After Years of Blowouts, Columbia Proves It Belongs

Gone was the stagnant offense that had failed to score since 2011. While the Lions’ attack was far from polished, it was a far cry from the units of past Columbia squads that would post drives of negative yardage as often as not.

The 16 points Saturday outpaced all but one of the Crimson’s other opponents this season, Brown, most of whose 27 points in week two came against Harvard’s second-string defense.

Maybe you can chalk the stark contrast in the 2015 Columbia team I saw Saturday up to a coaching overhaul at Columbia that brought in previous Penn coach Al Bagnoli to replace Pete Mangurian, as well as a new secondary coach.

Maybe you can chalk it up to the experience of the Lions’ veteran defensive line, or the injection of fresh blood with the transfer of former-Florida quarterback junior Skyler Mornhinweg.

Or maybe, you can the chalk it up to the momentum from an upset road win over an injury-riddled Yale team on Oct. 31.


Whatever it was, one thing is for sure: this year’s Columbia football team has gained an intangible, apparent in the swagger on the field after an open-field tackle or blocked punt, and definitely apparent in the way the players strode into the postgame press conference.

The Lions aren’t going to be the 2015 Ivy League Champions. They won’t unseat Harvard at the top. But they’re a heck of a lot closer than they’ve been in a long time.

Staff writer Samantha Lin can be reached at


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