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Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Mike McLaughlin

Football Heads to Cornell for Empire State Bowl IV

Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics
          Release: 11/13/2013
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COLUMBIA (0-8, 0-5) AT CORNELL (1-7, 0-5)
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 16 • 1 P.M.
SCHOELLKOPF FIELD FIELD • ITHACA, N.Y.

GAME VITALS
TV:
FOX College Sports (Eric Freede - Play-by-Play & Steve DeOssie - Analyst)
Audio Stream:
Ivy League Digital Network
Live Stats:
cornellbigred.com

COLUMBIA/CORNELL SERIES HISTORY
Saturday’s meeting between the Lions and Big Red will be the 101st all-time meeting between the schools dating back to 1889. Columbia has won five of the last seven games, Cornell leads the overall series, 61-36-3.
 
EMPIRE STATE BOWL IV
For years, the Cornell and Columbia matchup was unofficially called the “Empire State Bowl” by fans, but in 2010, the annual contest was officially dubbed under that moniker. Columbia claimed the traveling trophy for the second time in three year’s of inception with last year’s victory over the Big Red at Kraft Field.

COVER ME
The Lions’ kickoff coverage, both in has been outstanding through eight games this season. Columbia ranks second in FCS, limiting opponents to 15.08 yards per kickoff return.

MUST SEE TV
Columbia’s last two games at Cornell (Nov. 16) and against Brown (Nov. 23) will be broadcast on FOX College Sports (FCS) after they acquired the rights to seven additonal Ivy League contests to compliment the conference’s package with NBCSN. In total, the Lions will be seen on television five times. Oct. 4 showdown at Princeton was aired on ESPN3 while the Oct. 12 game against Lehigh was broadcast by NBCSN and Columbia’s Nov. 2 game at Yale was aired on the YES Network.

MELKA TO MISS FINAL TWO GAMES
Senior defensive end Nick Melka will miss Columbia’s final two games due to an injury that occurred in the Lions’ Nov. 9 contest against Harvard.

REIM AND REASON
Sophomore Travis Reim has made a fast reputation as one of the top kick-returners in the Ivy League, teams have kicked to him just eight times, but he has averaged 24 yards per run-out to lead the conference. The sophomore put together a strong all-around game against Monmouth, performing well as both a kick returner and in the secondary. Reim returned two kickoffs for 72 yards, including a 47-yard return. Defensively, he made a career-high nine tackles and broke up two passes.

WELCOME BACK CONNORS
After missing the first part of the season due to injury, the sophomore wide receiver caught nine passes for 81 yards at Yale on Nov. 2, re-establishing himself as one of Columbia’s top targets.

HURT SO GOOD
Sophomore JD Hurt has developed into one of Columbia’s most dependable defensive lineman this season. Hurt made a career-best eight tackles at Yale on Nov. 2 and had at least five stops in the three games against Penn, Dartmouth and Yale to go with an interception and fumble recovery.

EAST-BOUND AND DOWN
Senior Brian East’s 27-yard interception return for a touchdown marked the second straight year a Columbia linebacker had a pick-six. Teammate Zach Olinger ran an interception back 14 yards last year at Lehigh. Earlier this season, East continued his knack of recovering fumbles, picking up two loose balls at Fordham on Sept. 21. East also recovered two fumbles last season to rank second in the Ivy League in that category.

ZACH ATTACK
After posting 14 tackles against Penn on Oct. 19, senior Zach Olinger took over the team lead in that category and now has 79 for the season, which ranks second in the Ancient Eight. Earlier this year at Princeton, the standout linebacker posted a season-best 15 tackles. Olinger checks in at No. 23 in FCS, averaging just under 10 stops per game.

SIR PAUL
Senior Paul Delaney has lived up to his reputation as one of the finest punters in FCS, averaging 42.0 yards per attempt (which ranks second in the Ivy League) with 13 punts over 50 yards, 17 inside the 20 and a season-long of 67 against Lehigh on Oct. 12.

MY COUSIN VINNY
Linebacker Vinny Pugliese continued to be a disruptive force for Columbia at Dartmouth on Oct. 26. Pugliese made 10 tackles, including one behind the line of scrimmage for his fourth double-figure outing of the season. He is tied for fifth in the conference with 57 takedowns.

DELANEY EARNS JOHN TONER PLAYER OF THE GAME
For his outstanding play in Columbia’s homecoming game vs. Penn, senior punter Paul Delaney was honored as the John Toner Homecoming Player of the Game. Delaney punted 12 times for an average of 45.2 yards per attempt, including a long of 58 and two inside the 20 yard line. The Palatine, Ill., native leads the Ivy League in net punting average with an average of 38.9 yards, which also ranks in the top-10 in FCS.

ON THE MARC
Senior running back Marcorus Garrett has been a consistent bright spot for Columbia, rushing for 472 yards and three touchdowns on 66 attempts in the Lions first six games. After the Marietta, Ga., native piled on 150 yards on the ground against No. 14/17 Lehigh, he moved up to third on the Lions’ all-time list. He now has 1,715 rushing yards and is just 277 yards from tying Louis Kusserow ‘49 for second place.
 
HILINSKI GETS THE NOD
On Oct. 19 against Penn, quarterback Kelly Hilinski became the first first-year to start a game for the Lions since Sean Brackett sat under center in the final four games of the 2009 campaign. In his collegiate debut at Princeton, Hilinski threw for 132 yards, including a 70-yard touchdown strike to Scooter Hollis. Hilinski also saw significant action four weeks ago against Lehigh.

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