Monday, October 29, 2012

Honors for the Hero

Mike Waller, who literally saved the day for Columbia with a key strip of Yale's Tyler Varga, has just been named Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week!  This is really great news for Mike and his family.

More thoughts from Saturday's win over Yale:

-As surprising as it was to see Yale's decision to go with a wildcat for just about the entire game, the Eli run defense was an even bigger surprise. The Lions run blocking was just not strong, especially when it counted. This a week before they have take on the truly tough Harvard rush defense which is allowing fewer than 80 yards on the ground per game.

-It was fortuitous that Columbia got into some kind of rhythm in the short passing game, because that may be the only way to score points against the Crimson's huge and fast defensive line in Cambridge this coming Saturday.

-I'm sure the Harvard coaches are watching the film of the Yale and Dartmouth games with interest, especially when they see what looks like Columbia's issues defending the run on the edges. If the Crimson's brilliant RB Treavor Scales gets to those edges in full stride, look out.

-I know he didn't always run extremely well, but am I the only one who thinks we should get the ball into Marcorus Garrett's hands a little more often? It seems like he's lethal as a receiver out of the backfield when he's not grinding out the yards on the ground.

-Connor Nelligan is having a monster sophomore season, but he has not scored a TD this season. That needs to change. 

Thoughts on the League Overall

-Harvard, Princeton, and shockingly even Penn are all now tied for the league lead. At least one of those teams will fall out of that 3-way tie this weekend because Penn travels to Princeton Stadium to take on the Tigers. Whatever happens, it's nice to see an Ivy title race that's a bit more crowded after week 7.

-Cornell's Luke Tasker has more than 1,000 receiving yards for the season... already! He also has 7 TD catches. The next most prolific WR in the Ivies is also a Cornellian, Grant Gellatly. He has 709 receiving yards. The Ivies haven't seen two receivers dominate the leader board like this since Columbia's John Witkowski was slinging the passes to Don Lewis and Bill Reggio in 1982. 

-This is all because Cornell QB Jeff Mathews is AVERAGING 383 yards passing per game. But he only has 13 TD passes, which is the big problem in Ithaca. 

-Even though he missed an entire game with an eligibility question, Yale's Tyler Varga is still leading the Ivies in total rushing yards! Let's see if the Eli trip to Brown this Saturday and that slower grass at Brown Stadium cuts into his numbers. 

-I've been pegging Princeton's improvement this season only to its strong defense but clearly, QB Connor Michelsen is on the rise. He's a sophomore with a chance to improve even more and he's getting into a rhythm with junior WR Roman Wilson who has 533 receiving yards this year so far.


oldlion said...

I agree on Garrett. But he neds to get the ball about five yards downfield to be effective. We haven't run the bubble screen effectively up to now.
So agree that we need to set the edge so Scales cannot turn the corner. I think we will be rolling Brackett out a lot at Harvard. I think Nelligan and Connors are very tough to cover right now. And let's play to win!

Anonymous said...

So happy for Mike Waller and his family. Congrats Mike.

Anonymous said...

Sean Bracket also received honorable mention

Anonymous said...

"Even though he missed an entire game with an eligibility question, Yale's Tyler Varga is still leading the Ivies in total rushing yards!" Not to take anything away from Varga, but many of the runners who were expected to compete for the league rushing title this year have been injured.

Anonymous said...

Getting Garrett the ball is almost a necessity. But, opponents are geared for him and, if I recall, he's had injury problems. The fake to him before Brackett scored was a way of dealing with both. And, a couple of other backs have shown promise.

Anonymous said...

Jake, speaking as a Princeton fan who enjoys reading your blog, please --for the love of God -- pick Penn for this coming Saturday. Others who are not familiar with your blog may wonder how we beat Harvard and lost to Cornell. The insiders know the real reason: your pick, which is now proving to be the decisive influence on the outcome of Tiger games (still perfect on the year). Seriously, keep up the good work and thank you.

RedTiger61 said...

Has anyone thought about the impact the hurricae/super storm is having of the Lions prep for Harvard .... it would be nice th have an indoor facility to practice in in the winter and situations just like this

oldlion said...

I think the two days off at this point in the season are not a problem. It actually means only one lost day, and we should be able to go on Wednesday and Thursday. A few thoughts on Harvard. I like the short West Coast passing game that worked so well on Saturday. Coach believes in a balanced offense, but if we are going to run we probably need to do it from a two back set with a lead fullback or H back. To keep Harvard from putting ten in th box whenever we line up with Brackett over center in the two back
set we need to put in some passing plays from that formation. Last year we played Harvard even up for the first half. How did we slow down their offense? This Saturday we need to set the edge against Scales and make him run inside. Their big H back is a problem. I think Carter has the athletic skills to cover him. We need our DL and LBs to hae the game of the season.