Football updates: Kelley ’14 out, Mills ’14 to return

Wide receiver Connor Kelley ’14, who injured his right shoulder in Saturday night’s season opening 34-22 loss to Lehigh, will miss Saturday’s game against Bucknell.
 
Kelley, a converted quarterback, was hit on a second-quarter play when he took the snap, then a reverse pitch from quarterback Tommy Wornham ’12 (who had lined up outside), and ran 10 yards for a first down.
 
“He might be back for Columbia [Oct. 1], but probably for Hampton [Oct. 8],” said coach Bob Surace ’90 on Sunday. Shane Wilkinson ’13, who led Princeton with six receptions against Lehigh, will start in Kelley’s place.
 
Running back Brian Mills ’14, held out of the Lehigh game because of a nagging ankle problem, should be ready versus Bucknell, said Surace. Despite the impressive debut of Chuck Dibilio ’15 (86 yards rushing and a 26-yard touchdown reception), Surace says there are enough touches for starter Akil Smith ’13, Dibilio, and Mills.
 
“Akil wore down, there’s plenty of room for Brian,” said Surace. “We ran 76 plays. I want us to be the 80s.”
 

Surace lamented the lack of big plays on both sides of the ball, on ongoing story from a 1-9 season in 2010, but thought the tackling was much improved and the performance of Princeton’s special teams “one of the best in a long time.”
 
Ivan Charbonneau ’12 had a 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and downed an Otavio Fleury ’12 coffin-corner kick. Patrick Jacob ’12 booted three field goals and the Tigers successful converted an onside kick.  Brendan Solon ’15, who executed the kick after Jacob grabbed at his quad following an extra point – he returned later – was one of 10 freshmen who saw playing time.
 
“Dibilio was obvious because he has the ball, but not one of them had big eyes,” said Surace. “They all played well.”
           
Princeton was plagued by red-zone false starts but except for one “inexcusable” blown assignment when Wornham was sacked – the other he was tripped up in the open field – the coach thought a veteran offensive line blocked and protected well.
 
Wornham completed 23 of 41 pass attempts with a touchdown, and his one interception went through the hands of wideout Isaac Serwanga ’12.    
 
“Tommy played well enough for us to win but not as well as I think he can,” said Surace. “His timing, his leadership was good, but he missed a few [open receivers] and he can take it up a notch.”