NEW YORK – Columbia will look to close out its four-game homestand on a positive note on Saturday, October 9 when the Lions host Lafayette in their final non-league game of the season.
Columbia comes into the game winners of two straight, including last week's convincing 42-14 victory over Princeton to open the Ivy League season. Despite a record of 0-4, Lafayette has lost three of its first four games by five points or less and has won eight straight games in the series with the Lions.
Columbia has been solid on both sides of the ball in the early going as the Lions' defense has allowed a league-low 13.3 points per game and has creatd a league-leading plus-three turnover differential. On the other side, Columbia racked up 528 total yards of offense last Saturday vs. Princeton, marking its biggest scoring output in nearly a decade.
Saturday's game will be broadcast on the Lafayette Sports Network and simulcast on ESPN3.com.
Lafayette leads the all-time series with Columbia 28-11 with two ties between the two schools. In a series that dates back to 1889, the Leopards have won eight straight games, including last year’s 24-21 victory in a hotly-contested game in Easton, Pa. The last time Columbia defeated Lafayette was on October 7, 2000, a 47-22 Lion victory.
LAST TIME OUT FOR COLUMBIA
Columbia opened the Ivy League season by defeating Princeton, 42-14, on Robert K. Kraft Field. The Lions’ offense racked up 528 yards of total offense, including 255 yards on the ground. Sophomore quarterback tossed five touchdown passes, including two to senior tight end Andrew Kennedy as Columbia won its second straight game. It was also the first time ever that the Lions had beaten Princeton in consecutive seasons.
LAST TIME OUT FOR LAFAYETTE
Harvard posted 311 rushing yards on its way to a 35-10 win at Lafayette last Saturday at Fisher Stadium in its third game of four straight against Ivy League opponents. Quarterback Ryan O’Neil passed for 210 yards but was sacked four times by the Harvard defense, which limited Lafayette to 55 yards on the ground.
CAN YOU HEAR ME?
Every Columbia game can be heard on gocolumbialions.com with Jerry Recco (play-by-play) and Sal Licata (commentary) calling the action. Student radio can be found on WKCR 89.9 FM with Tommy Di Benedetto providing play-by-play.
STARTING WITH A POW
Sean Brackett was named Ivy League Co-Offensive Player of the Week, ECAC Offensive Player of the Week and FCS Player of the Week by CollegeFootballPerformance.com for his five-touchdown effort vs. Princeton. Brackett went 18-of-24 for 273 yards and five touchdowns through the air, and added eight rushes for 48 yards to account for 321 yards of total offense. His five touchdown passes tied a school record set in 1942 by Paul Governali and matched in 1982 by John Witkowski.
ONE FOR THE RECORD BOOKS
Not only did Sean Brackett’s performance tie a Columbia individual record, the 42 points scored was a school record vs. Princeton and the first time ever Columbia has won two games in a row vs. the Tigers.
ON A ROLL
Ryan Murphy and Andrew Kennedy were named to the Ivy League Weekly Honor Roll for their performances vs. Princeton. Murphy had nine tackles with two for a loss and a sack, coupled with two pass breakups, while Kennedy had 148 yards and two touchdowns in the win.
Alex Gross leads the Ivy League in tackles (39), while Josh Martin leads the League in sacks with 3.5. Offensively, quarterback Sean Brackett leads the League in pass efficiency (189.2). Brackett currently leads the Ivy League and the entire Football Championship Subdivision in pass efficiency. As a team, the Columbia defense has yielded a league-low 13.3 points per game to opponents in the early season.
WHAT A RUSH!
Just ask Sean Brackett and Nick Gerst, who ran for a combined 172 yards against Princeton. Gerst had a career day, with 124 yards on the ground to lead Columbia. Brackett added 48 yards rushing with 273 yards passing and five touchdowns through the air.
Andrew Kennedy needed just seven receptions to post a career-best 148 yards, with two touchdowns vs. Princeton. It was his first-ever 100+ yard game.
A GERST OF SPEED
In three games, sophomore Nick Gerst has a total of 197 yards rushing on 28 carries. He leads the Lions and ranks third in the Ivy League.
GROSS A SEMIFINALIST FOR CAMPBELL AWARD
Columbia senior linebacker Alex Gross is one of 121 semifinalists for the 2010 William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, as announced by the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame on Sept. 30. A two-time co-captain, Gross has been a standout this season so far, totaling a team-best 39 tackles, which ranks first in the Ivy League. Gross has been the backbone of a Columbia defense that has limited opponents to a league-low 13.3 points per game.
IN THE NICO TIME
Senior wide receiver Nico Gutierrez has totaled 177 yards receiving on nine catches this season, including a touchdown vs. Princeton. A week earlier vs. Towson, Gutierrez had a 44-yard reception in the fourh quarter, his longest catch of the season.
Today’s game marks Columbia’s Green Game, a special collaborative effort with community and campus groups to raise awareness for environmentally sustainable programs and activities. Columbia welcomes Rock and Wrap It Up!, a local organization committed to contributing unused food and other assets to individuals and communities in need. They will be helping Columbia’s game day staff ensure that all concessions prepared, but not sold at today’s game will go to those less fortunate.