Monday, November 21, 2016

The Best for Last

Columbia 31 Brown 13

Why Columbia Won

The Lions clearly outplayed the Bears on offense and defense for four quarters. Columbia's running attack was potent, it's long passing attack was lethal, and the defense rarely gave much ground. This wasn't just the Lions' best game of this year, it was Columbia's best game in six years.

Why Brown Lost

The Brown offense set the tone by failing to get a TD on its first possession even though it started at the Columbia two yard line. Then, the Bears were positively inept on 3rd down all day. The defense couldn't stop the Lion passing game, especially in crucial situations. Even Brown's much-heralded place kicker missed two of his three FG attempts on the day.

Key Turning Points

-After a blocked punt on Columbia's first possession gave Brown the ball at the CU two, the Bears went backwards on two plays that lost yardage and a 15-yard personal foul penalty. Brown had to settle for a long field goal and the Lions had dodged a major bullet.

-With Columbia leading 14-6 with 6:03 left in the half, Brown got another golden opportunity when Lion QB Anders Hill made his one mistake of the game and threw an interception to a sliding Will Twyman at the CU 31. But on the very next play, Bear QB Thomas Linta threw a pick to emergency Columbia Cornerback starter Denzel Hill. 

-With the score now 21-13 in favor of the Lions and 11:50 left in the game, Brown had a chance to tie the game as it took over at their own 20. But the Columbia defense forced a three-and-out and on the Lions ensuing drive Columbia chewed up 4:20 of the clock and got an Oren Milstein FG to basically put the game out of the Bears' reach.

Columbia Positives

-The Lions were fantastic on 3rd down on both sides of the ball. They converted eight of 17 3rd downs on offense while holding Brown to just two of 15 conversions.

-The long passing game clicked so well that the Lions averaged an astounding 10.1 yards per attempt. Subtract the two incomplete passes thrown by Skyler Mornhinweg, and Hill was 11.1 yards per attempt. Josh Wainwright had five catches for 150 yards and two TD's.

-Senior RB Alan Watson closed out his career with a career day, rushing for 158 yards and scoring a 69-yard TD on Columbia's last offensive play of 2016. Watson finished the year third in the Ivies in total rushing yards.

-Playing for the injured senior Jared Katz, the senior CB Hill had a brilliant game with that key INT and helping to keep Brown to just 126 yards passing on the day.

-Milstein was perfect again, hitting a key 4th quarter FG despite having to kick it twice after a false start penalty negated his first successful attempt.

-The defense played an entire game without a major lapse. This enabled the Lions to finish an impressive third in the Ivies in total defense and first in pass defense.

-The stellar Columbia senior linebacking crew finished their great season on a high note. Gianmarco Rea led the team with 10 tackles, Chris Conway came in second with eight, and Keith Brady was third with seven. The trio combined for five tackles for a loss. Rea finished the year as the Ivy League's leading tackler with 108, a stunning 12 more than his nearest challenger.

Columbia MVP

Alan Watson had his best game of the year. Josh Wainwright had his best game of the year. It was another great game for all the Columbia linebackers.

But the most important position on the field is quarterback. And QB Anders Hill had the best game of his career. He threw the deep ball well. He threw the short ball better. He ran well. He took four sacks, but Brown's blitz-on-every-play defense was the reason. Hill's performance showed just how good this Lions team could be with good QB play. He was the Columbia MVP in this season finale.


oldlion said...

Well said Jake. Hill's second TD pass to Wainwright, a bullet from 16 yards out, was a thing of beauty.

Big Dawg said...

While these guys have broken my heart at least 4 times this season with W giveaways, the ultimate results go to my hopes and expectations for the entire program.
Bagnoli comes in and turns them around mentally and coaching-wise; goes out and upgrades the new talent, and continues to improve the team.
We win 2 last year, sloppily, but still look better than the year before. This year we win 3 and give away a bunch, but our overall play is vastly improved.
Next year will be a winning season.

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

It was a great in, pure and simple. Makes mw wih that we, like oter leagues, played 12 games. Something t build on for ext season rather than next week. Roar, alsopure and simple.

DOC said...

Old Lion, I find it amazing that Hill could make throws like that after several games of short-hopping his receivers. Having time to throw a factor as well as getting rid of the ball faster this time? Still too many sacks but at least no fumbles. Big Dawg, absolutely feel that a winning season is within our grasp.

oldlion said...

Next year's needs: more production from the TE position; LT to replace Kendall Pace (very underrated and solid player); three starting LBs ( but we have at least four excellent first year LBs); a shutdown corner to,replace Katz; and a safety who runs downhill to replace Kenyon. I think Anders Hill actually proved he can get the job done with his performance against Brown. We have some scellent returning DLs, especially the terrific first year DEs. We are in great shape in the offensive skill positions with what will arguably be the best WR corps in the IL. I like Thomas and Rose as RBs but they need to get stronger.

oldlion said...

All Ivy is up; Rea and Milstein first team; Milstein unanimous. ROY is Hagdorn, WR from Dartmouth; that one surprised me since Wainwright and Smith were both better IMHO (perhaps they split the vote). All in, eight Lions made it. Rea should be defensive POY; hope he gets it.