Sept. 20, 1 p.m. — Johnson Hagood Stadium, Charleston, S.C.
Princeton has never played The Citadel in football. The Tigers haven’t ventured south of the Mason-Dixon Line since 1987, when they beat Davidson, 42-6, but they did face a Southern school, Hampton, at home last year. Hampton won in a high-scoring affair that was one of the most memorable games of Princeton’s season. The Citadel won four of six home games in 2007, and its only home losses were to Appalachian State and Wofford, two teams that reached the Championship Subdivision playoffs last year.
Saturday’s game is Princeton’s first of the season, while the Bulldogs have played twice, pummeling Webber International, 54-7 Aug. 30, and falling to Bowl Subdivision powerhouse Clemson, 45-17 Sept. 6.
Players to watch
Princeton quarterback/defensive back Dan Kopolovich ’10
Kopolovich was the most reliable player in Princeton’s defensive secondary last year, but this year, he is listed on the depth chart only as a quarterback. Head coach Roger Hughes indicated that Kopolovich might spend time on the field in several capacities — as a quarterback, wide receiver, tailback, kick returner, or defensive back — but the coach was short on specifics. “Dan’s one of the best athletes we have,” Hughes said. “It would be crazy for us to stand around and have him standing by us on the sidelines.”
Citadel junior wide receiver and punt returner Andre Roberts
Roberts, a third-team All-American last year, has track-star speed and gaudy stats: 244 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns in two games, along with another 149 yards on punt returns. But Princeton defensive back Wilson Cates ’09 said the Tigers are looking forward to the challenge. “They’re a very fast team, and we like to think we’re a fast defense, so we feel like we match up against them well,” he said. “Of course, Roberts is the guy who is going to get the most attention, defensively, but all of their receivers are very disciplined. They run great routes and are very fast.”
PAW’s football preview in the Sept. 24 print issue lists R.C. Lagomarsino ’09 as a primary ball-carrier for the Tigers, but according to Hughes, the tailback is injured and likely will miss the entire season. “He’s doing everything he can, without putting on a uniform, to help us win the game and make our younger players better,” Hughes said. Jordan Culbreath ’10 remains the starting tailback, and Ryan Smith ’10 and Matt Zimmerman ’11 also could carry the ball against the Citadel.
On Citadel coach Kevin Higgins: “He has put together a really good staff there. You know you’re going to have people try to pick you apart and [you’ll] find out what other people think your weaknesses are, which will help us down the road.”