Monday, September 25, 2006

Random thoughts after Cornell

-- Yale has had more explosive teams in the past, but this team did what many could not in the past: it found ways to win. Yale made several big plays. Teams in the past could put up 400-plus yards of offense and still lose. They have been known to score 44 points and lose.

The defense made big stops. The offense made clutch plays. People will take that over big numbers anyday.

Of course this was against Cornell, and not Harvard, Penn or Brown, but it's a good start.

-- It was refreshing to see Mike McLeod running between the tackles and not just taking pitches left and right. Yale used a lot of double tight end sets, even starting both Langston Johnson and Dave Miller. There are times to get McLeod outside, but he is quick enough to hit a hole up the middle and the offensive line is good enough to get a surge consistently.

-- It won't be long until teams start kicking away from sophomore Steve Santoro. He is so quick and sees the field very well. He looks like he has a chance to go all the way each time he makes a return. And the interception on defense? The kid's a player.

-- Speaking of players. Paul Rice came up with a huge tip in the back of the end zone. A 6-2 defensive back. Pretty nice luxury. Put a 5-8 DB back there for that play and Cornell sophomore QB has a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter and the Big Red pull to within 14-12 and could be going for two points and the tie.

-- Senior linebacker Chris Barry is making the most of his opportunity. Losing Lee Driftmier (shoulder) was big, but Barry really has stepped in and done a terrific job. He had nine tackles Saturday and has 17 for the season.

-- Cornell will win four games in the Ivy League. Nathan Ford is a solid QB. Both lines are huge. Luke Siwula is an exceptional back. The Big Red typically get better as the season goes on for coach Jim Knowles.

-- There are several small towns and plenty of farmland on the road to Cornell. Route 17 seems to go on forever. My favorite town: Deposit, N.Y. There are signs as you enter declaring the town of Deposit has an ATM.


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