Princeton vs. Dartmouth football preview

i-bbea9da546b4e377680fc4be5f6b42c9-princeton-dartmouth57.jpg

Princeton (3-6, 2-4 Ivy) at
Dartmouth (2-7, 2-4 Ivy)
Nov. 21, 12:30 p.m.
Memorial Field
Hanover, N.H.

Above, a photo from the 1957 Princeton-Dartmouth game. This week, the forecast in Hanover calls for 45-degree weather at kickoff.

In Princeton’s win over Yale Nov. 14, the Tigers were solid in nearly every phase of the game. The running game made consistent gains, taking some pressure off quarterback Tommy Wornham ’12, and Wornham managed the offense well, steering clear of interceptions. The main flaws on offense — four fumbles lost — were counterbalanced by Princeton’s defense, which recovered one fumble and snagged three interceptions.

“In the games that we’ve won, winning the turnover battle has been paramount — that and not giving up big plays,” head coach Roger Hughes said. “I know they’re two cliché statistics, but they’re crucial.”

Protecting the ball will be important this week against Dartmouth, an improving team that has shown occasional dominance in the running game. Sophomore tailback Nick Schwieger ran for a school-record 242 yards in a 28-6 win over Columbia Oct. 24. Two weeks later, Big Green freshman quarterback Greg Patton broke that rushing record — by one yard — in a double-overtime win over Cornell.

History

Princeton and Dartmouth are even in the all-time series (42 wins for each and four ties), but the Tigers have beaten the Big Green five straight times, including a decisive 28-10 win last year. Dartmouth head coach Buddy Teevens recognized that trend in this week’s Ivy football teleconference, calling Princeton “a quality opponent that’s really owned us.” But, he added, “What we need to do is focus on how we play. We can’t get distracted too greatly with what the past history has been.”

Players to watch

Princeton tailback Kenny Gunter ’10

The oft-injured Gunter seems to have saved his best for last. In his final home game, Princeton’s win over Yale, he ran for a career-best 119 yards and scored his first touchdown since September 2007. Gunter carried the ball 23 times, and based on Hughes’ comments, he could have a similar workload this week. The Yale game came with one bittersweet note: Gunter’s parents were unable to make the trip from Washington state due to a family illness. He wrote the words “MOM” and “DAD” on his eye-black patches.

Dartmouth freshman quarterback Greg Patton

Patton, a native of College Park, Ga., was projected to be a defensive back at Dartmouth, according to Teevens, but his play at quarterback in practice and during junior varsity games earned him a chance to line up behind center against Cornell. He made the most of it. In one of the most impressive Ivy football debuts in memory, Patton ran for 243 yards and two touchdowns. Last week, Brown contained Patton’s runs, allowing 35 yards on 19 carries, but the freshman showed some promise as a passer, completing seven of 10 attempts, including his first touchdown pass on a 77-yard catch and run Michael Reilly.

Culbreath on Senior Day

“Nobody in America deserved a better Senior Day than Jordan Culbreath,” according to ESPN.com’s Pat Forde, who wrote a long column about Princeton’s senior captain, his battle with aplastic anemia, and his return to campus for last weekend’s win over Yale. Beating the Bulldogs was one of the best wins Princeton has had in a long time, Culbreath told Forde. “It was a good day,” he said.

Around the Ivies

Penn looks to complete a 7-0 Ivy season and secure sole possession of this year’s Ivy title when it hosts Cornell (1-5) Nov. 21. Columbia (2-4) hosts Brown (4-2). A win would give the Lions their best Ivy record since 2003. And in “The Game,” Harvard (5-1) travels to Yale (2-4) for the 126th meeting of the two rivals. The Harvard-Yale game will be broadcast nationally on Versus.

Final quote

On the effect a season-ending win can have on recruiting: “When you win, there’s more bounce in your step. There’s more enthusiasm in your voice, as a coach. Kids are coming on campus very soon after the game, and clearly, your players have a much better taste in their mouth as they’re representing your university to prospective recruits.”

– 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 8 – Kenny Gunter ’10

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