Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hope and Change?

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Columbia Lions vs. Yale Bulldogs

October 29th, 2011

Location: Robert K. Kraft Field at Wien Stadium on the Baker Athletics Complex

Kickoff Time: 12pm

Gametime Weather Forecast: Oy. 44 degrees and rainy.

The Spread: Yale is favored by 16 1/2 points

Columbia Game Notes

Yale Game Notes


The game is being broadcast live nationwide on the YES Network's "Yale on Yes" package.

You can catch audio of the game on the SideLion Pass on with Jerry Recco and Sal Licata. If you're in your car, WKCR student radio is at 89.9 FM, (and you can get its feed over the internet too).


My 2011 Guide to getting to Wien Stadium

*REMEMBER* the #1 Subway train WILL be running tomorrow!


The tenure for Columbia Head Coach Norries Wilson is less than a month from over. The next four weeks will determine whether Wilson ends his time at Columbia on a strong high note or a whimper.

The Lions are coming off a stunningly flat performance at Dartmouth that was reminiscent of the darkest days of this football program in the 1980's. It certainly was the worst overall played game by Columbia in the Wilson years.

Much of that was due to not having starting QB Sean Brackett in the game because of an injury. Brackett is back this week and fans will be looking to see if the rest of the team responds.

The Lions also come into the game with very vivid memories of the last two contests against the Elis that both were squeezed out by Yale in heart-stopping fashion.

Last season, Columbia fell behind by 24-0 in the early going, and came all the way back to withing three points only to see that comeback stall there. The Lions lost, 31-28.

In 2009, Columbia unveiled then-freshman QB Sean Brackett for his first ever collegiate start. Brackett mesemerized the Bulldogs for most of the game before a series of improbable turnovers allowed Yale to steal the game in a 23-22 win.

In 2008, the Eli and Lion squads got into a nasty shouting match before the game began at the Yale Bowl.

The Bulldogs won that game comfortably by 15 points, but it was the continuation of even more bad blood between the two teams that began in the Wilson era with a 2006 contest that saw Yale RB Mike McCleod do an unsportsmanlike backflip into the endzone and a decision by Head Coach Jack Siedlecki to call time out with his team up several scores to get one more TD on the board in the final seconds.

Columbia has not defeated the Elis since 2001. Only Penn has a longer active winning streak against the Lions.

Yale started this season with a good number of experts predicting the Bulldogs would win the Ivy League. But with the Elis these days, it's really all about one player in QB Patrick Witt.

Witt is an outspoken Nebraska transfer who has held the team's fate in his hands week after week pretty much since 2009.

He has exceptional talent and good smarts, but he can be erratic and the offense probably chooses to pass the ball too much out of deference to him.

Another bigger than life personality is third year Head Coach Tom Williams, whose aggressive nature is beginning to wear thin on his colleagues and opposing fans who encounter him and his antics on the sidelines.

Yale has yet to win a road game this year and you can bet Williams will be livid if this game is anything but a strong rout as the Elis look to bounce back from a tough loss at Penn last Saturday.

After Columbia, it's Brown at home, Princeton on the road, and Harvard at home for the Bulldogs and Williams is looking to jumpstart the squad right here and right now.

The fact that he's never really easily beaten the Lions is probably a sore spot.

Columbia's Keys to the Game

Just Think About the Game

Yeah, the head coach is on his way out and the Lions are already 0-6... but any win against an Ivy opponent is always sweet and this one would be really sweet considering the recent history versus Yale.

Playing with reckless abandon can be fun, and I can't think of any team that is probably least expecting that out of Columbia tomorrow than Yale will be.

Get Brackett Back into the Groove

Coming off the week off the ease his injuries and maybe clear his head, the Lions need Brackett to take charge of the team and be sharper than he's been all season.

Put Pressure on Witt

It's the same story every week, opposing QB's get too much time to do their worst against the Lions. There was some good early pressure on Penn's QB's two weeks ago, but in some ways that Homecoming game seems like it was in the last century, doesn't it?


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