Football Prepares For Ivy Opener, Hosts Columbia Saturday Night
Both the Princeton and Columbia football teams are more than happy to move past the first two weeks of the 2011 season. One team will find those games easier to forget when it jumps out to a 1-0 start in the Ivy League season.
|Date/Time||Oct. 1/6 p.m.|
|Field||Powers Field at Princeton Stadium|
|TV||GoPrincetonTigers.TV/Verizon FIOS 1|
|Radio||GoPrincetonTigers.com/WPRB 103.3 FM|
|All-Time Series||Princeton 64-15-1|
|Last Year||COLUMBIA 42, Princeton 14|
|Last At Site||Columbia 38, PRINCETON 0|
|Last Five Years||Princeton 3-2|
|Current Streak||Columbia 2|
Game Notes • Week 3
A Few Fast Facts To Get You Ready…
While Princeton and Columbia have both played two games this season, each is making its Ivy League debut tonight. Princeton has won 10 of its last 13 Ivy openers, although it lost each of its last two.
Princeton is in the midst of its first two-game losing streak ever to Columbia. The Tigers have been outscored 80-14 in the last two meetings, including a 38-0 loss at Princeton Stadium two seasons ago.
Prior to the 2009 game, Princeton had been in control of the rivalry. The Tigers had won five straight, including three by double digits, and still own a 64-15-1 advantage in the
Princeton is off to its first 0-2 start since the 2003 season. In its third game that year, Columbia earned its first win at Princeton with a 49-yard “Hail Mary” touchdown on the final play of regulation.
Princeton will be looking to end its longest losing streak ever in football; the streak, which began last season with a 42-14 loss at Columbia, is currently at 10.
The longest losing streak in Columbia history was 44 games, and it ended at the expense of Princeton during the 1988 season. Solomon Johnson’s 2-yard touchdown run with 5 minutes 13 seconds left provided the margin of victory for the Lions, and Princeton missed a 48-yard field-goal attempt on the last play.
Princeton has had issues in the red zone through the first two weeks of the season. In seven offensive trips inside the opponent’s 20, the Tigers have scored one touchdown and kicked three field goals. Defensively, Princeton has allowed eight trips to the red zone and given up six touchdowns.
Princeton has had several special teams highlights through the first two games, including:
• Joe Cloud leads the Ivy League with a punting average of 48.6 yards per punt; he was a second-team All-Ivy pick last season after leading the Ivy League in punting average.
• Patrick Jacob leads the Ivy League with 2.0 field goals per game. He is the reigning first-team All-Ivy placekicker and made 14 field goals last season.
• Ivan Charbonneau rans second in the Ivy League with a 32.4-yard average on kickoff returns. He has the league’s only touchdown return, which came on a 92-yard score against Lehigh.
• Caraun Reid blocked a field goal attempt in the season opener against Lehigh.
Princeton is led by three senior captains this season. Steven Cody, voted captain of the 2010 team as well, has returned to that position. He is joined by quarterback Tommy Wornham, who is playing his first game since Week 5 of last season, and defensive lineman Mike Catapano.
Princeton was picked to finish in a tie for seventh with Cornell in the 2011 Ivy League preseason poll; the Tigers have never been picked below sixth in the poll. The last two times Princeton was picked sixth were 2010, when the team finished last in the league, and 2006, when the team finished first.
Princeton radio voice Dan Loney is part of the new “Inside Ivy League Football,” an in-depth look at both the on-field action and all the news and notes surrounding Ivy football. The 10-episode show airs Wednesdays at 7 p.m. on BlogTalkRadio.com, and features interviews with players and coaches, as well as analysis on each of the Ivy teams.
Fans can follow Princeton via social media on Facebook through facebook.com/
PrincetonUniversityAthletics, and on Twitter through @PUTigers or @PrincetonFBall.
The Crystal Ball
Princeton will leave the comforts of home over the next three weeks, starting with a 1 p.m. game next Saturday at Hampton, the Tigers’ final non-league opponent of the season. Following that are trips to both Brown (Oct. 15, 12:30 p.m.) and Harvard (Oct. 22, 1 p.m.); all three games can be heard live on WPRB 103.3 FM or GoPrincetonTigers.com.
Princeton’s next home game will be a 1 p.m. start Oct. 29 against Cornell. The Tigers have won three of the last four against Cornell, although the Big Red used a late interception last season to come away with a 21-19 victory. Princeton has won four straight home games against Cornell, although the last three have been decided by a grand total of 10 points. The game will be streamed live on GoPrincetonTigers.TV.
A Princeton Win Would …
• end a program-record 10-game losing streak.
• end a two-game losing streak to Columbia, the longest Tiger losing streak in a
rivalry that dates back to 1874.
• be Princeton’s first home win in eight tries.
• be the first Ivy League victory for head coach and former All-Ivy player Bob Surace.
• give Princeton its first winning record in the Ivy League since Week 1 of the 2008 season.
Offensive Notes and Anecdotes…
Freshman Matt Costello had a memorable game against Bucknell last weekend, catching five passes for 70 yards, including a long of 20. Each of Costello’s catches were for at least 10 yards, and each gave Princeton a first down.
Fresh New Faces
Matt Costello’s performance against Bucknell came one week after fellow freshman Chuck Dibilio rushed for 86 yards on 14 carries and scored on a 26-yard reception in the fourth quarter. His performance earned him Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors.
Senior Tommy Wornham became the eighth Princeton quarterback to throw for more than 3,000 yards in his career when he completed a 15-yard pass to Akil Sharp during Princeton’s opening possession last weekend.
Wornham currently has 3,141 passing yards in his career; he is 305 yards behind David Splithoff ’04 for seventh on the Tiger passing chart.
Sophomore Brian Mills scored his second career touchdown last weekend on a 12-yard reception in the fourth quarter. Both of Prince-ton’s offensive touchdowns this season have come on passes to running backs. Mills is currently the only Princeton player to have a touchdown in both the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
While Princeton has shown resilience in its fourth-quarter offensive efforts, the Tigers will need to score more points in the first 45 minutes of games this season. In two games, Princeton has scored 12 points total in the first three quarters and 19 in the fourth quarter.
Princeton will need to do a better job limiting turnovers following its struggles last weekend against Bucknell. The Tigers committed six turnovers against the Bison, the most since a seven-turnover performance in Week 9 of the 2005 season, a 21-14 loss to Yale.
While Princeton’s running backs have scored the team’s two
offensive touchdowns this season, the Tigers have not rushed for a touchdown since the fourth quarter of Game 6 (Cornell) of the 2010 season.
Out Of The Gates
Princeton has gotten out to early leads in each of its first two games this season. Senior kicker Patrick Jacob, who leads the Ivy League in field goals and was the 2010 first-team All-Ivy kicker, has converted on field goals on each of Princeton’s opening drives this season.
Defensive Notes and Anecdotes…
Sparks By Starks
Junior linebacker Andrew Starks led Princeton with nine tackles last weekend against Bucknell, including 2.5 stops for losses. Starks recorded 12 tackles last season against Columbia, one short of his career best, and finished fourth in the Ivy League with 8.9 tackles per game.
Starks had one of his best games of the season last year at Columbia, recording 12 tackles and six solo stops. His career high is 13, recorded in the 2010 overtime win over Lafayette.
Princeton has three of the Ivy League’s top eight tacklers through two weeks of the season. Junior safety Mandela Sheaffer ranks seventh in the league with nine tackles per game, while junior linebackers Andrew Starks and Tim Kingsbury are both tied for seventh with 8.5 stops per game.
Reid It And Weep
Junior Caraun Reid has already made at least one impact play in each of his first two games since returning from a season-ending injury last year. He blocked a field goal attempt in Week 1 and recorded Princeton’s second sack of the season last weekend; he leads all Tiger linemen with 12 tackles this season.
The Ship-pey Has Sailed
Defensive lineman Adam Shippey could make his return this weekend after suffering a preseason injury. Shippey had a career effort last season against the Lions, recording 10 tackles.
What Can Brown Do For You
Cornerback Khamal Brown became the first Princeton freshman to start on the defensive side of the ball this season. He started for the injured Phillip Bhaya last weekend and has recorded six tackles already this season.
The Princeton defense will be looking for improved play in the turnover department tonight. In their first two games, the Tigers haven’t forced any turnovers.
Last season, Princeton forced at least one turnover in nine of the 10 games. The only opponent that didn’t turn the ball over last season against Princeton was Columbia.
Last Year: COLUMBIA 42, Princeton 14
NEW YORK CITY — A record-tying day for Columbia quarterback Sean Brackett and an opportunistic Lion defense stifled the Princeton football team in the 2010 Ivy League opener for both teams. Columbia scored touchdowns on four straight possessions to break open a close game in a 42-14 victory.
After a Matt Zimmerman 4-yard touchdown run gave the Tigers a 7-0 lead, Columbia scored 35 unanswered points to jump out to a 1-0 start in the Ivy League for the second straight season.
Quarterback Tommy Wornham completed 27 of 43 passes for 252 yards and a touchdown. Senior wideout Trey Peacock had another strong day in his All-Ivy League season, catching 11 passes for 125 yards, while classmate Andrew Kerr caught six passes for 80 yards and a TD.
Sophomore linebacker Andrew Starks led the Princeton defense with 12 tackles, while lineman Adam Shippey added 10 tackles. Dan Fitzsimmons had a sack for the Tigers, who added three pass breakups in the game.
Brackett tied a Columbia record with five touchdown passes in the game, including two in a 20-second span late in the first half. Nick Gerst rushed for 124 yards for the Lions.
Princeton’s first drive of the second quarter yielded the opening touchdown, as Zimmerman took a sweep four yards to the right side for a touchdown. The drive took 13 plays over 80 yards and included a pair of short third-down conversions, including a three-yard run by Zimmerman on 3rd-and-2.
A 50-yard kickoff return on the ensuing kickoff set Columbia up for a tying touchdown. Following a 16-yard completion to Andrew Kennedy, Brackett evened the score with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Nico Gutierrez, who found an open spot in a Tiger zone and held off a tackle attempt to fall into the end zone for the score. Columbia would add two touchdowns in the final minute of the first half to hold a 21-7 lead at the half.
The Lions added two more touchdowns before Princeton finally got back on the board with a 31-yard touchdown pass down the left sideline from Wornham to Kerr.