Monday, October 15, 2012

Devastation on the Delaware

I think these guys were at Franklin Field Saturday  

Penn 24 Columbia 20

Why Penn Won

Shaking off a bad offensive start, the Quaker passing game finally got going at just the right time. Billy Ragone scrambled and short-passed his team to victory while the defense avoided making the big mistakes.

Why Columbia Lost

The Lion pass defense faltered at just the wrong time and the pressure on the Quaker QB's that was constant in the first three quarters evaporated down the stretch. With a few key assists from the refs, the Penn offense finally wore the Columbia defense down.

Key Turning Points

-After a scoreless first quarter, Penn put together a decent drive and converted on a 37-yard Connor Loftus FG to make it 3-0. But the Lions woke up after that. On the second play of the ensuing drive, Marcorus Garrett busted a 28-yard run to get Columbia in business. A pass completion on the next play and a personal foul penalty put the ball just short of the Penn 10... and then the Lions went flat. A run for a loss and a holding penalty forced the Lions to kick a long FG which Luke Eddy made from 40. Columbia had to trade a 7-3 lead for a 3-3 tie.

-Red Zone futility struck again just before the half, as the Lions got to the Penn 20 with about 50 seconds to go. But an incomplete pass, a run for one yard and a sack followed. Columbia settled for a 38 yard FG instead and a 6-3 lead at the half.

-The Quaker offense started a decent drive to begin the second half, and faced a 1st and 10 at the CU 39. On the play, the CU defense seemed to have Ragone wrapped up for a sack in the backfield, but he wriggled out of it and ran for a 31 yard gain. Two plays later, Penn had the first TD of the game and a 10-6 lead.

-Columbia went three-and-out on the next possession, but woke up the next time it got the ball. Once again, Garrett was the catalyst with a 36 yard burst of a run to the Quaker 48. Two plays later, the Lions were in the red zone and this time they did not falter. A brilliant run by Garrett after he grabbed a short pass from QB Sean Brackett was good for a 15 yard TD and Columbia was back in the lead.

-After the Lions made it 20-10 on another brilliant run by Garrett, the key drive of the game ensued for Penn. And this was the key sequence of plays that decided the game: On 1st and 10 from his own 33, Ragone threw an errant pass to the Columbia sideline that freshman DB Travis Reim somehow was unable to catch. On the next play as Ragone scrambled, Penn was clearly holding DL Niko Padilla, but it was not called. Even though Ragone's pass on that play bounced on the turf, Columbia was inexplicably called for a pass interference penalty. But Columbia's nightmares were not over. On the very next play, DB Marquel Carter appeared to pick off Ragone near midfield, but the refs called it incomplete. Penn nibbled their way down the field for 10 more plays before scoring a huge TD and making it 20-17.

-After the teams then traded three-and-out possessions, Columbia got the ball back at their own 6 with 4:09 to play. The Lions got one 1st down, but then they failed to convert another 1st down after an incomplete pass. Penn took over after the punt with 2:26 to go.

-On the winning drive, only one play really made all the difference. That was Ragone's 41-yard pass to Lyle Marsh on 4th and 7. That gave the Quakers a 1st down on Columbia 18. Four plays later it was 24-20.

Columbia Positives

-Garrett was flat out dominant. He was lethal as a runner and receiver and Penn had no answers for him. Columbia has a legitimate star and a real threat to break the 1,000 yard mark.

-Brackett had his best game of the year, thanks to more accurate passing and some well executed running. The play where the Lions empty out the backfield and he goes into an option run is particularly impressive.

-WR Connor Nelligan looked acrobatic and clutch on a number of catches.

-Some more freshmen made their presence felt in a good way. Freshmen WR Chris Connors had a break out game with three catches for 52 yards. Freshman Nick Durham made a nice run after catch along the sidelines and showed the first signs of giving the Lions something of an H-back attack. Freshman RB Cameron Molina was stellar in his brief stints giving Garrett a rest, getting 29 yards on seven carries. I also liked freshman WR Scooter Hollis getting into the mix as a option runner and wide out.

-Luke Eddy nailed 40 and 38 yard FG's  in pressure situations. His 47-yarder was blocked, but he's still a solid 7-10 on the year and perfect on PAT's.

-Alec Fisher looked pretty good returning punts, getting one for 24 yards.

-Paul Delaney had a number of clutch punts in the game.

Columbia Negatives

-The defense had no answers for the short passing game in the middle of the field right when it mattered most. The pass rush that stopped Penn for so long in the game also disappeared in the crucial moments.

-I didn't love the play calling on Columbia's third to last and second to last possessions. Allowing Brackett to run in a situation like that is like a secret weapon were not using. The pass play on 3rd down to DiNovo that fell short didn't seem like our best option at the time.

Columbia MVP

Garrett logged the best game by a Columbia offensive player in a long time. He now leads the Ivies in total yards rushing. It became obvious that he should have had the ball on every play down the stretch of the game. Perhaps from now on he'll get it.

What We Learned

I think we can all agree that criticizing the coach, without calling for him to be fired, is fair game.

On the good side, Mangurian clearly HAS changed his strategies for the better since the week three loss to Princeton. Brackett is running more for one thing, and it seems like the play calling is more aggressive.

But we're still losing. No one is giving up on this staff yet, but the losses can't be swept under the rug.

We've all waited too long for wins to be too impressed with improvements in any other area. This was a very disheartening loss, but it's as much on the refs as it is on our coaches or our pass defense.

Until then we are still waiting, and not ready to declare victory or admit defeat just yet.


oldlion said...

I disagree as to Jake' s diktat that it is fair game to criticize the coach at this point. We are getting better and better each week. We have developed a running game for the first time in years, despite an undersized OL. Our team played the second best team in the league going into the season tough for 60 minutes and would have had the W were it not for the notorious home town cooking. We are working a lot of first years into the game. We shut down Penn's RBs, all of whom are big and fast. We are playing without one of our best guys at DE. We are not yet putting together our pass defense for 60 minutes, but takes a while. So that is where I stand, along with I suspect most of the parents of the current players who are busting a gut and could use some support from this blog.

Anonymous said...

May I add to the oldlion's wise comments, that based upon what I saw in Philadelphia, I believe that our players have improved tremendously this season and are now a good Ivy League Football Team that will win at least three or four of its next five football games. Also, I suspect that with five games under his belt, Coach Mangurian now knows exactly what he wants and expects from this team and he will start adding "value" to our playcalling on both sides of the ball. Just a gut feeling, but I suspect we are going to see some pretty smart things in the next five weeks.

RedTiger61 said...

Eric Stock got hurt late in the 2nd or early in the 3rd Qtr, and was replaced by Billy Lawrence .... Stock had his pads off for much of the 2nd Half ...

Anonymous said...

Coaches are evaluated on won-loss records at the end of the season. Time will tell.

1 Win
2 Blowout Losses
2 Competitive Losses

This is the only measureing stick...


Anonymous said...

With Billy Lawrence in the line-up our offensive line has three 6'7" starters and averages more than 6'5" overall. It also means that we have two freshmen starters and a standout sophomore center who has played very well all season. Our tight end is also 6'5" and had a big game against Penn. Finally, our offensive linemen opened some nice holes for Garrett and Molina in the second half of the Penn game. All in all, our offensive line appears to be developing into a very good unit.

Anonymous said...

i think any coach is open to criticism. arent the players open to critique every week by the staff and, potentially, fans? just like any job, there is an ongoing assessment of getting the job done.
i am not privy to whether or not the coach knows what he wants or expects from the team, i am just not having daily conversations with the guy to speculate on this. i will say that we certainly seemed to have a better plan. However, i do question why we never used our last time out and let time expire. it seems like we could have conserved clock at some point by using the time out...isnt like we get to save it for next game.
on the O line: that the kids are tall and working their butt's off is great, but we took a step back on each snap rather than firing off the ball. this made it very difficult for the RB's to clear the line. yes, the RB's had a good game and Molina ran well, but i would say he did a lot of that on his own as the holes were not big and somehow he found a way to get through what was there, kudos to him.
i am bothered that kids who have put in 3-4 years on the team dont dress. have these kids not worked hard to earn their spot? dont they deserve to be a part of the success and failure of the team? i dont care if they did it under a different regime. i think they have earned the rite to dress. Please dont respond to this with musings on the coach is setting a precedent or his way because i dont buy crazy and that is crazy. that these kids show up in the stands is a testament to them and their parents who raised them.

oldlion said...

The coach has said that he will play the best 22 and dress the best 64. Who are we to say that this is unwise? And who are we to say that sometimes this isn't going to be fair to young men who worked hard for three years and are now sitting on the bench? If we believe that he coaches are acting in good faith and trying to put the most competitive team on the field, and if we see progress each week, as I do, then I think we should be more supportive. My heart goes out to these kids who find themselves in street clothes after three years, and I do not mean to seem trite, but sometimes that is just the way it is. Instead of the Yale QB who quit the team when he was demoted before the season, all the credit in the world is due to these young men who have stuck with the program despite their personal disappointments.

Anonymous said...

The players who've stayed exemplify the best in Columbia football and the sports program in general. I think of M.A., too, who stayed on the squad after not playing at all in his junior year.

Anonymous said...

Old lion, I wonder if u ever played a sport. We are the same people who pay the coaches. We have a obligation, no duty, to question the coaches and administration. A self-imposed limit on who can dress? Seriously, my guess is that you were a person on the sideline and want others to feel the pain u felt. Many of you seem to think the coach is above questioning and seemingly he does too from the press conferences he has attended.
I think kids dressing is a small amount to ask and let's not forget that one of those kids may turn into a star. Coaches aren't the end all and be all in judging talent.
Btw, when I played it meant the world to guys if they could suit up; I doubt that has changed.

oldlion said...

Actually, two sports, a very long time ago. But if "anonymous" wants to make this personal, I'll bow out of this discussion. And just for the record, I am a generous contributor to the College and the program, but I don't think I "pay the coaches", nor do I believe it provides me with a "duty" or an "obligation to question the coaches and administration." My obligation, as I see it, is to support the program and the coaches unless and until circumstances dictate otherwise.

jock/doc said...

I could not agree more with "oldlion". Let's support the team! It has been said that there is no I in team.

Anonymous said...

i am not making this personal, but most of you take this as personal. perhaps my delivery was poor, but the kids should dress and it is our obligation to question things. i did not say all things, but i think not allowing kids that worked for several years sends the wrong message.
i am not questioning whether the coach is good or not or whether he will be successful or not, but i think we all strive to make this a better team and kids come to play. they dont get scholarships; so they arent paid to be in the stands.
like the military, nobody is left behind.

#1 Lion said...

Anonymous- you have nothing to apologize for. Nobody can rationalize why we are only dressing 64 players and not he remainder of the team for home games??? They can cite Mangurrians remarks about playing the "best 22" (agreed, even though we may question his selectivity of who are the "best" actually are - where is Gerst?), but nobody can rationalize only dressing 64 players??? That's fine for away games, but home games? I know, I know, I am a poison and cancer for questioning the authoritative rule of Coach M. Forgive me, I am a purist. Yes, "OldLion" you ARE being trite when you condone what you seem to know is wrong, yet accept/condone it because Coach M is new.

The GOOD news is that our D-Line has been great and our LB crew are competitive with ANY other Ivy, IMO! Kicking has been above average and Luke Eddy has been steady for the most part. The talent IS there, we just have to find a way to maximize and harness this talent within Mangurrian's system.

Anonymous said...

This idea that criticizing the coaches is tantamount to criticizing the players is just plain nonsense. One of the things I've always liked about Columbia football is that the crowd never boos the players. When some one screws up on the field, we don't boo; we groan. As far as I'm concerned, God bless the kids for showing up every Saturday.

The coaches, on the other hand, are fair game. Unlike almost every other "sport" at Columbia, football is not a mere collection of like-minded enthusiasts who are followed by a small handful of friends and family and who, by accident of history and politics, have their uniforms, coaches and travel paid for by the university. At least 4,000 alumni attend every Lions football home game. For some odd reason, they act like alumni fans of every other college football team in America. They second-guess every decision of the coaches. They start bitching when, two conference games into the season, they are all but eliminated from contention.

Do the members of the football team really want to be like so many "sports" at Columbia where nobody criticizes anybody because nobody cares? A kid at Penn State this year missed a bunch of field goals. Some of his fellow students actually walked up to him on campus and cursed him out to his face. Clearly, we do not want to "worship" football (no fear of that at Columbia) but our kids should welcome fans passionate enough to piss on the coaching staff. Fanaticism is preferable to apathy.

WOF said...

Mangurian deserves to run his program his way at this point. If suiting up becomes something that is earned and not taken for granted why is that a bad thing after 50 years of futility?

I know it may be difficult for some to accept but we've gotta let mangurian create a culture here.

I want us to win and win the right way and Pete seems to be working toward that end, even if some good kids don't get to suit up right now.

Who's to say a kid who did not suit up this week works his tail off and earns the chance to suit up the coming week. how is that bad?

Mitch said...

One thing I love about this blog is the unexpected range of opinion found here. Frankly, I would never have expected anyone to speak in defense of a coach who does not allow every player who practices to dress for home games -- but there you go! I just don't see the reasoning for this.

The team did seem to play much better last week and we can hope the good signs will hold true.

#1 Lion said...

Hopefully, this will simplify things... Our concern with Mangurrian not dressing AlLL members of the TEAM; for home games; especially the Seniors, is that if Mangurrian can't get the simple things right, then what are our real expectations for him to turn things around? He says that you have to "earn" the right to dress? Seriously??? Getting up at 4:30 and not returning to campus until 9:30-10:00 is not something that should be taken for granted. Doesn't that earn you the right to dress? Honestly, I can't believe that we are belaboring this point. You CANNOT give this guy carte blanche if can't get the little things right. What if Coach Mangurrian had 3-4 wins under his belt??? My response would be he same! I think that the Captains need to be heard here...

Regarding he Xs and Os of the game, managing personnel, and in-game strategy, the jury is still out. By the way, losing close games are still losses. Saying that we are making strides, but still losing, is a cop-out. I don't expect things to turn around over night, I just want to think that we are in good hands. Again, the jury is still out...

Bravo to the tailbacks, the defense line and linebackers (again), otherwise we really would be lighting up this board. Keep playing hard!

Last thing, so that everyone can be on record, WHAT is an acceptable record THIS year, next year, year three and year four? I just don't want to hear that in year four, if we are 4-6, that he needs another four years to right he ship. Obama 101...
Year I - 2-8
Year II - 3-7
year-III - 5-5
Year IV - 7-3

Roar Lion said...

This is a huge week for us. The current group of seniors have suffered a lot crushing last minute losses. Lafayette and Yale in 09, Penn in 11 and 12, Dartmouth at HC in 10. A few others. What we haven't done is rebound strongly from adversity. Last week we played much better, but still lost. This week, we face a slightly weaker team and it is HC, biggest crowd of the season. Pete will have my support (despite his shabby treatment of the seniors)if we show that we can build on our improvement rather than revert to the old form after a bad loss. Our talent is at least as good as Dartmouth's. No excuses this week.

Someone above mocked the other sports teams. You don't know what you're talking about. Men's basketball beat at least two top 50 programs last year and played an extremely fun sell-out home game vs. Harvard. Baseball played fully one-third of its schedule against teams that made NCAA regionals. Soccer plays lots of top 40 programs. Track and CC are strong. The caliber of players in those sports is higher than in football. We all love football, but these aren't the best athletes in the school.

Anonymous said...

#1 Lion, you profess to be all about the team..blah,blah,blah. But, your references to what you do for the team as compared to the rest of us (mere mortals)speak another theme, I think that your posts are all about you,your opinions,and your second guessing the new coach with 5 games to go in his first season.Time will tell if dressing for Saturday is as critical as you think.
Just because you type it in ALL CAPS does not make it true or correct.Enough with the negativity.Why don't you pipe down and shut the F up!

Anonymous said...

#1Lion... Geez, talk about belaboring, you just don"t quit. Who are you to say that Mangurian can't even get the little things right? Since when was that YOUR call? You print as if you speak for all of us. I assure you... you do not! You are so negative and continue on with the same story. Frankly, everything that you say is belaboring. This constant negativity is not good for our team.Are you trying to create problems in the locker room? Are you a parent and getting your information first-hand? I am a parent, and my son has never once spoke of these problems with the guys or the coaches. He feels there is a greater feeling of unity and strength amongst the players than what he had experienced in the past.Please give it a rest,I know my son does not read this blog, nor do I ever mention what I read.If there are players that do see this, I hope you ARE ready to take responsibility for stirring up trouble.That is what I feel you are doing here, and I know there are many out there who support me.

Anonymous said...

Lets relax for 5 seconds about the whole dressing/not dressing thing. Ive been there; really there isnt a lot to be gain from dressing and taking up space. My freshman year I was basically taking up space, having run scout team all week was there ANY possible thing I could have done on game day, no.

Same goes for when I started when you dress 80 or 90 guys people get in the way. Is it effective to make in game adjustments on the O or D line with 13 or 14 people standing around? no.

Anonymous said...

Ladies and gentlemen-1) no name calling of each other-don't make it personal among us; 2) it is certainly fair to criticize the coaches-

-Coach M maintains that the players should be judged on everything (everything) they do-----so he and his staff should be judged on everything they do. That includes his exiling of many upper classmen, including many who started some games in 2011.
His critics have taken his own words to heart--he said -we need to expect to win. So, where are the wins? we expect them...per the coach, we have the right to expect them.

coach M also said there is no grading on the curve on saturdays--it is a W or an L--so right now by his own measure he is flunking.

Now, having had my say----- let us all band together and cheer on a five game win streak beginning on saturday against the very beatable Big Green. After we win I will buy every blogger a beer ROAR LIONS Roar

Mitch said...

As a former hs coach I just want to make the observation that at the historically hugely successful D3 St. John's of MN program they routinely dress 120 players and celebrate that fact.

But that's D3 and we are big time, right?

Very well, at least one thing we can perhaps admire at the somewhat less consistent Texas A&M program is the so-called twelfth man tradition whereby all students stand the entire game as if to declare willingness to take the field. Inspiring, no? It's about "inclusiveness."

If you don't have the ability to be a first or second team player, how can you "earn the right" to dress for the game? But how fast you can run or how much weight you can lift has no connection with how hard you try or your commitment to the team or the contribution you have made. Everyone who practices should dress. It's obvious.

Yes, let's support the coach and the team. Let's also feel free to make observations.

#1 Lion said...

Anonymous (above)- totally agree! You realize that may open you up to criticism and ridicule though... Rule #1 don't second guess the HC or Staff...

To one of the above post commenting on better athletes in the school... I think the CU hoop players are agile and Athletic. Can the football team get 1-2 of the 6'5"-6'6" forwards to play TE (see Tony Gonzalez from Cal who played both sports). We could use you to open up the offense more. That is, create new options, not criticizing our current TEs (before everyone jumps down my throat).

Aren't we above the name calling???

Anonymous said...

The Ivy League sets the maximum number of players on the travel squad at 62, not the coach. As far as home games, I don’t have the knowledge of the exact number this is applicable to, but some of the players are in the stands as a consequence of their own actions, e.g., academic deficiencies, violation of team rules, missing practice, not achieving set goals, etc. So as fans we will be out of the loop as to why some of the players are in the stands, as we should be; this is between the student/athlete, the university and the coaching staff. I would like to see all the players on the sideline, but I also understand why some are not allowed and as fans there are some things we just have to accept.

Anonymous said...

To add to the above post.From the very start, Jake told us that Coach Mangurian wanted a smaller team. This was posted several times last spring and continued all summer.Watch for less guys on the roster than what we had in previous years. So there being less players on the field should not really come as a big surprise.

Anonymous said...

#1 Lion likes to stir the pot which is fine by me as it keeps the juices flowing and frankly he makes some good points.
i agree with Mitch on his observation and appreciate his examples.
i think the guy saying shut the F up above should heed his own advice.
if the coach did, in fact, make his own grading scale for how he should be judged as stated above he would be flunking, but i do not know if he did make that grading scale, just havent read enough.
i never understood why you would want a smaller roster, seems to me that you give away a call option that one of those kids you left off may actually turn out to be a super star, very little cost for potentially a lot of upside.
Des Werthman

Anonymous said...

There are some kids not dressing and sittting in the stands due to their academic schedule and have no chance to "earn" the right to dress. Is this right??