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Mistake-free football. Executing plays. These are the things that Lions coach Pete Mangurian talks about constantly. Limiting turnovers is the name of the game, and all the well-designed plays in the world aren’t enough if the decision-making by the quarterback isn’t good. Columbia committed only one turnover against Cornell, and it ended their chance to come back in the fourth quarter.
We haven’t talked much about different types of defending pass plays. There are two basic ways to defend the pass. In man-to-man, each defender is assigned a specific receiver and follows that person around the field, trying to prevent a catch. In zone, the defenders are each assigned a zone of the field that they are responsible for, covering the guys who end up in their area. Most defensive schemes actually rely on some combination of the two, but Cornell’s zone—and Columbia’s inability to read it correctly—cost the Lions last Saturday. More »
Columbia men’s basketball lost to Michigan State, No. 2 in the country, 62-53 on Saturday in a hotly contested game. The fact that the Light Blue lost by 9 points shows our ability to compete nationally, at least in some sports.
But that’s not the whole story.
Michigan State students forced two shot clock violations by chanting the wrong time, giving Michigan State the chance to add 8 points to their score at 54-53 with three minutes left in the game.
Columbia does not run the most dynamic offense in the world. If the offense has any animating principles, they are simplicity, power running, and timing-based routes. The Lions haven’t had much success this year with this offense.
Much of the rest of the Ivy League has moved this year toward a much more exciting and dynamic style of football. This style is animated by a few key principles: speed and a lack of huddling (a trend largely driven by Chip Kelly and the Oregon Ducks), the spread offense, and read-option running plays.
I am fairly certain that you’re currently wondering what the hell a “read-option” is. Simply put, it’s a running play where the quarterback has the option to either hand the ball to a running back or keep it himself. He chooses what to do by reading the defense—specifically, the actions of one player on the opposing team. When done well, it can be very difficult to stop. More »
The men’s cross country team took home the Ivy title on Nov. 2 at the Ivy Heptagonal Cross Country Championship. Not only this, but they are currently ranked eighth in the nation. This is too awesome, especially in the wake of an overall disappointing fall season for Columbia athletics.
Now the cross country team is a favorite to win Friday’s NCAA Northeast Regionals at Van Cortlandt Park, and you can go support them! There will be free hot chocolate, coffee, and bagels on 116th Street and Amsterdam at 10 A.M. Columbia Fan Buses will depart at 10:30 and 10:50, and from there cross country team members will lead everyone to fan areas where they can cheer on the Light Blue.
Steve Frankoski, Liz Malone, and Eli Schultz sat down with cross country coach of 19 years Willy Wood to discuss the team’s success, as well as program changes over the past two decades. Check out what he had to say!
Is the Columbia football team a waste of money? This article in the NY Daily News weighs the pros and cons of cutting football. It is interesting to see an analysis of our athletics program from someone outside of the Columbia community. Here are the pros and cons, as put by the article, for dropping our football program:
– The infrastructure is already there at Baker Field, the facilities are available and there is no prettier view from the press box anywhere.
– The program brings racial and geographic diversity to the student body.
– Some students (though not enough) still enjoy the whole Saturday football experience in northern Manhattan.
– A segment of alumni would be loudly miffed if the program were discontinued.
– The halftime band is a lot of fun.
With tennis and basketball, there were plenty of winners in Columbia athletics over the weekend. But one other program had a historic performance on Saturday: Women’s swimming.
The Light Blue defeated Harvard for the first time at Uris Pool—that’s right, program history—by a score of 163.5-136.5. And for the victory to come in the team’s first meet of the 2013-2014 season makes it that much more special.
Senior captain Alena Kluge clinched the victory in the meet’s penultimate event with her win in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:02.29. First-year Celia Frick came in second in the same race with a time of 2:03.15.
Of note, Harvard broke five pool records, but still couldn’t do enough to come away with a win. Two of the broken records came in the 100 and 200 backstroke, which Kluge set last year.
We’ll have a full recap on the historic win later in the week in Sports.
This has not been a good year for the Columbia football team. It’s been a case of everything that could go wrong going wrong, usually at the worst possible time. Columbia has been plagued by injuries, and the team is relying on very young, inexperienced players. This week, I’m going to take a look at a play from the Yale game where youth really hurt the Lions.
Columbia is down 23-6, but they have the ball at the start of the third quarter and they’ve just picked up a first down. The game isn’t out of hand yet, and it’s a big chance for the Lions to make it a close game.
At halftime, the Lions trail the Bulldogs in New Haven, 23-6.
Yale got on the board first, scoring on its second possession of the game. Quarterback Henry Furman made a couple of big throws on the drive, including a 16-yard pass to wide receiver Cameron Sandquist that gave the Bulldogs a first and 10 at the Columbia 35. The Lions defense regrouped and forced a field goal attempt, but Yale kicker Kyle Cazzetta’s 46-yard attempt narrowly cleared the crossbar to give the home team a 3-0 advantage. More »
At halftime, Coumbia football (0-5, 0-2 Ivy) is down four touchdowns to Dartmouth (2-3, 1-1 Ivy). The Big Green offense has seemingly overwhelmed the Columbia D to take its big lead.
Things didn’t start well for Columbia. After winning the toss, electing to receive, and promptly going three and out, the defense allowed a 10-play, 61-yard touchdown drive to put the Big Green up 7-0. Dartmouth wide receiver Jon Marc Carrier took in a two-yard reverse from running back Dominick Pierre over the right side for the score. More »
I’ve talked before about how, in football, each offensive play is carefully scripted to try to yield a successful result. And last week I also discussed how playing smart — a defense knowing what an offense might try, anticipating it, and stopping it before it happens — is a big part of being successful on defense.
During the Homecoming game last week against Penn, the Lions were struggling on offense for much of the game. The defense was bending, but not breaking, and had kept the score at a respectable 14-7 in the third quarter. I turned to someone standing near me and said, “The defense is going to need to force a turnover to get us back in this game.” (Because it was Homecoming, it is entirely possible that this random person had no idea what I was talking about.) The Lions did just that — defensive back Jeremy Mingo intercepted a Penn pass to cut their drive short and give the Lions the ball at the Columbia 13.
It was a chance to turn the game completely around. Unfortunately, it led to freshman quarterback Kelly Hilinski’s worst decision of the game. More »