NEW YORK—Columbia (0-2) opens Ivy League play at home when it hosts Princeton (1-1) on Saturday, Oct. 1. Kickoff is at noon ET from Robert K. Kraft Field at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium. Columbia faces Princeton for the 85th time in a series which began in 1874.
WHERE TO LISTEN/WATCH
FOX Sports College will televise the game live with Scott Sudikoff (play-by-play) and Steve DeOssie (color analyst) calling action. Jerry Recco and Sal Licata will broadcast live on the Columbia online radio network. In addition, WKCR, Columbia’s student radio station will also broadcast the game live with Evan Clinton and Max Rettig calling action.
FAMILY DAY HEADLINES IVY LEAGUE OPENER
Saturday’s game marks Family Day for Columbia. Various promotions include a Family Four Pack, four tickets plus $6 concessions voucher for only $30, holiday card photos on the field with the inflatable Columbia Lion after the game, Columbia foam fingers to the first 500 guests and free hot dogs and beverages in Columbia’s Pre-Game Picnic area. See www.gocolumbialions.com for more details on Family Day promotions.
BAGNOLI ENTERS SECOND SEASON
Patricia & Shepard Alexander Head Coach of Football Al Bagnoli is in his second season guiding the Columbia Football program. Bagnoli is in his 35th year as a head coach with a 236-109 overall record and nine Ivy League titles at Penn. He has turned football programs around at both Union College and Penn, where he guided the Quakers to nine Ivy League championships. He hopes to lead Columbia to its first winning season in 10 years. The Lions last went 5-5 in 2006.
ABOUT THE LIONS
Columbia plays its third game of the 2016 season after dropping two winnable games: a 13-9 decision to Saint Francis U (Pa.) in its season opener on Sept. 17 and a 17-14 contest on a come-from-behind effort at Georgetown on Sept. 24. The Lions return All-Ivy League defensive back Jared Katz and punter Cameron Nizialek, along with eight starters on offense and six on defense. Seventy-five letterwinners return to the squad. Columbia also added 39 newcomers to the team, the No. 3 ranked recruiting class in the nation. Those newcomers account for 37 percent of its 2016 roster. The Lions were competitive in every game in 2015 as six of their eight losses were decided by 10 points or less.
ABOUT THE TIGERS
Princeton (1-1) enters the weekend following a 42-28 loss at Lehigh on Sept. 24. The Tigers won their season opener, a 35-31 victory over Lafayette on Sept. 17. Head Coach Bob Surace’s Tigers are led by quarterback Chad Kanoff, who has completed 36 of 60 passes for 344 yards. Joe Rhattigan (181 yards), Charlie Volker (120 yards) and John Lovett (101 yards) are the team’s leading rushers and Isaiah Barnes has nine receptions for 142 yards (71.0 per game average). On defense, Princeton is led by Rohan Hylton and Luke Catarius who both have 17 tackles. James Gales has 16 solo tackles, Dorian Williams has registered 14.
Columbia and Princeton meet for the 85th time in football. Princeton owns a 68-15-1 advantage in the series which began in 1874. Princeton has a five-game win streak in the series dating back to a 42-14 Columbia home victory on Oct. 2, 2010. Last year, Princeton defeated Columbia 10-5 on Oct. 2 in Princeton.
Since Al Bagnoli took over as head coach, Columbia has been competitive in every game. Of Columbia’s last 10 losses, eight have been decided by 10 points or fewer. Already in 2016, Columbia’s contests have been decided by an average of 3.5 points per game. During its 10 losses in 2014, Columbia lost all 10 games by 28.6 points per loss.
TALE OF TWO HALVES
In each of its first two games, Columbia has been slow starting on both sides of the ball. The Lions have scored all of their 23 points on the year in the second half. This chart depicts Columbia’s production by half in each of its first two games:
Statistic First Half/Second Half
Points Scored: 0/23
First Downs: 15/26
Total Yards: 214/361
Total Yards-Opponents: 360/232
COLUMBIA BRINGS THE DEFENSE
Through two games, Columbia has excelled on defense. It ranks No. 11 nationally in total defense (298.0 yards per game), No. 5 in scoring defense (15.0 points per game), No. 1 in first downs defense (27.0), No. 3 in passing yards allowed (126.0), No. 2 in third down conversion defense (0.156), No. 1 in fourth down conversion defense (0.0) and No. 18 in red zone defense (0.67). In addition, the Lions rank No. 11 in team tackles for loss (8.0). The Lions lead the Ivy League in total defense, pass defense, first down defense and third down conversion defense.
Columbia’s defense is anchored by its three senior linebackers, Gianmarco Rea, Christian Conway and Keith Brady, who account for 44 percent of the Lions’ total tackles. The trio is extremely talented at getting to plays and making tackles. Rea ranks No. 4 nationally in tackles per game (12.0), while Conway currently ranks No. 8 (11.5). Rea and Conway rank 1-2 atop the Ivy League in tackles.
Columbia’s defensive success is a carryover from the 2015 season, which saw a tremendous leap in defensive efficiency, as Columbia went from the 115th best team in total defense in 2014, to the No. 8 ranked team at 291.1 yards per game a season ago. Columbia also yielded just 19.8 points per game, which ranked as the FCS’s No. 17 best tally, while holding opponents to 13 points or less four times. It also ranked No. 2 in the Ivy League in total defense and led the conference in pass defense (186.9 yards per game).
In addition, Columbia ranked No. 8 nationally in rushing defense (103.4 yards per game), No. 5 in third down conversion defense (.265) and No. 3 in first down conversion defense (148). The defense also accumulated 23 sacks for 140 yards, which ranked No. 4 in the Ivy League.
Defensive coordinator Paul Ferraro returns six starters from 2015, including one defensive lineman (Dominic Perkovic), all three linebackers (Gianmarco Rea, Christian Conway and Keith Brady) and two defensive backs (Jared Katz, Brock Kenyon).
COLUMBIA COMEBACK FALLS SHORT, DROPS 17-14 DECISION AT GEORGETOWN
Down 17-0 at halftime, Columbia battled back with renewed energy in the second half but it was not enough as Georgetown escaped with a 17-14 win before 2,367 Homecoming fans Saturday at Cooper Field. Georgetown earned the right to the rivalry’s Lou Little Trophy and improved to 3-0 with the win, while Columbia dropped to 0-2.
After a first half in which saw Columbia commit three turnovers, miss a 34-yard field goal and advance only one drive past the 50-yard line, the Lions were a different team in the second half. In the game’s final 30 minutes, Columbia dominated play on both sides of the ball, outgaining the Hoyas 251-94 yards and totaling 20 first downs to Georgetown’s three.
Trailing 17-0 at halftime, Columbia came out with energy in the second half and battled back into the game. It cut the deficit to 17-7 on an 11-yard touchdown run by Chris Schroer. It was freshman Josh Wainwright who started things off and showed his speed as he wove through the Georgetown coverage for a 54-yard kickoff return. Led by quarterback Anders Hill, Columbia’s offense drove 46 yards on 11 plays fueled by Schroer’s strong running. A screen pass to Wainwright gave the Lions a first down at the 11-yard line. Schroer then rambled through the Hoya defense for his first career touchdown, an 11-yard scoring run.
The Lions made it 17-14 in the fourth quarter when Hill carried the ball nine yards through the Georgetown defense for a touchdown with 14:55 left to play. The score culminated a five-play, 50-yard drive that featured the running of Alan Watson. Watson ran for eight yards followed by a five-yard gain and first down run by Hill. Then Watson bolted through the middle of the Georgetown defense for a 25-yard run to setup Hill’s touchdown rush.
Momentum was on Columbia’s side as its defense limited Georgetown’s offense into multiple three-and-outs. The Lions had three more opportunities to score, but couldn’t convert the possessions into points. It had a fourth and four situation where it was stopped one yard short of a first down, then fumbled a punt return with 2:56 left in the game.
Columbia turned the ball over three times in the first half, an interception and fumble in the first quarter and an interception in the second quarter. In the second quarter, Columbia quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg moved the Lions down the field in a 16-play, 66-yard drive which ended in a missed 34-yard field goal. At halftime, Georgetown had outgained Columbia in yardage 156-137.
Georgetown grabbed a quick 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a 44-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tim Barnes to Michael Dereus. The play capped a seven play, 70-yard drive after receiving the opening kickoff. The Hoyas took a 10-0 lead on a 47-yard field goal by Henry Darmstadter. Barnes gave Georgetown a 17-0 second quarter lead on a nine-yard touchdown run after the Hoyas drove 36 yards on three plays.
For the game, Columbia outgained Georgetown in yardage 314-195 and finished with 20 first downs to the Hoyas’ eight. Offensively, Columbia was led by Hill, who completed 11 of 21 passes for 81 yards and ran for 45 yards on 11 carries. Schroer rushed for 51 yards on 16 carries, Scooter Hollis caught eight passes for 42 yards and Wainwright finished with five catches for 36 yards and a game-high 198 all-purpose yards (52 punt return, 91 kick return, 36 receiving and 19 rushing). Defensively, Gianmarco Rea led the Lions with 13 tackles, including two for losses, Christian Conway added eight tackles and Landon Baty contributed with seven tackles. The Lions also totaled 10.0 tackles for loss for 21 combined yards.
Georgetown was led by Tim Barnes, who completed 16 of 30 passes for 124 yards. Justin Harrell caught seven passes for 44 yards. Three Hoyas totaled double figure tackles.
COLUMBIA-GEORGETOWN POST-GAME NOTES
• Columbia and Georgetown met for the fourth time in series history and the second time in as many years. With the loss, Columbia moves to 2-2 all-time vs. Georgetown. The first game in the series was played in 1901.
• Freshman running back Lynnard Rose and senior Toure Douglas both made their first career starts.
• Chris Schroer scored his first career touchdown in the third quarter on an 11-yard touchdown run.
• Freshman placekicker Oren Milstein saw his first career action and converted his first extra point in the game.
• Freshman Josh Wainwright registered a career-long 54-yard kickoff return to start the third quarter. He totaled 198 total all purpose yards, including 91 kickoff return yards and 52 punt return yards.
• Wide receiver Scooter Hollis finished with eight catches for 42 yards, the most he has made since last year’s Georgetown game.
• Quarterback Anders Hill scored his first rushing touchdown of the year on an eight-yard run in the fourth quarter. He totaled 81 passing yards on 11 of 21 attempts.
• Columbia’s two quarterbacks combined for 142 passing yards and completed 21 of 36 passes.
• Punter Matthew Panton averaged 41.5 yards per punt and put five of his six punts inside the Georgetown 20-yard line.
• At halftime, the Lou Little Trophy was presented to athletics directors at both schools: Columbia’s Peter Pilling and Georgetown’s Lee Reed.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT COLUMBIA
“Columbia fans should be very proud. That program is going in the right direction with a Hall of Fame coach. Their defense didn’t give us much. It was a hard-fought, physical game. That’s a good Columbia football team over there. The future is very bright and there’s a lot of victories ahead for that team.”
- Saint Francis head coach Chris Villarrial said.
“I think Al Bagnoli was sort of the Division III version of Nick Saban 30 years ago. He had a program that was perfectly designed from top to bottom, and he had great players. I think that was because he had the entire college on board with what he was trying to do.”
-Tim Layden, Sports Illustrated
NEW OFFENSIVE MINDSET
Columbia is looking to play a more up-tempo offensive game in 2016. Last year, Columbia led the Ivy League and ranked No. 5 nationally in time of possession (33:31 minutes per game). According to Coach Bagnoli and Offensive Coordinator Mark Fabish, the Lions plan to play at a faster pace with improved speed on the field, two second-year quarterbacks (Skyler Mornhinweg and Anders Hill) and returning experience on the offensive line. Last year, the Lions ranked No. 103 nationally in total offense (296.7 yards per game) and No. 111 (14.3 points per game).
LIONS RECRUITING CLASS EXPECTED TO MAKE IMPACT
Columbia brought in a large 39-member recruiting class this offseason. The 2020 class was ranked No. 3 in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and No. 2 in the Ivy League (behind Yale) by 247Sports.com Saturday Blitz.
The class features 14 student-athletes who earned all-state honors and 10 that won state championships during their high school careers. According to national recruiting websites, six were three-star athletes and four were two-star players.
The Class of 2020 is comprised of student-athletes from 19 states. Florida and Pennsylvania each have four representatives, followed by California, Illinois, New Jersey and Texas with three each. Columbia put an emphasis on the offensive line and the front seven on defense, bringing in six offensive linemen and eight defensive linemen to go with five linebackers. The new Lions’ “hogs” check in at an average height of 6-3 and weight of 275 pounds. The defensive linemen weigh-in at an average of 241 pounds and stand at 6-2. The Lions also brought in five defensive backs and five wide receivers to lead the positional breakdown.
WAINWRIGHT MAKES IMMEDIATE IMPACT
Freshman wide receiver Josh Wainwright has made an immediate impact. He ranks No. 23 nationally and leads the Ivy League in all purpose yardage (138.0) and No. 13 nationally and tops the league in kickoff returns (28.2). He has also caught six passes for 38 yards.
FRESHMAN IMPACT PLAYERS
Of Columbia’s freshman class, several will and have already made immediate contributions. At the skill positions, Tanner Thomas and Lynnard Rose will see action at running back, while Josh Wainwright and Christian Everett will play receiver.
Eleven freshmen are listed on the depth chart. Wainwright is the listed starter at one receiver position. He is the only offensive/defensive starter listed on the depth chart. Other freshmen listed on the depth chart include Wainwright (KR, PR), Jalen Williams (LB), Christian Everett (WR), Parker Coogan (C), Oren Milstein (PK), Tanner Thomas (RB), Lynnard Rose (PR/KR), Matt Tofano (LB), Michael Murphy (LB), Hunter Lunsford (SS) and Arman Samouk (DL).
IVY LEAGUE EXPERIMENTAL RULES
The Ivy League will use an experimental rule for the 2016 football season to move kickoffs to the 40-yard line and touchbacks to the 20-yard line in an effort to reduce concussions and further promote the safety and welfare of its student-athletes.
The goal of the experimental rule is to limit kickoff returns, which account for 23.4 percent of concussions during games despite representing only 5.8 percent of overall plays. The League will evaluate the concussion and kickoff return data after the 2016 season.
The request was made to the NCAA as a part of The Ivy League’s overall review of concussions, which began with football in 2010 and has included eight other sports to date (men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s ice hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, wrestling and rugby).
As a result of this comprehensive review of concussions, the League began an all-sports concussion data collection and study in 2013. Data from this study prompted discussion of kickoffs, which led to The Ivy League head football coaches suggesting this experimental rule change. The NCAA granted The League’s request for conference games only.
This experimental rule is the latest in a series of Ivy policies and rules that are designed to limit the incidence of concussions. Most recently in May, The Ivy League formally adopted another policy originating with the League’s eight head football coaches to eliminate to-the-ground (“live”) tackling in practices during the regular season, which will also go into effect with the 2016 campaign. Changing practice rules does not require NCAA approval.
BILL CAMPBELL NO. 67 FEATURED ON JERSEYS
For all of its 31 varsity sports, Columbia will wear a No. 67 patch on its uniform in honor of former Lion player, coach, confidante and friend Bill Campbell, who passed away in April, 2016 at age 75. A four-year student-athlete, Campbell captained the 1961 Ivy League Championship football team, which was inducted into the Columbia Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010, and earned All-Ivy League accolades as a senior. In 1963, Bill and a group of football and rugby alumni founded the Old Blue Rugby Club. He returned to Columbia to coach the Columbia Football team for six seasons between 1974 and 1979.
Campbell made his mark in the business world and became known as the “Coach of Silicon Valley.” He was vice president at J. Walter Thompson, an advertising agency based in New York, and then moved on to become general manager of consumer products for Kodak Europe. After Kodak, he joined Apple Computer in 1983, and rose to the level of executive vice president; he went on to found and served as president and CEO of Claris Corporation, a spin-off software developing company created and owned by Apple in 1990. Campbell assumed his role as chairman of Intuit, the maker of Quicken, QuickBooks, and Turbo Tax, in 1998 and served as its CEO until 2000. As an executive, Campbell’s marketing and strategic acumen helped build Claris, Apple, and Intuit alike into remarkable Silicon Valley success stories.
Because of his tremendous leadership and passion for Columbia Athletics, the University dedicated the Campbell Sports Center in his honor in October 2013. In fall 2014, the athletics program retired uniform number 67 – the number Campbell wore as an offensive lineman and linebacker for the 1961 Ivy League Champions - for all 31 of Columbia’s varsity teams. At the 2015 Varsity C Celebration, the athletics program introduced a new award, the William V. Campbell Performer of the Year to be presented annually to the top male and female student-athletes of the academic year.
Columbia selected three captains for the 2016 season: wide receiver Scooter Hollis, quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg and linebacker Christian Conway. All three are seniors and two are transfers from the FBS level.
OFFENSIVE LINE IS TEAM’S MOST EXPERIENCED UNIT
Offensive line is Columbia’s most seasoned and experienced position group. The Lions return four starters, including three starters from the 2015 season. Columbia’s four returning offensive line starters are senior left tackle Kendall Pace, junior right tackle Bewley Wales, senior right guard Nathan Gibbs and sophomore Charlie Flores. The four veterans have combined for 58 career starts.
A four-year starter and leader of the group, Pace is in his senior year after having played in 31 games at Columbia. Wales, who started all 10 games at center as a sophomore last year, will make the transition to right tackle. Gibbs started all 10 games last year at right guard. Flores is back at left guard after a one-year hiatus. As a freshman in 2014, he started in five of 10 games played at guard.
LIONS PICKED SEVENTH IN IVY LEAGUE
Columbia was picked to finish seventh out of eight teams in the Ivy League’s annual preseason poll, voted upon by media members covering the conference and announced on August 9, 2016.
Harvard was picked to win the league with seven first place votes and 126 total points, followed by Penn at No. 2 with nine first place votes and 119 total points and No. 3 Dartmouth with 83 points.
Here is a look at the predicted order:
1. Harvard (7 first place votes) 126 points; 2. Penn (9) 119; 3. Dartmouth 83; 4. Yale 81; 5. Princeton 79; 6. Brown (1) 61; 7. Columbia 43; 8. Cornell 20.
A total of nine Lions were named to the College Sports Madness preseason All-Ivy League team, headlined by cornerback Jared Katz, who was a first team selection. Wideout Scooter Hollis and linebacker Keith Brady picked up second team honors, while punter Cameron Nizialek, offensive linemen Kendall Pace and Bewley Wales, defensive lineman Dominic Perkovic and linebacker Gianmarco Rea were honorable mention picks.
Former Union College Head Coach and current Tight Ends Coach/Passing Game Coordinator John Audino will return to the sidelines at Columbia in the 2016 season. Audino spent the 1977-81 seasons with the Lions, before going on to post a 152-89 record as head coach at Union, leading the Dutchmen to four Liberty League titles and five trips to the D-III playoffs. He took over as head coach at Union after Al Bagnoli departed for Penn.
Ricky Santos takes over as the Quarterbacks Coach at Columbia for the 2016 season. Santos was the 2006 Walter Payton Award winner as the FCS Player of the Year at New Hampshire, before launching a career in the CFL. He then spent the 2013-15 seasons at his alma mater, guiding first team All-American R.J. Harris as the Wide Receiver Coach and Punt Return Coordinator.
Seniors Jackson and Christian Conway fall in a long line of brothers that were once teammates at Columbia. Junior Turner DeMuth spent two seasons alongside his brother Garrett DeMuth ‘15CC, while senior Keith Brady played on the same team as his brother John Brady ‘15CC.
SEASON NO. 126
This year marks the 145th anniversary of Columbia’s first intercollegiate football game against Princeton in 1870. 2016 is the 126th competitive season of Columbia football.
FRIDAY’S ON THE LAWN
Columbia continues its tradition of conducting a Friday walk-through on the university’s main campus lawn. The event is open to the public.