Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Penn Rivalry

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Marsh Update

Talented Penn RB Lyle Marsh is definitely out for the Columbia game this weekend, and he's actually out for the season.

For any other Ivy team, losing a super runner like Marsh would be almost a death sentence. But the Quakers still have so much talent at that position, it's hardly a bump in the road.

Maybe the seven other Ivies could start an "Occupy Penn" movement and protest the fact that Penn has 99% of the top running backs even though it's only 12.5% of the league.

We could call ourselves the "87.5 Percenters!"

More Teaser Videos

Evan Miller isn't the only Lion with a fun short video urging the fans to come out to Homecoming vs. Penn this Saturday.

Sean Brackett and Jerry Bell each star in individual videos you can see by clicking on their names.

Remember that everyone should make a special effort to be at the game, but it will be broadcast on national TV on Versus.

Versus color man Ross Tucker has this to say about the Lions in the Versus online preview:

“Head Coach Norries Wilson has done a nice job rebuilding the Lions back to respectability in recent years but they have gotten off to a slow start this season. Defensively they have struggled against the run but their pass rush has been ferocious and is a real strength. Josh Martin leads the Lions from his outside linebacker spot.”

I hear what Tucker is saying about Martin, but I think anyone who has been watching the Lions this year would agree that the pass rush has certainly not been a consistent strength. But perhaps he's seeing something we haven't?

Spectator's Take

Lion beat writer Victoria Jones takes a stab at why Columbia football has regressed this season and she sums it up in one word: stubborness.

The Penn Rivalry: the last 20 years

Can you really call it a "rivalry" when one team has won 14 straight games and 17 of the last 19?

In the Ivies you can because the tensions between schools run far beyond athletics.

Two schools as close geographically as Columbia and Penn are bound to have some bad blood between them.

But let's focus on football alone and look at the five most emotional/anger brewing games over the last 20 years.

1) 1991: Columbia 20 Penn 14

The Lions recorded their one victory of the '91 season on Homecoming against probably the weakest Penn team of the last 30 years. This win at Wien Stadium spelled the end of Quaker Head Coach Gary Steele's three year tenure at Penn. The Penn administration gave Steele three years to produce a winner and he never delivered. Three years is enough time to you know your head guy has it or not.

The money quote came after the game from Penn's captain:

"It's the lowest point of my career," said Penn's senior linebacker Joe Kopcha, "and I've been playing since I was 8 years old. Get beat by Columbia? I don't believe it."

2) 1995: Columbia 24 Penn 14

QB Mike Cavanaugh passed and ran all over Penn and led Columbia to victory in a game that ended the Quakers' 24 game winning streak.

Cavanaugh had the money quote this time with this:

"Nobody else really recruited me but Columbia. Well, for a week Penn expressed some interest but decided I was too small. I guess I've gotten my revenge, huh?"

3) 1996: Columbia 20 Penn 19 (OT)

The last time Columbia defeated the Quakers was a wild OT game that went the Lions' way after a blocked PAT and a miracle TD pass, both in overtime.

Penn's players were downright furious and pounding the Franklin Field astroturf after the loss.

4) 2003: Penn 31 Columbia 7

First year Columbia Head Coach Bob Shoop guaranteed the 2-2 Lions would defeat Penn at what turned out to be a record Wien Stadium crowd marking the beginning of CU's 250th anniversary celebrations.

Bad idea.

The Quakers took it personally and put a beat down on the Lions.

The money quote after this contest came from Penn's Head Coach Al Bagnoli:

''It's not as if we were some team off the street, and he's going to say something like that. I'd like to thank Coach Shoop for helping us get motivated for this game.''

5) 2010: Penn 27 Columbia 13

Both the Lions and Quakers came into the game at 3-1 and this seemed like it was going to be a very close matchup.

It wasn't.

Penn's defense dominated, and other than one long bomb for a CU TD, Columbia's offense wasn't a factor.

The Lions really haven't been the same since. Including that loss at Franklin Field last year, Columbia has lost nine of its last 10.


At Fri Oct 14, 02:13:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger cathar said...

The big problem is that Homecoming is our "showcase" game for the majority of its attendees. And just about yearly, they turn in comparatively large numbers compared to other games and they sit through a loss. (Or they leave early and head elsewhere - those who truly wish to beard Billy Campbell might be well advised to head for the Beta House post-game.)

But even as I note that, all a Columbia loss at Homecoming seems to do for its many "non-regular" attendees is to confirm their suspicions and attitudes about CU football. This is not good. Not good at all even as I fear that this year too will result in but another Homecoming loss.

I honestly believe that change, substantive change of the sort discussed on this site the last few days by the truest of the true, will only come about if we have a team to show off to these non-regulars with a win-loss record we can be proud of. This may not be the year, whatever happens with Norries.

But I also vow to celebrate as fiercely as anyone else if we can somehow pull off a victory. And on national TV, to boot.

At Fri Oct 14, 02:54:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

cathar that's a lousy attitude to have coming into the Homecoming weekend. I'm going into the Homecoming Weekend expecting our Lions to Win the game. Then I'm going to celebrate with my wife, family and friends until late into the night or more precisely 2:21 AM. Go Lions!

At Fri Oct 14, 03:19:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lions win this game 20-17 ! They will bring down the house this Saturday. A shocker game !

At Fri Oct 14, 04:01:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All the parts will come together. Martin will be turned loose. Fraser will find his first year form. Brackett will have the best game of his career. Adams will show why he has a chance to play on Sundays. the season starts on Saturday. Penn is looking past us, just like 1994.

At Fri Oct 14, 04:50:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake- some great, and optimistic, posts above. They are predicting a win this weekend... Did I miss your link to Wonderland? Or, did you you get a new "Two Deep" list from the coaching staff and they finally decided to mix it up?

At Fri Oct 14, 06:24:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At last year's Homecoming game I was impressed by the Columbia students in the stands who stood for most of the game and made a huge amount of noise. Hopefully, they will return to Baker Field this Saturday and rise up again as a true 12th Man on the Football Field. And if the refs make any bad decisions, will they please let them know.

At Fri Oct 14, 06:35:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the Lion Football Family isn't pumped up for this game, I would be very surprised.

At Fri Oct 14, 07:59:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go Lions! Beat Penn!

At Fri Oct 14, 10:17:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake, I know that photo wasn't PC but it was pretty darn funny!

At Fri Oct 14, 05:51:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger cathar said...

Someone above took me to task for a so-called "lousy attitude" about the coming game.All I can say is that I was in devoted attendance the previous four games, when our chances for victory were (on paper, at least) better.

I also realize that Homecoming comes with a certain emotional thrust (and occasional silliness - recall the throwback uniforms Shoopp unveiled at one such game, complete with striped socks?). But hey, sometimes you gotta say you're tired, and disillusioned. (Wasn't that the point of most of the debate on this very site all week?)

I just don't think we have the weapons this year. The special question I've always wanted answered is why we have not been able to develop a good, truly outstanding running back for more than ten years. That one just never seems to happen.

At Fri Oct 14, 07:25:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You cant have a good running back with a below average offensive line and a very below average OC. You don't develop running backs. Until you win the battle up front nothing will change.

At Fri Oct 14, 08:45:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeff Adams is supposed to be the best LT in the Ivies and a pro prospect. He has to dominate on this level if he wants to play on Sundays. Hey Jeff, it os now or never.

At Fri Oct 14, 08:47:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have a huge and athletic OL. We do not have a bunch of fat, slow short guys who have eaten their way onto the two deep. We also have a good offensive line coach. So can somebody tell me why we aren't getting a good push? Do our guys have a mean streak or not?

At Fri Oct 14, 08:58:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know we have some Gerst fans on this board who will make the case better (or at least louder)than I can, but maybe the OL would look better if the RB with the 5.7 YPC got more than 15 carries in four games and RB with the 2.6 average got fewer than 51. Just a thought. That said, the OL is huge and yet ineffective. OL is about mechanics and teamwork -- and coaching.

At Fri Oct 14, 09:48:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous TrueBlue said...

Hey, got a Groupon offer for the Yale game -- two tickets for the price of one -- with a nice picture of the action with full stands in the background (needless to say, a photog with a good angle). So someone's thinking in the AD's office. Here's hoping it fills some seats!

At Fri Oct 14, 10:09:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the reader who continually posts these "calls to action" for Jeff Adams, where is this cynicism coming from? Surely we cannot blame one player for our offensive woes. Adams seems to be holding down the left side just fine.

Go Lions!

At Fri Oct 14, 10:33:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems like a valid point

What would Gerst's 5.7 per carry be with some holes to run through. Even last year while hurt he still aveaged over 5 yards a carry. He has always shown the vision and quickness to be that back we have all been looking for...Now healthy for 3 games he gets 15 touches....while the quarterback gets beat up...WAKE UP MARINO

At Fri Oct 14, 11:29:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree about our running backs. Give the ball to the one who has a better yards per carry and see what happens. By the way, maybe the QB should stop runnimg so much himself and throw the ball down the field more often.
I am as frustrated as the Spectator beat writer who said this week that our biggest problem is stubborness

At Thu Oct 20, 06:41:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When our O Line get it together our backs and QB numbers will come up. Garretts a good back with a O line that can open the holes and block he can make somthing happen.

At Thu Oct 20, 06:49:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just A thought

What you said the O line would look better if Gerst got the ball more over Garret sounds crazy. You sound like a FATHER trying to get people on here to help you get your son more playing time. Its the O line that makes the backs look good. Just a thought

At Thu Oct 20, 07:06:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The same thing thats said that Gerst needs the other back need as well. Go back and look at the past games when Garrett ran the ball and look and count the time he was sent up the middle. You can not send a back his size up the middle that many time when holes are not there. When Gerst got the ball more of the calls was to the outside. the times he had plays up the middle he didn't move the ball. That in its self will tell you about the numbers its not that Gerst is a better back then Garrett its the plays thats called and how many times Garrett had bad plays called for him with how many times he carried the ball. Look at the tapes.


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