Princeton vs. Lehigh preview

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Jordan Culbreath ’10 (© Beverly Schaefer)

Princeton (0-1, 0-0 Ivy) at
Lehigh (0-2, 0-0 Patriot)
Sept. 26, 12:30 p.m.
Goodman Stadium
Bethlehem, Pa.

Princeton and Lehigh are each aiming for their first win of the 2009 season. The Tigers dropped a 38-7 contest to The Citadel last weekend. The Mountain Hawks, who did not play last week, lost their first two games to Central Connecticut State and Villanova.

For the Tigers, every positive from last week’s loss comes with a caveat. The Princeton offense converted 11 of 19 third-down plays, but the Tigers stalled as they neared the end zone. Quarterback Tommy Wornham ’12 completed 24 of 41 passes for 198 yards, but he also threw two fourth-quarter interceptions that led to Citadel touchdowns.

Head coach Roger Hughes said that the Tigers are eager to improve on offense and clean up their mistakes in the kicking game. Princeton’s defense, he said, was most effective when pressuring Citadel’s quarterback last week. Expect the Tigers to try the same approach against Lehigh.

History

This year’s game is the 53rd between Princeton and Lehigh, and while the Mountain Hawks have held the upper hand in recent years, the Tigers earned a victory last season. Connor Louden ’09 kicked a 32-yard field goal as time expired, propelling Princeton to a 10-7 win. Jordan Culbreath ’10 ran for 126 yards in the game, the first of five 100-yard outings last season.

Players to watch

Princeton wide receiver Trey Peacock ’10

Peacock, at 6-feet, 3-inches tall, is one of Princeton’s biggest targets, and last week, he also was the most reliable. He caught seven passes for 45 yards against The Citadel, with a long of 17 yards. The next challenge for Peacock will be turning short passes into long gains by finding running lanes in the defense.

Lehigh senior defensive lineman B.J. Benning

Hughes said the Tigers will be keeping an eye on Benning, a versatile pass-rusher and run-stopper who lines up in a few different positions on the defensive line. The 280-pound All-America candidate had six sacks last season (second best on the team) and will present a new challenge for Princeton’s veteran offensive line, which was effective in its pass protection last week.

Passing mentions

Wornham is not the only newcomer playing a key role in Princeton’s passing game. The Tigers added two new coaches in the offseason: Gary Goff, who coaches the wide receivers, and Ron Wisniewski, who works with the tight ends. Both newcomers come from pass-happy programs. Goff most recently worked at New Mexico State, where the Aggies set school records for pass attempts in a game (73) and a season (623) during his tenure. Wisniewski came to Princeton from Wyoming, where three of his receivers went on to sign with NFL teams.

Around the Ivies

Four Ivy teams will begin their league schedules this weekend. Cornell hosts Yale, and Brown travels to Harvard for a matchup of last season’s co-champions. Also on the schedule: Penn plays at Lafayette; Dartmouth heads to New Hampshire; and Columbia tries to start 2-0, hosting Central Connecticut State.

Final quote

On Princeton’s defense, following the 38-7 loss to The Citadel: “We’re going to be able to fix a lot of the minor mistakes that I think really made a big difference. On the whole, this is a great learning experience for our defense.”

– Princeton linebacker and co-captain Scott Britton ’10

Princeton’s probable starters

Offense

Defense

WR 19 – Trey Peacock ’11

LT 75 – Mark Paski ’10

LG 65 – Andrew Mills ’11

C 78 – Andrew Hauser ’10

RG 76 – Marc Daou ’10

RT 72 – J.P. Makrai ’10

TE 48 – Harry Flaherty ’11

WR 82 – Jeb Heavenrich ’11

QB 7 – Tommy Wornham ’12

TB 21 – Jordan Culbreath ’10

FB 25 – Matt Zimmerman ’11

K 99 – Ben Bologna ’10

DE 77 – Mike Catapano ’12

NT 92 – Matt Boyer ’11

DE 85 – Joel Karacozoff ’10

LB 50 – John Callahan ’10

LB 51 – Steve Cody ’11

LB 43 – Scott Britton ’10

LB 56 – Brad Stetler ’10

CB 3 – Cart Kelly ’10

S 17 – Wilson Cates ’10

S 18 – Dan Kopolovich ’10

CB 23 – Glenn Wakam ’11

P 41 – Otavio Fleury ’12