I thought last year's game between the teams was a bit on the bizarre side but it was nothing compared to what I saw today.
If you take away the 89-yard scoring drive in the second quarter, Columbia would have managed 13 yards of total offense in the first half. Then in the second half, they were absolutely unstoppable. It's pretty evident that the Yale players were guilty in admiring their work and judging by the aura Yale coach Tom Williams was giving off in the post-game press conference, I wouldn't want to be there tomorrow when the coaches break down the game film with the players.
Defensive ends Tom McCarthy and Sean Williams were absolutely dominant at times. Having taped the game (a benefit of having the game on YES) McCarthy's forced fumble was something to behold as his bull rush literally pushed Columbia tackle Jeff Adams into quarterback Sean Brackett resulting in a fumble recovered by Williams.
Although Yale will lose Jordan Forney, there will be no lack of receiving options for Patrick Witt to throw to next year. Freshman Cameron Sandquist had never caught a pass in a varsity game and he two touchdown catches in a span 19 seconds in the first half while sophomore Allen Harris caught a TD for the second week in a row.
Outside of the costly fumble, Alex Thomas had a strong game rushing for 137 yards including a 42-yard TD. As I thought might be the case, freshman Deon Randall was more involved with nine touches in the game.
if anybody questioned Patrick Witt's toughness, they weren't at today's game. After a particularly big hit, Witt seemed to hurt his shoulder again but he did not miss a play. He also got whistled for a 15-yard penalty after throwing one of his three interceptions as he made a tackle by throw Calvin Otis down by the head and ripping off his helmet in the process. Witt showed what makes his such a good quarterback as well as his bad side today. He was firing on all cylinders in the first half but in the second half, his tendency to zone in on the primary receiver and try to force the ball into double or triple coverage led to some turnover issues.
I was surprised to see Matt Phelan get the start at defensive tackle. I did notice Phelan seeing plenty of time in Thursday's practice but didn't think he'd earn the start.
It was a memorable day for the Yale freshman class. Not only did Sandquist catch the two touchdown passes and Randall had 101 all-purpose yards but Wes Gavin started again at offensive tackle, defensive back Nick Okano had two tackles and was in the game late with Yale protecting a three-point lead, Elijah Thomas ran five times for 16 yards and had one catch for 16 yards and Greg Carlsen averaged 37.9 yards on seven punts including a clutch 51-yard effort which was downed at the 8 in the fourth quarter.