Princeton football scored 14 unanswered points to complete its second-half comeback against Columbia and secure the Tigers’ first victory of their Ivy League title defense Oct. 5. After heading into halftime down 10-7, Princeton’s defense shut out the Lions in the second half of a 21-10 win.
Head coach Bob Surace ’90 praised the team’s performance and was optimistic about several players growing as they gained more experience in game situations.
“I was harder on them the last two games at halftime,” Surace said. “I thought we got sloppy the last two games. This was a resilience game, a mental toughness test. It was going to come down to two or three plays.”
“It feels great to get a win,” said quarterback Kevin Davidson ’20, who threw for 271 yards and one touchdown. “Wins are tough in this league — everyone knows that, especially this year. Every week is going to be an absolute battle, it’s not going to be blowouts like last year, so we just have to keep getting better every day.”
Last week, Davidson threw for seven touchdowns against Bucknell, breaking both the Princeton and Ivy records for the most touchdowns thrown in a single game. However, he got off to a rough start against Columbia, throwing an interception on the first drive, Princeton’s only turnover this season.
After the Princeton defense held Columbia to a field goal, the offense recovered two drives later when running back Collin Eaddy ’21 caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from Davidson. Eaddy contributed to both the passing and running game, with 52 yards receiving, 60 yards on the ground, and a touchdown in each. Running back Ryan Quigley ’20 added Princeton’s other touchdown on a 31-yard run in the fourth quarter.
“[Eaddy] was really close to being a complete player and he’s worked really hard to take that next step,” Surace said. “Credit him, he’s worked so hard to be a better blocker and to be a better receiver.”
Columbia scored a touchdown to close the second quarter, but that would be the last time they saw the end zone. Despite having possession for 34 minutes, Columbia’s offense was held to 232 total yards. The Princeton defense accumulated four sacks and sealed the game in a final minute with an interception that was returned to the 2-yard line.
“We always have high energy,” said defensive lineman Samuel Wright ’21, who had 2.5 sacks. “The mentality that we want to have is that offense should be able to kick one field goal in the first quarter, and we hold any [opposing] offense [scoreless]. Of course, offense has the mentality that they want to go too, but that’s how we pride ourselves.”
Princeton will host Lafayette on Friday Oct. 11 for its last nonconference game before heading to Brown Oct. 19 to begin the six remaining Ivy games.