Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Back Under the Lights

M.A. Olawale under the 2nd half light in 2008

It’s been more than 11 years* since Columbia hosted a night game at Wien Stadium. That will end this Saturday night against Wagner. It’s also the first time these two teams have ever played one another.

I like the “first time ever,” and “first time in years” themes for this game since the Lions are trying to beat someone, anyone, for the first time in nearly three years.

Incidentally, the last night home game was a 17-14 loss to Fordham in the 2004 season opener. Columbia stumbled out of the gate and trailed 17-0 before mounting a 2nd half comeback highlighted by a blocked punt for a TD.

The last time Columbia won a night home game was 2003 against Bucknell on a late TD pass that gave them the 19-16 victory. It was then-Head Coach Bob Shoop’s first victory at Columbia.

I guess you’re seeing all the parallels too. Night game. Non-conference opponent. Chance for a new head coach to win his first game with the Lions.

Perhaps the stars are aligning.

(*=While most of the game was played in nighttime conditions, the 2008 CU-Dartmouth game won by Columbia 21-13 was actually a 4pm start).


DOC said...

Karma-wise the last time Coach Bagnoli was under the lights at Wien Stadium was at that infamous 2011 Homecoming game against Penn where we self-imploded near the goal-line, turning a potential game-winning drive into a game-tying field goal. Penn then drove the length of the field to bury Columbia. May we come full cycle....

Mark Lufkin said...

Just curious about how the Friday walk through practices have been received on campus?

Jake said...

Mark: They've drawn a decent amount of attention, but I am betting the pre-Homecoming walk through will be the more "hard launch" of the tradition and will bring out a lot more people.

Mark Lufkin said...

Thanks, Jake. When I was at Columbia it was very hard to tell when there was a home game that weekend. The campus never really had a different feel. I think these walk through practices will have an impact or at least raise a little more awareness of what is about to come on Saturday.