FOOTBALL: Lions vs. Princeton Tigers—Final Score: PRINCETON 33 – COLUMBIA 6
Right from the get-go, it was a sloppy first half for the Lions (1-1), who trail 17-3 in their Ivy opener.
Columbia gave up a touchdown on the opening kickoff, and gave the Tigers a number of second chances as the game wore on. Princeton got a lot of extra yards on missed tackles in the secondary, and the Tigers’ special teams unit continued to have a big impact throughout the first two quarters.
Both of Princeton’s touchdowns came via special teams, one on the opening kick and another on a field goal fake in the second quarter. The Tigers also added a field goal toward the end of the half.
Columbia’s only three points came on a 26-yard field goal by junior kicker Luke Eddy as the Lions’ offense was unable to put up any points on the board. The field goal came as the Light Blue squandered its best chance to get the ball across the goal line thus far.
Columbia will need to execute better, especially on offense and on special teams if it hopes to mount a comeback in the second half.
You can click after the jump for our three keys to the game, and you can follow all the action on Twitter at our handle @CUSpecSports.
1. First quarter
In each of their first two games, the Lions’ opponents have dominated posession in the first quarter. As the season goes on, Columbia will need its offense to figure out a way to keep the defense on the sidelines for much longer. The Light Blue has also failed to capitalize on a number of first quarter scoring opportunities thus far.
2. Quick play calling
Princeton’s offense is known for its speedy play calling. With less time to spare between snaps, the Lions’ defense will ned to make a lot of snappy adjustments at the line to make sure that it can keep up with the Tigers. What works in the Lions favor, though, is that they’ll have the ability to substitute players as the Tigers do. This is a recent rule change for college, as it wasn’t the case when Mangurian coached at Cornell.
3. Red zone
Columbia failed to take advantage of numerous red zone scoring chances in its first two games, which is something that will need to be fixed against Princeton. The Lions cannot continue to come away with only three points at best when they are given favorable field position.
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