Sunday, September 18, 2011

Stumble in the Bronx


Fordham 21 Columbia 14



Why Fordham Won


The Ram defense kept the Lion offense off kilter, pressuring QB Sean Brackett and shutting down the Columbia run.

On offense, freshman QB Peter Maetzold was often rattled but he never made the big mistakes the Columbia offense did. That allowed the Rams to capitalize on the breaks Columbia handed them and stave off the Lions at the end.


Why Columbia Lost

A disastrous 101 yard interception return for a TD by Fordham turned the whole game around, but Brackett's off-the-mark passing was steady from the outset. The Columbia running game failed to make much of a dent.


Key Turning Points


There was just turning point, really. And it was the most obvious turning point in years.

Leading 7-0 and facing a 4th and goal at the 2 midway through the 2nd quarter, Columbia decided to go for it instead of kicking the field goal.

Brackett threw an ill-advised pass that was picked off a yard deep into the end by Nick Womack and returned all the way back for a Fordham TD.

A questionable coaching decision and a questionable pass took all the air out of the Lions day.


Columbia Positives

The defense played excellently overall, holding the Rams to just 77 net yards rushing, harrassing Maetzold much of the afternoon, and giving the offense every opportunity to win.

The defensive line play and the play of outside linebackers Ryan Murphy and Josh Martin was stellar. Owen Fraser was one of the brightest surprises, returning to 2008 form with four big tackles including a sack.

Instead of the senior LB Nick Mistretta calling the defensive plays with authority, it was sophomore LB Zach Olinger who took that role and finished the game as the leading tackler with two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. Mistretta played very well too.

On offense, the brightest spots were wide receivers Mike Stephens and Kurt Williams. They were open all afternoon. Each had more than 100 yards receiving and a toucdown.


Columbia Negatives

The running game was almost non-existent and pass protection broke down often resulting in just 73 net yards rushing and five sacks given up.

Brackett's passes were often off the mark as he finished with less than a 50% completion rate, (18 for 38) with two interceptions. He did have 239 yards passing and two TD's, but it was not enough.

Columbia fans griping about the coaching have another reason to complain after the questionable call and the apparent lack of real readiness on offense. But let's be fair, if Brackett doesn't throw that INT in the end zone the coaches look like geniuses.


Columbia MVP

While the defense had lots of stars today, the offense relied heavily on Mike Stephens and he was fantastic in his first game back after missing 90% of the 2010 season to injury.

Stephens not only got open regularly, but he squeezed extra yards out of catches, and his TD grab in traffic and just in-bounds was a highlight reel moment.

48 Comments:

At Sun Sep 18, 07:29:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Z said...

How was CUMB's halftime show?

 
At Sun Sep 18, 07:35:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Watched the game from Hong Kong.....

This game makes the point that we have the players with sufficient talent to win but coaching that fails to make the right calls.

Sorry, leading 7-0 late in half with your defense looking pretty god, you take the 3 points and a two score lead. This is simply a no brainer obvious call. I am watching this at 3am screaming WTF and waking all my chinese neighbors (as I am surely the only nut job watching a Columbia football game in HK).

Yes, Brackett had a bad game but the fundamental reason for this loss? All together now......BAD COACHING!

Chen 82

 
At Sun Sep 18, 08:06:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

and furthermore...

to those coaching apologists who would defend this decision.....

There is no question that it cost us the game. With a 10-0 lead and the O tasting blood twice....you can't argue they would have scored fewer points than they did in the second half. And down 10-0 to a stiff defense, you cannot argue that Fordham would have scored more points than they did the rest of the way.

At a minimum, the final score would have been 17-14 Columbia. Coaching cost us this game.

Bill Campbell, are you listening?

 
At Sun Sep 18, 08:13:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Recco disagrees about the key situation. His point, with which I agree: the majority of predictable results would have resulted in Ford with ball near their goal line.
But that's the fun of Sat. night quarterbacking.

 
At Sun Sep 18, 08:14:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The poor coaching decision is nothing short of mind-boggling. There is no question in my mind that the Fordham coaching staff is as mystified as CU fans, and though they are obviously celebrating our blunder, they must be saying to each other about the CU coaches: WHAT WERE THEY THINKING!?!

 
At Sun Sep 18, 08:21:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The halftime show, like the game, was disappointing. Jake, please come back!

 
At Sun Sep 18, 08:23:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Recco and friend:

If the majority of predictable outcomes has Fordham taking over on downs at the 2 yd line, then why would you choose this option over an almost certain 10-0 lead?

There simply is no defense of this call.

 
At Sun Sep 18, 08:44:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

from Recco's "friend":
I'd have run it. No TD equals Ford on their 2 or so.
I know this is can't be answered but what if the Lions had scored a TD? They were rolling and that outcome was not beyond credibility.
Let's move on....

 
At Sun Sep 18, 08:50:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

how can the defense be terrific in a loss!!

 
At Sun Sep 18, 09:05:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems the Rams' coach thought there would be a TD: "No question that was the biggest play of the game by far," said Masella. "We're ready to go down fourteen to nothing and it doesn't look like we have anything going when he brings that back and switched the whole game around."

 
At Sun Sep 18, 09:21:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arguably, it was not a bad call to go for a TD, but a vplay caery bad play call. Keep in mind that Brackett had just made a beautiful run up the middle for about 12 yards so the coaches' thinking had to be that Brackett would have no trouble picking up the two remaining yards on the ground to score a touchdown. They might also have remembered Brackett's touchdown hurdle that won the Cornell game for Columbia last November. Having said that, I admit that can be no explaination for throwing a short high risk flare pass to the sideline rather than running the ball. Incidentally, the Lions at least learned from their disastrous mistake, as Brackett correctly threw a terrific far corner touchdown pass to the amazing Stephens later in the game.

 
At Sun Sep 18, 09:37:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our defensive line was outstanding and our linebakcers played very well too. There were a couple of breakdowns on pass coverage, but that was because of the speed and athleticism of Fordham's two ourstanding freshmen wide receivers, Ayala and Wetzel who did the same thing to UConn last week. Fordham's freshman quarterback was also impressive. Without those three guys, Columbia would have easily won the game. Given that Fordham had 32 athletic scholarship players on the field, we might have been lucky to lose to them by only 7 points. I wasn't sure before the game whether we should drop Fordham from our schedule like all the other Ivies are doing. Now I'm convinced that we need to do it immediately. Fordham will have 52+ athletic players next year. The idea of our continuing to play them is ridiculous.

 
At Sun Sep 18, 10:08:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last year Fordam had two games before we played them. This year, one game and an off week to prepare. Scholarships or not that's a hugh advantage and we're still playing them close. I'd like to see the game moved to the second or third of the season.

If we want more creative play calling, let's just live with the results.

The team - and coaches - will improve next week.

 
At Sun Sep 18, 11:02:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "drop Fordham now" crowd is becoming a bit more vocal without providing any suggestions for "who" should replace the Rams on future schedules. I didn't hear anybody complain on this board last year when CU decisively beat Towson, a member of the Colonial Athletic Association. In fact, the schools in the Colonial grant the maximum # of scholarships as allowed at the FCS Level. Do you want to add another NEC school (i.e. Wagner, Monmouth, etc.) to the schedule? No, not according to your logic...they grant scholarships as well. How far will you have CU travel to find a suitable FCS out-of-conference opponent that meets your criteria? None of this talk would be on the board if the Lions came out on the right side of a very winnable game today. It's amazing how winning soothes all ailments. Next time, please offer constructive solutions to your "drop Fordham now" mantra!

 
At Sun Sep 18, 12:58:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree about dropping Fordham. The fact is, after our typical slow start, we were dominating this game until "the play" -- always something, it seems, but don't forget our routs of Princeton, Towson, and Lafayette last year (Lafayette, by the way, manhandled Penn today).

 
At Sun Sep 18, 01:33:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Recco's "friend"--A run from the two is a decent alternative to the sure field goal IF you have a big tough determined FB which we haven't for years--or rather we may have had one, and may have one now, but we choose not to use them.
Our coaches simply can't multi-task. We rely on the pass, period. But our passing game alone can't do it.
Basically, we're in the usual start of season situation: great expectations followed by same-old, same-old. Wilson now in sixth season. Ho-hum.

 
At Sun Sep 18, 02:43:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stop crying about Fordham and their scholarship players! Our coaches, who have been on scholarship for the past six years, lost the game. Why don't we drop them?

Hey, how about we put NYU back on the schedule? Not a guaranteed win when this staff loses over 70% of their games! They can dub it the "Broadway Bowl".

 
At Sun Sep 18, 05:32:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The positive news we can take from this disappointing loss is the fact that Columbia's defense did shut down the oppositions running game only allowing 33 rushes for 77yards, that's less than 2.5 yards per carry. I do believe the results of the game would have been much different if we would have scored rather than give For 7 points going into the half 7-7. It could have been 10-0, 14-0 or even 7-0. Mistakes sometimes serve a purpose as long as you learn from them. I was really impressed with the Columbia defense and look forward to them getting better each week. Ollingers a beast, and I was also impressed with Waller, Martin, Murphy, Frazier and many others. The sooner we get Gerst back the better for our offense. That kid is a spark plug.

 
At Sun Sep 18, 06:30:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bad call by the coaches, yes, no, maybe. The fact is the coaches didn't throw the ball for an interception that resulted in 7 points (A GAME CHANGER) and the players must execute on every play. I personally thought the call was wrong. I would have kicked the field goal and hopefully went up 10-0 at the half especially the way the defense was playing. Always easy for the critics to comment after the known results have been revealed.

 
At Sun Sep 18, 07:00:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate so say it, but this was not a good game by Brackett. Not only did he throw a terrible pass into coverage leading to the backbreaker, but he was off all day. He must have had open receivers on short flare patterns and in the middle on seven or eight occasions in which he short armed the ball. But the killer was the bonehead call by the coaches at the end of the first half which turned the game around. One final note. Massella is a classless jerk. Taking those two time outs and then trying to stick in another TD because Norries had used his final time out was about as classless and infantile a stunt as I have seen in years.

 
At Sun Sep 18, 07:06:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

I have to defend Masella on this one: it was COLUMBIA that called the timeout, (our last one left), and I am pretty sure Maetzold was deliberately throwing to no one along the sideline. He wanted to air it out long enough to run the clock out, but 2 seconds still remained because his arm wasn't that strong. I really don't thin Masella was trying to score.

 
At Sun Sep 18, 07:20:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake, I disagree on Massella. Remember that he first called his final two time outs and then tried to score. And you can't fault us for using our final time out. Remember Herm Edwards against the Giants?

 
At Sun Sep 18, 07:22:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PS, why didn't we run to the left behind our 305 pound all Ivy pro prospect left tackle on goal and two?

 
At Sun Sep 18, 07:39:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to assume that Brackett was not 100 percent physically yesterday.

 
At Sun Sep 18, 07:44:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One more suggestion... In short yardage situation but either Martin or Adebayo in as the lead FB and put one of the big tackles or DEs in as a TE. Our short yardage game needs a power lead blocker.

 
At Sun Sep 18, 08:03:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obviously, the offense needs more production from the running backs, tight ends and wide receivers other than Stephens and Williams. Don't we have any freshmen skills players who can help us right away?

 
At Sun Sep 18, 08:17:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While there's no bruising FB, Brackett showed in the Cornell game that he can get in from a couple of yards.
And, there's no such thing as a sure FG.

 
At Sun Sep 18, 08:33:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy Cross or Georgetown should be added asap. Cut the nonsense with these academic mickey mouse schools and play people we recruit against. Central Ct? Albany? Towson?--absurd opponents for us on many levels.

 
At Sun Sep 18, 08:41:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After the hangover is over, let's get to reality. Boneheaded plays by coaches and players happen in many games, but the goods teams adjust and play 60 MINUTES. That awful pay only resulted in a TIE and it wasn't even HALFTIME yet. We basically disappeared for the second half except for our last minute desperation effort, which often comes too much too late.

 
At Sun Sep 18, 08:44:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If there is any silver lining it is that this was not a league game and we can throw it out and move on, and think of it is as a preseason/practice game (ala NFL). We have stunk up games in the past and then come back strong, so let's see if we can redeem ourselves.

 
At Sun Sep 18, 08:56:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger Bob L said...

Aside from the fact that Columbia's "D" played well and a winnable game was lost by the coaching staff, both the front runners in the league, Harvard and Penn lost. The big shocked was Penn's loss to Lafayette. The Ivy league may be ready for another champion this year.

 
At Sun Sep 18, 09:07:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess the oddsmakers are not so "odd" after all...with the exception of Penn they did pretty well.

Yale is a 16 point favorite at home against Georgetown.
Harvard and Holy Cross are a "pick 'em" game in Worcester.
Host Dartmouth is a 2 point favorite over Colgate.
Princeton is a 20 point underdog at home against Lehigh
Cornell hosts Bucknell and that game is another "pick 'em"
Penn is a big 23 point favorite over Lafayette at Franklin Field.
Brown is a three point favorite over Stony Brook on Long Island.
And our Lions are 3 1/2 point underdogs at Fordham.

 
At Sun Sep 18, 09:51:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can somebody explain why Brackett kept misfiring on short passes to wide ope receivers? He seemed to be short arming the ball. It was his worst game as our QB.

 
At Sun Sep 18, 10:25:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you want to win, here is the answer:

http://www.goholycross.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/gilmore_tom00.html

http://www.hopkinssports.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/margraff_jim00.html

 
At Sun Sep 18, 10:30:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Up in the stands we were speculating that Brackett might have been hurt. He got popped down near the goal line in his shoulder and spun around once. Nontheless, I don't think the call to go for the TD was bad. relying. On an all-league QB with a remarkable penchant for avoiding interceptions wasn't wrong. One thing, though: he has to be taught to belly out after throwing to the sideline to be in position to stop a runback.
And as for playing Fordham, CU was not outmanned y'day, and could have won. If Fordham goes bandit with its academics, maybe. But the likelihood that they get where they want to go with their resources and facilities is not great. For is on the road 7 times this year and couldn't sell 7,000 seat at homecoming against a crostown rival. That won't attract top talent.
And how about creating a non-Ivy final rivalry game by moving Fordham to Thanksgiving Day (and tweak H and Y at the same time)?

 
At Sun Sep 18, 11:18:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know whether Childress had any impact in the game

 
At Sun Sep 18, 11:25:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not just the Lions, but Harvard also had a huge 97 yard interception TD return in their 30-22 loss to Holy Cross.

 
At Sun Sep 18, 11:41:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Penn's quarterback, Billy Ragone, also had an awful game, passing for only 91 yards in the Quakers' 36-12 loss to Fordham. Coach Bagnoli removed Ragone from the game in the third quarter and used back-ups the rest of the way. At least someone connected with Columbia Football was smart enough to drop Lafayette from our schedule so that we are not playing them before Homecoming this year.

 
At Mon Sep 19, 12:11:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To be honest, at this point, is no one looking higher than the coaches? I agree its time for the Wilson regime to end, but what about AD Murphy? She has done absolutely nothing for this program

 
At Mon Sep 19, 12:48:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The nature of the loss --- in command for half of the game and out of sync for the other half --- is reason for optimism as well as for the usual concerns. For me, the play call that resulted in calamity was less important than the familiar pattern of offensive play calling that did nothing to either establish a rhythm or offset whatever was not working. Incidentally, Brackett took a monstrous hit in the 4th quarter, was laid out for a moment, and still came back to combine with Stephens for a great throw and catch. For someone who had a sub-par game, he played those last few minutes with courage.

Leonlion

 
At Mon Sep 19, 01:05:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ITS OBVIOUS....WE DESPARATELY NEED GERST....YES HE IS THE SPARK PLUG..BUT WE CAN NOT RUSH HIM BACK....THE IVY SCHEDULE IS WHAT THE SEASON IS ALL ABOUT...HOPEFULLY THE COACHING STAFF USES THEIR HEAD WITH THIS KID...ITS NO TIME TO PANIC AND RUSH THIS HIM BACK...BRACKETT WILL BE BETTER...WE ALL CONTINUE TO WONDER ABOUT THE OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR AT COLUMBIA

 
At Mon Sep 19, 01:28:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not aware if it is fair to say that AD Murphy has done nothing for the football program, as one poster as stated, but it IS a blatant fact that CU won NO Ivy championships last year in ANY sport. That alone would suggest she should be replaced. It is also well known that she interviewed for another job last year at another university. It's too bad that all this negativity is going around. IF CU beats Fordham yesterday, all this discussion would be positive. But alas, that is the way the world turns...

 
At Mon Sep 19, 03:29:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gerst said yesterday while sitting in the stands that he will be back this week. Brackett has guts and talent but was pretty well defended on the running lanes. Where he was weak was in short arming some of the flare passes and a short pass over the middle, which hit the receiver's feet. He needs to work with his backs and receivers on those short throws, which need to be thrown with more zip.PS, I really do not like Fordham or its coach. Bush league stunt at the end of the game.

 
At Mon Sep 19, 04:23:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Next time have to courage to put in the back up QB to try and change the momentum of the team....

 
At Mon Sep 19, 10:15:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, thanks to the previous poster for citing this article on coach Gilmore of Holy Cross.

http://www.goholycross.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/gilmore_tom00.html

What a resume, and what a winner. I saw that he was was also a line coach for CU during the late eighties.

 
At Mon Sep 19, 07:10:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to disagree with Chen. This was the first time in years I couldn't steadily predict the next play. The game plan and play calling was good. I do think some type of option run/pass would have been a better call on that 2nd and goal.

We did it to ourselves period. Interceptions, Dropped passes (including Stephens), bad passes and the big one penalties at key times. QB needs to read his field better. He was badly telegraphing his passes and in many cases had wide open receivers that probably weren’t the primary one.

Overall the team looked great on both sides of the ball. They have some things to work on, but, show the potential to be a really good team this year.

One last thing. Let’s not get on the Own Frasher ban wagon. He wasn't in very much and didn’t really do anything spectacular for the most part. You need to give credit to the other lineman who did a great job. For the most part they appeared to be running the nickel most of the day instead of a 3 4. I am guessing that was because of the Fordham offensive scheme.

 
At Mon Sep 19, 08:09:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake, I am really liking the fact that so far you have 47 posts for this one entry (a record?). What that tells me is there is a lot of PASSION for Columbia football out there whch is good sign all around. We need to channel this somehow to a greater fan base and spectator attendance

 
At Tue Sep 20, 01:19:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The coaching decision to go for a 4th and goal up 7-0 tells me all I need to know about this staff.

 

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