Friday, October 21, 2011

Hope in Hanover?

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The Lions at Memorial Field, 2005

Columbia Lions at Dartmouth Big Green

October 22, 2011

Location: Memorial Field

Kickoff Time: 1:30pm

Gametime Weather Forecast: 54 degrees and partly cloudy

The Spread: Dartmouth is favored by 10 points

Columbia Game Notes

Dartmouth Game Notes


Video of the game synched up to audio from Columbia sportscasters Jerry Recco and Sal Licata is available on the SideLion Pass on The game is also on WKCR student radio at 89.9 FM in the New York area, (and you can get the WKCR feed over the internet too).

Memorial Field circa 1965


Both head coaches are basically on death watch as the smart money says neither of them will be back next year.

In Dartmouth Head Coach Buddy Teevens' case, a loss tomorrow would seal his fate for sure in what's been a mostly disappointing second tenure at his alma mater.

If the Big Green lose this homecoming contest, listen for some very loud "boos" from the crowd as the final seconds tick down.

There's still a lot of pressure on Columbia as you could argue that Head Coach Norries Wilson could save his job with two or three wins over these final five contests of 2011. if that's true, the Lions will have to start winning now or hang their hopes on beating three out of the next four opponents that include Harvard and Brown.

Another backstory is Dartmouth RB Nick Schwieger has a chance to get a rare 100+ yard trifecta against the Lions after going for more than 200 yards in the 2009 game and well over 100 yards last season at Wien Stadium. Columbia is dying for a chance to contain him and get some revenge against Green QB Connor Kempe after he had what seems like the best game of his collegiate career in New York last year.

Kempe himself is backstory, making his first start after being pulled from that spot for the last two games. He will be looking for a shot at redemption on the field tomorrow.

Columbia will be under pressure to play more mistake free in key moments after three straight penalties inside the Penn red zone last week sank their chances for a big upset win over the Quakers. Huge turnovers at crucial moments were key factors in the Lions' last two losses in Hanover in 2009 and 2007.

Columbia's Keys to the Game

Contain Schwieger

This will be Columbia's final chance to prove it can stop or at least contain the league's best running back. The funny thing is that in Schwieger's two starts against Columbia, he hasn't been the only key reason the Lions lost despite his huge numbers. In 2009, it was a series of Columbia turnovers and the fact that QB M.A. Olawale was badly injured that killed them. Last year, it was Kempe's sterling play that made the real difference. Perhaps that leaves Schwieger with added motivation to put the Lions away all on his own this time.

Establish a Running Game

Columbia's running woes could see a respite tomorrow against the league's worst rushing defense. In short, the Lions NEED this to happen to win. Dartmouth's secondary is too good to go after without the threat of some ground yards to balance things out. Columbia may need to try some types of runs it hasn't in the past, including running out of the I, and using some classic draw plays.

Rush Kempe

Blitzing a lot could give Schwieger too many opportunities to burn Columbia, but the Lions will definitely lose if they the Dartmouth QB as much time as he got last year in New York.

Use Garner More

One way to beat the Green secondary could be to throw underneath to emerging sophomore TE Hamilton Garner a lot more, especially early in the game.

Figure out How to Handle Kick Coverage

Shawn Abuhoff can win games on his own with his return abilities, but the Lions can't just settle for poorly executed squib kicks either.

A pre-renovation shot of Memorial Field with the huge visitor stands still intact


At Sat Oct 22, 12:04:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

With the spread offensive scheme at Columbia you can not compare Schweiger and Gerst or any other Columbia back especially when he gets 5 carries a game. Dartmouth will run out of the I, one back,and pro set giving their backs BEHIND A GOOD OFFENSIVE LINE lots of opportunity to generate big rushing numbers. They will rush the ball 35 times a game and not have their quarterback get beat up(Penn, Yale, Harvard)

Thats the big problem with the offensive philosophy at Columbia. Like all the succesful IVY teams they will run out of the power I, one back pro and spread occassionally. The spread is the most difficult scheme to run the ball...Ask any great lineman whats easier to block when it comes to rushing the ball...

You will never know how good the Columbia offensive line is until given a chance to block out of a power rushing scheme.An offensive scheme that gets a speed back off tackle out a of a stretch play for instance with a the quarterback under center...A play made to order for a quarterback like Bracket and a speed back like Gerst...That same formation creates play action, option etc...

Doesn't mean you can't run the spread occassionally...Everything opens up when you are not predictable and you use your weapons...

At Sat Oct 22, 12:04:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A couple other factors in 2009 were mountains of rain and Groth stayed in New york (sick?).

At Sat Oct 22, 01:17:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Inwood Tiger said...

Ah, Memorial Field. One of the more oddball stadiums in the League, I remember it well. I didn't realize that they had Wien'ed it down to a more typical configuration. Thanks for the historical photos - this is what it looks like now:

At Sat Oct 22, 03:24:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

look at the crowd in 1965. I am still puzzled why these games do not draw more attendance. In these tough economic times, an Ivy League football game is the best sporting value going. That game last week, though monumentally disappointing was griping fro a spectator's viewpoint.

At Sat Oct 22, 03:37:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake, you say "Both head coaches are basically on death watch as the smart money says neither of them will be back next year."

Is this really true? No doubt that is what fans are saying, applying what they consider to be reasonable expectations, in part based on the past behavior of other programs. My sense is the Ivies tend to be more *ahem* patient with these matters. No one knows what's really going on in the heads of the top athletic brass at Columbia or Dartmouth.

At Dartmouth in particular, to get rid of Teevens would be no minor embarrassment, having VERY publicly blamed their failures of the last 15 years on poor facilities, admissions difficulty, etc.

As for Columbia, we have heard nothing but love for Wilson from the higher-ups. You reported that Campbell was defensive and indignant when asked about it at Homecoming. Not to say a change couldn't happen but I wouldn't be putting my house on it.

At Sat Oct 22, 04:20:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If we retain Norries, even with a two win season it is fair to say that we ARE losers! I CANNOT thing of any possible reason to retain him; other than the fact that the team now dresses alike now and the retension rate is down. I would rather have us dress like slobs and lose more payers, if it meant a Championship!

What is even worse is if Dartmouth fires Buddy and we retain Norries.

Hopefully, the Hot Dog Committee is reviewing the candidates that Jake previously listed and we would not have to wait long to interview and make a decision. We need someone NEW immediately so that we don't lose recruits!

At Sat Oct 22, 10:13:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's focus on the next 5 games rather than worry about who is going to coach at Columbia next season. This team doesn't need any more distractions at this juncture.
We need to focus playing mistake free football tomorrow and for the rest of the season. This team has the talent to compete and win the remaining 5 games if they are properly prepared and learn how to mentally win games.
We know how to lose, let's learn how to win starting tomorrow! As for the coaching, the record will speak for itself and any change should be solely based on performance reviews at the end of the season and not

At Sat Oct 22, 04:25:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the Lions win two games, Wilson will be retained, having salvaged the team's spirit after the Penn fiasco. Winning one would put him on the fence if not the hot seat. None should lead him to the door.

But I KNOW nothiing, just musing.

At Sat Oct 22, 06:35:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lest all be POSITIVE about this game! Let's also look at this game as a potential interview for Buddy Teevens. :0)

At Sat Oct 22, 09:00:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's give it a rest guys. The smart money is on Wilson returning next year. And that is "smart" based on the probabilities, actual football acumen, knowledge of both Ivy League and Columbia football, and historical (not hysterical) perspective. Jake is not reporting on the subject of coaching at Columbia; he is projecting his cramped perspective. He should know better, but apparently does not. Enough, already. It's hurting only the players. The coaches and administration ignore this crap. They are professionals, and understand that in sports there are always fans who don't quite know what's going on - but that doesn't stop them from carping on their pet issues. If you care about the players, you'll cut it out.

At Sun Oct 23, 03:15:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Genius, we DO care about the players and that's why we want him out of here. Your advocacy for Norries (and staff) shows that you know NOTHING about football. Today' game shows you how truly bad Norries is. Getting shut out at Dartmouth... Let's grant him an extension so that we can live through this dung next year. Absolute idiots!!!

Oh, I'm sorry, we should be happy that everyone dressed alike. Gee, thanks Norries! Is there an 0-10 dress code?

At Sun Oct 23, 03:20:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Campblell wants Norries to stay so that we can have a coach with a worse record than him.


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