Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Taysom And Two Ties

TigerBlog has a new favorite NFL player.

His name is Taysom Hill, of the New Orleans Saints. Hill is essentially the back up quarterback, though he's on the field way more than your average NFL backup QB.

In fact, the Saints may be guilty of stealing from Princeton's playbook a bit, since Hill was on the field Sunday against the Giants on several plays when starting QB Drew Brees was as well. It was a lot like two years ago with Chad Kanoff and John Lovett, and it had something of the same effect.

TigerBlog's favorite play was when Hill, who was undrafted free agent from BYU who was originally signed by the Packers before being cut and landing on the Saints, lined up in the shotgun, with Brees wide to the right and a single running back, Alvin Kamara, next to Hill. The Giants, looking completely confused, had no idea what was coming next.

They were definitely thinking Hill was going to run it, or maybe flip it to Brees, who would then throw it. What happened? Simple handoff to Kamara, nine-yard touchdown run.

TigerBlog has seen Princeton do that a lot. Odd formations and personnel mess with the defense, and often the result is that the most simple play is the last thing the D sees coming.

During the broadcast, Tony Romo - who is great, but just needs to not drift into trying too hard to be funny - mentioned Hill's speed as a reason that the Saints liked him and now use him. In the game against the Giants, Hill threw a pass off a fake punt, carried four times for 18 yards and caught one pass. He would have had another completion, this for a TD, had the ball not been dropped in the end zone.

As TB watched Hill, he wondered if Lovett could be that kind of a player in the NFL. Lovett at 6-3, 230, is a little bigger than Hill. How fast is Lovett compared to Hill? Could he bring that same dimension?

It's a huge weapon to have, that's for sure. Maybe Lovett could be an NFL tight end, but TB likes to think he can be someone's Taysom Hill next year.

The biggest lock of the week was the 1-2 Patriots at home against the 3-0 Dolphins, where a loss would have dropped New England three games back in the division. Final score? New England 38, Miami 7.

One of these days, the Patriots won't be good.

The biggest Dolphins fan that TB knows is Jim Barlow, the men's soccer coach at Princeton. TigerBlog recently asked Barlow how he became a Miami fan growing up in Central New Jersey, and he said he jumped on the bandwagon after the perfect 1972 season.

Jim Barlow is nothing if not honest.

Barlow's team played its Ivy opener Saturday against Dartmouth on Sherrerd Field. Dartmouth, the defending league champion, went up 2-0 early, and it was looking like it might get away from the Tigers.

Instead, Dartmouth's starting goalkeeper got a red card, and Princeton, playing one man up the rest of the way, tied it with a pair of goals, both of which were orchestrated by Kevin O'Toole.

The first came just six minutes after junior Sean McGowan made his first appearance of the season. O'Toole, a sophomore who has also been injured this year, headed the ball to McGowan, who knocked it into the goal.

O'Toole then controlled a chip into the box and put it inside the far post, tying the score less than a minute before intermission.

Neither team scored after that, though Princeton came agonizingly close in the second OT, when Cole Morokhovich drilled one off the goalpost. Princeton outshot Dartmouth 26-19 for the game, and, while everyone would rather win, a tie against the defending champ when down 2-0 isn't an awful way to start the league season.

The men's game was the opener of a doubleheader Saturday. The women's game that followed saw the Tigers and Big Green tie again, this time 0-0.

Like the men, the women also hit the post in the second OT. Unlike the men, the women also put one in the net in the second OT, only to have it disallowed.

Princeton outshot Dartmouth 29-3 but just couldn't get one in. The result was a tie, and a 1-0-1 record after two league games.

How hard is it to go 7-0-0 in the league? After two weeks, there is exactly one team that is 2-0-0, and that's Columbia. Four others - Princeton, Dartmouth, Harvard and Penn - are all 1-0-1.

Princeton hosts Bucknell tonight in its final non-league game. After that are five games on five straight Saturdays, the first of which is this coming one at home against Brown at 4.

That game is the opener of the doubleheader, as the men will play the Bears at 7.

And of course both games are free.

Which is more than TB can say for the Taysom Hill jersey he saw for $149.00 on the Saints website. Oh well. He'll still root for him anyway.

No comments: