Sunday, September 18, 2016

Fits and Starts

St. Francis 13 Columbia 9

Why St. Francis Won

The Red Flash played mostly error-free ball, committing no turnovers and getting excellent production from RB Marcus Bagley. And after three-plus quarters of conservative football, St. Francis finally cashed in on a bomb for what turned out to be the game-winning TD. 

Why Columbia Lost

The Lions new offense simply was not fully ready to go against an opponent with two games already under its belt. QB Skyler Morhinweg never got into a groove and the Red Flash blitz wreaked havoc way too often and netted five sacks. Still, Columbia could have easily won save for a couple of major errors at inopportune times. 

Key Turning Points

-Trailing 3-0 with about two minutes left in the half, the Lions looked like they were about to go in for a TD and a go ahead score. But a fumbled exchange at the five was recovered by St. Francis and Columbia came away with nothing. 

-Down 6-3 early in 4th quarter, the CU defense had the Red Flash in a hole with a 3rd and nine at their own three yard line    But an offsides penalty suddenly made it a manageable 3rd and four. Three plays later, St. Francis cashed in on its home run ball 72-yard TD. 

Columbia Positives 

-The Lion defense outperformed holding a team that had averaged 30 points a game against the best competition in the FCS to 13 points. The D was particularly good on 3rd down, allowing St. Francis to convert on just three of 15 opportunities. The much worried-about defensive line did fine against possibly the most veteran and talented O-line it will face all year, netting two sacks of its own. Finally, the Lion return game actually outdid the much-heralded SFU return machine Lorenzo Jerome. Freshman Josh Wainwright had one nifty 26-yard punt return and two nice kickoff returns as well. 

Columbia Negatives

-The offense didn't pack a punch and made too many mistakes. There was too much pressure on Mornhinweg, and no consistency in the running game. A couple of dropped passes also hurt. And the turnovers were killers. 

Columbia MVP

-All the Lion linebackers had a stellar game, but senior Keith Brady really stood out with his 14 tackles, a sack, and a pass breakup. Several of his tackles were timely hard hits as well. 


Chen1982 said...

We can and should have beaten them

The D surprised positively. The O not so much

Alot of work to get ready for Georgetown

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

The offense was basically, in "Variety"-ese, punchless. Not a terribly interesting game to watch, either. It didn't seem a particularly spirited Lions teamn, either.

And I'd appreciate a clarification on why not one but TWO St. Francis players got tossed.

Oddly (I thought), the capsule description of St. Francis in the program, in listing the school colors, actually gave he PMS code to the Red Flash's particular shade of red. That will perhaps make it easier if one was a stickler for accuracy when making signs to hold up in the stands, but otherwise I didn't quite get the point.

RLB said...

while the D played well, it was helped by some SF penalties, some in a row which moved them backwards.
All-in-all, a promising start to the season.

Anonymous said...

My impressions are St. Francis didn't bring their A game. 3 road openers in a row may explain that. Their D showed up but their QB barely was able to establish a passing attack. If their big time RB did not show up to move the ball this just might have been a CU win.

As for CU's offense, I debate Skyler Mornhinweg's effectiveness as a QB. I know SFU is tough on D but the inconsistency is an extension of last season. It looks to me like a lot is missing from his game. He has an awkward throwing motion which would be ok if it worked. Instead, the ball barely gets to the receivers and with not a whole lot of accuracy. Just sayin' a guy like Nottigham would thrive in this offensive system. What is needed is arm strength and accuracy, not improvisation. It doesn't take much to see Mornhinweg is poor at hitting receivers on timing patterns. He can run and take a hit but what else he does I have no idea. I don't see the team winning many games with that style of QB play.

If Hill is the primary backup he won't be much help either since we already know he is not a pocket passer and has already got his clock cleaned trying to take defenders head on.

I'm no coach of course but why are they not running quick hitter slants and other plays to get the ball out quicker? It is maddening to see the same poor execution as last year's spotty play at QB.

Some encouraging signs at RB. I like the freshman Thomas and I like Schroer - he is a throwback in the mold of John Riggins and you can't go wrong there except if he gets a mohawk.

The defense is playing much, MUCH better, a lot more talent and organization.

I am not going to repeat my placekicker concerns. I am not going to repeat my placekicker concerns. I am not going to repeat my placekicker concerns.

DOC said...

Columbia fans should be very proud,” Saint Francis head coach Chris Villarrial said. “That program is going in the right direction with a Hall of Fame coach. Their defense didn’t give us much. It was hard-fought, physical game. That’s a good Columbia football team over there. The future is very bright and there’s a lot of victories ahead for that team.”

Chen1982 said...

Their O line did seal us inside for a number of outside runs....gotta fix that. LBs looked solid. Secondary ok.

It's our rhythmless offense. Some signs of running game, but weak pass protection that forces QB to scramble. Key dropped pass by freshman that would have extended a drive.

Feels like D is 80 pct there and O half that

oldlion said...

I think the biggest problem on defense is that we could not seal the left side of our DL, permitting huge yardage when St. Francis ran right. While the LBs had a lot of tackles, far too many of them were 5-8 yards downfield. There was no contain on our left side. The St. Francis QB was not a good passer, but generally the pass defense was pretty good except for the miss by Roane on the long TD. On offense, Mornhinweg did miss some open receivers. He is better when he throws on rollouts. The OL did not play well, IMHO. they could not pick up the blitz.

Nonetheless I was encouraged by some of the first years, who I think will be really good skill players for us. I would like to see more of the first year LBs and DLs.

Fred said...

Seems to me the no huddle offense was nullified in effectiveness by the # of times the offensive backfield kept looking to the sidelines for the play.

Also where was the passing? The number of times we ran into their wall of a front line, was, well I lost count.

I agree their having two games under their belt was a major advantage. But this was a game we could have won. We did not use our brain power to our advantage.


Chen1982 said...

I noticed Bagnoli was more sanguine during the press conference. Seemed more encouraged than discouraged