Wednesday, September 19, 2012

New Voices

The Roar Lions 2012 newsroom is getting crowded!

So... I guess I lied when I said I was through writing posts all about the win over Marist.

(Don't worry, my "Scouting Fordham" post will appear later today).

But I have a good excuse.

First, we have to add ECAC Defensive Player of the Week honors for Zach Olinger to this Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week crown.

Second, today is the first installment of some brief guest analyses of games from people who know the game a lot better than I.

I am very excited to be introducing this new feature, that gets some of the younger voices we all yearn for onto the blog.

First up is Paul Havas '12, who spent five years with the CU varsity, (he was injured his sophomore year), as a QB and then as a WR. Here's his take:

"Lions Win. Period.

Great to see the boys start the season off right. Columbia hasn't won their season opener since the Rumble in the Bronx against a John Skelton-led Fordham team back in 2009. Watching my ex-teammates as well as the new faces donning the Columbia Blue march off the field with pride and ear-to-ear smiles this past Saturday gave me a good feeling of what is yet to come for the Mangurian-era Lions. 

Being that this is my first season as a Lions spectator, I am presented with a whole new perspective to CU football and ivy league play. 

Let's start off with some positive takeaways from Saturday:

1) Our front seven looks as talented as ever, flying around, rallying to the ball and making plays all afternoon. Olinger, Murphy and Waller are all experienced, downhill players who can truly set the tone for your team. Having played with them I believe all three guys are big time leaders and will be one of the primary reasons our defense has success this year.
 Our D-line, equally as impressive, has nice depth and made plays at crucial times against Marist, most notably a blocked extra point by Childress late in the game. I expect huge things out of Martin and Adebayo and believe that Lee, Sommers, Childress, Melka and Washington will provide solid, consistent play which should prove to be a dominant unit, collectively. 

2) Garrett and our running game. I liked the fact that for the first time in a while Columbia was able to consistently squeeze out 4+ yards a pop, breaking out for a few nice-looking runs of ~15 yards a piece. I really hope that the Lions can sustain this ground production, because with Brackett's mobility, our running game can do wonders for clock-control and game-management. We had some nice blocking from sophomore FB Silvio. 

3) Organization. Just take look at our sideline. Looks like the NFL! Dressing fewer guys is something I completely agree with and gives more motivation to the players in their uniforms watching from the stands. Being able to dress for gameday should be an earned privilege and more often times than not when you dress 110+ guys the sideline can become a complete mess when trying to gather players together to make quick sideline adjustments. 

Room for improvement:
1) Pass protection... I know it is our first game in a new offensive system with a lot of young guys playing , but the protection seemed absolutely abysmal at times. We have the conference's top QB, so how about we give him a chance to perform like one. I know this sounds very cliche but If we can control the line of scrimmage this year from an offensive standpoint we will be a very effective offense. Between Garner, Nelligan, Gross, DiNovo and Slivka we've have a group who can make plays, so let's give Brackett a chance to get it to those guys.

2) Passing game- too inconsistent and taking too many shots downfield when the throws weren't there. We have a great QB in Brackett and we need him to play that way in order for us to have success. It comes down to him performing for us to have any chance this year, and if I know him well enough, which I think I do, he knows that and he'll find any way to get it done. Expect him to have his best season yet. The first game jitters are now out of the system and time for Brackett and his weapons to start picking on defenses. 

3) Cornerback play- Too many times did we find our CBs' backs turned allowing the Marist receivers to make nice plays. Coverage down the field cannot be played with that technique because it allows for too many of the currently-famed back-shoulder throws. If a DB's back is turned, any mediocre receiver will be able to make the play over him as he has no true idea where the ball is. That happened way too many times on Saturday and we must minimize those occurrences going forward. Our front seven can only play so well and will need the corners to step up their game."

Counting down the days till Fordham. 

Our next analyst is Alec Davison '16, a top recruit for this year who has had to leave the team because of injury. I'm very happy to say that Alec has agreed to stay close to the program and observe the physical progress of the team.

Here's what caught his eye Saturday:

"The players' bodyfat levels are all dramatically decreased from a season ago, due to coach Mangurian's philosophy of speed. I dont think there is any front seven as fast or physical in the Ivy League. 

And this combination of speed and attitude allowed us to DOMINATE! The decrease in the weight of our linemen allowed them to.block well in the run game, but may have hindered them in pass blocking.

Brackett had very little time to throw throughout the game, and got sacked too much in the first half. But he did a great job of getting the ball out faster in the second half and not throwing a pick all game. 

This team is so much better as a whole than last year and the biggest reason for that is this is actually a TEAM, and not a group of individuals. You can tell that the guys love playing for each other out there, and their mind is all on the same goal: to win!"


doc/jock said...

Jake, this is great stuff! Keep it coming.

oldlion said...

Does this mean that Davison will be back next year?

dabull said...

What is the nature of Davison's injury? I guess he'll take next semester off and take a medical redshirt?

Anonymous said...

Jake- can you get into a habit of posting the offshore lines on the Ivy games every Wednesday on the blog? I kind of liked that...

Anonymous said...

Great job Jake and Paul!

CULionPride said...

I am looking forward to seeing this Saturday's game as it is fairly expensive to travel from where we live to see many games (airfare, hotel). Listening to the game on the computer is not the same as being there, but it does suffice as the announcers are very good. Can't wait to see your "scouting Fordham" post.

Anonymous said...

You're using computers with CRTs?!

Anonymous said...

I agree coming in next weekend excited to see live

Anonymous said...

Paul's input is fantastic and spot on. I hope the QB can rise to his expectations. Thanks jake and Paul.
Go lions.

Unknown said...

Love the new feature. Look forward to more.

Anonymous said...

I would addd freshman Scooter Hollis to our long list of dynamic wide receivers. It will be interesting to see which guys emerge as stars. At this time, I would say that Gross and Nelligaan are the leaders, but there seems to be at least four or five others with considerable talent. And we haven't even seen Wanamaker yet.