Saturday, October 15, 2016 | 3 p.m. ET | Franklin Field | Philadelphia, Pa.
Penn (2-2, 1-0 Ivy League)
Columbia (1-3, 0-1 Ivy League)

PHILADELPHIA—Columbia gets back into Ivy League play this weekend when it travels to Philadelphia, Pa. to take on Penn (2-2, 1-0 Ivy League) on Saturday, Oct. 15. Kickoff is at 3 p.m. ET from historic Franklin Field. Columbia faces Penn for the 96th time in series history.


OneWorld Sports will televise the game live with Bill Spaulding (play-by-play) and Jack Ford (color analyst) calling action and Mike Dressman producing, simulcast on the Ivy League Digital Network. Jerry Recco and Sal Licata will broadcast live on the Columbia Online Radio Network available at and WKCR-Radio (89.9 FM), Columbia’s student radio station will also broadcast the game live from Franklin Field.


Patricia & Shepard Alexander Head Coach of Football Al Bagnoli is in his second season guiding the Columbia Football program. In his 35th year as a head coach, Bagnoli owns a 237-110 overall record and led Penn to nine Ivy League titles. 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.


The Columbia Alumni Association will host a pregame tailgate from 1-3 p.m. for all Columbia fans at the Ludlow 34 Lot. Located between 33rd and 34th Streets, the Ludlow 34 Lot is a seven-minute walk to/from Franklin Field.


Columbia plays its fifth game of the 2016 season after registering its first victory of the season, a 15-13 win at Wagner. The Lions dropped their first three 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. Columbia uncharacteristically lost a 48-13 decision to Princeton in its Ivy League opener on Oct. 1.

The youthful Lions return two All-Ivy League picks in 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 41 newcomers to the team, the No. 3 ranked recruiting class in the nation at the FCS level. Those newcomers account for 37 percent of its 2016 roster.


Penn, coached by Ray Priore enter Saturday’s game with a 2-2 overall and 1-0 Ivy League record. The Quakers are on a two-game win streak after consecutive wins at Dartmouth (37-24) on Sept. 30 and Central Connecticut State (28-16) on Oct. 8. On offense, Penn averages 370.2 yards per game and is led by quarterback Alek Torgersen, who has thrown for 751 yards and six touchdowns, completed 73 of 114 passes and rushed for six touchdowns (46-195). The running attack is led by Tre Solomon (70-371, 4 TD, 14 catches for 101 yards), while Jeremy Watson (29 catches for 317 yards) and Christian Pearson (15-181) lead the receiving corps. Penn’s defensive leaders include Colton Moskal (37 tackles), Sam Philippi (23 tackles), Matt Henderson (21 tackles), Brandon Mills (20 tackles) and Mason Williams (19 tackles, three interceptions).


Columbia and Penn meet for the 96th time in series history. Penn leads the all-time series with a 73-21-1 advantage. The Quakers currently have a 19-game win streak in tact vs. Columbia dating back to a 20-19 Lion win at Franklin Field on Oct. 12, 1996. The Lions have lost nine straight to Penn in Philadelphia and are 5-45-1 all-time in games played at Penn. The series began in 1878.


Long-time defensive coordinator and second-year head coach Ray Priore of Penn has spent the last 30 years on the sidelines with the Quakers, winning a total of 10 Ivy League titles during his tenure. Priore won nine of those titles under Columbia’s Al Bagnoli, who spent 23 seasons at Penn (1992-2014). 


Bagnoli is making his first competitive return to the University of Pennsylvania since he was hired as Columbia’s head football coach on February 23, 2015. In 23 seasons from 1992-2014, Bagnoli guided Penn to nine Ivy League championships (1993, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009, 2010 and 2012), a 148-89 overall record and 112-49 Ivy League record. He also led Penn to three undefeated seasons (10-0 in 1993, 9-0 in 1994 and 10-0 in 2003), 12 years of seven or more victories and six perfect 7-0 Ivy League slates. Bagnoli also guided Penn on the longest winning streak in FCS history (24 wins from 1993-95). 


Bagnoli is not the only Columbia coach with Penn ties, as three members of the staff are former Quakers. Associate Head Coach/Wide Receivers Coach Mark Fabish won two Ivy League titles as a player at Penn in 1993 and 1994, before spending 2009-14 on the Penn staff. Offensive Line Coach/Run Game Coordinator Jon McLaughlin spent nine years in Philadelphia from 2006-14 as the offensive coordinator and coach of the offensive line. 


Since Al Bagnoli took over as head coach, Columbia has been competitive in almost every game. Of Columbia’s last 11 losses, eight have been decided by 10 points or fewer. Oct. 1st’s 35-point loss to Princeton was uncharacteristic of Bagnoli’s teams at Columbia. Columbia’s first two losses in 2016 were decided by an average of 3.5 points per game. The Lions were competitive in every game in 2015 as six of their eight losses were decided by 10 points or less. In contrast, during its 10 losses in 2014, Columbia lost all 10 games by a combined 28.6 points per loss. 


Through four games, Columbia has been strong on defense. It ranks No. 21 nationally in total defense (326.3 yards per game), No. 3 in first downs defense (67.0), No. 12 in passing yards allowed (172.5) and No. 20 in third down conversion defense (0.309). In addition, the Lions rank No. 16 in team tackles for loss (7.8 per game). 

Columbia’s defense is anchored by its three senior linebackers, Gianmarco Rea, Christian Conway and Keith Brady, who account for 36 percent of the Lions’ total tackles. The trio is extremely talented at getting to plays and making tackles. Rea ranks No. 5 nationally in tackles  per game (11.5), while Conway currently ranks No. 33 (9.5). Rea leads the Ivy League in tackles, while Conway is fourth with 37. Brock Kenyon (No. 7 with 34) and Keith Brady (No. 10, 31) are also ranked among the league’s top-10 tacklers. 

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 returned six starters from the 2015 team, including one defensive lineman (Dominic Perkovic), all three linebackers (Gianmarco Rea, Christian Conway and Keith Brady) and two defensive backs (Jared Katz, Brock Kenyon). 


After converting a school-record five field goals in Columbia’s 15-13 come-from-behind football win at Wagner, freshman placekicker Oren Milstein was named the Ivy League Special Teams Player of the Week and co-Rookie of the Week, the conference office announced on Monday. 

With Columbia trailing 13-12, Milstein converted his fifth and final field goal of the game, a 36-yarder with 2:42 left, to give the Lions a 15-13 fourth quarter lead. The record-breaking field goal proved to be the game-winner as Columbia won its first game of the 2016 season. 

Milstein, whose field goals came at 18, 33, 39, 18 and 36 yards, set school records for field goals made (five) and most points scored by kicking (15). His five field goals surpassed the previous record of four set by Nick Rudd (vs. Princeton, 2003) and Howard Miller (vs. Wesleyan, 1915) and his 15 points surpassed Rudd’s kick scoring record of 13 points set in 2003 vs. Princeton. 

Milstein was a perfect 5-5 on field goals for the game. He converted his first career field goal in the first quarter on an 18-yard kick. After only four games, Milstein currently ranks No. 1 nationally in field goal percentage and No. 3 nationally in field goals per game (1.67). He is Columbia’s first Ivy League Special Teams Player of the Week since senior Cameron Nizialek earned the honor on Nov. 2, 2015. 


Senior running back Alan Watson had a breakout performance at Wagner on Saturday, rushing for a career-high 107 yards in 23 carries. He became the first Columbia player to rush for 100 yards or more since Cameron Molina ran for 174 yards vs. Brown on Nov. 20, 2015. It was his first career start. 

Watson, Columbia’s rushing leader with 168 yards on 37 carries for a 4.5 average and senior Chris Schroer (34 carries for 142 yards) give the Lions two different types of backs. Schroer is a between the tackles player, while Watson excels in the open field. Freshmen Tanner Thomas and Lynnard Rose are also key contributors and are the future of the Columbia running game. 


Freshman placekicker Oren Milstein converted a school-record five field goals and senior running back Alan Watson ran for a career-high 107 yards as Columbia posted a 15-13 come-from-behind football victory over Wagner Saturday evening at Wagner College Stadium. 

With Columbia trailing 13-12, Milstein kicked a 36-yard field goal to give Columbia a 15-12 fourth quarter lead. The field goal concluded a seven-play, 44-yard drive that lasted 2:42 which was bolstered by a 28-yard run from quarterback Anders Hill and a 21-yard run from Watson. 

Milstein, whose five field goals came at 18, 33, 39, 18 and 36 yards, set school records for field goals made (five) and most points scored by kicking (15). His five field goals surpassed the previous record of four set by Nick Rudd (vs. Princeton, 2003) and Howard Miller (vs. Wesleyan, 1915) and his 15 points set Rudd’s kick scoring record of 13 points in 2003. Milstein’s first field goal of the evening marked the first of his career. 

Wagner (3-2) had one last drive which started with 2:28 to go. The Seahawks converted on a fourth and 10 when quarterback Alex Thomson threw the ball up for grabs and landed in receiver John Williams’ hands for a 25-yard gain. Thomson completed two more passes and drove Wagner down to Columbia’s 35-yard line. On a third and five play, Columbia linebacker Gianmarco Rea sacked Thomson for a seven-yard loss and a fourth down pass fell incomplete. 

Columbia’s defense played a key role allowing no points, three first downs and only 63 yards in the second half. Two of those first downs came on Wagner’s final series. The defense forced and recovered a fumble early in the game, totaled 9.0 tackles for loss for 39 yards, five sacks and forced nine quarterback hurries. Rea, who ranked No. 3 nationally in tackles, led the Lions with 10 tackles, senior Keith Brady finished with nine tackles and senior Brock Kenyon made eight tackles. 

Offensively, Columbia outgained Wagner 291-270 in total yardage and outrushed the Seahawks 162-121. The Lions were a perfect 3-3 on fourth down conversions and were a perfect 5-5 in the red zone. Watson finished with 107 yards on 23 carries, Hill ran for 59 yards on 23 carries and completed 16 of 29 passes for 129 yards. Wide receiver Josh Wainwright caught a career-high 10 passes for 81 yards. 

Columbia (1-3) won its second straight over Wagner. The victory gave the Lions their first win of the 2016 season and first since a 17-7 win at Yale on October 31, 2015. 

Columbia gained the momentum before halftime when it drove 59 yards in 14 plays and cut Wagner’s lead to 13-6 on a Milstein 33-yard field goal with three seconds left. On the drive, Columbia converted two fourth downs including a fourth and one at its own 34-yard line and a fourth and five in which Hill scrambled for a 13-yard gain. The drive was highlighted by a 21-yard pass play from Hill to Wainwright. 

Columbia continued that momentum in the second half and cut the deficit to 13-9 when it forced Wagner to punt on its opening possession, then went on a 43-yard drive which ended in a Milstein 39-yard field goal, his third of the night. On Wagner’s next drive, Columbia drove the Seahawks back with a key team sack on third down. The Lions gained possession of the ball and promptly drove it 31 yards in 10 plays which ended in another Milstein’s fourth field goal, which cut Wagner’s lead to 13-12. 

Wagner took a 10-3 lead with 9:07 left in the second quarter when Matthias McKinnon caught a screen pass from quarterback Alex Thomson and wove through the Columbia defense for a 47-yard touchdown reception. The play occurred on a third and long situation and culminated a seven play, 74-yard drive. Wagner’s James Cooper made it 13-3 on a 32-yard field goal. 

Columbia took an early 3-0 lead after Milstein converted his first career field goal, an 18-yard kick. Columbia’s defense set up the play when lineman Lord Hyeamang stripped the ball from Wagner’s Thomson and lineman Connor Heeb recovered at the Wagner 12-yard line. Wagner came back with a field goal of its own when James Cooper converted a 38-yarder following a five-play, 54-yard drive.


•Columbia won its second game in as many tries against Wagner. The two schools met for the second time in series history. In the series’ first meeting last year, Columbia defeated the Seahawks 26-3.

 •For the second straight game, Columbia scored first on an 18-yard field goal. It led 6-0 on Oct. 1 against Princeton.

•Senior running back Alan Watson registered career-highs in rushing yards (107) and rushing attempts (23). He became the first Columbia player to rush for 100 or more yards since Cameron Molina ran for 174 yards against Brown on Nov. 20, 2015. He also made his first career start.

•Freshman wide receiver Josh Wainwright caught 10 passes for 81 yards, including a long reception of 21 yards. His 10 catches were a career-high. Previously he caught seven passes at Georgetown earlier this year.

•With his five field goals, freshman Oren Milstein set a single game school record for most field goals (5-5) and set a school record for most kicking points (15). He also became the first Columbia player to convert four field goals in a game since Nick Rudd at Princeton on Oct. 4, 2003. With his third field goal, Milstein also became the first player to convert at least three field goals since Luke Eddy achieved the honor on Nov. 16, 2013 at Cornell. Eddy was 3-3 that day. Milstein converted his first career field goal in the first quarter on an 18-yard kick. The play gave Columbia a 3-0 lead.

•Freshman Lynnard Rose returned his first punt of his career, a 22-yard return in the fourth quarter.

•Columbia’s 14-play, 59-yard drive ending an Oren Milstein 33-yard field goal in the second quarter marked its longest drive in terms of plays on the year.

•Columbia’s defense registered three straight three-and-outs in the second half. Wagner registered its first first down of the second half midway through the fourth quarter.

•Columbia outrushed an opponent for the second time this season. The Lions outrushed the Seahawks 162-121.


“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.

“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

“I give Columbia credit. They did some nice things, particularly on the defensive side of the ball, and got out of here with a win. So, my hat’s off to them. We knew coming in they were a team that was better than their record.”

                     -Jason Houghtaling, Wagner Head Coach


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). 


Freshman wide receiver Josh Wainwright has made an immediate impact. His speed and athleticism gives Columbia a big play threat. He ranks No. 54 nationally and No. 2 in the Ivy League in all purpose yardage (116.8), ranks No. 29 nationally and rates No. 2 in the Ivy League in punt return yardage (10.1) and ranks No. 11 nationally in kickoff return yardage (28.0). He has also caught 21 passes for 235 yards. He leads the team in receiving yards and also registered his first career touchdown, an 88-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter against Princeton. 


Senior Cameron Nizialek enters Saturday’s game ranked No. 3 nationally in punting with a 45.5 yards per punt average (15-683). He also leads the Ivy League by a wide margin. Last year, he was an All-Ivy League punter and placekicker. In addition, Matthew Panton also averages 40.7 yards per punt (15-683) and has placed nine punts inside the 20-yard line. In addition, Panton ranks No. 41 nationally and No. 3 in the Ivy League in punting. 


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). Defensive linemen Daniel DeLorenzi and Michael Geraghty have seen immediate playing time. 


Columbia brought in a large 41-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 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. 


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. These rules will only be used in Ivy League games. 

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. 


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 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 62 career starts. 

A four-year starter and leader of the group, Pace is in his senior year after having played/started in 34 games at Columbia. Wales, who started all 10 games at center as a sophomore last year, is making 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. 

Sophomore Tyler Schonewolf has started all four games this year at center. 


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. 


This year marks the 145th anniversary of Columbia’s first intercollegiate football game against Rutgers in 1870, one year after the first college game between Rutgers and Princeton. Columbia’s first Ivy League game was against Princeton in 1874. 2016 is the 126th competitive season of Columbia football. 


Columbia continues its tradition of conducting a Friday walk-through on home game weekends at the university’s main campus lawn. The event is open to the public.