August 26, 2015
BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 22: Andrew Fischer #1 of the Harvard Crimson is lifted in the air by teammate Michael Mancinelli #66 following Fischer's game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Yale Bulldogs during the game at Harvard Stadium in th
AP Photo

(STATS) - Dartmouth, which was fitted for its 17th Ivy League football crown in 1996, has owned the most conference titles for so long that it's always seemed like another program catching up was too far off from actually happening.

But the Big Green haven't won a championship since, while Penn and Harvard have captured nine and eight, respectively, over the past 18 years to close within one of the all-time lead. Yale, which sat second in Ivy titles in '96, has won two more since to get to 14, yet it's fallen to fourth on the list.

Harvard, the two-time defending champion, is again favored to pull off a three-peat this year. But, oh, do Dartmouth's veterans believe they're ready to fend off the Crimson, return to the league's top perch and gain more historical separation.

"It's exciting for my players, certainly the alums and the students on campus," Dartmouth coach Buddy Teevens said, looking at the 2015 season. "From a team standpoint (it's) a very, very cohesive group, the guys play hard, they compete well, but they also like each other and they're committed to each other."

The Big Green finished second last season behind Harvard, whose unbeaten campaign (10-0) was the only one in the FCS. The Crimson lost some standouts on defense, but will have a strong offense again.

"We're not entitled to go 10-0," longtime Harvard coach Tim Murphy has been reminding his team.

The 60th season of Ivy League football should be thrilling. Last year's title wasn't decided until the final Saturday of the season when Harvard beat Yale, 31-24, in The Game's latest nail-biter. This year's race figures to go to the end again.

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PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH=

1. Harvard

2. Dartmouth

3. Yale

4. Brown

5. Princeton

6. Penn

7. Cornell

8. Columbia

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TEAM CAPSULES=

1. HARVARD CRIMSON

LOCATION: Cambridge, Massachusetts

STADIUM: Harvard Stadium

COACH: Tim Murphy (147-62 in 21 seasons at Harvard; 179-107-1 overall)

LAST SEASON: 10-0 overall, 7-0 Ivy League (1st)

STARTERS RETURNING: 14 (7 offense/7 defense)

KEY LOSSES: QB Conner Hempel, RB Andrew Casten, C Nick Easton, DE Zack Hodges, LB Connor Sheehan, DB Norman Hayes

OFFENSIVE STAR: Paul Stanton Jr., RB, Sr., 5-9, 190 (147 carries, 990 yards, 11 TDs; 14 receptions, 115 yards)

DEFENSIVE STAR: Eric Medes, OLB, Sr., 6-2, 220 (61 TT, 2.5 TFL, 1 INT, 4 PBU, 1 FR, 1 FF)

OTHER KEY PLAYERS: Scott Hosch, QB, Sr., 6-3, 205; Joseph Viviano III, QB, Jr., 6-5, 215; Semar Smith, RB, So., 5-10, 200; Andrew Fischer, WR/RS, Sr., 5-9, 175; Seitu Smith II, WR, Sr., 5-10, 185; Anthony Firkser, TE, Jr., 6-3, 220; Max Rich, LT, Jr., 6-7, 310; Adam Redmond, LG, Sr., 6-6, 290; Anthony Fabiano, RG, Sr., 6-5, 290; Cole Toner, RT, Sr., 6-7, 300; Dan Moody, DE, Sr., 6-3, 245; Langston Ward, DE, Jr., 6-4, 245; James Duberg, DT, Sr., 6-3, 260; Matt Koran, OLB, Sr., 5-11, 210; Jacob Lindsey, OLB, Sr., 6-2, 220; Sean Ahern, S, Sr., 6-1, 185; Scott Peters, FS, Sr., 6-0, 195; Chris Evans, CB, Sr., 5-9, 170; Kenny Smart, PK, So., 6-1, 195

OUTLOOK: In the preseason, Murphy tried to make the case that every team in the conference will be improved except his Crimson. Of course, when a team goes 10-0 (the only unbeaten finisher in the FCS), it would appear the only direction to go is down - and that may not even happen with the incredibly consistent Ivy power. The Crimson defense was special last season, allowing an FCS-low 12.3 points per game. That's where the Crimson suffered their biggest losses to graduation, but they still return their top three tacklers in LBs Lindsey (63), Medes (61) and Koran (60). Ahern is coming off All-Ivy first-team honors at safety and will hold the secondary together as the Crimson break in some new starting D-linemen. The big guys up front on offense will form a superb line, which will allow the many skills position standouts to rack up yardage and points. QB Hosch (109-for-176, 1,428 yards, 8 TDs, 7 INTs) has been trying to fend off Viviano for the No. 1 job. Stanton just missed rushing for 1,000 yards in a crowded backfield, and WR Fischer, who averaged 130 all-purpose yards per game, and TE Firkser are standouts. Getting to host Dartmouth - on Halloween, no less - is huge as the Crimson go for a third straight Ivy title.

SCHEDULE:

Sept. 19 - at Rhode Island

Sept. 26 - vs. Brown*

Oct. 3 - vs. Georgetown

Oct. 10 - at Cornell*

Oct. 17 - at Lafayette

Oct. 24 - vs. Princeton*

Oct. 31 - vs. Dartmouth*

Nov. 7 - at Columbia*

Nov. 14 - vs. Penn*

Nov. 21 - at Yale*

* - Ivy League game

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2. DARTMOUTH BIG GREEN

LOCATION: Hanover, New Hampshire

STADIUM: Memorial Field

COACH: Buddy Teevens (66-82-2 in 15 seasons at Dartmouth; 100-159-2 overall)

LAST SEASON: 8-2 overall, 6-1 Ivy League (2nd)

STARTERS RETURNING: 15 (6 offense/9 defense)

KEY LOSSES: WR Bo Patterson, RT Scotty Whitmore, C Sean Ronan, DE Evan Chrustic, FS Stephen Dazzo

OFFENSIVE STAR: Dalyn Williams, QB, Sr., 6-1, 210 (181-for-268, 2,119 yards, 21 TDs, 3 INTs; 114 carries, 444 yards, 6 TDs)

DEFENSIVE STAR: Will McNamara, OLB, Sr., 6-0, 230 (87 TT, 4 TFL, 2 INT, 2 PBU)

OTHER KEY PLAYERS: Kyle Bramble, RB, Sr., 5-11, 205; Brian Grove, RB, Sr. 5-10, 195; Ryder Stone, RB, So., 5-11, 205; Ryan McManus, WR/PR, Sr., 5-11, 195; Victor Williams, WR, Sr., 5-9, 170; Sam Laptad, TE, Sr., 6-5, 225; Stephen Johnston, TE, So., 6-4, 220; Jacob Flores, C, Sr., 6-4, 290; Dave Morrison, LT, Jr., 6-5, 300; Zach Davis, RT, Jr., 6-6, 315; Cody Fulleton, DE, Sr., 6-3, 265; A.J. Zuttah, NG, Sr., 6-2, 285; Zach Slafsky, ILB, Sr., 6-2, 245; Folarin Orimolade, OLB, Jr., 5-11, 240; Frankie Hernandez, CB, Sr., 5-9, 195; Vernon Harris, CB, Sr., 6-2, 195; Chai Reece, CB, Sr., 5-10, 180; Troy Donahue, SS/KR, Sr., 6-1, 195; Alex Gakenheimer, PK, Jr., 6-3, 185; Ben Kepley, P, Jr., 6-2, 185

OUTLOOK: This is the season everybody at Dartmouth has pointed toward as the final step of four straight winning seasons in Ivy play would appear to be the Big Green capturing their first league title since 1996. In QB Williams, the Big Green have a dynamic leader, the runner-up for 2014 Ivy offensive player of the year honors after passing for 21 touchdowns with only three interceptions. His favorite receiver, WR McManus (68 receptions, 879 yards, 8 TDs), returns as a fifth-year senior, and RB Bramble rushed for 655 yards but also scored half of his 10 touchdowns on receptions. The main concern is the offensive line is replacing three starters. The top eight in tackles are back for a veteran defense, with LB McNamara, NG Zuttah, SS Donahue and CB Harris all potential all-league first-team standouts. The pass rush (17 sacks) improved later in the season and it needs to continue for the defense to be at a championship level.

SCHEDULE:

Sept. 19 - at Georgetown

Sept. 26 - vs. Sacred Heart

Oct. 3 - at Penn*

Oct. 10 - vs. Yale*

Oct. 17 - at Central Connecticut State

Oct. 24 - vs. Columbia*

Oct. 31 - at Harvard*

Nov. 7 - vs. Cornell*

Nov. 14 - at Brown*

Nov. 21 - vs. Princeton*

* - Ivy League game

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3. YALE BULLDOGS

LOCATION: New Haven, Connecticut

STADIUM: Yale Bowl

COACH: Tony Reno (15-15 in three seasons at Yale)

LAST SEASON: 8-2 overall, 5-2 Ivy League (3rd)

STARTERS RETURNING: 16 (6 offense/10 defense)

KEY LOSSES: TB Tyler Varga, WR Grant Wallace, WR Deon Randall, OL Ben Carbery, LB Charles Cook, PK Kyle Cazzetta

OFFENSIVE STAR: Morgan Roberts, QB, Sr., 6-3, 200 (248-for-371, 3,230 yards, 22 TDs, 9 INTs; 71 carries, 197 yards, 4 TDs)

DEFENSIVE STAR: Foyesade Oluokun, S, Jr., 6-2, 219 (79 TT, 1.5 TFL, 2 INT, 2 PBU, 1 BLK)

OTHER KEY PLAYERS: Chandler Rich, RB, Jr., 5-11, 206; Deshawn Salter, RB, So., 5-0, 205; Robert Clemons III, WR, Jr., 5-11, 185 ; Bo Hines, WR, So., 6-0, 197 (North Carolina State transfer); Leo Haenni, TE, Jr., 6-4, 243; Sebastian Little, Sr., TE, 6-1, 227; Stephen Buric, TE, Sr., 6-5, 237; Luke Longinotti, C, Sr., 6-4, 280; Khalid Cannon, OL, Jr., 6-6, 276; Mason Friedline, OL, Jr., 6-4, 295; Jon Bezney, OL, So., 6-5, 287; Marty Moesta, DE, Jr., 6-6, 254; Earl Chism, DE, So., 6-2, 236; Copache Tyler, DT, Jr., 6-3, 288; Carl Kreitzberg, DT, Sr., 6-2, 293; Victor Egu, LB, Jr., 247; Andrew Larkin, LB, Sr., 6-0, 231; Darious Manora, LB, Jr., 6-0, 235; Matthew Oplinger, OLB, So., 6-3, 229; Cole Champion, DB, Sr., 5-11, 191; Dale Harris, DB, Jr., 5-10, 185; Bryan Holmes, PK/P, Jr., 6-0, 197; Jamal Locke, RS/RB, So., 5-11, 186

OUTLOOK: Those who prefer to watch shootouts loved Yale games last season. The Bulldogs led the FCS in total offense (571.5 ypg) and ranked third in scoring offense (41.1 ppg), but also allowed 37.6 points and 539.1 yards per game. All the numbers added up to an 8-2 record, with the losses to Harvard and Dartmouth. The offense doesn't have the same firepower of last season as the graduated Varga, Wallace and Randall combined for 37 touchdowns. But the return of QB Roberts is huge after he ranked second in the FCS in both passing yards per game (323) and total offense per game (342.7). Clemons is the team's top returning wideout, but North Carolina State transfer Hines might become the go-to target as he had 45 receptions for 616 yards for the Wolfpack last year. Rich rushed for 502 yards as the No. 2 back behind Varga, and Salter will earn some carries as they work behind a strong offensive line. As the defense tries to get on track, Oluokun and Champion form a superb duo in the secondary, and DE Chism and OLB Oplinger are rising sophomores.

SCHEDULE:

Sept. 19 - at Colgate

Sept. 26 - vs. Cornell*

Oct. 3 - at Lehigh

Oct. 10 - at Dartmouth*

Oct. 17 - at Maine

Oct. 24 - at Penn*

Oct. 31 - vs. Columbia*

Nov. 7 - vs. Brown*

Nov. 14 - at Princeton*

Nov. 21 - vs. Harvard*

* - Ivy League game

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4. BROWN BEARS

LOCATION: Providence, Rhode Island

STADIUM: Brown Stadium

COACH: Phil Estes (103-66 in 17 seasons at Brown)

LAST SEASON: 5-5 overall, 3-4 Ivy League (5th)

STARTERS RETURNING: 13 (7 offense/6 defense)

KEY LOSSES: OG Nick Codrea, LB Xavier Russo, LB Dan Giovacchini, CB Jacob Supron

OFFENSIVE STAR: Brian Strachan, WR/KR, Sr., 6-1, 201 (56 receptions, 668 yards, 7 TDs)

DEFENSIVE STAR: Ryan MacDonald, OLB, Sr., 6-1, 200 (45 TT, 1 SK, 1 INT, 1 PBU, 2 FR)

OTHER KEY PLAYERS: Marcus Fuller, QB, Sr., 5-11, 205; Kyle Moreno, QB, Jr., 6-2, 200; Andrew Coke, RB, Sr., 6-0, 205; Seth Rosenbauer, RB, Sr., 6-4, 240; Alex Jette, WR/RS, Jr., 6-0, 175; Troy Doles, WR, Sr., 5-11, 190; John Heile, C, Sr., 6-3, 280; Dakota Girard, LT, Jr., 6-2, 270; Matthew Girard, RT, Jr., 6-2, 275; Andrew Terry, OL, Sr., 6-5, 280; Zach Sparber, DT, Sr., 6-3, 260; Ludovic Richardson, DT, Sr., 6-1, 270; Jacob Walther, DT, Sr., 6-4, 260; Thomas Kutschke, DT, Jr., 6-5, 250; Robert Hughes, DE, Jr., 6-3, 240; Chad Berry, DE, Sr., 6-2, 250; Michael Walsh, OLB, Sr., 6-1, 220; Will Twyman, ILB, Sr., 6-1, 250; Richard Jarvis, ILB, Jr., 6-2, 220 (injured last season); Zachary Gillen, FS, Sr., 5-10, 200; Jordan Ferguson, DB, Jr., 6-1, 185; Grant Senne, PK/P, Sr., 6-5, 235

OUTLOOK: The Bears finishing 5-5 last season was impressive considering they didn't return an offensive starter and had only three back on defense from their 2013 squad. Their 100th all-time meeting with Rhode Island on Oct. 3 is one of the highlights of the schedule, but the Bears are focused within the league because they believe they can contend. With a speedy wide receivers corps, led by Strachan and Jette, QB Fuller (198-for-362, 2,618 yards, 15 TDs, 7 INTs) will have his share of targets. QB-turned-TB Rosenbauer rushed for 206 yards against Penn last season and provides a new look at tailback with terrific size (6-foot-4, 240 pounds). The balanced defense did a solid job against the run last season and that shouldn't change with a veteran D-line. DT Sparber is the leader there.

SCHEDULE:

Sept. 19 - vs. Bryant

Sept. 26 - at Harvard*

Oct. 3 - vs. Rhode Island

Oct. 10 - at Holy Cross

Oct. 17 - vs. Princeton*

Oct. 24 - at Cornell*

Oct. 31 - vs. Penn*

Nov. 7 - at Yale*

Nov. 14 - vs. Dartmouth*

Nov. 21 - at Columbia*

* - Ivy League game

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5. PRINCETON TIGERS

LOCATION: Princeton, New Jersey

STADIUM: Princeton Stadium

COACH: Bob Surace (20-30 in five seasons at Princeton; 38-33 overall)

LAST SEASON: 5-5 overall, 4-3 Ivy League (4th)

STARTERS RETURNING: 17 (7 offense/10 defense)

KEY LOSSES: QB Quinn Epperly, QB Connor Michelson, WR Matt Costello, WR Connor Kelley, RT Mike Ramos, LB Mike Zeuli

OFFENSIVE STAR: Seth DeValve, WR, Sr., 6-4, 240 (19 receptions for 243 yards in two games last season)

DEFENSIVE STAR: Anthony Gaffney, CB, Sr., 6-3, 215 (25 TT, 1 TFL, 3 INT, 4 PBU)

OTHER KEY PLAYERS: Chad Kanoff, QB, Jr., 6-4, 215; Kedric Bostic, QB, Sr., 6-3, 225; DiAndre Atwater, RB, Sr., 5-9, 210; Dre Nelson, RB/KR, Sr., 5-5, 175; James Frusciante, WR, Jr., 6-0, 175; Scott Carpenter, TE, Jr., 6-4, 220; Spenser Huston, OL, Sr., 6-4, 270; Jack Woodall, OL, Sr., 6-3, 285; Britt Colcolough, OL, Sr., 6-4, 305; Mitchell Sweigart, OL, So., 6-5, 235; Mason Darrow, OL, Jr., 6-5, 285; Tyler Desire, DE, Jr., 6-4, 270; Kurt Holuba, DE, So., 6-4, 245; Ian McGeary, NG, Sr., 6-2, 295; Henry Schlossberg, DL, Jr., 6-4, 275; Rohan Hylton, LB, Jr., 5-11, 220; R.J. Paige, LB, Jr., 6-1, 225; Matt Arends, LB, Sr., 6-1, 200; Dorian Williams, FS, Jr., 5-11, 210; John Hill, CB, Sr., 5-9, 185; Khamal Brown, DB, Sr., 6-1, 180; Nolan Bieck, PK, Sr., 6-1, 185; Tyler Roth, P, Jr., 6-1, 190

OUTLOOK: If the quarterback position settles, the Tigers could finish in the top half of the league again. Last year, they were a slight favorite to repeat their 2013 co-Ivy title before suffering through a disappointing season. Interestingly, their 2015 spring practices wrapped up with a game in Japan. QB Kanoff is a pure passer and appears to be the starter, but Bostic is expected to see playing time as well. The two will benefit from a good offensive line and working with RB Atwater (65 carries, 484 yards, 1 TD) and WR DeValve, who was injured last season but has 89 career receptions. The defense lost players in the NFL Draft in both 2013 and '14, and wasn't quite the same last season even though it featured Zeuli, who tied for Ivy co-defensive player of the year. The defense ranked last in the FCS in allowing 341.4 passing yards per game. All-Ivy CB Gaffney (eight career interceptions) needs a bounce-back season, while Desire and Holuba are physical defensive ends. Standout Arends is moving from strong safety to linebacker. A strong kicking game also boosts the Tigers.

SCHEDULE:

Sept. 19 - at Lafayette

Sept. 26 - vs. Lehigh

Oct. 3 - vs. Columbia*

Oct. 10 - vs. Colgate

Oct. 17 - at Brown*

Oct. 24 - at Harvard*

Oct. 31 - vs. Cornell*

Nov. 7 - at Penn*

Nov. 14 - vs. Yale*

Nov. 21 - at Dartmouth*

* - Ivy League game

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6. PENN QUAKERS

LOCATION: Philadelphia

STADIUM: Franklin Field

COACH: Ray Priore (first season at Penn)

LAST SEASON: 2-8 overall, 2-5 Ivy League (6th)

STARTERS RETURNING: 16 (8 offense/8 defense)

KEY LOSSES: RB Kyle Wilcox, WR Conner Scott, WR Spencer Kulcsar, LB Dan Davis, DB Dan Wilk, DB Evan Jackson

OFFENSIVE STAR: Alex Torgersen, QB, Jr., 6-3, 230 (260-for-421, 2,689 yards, 14 TDs, 11 INT; 112 carries, 189 yards, 4 TDs)

DEFENSIVE STAR: Tyler Drake, DE/LB, Sr., 6-1, 225 (58 TT, 8.5 TFL, 6 SK, 1 QBH, 1 FR, 2 FF)

OTHER KEY PLAYERS: Brian Schoenauer, RB, Jr., 5-11, 200; Tre Solomon, RB, So., 6-0, 200; Justin Watson, WR, So., 6-3, 210; Eric Fiore, WR, Sr., 5-11, 210; Ryan O'Malley, TE, Sr., 6-6, 265; Jack York, C, Sr., 6-1, 265; Tanner Thexton, LT, Sr., 6-6, 280; Dan Poulos, LG, Jr., 6-3, 285; Dan Lysenko, RG, Sr., 6-3, 290; Nick Demes, RT, Jr., 6-3, 280; Dan Connaughton, NG, Sr., 6-4, 270; Austin Taps, DE, Sr., 6-3, 270; Corey Power, DE, Jr., 6-2, 275; Louis Vecchio, DE, So., 6-4, 260; Nolan Biegel, LB, Sr., 6-1, 225; Colton Moskal, LB, So., 6-0, 225 (Syracuse transfer); Kenny Thomas, CB, Sr., 6-0, 190; Dylan Muscat, CB, Sr., 6-0, 185; Kevin Ijoma, CB, Sr., 6-0, 200; Ian Dobbins, SS, Sr., 5-11, 195; Alex Moore, FS, Jr., 6-2, 205; Jimmy Gammil, PK, Sr., 6-1, 185; Hunter Kelley, P, So., 6-1, 185

OUTLOOK: Priore is a first-time head coach who's replacing an Ivy legend in Al Bagnoli, but he's in his 29th season on the Penn coaching staff. The former league power is coming off back-to-back losing seasons - almost unthinkable - but the Quakers are fairly experienced. That's because injuries hurt the team last year and a number of younger players gained experience for this season. The leader is QB Torgersen, who fired the ball all over the field and collected 2,878 total yards for the second-highest single-season output in Penn history. He doesn't have as strong a receiver set, but WR Watson caught 42 passes as a freshman. The Quakers also could go running back-by-committee. On defense, the Red and Blue were awful against the pass, allowing 25 touchdowns in 10 games. A veteran defensive line could solve a lot with a strong pass rush, and that's where hybrid DE/LB Drake will come into play. Penn should be improved this season.

SCHEDULE:

Sept. 19 - at Lehigh

Sept. 24 - at Villanova

Oct. 3 - vs. Dartmouth*

Oct. 10 - vs. Fordham

Oct. 17 - at Columbia*

Oct. 24 - vs. Yale*

Oct. 31 - at Brown*

Nov. 7 - vs. Princeton*

Nov. 14 - at Harvard*

Nov. 21 - vs. Cornell*

* - Ivy League game

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7. CORNELL BIG RED

LOCATION: Ithaca, New York

STADIUM: Schoellkopf Field

COACH: David Archer (4-16 in two seasons at Cornell)

LAST SEASON: 1-9 overall, 1-6 Ivy League (7th)

STARTERS RETURNING: 17 (7 offense/10 defense)

KEY LOSSES: WR Lucas Shapiro, OL Shane McManamon, OL Cadell Williams, OL Nick Roach, DE Justin Harris, LB Taylor Betros, PK John Wells

OFFENSIVE STAR: Luke Hagy, RB, Sr., 6-0, 204 (151 carries, 734 yards, 4 TDs; 19 reception, 200 yards, 2 TDs)

DEFENSIVE STAR: Miles Norris, ILB, Jr., 6-0, 240 (71 TT, 7 TFL, 4.5 SK, 2 PBU, 1 FR)

OTHER KEY PLAYERS: Robert Somborn, QB, Jr., 6-1, 194; Jake Jatis, QB, So., 6-4, 235; Marshall Deutz, WR, Jr. 5-10, 187; Ben Rogers, WR, Sr., 6-2, 205; Collin Shaw, WR, Jr., 6-2, 215; Matt Sullivan, TE, Jr., 6-4, 258; Daniel Cunningham, OL, Sr., 6-7, 291; Zach Wilk, OL, Sr., 6-4. 303; Brett Jones, DL, Sr., 6-0, 293; Michael Staples, DL, Jr., 6-3, 293; Jackson Weber, ILB, Jr., 6-2, 232; J.J. Fives, OLB, Sr., 6-2, 240; Jonathan Ford, OLB, Sr., 6-2, 222; Jarrod Watson-Lewis, CB, Sr., 6-0, 195; Del Barnes, CB, Sr., 6-0, 193; Nick Gesualdi, S, So., 6-0, 203; Rush Imhotep, S, Sr., 6-2, 216; Chris Fraser, P, Jr., 6-2, 211

OUTLOOK: The Big Red return many of their key players yet will still rely heavily on underclassmen. They believe they are headed in the right direction under Archer, who's now in his third season. Four different quarterbacks made starts last season, although Somborn (81-for-140, 1,093 yards, 9 TDs, 3 INTs) hopes to settle the position this year. RB Hagy will ground-and-pound, having ended last season with three straight 100-yard games. He is the only player in program history to reach 1,000 career yards both rushing and receiving. Also, the Big Red return their leading pass catcher, Shaw (37 receptions, 520 yards, 4 TDs). It will help if the offensive line cuts into the 33 sacks it allowed in 10 games last season. On defense, the difference makers are ILB Norris and S Gesualdi, last year's Ivy rookie of the year. But the defensive line must do a better job. Punter Fraser (41.7-yard average) hopes to have an All-America season.

SCHEDULE:

Sept. 19 - vs. Bucknell

Sept. 26 - at Yale*

Oct. 3 - vs. Colgate

Oct. 10 - vs. Harvard*

Oct. 17 - at Sacred Heart

Oct. 24 - vs. Brown*

Oct. 31 - at Princeton*

Nov. 7 - at Dartmouth*

Nov. 14 - vs. Columbia*

Nov. 21 - at Penn*

* - Ivy League game

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8. COLUMBIA LIONS

LOCATION: New York

STADIUM: Wien Stadium

COACH: Al Bagnoli (first season at Columbia; 234-99 overall)

LAST SEASON: 0-10 overall, 0-7 Ivy League

STARTERS RETURNING: 15 (8 offense/7 defense)

KEY LOSSES: WR Ryan Flannery, OL Ryan Thomas, LB Ray Pesanello, DB Malcolm Thaxton

OFFENSIVE STAR: Cam Molina, RB, Sr., 5-10, 193 (145 carries, 460 yards, 3 TDs; 44 receptions, 395 yards)

DEFENSIVE STAR: Niko Padilla, DT, Sr., 6-0, 290 (25 TT, 3 TFL, 2 SK, 1 PBU, 1 QBH, 1 FF)

OTHER KEY PLAYERS: Skyler Mornhinweg, QB, Jr., 6-3, 217 (Florida transfer); Trevor McDonagh, QB, Sr., 6-2, 204; Leander Cutler, FB, So., 5-8, 202; Nick Durham, TE, Sr., 6-2, 237; Kendall Pace, OL, Jr., 6-5, 273; Charlie Flores, OL, So., 6-4, 283; Billy Lawrence, OL, Sr., 6-7, 275; Bewley Wales, OL, So., 6-5, 288; Toba Akinleye, DE, Sr., 6-3, 230; Alexander Holme, DE, So., 6-4, 215; Chad Washington, DL, Sr., 6-4, 252; Hunter Little, DL, Sr., 6-5, 254; J.D. Hurt, DL, Sr., 6-2, 258; Gianmarco Rea, MLB, Jr., 6-2, 217; Max Keefe, OLB, Sr., 6-2, 216; Brock Kenyon, SS, Jr., 6-1, 195; Travis Reim, FS, Sr., 6-1, 192; Trevor Bell, CB, Sr., 5-8, 175; Noah Zgrablich, PK, So., 6-1, 190; Cameron Nizialek, P, Jr., 6-2, 193; Colinn Early, RS/DB, So., 5-7, 167

OUTLOOK: Bagnoli won nine Ivy titles and 148 games in his 23 seasons as Penn's head coach, so there's optimism at Columbia that the Lions will enjoy a gradual turnaround. They enter the year on a 21-game losing streak since 2012 and have posted only three winning seasons in the last 50 years. Bagnoli's friendship with NFL coach Marty Mornhinweg has yielded the transfer of Skyler Mornhinweg into the program from Florida. He's expected to become the starting quarterback and settle what's been a troubled position. The Lions averaged a mere 10.3 points per game - third-worst in the FCS - but they can't blame versatile RB Molina, who needs help on offense, especially from his linemen. Bagnoli will likely try to make the defense more physical and stop the run better. Four of the team's top five tacklers return, led by DE Akinleye (63 TT). Combined with DT Padilla, the Lions should be much-improved on the D-line. The most interesting game of the season is Penn's visit to Wien Stadium on Oct. 17.

SCHEDULE:

Sept. 19 - at Fordham

Sept. 26 - vs. Georgetown

Oct. 3 - at Princeton*

Oct. 10 - vs. Wagner

Oct. 17 - vs. Penn*

Oct. 24 - at Dartmouth*

Oct. 31 - at Yale*

Nov. 7 - vs. Harvard*

Nov. 14 - at Cornell*

Nov. 21 - vs. Brown*

* - Ivy League game

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