul Havas at TE. Another possibility is that one of the five freshman wide receivers beefs up to 220 +/- over the summer. Finally, the coaching stafff is probably combing the roster to see if there are any other TE possibilities. Anyway, someone unexpected will probably be getting some playing time at this position come next September.

At Fri Jun 17, 05:55:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take a look at the video highlights of Sean Coffinger that were posted on the Columbia Athletics Website. Reminds me of our standout tight end Kennedy, but he's even bigger. Only a freshman, but I think he's going to be in the mix at tight end.

At Sat Jun 18, 12:39:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The issue for a freshman TE isn't whether he can catch and run. It is blocking. In our offense a TE must be able to block. I have yet to see a freshman who can handle the blocking duties of the position.


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