Rob SgarlataThis weekend we will travel to New York City to play Columbia University. This will be the first game in a long series between the two schools.  With the help of Executive Director for Athletic Relations Pat McArdle and representatives from Columbia, we have established the Lou Little Trophy in memory of the Hall of Fame Coach.  Lou Little coached at Georgetown (1924-29) and Columbia (1930-1956) during his storied career.  Pat is an invaluable resource at Georgetown and did a tremendous job establishing this trophy.  

Last year, Columbia hired former Penn coach Al Bagnoli.  Coach Bagnoli led Penn to nine Ivy League Championships and is regarded as one of the best coaches in FCS.  Coach Bagnoli has recruited a very experienced and talented coaching staff to join him in New York.  Offensive coordinator Mike Faragalli and defensive coordinator Paul Ferraro have been successful at NFL, CFL and FBS-level programs.  Their immediate impact was evident after reviewing their game versus Fordham last weekend.  A link to the game notes can be found here.

Columbia lost to Fordham last weekend, 44-24.  This game was closer than the final score indicates. Columbia was only down four points going into the fourth quarter, trailing 28-24.  On offense, Columbia used two quarterbacks – Florida transfer Sklyer Mornhinweg and Anders Hill split the duties.  Mornhinweg was extremely efficient.  He was 21-for-25 passing with 187 yards and scored twice on the ground.  Hill was 8-of-15 for 56 yards.  Both quarterbacks did a great job of moving the chains for the Columbia offense, combining to throw to nine different receivers. 

Defensively, Columbia is very strong up front.  Senior defensive lineman Niko Padilla and Toba Akinleye have collected a number of preseason honors.  They did a great job trying to contain the potent Fordham attack last Saturday.  Senior free safety Matt Cahal led Columbia’s defense with 10 total tackles in a solid outing. 

One of Columbia’s scores was the result of a 98-yard kickoff return by running back Alan Watson.  In addition to this score, Columbia excelled in the kicking game.  Punter Cameron Nizialek averaged over 47 yards per punt and helped Columbia to control the field position battle most of the day. 

The goal for this weekend is to take one play at a time.  Over the first three games, we have played well in stretches.  To be successful this weekend, we must be more consistent mentally and physically.  Every player and coach has a role to play this weekend.  Columbia will present a great opportunity for us to continue to develop our team in all three phases. 

Thank you for all of the prayers and encouragement with regard to Ty Williams.  Ty is currently at Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia.  He is in great spirits and is focused 100% on his program.  I know he is working extremely hard with the experts at Shepherd Center.  He is constantly in our thoughts and prayers. For an update on Ty, please click here.

Rob Sgarlata

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