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 Game Day Central

Date & Time: Saturday, October 25, 1:30 p.m. Dartmouth Stats Columbia
Location: New York, N.Y. // Weather 4-1 Record 0-5
Stadium: Robert K. Kraft Field at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium Won 3 Streak Lost 16
All-Time Series: Big Green lead 66-17-1 29.4 Points/Game 11.0
Tickets: Information 352.8 Total Yards 263.6
Broadcast: Ivy League Digital Network 195.0 Passing/Game 217.8
Radio: 99Rock // WFRD 99.3 FM - Dick Lutsk, Wayne Young 157.8 Rushing/Game 45.8
Live Stats: 452.8 Yards Allowed 541.4
Logistics: Directions // Parking // Seating Chart 28.4 Points Allowed 44.2
Twitter: @DartmouthSports // @DartFootball 95.0% Red Zone % 70.0%
Dartmouth Links: Home // Roster // Schedule // Stats // Teevens Teleteaser // Notes (PDF) 28:15  Time of Possession  28:41
Columbia Links: Home // Roster // Schedule // Stats // Notes (PDF) 49.8 Penalty Yards

From One Homecoming to Another
Coming off a 24-21 homecoming victory over Holy Cross this past Saturday, Dartmouth plays in another homecoming contest this weekend as Columbia welcomes back its alumni to Wien Stadium. The Big Green handled the Lions in Hanover last year, 56-0, and has won the last five meetings.
Although the Lions have lost 16 straight games dating back to the 2012 season, Dartmouth must not drop its guard. The Green are 4-4 in their last eight trips to New York City, and they had to squeak out victories the last two games, scoring touchdowns in the final three minutes to come from behind.

Dartmouth held a slim 10-6 lead at the half against the Crusaders before scoring two touchdowns in the third quarter to seemingly take control. But two Holy Cross TDs in the fourth quarter made things interesting before the Big Green defense smothered the visitors deep in their own territory in the final minutes of play to secure the win.

Junior RB Kyle Bramble picked up 113 yards on the ground — his second 100-yard game of the season and third of his career — plus caught his team-leading fourth touchdown pass from seven yards out. With junior QB Dalyn Williams adding another 64 more yards on the ground, Dartmouth rushed for 196 as a team.

Williams didn’t post gaudy numbers throwing the ball as he did the week before when he torched the Yale defense for 388 yards. But his modest 156 yards while completing 15-of-23 passes with a pair of touchdowns was enough to send the Big Green to their third straight win.

More than half of Williams’ completions went to senior WR Ryan McManus, fresh off winning Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week honors. The 5-11, 195-pound receiver hauled in eight passes for 89 yards and a touchdown, and currently ranks 17th nationally in both receptions and yardage per game.

Dartmouth played the game without the services of fellow WR Bo Patterson, who had started the previous 14 contests and led the team in receiving last year, but he is expected back on the field against the Lions.

The Big Green did a good job in containing Crusader QB Peter Pujals, who had given the defense fits the year before in a 31-28 defeat. Holy Cross managed just a pair of field goals through three quarters before things got interesting in the final 15 minutes.

Junior nickelback Frankie Hernandez took home his second Ivy Defensive Player of the Week award this fall by contributing eight tackles and an interception. Another pick by senior SS Troy Donahue, his third of the year, set up Bramble’s touchdown, and junior LB Will McNamara led all players with 10 tackles. Halfway through the season, he leads the Ancient Eight with 10.8 stops per game.

Both Cody Fulleton and A.J. Zuttah registered sacks for the defense, giving the Big Green six different players that have been in on at least one sack this year.

On special teams, sophomore punter Ben Kepley had his best game of the year, averaging 43 yards on four punts, the last of which buried Holy Cross on its own eight with 1:25 to play. Classmate Alex Gakenheimer drilled his fifth field goal in as many tries this year, and has converted all eight in his career.

Scouting the Lions
Columbia, 0-10 a year ago, have not found the secret to success yet with its 0-5 record and 16 straight losses dating back to 2012. But in the past two games, the Lions have played well in the first half before their opponent pulled away after halftime.

While Dartmouth has not been hurt by surrendering more yards than it gains in every game thus far, Columbia has been outgained by an average of nearly 280 yards per game. The Lions have thrown for close to 220 on average but have really struggled on the ground with less than 50, last among FCS teams.

Lining up behind center is Trevor McDonagh, who made his first start of this season last week following the departure of Stanford transfer Brett Nottingham. McDonagh has put up better numbers, completing 53 percent of his passes for 563 yards with five touchdowns and just one interception.

Cameron Molina is the workhorse for the offense, taking the handoff 76 times for 220 yards (2.9 average) and leading the Lions with 26 catches as well. He also has the only rushing touchdown for Columbia this season.

Six different receivers have caught touchdown passes, but none of them is Molina. Dan Slivka and Ryan Flannery have gotten the most action among the receivers with 28 catches and a pair of scores between them.

The defense is anchored by end Toba Akinleye who leads Columbia with 42 tackles, 4.5 for a loss, 2.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries. Linebacker Max Keefe and cornerback Trevor Bell have the lone two interceptions for the Lions.

Columbia is relying on a freshman placekicker in Noah Zgrablich, who is 7-for-7 on PATs, but just 2-for-5 on field goals with a long of 37 yards. Cameron Nizialek has done a nice job punting, averaging nearly 41 yards with four going at least 50 yards and 11 of 37 ending inside the 20.

The Lions are coached by Pete Mangurian, who also coached Cornell for three years (1998-2000) in the midst of a 20-year run as an NFL coach with the Broncos, Giants, Falcons, Patriots and Buccaneers. A 1978 graduate of LSU, he began his coaching career at SMU and had stints with New Mexico State and Stanford before returning to his alma mater. At Columbia, Mangurian is 3-22 in his third year and is 19-36 overall.

Brotherly Competition
While Ryan and Danny McManus are the lone set of brothers on the Big Green roster, this week brothers are reunited as junior OL Jacob Flores will be competing against his younger brother, Charlie Flores, who is an offensive lineman for Columbia. Both will be starting at their respective positions, with family bragging rights on the line.

Hernandez Adds to Hardware
For the second time in three weeks, nickelback Frankie Hernandez was chosen as the Ivy League’s Defensive Player of the Week following the 24-21 victory over Holy Cross. The junior from Miami, Florida, recorded eight tackles to go along with a key interception in the second quarter with the score tied at three. Dartmouth has now had at least one weekly player of the week for seven straight weeks dating back to last season, the longest streak in program history.

(B)ramble for 100
Junior RB Kyle Bramble ran for a career-high 113 yards on 23 carries in the homecoming win over Holy Cross on Oct. 18, his second 100-yard game of the season and third of his career. All three have come at Memorial Field, where he has amassed 487 of his 721 career yards. But he averages a half yard more per carry on the road (5.57 to 5.07).

Donahue Does It Again
Dartmouth leads the Ivy League with seven interceptions with nearly half of that total provided by senior strong safety Troy Donahue. On Oct. 18, Donahue plucked an errant pass out of the sky, his third of the year, which set up a touchdown drive in the third quarter. The school record by an individual is seven, set by Lloyd Lee ’98 in 1996.

Top Rushing QB
Against Holy Cross on Oct. 18, QB Dalyn Williams ran for 64 yards on 14 carries, vaulting him past Jon Aljancic ’97 as Dartmouth’s all-time leading rusher among quarterback with 1,073 yards. The junior had originally broken the record two weeks earlier, but then lost enough yards later in the game to push him back behind Aljancic. Williams is also third in career total yards (4,795) and sixth in passing (3,722)

Speaking of Rushing …
As a team the Big Green ran for 196 yards against the Holy Cross defense. Over the past 40 years, Dartmouth has ran for at least that much yardage 99 times, posting a record of 83-15-1 in the process.

About the Red Zone Stats …
Entering the Holy Cross game, Dartmouth had made it inside the opponent’s 20-yard line 15 times and had come away with points on the board in each instance (12 TDs, 3 FGs). The Big Green then continued that trend against the Crusaders with a field goal and three touchdowns. But the streak of 19 successful trips into the red zone ended in the final seconds only because Dartmouth took a knee at the five-yard line to run out the clock instead of running up the score. Stats don’t always tell the whole story …

Taking Advantage of Mistakes
Dartmouth comes into the Columbia game tied for 10th nationally in turnover margin, averaging one more takeaway than its opponents per game. That has led to the Big Green scoring 38 points off of turnovers — about one-fourth of their points on the season — while only yielding 13 from their own miscues. Only Albany (3) has given the ball away fewer times than Dartmouth (4) among FCS schools.

Tackling Opportunities
Junior LB Will McNamara has recorded double-digit tackles in each of the last three games and leads the Ivy League with 10.8 stops per game. That average also ranks 12th among FCS players.

Two Reach 1,000 Yards
One Big Green player surpassed 1,000 career rushing yards against Yale, another topped 1,000 career receiving yards. Junior Dalyn Williams ended the day with just 13 yards on the ground, but it was enough to boost his career total into four figures. Then against Holy Cross, he added 64 more yards to become Dartmouth’s all-time leading rusher among quarterbacks with 1,073 yards, passing Jon Aljancic ’97 who had 1,015 in his career.
Senior Ryan McManus only needed 28 receiving yards at Yale to reach 1,000, but he left no doubt with his 188 yards on 12 catches. He currently has 1,245 yards, placing him 13th among the 18 players to amass 1,000 at Dartmouth. With 179 more yards, McManus will move into the top 10.

Quick Hitters

  • Dartmouth has won four of its first five games, yet its opponent has accumulated more yards on offense in each contest.
  • Buddy Teevens coached his 145th Big Green game on Homecoming, surpassing legendary Bob Blackman for the most in school history.
  • McManus is about to have more company in the 1,000-receiving-yard club — senior Bo Patterson is 12 yards shy of the milestone.
  • Dalyn Williams is third all-time at Dartmouth with 28 TD passes but is a long way from former NFL QB Jay Fiedler who holds the record with 58.
  • The Big Green have won five straight league games, tied for the ninth-longest active streak among FCS schools.