Columbia 'Shipping Up to Boston' for Showdown with Harvard Saturday
This will mark the 70th meeting between Columbia and Harvard, dating all the way back to 1877. The Crimson lead the all-time series 54-14-1, including a 35-21 win last year at Robert K. Kraft Field. The Lions led 14-7 in the first half, but Harvard went on to score 28 unanswered to earn the victory.
Last Time Out for Harvard
The No. 21 Crimson held off Dartmouth, 31-14 last weekend in a basketball-style game of runs. Harvard scored 21 unanswered in the first half, but the Big Green made it a one-possession game with a pair of TDs in the third quarter. The Crimson put the game away with an early fourth quarter touchdown to regain a share of the Ivy League lead. Treavor Scales posted three of Harvard’s four rushing touchdowns on the day.
Last Time Out for Columbia
The Lions rallied from a fourth quarter deficit to top Yale, 26-22, last weekend. With the Bulldogs trying to run out the clock, Columbia forced a fumble to gain possession with 2:05 on the clock. The Lions marched down the field and a three-yard TD reception from Sean Brackett to Marcorus Garrett lifted Columbia to its first win over Yale since 2001.
Columbia’s defense recorded its first safety in a decade after tackling Yale RB Connor Vargas in the endzone on Saturday. The Lions last safety came on October 5, 2002 against Princeton.
Columbia posted season-highs with 26 points, 529 yards of total offense in its win over Yale on Oct. 27. The Lions’ 27 first downs was the second highest total for the program since October 11, 1975, when they moved the chains 30 times against Harvard. Last season, in a shootout against Cornell, the Lions posted 25 first downs.
If I Could Be Like Mike
A week after being named Columbia’s John Toner Homecoming Player of the Game on Oct. 20, senior LB Mike Waller played another standout game against Yale last week. Waller was named Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week after forcing a pair of fumbles, including a crucial one as the Bulldogs were trying to run out the clock in the fourth quarter, and making six tackles.
The Wayne, N.J. native posted 13 tackles against Dartmouth and became the fourth recipient of the Toner Award, joining Lou Miller, Alex Gross, and Ross Morand on the list.
Wide receiver Connor Nelligan posted 11 receptions for a career-high 138 yards against Yale. It marked the sophomore’s second 100+ yard receving game of the year after a breakout performance against Princeton where he made 11 grabs for 102 yards. Nelligan has emerged as the Lions’ go-to target and is currently ranked fifth in the Ivy League in receptions.
Front and Center
Through seven games, the Lions’ defensive line and linebackers have been a disruptive force for opposing offenses. Columbia is averaging 2.71 sacks per game, and the front seven have combined for more than 275 tackles, including 38 for a loss, 17 sacks, six forced fumbles, four interceptions, and six fumble recoveries.
Freshman Trevor McDonagh made his collegiate debut against Yale, going 5-for-7 for 41 yards in limited action. Head coach Pete Mangurian expects McDonaugh and fellow freshman QB Hank Trumbull to get in-game reps for the remainder of the season.
On the ‘Marc’
Heading into this week’s matchup, Marcorus Garrett is ranked third in the conference in rushing, averaging 98 YPG. Garrett’s 118 yards on the ground against Penn on Oct. 13 was his third 100+ rushing effort of the year, making him the first Lion to accomplish the feat since Ayo Oluwoloe in 2003. For the year, he has 686 rushing yards and is 91 away from cracking the top-five highest single-season totals in Columbia history.
Movin’ On Up
Senior QB Sean Brackett moved into the Ivy League’s top 10 all-time in total offense and last week surpassed former Harvard star and current Buffalo Bills starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick for eighth place with 6,722 yards. His 43 career passing touchdowns puts him in sole posession of 10th place on the Ivy League career list.
In addition, Brackett ranks in the top-three in every Columbia career quarterback category. His TD and total offensive yardage numbers put him second all-time, while his 487 total completions and 5,826 passing yards rank third in each respective category.
Cool Foot Luke
With a pair of PAT’s at Penn, place-kicker Luke Eddy became Columbia’s all-time leader in that category with 58. He broke the previous record held by Jon Rocholl, who played from 2005-08. Since breaking the record, Eddy has chipped in four more PATs to move his career total to 62.
Junior linebacker Zach Olinger continued his strong season with a 10-tackle (five solo) effort at Penn. Olinger is currently second in the Ivy League with 62 tackles on the season.
Big Willy Style
Defensive end Will Patterson had a stellar game on the line for the Lions against Princeton, posting nine tackles, with four TFLs and a sack. For his efforts, Patterson was named to the Ivy League Weekly Honor Roll.
Football Leads the Social Lions
You can follow the 2012 Columbia Football season on social media!
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Columbia has two sets of brothers on its roster this year. Senior running back Nick Gerst is joined by younger brother Mike Gerst this year in the backfield. Sophomore wide receiver John Keefe is also joined by his younger brother this year, rookie linebacker Max Keefe.
Break it Down
Here is a breakdown of the Columbia squad, year by year and position by position:
Defensive Backs: 17
Defensive Linemen: 13
Offensive Linemen: 15
Running Backs: 9
Tight Ends: 5
Wide Receivers: 15
Follow the Lions Online
Columbia fans who can’t make it to the game can follow the action LIVE online via the SideLION Pass and live stats. Lions fans can also follow Columbia Athletics all season long on Facebook and Twitter!
2012 Announcers on GoColumbiaLions.com
Catch live Columbia Football audio and video broadcasts online exclusively on gocolumbialions.com. Local New York sportscaster Jerry Recco returns for his fifth year of play-by-play on gocolumbialions.com, and will be joined by SNY personality Sal Licata for the 2010 football season.
About Jerry Recco:
A well-known media personality within the City of New York, Jerry Recco begins his seventh year as the play-by-play announcer for Columbia Football. Recco has worked with The Flagship Station for New York Sports, WFAN 660, for the past 13 years and has covered the last six Super Bowls for the station. He has worked closely with the New York Jets and New York Giants during his tenure, and currently serves as the morning sports anchor for the Boomer and Carton Show and and is the pre-post and halftime host for Dallas Cowboys Football on Compass Media Networks.
About Sal Licata:
Sal is begining his third year as a commentator for Columbia Football. He's a New York sports personality that can currently be seen on SportsNet New York. Sal is a regular on SNY's "The Wheelhouse" & "Geico SportsNite" & fills in on other shows. He is also a host of MLB.com's "Full Count" on Yahoo Sports. Sal worked at WFAN radio for over seven years prior to joining SNY in July of 2010.