Notes on the Loss to Columbia

Poor performances from the offense and special teams units were the biggest contributing factors to the painful loss to Columbia on Saturday in New York.  The offensive line couldn’t open enough holes in the running game or protect Check long enough for him to make the correct read in the passing game.  It wasn’t just the first year starters that struggled as Eiselen was caught holding and Strother was beat on the outside on a few plays.  Lamar finished with 77 yards on 14 attempts, but 44 of those yards came on one play.  Dudek and Alston ran for 35 yards and 17 yards respectively.  Jimmy Check had a shaky start forcing Reno to experiment with Patrick Conte.  Conte went 0 for 3, before Check reentered the game.  Check did settle down eventually to make some nice throws, yet too many of his passes were forced into tight coverage or were simply too low for receivers to snag.  Check never developed a real connection with Shohfi, while relying too heavily on Klubnik in the final minutes.  Check’s interception to seal Columbia’s victory was thrown into double coverage on Klubnik with an open receiver running down the right side.  The Bulldogs were shutout in the second half and Check still has not thrown for a touchdown to date.

Columbia’s two quarterbacks threw for 51 yards completing just 4 passes.  TE Casey Mariucci found holes in our secondary to account for 50 of those passing yards and added a touchdown.  Our tackling was subpar once again allowing Columbia’s Ryan Young to run for 91 yards and a touchdown.  Deonte Henson had a nice game with 6 tackles and a tackle for a loss.  The defensive line was solid for the most part with Matthaei leading the unit with 5 tackles.  Freshman Isaiah Dunham made a few crucial tackles and looks like he could develop into a player like Hayden Carlson down the road.

If the special teams units had played well, we still likely could have pulled off a victory.  That was clearly not the case with a punt blocked, a missed field goal, two illegal procedure penalties and zero punt return yards.  The lack of punt returns placed us in awful field position making it even more difficult for our offense to put points on the board.

16 thoughts on “Notes on the Loss to Columbia”

  1. It seems that the coaching staff is content with fair catches on punt returns. Too many defenders run down field unblocked. This must be the plan from the sidelines. It sets up possible turnovers or rolling balls when the ball cannot be fair caught. Two things I have never understood about Yale, is why they don’t run an actual punt return play and they don’t seem to use a short yardage / goal line defense. (I must be too old school.)

    1. Yours is a fair comment and not old school at all. Not attempting any punt returns was a glaringly bad decision on the part of the coaching staff and as the moderator pointed out “placed us in awful field position” practically every time we got the ball from Columbia’s very talented punter. I believe there was only one fair catch and the other times the decision was not to touch the ball. Yale’s game plan for the return of punt seemed to be based on nor’easter conditions and didn’t change it even though the weather wasn’t that bad at all. It certainly didn’t deter Bagnoli’s special teams unit

      1. If you’re not gonna return the punts why wouldn’t you go for the punt block??? Their punter was taking all day. They noticed ours was as well and went for the block. That single play changed the whole game.

  2. The right side of the offense line is not doing there job. The left side has some problems to. The Columbia game they all struggle . To much penetration. This was there 7th game very disappointing .Is it poor coaching or not enough talent . It can not be the play calling they only have 4 plays.Would like to see some new players on the line like Grant Neagli and Tyler Jost and Conner Smith.

  3. You can not throw every pass to Klubnik. Just like the running game they no where the ball is going . Running backs coming out of the back field where open all day.Cahill use your head.

  4. Yale leads the IVY league in time of possession and is second in the league in total offense. We don’t need an overhaul of what is working. What we do need is to cut down on penalties and turnovers as we also lead the league in each of those categories. Let’s hope we put it on Brown this week and have a chance to take a look at some of our backup’s in the second half.

  5. Agreed when looking at stats at every game Yale has come out on top. What that tells me is coaching it’s not at it’s pinnacle. Let’s get back to the basics of football as old blue has stated numerous Times. Penalties have a cost this team dearly And desperately needs to be addressed as it was last year however last year team had talent and heart to overcome. Please stop the trash talking put your heart and talent on the field. There is so much talent on this team however they have not come together as a team. Look at last year and this year it is very evident that This year’s team does not have the same chemistry. Talent is there coaching is not. Coaches really need to step up and groom each player to their best potential. Not sure if the current coaching staff is competent at growing their players.

    1. One thing that really disturbs me is the amount of trash talking Yale players do during the game. You can hear it in the stands and it is a reflection on the coaching staff who must condone it.

  6. Yale plays brown sat if the same team shows up sat like last weekend we will lose. Then you can name the score against PRINCETON.

  7. There are a lot of grumblings on the Voy Board about culture issues with this years team. Does anyone have any idea what is going on internally?

  8. If there is a morale/unity issue, I wonder if losing the initally elected captain, Kyle Mullen, hurt us hugely in that regard.

    We should beat Brown even with the same effort as last week. The Bruins are terrible. Princeton is a machine and will crush us (I felt that way even before Kurt R’s injury), Harvard is a toss-up.

  9. There is something wrong. Coach Reno’s weekly update to the alumni did not single out any player for praise which is highly uncharacteristic. The only player mentioned was injured QB Rawlings.
    Accurately there was an outline of mistakes, penalties and failure to make big plays when given the opportunity. Frustration at all levels seems to have taken hold and the challenge will be to get things straightened out. I believe Yale will crush Brown. More important will be the effort against Princeton when hundreds of football alumni will be in attendance for the Cozza ceremonies.

  10. Isn’t this consistent with his philosophy that this is a TEAM game, and when the team doesn’t come up to standards, everyone shares some blame?

    1. Absolutely. However, everyone on the TEAM includes the staff. I would have liked it better if the communication included a statement admitting that “we as coaches” could have done a better job with preparations, adjustments or play-calling. In my opinion that exemplifies ownership and leadership, it comes with the job description.

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