What Princeton Must Do to Defeat Columbia
BY JAY GREENBERG
1) Pressure Anders Hill. The senior has matured into a top-level Ivy quarterback. “He’s great with the ball, has deception, and throws the ball downfield accurately,” said Bob Surace. “He is the real deal.”
2) Match Columbia’s physicality. “The Lions are FCS leaders in multiple defensive categories. At this stage of a season, stats are a reflection of schedule as much as performance, but it would be a mistake not to think Columbia, which recorded wins over also-rans Dartmouth and Brown late last year, isn’t going to beat contending teams in 2017. “The defensive line is strong across the board,” said Surace. “If you pay too much attention to one guy, they have three others that will beat you. They go more than two deep, every one of them active and strong.”
3) Throw. The Lions defensive backfield and linebacking corps are not as experienced. Stopping Princeton’s huge and talented receivers will be a weekly template this season. In addition to Hill, the Lions return most of their top skill position players, but the Tigers still have the greater capacity to make big plays and will need some.
4) Win the turnover battle. The days of blowing out Columbia are over. Whoever protects the ball the best–and makes the other team give it up–probably will triumph.
5) Respect. After Columbia’s strong 2-0 start, Princeton represents a potential program-turning win, which cannot be lost on the Tigers.