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Junior quarterback Sean Brackett was named first team All-Ivy League in 2010.
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Gene Boyars

Columbia Opens 2011 Football Season at Fordham Saturday for the Liberty Cup

Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics
          Release: 09/15/2011
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NEW YORK - Columbia will open its 142nd season of college football on Saturday, September 17 at Fordham's Jack Coffey Field in the Bronx at 1 p.m.  The game will be the 10th annual meeting for the Liberty Cup, established in 2002 after the 2001 meeting was postponed the weekend after the tragic events of September 11, 2001.

COLUMBIA FAN BUSES
Columbia will provide two fan buses traveling to the Bronx for Saturday's game at 1 p.m.  The first fan bus will leave the northeast corner of 116th Street and Broadway at 10:30 a.m. and the second fan bus will leave the the northeast corner of 116th Street and Broadway at 12 noon for Fordham's Coffey Field in the Bronx.  The buses will leave Coffey Field approximately 20 minutes after the conclusion of the game and will return to the Morningside Heights campus.

TAKE MASS TRANSIT TO FORDHAM
Columbia fans can also take the Metro-North Harlem Line train (Blue Line) from Grand Central to the Fordham stop. Exit the Metro North Station to the left and enter campus at the Rose Hill campus library entrance. Via subway, take the 4 or D line train to the Fordham Road stop. Transfer to the Bx12 bus to the Webster Avenue stop and cross the street to Rose Hill Campus library entrance.

SERIES HISTORY
This is the 20th game in a series that began in 1890, when Columbia defeated Fordham 40-0.  The Lions lead the all-time series 12-7.  The two teams have split each of the last two meetings, with each team winning on the other's home field.

CATCH THE ACTION SATURDAY...
Fans who cannot make it to Saturday's game in the Bronx can listen to all the action live on gocolumbialions.com.  Jerry Recco and Sal Licata return for the second year as a tandem to call all the action, beginning at 12:45 p.m.  Live stats via Fordham's website are also available.

...AND ALL SEASON LONG
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.  Starting in 2011, audio broadcasts are also available on your Android-powered mobile device. Click here to learn more!

THE LIBERTY CUP
Now in its 10th season, the Liberty Cup series was initiated in September 2002 to commemorate those who lost their lives in the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Fordham leads the series 5-4.  Fordham won the 2010 Liberty Cup at Robert K. Kraft Field, 16-9. Columbia won the 2009 Cup at Jack Coffey Field, 40-28, while Fordham had won the previous two matchups in 2008 and 2007.  Columbia has won two of the last three games played in the Bronx.

LAST TIME OUT FOR FORDHAM
Fordham lost its season opener 35-3 to 2010 Big East champion Connecticut, which played in the Fiesta Bowl last season. Rookie quarterback Peter Maetzold completed 12 of 25 passes for 149 yards with one interception, and he also punted once for 53 yards.

YOUR 2011 COLUMBIA FOOTBALL CAPTAINS
Seniors Mike Stephens, Ross Morand, Bob Hauschildt and junior Sean Brackett were elected as captains for the 2011 Columbia Football season.

FIRST OF ALL
Columbia is 63-51-6 all-time in season openers.  The Lions are 2-3 in openers under coach Norries Wilson.

FAMILIAR FOE
For season openers, Columbia has played only one more frequently than Fordham (this is the 12th opening-game meeting).  Columbia has played Harvard 27 times, while Fordham is second with 12.  Brown and Rutgers are tied with 11 meetings each to open Columbia’s season. Columbia has also faced Lafayette eight times in season starters.

WINNER’S BRACKETT
Junior quarterback Sean Brackett returns under center for the Lions in 2011 after a sensational sophomore season in which Brackett was named first team All-Ivy League at the position.  Brackett completed 57.8 percent of his passes a year ago, averaging 207.2 yards per game through the air.  He threw for 19 touchdowns and was intercepted just six times.  Brackett was first among Ivy League signal callers in pass efficiency at 136.1. On the ground, he was the Lions’ leading rusher, scampering for 516 yards and three scores.

ADAMS BACK ON THE BLIND SIDE
Anchoring the offensive line is three-year starter and two-time All-Ivy League left tackle Jeff Adams. Adams, a product of Western Springs, Ill., helped the Lions post prodigious offensive numbers in several games last season as Columbia averaged more than 22 points per game.

FIVE UP FRONT
Columbia lost just one senior to graduation from its offensive line in 2011 graduate Ian Quirk.  Four starters from last year return, including co-captain Bob Hauschildt, who moves to center after spending last season at offensive guard.

IN THE BACKFIELD
Sophomore Marcorus Garrett, and junior Nick Gerst, Columbia’s second leading rusher a year ago behind Sean Brackett, are expected to receive the bulk of the carries for the Lions in 2011. Both backs showed explosive flashes in 2010 as Gerst averaged 5.2 yards on 82 touches (rushing and receiving) while Garrett averaged 7.9 per carry in limited action.

MARTIN STANDING TALL
Junior linebacker Josh Martin returns for the Lions after a breakout sophomore season. The 6-3, 242-pound linebacker was named second team All-Ivy League after a monster season at defensive end. Consistently in the opponent’s backfield, Martin registered four sacks, recovered three fumbles and posted five tackles for a loss.

LET'S GO MURPHY
Junior linebacker Ryan Murphy is back after a strong sophomore season. The 6-2 linebacker registered four sacks a year ago and established himself as a versatile defender.

MISTRETTA, OLINGER RETURN
Senior Nick Mistretta and sophomore Zach Olinger add even more strength to the linebacker corps. Mistretta has seen action since his first year while Olinger broke through in a big way late last year, coming up with 10 tackles, three for a loss and a sack.

THE DEFENSIVE LINE
Along the defensive line, Columbia returns a number of veterans, including senior defensive end Ben Popeck, senior defensive tackles Chris Groth and Owen Fraser and junior defensive end Seyi Adebayo. Joining that group is sophomore defensive lineman Wells Childress, who transferred to Columbia last spring from Texas A&M.

PRIMARY SECONDARY PLAYERS
Several veterans also return in the Columbia defensive backfield, anchored by co-captain Ross Morand, who is slated to start at one cornerback spot.  Alongside Morand may be junior Brian DeVeau, who played wide receiver as a sophomore after beginning his collegiate career as a cornerback. At safety, senior Neil Schuster returns as a starter alongside classmate A.J. Maddox.

WELCOME BACK
Columbia will welcome back three seniors who each had their seasons cut short last fall.  Wide receivers Mike Stephens and Paul Havas are back to help the offense while defensive back Mike Murphy could also appear in the return game.

I DON’T MEAN TO BE KURT
Senior wide receiver Kurt Williams had a breakout season a year ago, catching 27 passes for 400 yards and two touchdowns. It was the first full season for Williams at wide receiver after he was a defensive back for the first two seasons of his collegiate career.

WE’LL TAKE IT
In 2010, Columbia was one of just three Ivy League teams to post a positive turnover margin. In 10 games, Columbia forced 20 turnovers and gave the ball away 18 times.

NEW FACES, NEW PLACES
Three new assistant coaches will patrol the sidelines and coaches box for the Lions this fall. Defensive coordinator Chris Woods is in his first season at Columbia, where he will also coach the linebackers.  Bill Lund is Columbia’s new defensive line coach and Mike Neuberger will mentor the Lions’ tight ends.

LIONS ON TV
Columbia will play two nationally televised games this season, both at home. The Lions’ October 15th game vs. Penn, which also serves as Columbia’s annual Homecoming, will be shown on VERSUS beginning at 3:30 p.m. On October 29, Columbia’s home game vs. Yale can also be seen on the YES Network, beginning at noon.

ARCHIE ROBERTS, NFF DISTINGUISHED AMERICAN
In July, the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) announced that Dr. Archie Roberts, a prominent heart surgeon who played football at Columbia in the 1960s, has been named the 2011 recipient of the organization’s Distinguished American Award. First bestowed in 1966, the NFF Distinguished American Award is presented on special occasions when a truly deserving candidate emerges. Roberts will become the 40th recipient of the award, joining an impressive list of previous honorees that includes Vince Lombardi, Bob Hope, Jimmy Stewart, Pete Rozelle, Joe Paterno, Pat Tillman, T. Boone Pickens and last year’s honoree Tom Brokaw.

BREAK IT DOWN
Here is a breakdown of the Columbia squad, year by year and position by position:

Seniors: 24
Juniors: 29
Sophomores: 24
Freshmen: 29

Defensive Backs: 17
Defensive Linemen: 15
Linebackers: 16
Offensive Linemen: 16
Quarterbacks: 5
Running Backs: 10
Tight Ends: 6
Wide Receivers: 15
Kickers/Punters: 6

TRANSIT UPDATE
Scheduled MTA construction on the NYC Subway 1 line will interrupt service to and from the Baker Athletics Complex on weekends during the 2011 home football season. For all home football games, there will be Columbia Athletics shuttle buses leaving from 116th and Broadway, starting starting at 11 a.m. for every home football contest.  NOTE: The first shuttle bus departing for Saturday's game at Fordham will leave 116th and Broadway at 10:30 a.m.  A second shuttle bus will depart the same location at 12 noon.

The Baker Athletics Complex is completely accessible via mass transit utilizing the NYC subway A line. Whenever possible, take the A train. The final stop on the A train is 207th Street. It is just a short walk to the Baker Athletics Complex on 218th Street or you can take the MTA Columbia Football shuttle bus from 207th Street.

FOLLOW THE LIONS ONLINE
Columbia fans who can’t make it to the game can follow the action LIVE online via the SideLION Pass, the live blog and live stats. Fans can also follow Columbia Athletics all season long on Facebook and Twitter!

2011 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 fifth 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 on 1010 WINS.

About Sal Licata:
Sal is a passionate, opinionated, knowledgeable and entertaining sports fan with an edge. He was a part of WFAN New York’s #1 rated sports talk show, “Mike’d Up” with Mike Francesa, working as an assistant producer and part-time on-air contributor. Sal has worked in sports media since 2003 at WFAN, YES Network and Sirius NFL Radio and is currently an on air fill in for SNY’s “Wheelhouse” and “Geico SportsNite.” He lives in Ronkonkoma, N.Y.

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