Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ivy League 2010 Review

2010 Record: 9-1 (7-0), 1st
2010 Postseason: Conference does not participate

     For a team that dominated on the scoreboard for much of 2010, the Quakers did not post numbers that were indicitave of a dominant team. FOr the most part, Penn opted to keep the football on the ground, and so Billy Ragone only averaged 92.7 yards per game passing. He passed for 834 yards and 6 TDs, but threw 5 picks on the season. Ryan Becker started one game in his absence. Ragone added 519 yards rushing and 7 TDs on the season, good for second on the team. The top rusher was Brandon Colavita, as the junior rushed for 711 yards and 12 TDs on the season. David Wurst and Matt Tuten were the leading receivers, but neither player managed to catch 30 passes on the season.
     Erik Rask led a defense that held their final 4 opponents to 14 points or less. He finished the season with 65 tackles, while Josh Powers finished 2nd with 57 on the season. Zach Heller finished with 53 tackles on the season. Poweres is the only one that returns in 2011. Brandon Copeland finished in double digits with 10 TFLs, and was the only member of the defense to do so. Nobody on the defense managed to hit 5 sacks on the season, with Matt Hamscher finishing with 4.5. Jonathon Saelinger led the team with 3 picks on the season. The glaring thing to look at as to how Penn dominated the way they did was their rush defense. Penn only gave up 72 yards rushing per game on the season, and the Quakers defensive unit, while not flashy or spectacular, only gave up 14 TDs. Total team effort.
Final Notes
      I was criticized about the fact that I had very few Penn Quakers on my All-Ivy Team for 2010. The truth is that there were few standouts here. This team dominated as a unit, but very few players obtained star status, and it was difficult to point to any one player and state that there was a star in the making. Penn dominated by not being flashy, by having several players contribute, but other teams had the better overall statistical contributors. I am sure that the Quakers would rather have the wins.

Harvard Crimson
2010 Record: 7-3 (5-2), Tied 2nd

     QB problems bogged the Crimson down in 2010, as had they had a healthy and decent QB, they may have had enough fire to take out Penn for the league crown. That never transpired and 6 different players attempted passes in various roles in 2010. Collier Winters, a junior, wound up leading the team in passing, but was only available for 5 games during the season. Winters passed for 892 yards but had a marginal at best 5/5 TD to pick ratio. Andrew Hatch was the man, but was lost early and only played in 3 games. He was also inneffective with a 4/4 ratio.
     Gino Gordon put the team on his shoulders for the most part, and did well by Harvard. The senior gave it his all and finished the season having rushed for 1037 yards and 10 scores. Treavor Scales was a good compliment to Gordon all season, as he rushed for 508 yards and 3 more scores.
     Only one receiver gave Harvard a full 10 game season, and that was Adam Chrissis. Chrissis, a junior, caught 40 passes for 481 yards on the year. Kyle Juszczyk, a converted DB, led the team with 4 TDs.
     Colin Zych, a senior DB, tied for the team in tackles last season with 79 on the year, and DE Nick Hasselberg joined him with 79 as well. Alex Gideon and Josue Ortiz also averaged over 5 tackles per game last fall for the defense, and Ortiz finished tied for 2nd in the League with 13.5 TFLs. Ortiz also finished 2nd i the League with 7.5 sacks on the season in 10 games. Ortiz is now gone, so Harvard will have to find an apt replacement immediately if they want to contend with a forceful defense next fall.
     Dan Minamide was solid in the secondary, as he led the Ivy League with 11 passes defended. Collin Zych was also a difficult player to complete passes against, as he defended 9 passes on the season, while Matt Henson, a converted WR, knocked away 6. Harvard did allow 203 yards passing per game, but that was countered strongly by the fact that the front seven held the opposition to just 103 yards rushing per game.
Final Notes
     Harvard was having another strong season, and then they ran into the Penn Quakers, and the season went south. The Crimson failed to show up for the Quakers, and their injury issues finally caught up with them, as they fell to the Quakers 34-14. Tim Rose always has Harvard playing at top speed, but the injuries, especially at QB, were a deal breaker in 2010, and even with those issues, they still finished tied for second. That just shows you what a fantastic coach that Harvard has. He is always a candidate for bigger jobs, but Harvard has held onto him despite that fact, and they are blessed for it.

2010 Record: 7-3 (5-2), Tied 2nd

     The Bulldogs were led by Patrick Witt in 2010, but their downfall was Witt's inability to avoid thecostly pick. Witt led the League by completing 23.56 passes per game for 2216 yards and 12 TDs, but he also tossed 12 picks on the season, and his inability to get ahead in the ratio was costly at times. Witt will get another shot in 2011 to raise his TD numbers against his picks, but if he doesn't, it may be more of the same or worse for Yale.
     Alex Thomas finished 3rd in the League in rushing last fall, as he ran for 710 yards and 9 scores in 10 games. That being said, the Ivy League was not a rushing hotbed of talent last season. Thomas can do better, and will get a shot to do so in 2011 as a senior.
      Yale had a solid 3 man rotation at receiver, as Chris Smith led the team with with 46 receptions for 452 yards. Gio Christodoulou led the team with 683 yards on 38 receptions, and Jordan Forney also had 36 receptions for 494 yards. TE Chris Blohm piled up a line of 26-255-2 on the season as well, and Thomas was more than competent as a receiver out of the backfield. Only Smith returns in 2011, so improvement on Witt's numbers may be difficult to come by with a new cast in the receiving corps.
      Yale's front seven was solid in 2010, as the Bulldogs only allowed 102.6 yards rushing per game. LB Jordan Haynes averaged 10.2 tackles per game on the season, while fellow LB Will McHale, a sophomore, piled up 5.5 per game. Haynes also led the team by picking up 8.5 TFLs on the season. Where the front 7 failed was in a failure to pressure opposing QBs, as nobody collected more than 3 sacks on the year.
      With the front 7 failing to apply pressure on the passing game, teams managed to pass for 206 yards per game. Adam Money defended 7 passes on the season, and Jesse Resiing added another 6, but both are gone for 2011. Money led the team with 3 picks.
Final Notes
     A strong start was basically derailed with a 3-2 finish to the season, with those losses coming to Harvard and Penn. Yale did win some games against lesser competition last season, so there is definately a need to up the profile. Yale has some major holes to fill next fall, so a repeat may not be in the cards of their 7 win season.

Brown Bears
2010 Record: 6-4 (5-2) Tied 2nd

      Like most teams in the Ivy League, Brown was lacking in offensive star power. Joe Springer was ok at best at the QB spot for the Bears, as he averaged 162 yards per game on the season with 10 TD passes. The good news was that he only averaged tossing a pick every other game, as he finished with 5 INTs all season. He will have to be replaced after graduating.
     The Bears rotated the run game between two backs, with sophomore Mark Kachmer leading the way with a line of 134-510-8. Senior Zachary Tronti also broke the 100 carry barrier by rushing for a line of 116-405-3. Kachmer should be the primary back in 2011.
     The biggest loss of all for 2011 will be that of WR Alex Tounkara, who led the team with a line of 61-842-4. Tounkara finished the season as the conferences 2nd best receiver, and was the closest thing that the Bears had to a bonafide star on offense. Jimmy Saros (42-481-4) and Tellef Loundavall (32-370-2) will try to step up and take up the slack next fall.
     The Bears defense was quite credible last fall, as they allowed only 180 yards per game passing and 129.6 yards per game rushing. The LB corps led the charge, as Stephen Peyton, Andrew Serrano, and Phil Roffi all had solid tackling numbers. Peyton led the team with 7.9 per game, while Serrano colected an average of 7.6 per game. Roffi also eclipsed the 5 per game mark by collecting 5.7. Munachismo Okoji, another LB, collected 5.7 as well.
     The Bears were quite good at placing pressure on the backfield, as they boasted two players with double digit TFLs last fall. Clayton McGrath finished 2nd in the league with 13.5, while LB Jeremy Raducha collected 11, all solo. McGrath finished 3rd in the League with 6.5 sacks.
      AJ Cruz finished 3rd in the League with 8 passes defended last fall, one key element as to how the Bears held opponents to under 200 yards passing per game. Brown also got major contributions in the secondary from Okoji (6) and senior DB Russell Leedy (5).
Final Notes
     An early win over Harvard set a tone that if followed would have made this a very special season for the Bears. They followed that up with consecutive out of conference losses to in-state rival Rhode Island and Holy Cross before two more wins against Princeton and Cornell to start Ivy play at 3-0. The wheels fell off after that as the Bears struggled to a 2-2 finish including losses to Yale and Penn. The Bears have work to do next fall as they lose their best QB/WR combo in Springer and Tounkara, but there are other pieces that work quite well, especially on defense.

Dartmouth Big Green
2010 Record: 6-4 (3-4), 5th

      Dartmouth was unbeatable outside of conference play, but they were barely passable in it. They did manage to keep it close, as 3 of 4 losses came by 7 points or less.
      Some of the issues started at QB, as Connor Kempe tossed 12 picks on the season against just 8 TDs. He also only managed to complete 54% of his passes overall, which is not getting it done, considering that there were some decent pass defenses in the LEague.
     Nick Schweiger made this his team last season, as he rushed for 1090 yards and 14 TDs last season in 10 games. Schweiger finished as our Ivy League RB of the Year. He has bigger things in store for us in 2011, as he returns for his senior season. If Kempe can do a better job passing the ball, Schweiger may have a better season next fall. Dominick Pierre, a freshman, also added 71-362-4 last season, and will make the transition away from Schweiger after next season seem seemless.
     Kempe cannot complain about a lack of decent receivers to pass to next season. Tim McManus led the team with a line of 38-528-2. Michael Reilly averaged 23 yards per catch last fall, giving Kempe a deep threat if teams crept up too much on Schweiger. Reilly led the team with 3 TDs, but only caught 22 passes. Tanner Scott was the 3rd option with a line of 21-309-1. Scott is the only loss for next fall.
      The defense had some issues last season, as they allowed 224.3 yards passing per game, while also allowing better than 142 yards rushing per game.
     The Big Green failed to have a tackler finish in the top 10, but had 5 with 5 or better on average per game. Joey Casey and Garrett Waggoner, both DBs, were the leaders, as Casey finished 1st on the team with 6.44 per game. Waggoner was right behind him with 6.1 per game. Pat Scorah finished 3rd on the team with 5.8. LBs Luke Hussey and Bronson Green wrapped up the group with 5.33 and 5.1 respectively.
     Dartmouth got solid pressure up front, as Ivy League DL of the Year Charles Bay led the League with 11 total TFLs on the season in 10 games. Eddie Smith finished with 8 on the season. Bay also led the League in sacks with 8, but he missed two games.
     Shawn Abuhoff was stellar in the secondary, as he defended 10 passes on the season, finishing 2nd in the League. Chase Womack and Abuhoff were two of the 3 best pick artists in the League as well, as they both finished with 4. Womack missed two games as well, and will return as a junior next season.
Final Notes
      Dartmouth has a super weapon in Schweiger, but he needs some help from a healthy passing game. If Kempe can develop into a threat to get the ball into his capable receivers more often, Schweiger will benefit from defenses having to play more honest coverage. Schweiger will still have a very nice season, but if this does not develop with the passing game, Dartmouth will have wasted an opportunity as they did in 2010.

Columbia Lions
2010 Record: 4-6 (2-5), 6th

      Columbia had a very nice offense in 2010, but their defense let them down. The Lions boasted our Ivy League QB of the Year in Sean Brackett, who was a huge threat with the ball in his hands. Brackett passed for 2072 yards and 19 TDs, while only tossing 6 picks on the season. Brackett also led the team in rushing with 333 yards and 3 scores. This info is scary when you consider that he was only a sophomore last season while running Columbia's spread offense. Bigger things seem to be coming for the Lions at the QB spot under Brackett.
     The bad news on offense is that they had no rushing game outside of Brackett. As a matter of fact, no other Lion had 100 carries on the season, and that will have to change to keep defenses guessing. Right now, it's easy enough to predict that Brackett will be the center of every play. Leon Ivery was the next best thing, as he posted a line of 80-331-4. Ivery's 4 scores led the team on the ground.
     Brackett had a solid big 3 in the receiver corps to get the ball to through the air. Andrew Kennedy, the TE of the Year, rolled up a line of of 50-616-9 on the season to lead the team. He moved on after last fall, so a replacement at TE becomes more than important. Nico Gutierrez (30-471-2) and Kurt Williams (27-400-2) rounded out a very good group.
     The defense had some issues, as they gave up 205 yards passing and 152 yards rushing per game. LB Alex Gross led the League in tackles last season with 124 on the season, but he was chasing people all season. Adam Mehrer was 2nd on the team with 67 tackles on the season. Neil Schuster finished averaging 5.5 tackles per game.
     The Lions lacked any kind of sustained pressure up front, as Ryan Murphy led the team with only 5.5 on the season. Murphy also led the team with 4 solo sacks. That's not getting it done up front for the Lions, and therefore teams were allowed to move the ball as they wanted to.
     The secondary wasn't making plays either, as only Calvin Otis collected 5 passes defended on the season. Otis also led the team with 3 picks, but he needed support that never came.
Final Notes
      The Lions lost 5 of their last 6 games in 2010 as teams started to key on Brackett. He needs more support, and the defense needs some serious pressure and playmakers in the secondary. Brackett is the best QB in this league, but he needs some help, and soon.

Cornell Big Red
2010 Record: 2-8 (1-6), 7th

     Jeff Matthews played like a typical freshman at QB, as he only managed to complete 54.8% of his passes. He also only managed 7 TD passes in a 10 game schedule, while also tossing 7 picks. He did manage to complete 17.2 passes per game, finishing 2nd in the Ivy in that area, so there is something to build on.
      Matthews did not get support from a strong run game, as Grant Gellatly finished with only 97 carries for 419 yards. He also failed to score. Gellatly was also a freshman, so he enters his sophomore season still seeking his first rushing TD.
     Shane Savage led the team with a line of 46-550-2 on the season, while Luke Tasker finished with 39-448-1, and Ryan Houska finished with 27-268-2. These were not sky rocket numbers, but all three return next fall, so there is a basic ability to build here.
     The defense was credible against the pass, but they could not stop the run to save their lives. The Big Red allowed 191 yards passing, but were crushed against the rush, averaging 246 yards allowed per game.
     Brandon Lainhart finished with 8.33 tackles per game, while Zach Imhoff finished with 8.3. Dempsey Quinn collected 6.9, and Rashad Campbell rounded out the best tacklers with 5.5. The Big Red failed to place any defender in the top 20 in TFLs on the season, while Lainhart led the team with only 2 sacks.
     Emani Fenton led the team against the pass with 7 passes defended, while Campbell finished with 6 on the season. Fenton led the Ivy with 5 picks last fall, but he has graduated, which leaves a huge void on a defense that needs all of the help that they can get.
Final Notes
Nothing went well for the Big Red last fall, but the team was young on offense and has the ability to improve, and they may, but the defense needs to fill some serious holes, and they need to find the ability to get pressure up front, and that will be no easy task. HC Kent Austin had his work cut out for him when he took this job, and the work continues still. This is a long term building project.

Princeton Tigers
2010 Record: 1-9 (0-7)

     The wheels fell completely off of the wagon last fall for the Tigers, and the QB spot was a rotating door, as 4 different players played meaningfull minutes there in 2010. Tommy Wornham and Andrew Dixon both tossed more than 100 pass attempts, with Wornham having the better luck. Wornham passed for 1104 yards and 5 TDs, but also tossed 5 picks in 5 games. Dixon also only played in 5 games, but only passed for 610 yards.
     The run game provided no support, as nobody rushed 100 times in 2010. Jordan Culbreath was the leader by default, but only carried 78 times in 8 games for 366 yards and only 1 score. Matt Zimmerman played all 10 games, but only carried 68 times for 276 yards.
     Trey Peacock was the lone bright spot on the offense as he caught 72 passes for 955 yards and 6 TDs. Peacock led the league in receiving yards, but was a senior.
     The defense was a wreck, as the Tigers gave up 441.9 yards per game and 40 TDs on the season. IN contrast they only managed to score 19 TDs as a team. Senior Jon Olafsson finshed 2nd in the league in tackles with 10.33 per game as the only bright spot that this club boasted on defense. Andrew Starks finished with 8.9 in the secondary, but it was all mop up duty after the front 7 failed to make plays. Starks led the team with 7 TFLs, something you never expect from your safety. The Tigers utterly failed to get to the QB all season long.
     Only Weston Palmer was productive in the secondary, as he finished with 3 picks. Starks was too busy playing up front to make plays on the ball.
Final Notes
     I don't see this getting much better next fall, as the Tigers lose their best pieces to graduation. Hard to build when the blocks are somewhere else. The Tigers could be the bottom feeder of the Ivy League for the next couple of seasons.


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