My rants and insight into Colgate athletics and Patriot League sports

Saturday, November 26, 2005

And That's Why They're #1

I'm heartbroken at the loss, but still thoroughly impressed by the performance put on by Ricky Santos and David Ball. Truly outstanding. And to think they're together for another year!

I wish the outcome were different, or that a play here or there went the other way (particularly that tipped ball interception when we were driving to score in the first half), but that's the way this game goes. UNH looks VERY capable of outscoring anyone on their way to a national title. Good luck with that Wildcats.

My meager attempt at reviewing the keys to the game for Colgate:

On defense:

1. Keep that Colgate offense on the field! - not nearly enough in the first half. We were put out of our game early.
2. Keep our coverage honest. - we did most of the time. There was some pressure on Santos, we just couldn't tackle him. We also got beat by some very talented recievers.
3. Tackle at the first hit. - this game could have been a lot closer if we brought down UNH players when we first got their hands on them.
4. Convert big plays into points. We've not been great at this lately and UNH does not turn the ball over much. Nepa, Bean or Williams scoring 6 points is a huge lift to this team. - we got some key turnovers which is unlike UNH, but we really didn't make them a difference maker; especially when we give the ball right back.
5. Stay in the game mentally. UNH can put points up early and often. We can't get down on ourselves if we find ourselves down by 14 points in the first quarter. Our offense has shown the capability of coming back. - I was very impressed that we did not pack it in at the half and instead put up 21 points. That says great things about the continued success of Colgate football.
6. Have fun. This defense plays great with nothing to lose. -well, we had nothing to lose but the game, and we did. Still, a trip to the playoffs beats sitting home any day of the week!

On offense:

1. Like it needs saying: Limit turnovers. We do that and we've improved out chances of winning 1000%. - Turnovers again killed us at some key moments. UNH scoring 14 right before the half completely changed what we needed to do in the second half.
2. Establish Jordan Scott between the tackles. He is proving good enough to break 7 and 10 yards or more type runs every time he touches the ball. - Scott looked good for most of the day, and boy am I excited to see him grow over the next three years.
3. Avoid the home run ball. Too often we look for the big score in double coverage because our receivers are so talented; but against this crew, they will give you the 80 yards passing in exchange for a pick and seven points by their offense. - We tried this a few times too many in my opinion, and the UNH defensive backs did a great job of covering and closing, not to mention tipping and intercepting!
4. Time of possession. We will need the ball for 35 minutes or more to have a chance to win this one. - Didn't matter. UNH can score 14 points in 11 seconds.
5. Go back to the playmakers even if they make mistakes. We've done a good job of having confidence in our skill players even after they fumble or throw a bad pass. This crew has got it done all season long after bad plays, and they are the ones that are going to have any chance of winning this one. - no real comment here.
6. Just like the defense, go out there and have fun. No one gives us a chance, so you've got nothing to lose. This game was in many ways a mirror of our season: what could have been without turnovers and missed tackles. Still, see the other comment above. This was a great treat for the seniors and some wonderful postseason experience for our very young skill players.
Well, there you have it. The season ends today, but Colgate should feel proud. We went from 1-2 to the playoffs; we look pretty good for next year. Thanks for the great memories Colgate seniors and everyone rest up, get healthy and have a wonderful well deserved couple of weeks off before off season training begins.

4 Comments:

  • The biggest surprise to me in watching the game on tv, was the poor tackling by Colgate. In fact, I was shocked. Tremendous amount of reaching and grabbing that UNH ran through or out of. Make those tackles early and the game is a lot closer which changes the complexion later on. Not saying CU would have won, but it would have been more of a 'representative' showing of what was expected.

    By Blogger Ngineer, at 2:05 PM  

  • As I reflect on the game, I came away with the impression that Santos and Ball always looked like they were running on dry turf while Colgate seemed to be a bit tentative. Obviously, they were all on the same field so either Ball and Santos are truly special, or Colgate was a bit "Star Struck" by their surroundings. Maybe a bit of both. Thoughts?

    By Blogger LBPop, at 7:18 PM  

  • Both of you are on.

    Our tackling was atrocious. I was screaming at the TV. If we bring down Santos when we get our hands on him in the backfield, it's a huge difference in the game. If we tackle Ball when he first catches it, ditto.

    That said, I think Santos and Ball are truly special. They appear to make the rest of the game work in slow motion. It is actually pretty to watch if you're not getting beat by 34 points!

    By Blogger colgate13, at 2:43 PM  

  • I really think Colgate has little to be ashamed of in the UNH game. This is a very good UNH team that has been barely out of the reach of the upper levels of the A-10 for 2+ years now.

    I think UNH has a talent advantage over this year's Colgate team. The keys for a Colgate win was to not turn the ball over and not give up the big play.

    Obviously these two things didn't happen. Thus we had a blowout. Colgate is taking some undeserved crap on I-AA message boards regarding the score.

    UNH is capable of this type of point differential on anyone if you turn the ball over and give up long pass plays 30 seconds prior to the end of the half.

    Colgate played a mistake prone game against a very good A-10 team. Things began to snow ball but the Raiders played hard until the end of the game. (I watched the whole thing as I did Colgate UMASS.

    Lafayette did not turn the ball over against a team that does not have UNH's big play capbility. That is the difference between an encouraging and disheartening loss.

    By Anonymous blukeys, at 9:14 PM  

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