CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Columbia (2-5, 1-3 Ivy League) travels to Cambridge, Mass. to face No. 22/23 ranked Harvard (6-1, 4-0 Ivy League) for a Saturday game on Nov. 5 at Harvard Stadium. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. ET. Columbia faces Harvard for the 75th time in series history.
WHERE TO LISTEN/WATCH
OneWorld Sports will televise the game nationally with Bill Spaulding (play-by-play) and Ken Dunek (color analyst) calling action. The contest will be simulcast live on the Ivy League Digital Network. Jerry Recco and Sal Licata will broadcast live on the Columbia Online Radio Network. WKCR-Radio (89.9 FM), Columbia’s student radio station will also broadcast the game live from Harvard Stadium.
COLUMBIA TAILGATE PARTY INFORMATION
Columbia Athletics, the Columbia Association and the Columbia Alumni Association of Boston will host a pre-game tailgate party from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Outdoor McCurdy Track, next to Harvard Stadium. Refreshments and tailgate fare will be served. Join the tailgate and enjoy good food and great company! For more information, visit this link.
Columbia will play at Harvard this weekend in several varsity sports. Field hockey plays at 5 p.m., football is at 1 p.m., women’s soccer is at 1 p.m. and men’s soccer is at 7 p.m. All of those events will take place in Cambridge, Mass. In addition, Columbia will host Harvard in volleyball at Levien Gymnasium at 5 p.m.
BAGNOLI ENTERS SECOND SEASON
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 238-112 overall record and previously 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. The Lions last went 5-5 in 2006.
ABOUT THE LIONS
Columbia plays its eighth overall game and fifth Ivy League contest of the 2016 season on Saturday. Winners of two of its last four games, Columbia dropped a 31-23 contest against Yale last Friday night after rallying with 23 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. With three games to go and two wins, the Lions already have matched their victory total from the 2015 season. Columbia’s two victories on the year include a 9-7 Homecoming victory over Dartmouth on Oct. 22 and a 15-13 win at Wagner on a rainy Oct. 8.
The 2016 season has seen Columbia receive important contributions from its 2016 freshman class. A total of 19 freshmen have seen significant action this season. From the previous year, the youthful Lions returned two 2015 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 returned to the squad. Columbia also added 41 newcomers to the team, the nation’s No. 3 ranked recruiting class at the FCS level. Those newcomers account for 37 percent of its 2016 roster. In its last road game, Columbia traveled 17 of those newcomers to Penn on Oct. 15.
ABOUT THE CRIMSON
Harvard (6-1, 4-0 Ivy League) enters Saturday’s game against Columbia ranked No. 22 in the FCS Coaches’ Top-25 poll and No. 23 in the STATS FCS Top-25. With an undefeated 4-0 record in the Ivy League, Harvard enters the weekend atop the league standings in a tie with Penn. Harvard has lost just one game, a 27-17 defeat at Holy Cross on Oct. 15. Since that loss, the Crimson has won two consecutive games, defeating Princeton and Dartmouth in back-to-back close games. In his 23rd year at Harvard, head coach Tim Miller’s Crimson averages 29.4 points per game and 406.1 yards of total offense per game. Quarterback Joe Viviano averages 255.8 yards passing per game, while completing 64.3 percent (117-182 attempts) of his passes and 10 touchdowns. With seven rushing touchdowns, Semar Smith leads the Crimson rushing attack with 403 yards on 91 carries (4.4 yards per carry), while Viviano has rushed for 264 yards and five touchdowns. Justis Shelton-Mosley (35 receptions for 404 yards) and Anthony Firkser (34 catches for 527 yards lead the receiving corps. Firkser has six touchdown receptions. Three players have registered over 40 tackles for the Crimson including Luke Hutton (43 tackles, three pass breakups), Anthony Camargo (41 tackles, two interceptions) and Jordan Hill (41 tackles).
Columbia and Yale meet for the 75th time in series history. Harvard leads the all-time series with a 60-13-1 overall advantage. The Crimson has claimed 12 consecutive games in the series dating back to a Nov. 8, 2003 Columbia win in New York (16-13). In games played at Harvard, Columbia is 5-32-1 all-time. Harvard has won 18 straight games against Columbia played in Cambridge.
LIONS’ TWO VICTORIES MATCHES 2015 TOTAL
With two victories in 2016, Columbia has matched its win total from the 2015 campaign. The Lions went 2-8 last year. Columbia has won two of its last four contests. The last time Columbia entered a game after having won two of its previous four games was in 2012.
On Oct. 15, Columbia head coach Al Bagnoli made 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).
CLOSE CALLS AND TIGHTLY CONTESTED GAMES
Since Al Bagnoli took over as head coach, Columbia has been competitive in almost every game. Of Columbia’s last 13 losses, nine have been decided by 10 points or fewer. Oct. 1st’s 35-point loss to Princeton and Oct. 15th’s 25-point loss at Penn were 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.
Since Bagnoli became head coach at the start of the 2015 season, 11 of Colombia’s 17 total games have been decided by 10 points or less. Columbia has won four of those contests.
COLUMBIA FRESHMAN CLASS SCORES 41 STRAIGHT POINTS
A fourth quarter pass to Cameron Dunn on Friday against Yale snapped a streak in which several Columbia freshmen scored 41 consecutive points for the Lions. The streak began against Princeton on Oct. 1 and concluded Friday night against Yale when senior wide receiver Cameron Dunn scored on a touchdown pass. Freshman placekicker Oren Milstein scored all nine points in the 9-7 win over Dartmouth (Oct. 22). Freshman quarterback Hunter Petlansky scored a touchdown and Milstein provided the extra point and a field goal at Penn (Oct. 15). Milstein scored all 15 points on a school-record five field goals at Wagner (Oct. 8). Freshman wide receiver Josh Wainwright scored Columbia’s second touchdown and Milstein provided the extra point vs. Princeton.
COLUMBIA BRINGS THE DEFENSE
Through seven games, Columbia has been strong on defense. It ranks No. 26 nationally in total defense (334.1 yards per game), No. 33 in scoring defense (23.4 points per game allowed), No. 3 in first downs defense (113.0), and No. 7 in third down conversion defense (0.287). In addition, the Lions rank No. 13 in team tackles for loss (7.7 per game).
The Dartmouth game was a prime example of Columbia’s dominance on defense. The Lions held Dartmouth to a phenomenal 5.0 percent third down conversion rate (1-17), 74 rushing yards and completions on just 14 of 39 passes.
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. 8 nationally in tackles per game (10.6), while safety Brock Kenyon (54 tackles), Brady (53 tackles) and Conway (48 tackles) are among league leaders. Rea ranks No. 2 in the Ivy League in tackles, while Kenyon is eighth, Brady is ninth and Conway is 14th. The Lions have four of the Ivy League’s top-15 ranked tacklers.
All year, third down has been a successful situation for Columbia’s defense. Columbia leads the league by a wide margin and ranks No. 7 nationally on third down efficiency, holding opponents to a 28.9 percent conversion rate (33-114). On third down, freshmen Daniel DeLorenzi and Michael Geraghty are inserted into the defensive line. The duo ranks No. 11 and No. 12 respectively in the Ivy League in sacks despite playing primarily on third downs. With his team-leading four sacks, Christian Conway ranks fifth in the league statistical rankings.
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).
FRESHMAN KICKER OREN MILSTEIN EARNS IVY LEAGUE SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK/ROOKIE OF THE WEEK FOR SECOND TIME
After converting three field goals including the game-winner in Columbia’s 9-7 come-from-behind football win against Dartmouth on Oct. 22, freshman placekicker Oren Milstein was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week and co-Special Teams Player of the Week, the conference office announced on Monday Oct. 24. Milstein shared the co-Special Teams Player of the Week honor with Brown’s Alexander Jette.
Battling rain and 40-mile per hour wind gusts, Milstein converted three of his four field goal attempts, including the go-ahead and eventual game-winning 33-yard kick with 1:05 left in the third quarter. Milstein’s field goals came at 31, 20, and 33 yards.
Milstein also first earned the dual honors on Oct. 10 after converting a school-record five field goals in Columbia’s 15-13 come-from-behind football win at Wagner. He also earned FCS Special Teams Player of the Week honorable mention honors. 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.
MILSTEIN AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS IN FIELD GOAL KICKING
After only six games played this season, Oren Milstein ranks No. 3 nationally in field goal percentage (.900) and No. 5 nationally in field goals per game (1.5). He leads the Ivy League in field goals made (nine), field goal percentage (90.0, 9-10), ranks second in kick scoring (5.2 points per game) and sixth in overall scoring (5.2 ppg.).
SPEEDY WATSON EMERGES AT RUNNING BACK
Senior running back Alan Watson has emerged as Columbia’s top rusher as he currently ranks No. 7 in the Ivy League in rushing with 316 yards on 82 carries for a 3.9 yards per game average. Watson had a breakout performance at Wagner on Oct. 8, rushing for a career-high 107 yards on 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. He has started at tailback in each of the last three games.
Watson and senior Chris Schroer (38 carries for 151 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.
SPECIAL TEAMS PERFORMANCE KEY TO COLUMBIA SUCCESS
Special teams play has become a key to Columbia’s success in 2016. Columbia’s punting game consistently helps the Lions win the field possession battle and ranks No. 24 nationally with a 37.9 yards per punt average. Columbia’s kickoff return average ranks No. 35 nationally and its kickoff return defense ranks at a stellar No. 22 nationally. Two Columbia players lead the Ivy League in a variety of special teams statistics including Cameron Nizialek (punting) and Oren Milstein (field goals).
Columbia has a specialist for every occasion. Cameron Nizialek is CU’s punter on long range situations, Matt Panton is its placement punter. Chris Alleyne is Columbia’s kickoff specialist, while Milstein kicks the field goals. Josh Wainwright and Lynnard Rose are its kickoff and punt returners.
NIZIALEK LEADS IVY LEAGUE IN PUNTING
Senior Cameron Nizialek enters Saturday’s game leading the Ivy League in punting. He averages 44.7 yards per punt. Last year, he was an All-Ivy League punter and placekicker. In addition, Matthew Panton also averages 39.5 yards per punt (30-1,185) and has placed 15 punts inside the 20-yard line. In addition, Panton ranks No. 60 nationally, while Nizialek does not have enough attempts to be ranked. He was ranked No. 4 nationally last week.
ANDERS HILL EMERGES AT QUARTERBACK
Junior Anders Hill has emerged as the starting quarterback for Columbia. Hill has started each of the last five games for the Lions. He ranks No. 6 in the Ivy League in passing yardage per game (147.9), No. 7 in passing efficiency (100.6) and No. 6 in total offense (174.6).
Against Yale, Hill had his best game yet, setting career-highs for completions (24), attempts (46), passing yards (246) and touchdown passes (3). The last time a Columbia quarterback passed for three touchdowns in a game was on Oct. 11, 2014 when Trevor McDonagh threw for four against Monmouth. The last time a CU quarterback threw for 200 or more yards was on Nov. 1, 2014 vs. Yale (232 yards).
RONALD SMITH HAS CAREER DAY VS. YALE
Freshman wide receiver Ronald Smith notched career-highs for touchdown receptions (two), receptions (six) and receiving yards (114) against Yale last Friday. His reception of 39 yards also marked a career-long. The last time a Columbia player caught two touchdown passes in a game was on Nov. 10, 2012 when Chris Connors caught two against Cornell. Smith became the second player this season to finish with over 100 yards receiving in a game as senior Scooter Hollis registered 131 yards at Georgetown on Sept. 26, 2015.
COLUMBIA COMEBACK FALLS SHORT AGAINST YALE, 31-23
Yale took advantage of five Columbia turnovers, used a 152-yard, three-touchdown passing performance from backup freshman quarterback Kurt Rawlings and held off a late Lion comeback to register a 31-23 win Friday night at Robert K. Kraft Field.
Yale built a 24-0 halftime lead by recovering three fumbles and intercepting a pass. Rawlings was inserted into the game in the second quarter and proceeded to throw two touchdown passes, complete six of seven passes for 56 yards and rush for another 46 yards before halftime. Columbia closed out the game with 23 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.
Yale (2-5, 2-2 Ivy League) took a 7-0 lead with 14:15 left in the second quarter when defensive end John Herubin picked up a Columbia fumble and ran 61 yards untouched for a touchdown. Three minutes later another Columbia fumble on a punt return set up Yale’s second touchdown when Rawlings found Myles Gaines on a short slant pass for a 12-yard touchdown. The play gave Yale a 14-0 lead with 11:02. Yale made it 21-0 with 6:33 left in the second quarter when Robert Clemons III caught a fade pass from Rawlings for a 15-yard touchdown. The Bulldogs took advantage of an 18-yard run by Adam Lamar and an 11-yard run by Clemons to conclude the 55-yard, seven-yard play scoring drive. A 38-yard run by Rawlings setup a 30-yard field goal by Alex Galland to give Yale a 24-0 halftime lead.
Yale added an insurance touchdown in the fourth quarter when Rawlings found Leo Haenni for an 11-yard touchdown pass following a six-play, 55-yard drive. The score gave Yale a 31-0 lead with 14:51 left in the game.
But Columbia was not finished. The Lions got on the board in the fourth quarter when Cameron Dunn caught a four-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Anders Hill with 9:21 left in the game. The Lions drove 84 yards in 12 plays for the score and used a 37-yard pass from Hill to Scooter Hollis and a 17-yard pass to Ronald Smith to setup the play.
On Columbia’s next drive, Smith scored his first career touchdown when Hill found him open for a 28-yard touchdown pass with 6:57 left in the game. Dunn caught a pass from Hill for a two-point conversion, cutting the deficit to 31-15.
The Lions scored again with 19 seconds to go when Hill found Smith for his second touchdown of the night on a six-yard pass. Hill rushed in for a two-point conversion to cut the deficit to 31-23. Yale recovered the ensuing onside kick.
Columbia’s defense dominated the first quarter as the Lions registered seven tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks and held Yale to just minus-six yards of total offense. Christian Conway tallied two sacks, Gianmarco Rea had two tackles for loss, Cameron Roane, Alex Holme and Keith Brady all made stellar plays. For the game, Columbia totaled 12.0 tackles for loss for 34 yards, Rea led the Lions with 12 tackles, while defensive tackle Lord Hyeamang finished with seven tackles.
Columbia (2-5, 1-3 Ivy League) outgained Yale 381-249 in total offensive yards and finished with 20 first downs to Yale’s 14. Hill notched career-highs for completions (24), attempts (46), passing yards (289) and touchdown passes (three). He also rushed for 54 yards on 18 carries. Smith caught a career-high six passes for 114 yards and two touchdowns. He is the first player at Columbia to score two receiving touchdowns since Chris Connors achieved it on Nov. 10, 2012 vs. Cornell. Hollis finished with a season-high 97 receiving yards on six receptions.
COLUMBIA-YALE POST-GAME NOTES
•Columbia and Yale met in football for the 95th time in series history. Yale now leads the series 72-21-2 all-time.
•Quarterback Anders Hill threw for career-highs of 289 yards and three touchdowns. It was the second time he threw for over 200 yards this season. He also finished with career-highs for completions (24) and attempts (46). The last time a Columbia quarterback passed for three touchdowns in a game was on Oct. 11, 2014 when Trevor McDonagh threw for four against Monmouth. The last time a CU quarterback threw for 200 or more yards was on Nov. 1, 2014 vs. Yale (232 yards).
•Freshman wide receiver Ronald Smith notched career-highs for touchdown receptions (two), receptions (six) and receiving yards (114). His long reception of 39 yards also marked a career-long. The last time a Columbia player caught two touchdown passes in a game was on Nov. 10, 2012 when Chris Connors caught two against Cornell. Smith became the second player this season to finish with over 100 yards receiving in a game as Hollis registered 131 yards at Georgetown on Sept. 26, 2015.
•Senior wide receiver Scooter Hollis finished with a season-high 97 receiving yards on six receptions. He caught the longest reception of the season, a 37-yard pass from Anders Hill in the fourth quarter.
•Junior Alex Holme made his first career start at defensive tackle.
•Sophomore Brandon Krcilek made his first start of the season at wide receiver.
•Freshman quarterback Hunter Petlansky caught his first career pass, a 10-yard reception in the second quarter.
•In the first quarter alone, Columbia’s defense totaled 7.0 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks and held Yale to negative-6 yards on offense.
•Columbia’s string of six consecutive fourth down conversions came to an end in the third quarter.
•Columbia’s defense totaled a season-high 12.0 tackles for loss for 34 yards, three sacks for 12 yards and six pass breakups.
•With his 12 tackles on the evening, senior linebacker Gianmarco Rea reached double figure tackles for the sixth time in seven games.
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.
“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
“I give Columbia credit. Columbia was very efficient offensively, their kicking game was solid and they played lights out on defense. They deserved to win. They shut us down offensively. Defensively, if you hold a team to nine points, you figure you’re going to win those games. It wasn’t through lack of effort, they beat us.”
-Buddy Teevens, Dartmouth Head Coach
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).
WAINWRIGHT MAKES IMMEDIATE IMPACT
Freshman wide receiver Josh Wainwright has made an immediate impact. His speed and athleticism gives Columbia a big play threat. He ranks No. 7 in the Ivy League in all purpose yardage (85.7), No. 5 in receptions per game (4.2) and No. 8 in receiving yards per game (43.3). 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.
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 have seen significant action at running back, while Josh Wainwright, Ronald Smith and Christian Everett played receiver.
Twelve 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 also seen immediate playing time.
LIONS RECRUITING CLASS MAKES HUGE IMPACT
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 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.
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. 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.
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. The Lion football team will also feature 67 stickers on helmets.
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 one of Columbia’s most seasoned and experienced position groups. 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. These four veterans have combined for 76 career starts.
A four-year starter and leader of the group, Pace is in his senior year after having played/started in 37 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 seven games this year at center.
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 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.
FRIDAY’S ON THE LAWN
Columbia continues its tradition of conducting a Friday walk-through on the university’s main campus lawn prior to home football games. The event is open to the public.