Friday, September 14, 2012

Start it Up!

Marist Red Foxes at Columbia Lions

September 15, 2012

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

Kickoff Time: 12:30pm

Gametime Weather Forecast:  75 degrees and partly sunny

The Spread: Columbia is now favored by 1 point


Here is my guide Here is my guide to getting to 2012 Columbia home games

**REMEMBER** The #1 subway train WILL be running tomorrow! 


You can get free audio and fee-based video on the SideLion Pass SideLion Pass. Jerry Recco and Sal Licata have the call. 

The student station broadcast is on WKCR at 89.9 on your FM dial.

Lead Stories

The Pete Mangurian era begins at Columbia and the changes are already quite stark. Mangurian has instituted a general overall of everything from practice times to team academic rules.

But the biggest change is what I call "The Grand Experiment': Mangurian's insistence that a much lighter and better conditioned offensive line can be successful at the college level. The Lions are starting a 227-pound right guard and a 253 pound right tackle. The other side of the line is a but heavier, but not by very much. 

The strategy is to go with leaner, stronger, better conditioned linemen who can avoid getting too tired in the second half. Strength over body mass. It's a bold plan that will gain the attention of a lot of football fans if it actually works.

Mangurian is trying to shake up a program that went off the rails in the final season of his predecessor, Norries WIlson's six years as head coach. Columbia lost the first nine games of 2011 before pulling off a double-OT win over 20 1/2-point favorite Brown in the final game of the season.

Marist comes into the game at 1-1 after routing Bryant in week one and dropping a close contest last Saturday night against Bucknell. This is a far cry from the Marist team that came into Wien Stadium in 2007 and was whipped by the Lions, 31-7. Since then, Marist the North East Conference have undergone a major upgrade and the teams are much more of match for Ivy opponents. 

Columbia's Three Keys to the Game

1) Play it Fast!

It makes no sense to go with a lighter and better conditioned team unless the offense emphasizes speed and the defense shifts furiously. The Lions need to get the other guys tired and quickly. This means a lot of quick passes, no huddle, and screens. On defense, I'd like to see blitzing and movement. 

2) Keep the Run Credible

This will be one heck of a test tomorrow for starting RB Marcorus Garrett. He's the one being asked to gain yards with that lighter line in front of him. He doesn't have to gain 100+ yards for Columbia to win, but he does need to do better than three yards a carry to keep the blitzers from just honing in on QB Sean Brackett all day. I do have a feeling this could be a good game and a very good season for Garrett.

3) Let the Front Seven Dominate

Columbia's defensive line and linebacking corps is as strong as I've seen it since the days of Marcellus Wiley and Rory Wilfork in 1996. But for this crew to do the kind of damage it needs to do, the secondary will have to step up. 

Despite all the DB graduations, this is still a crew with a lot of talent. The leader is CB Brian DeVeau, who is one of the hardest workers on the team. The most talented DB may beMarquel Carter, but he has to show his commitment more this season. 

Perhaps the man under the most pressure is sophomore starting CB Malcom Thaxton. This is Thaxton's first start after getting into just three games as a freshman last year. We do know he is a speedster. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

To listen to the game on the radio, that is without a computer, WKCR FM, 89.9.