Monday, November 23, 2015

Rough Ending

Brown 28 Columbia 23

Why Brown Won

The Bears showed up. That's about it. I'd like to be more diplomatic about this and give more praise than is due to the decent blitzing package Brown used and some decent Bear defense in the red zone, but those were only minor factors compared to the three gift TD's Columbia handed their opponents on Friday night. Considering how accommodating the Lions were at crucial moments in this game, Brown should be embarrassed it didn't win by a lot more.

Why Columbia Lost

The Lions gift wrapped three TD's to the Bears, two of them before the first minute in the game had elapsed. The Columbia offense also struggled in the red zone when it counted most. Failure to pick up Brown's outside blitzers on play after play also hurt.

Key Turning Points

-After falling into a stunning 14-0 deficit less than a minute into the game, the Lions fought their way back into it and trailed just 14-7 with just over 10 minutes left in the half. But Columbia's promising drive to possibly tie the game ended when QB Skyler Mornhinweg bobbled a snap and Brown recovered at its 33 yard line.

-Early in the 3rd quarter and trailing 21-14, the Lions got burned by a brilliant Brown decision to line up WR Troy Doles as a running back. The play forced DE Hunter Little into deep sideline coverage of a speedy receiver and resulted in a TD with about nine minutes left in the quarter.

Columbia Positives

-RB Cameron Molina had an absolutely brilliant night, carrying the ball an unheard of in this day and age 40 times for 174 yards and a TD. He also caught five passes for 40 yards and another TD. Some of his runs were brilliant. His stellar performances that last two weeks of the season and his career gave him 805 total rushing yards for 2015, making his year one of the best ever for a RB in Columbia history.

-Despite all the mistakes, the Lions did fight back and never gave up on the game. The defense was mostly dominant, allowing just eight 1st downs the entire game. It also allowed just 97 yards passing in what was probably the first time any team kept the Bears under 100 yards passing in years.

Columbia Negatives

-It just seemed like the Lions thought the game started at 8pm and not 730pm. The opening minute lapses in run tackling, kickoff fielding, and snapping the ball left them down 14-0 before a lot of people even got to their seats.

-The tightness the offense goes into when it gets into the red zone is excruciating. Columbia needs to work on developing a killer instinct during the off season just as much as it needs to recruit new young talent to replace the seniors.

Columbia MVP

Cameron Molina was a true credit to Columbia and all of Ivy League football for playing the way he did on national TV. We will miss him.


oldlion said...

We are still learning how to win. We were better than Brown and Cornell and should have beaten both of them by two scores. But we still have a penchant for untimely mistakes. However, you really just have to love these kids for the resilience that they showed. You also have to love this coaching staff for turning things around. Those of us who clapped the team off the field on Friday night wanted those kids to know how much we appreciated what they had done this season and what they had gone through prior to this season.

I remain, very truly yours, Richard Szathmary said...

As n exceptionally astute veteran Lions football faan remarked to me at yesterday's basketball game, he hopes Al Bagnoli is forever cured of going to the shotgun formation whenever so deep in our own end zone.

On to basketball! Yesterday the Lions looked strong indeed against a good-on-paper candidate for the Patriot League's title and automatic NCAA tournament bid. Three bona fide All-Ivy candidates in Lo, Mullins and Rosenberg, one oft overlooked and powerful rebounding force in Isaac Cohen (I love that his bio notes he attended some sort of Christian academy) and 10 or more shooters who all play at least decent defense. Kyle Smith has rather quietly assembled a first-class team.

oldlion said...

RE basketball: Don't forget Petrasek. He was injured as a freshman, had mono last year, and has been terrific this year: A 6'10" F/C who is highly athletic and can also shoot from the outside. Plus a rotation that goes 11 deep.

alswingman said...

Despite this being an almost completely revamped team in terms of personnel, attitude, coaching and everything else, Lions football is bedeviled by untimely, critical mistakes. As a fan you see it and wonder, ok can they fix that or is this just bad luck or what? Then something else happens in a different game, different season and it just disrupts what could otherwise be a step forward.

In this game, they made a mediocre Brown QB look like he was making Tom Brady throws, dropping passes in between and over defenders.

Instead of demonstrating offensive consistency, they made a decent but not great Brown defense look 10x mightier than they are. Brown is a defense that gives up lots of points and our offense looked clumsy unless Molina had the ball. I know Mornhinweg has lots of talent. Some of his drives this season were picture perfect execution but it seems like he is capable of the opposite as well with too many stallouts and (what seems to me to be), unsteady and questionable decisions.

I don't know enough about offensive game planning and coaching to identify why these problems occur but I see them year in and year out with CU football. If this season is a learning experience then I hope these types of issues go away and we can be a comfortable 5-5 or better program.

Kudos to Molina for earning his place among the great Columbia RBs.

I remain, very truly yours, Richard Szathmary said...

I wouldn't forget Petrasek, oldlion. He's playing with more aggressiveness than last season. Which is now understandable; I didn't now about the mono until your post, but I felt last season that he "played frail" at times.

Chen1982 said...

Played Kstate tough and should have beaten NW. Not sure Lehigh is all that tough a team. Our main rival, Yale, also beat them at Bethlehem.

msgCC'60 said...

Apart from several costly miscues at inoppportune moments during the season, the Lions were a formidable opponent in all but 1 contest. From the league's laughingstock to a truly competitive squad in 1 year is exemplary. Let's try not to overreact and over analyze the team's shortcomings. Overall, it was a truly encouraging season and I'm optimistic that 2016 will be even better!

oldlion said...

Yale beat Lehigh by 10; we blew out Lehigh by 26. If we play our best game, and Yale plays its best game, we will beat then 7 times out of ten. However, Yale at home is known for being the worst place in the Ivies for home cooking. The officiating is always atrocious and a visiting team needs to be better by 15 to win by 5. It is even worse than Princeton or Penn. We, of course, never, and I mean never, get home town calls at Levien. See, eg, the Rosenberg call against Harvard two years ago, a call that will live in infamy. PS, James Jones absolutely hates Columbia. When we blew them out last year he blamed it on poor foul shooting.