Princeton football, Week 8

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Princeton (3-4, 2-2 Ivy) vs. Penn (4-3, 3-1 Ivy)

Nov. 7, 7 p.m. — Princeton Stadium, Princeton, N.J.

History
Friday night’s game will be the 100th between Princeton and Penn, and everyone associated with the rivalry has a favorite. Tops on the list for Princeton head coach Roger Hughes: the 2006 game, when Rob Toresco ’08, stalled at the goal line, flipped the ball to quarterback Jeff Terrell ’07 for a key touchdown in overtime. Defensive coordinator Steve Verbit, who has been at Princeton for 24 seasons, fondly recalls a goal line stand in 1995 that helped the Tigers secure a 22-9 win. For more memorable moments and historical photos, check out “100 and counting,” a story from PAW’s Nov. 5 issue.
Above, Frank McPhee ’53 caught this Dick Kazmaier ’52 pass for a touchdown against Penn in 1951.

This year
Both Princeton and Penn played emotional games last weekend — for the Tigers, a 5-point win at Cornell, and for the Quakers, a 7-point loss to first-place Brown. Getting back on the field on a Friday night, after a short week of practice, might not be ideal, but the two teams are pumped to play in front of a national TV audience on ESPNU. In a call-in interview during Princeton’s Nov. 5 press conference, Penn defensive coordinator Ray Priore joked that only one thing could slow his team down: Friday afternoon traffic on I-95.
Players to watch
Princeton wide receiver Will Thanheiser ’09
In his first three seasons, Thanheiser caught 29 passes for 406 yards. In seven games this year, he has 42 catches for 703 yards and has emerged as one of the league’s top offensive threats. “You knew that it was just a matter of time,” said quarterback Brian Anderson ’09. “I just try to get him the ball as much as I can, because when he has it, good things happen.”
Penn junior nose guard Joe Goniprow
Goniprow leads the Quakers in tackles for a loss (7.5), and Hughes calls him “one of the best defensive linemen in the league.” The Penn linemen and linebackers cemented their reputation for stopping the run in an Oct. 25 win over Yale, in which they held tailback Mike McLeod to 28 yards on 18 carries. If Princeton aims to create running room for Jordan Culbreath ’10, tying up Goniprow will be a top priority.
Around the Ivies
With three weeks remaining, 4-0 Brown is the Ivy frontrunner. The Bears host Yale Nov. 8 at 12:30 p.m. (YES Network). Also on the schedule: 1-3 Columbia travels to 3-1 Harvard, and 0-4 Dartmouth plays at 2-2 Cornell.
Final quote
On the Princeton-Penn rivalry: “We’re going head-to-head with them for everything. The kids we recruit are the same kids they recruit. Usually, our kids are very familiar with each other, and I think the close proximity of the schools [makes it] a natural geographic rivalry. The rivalry is intense.”
– Roger Hughes, Princeton head coach

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