The Bulldogs travel to the Big Apple this weekend to take on the 3-3 (0-3) Columbia Lions. You can watch the game on ESPN+ at 1 PM ET on Saturday.
Fourth-string freshman QB Ty Lenhart looks like he will get the starting nod for the Lions. Lenhart does have some experience as he has played in all six contests this season completing 14 of 19 passes for 118 yards and an interception. Junior Lynnard Rose will likely start at running back with starter Dante Miller out with an injury. Rose is only averaging 3.0 yards per carry over his 58 rushes, but poses a threat as a receiver out of the backfield averaging 6.9 yards per reception. With star wideout Josh Wainwright out for the season, Ronald Smith and Kyle Castner have had to pick up the slack and have performed very well this season despite the injuries at the quarterback position. The tight end is not a crucial component of their passing game as starter Rory Schlageter has only 7 catches for 57 yards on the season. The offensive line averages 290 lbs. and appears to be on par with Penn’s offensive line.
Columbia’s stingy defense is the heart and soul of the team. The Lions limited Dartmouth to 7 first half points, 28 total points, and 356 total offensive yards in the contest last week. The defensive line is one of the smaller lines we have faced this season, but they are quick at the point of attack. Defensive tackle Mike Hinton (6’4″, 275 lbs.) and defensive end Daniel Delorenzi (6’2″, 235 lbs.) are the top linemen on the roster. Columbia’s top linebacker, Justin Woodley, is hurt forcing the senior trio of Jacob Young, Cal Falkenhayn, and Sean White to step up in his absence. Falkenhayn and White are sizable linebackers tipping the scales at 245 lbs. and 240 lbs. respectively. Strong safety Landon Baty and free safety Ryan Gilbert are Columbia’s most talented defenders. Baty is returning from an injury suffered in Columbia’s loss to Princeton. Baty and Gilbert are flanked in the secondary by two freshman corners, Chris Park and Fara’ad McCombs. Keep an eye on Park as he is making the first start of his career against our very dangerous receiving corps.
Kicker Chris Alleyne was honored last week as the Ivy League Special Teams Player of the Week. Punter Drew Schmid is averaging 36.3 yards per punt this season. Columbia has the fifth best kick return yardage in the FCS and has not had a punt blocked this season.