Friday, October 16, 2015

Bagnoli Bowl I

Pennsylvania Quakers at Columbia Lions

Homecoming Weekend

October 17, 2015

Kickoff time: 3:30pm

Location: Robert K. Kraft Field at Wien Stadium

Game Time Weather Forecast: 55 degrees and partly sunny

The Spread: Penn is favored by 7 points

TV/Radio: Jerry Recco and Sal Licata provide superior play-by-play and commentary on the Ivy League Digital Network

The Columbia Spectator will again be running a live blog during the game:

Columbia Game Notes

Penn Game Notes

Leading Story Lines

There is one, and only one, story line for this game: it’s the Bagnoli Bowl! You don’t need to be a great writer to set the stage and describe the drama. The longtime and legendary coach of one team goes to his new team only to face his old team on Homecoming. There really is no sign of any bad blood between new Columbia Head Coach Al Bagnoli and his old Penn program. In fact it’s quite the opposite as everyone involved seems quite cordial.

But that’s not how it is for the fans. Columbia and Penn are in the midst of the most punishing and consistent beatdown in Ivy football history. The Quakers have defeated the Lions a record 18 straight times and there’s a bad taste in the mouths of many Columbia fans when they think about how many of those games went down. Ending that streak on Homecoming, (seven of those 18 straight Penn wins have come in Columbia Homecoming games), would be a dramatic early return on the investment in Bagnoli and provide real hope for the Lion fan base on the biggest possible stage.  Penn fans want to prove their program can thrive without Bagnoli and rub it in on Columbia at least one more time.

5 Columbia Players to Watch

-Senior DE Chad Washington #4. Washington missed the Wagner game nursing a recovering knee injury but is expected to be back against the Quakers. Columbia’s defense played well without him against Wagner, but it will need him at his best to do the same against the newly energized Penn offense. Washington particularly needs to help shut down the Quaker running attack.

-Senior RB Cameron Molina #31. Penn’s defense has been suspect just about all season long and Molina will surely be a big part of Columbia’s attempts to test the Quakers on the ground and possibly through the air. Watch for the Lions to try to take advantage of an aggressive Penn defense early in the game with some screen passes to Molina or possibly junior RB Alan Watson.

-Sophomore LB Hagen Patterson #44. Patterson impressed in training camp, won a starting job and was doing well in the Fordham game before spraining his ankle in that contest. I’m surprised to see him listed again as the starter so soon after the injury, but if he’s healthy enough to really start then he could make an important impact in this game. He may draw the key job of stopping Penn QB Alek Torgersen when he tries to run.

-Junior QB Skyler Mornhinweg #8 had a generally outstanding game last week, but he needs to be a bit more accurate with his passes against the Quakers for the Lions to win. He also needs to throw a few deep balls effectively to keep the Penn defense a little honest.

-Senior DB Travis Reim #41 should see a lot of action trying to stop a Penn offense that will be desperate to get an early lead and reverse the recent trend of the Quakers falling too far behind too early in games. If that eagerness translates into a few forced passes, Reim needs to be there to help with coverage and possibly pick those passes off.

5 Penn Players to Watch

-Junior QB Alek Torgersen #10 is back after missing last week and the 2nd half of the game two weeks ago against Dartmouth. His backup, senior Andrew Lisa did extremely well in his absence and Torgersen is going to need to prove he deserves to be the starter.

-Sophomore LB Colton Moskal #44 has made the expected big impact on this team after transferring from Syracuse over the summer. He’s surely being charged with the job of stopping the bleeding for the surprisingly porous Penn defense.

-Junior RB Brian Schoenauer #20 looks to be an emerging star after two straight solid performances. But is he the real deal or did he just sneak up on Penn’s last two opponents when the games at least seemed to be totally decided?

-Senior LB LB Tyler Drake #49 is having a monster season and he and Moskal complement each other well.

-Sophomore WR Justin Watson #5 is a rising star in the Ivies and just the kind of receiver this Penn program has lacked for what seems like decades. I expect the Quakers to use him to test the Lion pass defense more than any other player.

Streak Watch

Columbia now has a one game overall winning streak, but the Lions have not defeated Penn since a 20-19 win over the Quakers in overtime at Franklin Field in 1996. That’s 18 straight losses. 

Columbia has also lost 15 straight Homecoming games dating back to a 49-21 win over Dartmouth in 2000. 

Al Bagnoli and Penn defeated Columbia 21-7 the last time these two teams met for CU’s Homecoming in 2013. Penn and Bagnoli also spoiled Lion Homecoming games in 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2011. 

Before Penn started the Columbia Homecoming losing streak in 2001, the Lions had gone a respectable 8-4 on Homecoming starting with the win over Princeton that ended the 44-game losing streak in 1988. That includes a 20-14 win over the pre-Bagnoli Quakers in the 1991 Homecoming game, but also a 36-7 loss to Bagnoli and Penn in the 1993 Homecoming contest.


oldlion said...

Chad Washington has to seal the edge. As good as he is, sometimes he bites inside, giving an option QB an outside lane. Ditto Akinleye.

I remain, very truly yours, Richard Szathmary said...

Remember a Homecoming during Bob Shoop's tenure? The players wore "throwback" uniforms meant to recall Columbia's Rose Bowl team. I thought they looked somewhat silly, but they sure didn't help.

It sure would also be nice to win a Homecoming game again. Even though I axxctually look forward to a few more wins in thus genuine "rebuilding" season, this one would feel particularly good.

And only now, I think, can one sense, when watching Bagnoli and his effect on this year's Lions team (which seems galvanic), just how all-out lousy Mangurian really was.

Roar Lion said...

Ditto Richard's remark. We picked up three very good transfers who help and Washington came back, but Pete had Nottingham and all the same players and couldn't stay within 30 of anybody. The OL/DL is most remarkable: let them gain weight and get stronger and suddenly we're competitive.

Looking forward to homecoming!

DOC said...

Torgerson and Lisa do not appear to be running quarterbacks but we have been particularly vulnerable to the scramble after the pass coverage forces a breakdown. Hopefully our OL will be up to the task.

Coach said...

I hope that Al can match Mangurian's first year record at Columbia.

Chen1982 said...

We did not merely kick out bad management. We replaced the Board and the CEO and the Exec Committee all in one go. A bloody house cleaning

And we can see the difference in Columbia being competitive and relatively well structured in all four games and improving in some category each week. Defense went from 44 points to 3 for example. It will be the Defense that keeps us in this game if we are to win it. And then our offense has to be supremely efficient at converting red zone chances.

I figure we need to score at least three TDs and a pair of FG to win this. Columbia 27. Penn 20!

oldlion said...

Beautiful morning. Hopefully we get a big crowd. Is Molina OK after being the target of a vicious head shot against Wagner? I also noticed one other change on the two deep for the DL. Are we missing anybody else? I think the key to the game is the DL has to cause havoc when the Penn QBs try to drop back, and our DBs cannot get beaten deep.

Jake said...

Molina is fine. You may have noticed he actually came back into the game last week even after that hit. I also saw the addition of Ian Tyler into the rotation on the D-line two deep and am not sure what that's all about.

Chen1982 said...

Well I am meeting three former roomies from class of '82 and have managed also to bring Yalie and Dartmouth alum friends intrigued to see this game. I come with the confidence this will be a good contest because you can see the confidence in the team and along the sidelines.

alawicius said...

Jake, Ian Tyler must be doing well. Can you tell us why we haven't seen these receivers from whom good things are expected -- Zach Dansby, Isaiah Gross, and freshman Tre Gabriel?