Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Lineup

RB Chris Schroer, left, gets the start

We got an early gift from the Athletic Department as the two-deeps and game notes for the season opener at home vs. St. Francis came out on Monday of our first game week!

And the two-deeps are loaded with news and almost enough for fans to turn over in our heads to make the four more days we have to wait until kick off go a little faster.

So let me start with my Top 5 Key Takeaways:

1) We're going into the full spread/up tempo offense

I admit I haven't written enough about the change in the pace for the offense this year, but here it is: it looks like we're going with a one-running back set with former fullback Jackson Conway operating out of the backfield as more of a traditional H-back. Again, that's what it LOOKS LIKE. Either way, the offense is going to line up and operate differently, with probably at least three WR's on the field at all times.

2) Wainwright gets the ball

Yeah, I've been buzzing about Josh Wainwright for months. But his inclusion as an actual starter at WR as a freshmen is exciting. While there are a lot of freshmen on the two-deep, Wainwright is the only starter, unless you also include Lynnard Rose who is getting the nod as the primary kickoff returner. Of course, Wainwright is also getting the nod as the starting punt returner. It's also exciting that freshman WR Christian Everett has cracked the two-deep as well.

3) Schroer and Thomas edge out Watson

Junior Chris Schroer is getting the start over senior Alan Watson at RB. And freshman Tanner Thomas is getting the top backup job. The game notes added that Rose will get a lot of work too at the position. I think with Columbia's good offensive line, Schroer, Thomas, and Rose got the nod because they have great instincts for finding holes. The last thing the coaches want to see is the O-line's hard work and advantages not taken advantage of. Schroer is a tough runner. Thomas is tough to bring down. And Rose has those great instincts and good speed. Bagnoli has been a implementer of running by committee offenses for years now with good success, but he was forced to abandon that in his first year at Columbia because of Cameron Molina's much superior talents. I still expect to see Watson get into this mix unless one of these backs really shines.

4) I FORGOT about Michael Murphy!

Months ago, I quoted some sources who thought LB Michael Murphy just might be the top incoming freshman in the class. Then I sort of forgot about him in the midst about all the buzz about fellow freshman linebacker Jalen Williams. Now we see that Murphy and Williams have cracked the two-deep at our talented linebacker position.

5) Denzel's Move Seems Good

I've know for a few weeks that the coaches had moved senior Denzel Hill from WR to DB, but I wasn't expecting it to work out so well that he would crack the two-deep at CB. All indications are he might be a natural and I know the coaches must like his 6-3 height against often shorter receivers.

Best of the rest...

I thought we'd see one freshman get a backup slot on the O-line, but I did not think it would be Parker Coogan. 

David Donovan was another surprise as the backup as DE to Connor Heeb. 

The good reviews I've heard about freshman DT Arman Samouk appear to be true as he gets the backup slot behind Lord Hyeamang.

Despite a bevvy of kickers on the roster, Cameron Nizialek is getting the start as the primary placekicker, punter, AND kickoff specialist.


DOC said...

Love the up tempo offense!
Skyler Mornhinweg proved by the end of the season that he could run it efficiently (see fourth quarter - 2015 Brown Game).

oldlion said...

Wasn't Murphy recruited as a strong safety? He seems a little light to play LB, unless in our defensive scheme one of the LBs plays more of a hybrid position designed primarily to stop the run.

Chen1982 said...

Watched that brown game again for kicks...varied runs from RB and QB, long, short passes to WR and backs....three TDs almost 4....

Is this more what our offense will resemble this year?

Did it work because Brown was a weak D or because we started to get the hang of it?

Anonymous said...

I am fully confident this coaching staff knows the best players to get into the rotation. The only worrisome concern I have at this point is field goals. Guessing the freshman needs more time to develop. Nizialek is ok but I was hoping for a 40 yard automatic guy. Maybe my optimism was a bit of a reach.

oldlion said...

As I recall Mornhinweg was a four star guy coming out of high school. Last year he was getting used to a new system and was also banged up. I take it from the fact that he was elected a co-captain that he has earned the trust and respect of his teammates and the coaches. I know that this is going to be greeted with cries of disbelief but I think by the end of the season we will be looking at a legitimate candidate for first team all Ivy and offensive POY.

DOC said...

Chen, I firmly believe its the latter.
Old Lion, agree your assessment and its not far-fetched at all. Potential is there - you could see it by the end of the season.
Experience with the system will be of enormous benefit (now if
we could just block for the guy...)

Jake said...

We blocked fine last year. Issue was he didn't have targets. Now he does.

Chen1982 said...

So if the O line is at least as if not more solid than last year, and it seems like one of our frosh (TT) can bring a new dimension to running game...and we have Scooter Hollis back with two high potential Fr receivers..........are you all sayin our scoring will be more like a 3 TD plus per game output on average.......dont get me all hot and bothered if you don't mean it but POY would not be won with anything less....