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A Jersey Train Wreck
Princeton 24 Columbia 21
Why Princeton Won
The Tigers kept it very simple and ran the ball very effectively. Three Princeton rushers averaged more than four yards a carry and the entire ground effort was led nicely by Brian Mills who finished with 117 yards and a TD.
On defense, Princeton mostly stuffed the Lion running game and never let the CU offense get into a groove.
Why Columbia Lost
Columbia's offense never got rolling, finished with just 14 first downs, and had the defense to thank for most of its scoring.
But the Lion defense was far from perfect, allowing way too many rushing yards and getting almost no pressure on Princeton QB Tommy Wornham.
Key Turning Points
-Princeton's opening possession was greatly aided by two Columbia personal foul penalties that resulted in 30 total yards and an eventual Tiger FG. When you lose by three points, those penalties kill you.
-After Columbia's AJ Maddox made a nice play for a pick six, the Lions had a 7-3 lead and seemed to have momentum. But a good kickoff return and an even better sustained Princeton drive ended in a TD and the Lion momentum was gone.
-About midway through the second quarter, Columbia recovered a Princeton fumble and took over at its own 40. The Lions got one first down, but on 4th and one at the Tiger 37, QB Sean Brackett's keeper came up short.
-Leading 10-7 at the half, the Princeton defense forced a three-and-out on Columbia's first possession of the third quarter and then marched down the field for a 74-yard TD drive to take a more commanding 17-7 lead.
-Many of Columbia's walking wounded stepped up big. AJ Maddox shook off his week one injury and scored a pick six, and recovered the bad snap that led to Columbia's second TD. Ross Morand shook off injuries before and during the game to make 11 tackles and force a fumble. WR Paul Havas, who was out for game one, made spectacular diving catch for a TD for his second score of the season.
-TE Hamilton Garner made a spectacular play to lunge for the pylon and score a TD after a nice catch and run. He needs to get more touches for sure.
-The defense had trouble stopping the run, but it generally gave the Lions more than enough chances to win the game by forcing turnovers and making some good plays on a handful of third downs.
-Paul Delaney's punting was strong and Luke Eddy remains perfect on PAT's at eight-for-eight on the season now.
-For three straight weeks, the offense is showing little or no rhythm. Brackett seems banged up and that would explain a lot. The rushing game was actually a bit better with Marcorus Garrett getting a few nice runs, but it is still mostly lacking.
-A missed tackle made a short Princeton run a very long one on the Tigers' final scoring drive.
-Penalties at crucial times are still stabbing the Lions far too often.
-Princeton is actually a WEAKER team than it was last year when Columbia whipped them 42-14. To lose to this squad, even on the road, is a very bad sign.
AJ Maddox had 10 tackles, an interception return for a TD and a key fumble recovery... all while playing hurt. This is a senior every Columbia fan can be proud of.