The Columbia Lions will travel to New Haven this week for a 1 PM game against our Bulldogs. You can catch the game on the Ivy League Network or SNY TV.
Al Bagnoli has turned Columbia around in just two years and the Lions are vying for their first Ivy League title since 1961. This is a must win game for Yale as a loss will make it difficult (although not impossible) to win the Ivy League Championship.
This Columbia squad is not composed of world beaters and top recruits as elated Columbia fans will try to tell you. They have a great coaching staff, a solid quarterback, fast wideouts and a stingy defense, yet they do have chinks in the armor. Senior QB Anders Hill and Sophomore WR Josh Wainwright are the top playmakers for the Lions. Hill has completed 66% of his passes and averages roughly 277 passing yards per game. Wainwright has 46 receptions for 637 yards and fellow WR Ronald Smith has 418 yards on the season, but did not play last week. Dartmouth was not able to register a single sack on Hill. That will change with the pressure the Elis will bring. Columbia has not been particularly effective at running the ball with a net of only 738 rushing yards on the season.
Senior Defensive Back Ryan Gilbert leads the Columbia defense with 52 total tackles and his fellow classmate and DB Landon Baty has racked up 48 tackles. That is a total of 100 tackles between two defensive backs with only 1 interception combined. The defensive backs are clearly coming up for run support and hoping that their corners can lockdown their opponent’s top wide receiver. They haven’t faced a well rounded receiving corps such as Yale’s that also features a deadly rushing attack. Columbia has only accumulated 6 sacks on the season or 1 per game, so Rawlings should have ample time to read the defense and deliver a strike.
Keys to the game:
- Hit Anders Hill
- Key on Wainwright
- Get the ground game going to open the passing game
- Secure the football
- Cut down on penalties
- Execute on special teams