Sept. 29, 2001
David Splithoff had 20 fewer completions than a week earlier and was ecstatic about it.
Splithoff completed 11 of 19 passes for 204 yards and two touchdowns as Princeton topped Columbia 44-11 at Princeton Stadium Saturday night.
The win evened Princeton's record at 1-1 and more importantly came in the first Ivy League game of the season for the Tigers. Princeton hosts Colgate next Saturday (Oct. 6, 1:07 kickoff) before finishing the season with six more Ivy games.
In Princeton's season-opening loss to Lehigh a week earlier, Splithoff completed 31 of 39 passes for 228 yards as he struggled to get the ball downfield. In the game against Columbia, that was no problem.
Splithoff averaged nearly 20 yards per completion against the Lions, including a 78-yard touchdown pass to Chisom Opara that was the longest play in Princeton Stadium's four-year history. Splithoff also threw a a 31-yard touchdown pass to Brendan Dillon during a 10-minute stretch of the third quarter that saw the Tigers break the game wide open. Princeton trailed 3-0 on a 37-yard Sam Warren field goal in the first quarter, but Splithoff ran for a pair of touchdowns to make it 14-3 before Taylor Northrop kicked a 22-yard field goal on the final play of the first half to make it 17-3 at intermission.
Princeton then took the second half kickoff and drove 69 yards for another Northrop field goal. Columbia's next possession ended with a punt to the Princeton 22, and Splithoff found Opara deep down the middle for a 78-yard score.
Columbia, suddenly down 27-3, went for it on a fourth-and-one on its own 34 on the next drive and fell short. After a three-yard run on first down, Splithoff drilled one in the back of the end zone for Dillon's touchdown and the rout was on.
Chris Roser-Jones, who set up Splithoff's second TD with a 51-yard interception return, then picked off another pass and raced 41 yards for a touchdown. Northrop sealed it with his third field goal.
NOTES -- Princeton averaged 2.0 yards per carry against Lehigh in Week 1 and then gained 191 yards on 42 carries against Columbia ... Cameron Atkinson had 116 yards on 18 carries, a 6.4-yard average ... Splithoff carried 10 times for 51 yards ... Opara caught three passes for 126 yards after having nine for 81 against Lehigh ... Princeton held Columbia All-America Johnathan Reese to 66 yards on 19 carries ... Northrop has 29 career field goals, seven off the Princeton career record held by Alex Sierk '99 ... Rob Currey had six tackles and a sack ... Brandon Mueller had seven tackles ... Princeton used five quarterbacks in the game as Brian Danielewicz, David Mroz, Matt Verbit and Matt Groh each got at least one snap in the fourth quarter