Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Weekend Lessons

Lorenzo Jerome is a machine

I have to admit that after watching scoreboard updates for the St, Francis vs. Montana game Saturday night, I was getting really worried about just how good our week one opponent truly is.

In case you missed it, the Red Flash gave the powerhouse Grizzlies a scare before eventually falling 41-31. 

Of course, I've been playing the role of primary warning officer when it comes to St. Francis for more than six months. But the game against Montana had me wondering if even I was underestimating the Flash.

A closer look at the stats leads me back to where I was before the weekend, which is still very concerned about a very good opponent... but not despondent about having to take on a juggernaut nobody saw coming.

That's because about 70% of the St. Francis offense was return man Lorenzo Jerome. He had numerous big play kickoff and punt returns and was responsible for about half of the Red Flash's 31 points. It's not that Jerome can't hurt Columbia, but considering the Lions now have the luxury of knowing they have to kick away from him and the fact that Ivy League kickoffs are from the 40-yard line this year, I like Columbia's chances to negate a major part of the Saint Francis attack.

Of course, Jerome also had two INT's in the game, but the defense is another issue entirely as Montana still racked up 350+ yards passing. I was impressed, however, with the three sacks the Red Flash was able to get against the Griz.

I was more concerned with how well the very big, experienced, and talented Red Flash offensive line would do against a big defense like Montana's. They did okay, but couldn't get to 100 yards rushing and the offense was generally sluggish. Without Jerome's return game, it's hard to see how St. Francis would have scored 20 points.

The Red Flash have another tough test against Towson this coming weekend, so let's see what we learn from that game.

Week two opponent Georgetown was also impressive in its 38-14 win at home over Davidson on Saturday. The Hoyas ran the ball by committee, but junior Alex Valles got the biggest chunk of the carries and finished with 92 yards on 11 attempts. New QB Tim Barnes was really good in his first game as a starter with 26-35 passing for 215 yards and four TD's to just one INT. On defense, the Hoyas had some trouble defending the pass.

Combined with the slow start, but strong finish week four opponent Wagner had against D-II St. Anselm Thursday night, Columbia's out of conference opponents had a pretty good opening week. But it's still hard to tell how much tougher they'll be when they face the Lions very soon.


Chen1982 said...

Feels a bit ominous....we were seemingly just ok in our scrimmage with a weak Cornell...and SFU goes toe to toe with a Montana....no matter how you might decompose the way they scored...fact is they scored 31 points...


Chen1982 said...

We should do a.little committee running game to see whether any of our frosh can bring a spark to the offense.....it's been ages since we had a truly threatening running game.

alswingman said...

Sounds like that would have been a great game to watch. St Francis can beat teams in a few different ways. This will be a tough opener for the Columbia blue.