Saturday, September 26, 2009

Tough home opener

There may be new coaching staff with just two holdovers and 14 new starters for Yale but when it comes to Cornell, it was a familiar script as the inability to run the ball consistently, costly turnovers and offensive futility led to another loss to the Big Red. Instead of having quarterbacks losing fumbles, it was Patrick Witt's three second-half interceptions which proved costly.

A few observations:
Witt was not at his best. He was high on so many throws and will need to break his tendency to lock in on his intended receiver. It led to an interception by Anthony Ambrosi which was returned 20 yards for a score. Witt didn't get too much help from his receivers - especially in the first half when I counted six dropped passes.

I thought the offensive play calling for Yale was pretty conservative. Of course, losing Gio Christodoulou to an apparent ankle injury did not help. It is the second straight game Christodouou wasn't available for the entire game as he was knocked out of the Georgetown game with cramping issues. For most of the game, the passing game was little more than a series of dump offs. Then in the fourth quarter, it seemed like they were overcompensating and starting going for it all. You'd have to think they will find a happy medium at some point.

The offensive line did a solid job pass blocking as Witt was sacked just once but struggled run blocking. Yes, I know Jordan Farrell ran for 74 yards but he needed 25 carries. One thing to consider is that Alex Golubiewski, who started at left tackle, had less than a week of practice so the unit that started only had three days of practice to get accustomed to playing together so I expect that they will get better. Alex Thomas was in uniform but did not play. I think he could have loosened up the Cornell defense considerably but perhaps he was not ready physically.

Yale ran 35 more plays than Cornell, outgained the Big Red 296-166 and limited Cornell to three first downs but lost. Football can be a funny game sometimes.

Yale's defense was fooled on the trick plays as the double pass turned into an 81-yard touchdown and a flea flicker also worked perfectly only to be negated by a holding penalty. Let's be honest, other than strong safety Larry Abare, the other three starting defensive backs (Drew Baldwin, Adam Money and Geoff Dunham) came into the season with just one career start between them. I was impressed by the play of defensive linemen Pat Moran and Joe Young and linebacker Tim Handlon had an interception for the second straight game.

Of course Tom Mante's 54-yard field goal was something to behold. It would have been good from about 60 yards. His punting was merely average by his lofty standards as he averaged 37.6 yards on six punts.

Former Amity and Choate star Ricky Ballou started at defensive end and had three tackles playing in front of a host of friends and family. He had an interception nullified by a personal foul penalty by Aaron Levine.

Apparently the Versus feed went out in the second half. If anybody lost the feed, feel free to post a comment. We are looking into what happened.

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Anonymous Eli said...

You just cannot lose a game when your defense only gives up 3 first downs.

1:48 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Time to try Hart. Just like last year, the coach makes an inexplicable QB decision and then by the the time he smartens up, we have lost 3 or 4 games. The name of the game is to win.

7:00 AM 
Anonymous Bulldog Fan said...

I added Versus to my cable line up specifically for the Bulldog coverage and was so disappointed! Maybe they can add another, (non YES) Bulldog game to make up for the lost!!

11:01 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only saw the first half due to the Versus issue, but was not impressed. Did the new staff keep the Siedlecki offensive game plan?

12:34 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with your comments. Witt was off the mark all day. it's hard to believe he was a candidate to start at Neb.
On the dropped passes, I can't understand why they don't leave Sheffield on the field all time, and certainly on third down. He has by far the best hands on the team and he will fight for the ball, unlike Forney, who just watched Cornell make ints. Yet, Sheff is on the field only half the time.
Also, the play calling was poor.
Many times Yale had third and long at midfield, and they called runs off tackle, leading to another punt.
Finally, they need more speed at wide receiver in order to loosen up the defense. Somebody must be able to run faster than the guys they are using. it's time to find someone from the freshmen, dbs etc.

2:50 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reason the offense is dull and looks like Jack's is because it is the same old crap with a poor line. Williams is a smooth self-promoter, but Yale still looks slow, lethargic and uninspired. At some point, I expect him to blame his predecessor for recruiting talentless players.

9:05 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we lost versus as well. at the half. what the heck happened ?

(another Bulldog game please ?,
we are 700 miles away and really looked forward to the game)

i have full confidence in Yale improving and making the right adjustments as the season wears on...and even going for the title.

12:54 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wasn't Farris #1 on the QB depth chart this spring? What did he do to get buried behind Witt and Hart??

Time for a change, before it's too late.

4:56 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One swallow doth not a summer make; nor doth a single game make a season. Neither Lathan nor Thomas played against Cornell. Until they've teamed up with Witt, we won't know what we have on offense.

Giving up on Witt now would be the height of foolishness. Hart can throw a ball but he's immobile. We know that from last year.

Witt is probably the most highly rated high school player to come to Yale in many a year. Both Mike Leach at Texas Tech and Steve Spurrier at SC recruited Witt; and those two guys know something about QBs. Witt wasn't odds-on to be Nebraska's No. 1 QB based on his looks or, pardon the pun, his wit. The guy can flat out play football. But it's a team game, and he'll need some help at WR and RB, never mind an O-Line that can give him some time to throw.

Houston, TX

9:10 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Play calling BEYOND conservative - are we sure Tom W. isn't really Herm E. in disguise?

And D doesn't show ANY adjustments - just line up & see who wins. No pressure, no cover 3, nothing.

Witt shows very little - locks in on 1 receiver, they basically run outside, fade routes (you never see a checkdown pattern over the middle & very little play action).

I mean, this is a mess.

This is going to be a LONG year.

9:42 AM 

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