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Columbia failed at its chance at repentance on Yom Kippur
Sacred Heart 34 Columbia 25
Why Sacred Heart Won
The Pioneers played a virtually mistake free game, and the most mistake free Pioneer was QB Tim Little who completed 33 of 48 passes for 371 yards, three TD's and no interceptions.
After Sacred Heart started slow offensively, the team turned on the jets late in the first half and never looked back.
On defense, the Pioneers made Columbia work for everything. The D allowed the Lions to score four TD's, but never let Columbia control the clock or the tempo for long.
Why Columbia Lost
The Lion defense had no answers for Sacred Heart's steady diet of screens, short crossing patterns, and every other kind of pass play. After briefly harrassing the Pioneer QB in the first half, Columbia could not match the Pioneer offensive adjustements.
The defense continued to miss tackles and had no answer for the Sacred Heart short pass and run offensive attack.
Columbia's special teams was a disaster; failing on three PAT's, kicking off way too short, and getting a punt blocked.
The Lions were penalized only five times, but most of the flags badly burned them at crucial moments.
Key Turning Points
-After Columbia took a 13-6 lead with just under 2:00 left in the half, an extremely short kickoff, decent return, and CU penalty set the Pioneers up with the ball at the CU 41. Sacred Heart needed just over a minute to score a TD and tie the score at the half.
-Once again, the Lions came out dazed and confused in the third quarter. After a three-and-out to start the second half by Columbia, Sacred Heart put together a three play drive for one score and then a seven play drive for another TD. Just like that, it was 27-13 SHU.
-Trailing by 27-19 late in the third quarter, the Lions stopped Sacred Heart on a 4th and one at the Columbia 48 and had a golden opportunity to score. But a holding penalty in the middle of a brilliant Brackett run killed the drive and Lions ended up having to punt.
-QB Sean Brackett seemed more himself, running the ball well, throwing two TD passes and having his first INT free game of 2011. But he still finished with a sub-.500 completion percentage and missed some open receivers.
-LB Josh Martin was all over the field with two sacks, a pass breakup, and nine tackles overall.
-TE Hamilton Garner continued to impress with two TD catches. He may not be as fast as former Lion great Andrew Kennedy, but he is running some of the same routes and really has a nose for the end zone.
-Freshman Alec Fisher looked very good returning punts and kicks.
-Three failed PAT's.
-Tons of missed tackles and very little short pass defense.
-Terrible penalties at terrible times in the game.
-Disastrous results on kickoffs.
-Still nothing imaginative from the coaches. The lineup is the same, the play calling was the same, and no tricks.
What We've Learned
Columbia is now 0-4 and has lost 10 of the last 11 games stretching back to last year.
The team and the program, despite deep and varied talent, is clearly several steps back from where it was that late November day in 2009 when the Lions thoroughly beat a very good Brown team in the season finale.
Columbia football needs regime change, and it needs it now.