Monday, September 28, 2015

On the Bright Side…

We can all focus on the tough and disappointing loss to Georgetown Saturday or we can leave the problem-solving to this very new coaching staff and focus on what I think is the best news of the year so far for the Lions.

I hope you’ve all noticed we have a really good quarterback.

There were high hopes for junior Skyler Mornhinweg when he transferred to Columbia from Florida earlier this year. I would argue that despite the 0-2 record, he’s surpassed those expectations.

Some of this shows up in the stats. Mornhinweg may not have a TD pass yet and he does have two INT’s, but he also has a 70% completion rate and has run for two TD’s on the ground.

Some of this does not show up in the stats, like the gutsy way we’ve all seen him play through the first two weeks of the season, the quick release and accuracy in his throws, and the way he’s been improvising and keeping plays alive when the first two or three options break down.

In short, Mornhinweg has done all the things we hoped to see from former Columbia transfer QB Brett Nottingham and more. That is not meant to be a slam on Nottingham, it’s just meant to emphasize how much Mornhinweg has already delivered.

He’s a real dual threat QB, and has shown better consistent passing ability than recent Columbia QB’s like M.A. Olawale and Sean Brackett. Olawale was bigger and faster, but didn’t have Mornhinweg’s accuracy. Brackett was much faster, but also didn’t have Mornhinweg’s accuracy or his better relative size. To be clear, Mornhinweg hasn’t delivered the wins that Olawale and Brackett did yet.

It’s not clear if Head Coach Al Bagnoli will continue to make Mornhinweg share the QB duties with sophomore Anders Hill as we head into Ivy play. Hill has played well, especially running the ball. But he left the Georgetown game after getting injured early and it’s not clear yet what his status is. As good as Mornhinweg is, I like the idea of giving him a bit of a rest and protecting him from injury from time to time.

But in many ways, Mornhinweg’s real debut is this Friday night at Princeton. The Tigers will be heavily favored and their potent offense will get most of the pregame attention. Mornhinweg has a chance on a national TV stage to show what he can do against Ivy competition. I like his chances. 


oldlion said...

One question: we pressured and sacked the Fordham QB all afternoon, yet we never touched the Georgetown QB. What adjustments did the Georgetown OL coach make to keep his QB on his feet? We stacked up the run petty well but didn't seem to pressure the QB at all.

Coach said...

Georgetown had a game tape to review while Fordham came into the game cold having no idea how Columbia would line up.

alawicius said...

With his 21/25 passing against Fordham, I believe Mornhinweg set the all-time single game Lion completion percentage record, formerly held by Archie Roberts.


Chick said...

We've had many, good QBs and still lost because the qb and any other position can't do it alone. You need all of them.

Too early to judge yet. Hard to believe Bags can't get this fixed. He just started and obviously has to be given time. Maybe the whole year. Si be it. But we should hope for gradual mprovement now and expect some consistent competence by next season,

Coach said...

Bags did a great job getting these transfers- now he has got to light a
fire under the football team and get them to play "lights out"! We need bodies flying around the field!