Otis Island: Calvin Otis needs to come up big again tomorrow
Lafayette Leopards vs. Columbia Lions
Location: Robert K. Kraft Field at Wien Stadium on the Baker Athletic Complex, West 218th Street and Broadway, New York, NY.
Kickoff Time: 12:30pm
Gametime Weather Forecast: Sunny and 70 degrees
The Spread: Columbia is favored by 9 points
Columbia Game Notes
*Make sure to click on the Princeton Game Highlights icon on the game notes page to see super high quality video highlights from the big 42-14 win over the Tigers last week.
Lafayette Game Notes
HOW TO GET TO THE GAME (Jake’s EVEN NEWER preferred methods):
By Subway: Take the Uptown A train to the final stop at 207th Street. Exit from the 211th Street exit and walk up to 218th Street.
By Commuter Rail: Take the Metro North train from Grand Central to the Marble Hill stop and walk back over the Broadway Bridge to the stadium.
By Car: Do whatever you can to avoid the Cross Bronx Expressway. But ALSO avoid the tie ups at Broadway north of Dyckman that are also a result of the subway construction. And the Harlem River Drive is now backed up on weekends because of GW Bridge construction. You can still take the RFK/Triboro Bridge to either 125th Street and stay on 125th going west until you reach the West Side Highway North, or take the RFK/Triboro to the Major Deegan North to the 230th Street exit and drive down Broadway to 218th.
If you choose the parking garages along 10th Avenue, I would get under the tracks as soon as you can on 10th and pull into the first garage you see within 10 blocks of the stadium.
More driving, subway, and bus directions and tips here
HOW TO WATCH THE GAME
Logon to ESPN3.com to see the game live. Turn down the sound there and go onto the SideLion Pass and hear the Columbia commentators, Jerry Recoo and Sal Licata with the ESPN3 video!
Columbia has lost eight straight to the Leopards, some in horrific fashion thanks to the refs and some of the Lions own errors.
But last year’s 24-21 Columbia loss was especially stinging as it came with the massive injury to Alex Gross and killed the momentum the team earned from the big win at Princeton the week before.
On the positive side, Lafayette’s coaches and some players said the Lions were the best Ivy team they played all last season, including Harvard and Penn.
The 13-3 loss in 2008 also stung, as the Lion defense played its best game of the year, only to see the offense squander several scoring opportunities.
Columbia’s last win over the Leopards was in 2000, an unusual off year for them.
Lafayette comes into the game 0-4, reeling from injuries, and still not settled after a lot of key graduations. Last week, they were tarred by Harvard, 35-10, thanks to 311 rushing yards by the Crimson. But the Leopards three other losses, including one to Penn, were much closer and could have gone either way.
The Lions have NEVER won three straight games at Wien Stadium in the same season. They did win the last two contests in 1996 and the first home game in 1997, but that's it. Of course, Columbia had many long home winning streaks at the old Baker Field. The 17,000 seat Wien Stadium opened in 1984, replacing the all-wooden, decaying, 32,000 seat Baker Field stadium, which opened in 1923.
-Columbia TE Clif Pope, who scored his first varsity TD last week, was a high school teammate of Lafayetter QB Ryan O'Neil at Iona Prep.
-Freshman defensive back Chris Alston was a teammate of Lafayette freshman DeOliver Davis at the Hun School in New Jersey, (though Alston is from Virginia).
Keys to the Game
Take an Early Lead
The Leopards confidence needs a boost with an 0-4 record around their necks. The Lions can go a long way to killing any optimism by scoring first, something they haven’t done all year.
Last year’s loss to an 0-5 Dartmouth team was sealed when the Big Green scored a TD on a long opening drive of the game. Yes, Columbia had some massive injury issues that day, but as soon as Dartmouth saw they could win, they were well on their way to winning.
And the Lions, who haven't scored in the first quarter of any game, need to give their defense a lift with an early score.
Dominate the Lines of Scrimmage
Columbia, flat out, has better offensive and defensive lines than Lafayette and that needs to come through loud and clear. The Lions need to do a better job than last week at harassing the Leopard backfield, especially if the returning Owen Fraser gets real playing time.
On offense, the Columbia O-line must continue the job it’s been doing the last two weeks and establish the running game against Lafayette’s questionable ground defense.
Be Ready for the Deep Ball
The Lions still haven’t been really tested deep down the field with any regularity. I like our chances in that scenario, but that may be the only way to win if you’re Lafayette.
Cut the Penalties
The Leopards are a very young team playing on the road, there’s no reason why Columbia should even come close to committing as many penalties as Lafayette might in this game. Penalties have cost the Lions two of the last seven losses to the Leopards and this needs to stop now.
COME OUT AND CHEER