Monday, October 17, 2016


Penn 35 Columbia 10

Why Penn Won

The Quakers overcame a slow start on offense and wore the Lions down with a steady diet of Tre Solomon runs and Justin Watson receptions and runs. The Penn defense remained strong throughout.

Why Columbia Lost

The Lions played it close for three quarters, but made one crucial mistake on offense and two crucial missed tackles that led to Penn touchdowns. The Columbia offense sputtered for most of the game, and did not cash in enough on its occasional flashes.

Key Turning Points

-With no score and about 11 minutes left in the 1st quarter, Columbia QB Anders Hills threw an ill-advised pass into the middle of the line on a 3rd and five from the CU nine yard line. The pass deflected off an offensive lineman's shoulder and was picked off by Penn's Nick Miller. Four plays later, it was 7-0 Penn.

-Late in the 1st quarter and stretching into the early 2nd quarter and still trailing just 7-0, the Lions mounted a drive that started at their own three and got all the way to the Quaker 35. But on the next two plays the Lions lost three yards on a easily read running play and a scramble that led to no gain. A 62-yard Columbia march ended up with no points.

-Penn's opening drive of the second half ended in a touchdown when Watson took a short swing pass, broke a tackle, and then strode down the rest of the home sideline for 46 yards and 14-0 Quaker lead.

-Late in the 3rd quarter, Columbia cut it to 14-7, but it took Penn just three plays on its ensuing possession to score yet another TD thanks to a missed tackle and a resulting scamper down the sidelines. This time it was a 50-yard score by WR Christian Pearson.

Columbia Positives

-The Lions defense shut down the Quakers in the first half and gave Columbia plenty of chances to get a lead.

-Lion special teams were again the best part of the Columbia attack. Freshman kicker Oren Milstein made it six-for-six on field goals this year with a picture-perfect 42-yarder in the fourth quarter. Someone got a hand on a Penn punt and had a partial block, (for some reason this is not documented in the box score, but I saw it right in front of my face in the stands), punter Matthew Panton nailed the Quakers right at the one yard line in the 3rd quarter and that led to the Lions sole TD. And freshman PR Lynnard Rose had a 31 yard return that also played a big role in that TD drive.

Columbia Negatives

-Hill had some good moments in the game, but he made too many mistakes for a starting QB in this league. He also does not seem to ever run north-south in the way former Lion QB Sean Brackett did for four years. He's getting better protection than we've seen in Columbia's past years, but he still takes too many sacks.

-The Lion defense didn't play a total game. The two long sideline TD's were a stunning lapse after such strong play for most of the rest of the game.

Columbia MVP

-LB Gianmarco Rea had a big sack and another tackle for a loss in another solid game for the Lions. To be honest, you could make an argument that Rea has been the MVP in all five Columbia games this year. He takes it this time.

Added Notes/Observations

-With QB Hunter Petlansky's TD and Milstein's FG and PAT, that makes 32 straight points for the Lions scored by freshmen. That's a CU record and probably and Ivy record.

-WR Scooter Hollis did end up playing in the game after all, but in limited duty. I have no solid info on Josh Wainwright's timetable to return to the field.

-Freshman WR Ronald Smith switched to #24 and got significant playing time later in the game. He showed a good ability to get open but could not haul in a few passes that were not quite on the mark.

-Junior Landon Baty has lived up to the challenge of just about every team targeting him in their passing games this year. He had an INT Saturday and made some key tackles.

-It seemed like the Lions abandoned the straight running game too early against the Quakers. Starter Alan Watson was really never able to get any momentum going.

-The box score mistook #8 freshman LB Michael Murphy for #8 senior QB Skyler Mornhinweg. Mornhinweg did not play in the game. Murphy did and he had a tackle and picked up the deflected 4th quarter punt and returned it five yards.


msgCC'60 said...

Judging by the frigid post game hand shake, AB must have been quite upset by Penn's bush league decision to run up the final score with a TD pass play with about 2:00 minutes remaining. TV commentators assumed Ray Priore would just run out the clock, but he chose to serve a dose of humble pie to his former mentor. Problems at QB seem to be the root cause of our issues on offense. Even through the worst of times, we always had stellar QB's - Claude Benham, Archie Roberts, Marty Domres, John Witkowski etc. Until the QB problem is corrected, don't expect many W's.......10-15 points a game just won't do it.

oldlion said...

We really need to make a change at QB. The reasons seem obvious.

Chick said...

Don't forget Dick Carr, who like Roberts was a two-way starter, at QB and Safety. One season, Carr played every second of every game, a Columbia record that will never be excelled.

As for our QB situation. I admire Hill's guts and his improvement from game to game, though right now he doesn't appear the one to make us a winner. He deserves some slack. That said, Bags doesn't seem to be wed to promotion by rigid seniority. Assuming we have a frosh QB with superior potential, I'd hope he's grooming him for a debut before season's end with an eye to next year.

oldlion said...

I suppose that some of us, myself included, are expressing our frustration because we see the same mistakes week in and week out from Hill. As I said, he seems to be a great young man with a lot of guts. But I have to assume that the coaches have not made the change either because Mornhinweg is not 100% or the young QBs are just not ready. The last time a freshman QB really sparkled was when Sean Brackett played at the end of his freshman year, which was a prelude to his excellent sophomore season.

alawicius said...

There were two passes from Hill to Ronald Smith that could have been TDs but for excellent defense by Penn DB Mason Williams, give him credit. Also, Jake, Smith was definitely the one who blocked the punt, he leaped high and climbed atop two defenders to get a hand on it. He was an outstanding track and field jumper in high school.

alawicius said...

Look for QB recruit Jason Bean when he gets here. He's performing like our best talent right now (72% completion rate in 8 games, no INTs, very good runner, good size, great leadership). Will be the future, I'd say.

alawicius said...

Make that "Josh" Bean.

WOF said...

We had a lot of catchable balls dropped on Saturday, its not all on Hill, in my opinion...

oldlion said...

Two deep for Dartmouth shows Mornhinweg starting; no Hollis and Wainwright on for PR.

oldlion said...

Spec was pretty tough on Landon Baty today for his second half play in the Penn game. The article said that Penn targeted Baty all day and that his second half play led directly to two Penn TDs. I'm not sure if I agree that the criticism is justified.