Tuesday, October 18, 2011

More Good News

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One of the things I urged the Columbia coaches to do before the Penn game was to do something different.

We may not have liked the way things turned out in the end, but there were some glimmers of hope in the way of new weapons the coaches chose to use in the game and I don't want to go without acknowledging them.

-The opening drive of the third quarter was a thing of beauty, using the middle of the field for pass play after pass play to great result. Sophomores Louis DiNovo and Hamilton Garner distinguished themselves as new weapons.

-The tackling was much, much better across the board. Whatever Columbia did differently to get that result was the right way to go.

-Letting QB Sean Brackett take off and run on a few more plays was also the right call, especially late in the game.

-Homecoming attendance was about 9,100. Compare that to Homecoming at Brown, where they just broke 5,200. Again, what Head Coach Phil Estes can do with that little fan and alumni support up there is amazing. Kudos to our fans. Kudos to Estes. Boo on the Brown "fans."

For all of the above points, it would have been great to see more of each. More slants in the middle of the field, more Brackett scrambles, etc.

TV on Saturday?

Despite some rumors to the contrary, FOX College Sports Atlantic will NOT be broadcasting the Columbia-Dartmouth game this coming Saturday. Stand by for any news about another network picking up the game.

More good news...


At Tue Oct 18, 01:47:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks to me like all the Gerst pundits and Jake were correct. Once again this week Gerst 6 carries for 26 yds...Garret 9 carries for -2 yds. For the season Gerst 21 for for 111( 5.3 per carry) and Garret 60 for 132(2.2 per carry)...

Gerst is healthy and needs to get the ball...

Looks like Dartmouth is ripe for the picking...

At Tue Oct 18, 02:14:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I think you should post this comment. I keep mentioning Jack Reed's comments on Columbia football, made several years ago. His son was a RB at Columbia. In an outstanding essay, Reed said that Columbia coaches do not know how to coach, and football coaches do not know how manage the clock. You can google his article.

Things really have not changed for Columbia football.

Keep up the good work on this blog.

At Tue Oct 18, 04:57:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just took the time to find and read the long article referenced above, written by John T. Reed. It provides an incredible amount of detail about the nuts and bolts of college athletic recruiting. I would definitely recommend the essay to any parents with high-school-age students hoping to play in college at any level.

The article starts off with a long litany of helpful, matter-of-fact observations about recruiting and then descends into a bitter, anti-Columbia diatribe. The author provides too much detail for the reader to conclude that he doesn't know what he's talking about. He clearly does. But I learned a long time ago to be careful interpreting anything written by somebody whose agenda -- whatever it is -- is so fully developed.

But it's a fascinating and illuminating read.

At Tue Oct 18, 05:43:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I watched the last 5 minutes of the game in Maine with two buddies who had never seen Columbia play. They were impressed by our athleticism and dumbfounded by our stupidity at the end of the game. It was sickening to watch. That has to fall on the coaches. I'm not sure what NW's allegiance to our OC is but that is the first change that must happen asap.I don't care about their UConn history. You don't need to sample his body of work because he did it all in the last two minutes of the game!!WE HAD NO IDEA WHAT TO DO WITH A LEAD LATE IN GAME!! Why we don't run Brackett in the option all game is beyond logic. The best game I've seen us play in 20 years was when we dismantled Brown two years ago with Sean running for 2 sticks and throwing for the same. The time is now-be fair to the program and get the most out of these talented kids!!

At Tue Oct 18, 05:51:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you routinely start off second and long because the guy you run to the outside can't get outside and then you can't get a third down conversion, how can you expect to win a game? More times than not, we effectively have only two downs to get ten yards. Three and out puts our defense on the field too much and they run out of gas late in the game.

Stop deferring on the kickoff and then set a hurry up tempo. Run up the middle and toss a few short outs or crossing patterns. Sprinkle in some Brackett in motion (I am not convinced he knows if he is going to run or throw!) and then let one fly down field; you might catch the opposing defense off guard. Let your quarterback check down his receivers instead of running to spot x while staring at the intended receiver from the moment the ball is snapped.

Stop the squib kicking and the insanity of your return men trying to field risky punts and kick offs. Stop your corners from lining up 10 yards (or more) on the opposing wide outs, instead, engage them and make them work to get to their spot for their timing routes.

When you get up, don't let up and chew the clock up with sustained drives. Stop arm and ball tackling and hold on until help arrives. And if you get a turn over, go for the throat once in a while on the first play; heck, you weren't supposed to have the ball to begin with so why not take a chance?

At Tue Oct 18, 07:01:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger cathar said...

Since I foolishly wasted an irreplaceable chunk of my life reading that John T. Reed story, allow me to summarize here: Ray Tellier was an idiot. Rich Skrosky was an idiot. Then-AD Reeves an even bigger idiot. CU students are studious and sharp but also proved incompetent idiots whenever I had dealings with them. My precious son was grossly misused throughout his college career by idiots. A Columbia education is basically a joke, and so many faculty there are idiots. Oh, and by the way, did I tell you how wonderful I, a h.s. football coach in CA, am because I attended both West Point and Harvard Business?

And, above all, Columbia sucks. That is the core lesson from Reed. And it sucks in all imaginable ways. Including as a cesspit, especially in its fraternity houses, of alcohol abuse. (Yes, there is something Cotton Matherish about the man.)

His "story" (really more of a masturbatory screed) is impossibly detailed, yes. Thus all the more obnoxious a read for all that. And Reed's constant boasting about his own superior intellect and education when compared with Ivy coaches (virtually none of whom, he very snobbishly reminds, attended either Ivy schools themselves or his precious West Point) and administrators in general only reminds me of why, as a grunt in Nam, I and my fellow soldiers dreamed so particularly often of murdering the West Point grads who "led" us and constantly reminded us of how rarefied a world they, as West Point grads, moved in as compared to us poor enlisted and drafted screw-ups.

He also seemed to take great delight in eviscerating such pretty good former players as Johnathan Reese and Rashad Biggars. To the point of utter cruelty. Reed is clearly not a fun sort of guy.

At Tue Oct 18, 10:39:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

AS to Reed - Father and Son: The son was a pretty good RB for Columbia but honestly, Father Reed was a bona fide weirdo. OK booze is big on the average American campus - but so what?

As for skewering coaches, well, IMHO Mr. Ray Tellier is looking better and better. Come on, Ray led us to a 8-2 record! Can you fans remember when the last time we had such a record? Best we don't bring up Reed Pere any more.

At Tue Oct 18, 11:03:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks to me like much of the strategic criticism comes down to limited options with a flawed team.
1. The triple option that worked so well in the past just doesn't work now. Looks like that's because the right side of the line can't hold its blocks.
2. The inside running game hasn't worked either -- that's why Garrett's average numbers are low. Again, no blocking.
3. Brackett looked very anxious on his throws on Saturday. Some of his inaccuracy is because he is rushing throws. And he's banged up. All because he is not getting the protection he did last year and he knows it.
4. The squib kick was a choice to put the game in the hands of the defense, which had played well to that point, and not the the kickoff team, which had not played well. The prior two kicks into the wind had given Penn field position at the 42 and 46. The squib got them to the 44. If they were going to get there anyway, best to make sure they didn't get any further. If they had broken a big runback, we'd be questioning why they didn't squib it.
5. Clock management is a problem without a reliable offense. Brackett was completing less than 50% of his throws, so CU couldn't waste any downs on the last drive. The running game was poor all afternoon, so any attempt to run would likely have wasted a down. Result: you have to throw and keep throwing, clock be damned. First priority is to get to the goal line; second priority is to limit Penn's time. If you give up the ball on downs with no time left, what does it get you if you're behind?
6. The word on the second false start, the one by Adams who I am sure has been coached ad nauseum not to jump, was not a false start at all. Rather, he turned his head to say something to Brackett, which he is entitled to do. Another lousy call -- not to mention the refs calling those penalties at that point in the game. From the stands, at least, they did not look like egregious jumps. It's like pitty-pat fouls at the end of a close basketball game.
7. Don't understad why the O-line is so challenged this year. Argast is coaching them, and he's had much success in the past. Sometimes the line just doesn't gel -- we long-time CU fans are aware of that. It screws up everything: passing, running, and ball control, giving the opponent too many opportunities and putting too much pressure on the defense.
If the line comes together, and it was a bit better against Penn than it had been, I'd bet there will be a marked difference in the team's overall performance. If not, the second half will be as long as the first.

At Tue Oct 18, 09:03:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent post by previous poster, sounds like an expert (a coach?), clears up a lot, vindicates staff somewhat.

At Tue Oct 18, 09:21:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful post..Now get a coaching staff that the boys can respect and want to play for.

At Tue Oct 18, 10:23:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting point in the article by Ms. Jones in the Spectator was Brackett saying he could not run the ball again, thus forcing coaches to select different plays. The result was the delay of game penalty. We were all thnking another run or two by Brackett and CU pulls off the big upset. Seems like the coaches were thinking the same thing. But Brackett didn't have anything left in the tank. I am so impressed with the effort from Brackett. This is one tough player. If he said he couldnt run, then he couldnt run. another tough brake against CU.

At Tue Oct 18, 11:01:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the Spectator article, Brackett and Wilson tell the same story about the delay of game penalty: An option or running play for Brackett was sent in from the sidelines, but Brackett then had to tell the sidelines he physically could not run.

At first blush, that sounds odd because he had run so well one play earlier to get the ball to the four-yard-line. Assuming that Brackett is not merely publicly covering for his coach, that explanation takes the blame off Wilson for what had been the most visible symptom of game mismanagement, the delay of game penalty. On the other hand, the fact that we almost got a second delay of game penalty on the next play shows that there is clearly room for improvement.

As far as the Adams false start penalty is concerned, he did move; the Versus television replay clearly showed movement. If he says that he was turning his head to say something to Brackett, I'll accept that explanation, but it's still a risky move. Most of the time, you're going to get called on it. Players turn their heads all the time before they're set, much less frequently once they're set. The refs are looking for any kind of flinch; I'm not sure many would even try to distinguish between a flinch and a turn of the head.

At Tue Oct 18, 11:36:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yup. And how long does it take for Brackett to communicate that to Wilson, Wilson to shift his attention from the lousy call on Adams by the refs, digest Brackett's condition, change strategies, and then communicate a new play to Brackett? Takes longer than 25 seconds just to type that. Give the guy a break.

At Tue Oct 18, 11:59:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After Brackett was tackeled at the 4 yard line he could barely walk never mind run the ball on the option. This is the same kid who won the Cornell game on one leg last year so I do not think he was "covering for his coach" as a previous blog suggested. In fact, he did not return for the last possession, I wonder why.

At Wed Oct 19, 03:53:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Give the guy a break", give me a break, maybe learn how to manage a game and you might have a time out or three at the end when you need them when your QB is gassed.This has been the story for this regime, terrible "in game" management.
Oh and also I like the poster who blamed the loss on the chain gang, I have been told that if you watch a Columbia game you will see things not seen anywhere else, now I can say I have heard things never heard before.......as they say " da Nile is just not a river in Egypt!


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