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Around The Horn, 10/14/2007

  • If you had watched the first three quarters of the Lafayette/Harvard game, you would have thought that the game might go down to the wire, and that quite possibly the Leopards would take one from the Crimson. But the Leopard's senior QB Mike DiPaola threw three killer interceptions in the fourth quarter as Harvard upended Lafayette 27-17. And two of the three interceptions were directly converted into points, as Harvard's senior CB Stephen Williams returned an interception 91 yards for a TD. "You have to make good decisions," Lafayette head coach Frank Tavani said of DiPaola's performance. "You need to make good in critical situations and give yourself a chance." On the bright side for the Leopards, Lafayette's defense was highlighted by junior LB Andy Romans' 17 tackles (including 8 solo tackles) and 2 tackles for loss. And Harvard coach Tim Murphy came away impressed by Lafayette's defense. "You have to go in with only a couple of plays because they have every zone blitz known to man," Murphy said. "... Not only were they great in disguising coverages, they had great cover guys. They have a better secondary than the last couple of teams we've faced. ... We've been able to wear down other defenses. We couldn't do that against them."
  • Don Bostrom's Monday column offered a lot of insights: not least the insight that Lafayette is, um, having a lot of the same problems Lehigh sound like they are having. "We keep shooting ourselves in the foot," Tavani admitted following Saturday's numbing 27-17 loss at Harvard. "We're still not hitting on all cylinders or playing the way we are capable of and now we are heading into the league portion of the schedule." The article hits some very familiar notes: "searching for consistency"... "attack is lacking identity because it has been troubled by injuries and inexperience"... they need "better execution in the red zone"... just waaayyy too familiar.
  • Let's go from the best-covered game by the media to the absolute worst. Thank the Big Guy Above for Hoyasaxa who has the only decent writeup of the 38-31 Fordham win. Georgetown surprised pretty much everyone by attacking Fordham through the air, putting up the ball early and often with 48 passing attempts to 20 rushing attempts. Fordham surprised by going to the ground this week with senior RB Jonte Coven and freshman RB Xavier Martin, both who had over 100 yards rushing, but it was the Hoya's senior QB Matt Bassuener who to some extent stole the show with 33 for 48 passing, 386 yards and 3 TDs. Even more extraordinary is that the Hoyas did it while being outwieghed on both lines by more than 30 lbs, decimated by injuries (17 in all), and without their top two running backs. (Sound familiar?) Down 38-10 in the third, Bassuener rallied the Hoyas to three straight touchdowns - and was stopped on the fourth drive that would have tied the game. This begs the question: are the Hoyas better than people thought, or is Fordham "not all that"?
  • There also isn't much in the way of a writeup in the "White-Out", or the annual upstate New York battle between Colgate and Cornell which was taken by the Big Red in a dramatic 17-14 game. How did Cornell do it? By holding the running to 3.2 yards per carry, and although junior RB Jordan Scott did get 110 yards rushing, crucially he got zero TDs - and couldn't convert a big 4th-and-1 in the 4th quarter. Junior QB Alex Relph really struggled, going 10 for 30 with 2 TDs, but one crucial interception was returned 72 yards for a touchdown by Cornell. Colgate did have three defensive players with double-digit tackles, including senior LB Mike Gallihugh.
  • With the other Patriot League teams going a dismal 0-3 against the Ivies, it was up to the best QB in the Patriot League in junior QB Dominic Randolph to save the honor of the league with a 41-15 victory. With many of the quarterbacks around the league struggling (save Bassuener), Randolph put up another effort that would have many offensive coordinators around the Patriot League salivating: 24 of 35 passing, 298 yards, 3 total TDs. Randolph's favorite targets last week was junior WR Brett McDermott for 7 receptions and 108 yards and senior WR Ryan Maher, who had 7 catches for 71 yards and a TD. This well-oiled machine cruised to a 24-7 halftime lead and never looked back.

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