Friday, September 25, 2015

Happy Ending?

The new field is ready

Georgetown Hoyas (1-2) at Columbia Lions (0-1)

September 26, 2015

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

Kickoff Time: 1:00pm

Game Time Weather Forecast: 72 degrees and partly cloudy

The Spread: Georgetown is favored by 5 ½ points. The under/over is 42.


The game will be broadcast live on the Ivy League Digital Network with play-by-play by Jerry Recco and Sal Licata as the color analyst.

Leading Storylines

1)     THIS IS THE GAME. Columbia hasn’t had a chance this good to end its now 22-game losing streak. The Hoyas are not a strong team, and the Lions seem to have just the tools to take advantage of Georgetown’s biggest weaknesses. That said, a loss here would be a tremendous disappointment and a bad early setback for the Al Bagnoli era. Will the new buzz surrounding the team because of the Bagnoli hire and the added media attention translate into a larger and more enthusiastic crowd? Only winning can make the game day experience at Wien Stadium better, but the people there Saturday could be the first group to see it happen in three years.

2)     The New New York Sack Exchange. Columbia’s D-line lived up to the advanced billing in week one with five official sacks against Fordham, (in college football, the real sack total is usually deflated in the stats). Columbia had 15 sacks all season last year, so the improvement here is clear. Georgetown’s offensive line is banged up and a far cry from the size the Lions faced against the Rams last week.

3)     Hoya emotion. With senior LB Ty Williams still battling paralysis as the result of a terrible injury in Georgetown’s first game, the Hoyas played with a lot of emotion in their week 2 win over Marist. That emotion seemed to flag against Dartmouth last week, but could easily resurface in this game. A different kind of emotion could also motivate Georgetown as no one wants to be the team to help Columbia end the 22-game losing streak.

5      Columbia Players to Watch

1)     Senior DT Niko Padilla #93. If the Columbia D-line dominates like it should, Padilla’s play will provide the early signs. If he’s drawing his usual double teams and extra-help blocking, then you’ll know that plays a big role in sacks and TFL’s by the other defensive linemen.

2)     Senior RB Cameron Molina #31 had somewhat abbreviated duty in week one, but when the Lions really needed yards on the ground last week they went to the senior co-captain. I expect Molina and junior Alan Watson to split the running duties again this week, but Molina should be given a more starring role this time.

3)     Freshman LB Cal Falkenhayn #54. Falkenhayn broke into the two-deep this week after sophomore LB Hagen Patterson suffered a serious ankle sprain against Fordham. Junior Keith Brady did a great job against the run and rushing the passed in Patterson’s absence last week and he will start here, but I’ve been expecting to see Falkenhayn to see the field early and it looks like it could happen in this game. This is the kind of player who could make a four-year impact on the team. As a  leader for the great Loyola Academy north of Chicago, Falkenhayn is used to pressure. He evenplayed a big game at Soldier Field in Chicago last year.

4)     Senior WR Scooter Hollis #19. Hollis came close to having a breakout game last week, and established himself as a key target for both Columbia QB’s. He feels like a good bet to be the first Lion to score a TD pass this season.

5)     Senior CB Trevor Bell #2. Fordham picked on Bell all day last week and Georgetown will try to test the 5-8 veteran. But Bell is a very good player who could have a huge day if the Hoyas underestimate him and go his way too often.

5 Georgetown Players to Watch

1)     Senior QB Kyle Nolan #10. Nolan looks pretty scary at 6-6 and 235 pounds, but he threw the ball too inconsistently to get serious FBS interest when he was in high school. That’s still the case today, but he can burn you with his arm and his legs on a play or two here and there. The thing is, if he suddenly does get hot for more than a quarter at a time no one will be prepared to stop him.

2)     Senior RB Jo’El Kimpela #35. Kimpela is another guy who is just too erratic and inconsistent to deliver a decent number of wins for the Hoyas. But like Nolan, he can sometimes have a big game. Columbia’s run defense was not able to wrap up superstar RB Chase Edmonds enough last week despite containing him for much of the game. Georgetown may want to test the Lions run defense with a lot more carries for Kimpela and the Hoyas have been talking all week about improving their running game stats after last week’s awful ground numbers vs. the Big Green. Win or lose, I think Kimpela may have a good game.

3)     Junior WR Justin Hill #5. This is sounding like a broken record, but Hill is yet another one of those inconsistent GU skill players who can only hurt you sometimes. Georgetown will surely want to test the Lion pass defense and he’s the most comfortable target for Nolan. Simply put, Columbia cannot allow Hill to have a big game.

4)     Senior LB Matt Satchell #44 is a big tackler who will probably be the guy charged with stopping both Columbia QB’s from running and scrambling too easily. He’s going to have his hands full and his ability to cope with the dual QB’s will play a huge role in the Hoyas’ chances to win this game.

5)     Sophomore Center Matthew Houpert #75. Columbia knows all about putting inexperienced players in the crucial Center position. Luckily for the Lions, it worked out generally okay last week. It didn’t for Georgetown as the Hoyas couldn’t do much insise against Dartmouth. Houpert needs to have a much better game against the Lions if the Hoyas hope to win. He’ll have his hands more than full going up against Padilla and will likely need a lot of help.

New York Sack Exchange II: Going for 50 in ‘15

Columbia had just 15 sacks in all of 2014. The Lions had five sacks against Fordham and so now the goal I’m setting for 50 sacks this season is right on track.

Streak Watch

Columbia has now lost 22 games in a row, continuing the longest losing streak since the record 44-game slide from 1983-88. Columbia has not won a game since 11/14/2012, or 1,046 days ago. 


ungvar said...

The Georgetown game notes are here:

Jake said...


Big Dawg said...

I do believe there will be a significant turnout for this game. And if we win, the campus reaction will be astounding.