Princeton vs. The Citadel

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Princeton (0-0, 0-0 Ivy) vs.
The Citadel (0-1, 0-0 Southern)
Sept. 19, 3 p.m.
Princeton Stadium
Princeton, N.J.

Friction between Citadel cadets and the Princeton University Band may have stolen the headlines from last year’s trip to Charleston, S.C., but fans of both teams saw exciting plays on the field. The Tigers and Bulldogs combined for 61 points and 665 yards.

This season, Princeton’s strength is its running game, with Jordan Culbreath ’10, the Ivy League’s top rusher in 2008, leading the way. On defense, the Tigers are aiming to force more turnovers. They have a large but inexperienced line, strong linebackers, and a seasoned secondary.

The Bulldogs have offensive firepower, with returning quarterback Bart Blanchard throwing passes to All-American receiver Andre Roberts, but they are looking to improve on defense. The Citadel surrendered 32.8 points per game last year, en route to a 4-8 record.

History

Last year was the first meeting of the two schools. Princeton led The Citadel 17-7 at halftime, but the Bulldogs scored 20 unanswered points in the second half, beginning with a blocked punt that was returned for a touchdown, and won 37-24. Culbreath ran for 74 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Brian Anderson ’09 threw for 206 yards.

Princeton head coach Roger Hughes said The Citadel has extraordinary speed, which poses a significant challenge in the first game of the season. “You can’t simulate game-like conditions in practice, but we’ve tried to the best we can as far as playing fast and trying to simulate the speed that The Citadel is going to bring,” he said.

Players to watch

Princeton quarterback Tommy Wornham ’12

All eyes are on Wornham, who will make his first start at Princeton. When asked about his advice for the sophomore, Hughes borrowed from the Hippocratic oath: First, do no harm. “Don’t try to win the game yourself,” Hughes said. “We’ve got plenty of people and plenty of weapons. Just manage the game well.” A seasoned offensive line and an All-Ivy running back reinforce that notion. At the Tigers’ preseason media day, Wornham said, “I couldn’t ask for a better situation.”

Citadel sophomore running back Terrell Dallas

Dallas, who tore a knee ligament against Florida in 2008, returns to the field as a likely starter this week. Against North Carolina, passing was The Citadel’s top priority, but at Princeton, the Bulldogs likely will be aiming for a more balanced attack. Dallas, who ran for 230 yards and four touchdowns as a reserve last season, should be a welcome addition to a running back corps hampered by early injuries. Other backs who may see action include freshmen Van Dyke Jones and Remi Biakabutuka, the younger brother of former Michigan star and NFL player Tim Biakabutuka.

Enemy lines

From The Sports Arsenal, a well-researched Citadel fan blog: “[I]f you hear a Princeton alum boast that his team won the national title in ’89, just keep in mind that he’s talking about 1889, and that all the games took place in the east, against opponents like Stevens Tech and Wesleyan, and that the national title was not based on an 1889 poll, but rather was retroactively awarded to the Tigers in 1932 by Parke Davis. Davis was the pre-eminent college football researcher of his day. He was also a Princeton alum who happened to play on the 1889 team.”

Around the Ivies

All eight Ivy League teams open against non-league opponents this weekend. Penn has the most significant test, facing undefeated Villanova, which toppled Temple and Lehigh in its first two games. The Wildcats ranked No. 2 in the latest Football Championship Subdivision poll. Last year’s Ivy co-champions, Harvard and Brown, face Holy Cross and Stony Brook, respectively.

Final quote

On The Citadel’s Andre Roberts and his talent as a kick returner: “Let’s just say I’m losing hair by the handful. We’ve got to control Roberts. We’ve got to kick it away from him, we’ve got to know where he is all the time. Certainly our coverage has to be very good. … It’s a major concern.”

– Princeton head coach Roger Hughes

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

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

 

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