Monday, November 12, 2012

Winners Circle


GREAT showing for Columbia's finest in the weekly player awards just announced. DE Josh Martin was named co-Defensive Player of the week and WR Chris Connors was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week. 

Around the Ivies

Of course the other HUGE story this weekend is that Penn is now alone atop the Ivies after the Quakers' surprising win over Harvard on Saturday. Unlike the Princeton game where the Tigers stole the game from the Crimson with an impossible 4th quarter rally, Penn really was the stronger team throughout the contest. 

The running game was the difference as RB Lyle Marsh and QB Billy Ragone beat Harvard time after time. On the flip side, Ragone did leave the game with a badly injured ankle and he will almost surely not play in the season finale at Cornell. If he can't go and Penn can't handle the Big Red in Ithaca as a result, there's a chance Harvard and Princeton jump back into a three-way tie for the title. How wild would that be?

Honestly, I think Harvard is still the best team in the Ivies. But they clearly just weren't as disciplined as they needed to be. After throttling Columbia 69-0 last week, the Crimson weren't ready for a real challenge and that's a level of immaturity you don't expect from a Tim Murphy-coached team. 

With the talent level they have this year in Cambridge, even if they do get a share of the title this has to go down as one the biggest wasted opportunities in league history.

Some other points about the Ivies:

-Brown did it again. The Bears parlayed their superior passing game just enough to clinch a winning league and overall record with a nice comeback win over Dartmouth Saturday. I'd point out Brown's decent run defense, but the Big Green ran the ball just fine overall. This is just a scrappy program that finds ways to win tough games. 

-Princeton dominated defensively in the 29-7 win over Yale. The Bulldogs had to play without Tyler Varga. Will he be ready for The Game this Saturday at Harvard Stadium? My bet is he will be.

-This is really going to be a wide open race for the Bushnell Cup awards. Who would YOU pick for offensive and defensive MVP's? Suffice it to say that the final week's outcomes will play a big role in deciding who wins.

More Thoughts post Columbia-Cornell 

-The win Saturday was the fifth straight year that Columbia has won on Senior Day, (wins over Cornell in 2008, 2010, and 2012, and over Brown in 2009 and 2011). Maybe we should make EVERY game Senior Day and honor a different group of seniors. Who's with me?

-ESPN's Sports Center kept showing the amazing 4th quarter TD catch by Chris Connors as a tease for the plays of the week. But when they actually ran the segment, they never showed it. It was still nice to see that play though.

-I only mentioned the play briefly yesterday, but Zach Olinger really DID intercept a Cornell pass that landed on a Big Red player's buttocks in the 4th quarter. More polite folks out there will say the ball landed on the player's back, but I saw it myself and that's where the ball was lying when Olinger made the heads up, (or should I say "bottoms up"), play to grab it. Come to think of it, why was THAT play not on Sports Center????

-With one game to play, RB Marcorus Garrett is fifth all-time in Columbia history for single season rushing yards with 901. He could easily finish next weekend's game vs. Brown at #2, because he needs just 67 yards to surpass the 967 yards Johnathan Reese '02 achieved in 2001. Reese is of course, the #1 all-time single season rusher with 1,330 yards in 2000 and the all-time career rusher with 3,321 yards. 

-But getting those yards will tough against Brown's generally good run defense and the slow grass field at Brown Stadium. If Garrett somehow beats the odds and nets 99+ yards to become Columbia's second-ever 1,000-yard rusher, he should be named the team MVP right away.


oldlion said...

Josh Martin was playing like Marcellus Wiley during the second half on Saturday. He took over the game just like Wiley. Same power and speed rush. If he has the same sort of game this Saturday he will get some serious looks as a LB.

Anonymous said...

How good was Columbia's defensive pressure and coverage Saturday? Cornell's top three receivers had averaged a combined 25 receptions per game for 342 yards. The defense held them to 6 catches for 78 yards. Dynamite!

Be sure to look at the photo gallery on the football website. It contains great action shots. Let's see more.

The video feed continues to be terrible - worthless through 2/3 of the first quarter.

Anonymous said...

Do you realize that Marcourus Garrett recieved Ivy League Honorable Mention 5 times this season, and Will Paterson, Zack Ollinger, Mike Waller and Sean Brackett also received honorable mention once.

We also have threee Lions who received Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week this season: Zach Ollinger, Mike Waller & Josh Martin. We also had 1 Rookie Cris Connors receive the Rookie Ivy Player of the Week.

Good job Lions.

Anonymous said...

Correction Zack Ollinger received honorable mention twice and Ivy Defensive Player of the Week once.

oldlion said...

A good game on Saturday should assure Garrett of first team all Ivy. Martin and Olinger should also make first team, and if Connors has another good game he should be ROY.

Anonymous said...

How do the weekly awards work? Do the coaches choose their own honorable mention winners? I assume the league chooses the players of the week.