NEW YORK - Columbia will meet Cornell on Saturday, November 12 in the annual Empire State Bowl at 12:30 p.m. in Ithaca, N.Y. The Lions won the inaugural Empire State Bowl last season at home in a dramatic 20-17 victory.
Those who cannot make it to the game can follow all the action online at gocolumbialions.com with Jerry Recco and Sal Licata providing the call. Student radio can also be heard on WKCR 89.9 FM or online at WKCR.org. Live stats are also available.
This is the 99th meeting between Columbia and Cornell dating back to 1889. Cornell holds a 60-35-3 advantage in the all-time series. Lately the Lions have fared better in the series, having won three in a row. Columbia won the last game played in Ithaca, 30-20 during the 2009 season.
MARTIN STANDING TALL
Junior linebacker Josh Martin has had an outstanding season for the second straight year. Having seamlessly adjusted to his role in the 3-4 defense, Martin has totaled seven sacks this season, which ranks third in the Ivy League. He also ranks among the league’s top ten in tackles for a loss with 11, which is seventh in the league. Against Harvard last week, Martin totaled 10 tackles, three that went for a loss, two sacks and forced a fumble.
BRACKETT PASSING GREATS
After he threw for a pair of scores two weeks ago vs. Yale, Sean Brackett has now thrown for 33 touchdowns in his Columbia career and ranks second in Columbia history. He trails only Columbia Athletics Hall of Famer John Witkowski who threw 56 touchdown passes from 1981-1983.
Brackett ranks third in total offense in the Ivy League at 226.3 yards per game. The junior signal caller ranks second among Ivy League quarterback in rushing yards with 301.
Columbia’s defense is the only defense in the Ivy League that has returned two interceptions for touchdowns this season. Last week vs. Harvard, senior Ross Morand picked off a Collier Winters pass deep in Lion territory and took it back 87 yards for a Columbia touchdown.
IN THE ZONE
The Lions have scored 13 touchdowns on 19 trips into the opponent’s red zone this season. Columbia has scored a touchdown or a field goal on 78.9% of their red zone possessions.
LAST TIME OUT FOR COLUMBIA
Columbia was tied with first-place Harvard at halftime but the Crimson scored 21 unanswered points and defeated the Lions 35-21 at Wien Stadium last Saturday.
LAST TIME OUT FOR CORNELL
Cornell turned the ball over five times and Dartmouth’s Nick Schwieger, Dartmouth’s all-time leading rusher, had a career day as the Big Green topped the Big Red 33-24 last Saturday in New Hampshire.
THE GREAT WALLER
Junior linebacker Mike Waller has stepped up defensively lately for the Lions. In the game vs. Harvard, the New Jersey native made six stops, had two sacks and recovered a fumble for Columbia.
NUMBER EIGHT IS GREAT
Kurt Williams leads the Columbia receiving corps with 29 receptions. After playing defensive back his first two seasons at Columbia, the senior wideout is averaging 12.9 yards per catch.
Mike Stephens has come on strong recently after missing some time due to injury. Against Harvard on Nov. 5, Stephens had a terrific game with eight catches for 99 yards.
GRIFFIN GOES FORWARD
Sophomore running back Griffin Lowry has had a productive last two weeks as the Lions’ primary ball carrier. In last week’s contest vs. Harvard, Lowry scored his first collegiate touchdown, a 12-yard run that put Columbia ahead 7-0.
HAMILTON HAULS IT IN
Sophomore tight end Hamilton Garner leads Columbia with four touchdown catches this season and had a strong game last week vs. Harvard. In that game, Garner caught five passes that went for a total of 60 yards.
Sophomore defensive lineman Wells Childress, a transfer from Texas A&M, notched his first collegiate sack in last week’s game vs. Harvard.
DINOVO DOING BIG THINGS
Sophomore wide receiver Louis DiNovo has been a part of big passing plays recently for the Lions. Over the last five games, DiNovo has made six grabs that have gone for 10 or more yards.
HAUSCHILDT NAMED SEMIFINALIST FOR NFF NATIONAL SCHOLAR-ATHLETE AWARD
Columbia senior football captain Bob Hauschildt was named a semifinalist for the 2011 National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments®, a leading provider of not-for-profit workplace retirement savings plans in higher education. Last year, Hauschildt was awarded the Class of 1913 Football Cup, awarded annually to the member of the Columbia football squad, in his junior or senior season, who achieves the best scholastic average. Hauschildt is a two-year starter on the Lions’ offensive line and was chosen as one of four captains prior to the start of the 2011 campaign.
HAMBLIN IS 2011 NFF NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL SCHOLAR-ATHLETE
The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) announced that Columbia defensive back Tyler Hamblin is one of five winners of the 2011 NFF National High School Scholar-Athlete Awards with each recipient selected as the best of the best from their region of the country at the high school level. Selected from the 400,000 high school football players covered by the NFF Chapter Network, Hamblin, who played his high school ball at Cretin-Derham in Minneapolis, Minn., is the Midwest Region winner. He will be honored for his high school accomplishments during the NFF Chapter Awards Luncheon Tuesday, December 6 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.