Friday, September 30, 2016

Rainy Re-Start

Princeton Tigers (1-1) at Columbia Lions (0-2)

October 1, 2016

Location: Robert K. Kraft Field at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium 

Kickoff Time: 12:00 (NOTE EARLIER TIME!!!)

ALSO NOTE: The A train is NOT running this Saturday!

Game Time Weather Forecast: 62 degrees and showers

The Spread: Princeton is favored by 4 1/2 points


The game is on national TV on FOX College Sports. Check your local listings.

Leading Story Lines

1) Columbia has disappointed overall with its mostly punchless offense, while Princeton has disappointed with its porous pass defense. The Tigers hope to use this game to make their case for a serious run at the Ivy title. The Lions hope to use this game to make their case that the program has truly improved and can win key games. 

2) Heavy, or at least steady, rain is expected during the game and for hours going into kickoff. That will change the game plans for both teams and could even everything out completely. Such was the case last year at Princeton when heavy rain led to a 10-5 Tiger win.

3) Columbia Head Coach Al Bagnoli has three teams he seems to mostly get the better of as both the coach of Penn and now at Columbia: Yale, Dartmouth, and Princeton. Columbia played its best three Ivy games against those three teams last year. Somehow, Bagnoli gets his teams fired up for these opponents in particular.

Players to Watch

-Lion QB's Skyler Mornhinweg #8 and Anders Hill #12. As of this moment, we really don't know who's getting the start. Frankly, neither one has made the best case for deserving the starting role in the two games Columbia has played so far. Someone needs to step up.

-Princeton RB Joe Rhattigan #36. On a rainy day, the straight-ahead running Rhattigan figures to be more in the mix than the cutting speedster Charlie Volker #20. Rhattigan should be the go-to guy if the Tigers can run the ball at all. 

-Columbia DT Lord Hyeamang #95. Princeton is likely to try to bust things right up the middle and that's where the juniors Hyeamang and Dominic Perkovic will need to shine. So too will up-and-coming DT backup freshman Arman Samouk #53

-Princeton WR Isaiah Barnes #14. Barnes has been basically kept out of the key aspects of Princeton's offensive attack over the first two weeks of the season. This is the kind of game where the Tigers would like to get him into the mix.

If, Then

1) If it really rains as much as expected and the field is as wet as it can be, then the team that wants it more will win. Usually, talent makes the ultimate difference. But in poor conditions, the will is dominant.

2) If neither Mornhinweg or Hill show effective QB play, look for the Lions to try quick straight-ahead runs all day no matter what. 

3) If Princeton decided to ditch QB Chad Kanoff in the rain, then alternate QB/WR John Lovett will take all the snaps and run the ball himself 20+ times. 


Chen1982 said...

Where to from here? This is shaping up to be a sophomore slump for AB et al....

Freshman QB?

Big Dawg said...

We sucked today. The worst loss in 2 years. And mystifying.
Something went out of the entire team midway thru the 2nd Q. Up till that time we had been playing competently and strongly, tied at 6-6, and then we collapsed. It wasn't due to some single fantastic Tiger play, either, just a slow rolling rout.
After 2 close winnable games, this was hard to understand. I will point to the terrible QB performance from a normally competent kid. Bouncing easy passes at the feet of open receivers, overthrowing (with no pressure on him) by 10 feet a wide open receiver, and numerous other errors. Our secondary won no stars either. Except for an early Q1 pick, Princeton was wide open the rest of the game. Tackling was non-existent, with Tiger runners breaking two/three attempts before getting hauled down by #4.
These were not the same guys we saw in the first 2 games. Thankfully we have Wagner to come back against next week. Let's hope we make the most of it.

I am hoping for 2 wins this year; Wagner and Yale. Possibly Cornell. But we better get our act together, and quickly.

msgCC'60 said...

What's up with the absence of SM at QB? Wagner, next weeks opponent, is 3-1 after a blowout win against previously unbeaten Sacred Heart. If we can't generate some significant improvement in our offense, the 2016 season will be a huge disappointment.

oldlion said...

I do not think this is on Al. Last year he had 4 all Ivy caliber DLs who kept us in every game and an all Ivy RB. We have weaknesses in the upper classes across the board. The DL is very porous. On the offensive side the QB play has been just awful. I counted something like 8 throws to the feet of open receivers on short patterns or over the heads of open receivers down the field. We have some great first years who will be real contributors but that takes time. And the trouble with a hurry up offense is that in the absence of a running game there are too many quick three and outs, which exhausts the defense. I would start playing the first years more and more. The simple fact is that last year's fifth year seniors and were Wilson recruits and Mangurian had three weak recruiting classes in a row. So Al needs time. The one area where I expected more was on the OL.

DOC said...

Chen, a legit question ...
here are some others:
Is Tyler hurt ?
Can we protect our QB's ? Can we generate a pass rush ?
Can we eliminate dumb penalties ?
Can we reliably kick extra points ?
Can we improve open field tackling ?
Can our play calling and halftime adjustments be better ?
AB et al have some work to do. I believe they will turn it around.

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

These se are the tomes that try Columbia Lions' football fans 'souls.


I was also led to believe that Princeton maybe "wasn't that good." If they're not that good, what will we do agains a team whih is supposedly good? Harvard or Dartmouth, say.

Chen1982 said...

We can't blame Mangurian forever. But I do think we need to steady our expectations about this year....and for next season as well. Likely cant expect to have a winning ivy record until AB has three full recruiting classes on the field. 2018.

Gonna be a long ride to/from HK for homecoming......šŸ˜£

Chick said...

Haven't seen a word about Chris Schroer. Is he injured? He didn't play Saturday. Not a game breaker but a dependable power back Columbia needs to get a few yards when you need them, and the Lions often have that need.

Jake said...

Schroer played