Tuesday, October 18, 2016

How to make do

Jack Heneghan

If Columbia's coaches and fans are trying to figure out how to win without an All Ivy QB in the backfield, they might want to ask the guys coming into town for Homecoming this Saturday.

No, Dartmouth does not look like it will win the Ivy title again this year. But the Big Green have already won three games and will probably win a few more in no small part because the team has figured out a way to avoid letting weaknesses at quarterback hamstring the whole team.

None of this would be that noticeable if it weren't for the fact that Dartmouth lost a once-in-generation QB in Dalyn Williams to graduation this year. Everyone knew that the Big Green would be dealing with a downgrade under center this year no matter what.

That problem seems to have been made worse when QB heir-apparent Bruce Dixon either didn't recover from a preseason injury or just didn't perform well enough to win the starting job I and so many people expected him to take. Enter Jack Heneghan. Heneghan has taken just about all the snaps at QB this year and has posted some impressive snaps. He's now Dalyn Williams, but he's clearly thriving in this Dartmouth program... until he wasn't thriving like we saw in the game against Towson last week. Either opposing defenses have figured him out or he's just hit a rough patch, but Heneghan's numbers have diminished week to week overall. So what did the Big Green coaches do? They had Heneghan throw more shovel passes and used other tricks to make sure their offense could move even if he wasn't killing it from the pocket.

The result is that Dartmouth has a good shot at going 6-4 in a year that could have easily gone the other way in Hanover. Yes, the defense is playing perhaps the biggest role in that, but how many teams not named "Harvard" in this league have shown an ability to get a winning season when their #1 QB goes down?

Columbia knows it needs better play from the QB position, but it can't always wait for the best talent to come around. Managing what it has and using that the best way possible is the way to win.  


oldlion said...

Last year Dalyn Williams was completely shut down by our DL and looked just awful. Five or six sacks, two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, and only 10 point of offense. Of course we generated even less offense.

Anonymous said...

In the years to come I believe CU will have an embarrassment of riches at QB. Right now it is growing pains. To echo the comments of others, the grit of Anders Hill is appreciated but he is not the right man for the job. Neither is Skyler Mornhinweg. If Bum Phillips were coaching the team he would yank Mornhinweg by the pads, get in his face and say, "Stand in the pocket and throw the ball son. Put some mustard on it, not floating duck"

Couldn't be happier for Dartmouth QB Jack Heneghan who is from my neck of the woods out of Menlo-Atherton in Silicon Valley. He is a little raw but he won the job and he is doing just fine. He is also everything Columbia 1 & 2 QBs are not. He is poised and based on what I have seen from him so far, he is an excellent example of what a young QB should be doing growing into the role of team leader.

Jake said...

I think Baty is doing a great job this year. We didn't lose the Penn game because of him.

alawicius said...

Jake, agree with you on Baty. His interception was a thing of beauty and one of only two we've had so far this year. He's also had a couple of nice breakups. I didn't see the Spec article but how could they come down on him??