Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Scouting Yale

Victor Egu as a frosh goes up against Kendall Pace as a frosh

If you're going to watch the Columbia-Yale game on FOX College Sports or go to the game Saturday, here are the things about the Elis you need to know:

1) They're Injured

A whopping 40 players on the Yale roster have missed games because of injury or illness. 12 of them are out for the season including starting junior RB Candler Rich, starting junior DB Foye Oluokun, and starting senior TE Sebastian Little. Rich's impressive backup sophomore RB Deshawn Salter has been injured and may not play Saturday. The much hyped, (rightfully so, I think), transfer sophomore WR Bo Hines from NC State hasn't played much at all and left the game against Penn Friday night with another injury. His status is not known. Much of the offensive line is banged up too. In short, the Eli team that started the season 3-0 is really not the team that will take the field against the Lions.

2) Morgan Roberts isn't the Same Without Varga and Randall

Senior QB Morgan Roberts still moves this offense relatively well, but without All Word RB Tyler Varga, (now in the NFL), and All Ivy WR Deon Randall, he's just "good" and not great. He's especially prone to throwing interceptions and his picks were the biggest reason why the Elis lost to Penn last week. His completion percentage is also a weak 55% in an era where the top Ivy QB's are close to 70% rates. He's running a bit more but has also been sacked 16 times and it's starting to take a toll. Yale is also passing the ball 25% more often than it's running the ball, and that's straining the O-line and the QB a lot too.

3)  The Elis still should have two good receivers

Sophomore WR Michael Siragusa is the prototype of what you want in a receiver. He's 6-3 and 205 pounds and has 418 receiving yards with two TD's. But he is probably out of this week's game too. Junior WR Robert Clemons is a 5-11 speedster just getting into a healthy groove after missing two games earlier in the season. Clemons has 254 yards in four games and three TD grabs. Hines might be back for the game against the Lions. Let's face it, Columbia would kill to have two receivers, or maybe even one somewhat banged up one, with stats like that right now.

4) The Defense is better than last year, but not much

The Elis have what I'd call a serviceable defense. It played very well in the win over Maine, but that's about it. You can run on this Yale team, evidenced by the fact that a DB and not a linebacker leads the team in tackles. The massively hyped, (including by me), LB Victor Egu who spurned a scholarship deal with Cal to come to New Haven hasn't set the world on fire. He's very, very good but a lot of people like me thought he would be dominating games by now.

5) This is only Yale's second home game all season

I expect a lot of unusual events in this game because of all the injuries and the fact that Yale has only played one previous game at the Bowl all year and that was five weeks ago. Anyone who's watched Ivy football for a while knows that the Bowl and its natural grass and weird wind tunnels is really a very different place to play. I'm not really sure even he Yale players are going to feel comfortable at first. Also, a few days of heavy rain between now and game day are expected and that will slow the already slow field down even more. This could be another low scoring affair like Columbia saw last week against Dartmouth.

6) The kicking is spotty

Junior Bryan Holmes handles the kicking and punting. He's been great at field goal kicking, even nailing a 44-yarder. But his punting numbers are weak and he's also missed three PAT's. If Columbia can get more aggressive on its punt returns, now being handled by freshman Jake Young, they might be able to get a nice field position advantage.

7) Is the fire out?

Remember last week when we Columbia fans were wringing our hands about that rough Homecoming loss and wondering if the coaches could fire up the team against this season? Multiply that by ten and maybe you're in the ballpark for what Yale's fans and donors are thinking. Sure, they don't have a cool and truly open blog like this to really air their concerns, (the New Haven Register's Portal 31 blog IS good, it's just that the Internet is  not the place where the big Yalies comment), but the frustration is there. Remember, Coach Reno wasn't brought in to turn a program around, he was brought in to beat Harvard and win championships. It really doesn't look like either will happen this year and after that loss to Penn and all the injuries there's definitely a "what's the point?" message coming from the people surrounding the program now. Returning home to the Bowl should help, but if the crowd size is weak and enthusiasm low, this could be a game where the Lions are clearly much more "up" for the contest. So, I'd watch for any signs that the Elis are dejected.


Anonymous said...

Yes, the Yalies have to use Voy for their team spirit camaraderie.

No time to feel pity for the lowly Bulldogs on Saturday. This game is ours for the taking. I hope the team gets their dander up and puts the big hurt on them.

oldlion said...

Jake, are there any true freshmen who are ready to see some playing time?

Chick said...

That's how I like to hear you talk, Al. A win over Yale right now would do wonders on and off the field.

ungvar said...

New commit:
Chris Everett WR FS 6'2" 200lbs Young Varsity, Chicago, IL

Confirmed via Twitter.

Robert Morrison said...

WR / S Christian Everett (6-2/200), Young HS, Chicago, IL committed to Columbia per his Twitter account

Boom Boom said...

Are all his catches of the 2-handed backhand variety?!?