Princeton vs. Cornell football preview

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Princeton (1-5, 0-3 Ivy) vs.
Cornell (2-4, 1-2 Ivy)
Oct. 31, 1 p.m.
Princeton Stadium
Princeton, N.J.

Princeton has stumbled in its 1-5 start, surrendering more than 30 points per game and scoring fewer than 10. Head coach Roger Hughes said this week that his team needs to find more big plays on offense. Saturday’s game against Cornell could be a good time to look for them: The Big Red defense has allowed 410 yards per contest, second-worst in the Ivy League. (Dartmouth ranks eighth with 428 yards allowed.)

After back-to-back road games at Brown and Harvard — last year’s Ivy co-champions — Princeton’s schedule seems to be getting a bit softer. Three of the Tigers’ next four opponents (Cornell, Yale, and Dartmouth) are 1-2 in Ivy play and .500 or worse overall.

History

In three Ivy games, the Tigers have been on the wrong side of three historic performances. Princeton’s losses to Columbia and Harvard were its worst defeats in each series, and at Brown, Bears receiver Buddy Farnham had 309 all-purpose yards, one of the top 10 single-game totals in Ivy history.

Princeton’s history against Cornell is a little more promising. The Tigers hold a 56-33-2 record in the all-time series and have won three of the last five meetings.

Players to watch

Princeton wide receiver Andrew Kerr ’11

Kerr, a 6-foot-2-inch junior from State College, Pa., has caught 17 passes this season and leads the Tigers with 11.6 yards per catch. His best game — five receptions for 73 yards and one touchdown against Colgate — coincided with one of Princeton’s best offensive performances. Princeton’s top five receivers this year are all juniors, which could be a good sign for the future of the passing game of sophomore quarterback Tommy Wornham.

Cornell junior safety Anthony Ambrosi

Ambrosi moved from running back to defensive back early this season, and he has made a strong impression in his new role, scoring touchdowns on a fumble return and an interception. Cornell head coach Jim Knowles hopes more big plays are on the way. “He’s still learning,” Knowles said. “He’s got a lot of potential [and] he seems to be a very opportunistic player who gets around the ball and puts himself in positions to make plays. That’s something you can’t teach.”

Around the Ivies

Dartmouth’s convincing 28-6 win over Columbia was the story of last weekend. The Big Green ended a 17-game losing streak and showed it has a legitimate star in sophomore running back Nick Schwieger, who ran for 242 yards and now leads the Ivy rushing chart. Dartmouth travels to Harvard this week, while Columbia aims to rebound at home against Yale. In other action, Penn puts its unbeaten Ivy record on the line at Brown.

Final quote

On uncharacteristic miscues from Princeton, which had ranked among the country’s least-penalized teams in recent years: “Part of the frustration with our red-zone offense this year is the fact that we’ve committed a lot of crucial penalties that we haven’t been able to overcome. We need to get back to where we were [and] make sure we don’t make those mistakes.”

– 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

or 9 – Andrew Kerr ’11

QB 7 – Tommy Wornham ’12

TB 29 – Meko McCray ’11

FB 25 – Matt Zimmerman ’11

K 99 – Ben Bologna ’10

DE 92 – Matt Boyer ’11

NT 91 – Kevin DeMaio ’12

DE 85 – Joel Karacozoff ’10

LB 50 – John Callahan ’10

LB 51 – Steve Cody ’11

LB 45 – Jon Olofsson ’11

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

or 31 – Joe Cloud ’13