FIRST IMPORTANT GAME.
Columbia Today at 3 P. M.--Yesterday's Practice Shows Improvement.
The football team will play Columbia on Soldiers Field at 3 o'clock this afternoon. This game is important not only because it is the first hard game of the season, but also because it is the first Harvard-Columbia game since 1891. Up to last year Columbia has had no football team since 1891, and last year no game with Columbia was scheduled. Columbia had a very successful team last year, defeating Yale 6 to 0 and making good scores in all the other games. This year the team has not developed very quickly, but there are strong men in the team such as Slocovitch, Morley and Weeks. The only real indication of its strength can be gathered from the tie game with Williams, in which Columbia out classed her opponents but was unable to score. The other games played this year resulted in defeating Rutgers 11-0, and Wesleyan 12-0.
The Harvard team as made up today is a strong one. Sawin, Daly and Lee will play again and Graydon will play left tackle instead of full-back as before. Ristine will be the only substitute, playing at right end for Hallowell, whose ankle still keeps him out of the game.
Coach Sanford has not yet decided upon the Columbia line-up. The Harvard line-up will be as follows: r.e., Ristine; r.t., J. Lawrence; r.g., Barnard; c., Sargent; l.g., Lee; l.t., Graydon; l.e., Campbell; q.b., Daly; r.h.b., Kendall; l.h.b., Sawin; f.b., Ellis.
The practice yesterday was a decided improvement over that of Thursday. In spite of the fact that a new combination of substitute backs was tried the first eleven not only scored but kept the ball entirely in the second team's territory. This was due almost entirely to the steady and strong playing of the men in the line, who seemed to have profitted greatly by the hard coaching on Thursday. The guards and tackles easily broke up the second eleven's line for the backs and in the defence concentrated their efforts at the point of attack to great advantage. The second team tried about twelve plays against the line but failed to gain any ground. The first eleven gained almost at will through the line, but fumbling and poor interference marred the end running. On account of the Columbia game today, only one fifteen minute period was played. The most encouraging work of the day, beside that of the first team's line, was in the punting and drop-kicking. In the preliminary practice Kernan and Stillman made an average of fifty yards on their punts, and Ellis, who a week ago made no better than twenty-five yards, made an average of forty yesterday. In the game he punted sixty yards twice. Sawin and Kendall did no actual playing but spent the time kicking goals.
In the practice Jaynes and W. R. Lawrence took the places of Sawin and Kendall, and in the middle of the game Stillman took Ellis's place. These backs did very well considering that they played together for the first time. Jaynes did some effective line bucking and was the only successful end runner. He made three fairly long runs around left end with very little interference. Ellis played fullback for a few minutes and did much better work than on Thursday. He struck the line hard, fought his way through and kept his feet well. His punts were much longer and straighter than usual and he did some good interfering. The improvement in Barnard's and Lee's playing was the most noticeable part of the practice. They both broke through their opponents constantly and played well together on the defense. Graydon had B. G. Waters '95 for an opponent and made a good showing against him, as the backs were enabled to make several good gains through that position. Farley, Ristine and Campbell were still slow in getting down under punts, the second team succeeding in running several back. The best individual work of the day was done by Baldwin of the second eleven. He made several excellent tackles, ran the punts back successfully, and played his position well.